‘The Imaginary’ Netflix Cast And Character Guide

Netflix’s animated film, The Imaginary takes you back to your childhood days, when we used to create our own imaginary friends and play with them all day long. They were our best friends, and we had the best adventures together. But why do they disappear as we get older? Is it because of work pressure and life’s complexities piling on, so much so that we don’t even bother finding an escape route to dwell in our imaginary world? Or is it because someone steals our imaginary friends from us? Maybe it’s Mr. Bunting, the nemesis of the imaginaries, who sucks out their lives to feed his own purpose. Amanda and her imaginary friend Rudger face troubles as he tries to hunt them down too. Did he succeed, or did other imaginary friends like Zinzan and Emily help them? We will get to know all about that from the character guide of The Imaginary.


Spoilers Ahead


I think Amanda’s character beautifully captures the innocence and imagination of childhood. Amanda’s love and loyalty to Rudger and her determination to keep him in her life, despite all the challenges, show her strength and love. Amanda’s journey reminds us of the magical world we all once had and how important it is to cherish those memories, even as we grow up. Rio Suzuki plays Amanda in the movie. Amanda is a young girl who loves to dwell in her imaginary world, where anything is possible. She can fly, defeat monsters, travel to different places, and thrive without any worries. After all, she is just a little girl; what does she know about life’s complexities?


In that imaginary world, there is always one person who is there to hold her hand and play with her—Rudger, her imaginary friend. When her father died and Amanda started feeling lonely because her mother, Lizzie, was always busy working in their shop, she found Rudger. She kind of replaced her father with Rudger because, just like her father used to play with her all the time and make time for her in his busy schedule, Rudger did the same. So, Amanda didn’t want to lose him like her father and made him promise that they would always be together and never leave each other’s lives or disappear. When Mr. Bunting started to follow them around, we saw how Amanda tried hard to stop him from sucking the life out of Rudger. She tried so hard that she ended up being hit by a car and hospitalized. But thank God, with her mother’s and her imaginary friends’ help, she saved Rudger because she couldn’t afford to lose him. Amanda is a little girl, but she is mature enough to understand that, with time, the memories of Rudger will eventually fade away. She saw how her mother forgot about her own imaginary friend once she grew old. But Amanda knew in her heart that she would always find Rudger. She would call him back whenever she needed and would always protect their memories in her heart.


Kokoro Terada plays Rudger, whose character shows what true friendship feels like. He was selfless and brave, always putting Amanda’s happiness and well-being above his own. Rudger’s determination to protect Amanda and keep her childhood magical, even at the cost of his own existence, shows how deep his love and loyalty are. Rudger reminds us how true friends never leave our side and are always with us in one way or another. So, even though Rudger knew he was just Amanda’s imaginary friend and that he would disappear from her life as she grew older, he didn’t worry about that at all. Even when his own life was in danger because of Mr. Bunting, he kept searching for Amanda after she got hit by a car to make sure she was okay. He felt guilty, thinking that maybe Amanda got hospitalized and hurt because of him. Rudger took help from other imaginary friends, went to the Town of Imaginaries, and found out about Mr. Bunting. He defeated Mr. Bunting time after time because he didn’t want to lose Amanda or want her to grow up too fast. He wanted to remain her imaginary best friend for just a little bit longer. Rudger knew the hard truth that one day he would disappear, but he also knew that he would always be the friend Amanda could count on whenever she needed a break and wanted to dwell in her made-up world.


Mr. Bunting 

Mr. Bunting, played by Issei Ogata, is the arch-nemesis of all the imaginaries. He kept hunting for Rudger, pretending to be a surveyor studying children’s mental health and imagination. This was odd enough to make him seem a shady character. But as we got to know him more, we saw his true colors. He’s like the character you don’t mention—the villain for all imaginaries. He tracks down children’s imaginary friends to steal them to fuel power in his sinister, destructive imaginary world. Perhaps that’s why our imaginary thoughts fade as we age, leaving us to face reality without the comfort of imagination. But in the end, he was defeated by Fridge, Lizzie’s (Amanda’s mother’s) imaginary friend, along with Amanda, Rudger, and other imaginaries. They were finally rescued from his grasp once and for all.


Hayley Atwell plays the character of Lizzie, Amanda’s mother. She was the family’s provider after her husband passed away. Her character showed how, as we grow older, we forget little parts of ourselves, like our imaginary friends and the things we used to love, because of life’s pressures. She spent most of her time working at their shop to take good care of Amanda. Even though she wanted to, she did not have time to play with her daughter and felt helpless. Lizzie even judged Amanda for having an imaginary friend, forgetting that she herself had had one just like her daughter. Her imaginary friend was named Fridge. In the end, Lizzie remembered Fridge and called him back from the hidden corners of her imagination. The fridge helped rescue Rudger from Mr. Bunting. Lizzie’s story shows that even though we grow older, some parts of us stay with us. We just have to think hard to remember that we haven’t lost all our innocence as we’ve grown up. Lizzie reminds us that it’s okay to reconnect with those forgotten parts of ourselves.



Emily, played by Riisa Naka, was one of the friends Rudger met in the Town of Imaginaries. She was like an encyclopedia who knew all about how things worked for imaginary characters. She sacrificed herself to save Rudger from Mr. Bunting because she realized that Rudger needed to save his creator, Amanda. Unlike Emily, whose creator had already died, Rudger’s presence was crucial for Amanda to hold onto her memories for a little longer. Emily knew that even if she disappeared, it wouldn’t matter much, but it was important for Rudger to help Amanda. She was truly a loyal and selfless friend.

Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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