While not perfect, Egao no Daika was one of the more interesting shows from the winter 2019 anime season with its sci-fi tale of war told from both sides of the conflict and fair share of dramatic moments. A big part of what made this anime fun to watch were the characters, which we’ll be counting down in this article! Obviously “best character” is really subjective but we’re picking our ranking based on their impact to the story, general interestingness of their personality, and visual design. Without further ado, let’s start!
5. Izana Langford
A high-ranking official within the Kingdom of Soleil, Izana is definitely one of the most enigmatic characters in Egao no Daika, at least at the beginning of the story. While his loyalty to the kingdom ultimately remains true, the way everything is framed gives him an air of mystery that might make you at least a little suspicious that he could be a traitor. By the end, though, Izana is shown to be a person who was able to triumph through adversity whose tenacity ended up making the story’s conclusion possible, even though it cost him deeply. His situation in the occupied former capital of Soleil also added to the tension of the series which made him all the more memorable out of the many secondary characters.
4. Leila Etoile
Another Soleil official, Leila is both Princess Yuuki’s most trusted advisor and a mother figure for the young orphaned girl. As the story progresses, Leila’s role becomes ever more connected with her involvement with the chrars research project and her convenient, though still surprising, relation to Stella. While perhaps not the most complex character, Leila is nevertheless admirable for her intelligence, both emotional and technical, and her steadfast devotion to her ideals. Her character design is also quite nice, particularly her outfits which feel like a good mix of futuristic and classical/fantasy-style. Some of her outfits feel like they could also work in the Star Wars universe nicely.
3. Yuuki Soleil
Obviously the protagonist merits inclusion here! Princess Yuuki Soleil is a bit of a mixed bag in terms of a character, a strong idealist who really isn’t prepared to run a country but also literally 12 years old and put in charge of a country newly besieged by war with a powerful and ruthlessly efficient empire. In other words, Yuuki will probably be a decisive character for folks who will either admire her rather naive commitment to her principals or become frustrated with her sometimes reckless and unreasonable actions that fail multiple times. All that being said, you can’t realistically expect a child ruler to be totally competent and she definitely does mature over the series and ultimately succeeds in the end. Her design is also ultra cute which makes the rollercoaster of Soleil defeats feel more traumatic and impactful.
2. Stella Shining
Our second protagonist and star (heh) of the opposing side, Stella Shining’s story runs mirrored to Yuuki’s in many ways. Both have suffered trauma—Stella more so, actually—and have had to adapt to it in their own way and experience character growth through the story. Stella famously has a near-perpetual smile across her face no matter the situation, which is revealed to be a coping mechanism from the abuse she received from her adoptive parents as a child. While initially a somewhat robotic character all about deadly efficiency, seeing Stella begin to question her own actions and mature emotionally was a highlight of the series, albeit a little contrived at points. Outside of that, she’s also shown to be a very capable fighter both in and outside her mech—probably the ace of her unit—and has some heartfelt moments with other members of her squad, particularly with Lily. As a dual protagonist, she provides a strong pragmatic foil to Yuuki’s unwavering idealism that basically is Egao no Daika in a nutshell.
1. Gale Owens
The rugged leader of Stella’s squad, Gale is an example of the familiar archetype of the gruff and serious old man who secretly has a heart of gold. While not an incredibly original character, his attitude as a soldier for the Grandiga Empire probably offers the most nuanced view on war in the series as opposed to Yuuki’s pure, idealistic pacifism and Stella’s somewhat rigid personality. Gale adds to the humanity of the conflict, which is shown in his own struggle between his duty as a soldier and respect for human life. Not only he is a badass fighter but he even runs an orphanage! Most importantly, though, he is what best connects us to the Grandiga side of the war, which is otherwise portrayed as a pretty generic “evil empire”. Without him—and his squad—the whole conflict and the show itself would be a lot less impactful.
That about covers it! In closing, we’ll mention Lily Earhart, Joshua Ingram, and Harold Miller as strong characters that didn’t quite make the cut but where nevertheless good additions to Egao no Daika. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and be sure to stick around Honey’s for more of all things awesome, anime and otherwise! 😀