Digiboy’s Character Database of Love – 27. Shaoran Li & 28. Sakurano Kurimu

This is the fourteenth post in Digiboy’s Character Database of Love. It took so long to release because I forgot about it >.<

27. Shaoran Li – Cardcaptor Sakura

Seiyuu: Kumai Motoko (Performance: 4.5/5)

Character Design: (Designed by Takahashi Kumiko, based on designs by CLAMP.) I’m not always a fan of CLAMP designs, especially not when adapted into anime. That applies to their adult characters, whom are often ridiculously tall with insane wingspans—but their child characters are absolutely adorable without fail. Shaoran is a really cute kid. His design accommodates each of his attitudes, from brash to shy to laid-back and mature, which helps to make him feel so alive.

Personal Bias/Moe Traits: Prior to my recent marathon of the entire series, I’d seen five episodes of CCS, never getting to the arrival of Shaoran. Over the years I was sure I wouldn’t like him, especially for getting between Sakura and Tomoyo. Surprisingly, I ended up liking him just as much as the other characters and found the most depth within him. The evolution of Shaoran’s feelings over the course of the series feels natural—no part of him seems exaggerated or unrealistic. For all his shyness about Sakura, he’s capable of recognizing his feelings and admitting them to others, which defies expectations of his character type and elevates him beyond it.

Distortions of My Imagination: (Spoilers) Despite one of the series’ major strengths being the way it concluded each of its romances with maturity, CCS only felt cheap in the way it resolved Shaoran’s feelings for Yukito. The constant gay thoughts were swept under the rug as Shaoran having been attracted to Yukito’s high magical power, which considering that Sakura has the highest of them all would either A. have made him fall for her much earlier, or B. meant that it was the cause of his feelings for her, and thus they were only as real as his feelings for Yukito. Here’s what I want to believe: Shaoran was honestly gay for Yukito, and Yukito/Yue lied to him about it. Yukito admitted to Touya that he knew Sakura’s feelings for him went beyond the feelings she had for family members, but wanted to let her down the best way he could. There’s no reason to believe he didn’t do the same for Shaoran.

Crowning Moment of Love: I haven’t seen the second movie yet, but from the show and first movie there isn’t any clear moment. My favorites were probably the scenes when Shaoran showed the most humility and defeat. I love the one in the first movie where Sakura’s group visits his house and meets his sisters, and Shaoran just sits on the couch with this utterly defeated look on his face. Priceless.

Title: “Shaoran never lets anyone use his first name.”

28. Sakurano Kurimu – Seitokai no Ichizon

Seiyuu: Honda Mariko (Performance: 4/5)

Character Design: (Designed by Horii Kumi, based on designs by Inugami Kira.) The characters in Seitokai no Ichizon are fairly attractive, though Studio DEEN doesn’t do them many favors. The main culprits are overly big hair and awkward-looking breasts, but neither is a big problem with Kurimu, mostly because she’s flat. As evidenced by my obsession with Tsukuyomi Komoe, I’m a big fan of super-petite women, and having pink hair is always a huge bonus. Kurimu is about as cute as cute gets.

Personal Bias/Moe Traits: Kurimu represents something I’m always a bit jealous of, which is adults who look much younger than they are and therefor get away with acting much younger than they are. Kurimu largely acts that way while oblivious to the fact that it isn’t normal, because people who see her acting that way assume she’s a kid. (Contrast Czeslaw Meyer from Baccano who uses the kid ploy to manipulate people, which is what I’d probably do in that situation.) Her moe traits are pretty much all laid out in the show—being as it’s an homage to the entire existence of moe—so I feel like any feelings I have for her were already stated by Ken.

Distortions of My Imagination: This is a tough one. A character like Kurimu is tricky, because in both appearance and mentality, she’s equal parts adult and child. What I want out of Kurimu is a bit of both. I want her to be a fully-functioning adult, because that’s the kind of person I’d be interested in, but I also want her to accept her appearance and childish nature instead of constantly fighting against and denying it. I guess the distortion is an expectation of her to grow as a person (certainly not in height), while a joke series like this doesn’t really let that happen.

Crowning Moment of Love: Hard call. All of her scenes where she proves motivational and cool are excellent. I think the most memorable for me is when she tries to assure Ken of her maturity using examples that prove the opposite. For instance, bragging about a “job” she had at a kindergarten playing with the kids, a huge hole that she dug in the sandbox of a local park, and that “in the end, I think Taiga and Ryuuji got together!”

Title: Aka-chan

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