List of Excel Saga characters
The Excel Saga anime characters were designed by Ishino Satoshi
Members of ACROSS
Excel (エクセル Ekuseru) was initially the sole officer of ACROSS. Excel approaches her work with an excess of determination and enthusiasm, but a lack of foresight and understanding. She is in quick succession impossibly lucky and impossibly unlucky, but she never manages to complete a mission without help, and even her successes are usually attained by happenstance. She has a tendency to speak extremely quickly. She displays a schoolgirl crush towards Il Palazzo that borders on fanatic obsession, even going as far as to converse with a picture of him while home alone. For an extended period of time in later volumes of the manga, Excel suffers from memory loss, and lives with the Shiouji family under the assumed name, Teriha Shiouji, while Ropponmatsu, disguised as Excel herself, takes her place in the ACROSS ranks.
In the English dub, Jessica Calvello damaged her voice after the first 13 episodes, and Larissa Walcott replaced her as the voice of Excel for the second half of the series.
Il Palazzo (イルパラッゾ Iru parazzo) is the leader of ACROSS. Lord Il Palazzo often prefaces his orders and speeches by proclaiming, "The world is corrupt!" He has little patience for Excel, often assigning complex operations to Hyatt. While presented as a mostly dark and serious character in the original manga, the anime lightens the tone with the recurring gag that, despite all his scheming, Il Palazzo really has nothing to do while Excel and Hyatt are out on missions: he is often seen pursuing surprisingly ordinary hobbies like learning to play the guitar and arranging domino blocks. These foibles notwithstanding, Il Palazzo is no ordinary human being, as testify his yellow, cat-like eyes and seemingly supernatural powers exhibited in episode twenty-five; the manga would later reveal him to be a survivor of the ancient lost civilization of Solaria. Discrepancies between the two media aside, both manga and anime make it clear that Lord Il Palazzo suffers from severe psychological disorders, most notably multiple personality disorder.
Hyatt (ハイアット Haiatto) is Excel's frail junior officer, with a tendency to cough huge amounts of blood, drop dead and suddenly spring back to life in quick succession. In the original manga, Hyatt joins ACROSS by simply answering an advert placed by Il Palazzo; the anime, meanwhile, she is a mysterious princess from space (she comes from planet Mars) with a connection to the Puuchuus and Space Butler. Her curious medical condition is never explained in detail, neither in the manga nor in the anime (although later volumes of the manga hint that Il Palazzo has implanted something in her body that is causing it—and it is implied in the anime that, as she is from Mars, Earth's atmosphere is bad for her lungs). In both the anime and the manga, she is noticeably Il Palazzo's favorite officer, usually receiving lighter punishment and higher promotions than Excel. Despite this, the two girls usually get along just fine.
Elgala (エルガーラ Erugāra) Elgala is the third agent of ACROSS and Excel's rival for Ilpalazzo's affections. She is cursed with the inability to maintain an internal monologue, constantly speaking aloud her innermost thoughts and feelings. Since Elgala is a snob who thinks nearly everyone is below her, these thoughts are often of the disparaging variety and frequently irritate Excel. Elgala has refined, and expensive tastes, which does not suit the austerity demanded by Excel, leading to frequent conflict. Adding to tension with Excel is the secrecy surrounding Elgala's missions for Ilpalazzo. Elgala only appears in the manga.
Menchi (メンチ Menchi, lit. "mincemeat") is Excel's "pet" dog that also fulfills the role of "emergency rations". Despite numerous threats, Excel comes to care for her after a fashion. Hyatt, though, more intently views Menchi as a ration. In the manga, Menchi gains an apparent ally in Elgâla, only for her to come to view the dog as an emergency food supply as well. Several anime and manga plots, notably episodes ten and nineteen, revolve to some extent around Menchi, her past, and her quest to escape Excel.
- That Man
- Voiced by: Mike MacRae (English)
That Man (あの人 Ano Hito) is the most powerful leader of ACROSS, and Pedro's and Nabeshin's archnemesis. "That Man" poses as a friend to Pedro and seduces both Pedro's sexy wife and the Great Will. That Man is part of the ACROSS Six, the governing body of ACROSS, and longs to use "the power of the Great Will and the devilishness of the woman" to take over the universe.
- The ACROSS Six
- Voiced by: Mike MacRae (English)
Referred to once by That Man episode twenty-four, the ACROSS Six were the ruling body of ACROSS. After the death of That Man, the surviving ACROSS Five in their only cameo appearance attempt to take revenge on Nabeshin but are quickly dispatched by him in episode twenty-six. They only appear in the anime.
The surviving ACROSS Five in episode twenty-six are:
- That Man There (その人 Sono Hito)
- This Man (この人 Kono Hito)
- That Man Over There (あっちの人 Acchi no Hito)
- That Man Over Here (そっちの人 Socchi no Hito)
- This Man Over Here (こっちの人 Kocchi no Hito)
Key is a pretty boy, Visual Kei rockstar messenger sent by ACROSS Headquarters with special instructions for Il Palazzo. His beauty, musical skill, and disdainful delivery of Headquarters' message (as well as the message itself) cause Il Palazzo no end of anger and tension.
Department of City Security
Paralleling Ilpalazzo's Across is Kabapu's Department of City Security. Kabapu himself occupies a position of inscrutable power in the city, and is able to bend its political establishment to his will. Despite his power, he is an object of ridicule among most of his subordinates due to his appearance, mannerisms, and seeming disregard for lives and laws. Unfazed by this, he informs the six members of the Department that they are to assume the role of the Daitenzin, a sentai fighting force. One Daitenzin is Tooru Watanabe, who pins his hopes for a romantic relationship with Hyatt on his position in the civil service but grows despondent as the nature of his employment becomes clear. Another is Daimaru Sumiyoshi, who is a voice of reason in the Department and is represented as communicating through free-floating text. The third, Norikuni Iwata, is generally disliked for his boorishness but tolerated by his co-workers. Misaki Matsuya, the fourth, is an attractive but ruthless young woman who provides much of the group's leadership. The final Daitenzin are two android bomb-disposal experts called Ropponmatsu Unit 1 and Ropponmatsu Unit 2. Other associates of the Department are Kabapu's assistant Ms. Momochi, and the lolita complex-stricken Gojo Shioji, designer of the Ropponmatsus.
Kabapu (蒲腐 Kabapu) is a large man with a very strange hairstyle and a gigantic removable mustache, Kabapu occupies a position of extreme and shadowy power which is never fully explained, but municipal leaders defer to his wishes, and he has no qualms about silencing dissent by violence. This zeal is a result of his genuine desire to protect the City from all dangers. His trump card is his newly founded Department of City Security, the civilian front for his Municipal Force Daitenzin, into which Watanabe, Iwata, Sumiyoshi, Misaki, and Ropponmatsu are recruited. In later volumes of the manga, Kabapu reveals himself as a survivor of an ancient city called "Solaria", similar to Atlantis, which had brought about its own downfall. He proclaims that his mission is to destroy any remaining Solarian technology so humanity can't misuse it. Both the anime and the manga suggest that he and Ilpalazzo are old acquaintances.
Toru Watanabe (渡辺通 Watanabe Tōru) is a Japanese twenty-something, Watanabe lives next door to Excel and Hyatt, and close to Norikuni Iwata and Daimaru Sumiyoshi, men whose company he at first detests. Watanabe is infatuated with Hyatt, who seems unaware of his advances. In order to impress her, he claims to be a civil servant and undertakes a position at the Department of City Security to redeem his lie. Much to his consternation, Iwata and Sumiyoshi are hired by the Department at the same time as he. Watanabe is extremely irritable and often reacts to situations with over-the-top emotions: e.g., in the manga allows his feelings for Hyatt to repeatedly compromise his career. He pretty much rues his roommate Iwata's existence. While he starts off as a reasonably normal guy, his appearance and personality change drastically in the manga after his plans to marry Chihaya (Hyatt) are ruined by Ilpalazzo taking her back. He ends up being very withdrawn, spiteful, and cynical; and takes up playing S&M video games.
Norikuni Iwata (岩田紀國 Iwata Norikuni) is a Brash, self-centered employee of the Department of City Security. Heavily infatuated with Matsuya and Ropponmatsu Unit 1, Iwata is generally disliked but tolerated by his neighbors and co-workers. His tendency to make inappropriate statements towards women and his rivalry with Ropponmatsu Unit 2 often lead to his being physically assaulted. In volume eight of the manga, Iwata suddenly dies of colon cancer, but is promptly resurrected as a cyborg, with his brain placed into an android replica of his normal body, as created by Shioji.
Daimaru Sumiyoshi (住吉大丸 Sumiyoshi Daimaru) is a voice of reason and understanding in the Department, although he is often the butt of jokes. His most notable quirk is his dialogue, which in the original manga is rendered as text that is unconstrained by bubbles or captions, and simply floats by his head, in comparison to the normal speech balloons used by all the other characters. The anime rendered this unusual trait by making the character mute, with his dialogue appearing as written text that hovers beside him. He communicates with an Okayama accent in the manga and in the Kansai dialect in the anime. These are respectively rendered as the Geordie dialect of England and American southern accent in the English translations of the manga and anime. The manga showcases Sumiyoshi's hobby and greatest feat: documenting all dating simulation games on his complex PC system. The anime, showing his fondness for Ropponmatsu 2, hints at his interest. The manga also features the rest of his family. His 13-year-old sister, Kanal, also speaks in floating text, but is adorable and looks nothing like Daimaru. His mother and father also appear, his father appearing normal but with an accent, and his mother looking very much like Daimaru but speaking normally. He also has an ambiguous relationship with Ropponmatsu 2, spending a great deal of time with her, and being much more affectionate to her than he is to the older Ropponmatsu 1. He is also a friend of Shiouji's, the two bonding over their love of dating game image files.
Misaki Matsuya (松屋美咲 Matsuya Misaki) : The attractive and intelligent recruit to the Department of City Security, Matsuya is pragmatic and fiercely independent. She is also talented and vicious at repelling Iwata's frequent leers and advances. The manga reveals that she and Iwata were college classmates and that, to her embarrassment, she bears him some genuine affection. She grows closer to Iwata as the series progresses, striking him far less frequently than normal. The only time she seems to feel the need to do so is when Iwata is being idiotic even by his standards, such as trying to track down Excel by telling a young woman that he's looking for "Naked women". Excel Saga English manga adaptor Carl Gustav Horn notes that she "carries the sobering responsibility of being one of the few people in the cast to possess an ounce of sense." On the volume 15 inside cover, Koshi describes her as being "hard on the outside, soft on the inside...tsundere?"
- Ropponmatsu Unit 1 - Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (Japanese), Kelli Cousins (English)
- Ropponmatsu Unit 2 - Voiced by: Satomi Kōrogi (Japanese), Kira Vincent-Davis (English)
Ropponmatsu, Units 1 and 2 (六本松1式・2式 Ropponmatsu Ichishiki・Nishiki) Designed to be a general-purpose, if beautiful, tool for Kabapu, Ropponmatsu (Unit 1) excels in bomb-disposal. After failing in her first mission, she is given an additional form (Unit 2), that of a perky, young cat-girl. In the manga, only one Ropponmatsu unit is active at any one time; the reason for this is later revealed to be that there is only one central "core" that is switched between the two bodies. Kabapu attests that the core contains the soul of the princess of the lost civilization of Solaria, and he has had the Ropponmatsu body created to house it as part of his plan to destroy all remaining traces of Solaria's technology. Conversely, the anime (produced before this revelation occurred in the manga), has the Ropponmatsus appearing as two distinct entities who frequently cooperate on important tasks. Although they have a tendency to be destroyed on their missions, Shiouji keeps a lot of spares, which play a large role in the penultimate episode of the series. The vast difference between the units leads to some tension between Kabapu and Shioji: both incarnations of Ropponmatsu have a tendency to fail in the course of their duty, due either to extreme mass (Unit 1) or lack of appropriate functionality (Unit 2).
When Excel and Elgala are lost at sea, Il Palazzo creates the ILL Corporation and takes over much of the city's business and resources. He names Excel the president of the corporation but she is actually Ropponmatsu I, renamed Isshiki. She runs the business until the Department of City Security starts to regain power.[vol. 15-16] She still has the same limitations, especially her weight, when her power fails, she almost breaks Elgala's back.[vol. 17] She is extremely powerful, but will stand down if the situation is not threatening. The Department of City Security tries to retrieve her in the later chapters, as she is somehow linked to Iwata's life, however, Excel surprisingly switches bodies with her.[vol. 23]
Gojo Shiouji (四王子五条 Shiōji Gojō) is the brilliant creator of the Ropponmatsus and of Kabapu's "mecha." Excel Saga, the anime, constantly suggests that he is a pedophile, but the manga later expands on this to reveal a much more complex back story. Gojo's father, Tenmangu Shiouji, was lauded as one of the world's most foremost scientists, but vanished when Gojo was young. His mother, Miwa Rengaya, suffered a severe behavioral change after Tenmangu disappeared, becoming overtly sexual and showering affection on Gojo, imprinting on him a distorted perception of women. This perception was shattered when Gojo met his young cousin, Umi Rengaya, and was inspired by her purity and innocence. Unfortunately, Umi - who now works at Gojo's laboratory assistant and intern - is now eighteen years old, and lacking in the innocence of her youth, so Gojo seeks has turned his attention to other young girls in the hopes of recapturing that spirit of purity and inspiration.
In addition to the main cast, Excel Saga features a wide array of secondary characters, and among the most important are the anime's director Nabeshin and the Great Will of the Macrocosm. These two have the power to alter or "reset" the storyline, and Excel and others often appeal for them to do so. Other cast additions in the anime include Pedro and his son Sandora, who both suffer cruel turns of fate and eventually become Nabeshin's students. Their objective is to defeat That Man, who desires to become a god by seducing the Great Will and Pedro's "Sexy Wife." Another prominent force introduced by the anime are the Puchuus, a race of insidiously cute aliens competing with Across for world conquest. Dr. Sekifumi Iwata (who the manga reveals is a cousin of the Daitenzin Norikuni Iwata) and his associate, Nurse Shiki Fukuya, provide some comedic interludes in the anime but make more substantial appearances in the manga. Finally, Rikdo spends several chapters of the manga introducing and developing other members of the Iwata, Sumiyoshi and Shioji families. Particularly notable is Shioji's mother Miwa Rengaya, whom Kabapu views as key to finding Shioji's mysteriously vanished father, Tenmangu Shioji, but who clearly has a secret enigmatic agenda of her own that is at cross purposes with Kabapu's own desires.
- Voiced by: Wataru Takagi (Japanese), Paul Sidello (English)
Rikdo Koshi (六道神士 Rikudō Kōshi) is the author of the Excel Saga manga, but he has only one appearance in the story proper of the anime - namely, when he is killed in the first episode by Excel under orders from Lord Ilpalazzo. He does, however, narrate the beginning of every episode, voluntarily—usually—giving his approval to the episode's ostensible genre. Also, as a parody of the struggle manga artists often find themselves in with anime adaptations of their work, Nabeshin and Rikudo come to blows, especially towards the anime's end.
The Great Will of the Macrocosm
The Great Will of the Macrocosm (大宇宙の大いなる意思 Daiuchū no Ōinaru Ishi) : The Great Will of the Macrocosm, appears in the form of galaxy with arms (and lips, when necessary), and has the power to reset or alter the storyline. In later episodes she is torn between her love for Pedro and the power over her held by That Man. Episode nineteen reveals that she and Pedro's sexy wife are actually the same being.
Nabeshin (ナベシン Nabeshin), also known as Afro-man and the Director, is dressed in the likeness of Monkey Punch's Arsène Lupin III but sports a giant afro. Like the Great Will, he is a walking deus ex machina, and appeals are often made to him in that capacity, but apart from cameos in the main storyline he keeps himself to his own subplot with Pedro and That Man.
Pedro (ペドロ Pedoro) : Pedro is a Colombian immigrant living in F City. Having died while working on a construction project, he wanders the earth as a spirit, trying to return to his "sexy wife," who has shacked up with Gomez, Pedro's ostensible friend and co-worker, who is really That Man in disguise. Nabeshin later explains that Pedro's ultimate purpose is to become an "Afro-Warrior" under his tutelage, and to fight That Man for the fate of the world.
The Puchuu (プチュウ Puchū) : Aliens from outer space who invade Earth in the second and eighteenth episodes, with other frequent appearances. Physically very weak, and shaped like teddy-bears, Puchuu rely on their cuteness to lull potential victims before attack—only Excel and Misaki are depicted as being immune to their cuteness. Once struck with enough force and/or defeated, they are shown to have a face similar to Golgo 13, although special Puchuu have unique faces. When their main fleet, led by the Puchuu overlord, arrives in Earth orbit in episode twenty-two, it is repelled by an alliance of Puchuu rebels led by Excel. Debris from the decisive space battle falls to Earth and utterly annihilates F City.
First encountered in episode eight, Sara is a cute, pink-haired, child-sized assassin, who disguises herself as an eight-year-old girl to facilitate her work. Taken with Hyatt, she views Excel with derision. Sara was orphaned earlier, and became an assassin to survive. The Great Will takes pity on her and resets her mother at the end of the episode. However, in episode twenty-six, she becomes a special member of ACROSS, having learned that she could not so easily forget her bloody past. In this episode, it is also revealed that she may be an adult midget, and not a child in a scene where she is revealed to be extremely well endowed and hirsute- "I'm a G-cup!", she joyously yells as her previously strapped-down breasts burst explosively free of their confines. Although in episode twenty-six, she repeatedly refers to herself as being nine years old, creating ambiguity as to her actual age.
- Excel Kobayashi and Mikako Hyatt are mock ups of Excel and Hyatt, they perform the opening song "Ai (Chuuseishin)", sometimes appear in the anime and usually get physically abused by Excel for no apparent reason.
Pedro and Nabeshin's comrades
- Pedro's son, Sandora at first welcomes Gomez as his new father, but after the latter's faults become apparent, the boy leaves for America and starts selling his drawings of anime characters. His hope to become a "Japanimator" comes to naught as the pictures are being sold to the Mafia. This discovery costs him his life, and he becomes a ghost and "Afro-Warrior" like his father and helps fight That Man.
- Space Butler The 13th
- A man who has some past connection to Nabeshin and Hyatt, and who comes to serve the Puchuus, although he defies them to save Hyatt. Perishing in the second episode, his spirit returns in episode twenty-five to help Nabeshin, Pedro and Sandora defeat That Man. He's a spoof of the 'Garrison' character from Daitarn 3. (Garrison was an Alfred-like butler and handyman for Aran Banjo, pilot of the Giant Robot Daitarn 3 and suave 70ish man of mystery).
- Nabeshin's long-lost love, who was trapped in a jungle prison for twenty-five years, his/her face concealed by an iron mask. Tetsuko is an androgynous character who appears to be female but has a male voice and body. Therefore, there are many different ideas of what Tetsuko's gender may be but most men assume he is female and women assume she is male. Although killed by an army officer in episode 3, he/she, like Space Butler and others, returns in spirit form in episode 25 to help defeat That Man. His/her death scene in episode three is a spoof of Julia's death in the first part of the Cowboy Bebop finale: both characters have long blond hair, die in their lover's arms, die from a bullet wound shown in the same dramatic, slow-motion fashion, and mutter inaudible words as they die. His/her character design is an obvious homage to Maetel of Galaxy Express 999.
- Ostensibly a cook, Antonio is a former accomplice of Nabeshin. He is a hardened but well-mannered war veteran who comes to manage a ski lodge (in both adaptations) and a hotel (in the manga only), both of which are inadvertently destroyed when Excel and Hyatt find work, and the latter accident leaves Elgala unemployed. He bears no grudge for either event, though. Antonio treats Menchi well, as she reminds him of his past experiences.
- Dr. Sekifumi Iwata
- Uniformly depicted as a horrible, lecherous doctor, Dr. Iwata owes his prominence in the medical profession mostly to family influence. His most distinct physical feature is the X-shaped scar across his entire face, which was given to him by a four-year old Norikuni Iwata, his cousin, whom he has come to hate since then. His likeness and character are parodies of Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack. Although several chapters of the manga revolve around him or his hospital, he only has cameo appearances in the anime.
- Nurse Shiki Fukuya
- This competent nurse spends most of her time trying to prevent or punish Dr. Iwata's malpractices and misogynies. The manga reveals that she was assigned this role by the Iwata family to guard it against embarrassments caused by Dr. Iwata. She appears along with Dr. Iwata in his cameos in the anime.
- Hiyoko Iwata
- A distant relative of Sekifumi and Norikuni Iwata, Hiyoko has a short attention span and often wanders away from her bodyguards. She appears only in the manga.
- "Excel Saga English cast". Anime News Network. 2001-11-24. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
- "Excel Voice change". Anime News Network. 2002-07-13. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
- "Death of voice actor who played Kabapu". Anime News Network. 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
Notes and references
- See Johnston, Chris. "Excel Saga quack experimental episode guide". Newtype USA 3 (7): 78–83. See also Yegulalp's review of the anime at TheGline.com, infra, paragraphs six through nine. Other material in this section is drawn from elsewhere as noted, or from the manga and anime themselves if no other source is given.
- "Heppoko Jikken Anime Excel Saga". Richard's Animated Divots. June 7, 2008. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
- Excel Saga, Vol 20
- This is as opposed to other characters' bubbled text in the manga and actual speech in the anime.
- Excel Saga, Vol. 15
- Koshi, Rikdo, Excel Saga Volume 15, page 2 and translator's notes
- Yegulalp, Serdar. "DVD of the Week (07-31-03): Excel Saga". TheGline.com. Retrieved 2006-06-03.[dead link]
- Cosette is named after the character Cosette from the book and musical Les Misérables.