The 2021 Smashing And Dashing Character Awards~ In Which Abysmal Social Skills Are Relatable And We Must Protect A Sword-Wielding Five-Year-Old

Hey, friends!

It’s time for the Smashing and Dashing Character Awards (originally created by Cait @ PaperFury), the 2021 edition. To be honest, 2021 wasn’t one of my best reading years (maybe I’m just getting more picky…ha ha, I’m definitely getting more picky), but hopefully I’ll be able to scrounge up enough characters to pull through on this tag…

Most Relatable Character

I am going to have to say Murderbot from The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red. Because Murderbot uses the consumption of media to avoid facing actual problems. Murderbot is less-than-adept at social interaction. Murderbot feels uncomfortable around humans in general. Murderbot is way too relatable.

Most Pure Animal Companion

Black Hayate, Lieutenant Hawkeye’s dog from Fullmetal Alchemist.

Though I was tempted to say Zazie’s stuffed tiger from The Promised Neverland.

Fiercest Fighter

There were several fierce fighters from the books I read in 2021, and it’s hard to decide. I think I might have to go with Adam Wayne from The Napoleon of Notting Hill. Since he doesn’t really have a setting below 1,000%.

Am I Surprised That I Loved You??

Zeb from The Home Ranch. We love Zeb. I was not expecting to love Zeb. It just kind of… happened.

Best Sassmaster

Yuzuru from A Silent Voice. She is the sweetest kid ever. But the sass, though. It’s real.

Best Antihero

Guys, I still don’t really understand what an antihero is. Does Auberon Quin from The Napoleon of Notting Hill count?

The Best Friends of All

I am not going to be able to decide, so we’re going with both here:

Ed, Al and Winry from Fullmetal Alchemist.

Mustang, Hawkeye and co. from Fullmetal Alchemist.

I guess there are just some stellar friend groups in Fullmetal Alchemist, guys. Friendship goals.

Best Villain TO HATE

Leonidas Shug from Just Like That. This guy is SUCH a CREEP and we HATES HIM FOREVER.

Award for Best vs. Worst YA Parents

Best: Darius and Sophia Malcolm from Just Like That. They aren’t even in that much of the book but they take such good care of Matt. Every lost child needs a Darius and a Sophia in their lives.

But also Sig and Izumi Curtis from Fullmetal Alchemist. Because I can’t not mention them.

Worst: Benjamin Malvern from The Scorpio Races. He is…the worst. I mean, his son is totally awful and obnoxious but it’s kind of hard to imagine him turning out much different considering how he was raised. 0/10 parenting.

Ship of All Ships in 2021

I can’t decide again? Pete Wyatt and Beatriz Soria from All the Crooked Saints. But also Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye from Fullmetal Alchemist. Just be impressed that there was more than one couple that I actually loved that much. It doesn’t always happen like that, trust me.

Most Precious Must Be Protected

Zazie from The Promised Neverland. MY SON. This child. Sure he is a soldier child with mad sword skills but he is also a CHILD and someone needs to help him PLEASE.

Honestly Surprised You’re Still Alive

Adam Wayne from The Napoleon of Notting Hill. I mean…he just throws himself into things and “staying alive” is NOT high on his priority list.

Award for Making the Worst Decisions

There were actually a lot of poor decision-makers, but I think I have to go with Matthew Malvern from The Scorpio Races. Because I don’t think he made a single less-than-terrible decision throughout the entire book.

I kind of have to put Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist as an honorable mention, for obvious reasons.

Most in Need of a Nap

Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. Please let this boy sleep. This state of not sleeping for years on end CANNOT be good for his mental health.

Want to Read More About You

Finn Connolly from The Scorpio Races. I didn’t even like The Scorpio Races that much. But I did like Finn. So just a book about Finn, please.


Well, I wasn’t exactly expecting so many of those answer to be manga related… but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised considering how many characters I met of the manga variety. I only read two and a half manga series’ last year but each one had SO MANY characters. So it makes sense.

What noteworthy characters did you meet in 2021? Who was your favorite? Least favorite? Which character do you want to protect and which one do you want to read more about? Were there any terrible or admirable YA parents in your 2021 reading? Tell me all your bookish thoughts in the comments!

5 thoughts on “The 2021 Smashing And Dashing Character Awards~ In Which Abysmal Social Skills Are Relatable And We Must Protect A Sword-Wielding Five-Year-Old

  1. Murderbot though.

    Oh my, how did I not think of Adam Wayne for Fiercest Fighter??? That is PERFECTION. He truly does not have a setting below 1000%.
    (also yes how is he still alive?)

    ZEB. All the hugs for Zeb. Seriously, I am so pleased you love Zeb. He’s just AWESOME. In a way I can’t explain.

    I think it makes sense to call Auberon Quin an antihero? Not that I know what the term means, but he’s very morally ambiguous. Like at the start I thought he was the good guy, kind of, or at least the discerning guy? And then he was…whatever he was. It was kind of disturbing, actually. But in a good way. I need to read the book again sometime and hopefully understand it better because it’s just…fascinating.

    Ugh Benjamin Malvern is the WORST parent. How do you sabotage your son so badly and then blame ONLY him and NOT AT ALL YOURSELF for the problems that wouldn’t have happened if you’d just been a not terrible parent?? You didn’t have to be a good one, just a not terrible one. SHAME ON YOU.
    (I watched the Thor movies recently with a friend, and Malvern kinda reminds me of Odin. Who is also terrible at fathering and also takes no responsibility for his terribleness)

    My brain is trying to picture Zazie but it’s just a whirlwind. With a sword. I want to meet this kid though.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Murderbot. There is no other. And yet we are all Murderbot. How.

      Haha, I know, right? Ah, Adam Wayne. Reading about someone without a setting below 1,000% was kind of exhausting. CALM DOWN, son.

      Zeb is the best. 🙂 I can’t explain it either, but there it is.

      Why is it that nobody really knows what anti-hero means? It’s kind of this muddled mess, which is I guess what an anti-hero is… (Haha, I know what you mean. I feel like Chesterton is the sort of thing you can’t read just once if you really want to have a hope of understanding it.)

      I did see the Thor movies but I don’t really remember them all that well. I kinda remember Odin not being the greatest dad, though. If he’s anything like Malvern I would probably hate him.

      Zazie is not the sort of person you can really picture if you haven’t met him. (He’s a sword-wielding killer?? But he’s FIVE?? And he’s taller than normal adults?? But he’s FIVE?? And he wears a paper bag over his head at all times because he’s self-conscious of the way his face looks?? And he has an adorable stuffed tiger with him always because he’s FIVE?? WHO IS THIS CHILD?) And even if you did meet him you mind just find him terrifying and disturbing, because he kind of is. He’s also not even really a principle character in his story but we love him to death anyway. Why??

      I DO NOT KNOW BUT IT SHOULD EXIST. We all want more story about Finn.

      Liked by 1 person

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