After watching as much anime as I have, it’s inevitable that favorites will soon emerge. These are the girls who grabbed my affections and wiggled their ways into my heart. These are the girls who made me wish I could be their friend and ring them up for some hanging out. These are the girls who I admire and respect, and at times, who I wish I could be like. Thank you for your sweetness, mischievousness, courage, and fortitude.
Mizunashi Akari of ARIA
Pure-hearted joy and kindness manifest themselves in the form of Akari, the main character of the three-season anime, ARIA. Newly arrived to the planet of Aqua (terra-formed Mars) from her home in Manhome (a parallel Earth), she faces her unknown surroundings with wide-eyed wonder. Akari shares an equal amount of wonder for her job and the people she encounters. This friendly curiosity for everything and everyone makes it very difficult for anyone to dislike her, and me least of all. Like the city of Neo Venezia, I find myself opening my heart and wanting to know more about Mizunashi Akari, the undine with a smile as warm as the most delicious cup of cocoa on a winter evening.
Horo (a.k.a. Holo) of Spice & Wolf
All hail the god of harvest, the wise wolf: Horo. With her magnificent tail, naughty smile, and never ending beer and apples, she easily nabs her place in my favorites, as well as my loyal votes in the International Saimoe League. Her many years bring her wisdom garnered from experience, wisdom that often saves the money purses and lives of those who travel with her; unfortunately, that means opposing parties don’t fair so well. Horo also exhibits a fair amount of raw sexuality tempered with unexpected moments of vulnerability. This juxtaposition of physicality endears her even more to me since shallowness and predictability are the first characteristics to make me lose interest. Bring your largest keg of beer, but be careful to not partake too much, as you’ll need your wits about you to parley with she of the magnificent tail!
Balsa of Seirei no Moribito
Yet again, my favorites include another mature woman, an age bracket that is difficult to find in moe tournaments. “She’s too old” is a phrase I’ve heard time and time again when nomination results come out, but Balsa proves that age holds no ground on her coolness factor. Of all my favorites, she’s the one I would love to be like the most–not because of her martial prowess, but because of her utter confidence and strength of character. From a very young age, she learned to depend only on her own power and intelligence, which over time turned her into an extremely capable and formidable woman. This dominant force does not detract from her capability for compassion, of which she exhibits to great degrees again and again.
Makino Tsukushi of Hana Yori Dango
Makino Tsukushi entered into the ring from the very start, as Hana Yori Dango was the 3rd anime series I ever completed. Much like my previously named favorites, Tsukushi-chan exercises for force of will on a daily basis, not allowing meager funds or prejudices to bring her down. Just taking a look at the popularity of this show across Asia, you’ll find manga, an anime series, an anime film, a J-drama, a T-drama, and most recently, a K-drama. Her underdog status, coupled with her pure, weed-like stubbornness, make it very tough to dislike her. Tsukushi-chan truly understands the meaning of hard work and determination, reflecting this awareness in her studies, love life, and overall life philosophy. I can proudly say that I’m a fan of all her renditions in animation and live action.
Victorique de Blois (Victorica, Broix, w/e) of GOSICK
Victorique, or as I used to call her, Victorica, is a recent addition to my list. GOSICK most definitely isn’t one of m favorite animes, as I find it a little to predictable and irreconcilable with its supposed 1920s time frame, but I still enjoy the overall plot idea and characters. Victorique is the main reason for this, with her absolute conviction in her mental capacity. I also have a great weakness for Victorian clothing and ridiculous looking foods, both of which she has in great amounts. Victorique’s dark consummation, birth, and rearing makes her wary of close contact with outsiders, as she has had little to teach her otherwise of mankind’s capacity for kindness. However, never ending supplies of literature and news articles raise her intelligence and reasoning far above that of the average citizen. It is her astuteness that dictates her reason for existence, as well as chains her to her father’s will. Adversely, it also allows her brief moments of happiness with her closest friend and ally, protagonist Kujo. Never say “never” to this re-constructor of chaos; no mystery is too great for the Golden Fairy to solve.
Much like my list of favorite anime, this list is subject to change, and most likely will change with the more girls I see. Feel free to share your thoughts on my favorites, as well as your own preferences!