The ninth post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.”
“100 Characters For 100 Otaku” continues today with part nine. Still not seeing your favorite characters? Don’t worry, we’re still less than halfway done! From today forward, the entries get a lot less arbitrarily placed, meaning that we’re really getting into my favorite characters now. I can’t wait to dissect them all for you! So let’s roll with 60 down through 56!
60. Hiiragi Kagami(n) (from Lucky Star)
Why I Like Her: Kagamin is probably one of the most misunderstood anime characters out there. Many have labeled her a tsundere, which is simply not what she is; Kagamin is meant to be the tsukkomi to Konata’s boke, but no one seems to notice. Also, Kagamin has no room to be tsun for Konata when she’s so busy being her lover <33. Oh, right, why do I like her? Honestly, I find it hard to talk about the characters in Lucky Star this way because to me, they are more like friends. I guess I love her because I feel like I know her. Expect some KonaXKaga fanficiton from me in the future!
A Mirror For Otaku: Kagamin is one of those girls who has a bunch of otaku friends, and therefor likes anime by association. She has an interest in the otaku culture, even as she can’t be a part of it (after all, she’s not otaku by nature.) I’ve had a female friend who was exactly like her, and it was interesting to see how she could think otakudom was ridiculous in many ways, but also be totally willing to listen to me rattle on about it forever.
Reflecting My Otakudom: Kagamin is a sort of fringe anime-fan – there are series she enjoys a lot, such as Full Metal Panic, but she doesn’t get totally absorbed in the anime universe. This can oddly enough be compared to how I am just about certain franchises. For instance, Touhou – I’ve played some of the games, seen the videos, and I love Remilia Scarlet, but I’m not a die hard Touhou fan.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Kagamin has a very famous scene in the Lucky Star OVA wherein she cosplays as virtual idol Hatsune Miku (as pictured above, to make up for Miku not being in the list), who has blue hair. The Abh are a race entirely consisting of people with blue hair.
59. Simon the Driller (from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)
Why I Like Him: Simon made Kamina see his ability to believe in him, and in turn, Kamina taught him to believe in himself who believes in himself. Simon broke the heavens with his drill – along with space-time and the universe. He marched his people forward and never lost sight of hope in the blackest night. He spiraled out. He kept going. Then he became the most epic hobo of all time.
A Mirror For Otaku: In the beginning of Gurren Lagann, Simon has little to no self-confidence, relying only on the confidence that his mentor, Kamina, has in him. Otaku, too, have a very high tendency to lack self-esteem, which is also why they tend to be miserable, lonely, and/or put other people down on the internet. It’s because of this, though, that they can be so attracted to messages like ‘believe in you who believes in you’ from Gurren Lagann, even if they may not see themselves as being able to put that into practice
Reflecting My Otakudom: Simon never stops moving upward, always getting bigger and heading for the end of the universe with his love. This is how I aim to be with anime – I want to watch and watch until I’ve seen it all, and then watch it all again. What I’ve seen is never enough.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: (shit, already did the blue hair.) The Abh are a hyper-advanced race who use their goliath spaceships to travel the universe. Simon is a universal traveler himself in his ever-evolving Gurren-Lagann.
58. Horo (from Spice and Wolf)
Why I Like Her: Not to seem like a cop-out, but Andrew Cunningham truly put it best in his review of the light novel:
“Horo makes virtually every other character in the novels I’ve read this year seem one-dimensional. There’s a trend in the books I read to create exaggerated characters, defined by a single term — you’re still surprised by what they do, but not by what kind of thing they do. They aren’t predictable, exactly, but when they do something it makes sense, it seems like what they would do.
Horo is all over the place — every reaction and action redefines your understanding of her, making her even more complex to the point of hyper-real. Every time you think you know who she is she shows another side of her personality. And she has a spiffy accent.”
A Mirror For Otaku: Horo is actually a fox god, and seeing as this must be physically represented on anime characters, she has been given fox ears and a bushy fox tail. Now, you won’t want to hear this, but there are in fact these people called furries, and they make a point to wear some kind of animal ears and tails all the time. Sometimes they wear full-body animal costumes. And sometimes, they have sex in them. Furries are generally looked down upon by the rest of otaku-kind, but I’ll stand up for them – otaku are all brothers, after all.
Reflecting My Otakudom: Horo is on a long journey to true and find her homeland. It’s a place where she belongs. My otakudom is a long journey to try and reach my perfect favorites list. It is a way of defining myself – to find a sense of belonging within my own mind.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: The Abh can be seen as striking a deal with the humans, wherein the stakes are their lives. When the Abh make a deal, they don’t leave a lot of options or leeway – it’s take it or leave it (and die.) Similarly, Horo is excellent at bartering (which makes sense, traveling with a merchant) She knows how to ‘make you an offer you can’t refuse.‘
57. Alice Carroll (from Aria the Animation)
Why I Like Her: Alice is sort of like a small child in the Aria world. When we first meet her, she is a somewhat lonely girl for reasons not unlike Ruri; because she is so much smarter than everyone else. However, Alice is opened up by Akari, and then we see her slowly opening up to and discovering more and more of the world. I love just watching Alice’s facial expressions as she takes in every situation and feels the newly discovered emotions flow through her mind.
A Mirror For Otaku: Alice’s bewilderment and enthrallment towards the new things she sees in Neo-Venezia is easily comparable to otaku seeing new anime, especially the ones in genres they didn’t expect to like that really broaden their horizons.
Reflecting My Otakudom: Well, my horizons have been broadened a good number of times! I can say that, like Alice, there were times where I had a bit of a snooty outlook on anime. I would think that I had seen all the good stuff and not much was left (everyone thinks this at some point) but I would get hit in the head with the stupid stick before long as I discovered as much as entire worlds worth of other anime perfectly worth watching. This is also why my ‘to watch’ list never seems to get smaller XD
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: I wonder about the feelings in the hearts of the people aboard the Lief Erikson. I wonder how much of a life-changing or affirming revelation each thing they discovered on their voyages through space was. I wonder if the beauty of the universe amazed them like the beauty of Neo-Venezia amazes Alice and everyone else who comes to visit.
56. Kyosuke Tsutsumi (from ef ~a tale of memories~)
Why I Like Him: Aside from being someone who would definitely support the ‘get money, fuck bitches, smoke tree‘ philosophy, Kyosuke is a true-blue artist with a vision and a half. He leaves the film club at his school because even though all of them admit how amazing he is, they want to make generic movies, and he wants to make pretentious French movies. So he goes to the cool, run down part of town and films stuff, then starts making an epic documentary on Kei, and generally rides out his small part in the series by being awesome all the time.
A Mirror For Otaku: Otaku can be very, very pretentious. Many otaku hiss at words like ‘moe’ and ‘harem’ and will only watch works of ‘artistic importance’ like Kaiba and Mononoke (not Princess Mononoke, you unlearned rank amateur!) Much like Kyosuke will only work on artsy films, these otaku will only watch anime that is secretly French (Oscar winner La Maison et Petit Cubes? Come on, man, it’s obvious!)
Reflecting My Otakudom: Even though I do not watch only pretentious anime, I still think I could be called a pretentious anime watcher because of the reasons that I do like so much anime. A lot of the time, my justifications for liking what I like seem to state that the show actually IS that much more brilliant and amazing, and I’m just the only one to realize it. Kanokon, anyone?
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: It’s a shame that we don’t see any cameramen running around, filming the reaction to the Abh menace, because that guy would have totally been Kyosuke; what we do get, though, is news reports. If nothing else, Kyosuke would definitely be a part of the coverage of the Abh invasion – spreading truth and knowledge through his camera of justice!
There’s 60-56, tune in tomorrow for the next five! We’ve got a gun-slinging traveler, a yellow braver, and who knows – maybe your favorite character!