NisioisiN characters has always been………bizzare-yet-compelling if I can use words to describe them. Their existence, their personality has never made any logical sense (To name a few, a student council president who can do almost anything, a detective who apparently forgets everything after she sleeps) , and yet where they come from always emotionally rings true. And no other characters than Shichika, from Katanagatari, who can exemplify this better.
Shichika’s character arc has always been somewhat fascinating to me because his journey is all about his humanization in a quite literal sense. As the heir of the Kyotoryuu, Shichika grew up not as a human being but as a sword, a requirement to inherit the Kyotoryuu. He has no will, ambition, morality, and perhaps not even an emotion. The first time we ever see him angry in the series was when one of the Maniwa corps attacked his home, which he viewed as an insult to his family legacy. One of the most chilling moment in Katanagatari for me are still during the time when Shichika expression flips into cheery when she saw Togame right after he killed Sento Tsurugi owner, Meisai Tsuruga.
Over the course of the series, however, we began to see numerous development of his character. He began to learn happiness, jealousy, mercy, sense of humor, and love. All of this culminate in a finale, in which Shichika finally emerged as a man of his own. After Togame’s death and her order for Shichika to move on and forget about her, Shichika realize that he ‘s no longer has the obligation to follow Togame’s order, and set out to do perhaps the most human thing he ever done. Storm the shogunate castle, destroy the legacy which killed Togame and finally die.
Of course, he didn’t die during the finale. Afterwards, he decided to do his promise with Togame after they finished gathering all the swords, before she met her demise. To travel around Japan and map every single landmark. But, he did so out of his own will.
All of this pretty much secure Shichika as one of my favorite characters in anime of all time. It did help he is a naive nice guy, which also bonus for being rare trait among NisioisiN characters.