This Is A Wonderful Set of Character Art

Going for a bit of an Ogiue Maniax style with this one…

So, I recently came up with this plan to make 100 header banners for my site. The idea is to use only official art and screenshots, and to try to take images from all of my favorite anime series, either using moments that I like, or just characters whom I love. Running this plan by No Name, he linked me to the official site for this Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight video game, KiraKira HappyFesta! – more specifically to the page where you can download different wallpapers of the characters. I promptly cut them up into banners, which you’ll see if you read my posts on-site, but as I was doing so I began to realize just how special these images were.

All of them have some things in common. For one thing, each of them is looking the viewer directly in the eyes, or more specifically, each of them is looking forward. Which empowers the second similarity – that each of them has a very ‘unclouded’ expression on their face. It’s not to say that the Manabi designs look overly similar, because that is far from true. Each of them is depicted with the defining aspects of their personalities intact, but all of them are thinking something very similar. A quick run-through, if you will.

Mikan’s expression says “Excitedly looking forward to a bright future with you!”

Mutsuki’s expression says “I’ll be by your side as we move ahead!”

Mei’s expression says “I’ll do it, but safely, okay?” (a sort of intricacy of her character where she is defensive but nonetheless wishes for progress)

Momo’s expression says “Looking forward to whatever comes!”

And of course, as always, Manabi’s expression says “MASSUGO GO!”

Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight is a very, very powerful show about a group who comes together for the purpose of helping one-another attain success and happiness. Each character overcomes their problems through one-another, and in the end, all of them learn to be positive-thinking forward-movers. There’s a reason that while Manabi’s message is powerful and deep, her face is very placid in this image. It’s because, as she does for each of her friends in the series, she is inviting you. She is letting you know ‘you can move forward, too!‘ and that her fist is as much the hand of a friend who will help to break down your barriers as it is a hand to break down her own – and she can’t do it without your help!

Truly, I feel that these images capture the nature of the series and the characters in their purest form.

15 thoughts on “This Is A Wonderful Set of Character Art

  1. Those are cute. I watched the first episode of Manabi Straight when it first came out but I never watched more. If it’s as good as you say, I should check it out again =)

  2. So wait, you’re recommending a show in a school setting with strong characters, and if the reviews are any indication, has both comedic and dramatic moments?

    Fucking SOLD, good sir!

    • I’ve only seen it twice, and while I’m always up for a rewatch, I also feel like I have forgotten none of it~

      • I’ve forgotten most of the details of the story by now and have been feeling like I need to rewatch it for, like, a year now. But it’s hard to find time to rewatch stuff when I still have about a dozen unwatched series sitting in line on my hard drive.

        I’ve been thinking that I should try to find a day each month that I can take to marathon an anime I want to rewatch but never get around to.

    • It has moe and slice of life elements, but it has a strong backing story with real plot and character development and extremely moving drama, as well as some of the funniest comedy around. It’s really just a perfect show.

  3. I just finished this. (5 minutes ago) And went googling anything related to this anime, and the first place after the search is here! I loved the show and loved all u wrote here. The positiveness from Manabi is so contagious! Your way to describe the characters is so beatiful and true

    ps: just delete the other comment plz :p

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