It’s still a surprise to me that I read Record of Ragnarok as late as I did. But I sure am glad that I got to it sooner rather than later still. It also seems to have been quite a while since I last covered it in any way here at Rice Digital. So since there is an obvious gap in the specific column we have for you today when it comes to this IP in particular, I think it’s a good time to discuss it once more.
That’s right, it’s time to highlight the majority’s favourite heavenly character from both its anime and manga – the one and only Buddha. Like there’s any real competition, right?
Spoilers are mentioned specially for Round 6 during manga volumes 11-13.
Who is Buddha?
Buddha, the God of Enlightenment, initially appears as the sixth representative of the Gods. But luckily for us and for the mortal inhabitants of Record of Ragnarok’s world he turns his back on fighting for the side of said divine beings. He probably never did have the divine deity’s best interests at heart because Buddha is one of the few Gods who had existed as a human before obtaining his higher-being status. This makes him understandably emphasis with the harder done by beings. Because what’s better than having one good egg of a God who would do his all to protect and aid us weak mortals, right?
But let’s face it, that’s really only one solid reason as to why we love to see him.
Why we love him
Going back to seeing him for the first time and there’s not a big enough deal that is ever made with taking in what we can of him at face value. Buddha has quite the interesting character design, one in which I find pretty underappreciated in how effective of a throw-off it is when judging his character before his motivations are revealed. It’s actually quite genius if you ask me and that’s because his design mixes quite a few contradicting features.
For one thing his fangs paint this particular picture of him being something else entirely as a God-like figure – someone just as untrustworthy, if not more so, as the rest of his fellow Gods who want to see humanity taken out. But at the same time he has this childish demeanour about him – he’s quick to throw out his catchphrase “shuddap” at whoever whenever someone has bothered him. His sweet-tooth and tendency to hog food also does him no favours here, and yet, he’s evidently smart.
This is obvious once a certain revelation is brought up to explain the creation of a certain key item present from the very beginning of the series. Let’s also not forget just how peculiarly trendy his attire happens to be. His overall visual vibe could not be any less Godlike. But at the same time there’s a unique quality to his certain level of charm since he is incredibly enigmatic and charismatic. It all comes together to make for one its best, most engrossing and entertaining characters.
Why you will love him
The point I’m pushing here is that Buddha is quite possibly the most surprising character of the entire series as of now. He’s different and a stand-out character, even if it’s simply because he’s not one to back down or worry about consequences. Even laughing in the face of Zeus is not too far for him. We see many, many sides to him in his focal fight during volume 11 to 13 and the payoff makes for an incredibly emotional finale that somehow beats out the previous victor in reaching peak emotional damage of a background story in Jack the Ripper’s dual against Heracles.
How Buddha utilises the ugliest of emotions for the greater good whilst showing the strength of remaining compassionate in the face of absolute despair remains my biggest takeaway of the series as of now. His history with Zerofuku is an emotional gut-punch while also showing just how much of a do-gooder Buddha is. He doesn’t want to fight but help Zerofuku accept himself after all.
Buddha is simply brilliant. He’s unorthodox for a deity and follows his own set of rules in order to fulfil his one and only drive in life – which applies to both before and after he became a God. He seeks happiness for himself and those deserving of it, so much so that he outdoes a God’s work when he was mortal to do exactly that. It’s also perfectly ironic that our man is voiced by Yuichi Nakamura of all voice actors, the very same who portrays Jujutsu Kaisen’s Gojo, the massively overpowered and thankful good guy.
Want to check out the series for yourself? Help yourself via Amazon.