Despite not being a cute anime girl, Meme Oshino is one of my absolute favorite characters in anime, and fiction in general. He is someone the piques my interest every time he’s on screen, someone who knows all the answers and gleefully decides to hold that information until the time is right. Although seemingly lackadaisical, he’ll jump in when, and only when, he is needed. And for those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about:
“Meme Oshino (忍野 メメ, Oshino Meme) is a middle-aged man. An expert in the supernatural. He becomes Koyomi’s informant when it comes to oddities for some time.” –Wikia
I cut some parts of that description out, in case you wanted to watch/read Kizumonogatari first in the series (which would be the chronologically correct way).
Meme Oshino is what some might call “eccentric”, and his sense of fashion is no exception. As if to exemplify his languid nature, he wears just the simple getup of a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals. His face has a little scruff and his hair is in an eternal state of “bed-head”. Plus he has few strange little accessories, like the single earing of an inverted cross. With just a tiny bit of flare, Meme Oshino is the embodiment of “care-free”.
Which is of course, is a huge part of his personality. Meme is aloof, laid-back, mysterious and detached until ultimately needed. He is a neutral party, one that’s neither for our protagonist nor against him. Oshino’s primary objective is balance. We as the audience do not know why, and do not need to know why, but gladly accept his presence (I may be speaking only for myself) as he tilts the scales until the odds he sees are fifty/fifty. It’s almost as if he’s purposefully lax and strange to counteract the serious and straight forward nature of the people around him. Outside of that struggle for balance, there is no need for Oshino to do anything, and so he doesn’t.
And contrary to his goofy, indifferent nature, Meme always manages to be the smartest in the room. He offers sage but often vague advice to balance the tides without blunt instructions for the main character to carry out and save the day. That would be boring, and so Meme tries to have a little more fun with the characters. And there’s a sense of amusement to everything he does, from the way he acts to the cheeky references and jokes he makes.
Meme Oshino is truly a delightful arbiter of balance with such an entertaining ambiguity to his very state of being that we (mainly I) can’t help but love, trust and admire him.
But what are your thoughts on Meme Oshino, or just aloof characters in general? Do you like him as much as I do? Have you even seen Bakemonogatari? Comment down below and then come back next week for another feature! Thanks for reading!
And seriously, if you haven’t yet, go watch Bakemonogatari.