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Mother Earth, Gaea, or however you like to call her is present in our otaku lives, too. Sometimes she is a background character, sometimes a treasure to be conquered and others a vengative force slashing out. In recent years, anime that talk indirectly or obviously about the relationship between humans, other living creatures and the Earth have thrived. For all the green otakus out there, we thought about remembering some of the most memorable characters that care about the Earth from those anime. We tried to select those who use unconventional means to help not only the environment, but also the humans and even other creatures beyond Earth. Without further ado… let’s go!
10. Pikaia of Pikaia!
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Apr 29, 2015 to Jul 30, 2015
It is thought that the Cambrian era was particularly diverse and fruitful. A few of the creatures that were alive then survived until the Earth collapsed. Now people live in outer space, but they have found an unlikely ally to understand how life can thrive on Earth once again. Yes, they count with a cute cambrian pikaia named Pikaia!
An important thing we have to understand about taking care of mother Earth is that we need the cooperation of as many living beings as we can. That includes animals, of course! In this recent anime, the original point was that Pikaia was an important character along the human protagonists. Cute and innocent but brave and adventurous, this marine little heroine conquered our hearts.
9. Miyori Mashima of Miyori no Mori (Miyori’s Forest)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Aug 25, 2007
What would you do if you were deserted by your parents? Shutting yourself from the world would be an understandable reaction. When Miyori Mashima goes to live with her grandmother close to the forest, she is still in shock. However, what she finds there opens her eyes to a completely new way of looking at the world.
Being eleven years old, Miyori Mashima is still understanding how things work, but she is also the perfect age to re discover magic. By entering in contact with the forest and the creatures that inhabit it, she realizes that, rather than being a thing, the whole forest is alive. This pushes her away from her comfort zone. The admirable point of Miyori is that she gathers enough courage to engage with others in a desperate effort to save the forest from destruction.
8. Agito of Giniro no Kami no Agito (Origin: Spirits of the Past)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Jan 7, 2006
A failed experiment with plants has destroyed human civilization on Earth. Now the few humans who have survived are in a permanent war against the wild forest. Agito, one of the villagers, finds Tula, a girl who has been in a cryogenic capsule for 300 years. When it is known that she has the key to get rid of the forest, Tula is kidnapped.
Agito is a kind boy who will always lend a helping hand. Living close to the forest gives him enough intuition to realize that there must be another way to coexist with it rather than destroying it completely. It is through his sacrifice and will to save Tula that he is granted powers that none of the other humans could manage. His story is full of action, but his character is well balanced and that is why we have included Agito in this Top Ten!
7. Juna Ariyoshi of Chikyuu Shoujo Arjuna (Earth Girl Arjuna)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan 9, 2001 to Mar 27, 2001
Juna Ariyoshi had a normal high school life in Japan, dates with her boyfriend and a reputation at the archery club. When she dies in an accident, Juna has a vision of the mysterious Raaja destroying Earth. A boy named Chris offers her a second opportunity in life if she accepts to become the Avatar of Time, holding super powers. Together with a secret organization, Juna enters in a race against time to save the Earth.
Juna Ariyoshi might be normal, but she always was curious, wondering if things were alright just as they were. It turned out that the more she knew, the more she wanted to find out about the many ways humans coexist with (and often destroy) the Earth. It takes her and her companions a long way to perceive and understand the many ways in which we are all connected, and Juna’s powers are not always easy to handle for her. The end of this anime is one of the most beautiful you will see among this selection.
6. Ashitaka of Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Jul 12, 1997
Ashitaka was a prince of his tribe in ancient Japan. When he shot a crazed god, his arm was cursed. Oriented by the elders, Ashitaka is compelled to travel to find a cure for the curse. Things will get interesting when he arrives in Iron Town and meets the forest creatures that are at war with the humans.
Yes, we know that the protagonist of this movie is San, but can we take a few minutes to appreciate Ashitaka? Noble, brave and with a calm mind, he is the perfect mediator between the forest and the town. His judgement is unprejudiced and listens to both sides, always trying to stop violence. The best part is that he does not seek to become a hero, he just does not want to die and tries to do what is right for most of the involved ones.
5. Nausicaa of Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Mar 11, 1984
As much as Mononoke Hime was recognized worldwide, the movie that started it all for Studio Ghibli was Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa. And what a start it was; strongly beholding a pro environmental heroine! In her world, nearly all Earthly life has been destroyed. Nausicaa is the princess of the Valley of the Wind, which exists not so far from a toxic forest. Everything is moreless peaceful until the kingdom of Tolmekian invades the valley.
Nausicaa is one of the most resourceful characters in our Top Ten. Other protagonists have special powers, but what Nausicaa has is scientific knowledge, the ability to lead, and compassion. She will acknowledge everyone (including the forest) and, despite her young age and the sudden change of pace of her life, Nausicaa will make sure that everyone survives the ordeal. Yeah, we know that’s impossible in a war, but the girl tries hard and becomes the stuff of legends.
4. Ayato Kamina of RahXephon
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Jan 21, 2002 to Sep 10, 2002
So yes, our characters save the Earth and her creatures, but what happens when we add outer space life to the mix? In the then future year of 2012, the Mu invaded Earth. Ayato Kamina lives his art student life in what he believes is Tokyo, but when a woman called Haruka breaks up during an invasion, our protagonist realizes that he has only seen a small fraction of the world. Now a pilot for the mysterious dolem RahXephon, Ayato will fight against the Mu not only in order to survive, but to discover exactly what happened to the Earth.
Ayato Kamina is one of those characters that become accidental heroes. He holds conflicted feelings because he has been in contact with both humans and Mu. Ayato’s artist soul and senses help him understand those around him despite his young age. Ultimately, he will wonder if there is no other choice but to confront the Mu violently.
3. Yayoi Yukino of Shin Taketori Monogatari: 1000 nen Jou (Queen Millennia)
- Episodes: 42
- Aired: Apr 16, 1981 to Mar 25, 1982
Yayoi Yukino is the daughter of a family who runs a ramen shop and also works for an astronomer who is conducting a mysterious investigation. Or is she? It turns out that Yayoi is the last of the Queen Millennia who comes from the massive planet Lametal. Every thousand years, this planet comes very close to the Earth, causing destruction. As Lametal’s trajectory is impossible to calculate with precision, there is also the danger that Lametal destroys our planet completely. That is why Yayoi has a plan that not everyone on Earth nor in her home planet likes.
Yayoi Yukino comes from a place with advanced technology. Raised to infiltrate our world, one can always count on her for being a calm leader and a quick thinker. Above everything else, Yayoi has developed compassion for the Earth inhabitants. For going against a tradition of thousands of years, she deserved a place in our Top Ten.
2. Kira Yamato of Gundam SEED
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Oct 5, 2002 to Sep 27, 2003
Let’s go to the Gundam Universe for a while, shall we? Kira Yamato was a tranquil citizen of the Heliopolis colony in space. A brilliant and young scientist, he was suddenly caught in the middle of a war between the Earth and Heliopolis. Kira does not have a choice except to use a mobile suit and join the Earth forces, against his best friend Athrun Zala.
Another traitor! Yay! Kira Yamato is yet another guy who is apparently not cut to become a hero. However, he possesses valuable experiences from the colonies side and the Earth side that helps him become a bridge between both sides. We can not deny that his personal story gives him a touch of tragedy as well.
1. Mokuren of Boku no Chikyuu wo Mamotte (Please Save My Earth)
- Episodes: 6
- Aired: Dec 17, 1993 to Sep 23, 1994
Mokuren was born a Kiche Sarjalian (priestess) of her home planet, possessing unique powers to heal and aid the growth of all sorts of living creatures. When she discovered a hologram of ZKK101 (Earth), Mokuren was so fascinated by it that she became a biologist when she grew up. The priestess and scientist was among a team sent to the moon to study Earth, but tragedy hit their home planet and they became the only survivors of their species. With internal conflict running wild in the moon base, the scientists had to take hard decisions concerning their futures.
Mokuren was supposed to only serve the Goddess Sarjalian and remain pure and sheltered. Against all odds, she fulfilled her dream of getting close to Earth with her strong determination. Mokuren also tried to make harmony prevail on the moon base despite all the hardships they were going through. Her last words were a request for her companion Shion to protect Earth. If that doesn’t make her the ultimate character that cares for Mother Earth, what would?
These ten characters remind us that sometimes we have to look a bit closer to home. We should appreciate what we take for granted, don’t you think so? Their stories also motivate us to have curiosity and, if you notice well, kindness. Contrary for what some might think, this is not a weakness. Our characters prove well that it can be a powerful force. What other characters that care about the Earth do you remember? Comment away! See you soon 🙂