The eighteenth post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.”
It’s truly down to the wire as we enter the final three posts in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku!” Has your favorite character shown up yet? If not, don’t fret – while it’s true I may have left them out on purpose, there’s a high chance I have never heard of your favorite character or not seen enough of their work. If there is someone you think I should know about, by all means, recommend them to me as convincingly as you can! Meanwhile, let’s see 15 through 11!
15. Ikari Shinji (from Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Why I Like Him: I’ve talked a lot about how my time as a fourteen-year-old was extremely similar to Shinji’s, especially in my Diary of an Anime Lived post on it. Shinji bathes in emo and fail, and when you watch him, you sometimes want to scream the answers at him, but it’s no use man – he’s fourteen. You’re just going to have to give him time to grow out of it. A good way of doing that might be melding together the minds of all of mankind~
A Mirror For Otaku: Young otaku are some seriously fucking emo mother fuckers. You see it to a lesser extent in bloggers, because they tend to be more of the college-and-older crowd, but hit up a forum and listen to a bunch of high-school otaku talk. It’s like watching Neon Genesis Evangelion only it’s always Shinji talking and there are no giant robots. The only people who can tolerate reading this shit are fellow high school otaku, and that just means an orchestra of pathetic. And I used to play the cello in that orchestra.
Reflecting My Otakudom: How can the current state of my otakudom be compared to Shinji? Perhaps his wishy-washyness. I’ve been jumping between ideas for watching forever – one minute it’s about marathoning this kind of show, then it’s being current, then it’s something else. I’ve recently started to mature my viewing tendencies, though, into something very workable.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Thank god Jinto didn’t become another Shinji. Like Shinji, Jinto’s father wasn’t there for him much, being a very important person, which could have lead to him being ultra-emo later than life. It seems, though, that Jinto grew up pretty normal.
14. Reki (from Haibane Renmei)
Why I Like Her: Well, if it isn’t the girl who was my number one waifu choice! Taken from that post: “She is a laid-back person who smokes and doesn’t ever get high-strung, plus she’s excellent with kids and has strong motherly tendencies. What Reki has that puts her higher up, though, is a greater sobriety and down-to-earth personality. Yes, this also means that she has more personal demons, but Reki’s problems are also the kind that relationships are formed for the sake of tackling. Reki would be a great wife to live a quiet life with, and hopefully raise children with.”
A Mirror For Otaku: Reki largely tries to play off the pain she feels inside because she doesn’t want to worry her friends, and tries to tackle her problems alone. I think a lot of otaku have gotten good at putting on facades like this, too. Because otaku tend to have so much of their life taking place online, the drama or troubles they have in the online world never gets spoken to those outside.
Reflecting My Otakudom: Reki generally has a very sober and concentrated outlook. She always seems to be seeing a bigger picture than the moment and living quite calmly. I want to think that my otakudom is like this – it is not like the waves of the ocean themselves, but like the whole tide. My otakudom has lows and higs, but it does not crash and crest.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Reki is the type of person who wouldn’t overreact in a bad situation, but calmly piece together the solution. The humans in CotS ep 1 are at first so overwhelmed by their situation that they nearly overreact, but Jinto’s father takes a more sober look at things and quickly makes a smart decision.
13. Triela (from Gunslinger Girl)
Why I Like Her: Oh, where do I start? Triela is so incredibly badass! I think I have to take one of my favorite quotes from her: “I like the feeling that I get when I tie my necktie, and the clack clack noise my leather shoes make.” Triela is a person, and she’s trying to make sense of the whirlwind fuckstorm of her world to figure out where she stands. She’s a great big sis, an amazing fighter, and a devilishly bright conversationalist. She’s the kind of character I’m always trying to write myself.
A Mirror For Otaku: Triela seems to have the most human parts out of the girls, and as such she feels the most human pain. When Triela has her period, she takes the pain as proof that she is really alive. I think that otaku, too, like to do things that are potentially painful to prove to themselves their worth as an otaku. For instance, buying expensive DVDs when they could just download the episodes, just to prove to themselves that they really care.
Reflecting My Otakudom: If nothing else, Triela is great at what she does. It tears her apart to loose to Pinocchio in their first match because it invalidates her existence – she is a killing cyborg, so if she looses, she is a failure. I consider myself to be an anime blogger, and not much else. I will admit that when I get ignored and see others succeeding, I can sometimes feel a bit invalidated.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Triela feels destroyed when she looses to Pinocchio because of what it symbolically implies about her worth. Imagine how… emasculating it would be for a race to completely overtake your planet without needing to fight? Your whole civilization is practically invalidated.
12. Aeru (from Simoun)
Why I Like Her: Aeru is headstrong, convicted, and skillful. She has a love for flight and she wants nothing else. In this way, she is also really a child, and she is willing to fight tot he death to keep her childhood. She doesn’t want to grow up and stop piloting, and she keeps pushing towards doing nothing but just that. What she finds in Neviril is the missing introspection she needs, and the two of them can complete each-other to go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb! …or something.
A Mirror For Otaku: Aeru isn’t going to let little things like legality determine how she will live her life. She’ll break the rules as much as she needs to in order to keep flying and keep escaping authority. Likewise, otaku aren’t going to let the law stop them from enjoying their favorite shows. It’s damn near impossible to be a hardcore otaku without breaking some kind of law somewhere along the line…
Reflecting My Otakudom: Aeru rejects the idea of growing up and leaving flight behind. She continues to refuse to make a decision about the future to the point that she will just run away to continue the life she wants. My life seems to be going the same way – I purposefully went to college just because I didn’t want to think about the future, and to stay at home watching anime and blogging. How long will this last? Will I run away?
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Aeru very passionately refuses to be controlled. If the Abh were to take over and somehow effect her way of life, she would not stand for it. She couldn’t defeat them, no, but she would find some way to escape to a place where she could live out her dreams, even if it meant leaving the fabric of space-time.
11. Izumi Konata (from Lucky Star)
Why I Like Her: Number four on mai waifu list! Since we’ve all heard the Carlos Santos quote used there a thousand times now, I won’t restate it. Konata is great because she’s a fun, chill gal who just wants to collect anime and be cool. She’s as good of a friend as you could ask for, and a girl who’s definitively ‘one of the guys.’ KonataXKagami is one of my alltime favorite yuri couples.
A Mirror For Otaku: Thankfully this is the last character I’ll have to say this about, but Konata IS an otaku. She’s pretty hardcore, buying most of her manga and DVDs twice so that she can have a ‘collection copy’ and a ‘reading and loaning’ copy, plus playing gal games, obsessing over MMORPGs, and constantly making anime references. She even works in a cosplay cafe.
Reflecting My Otakudom: Talking to Konata is exactly the same as talking to me. All you will get out of me is long-winded speeches philosophically or psychologically explaining the deep secrets of otakudom. Whether you like it or not, if we have a conversation, it’s going to somehow end up tying into otakudom, and probably in an overblown explanatory way.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: The Abh are a blue-haired race who often invades other peoples’ planets. Konata is a blue-haired girl who often invades other peoples’ personal space and privacy.
There’s 15-11, tune in tomorrow for the next five! We’ve got a go-getter girl, a boy who loves to surf, and who knows – maybe your favorite character!
So many people dislike Shinji just because he’s not impervious to all the crap that happens to him. I’m glad some people stick up for him.
Reki and Triela are cool. And yay! for Konata.
Wow! Now I’m REALLY curious who’ll be in the top 10. Was Kagami in there already, can’t remember…
Probably no one you’ve ever heard of XDDDDD yes, Kagamin has LONG passed.
Excellent choices all around, and Triela is portraited beautifully in Aida’s new GSG chapters post-anime. I highly recommend checking these out. For me, Gunslinger Girls was a statement of being human, much like Alpha in YKY, though they are on opposite side of the violence spectrum.
Speaking Aeru, are we going to see Mamina on the list? I enjoyed Simounn before her episodes, but her conclusion was so powerful that her final scene defined the serie for me along side with the aftermath. For me, while Aeru represents the desire to never grow up, the last few episodes represent a resolution for the rest of the crew that one can grow up and become an adult while maintaining a child-like belief in miracles, and that they do not need to be priests or clergy to serve God — as everyday people, they can still help others in the name of God. All that, I believe, is triggered by Mamina’s heroic actions. So, for me, Mamina defined the show. Watch me blabber on… Yep, Simoun is indeed an emotional show for me.
Yeah, I’m a big fan of the Gunslinger Girl manga, and Triela is a big part of my love~
As for Simoun, I ALMOST wanted Mamiina on the list, but to be honest, I just didn’t feel her impact enough. I ended up putting her just outside the top 100.
The Konata write up is win. GJ.
Almost done. I can’t wait to see the top 10.
And yes, the Konata write up is great.