The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Ever since Rei Ayanami made her debut in Neon Genesis Evangelion more than a decade ago, she’s become the base for an entire archetype of character in the anime world. The so-called “Rei clone” has made many appearances in many different shows since then. Some work well, others do not. In my opinion, the one whose entire existence is owed to Rei which is the most well-conceived is none other than Yuki Nagato from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I like Yuki even more than Rei.
Yuki keeps to herself, rarely speaks, and is nearly always reading a book when not doing something else. She is not who she appears to be, much like Rei, but Yuki is no mere carbon copy. Though her mannerisms are very reminiscent of the Evangelion enigma, Yuki is her own character.
Yuki’s bookish persona, reserved demeanor, and mysterious air are just a few of the reasons that she has become one of my favorite characters.