This is the tenth post in Digiboy’s Character Database of Love.
19. Sae – Hidamari Sketch
Seiyuu: Shintani Ryoko (Performance: 4.5/5)
Character Design: (Designed by Ito Yoshiaki, based on designs by Aoki Ume). Hidamari Sketch has interesting designs in that they’re simultaneously cute and hot—allow me to explain. The series originated as a puni-moe-styled 4-koma, using simple but attractive designs to fit the small panels. The puni-moe cuteness translates into the anime, but SHAFT being SHAFT made it abundantly clear that the characters were attractive in a more direct sense as well.
Sae is probably the HidaSketch girl most attuned to my preferences, being a tomboy with short hair and a fashion style that has her dressing like a boy, but with the sensibilities of a girl (i.e. I could never wear the kind of cute outfits she does without seeming superbly metrosexual.) She’s also fueled my emerging megane moe as of my latest rewatch. Her best design moments are when she plays male characters in school stage performances, making it clear that a detective movie starring a girl like her would be my favorite movie ever.
Personal Bias/Moe Traits: I love tomboys to death, as evidenced by having a side-blog dedicated to them (I’m hesitant to use the word ‘coo-dere’ because apparently it means something very different to me than it does to others.) Sae is also a writer—a professional—even though she’s still in high school—and she’s evidently pretty good. I admire her ability to pull all-nighters and pump hard when the deadline approaches. It’s a lifestyle I yearn for! Watching her is hugely inspirational for me.
Sae is also pretty flamboyantly gay no matter how hard she tries to deny it. As the anime progresses, it becomes more and more evident that Sae has a thing for Hiro *hard* and that Hiro completely knows it. It’d be nice if that actually went somewhere. I happen to know that manga-ka Aoki Ume is big into yuri, but I just don’t know if HidaSketch has the capacity to develop a relationship.
Distortions of my Imagination: This section is harder to write when the character’s lesbianity is actually canon LOL. I don’t think there’s much about Sae that I like outside what’s canon. I guess I could say that I’d like to imagine something going on with her sister, but that’s too far out for me to really be entertained by the thought (you know me, canon whore.)
Crowning Moment of Love: I’m going to say the episode where Hiro got a love letter and Sae was completely freaking out over it. I love Sae’s cool side, but nothing’s better than the cute and vulnerable side she shows when it comes to Hiro. Her crowning moment of cool, however, was definitely playing the detective in the school presentation.
Title: Hard-Boiled Detective
20. Myung Fang Long — Macross Plus
Seiyuu: Fukami Rika
Character Design: (Masayuki) The character design for Macross Plus favors long silhouettes, but decidedly robust and substantial frames. This isn’t a world for waifs; characters are full-bodied and physically mature. It’s interesting how the idol Sharon Apple, who, being a computer generated image, can appear in any way she wants, still looks womanly even at her most coquettish.
Myung looks adult and womanly, and probably older than her early-mid 20s actual age due to the dramatic heaviness in the show and her (and Isamu’s and Guld’s) position and rank of responsibility. She particularly probably dresses older than her age. Her teenage version in the flashbacks would probably be normal representations of a person of her rank and position in contemporary anime.
Personal Bias/Moe Traits: Myung is the little Macross idol that… couldn’t. Consistent with the overall dark and dramatic tone of the show, Macross used a failed idol as one of its protagonists. Minmay threatened to quit singing, Sheryl was going to give up singing, Ranka bailed on her singing responsibilities, but none quit on their career the way Myung did—which involved not singing during what would have been her peak years as a teenager.
Instead she worked as a “producer” for Sharon Apple, which led to the apex of her problems. This regret for giving up the real “her authentic voice” for something artificial “Sharon Apple” is the regret in her heart. Regretful Myung is moe (with her failgun and not to forget the cable tentacle raep). This is all made more powerful in that “Voices” is one of the most moving songs in the Macross franchise, and is what introduced me to Kanno Yoko as a musician.
Distortions of My Imagination: Myung hates herself most for leaving Guld like that. It’s cowardly and she knows that she could’ve done more to prevent all three of them from becoming malformed adults. This, more than anything was her mistake of youth.
Myung becomes a lounge/jazz singer, at the same time a composer and arranger similar to what Kanno Yoko actually does, including write OSTs for anime—she ends up collaborating with different talent, like Athena Glory from Neo Venezia, Aqua.
Crowning Moment of Love: The flashback to innocence, with the boys flying their makeshift aircraft, and Myung singing Voices. It’s the happy moment in this dark story, and works well as an elegy too, given how it all ends.
Title: The idol that couldn’t