The fifth post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.”
It’s time for more “100 Characters For 100 Otaku!” You know the drill – I talk about my top 100 characters and why I like them, how they are a mirror for the nature of otaku, how they reflect my otakudom, and how they parallel the first episode of Crest of the Stars. It’s a long, strange, and epic trip, and I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am! Today we have numbers 80 down through 76, so let’s see what they’re made of!
80. Itoshiki Nozomu (from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei)
Why I Like Him: ZETSUBOU SHITA! Itoshiki-sensei is a man with exactly one personality trait – he is the most negative person in the world. This is played for as many laughs as you can imagine, and it has a tendency to work. What makes Itoshiki especially funny, though, is that he is fully willing to defy logic, even when he admits it’s presence, in the name of negativity. You could say he’s ahead of the negative curve.
A Mirror For Otaku: Most of the otaku I’ve met are pessimists, often to a brutal degree. Take, for example, No Name, who is so totally sure of failure in many situations that he gives up merely at the notion (see: blogging). I guess it’s in the largely self-depreciating nature of an otaku to never be convinced that things can go right.
Reflecting My Otakudom: I like to think that I am a positive person, but when I am negative about something, it is often towards something absurd or that I have no real business being negative about. In regards to otakudom, I can come up with some of the silliest reasons to refuse to be interested in a show. (i.e. Fuck that show, it had animation supervision by Yuji Yamaguchi!)
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Itoshiki-sensei is eternally in despair. I hate to beat a dead horse here, but really, ‘despair’ is probably one of the many emotions I’d immediately associate with ‘planet taken over by aliens.’ (Others include but are not limited to: turmoil, panic, distress, and ZOMG)
79. Kallen Stadtfeld (from Code Geass)
Why I Like Her: Kallen has really amazing tits. What makes Kallen fun is her sheer single-minded tenacity. I don’t think I’d call her smart, and she’s quite a bit too hot-headed for her own good, but when she gets into the zone you can feel her passion in moving forward with her goals. She’s got a fire in her, but she’s also clumsy and easy to surprise, making her cute. Plus she has some fucking gorgeous boobies.
A Mirror For Otaku: When otaku start disagreeing with each other, it can escalate very, very quickly. Much in the way that Kallen is passionate about her goals, otaku are almost overly passionate about their favorite anime. In both cases, they will be quick to fight those who seek to invalidate their views.
Reflecting My Otakudom: There’s a good reason that I chose red as my signature color. I am known to be incredibly passionate about things I care about (i.e. anime), often to the point of violence. I have been trying to get a handle on my over-reactivity lately, but I have been known to blow my lid at the drop of a hat. Like with Kallen, this also gets me in trouble – especially online.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: When the humans are discussing the possibility of a counterattack against the Abh, you can feel their hotheadedness. All of them are generally pissed off and ready to just LAUNCH ZE MISSILES. However, they luckily had Jinto’s dad to settle things, much as Lelouch would do for Kallen.
78. Nagato Yuki (from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Why I Like Her: Aside from being probably one of my top ten or fifteen favorite character designs, Yuki is a fun take on the quiet girl archetype. Mostly, she is fun in the fact that she is an all-powerful, potentially near-omnipresent alien ultra-computer who can manipulate time-space. Yuki’s real charm is in never knowing whether what she says is ‘real’ – could she be fucking with you? Could she be fucking with reality? Haruhi as a whole loves this ambiguity in it’s characters, and so do I.
A Mirror For Otaku: Yuki is very quiet, bookish, standoffish, and intelligent – much like an otaku. Of course, she is this way for entirely different reasons not related to human psychology (or is she?!) but the parallel is still easy to draw. I’m going to pull out my newest favorite word and say that she is ostensibly like an otaku.
Reflecting My Otakudom: How am I like Yuki? I am not quiet, bookish, standoffish, or intelligent – fuck, I can’t even manipulate time-space. I guess the best I can hope for is her ambiguity. That might sound funny coming from someone who is probably known as one of the most honest bloggers around, but I think that I sometimes create an ambiguity in that I am SO honest that people sometimes wonder if I can possibly be telling the truth. And I make no promises.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Yuki has a lot in common with the Abh. Firstly, they are both alien life forms. Secondly, both are a part of a massive organization – the Abh being rulers of a damn large part of space, and Yuki being an agent of the ‘data integrated thought entity’. Thirdly, in both cases, they are quite highly intelligent.
77. Sasahara Kanji (from Genshiken)
Why I Like Him: At the beginning of Genshiken, Kanji is just coming to terms with his otakudom. He’s a little embarrassed about his hobbies, he hasn’t mustered up the courage to buy a doujin, and the poor bastard doesn’t even own a computer to play eroge on! As the series goes on, we see Kanji become a very powerful otaku and at some point, a model example of the pride of the otaku community. Damn good man!
A Mirror For Otaku: Sasahara IS an otaku!!! I don’t think it can get much more straightforward than that!!! What’s more, he’s probably the single best representation of one in anime history. So, yeah.
Reflecting My Otakudom: I was always more of a Madarame, but I have a lot of respect for Sasahara, being as he is a very easy going and well-mannered otaku. I definitely would like to have an otaku friend like him. So far, all I have is a Kugayama, a bit of a Kuchiki, a bit of a Tanaka, and a TOTAL Saki. I guess if I have one of Sasahara’s qualities, it’s that I’m good at organizing people, more or less.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: What does Crest of the Stars have to do with a newbie otaku? Get ready for this one: When the Abh invade, the human race is very uneasy about what this could mean for their future. As we see in the time skip at the end of the episode, though, humans are still alive and well, and presumably have gotten used to being under the control of the Abh. This can be compared to the unease that Sasahara felt when he first entered the Genshiken, not knowing how they would accept him and what could happen, and over time, we see that he molds in beautifully and becomes comfortable with his place in the group.
76. Kyon (from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Why I Like Him: Oh, Kyon, the ever-sarcastic and bitter protagonist/narrator of Haruhi. What’s fun about Kyon is that he completely subjectifies the experience of the show, which is the reason it can be so ambiguous and interesting in the first place. Kyon is the perfect mask for this plot device, because he is written so well and is not just an observer, but a real part of the action, even if he never has any idea what the fuck is going on. He’s a very easy hero to root for, because there’s so much on his plate, but he handles it so well. He also has what I would call the champion of all gender-swaps, Kyonko.
A Mirror For Otaku: Otaku can be very sarcastic and volatile people. Kyon is easily annoyed – so much so, that you may almost start to wonder if he’s not really annoyed, but just acts that way; until a particularly stupid situation happens, and he gets extremely annoyed. Otaku are easily annoyed as well, especially when it comes to bad ideas, which they will reject with or without substantiation. Take once more No Name, who’s sighs are so abundant it can often make me laugh hysterically. (so annoyed is he, in fact, he literally types “*sigh*” into chat windows. Lulz.)
Reflecting My Otakudom: Kyon is quite cynical towards the world in general, but what things give him pleasure he takes in to the fullest extent. I admit, I can be very cynical when I look at the world of anime from a bird’s eye view, but when I see something that truly fills me with joy, I take it in as immensely as I know how. (i.e. I make a twenty-post blog entry about it!)
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: I would not consider the humans in CotS to be cynical about being invaded – more like troubled, and I wouldn’t call the reaction of Jinto’s caretaker to be cynical – more like pissed off, but I would call the decision Jinto’s father makes to be very practical. Kyon has a very practical nature, as his speech cuts straight to the bottom of things, and what little his mind wanders is kept from escaping his lips. In a bad situation, Kyon will find a way to take charge, much as Jinto’s father did.
There’s 80-76, tune in tomorrow for the next five! We’ve got a little lady who never knows best, an indestructible android, and who knows – maybe your favorite character!