Today's Interview Question: The anonymous detractor who's stuck by me all this time has a real mouthful this week. It writes: "How long has it been since you stopped exercising? Do you find that you've gotten flabby? Compare...before & now...are you lazier? How's your body structure? Are you over weight? Do you have a belly? Flabby belly? Don't you think you should be doing some kind of exercising? Although you're young, don't you think we all need to maintain? Just simple walking can change your life, really. I suggest it. If I lived near you, we could take walks together." It's been a while. I have better things to do than count days. Since you don't appear to, feel free to search the archives and hunt down the last entry that mentioned it. I've thought about getting back into it, but it became a real pain to keep up with, and annoyed the neighbors. My body structure is just fine, thanks... I'm finally reaching what's probably a more average weight for my height, really. Putting on weight still isn't happening. Besides, I like to know that, if I were ever cut off from food completely, I'd have something to survive on for a little while. I walk plenty, now that there's a flight of stairs between me and the lab, another between the lab and the ground floor, and the bathroom and break room are both half a building away. If walking is good enough, then hey, great. Finally, no, you don't live anywhere near me. And I think I've finally figured out who you are, if not why you're doing this. I won't mention your LJ name here... for now. But if you are who I think you are, this creeps me out. Still.
With that out of the way, let's get back to news of the day. The April issue of Shoujo Beat arrived today, and as predicted, no sign of the March issue. So I called and arranged a replacement, which they say will take 2-3 weeks. Shouldn't be too much of a surprise for it to show up tomorrow, but I think it really has been well and truly lost. Ditto my old Best Buy certificates, although I finally got one that I believe was the reissue they sent. And the ultimate conclusion on MÄR is that I was actually only on book 4. I could have sworn I'd have read that as soon as I got it, but apparently, the series dropped from my priority list as of book 3 to completely off the radar at book 4. But I'm almost done the book now. Then it will be Rave Master, which is definitely still on my priority list. Genbu Kaiden probably needs to be as well.
I might play some games, but I'll be talking to purpleparadox soon, so I'll take this time while I have it to finally reveal my favorite anime and manga characters. Here, once again, is a review of the ones that have already been guessed, followed by the ones that nobody figured out.
Galaxy Angel - Mint Blancmange. She's just so freaking adorable!
Card Captor Sakura - Tomoyo Daidouji. Too cute for words, generous and kind to a fault, and she made 52 Curses what it was.
Pretear - Mannen. He's energetic and mischievous and loves doing things his own way, even when it causes trouble. Forget comic relief characters like Mayune... it's characters like Mannen who drive the internal conflicts that make the personal part of the story interesting!
Chrono Crusade - Azmaria. Born into an unfortunate situation, she lives to prove she's strong enough to take care of herself. And she's cute.
Azumanga Daioh - Sakaki. Deceptively strong and silent, but she's really a softy who loves cute animals, even if they keep biting her. Kaorin knows how to pick 'em.
Love Hina - Shinobu. I always seem to go for the timid girls who are at their cutest when they fight against their shyness in the interest of romance. That's Shinobu all over.
Sailor Moon - Ami/Mercury. I was once a big fan of Jupiter, and I always thought Mercury would look a lot better with longer hair (and someone once sent me a picture that I think corroborates my view). But Ami started to grow on me bit by bit as I realized that she was a thinker, not a fighter, but could still hold her own. Mostly. And she was great in the live action series. She refused to join Sailor Moon at first, due to some confusion over the conditions of their friendship, and the bad vibes between her and Naru were a great plot point in the middle of the series. Small changes that made a big impression on me, anyway.
Bleach - Orihime Inoue. Yes, she's got that vacant personality that I find so irresistable, but she also seems to understand a lot more than she lets on. And she's so cute, even her spiritual powers are cute. I've seen lots of girls with fairy familiars, but I don't think many of them were in shounen series. Can anyone think of any others?
Ai Yori Aoshi - Taeko Minazuki. I don't know whether there's a word for her particular blend of klutz and idiot savant, but it suits her so well that I think there needs to be one. A klutz savant, perhaps? I just love the way she manages to get things done properly when she buckles down, despite her ineptitude. The fact that she's incredibly shy about her feelings for Kaoru doesn't hurt her standing at all.
Louie the Rune Soldier - Louie. Really, I thought it would be obvious. Each of the girls has something that I like, but none of them can really stand up to the presence that is Louie. He's an idiot and a genius, a half-assed brawler and a master fighter, a wizard and a warrior all at once. And while he's no good at any of it, he's the best at all of it. I still haven't figured out how that works. I suppose this answer might change after I see more of the series (Ila, particularly, could be fun if she appeared a bit more), but Louie's on a throne that will be hard to topple.
Cowboy Bebop - Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky the 4th. If the name doesn't say it all... "Beeeeeeeetaaaaaaa." All of my favorite episodes were Ed-centric. Ed is Ed. Isn't that enough?
Fullmetal Panic - Teletha Testarossa. You look into those eyes and you can't believe that you're looking at the captain of a submarine. Really. Try it. It's not that she's immature-looking... but her appearance just doesn't seem to fit her maturity properly, like O.J.'s glove. I don't know whether she purposefully fosters that deceptive nature, or it just happens. But I like it. I like it enough that even Sousuke's self-introduction isn't enough to top it.
And now, like the Oscar winners, here are the favorites from the series you didn't predict, plus the requisite speeches!
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi - Sasshi Imamiya. Maybe it's just me, but all the women in that series seem way too vulgar for my tastes. Not that Sasshi isn't, but he's not just the universe's whipping boy... he's the whipping boy of EVERY universe. However, when he finally gets his revenge on Arumi properly, I very much approve of his methods. She may not make a very good magical girl, but they don't have to. It's the one time a Gainax series not making any sense at all really worked out.
Ranma 1/2 - Ukyo Kuonji. I'm really surprised no one guessed her. She's cute, but she doesn't go out of her way to be cute. It's kind of hidden most of the time. And of all the girls chasing after Ranma, she seems the one most likely to aim for the kind of relationship I myself would want - more like really good friends than lovers. In fact, it's been said that she's probably content just being friends, and her attempts to win Ranma from Akane come more from habit than any actual desire on her part. It's no wonder that, if I ever get around to writing Boku no Nerima no Ichinichi, a budding friendly relationship between myself and Ukyo is slated to be one of the driving plotlines.
Et Cetera - Mingchao. She's spunky, never gives up, and always has a punchline hidden somewhere about her person. And while her main weapon is the Eto Gun, she's pretty handy with that wok.
Wedding Peach - Potamos the Water Devil. Don't get me wrong... the good guys tend to be pretty funny, especially Momoko, but Potamos just blows them all away. She's supposed to be destroying all love, but she's got the cutest crush on, of all people, the same guy Momoko's got a crush on. She spends her time in human disguise being vapidly silly, and abusing her wonderful "mitai na?" catchphrase. And she's the same way when she's pissed off and trying to kill someone. You just have to watch her in action to understand. Particularly the dream sequence when she imagines what Momoko and Yousuke must be doing in the infirmary, and every one of their lines ends in "mitai na"... Not many things crack me up as much as that did.
Angel Tails - Momo the monkey. I love the long pink hair. And I doubt mentioning her image song from the soundtrack would explain much, but while she's the oldest of the three children, she's the least assertive, and by far the most nervous of all the angels (including Ran, who reminds me quite a bit of Saber Marionette Cherry). There's just something about her that makes her immune to the bullying, too. Probably the same stuff I just mentioned. The bully has a crush on her, and that's cute too.
Sgt. Frog - Angol Moa. Did nobody remember that she's been my default icon for ages now? Not only is she cute as a button (although perhaps it's not the cutest button ever), her solution to any problem is to destroy the Earth. Fortunately for us, she eventually learns to create only 1/1,000,000 Armageddon and destroy the Earth only a tiny bit. And just look again at my icon, at the expression on her face as her favorite soap opera reaches its dramatic climax. That's the face of the destroyer of Earth. Can you but love it?
Genshiken: Ogiue. Fans of the anime may remember her as the mysterious girl with the hair protrusions who appeared monumentally in the ending credits of the final episode. Fans of the manga may know a bit more about her. I've only read one chapter with her in it, and already, I want to know much more. She out-Sakis Saki. After all, Saki has eventually come to terms with her position at the Genshiken - playing video games, doing cosplay (when forced), and even taking her own initiative to read manga. Ogiue... just hates otaku, period. And she's a member of the Genshiken. However, because I know I have fans of the anime on the list, I also would have accepted Harunobu "Pit Viper" Madarame for half credit. I really don't know why, but all the best lines and gags seem to center around him. He's cool, savvy, and unabashed (except when he's alone in a room with Saki), and he's the one who'll slyly jab you with his elbow when he knows something someone else doesn't... which is pretty much all the time. I like the girls too... Saki is an odd sort of reluctant protagonist in a series that doesn't really have an antagonist, and an antagonist in a series that doesn't really have an antagonist, while Ohno is the female otaku who seems to be there just to show Saki how much fun she COULD be having if she'd loosen up. And I loved Ohno's swimsuit. But Madarame's personality is teh win, as some might say.
Gunslinger Girl - Claes. She has her own sort of existence. While all the other girls are bonding with their trainers in such powerful bonds that, without the constant affirmation of the trainer, the girl can't survive, Claes lives on her own, reading her books and gardening. And she's dark and antisocial, which would seem to fit the tone of the story much more than the other girls, who are more outgoing despite their dependencies. She's not a gunslinger, but that doesn't stop her from being involved in missions when her unique talents can be useful. I think all of them have moments when you just want to hug them, particularly when they stumble back from a botched mission with blood pouring down their faces, yet still smiling. Claes doesn't have any scenes like that as far as I've read, but you want to hug her just the same. And she wouldn't let you.
Cromartie High School - Noboru Yamaguchi. He's a comedian with a giant afro. He's also a really BAD comedian. Yet what we laugh at is not his jokes, but his pathos. His jokes don't just fail... they fail so spectacularly that we can see how much the world has it in for him. And his rival is Kamiyama, who is rival to no one else. In a series where everyone's a comedian, Yamaguchi is quite literally a comedian. And he appears just the right amount.
Petite Princess Yucie - Glenda, the Demon Princess with elegant beauty and powerful magic. Most of the time, a character like Glenda just annoys me. Using Greta from Little Snow Fairy Sugar as an example (and even the names are almost identical), there's always the annoying laugh, the refusal to accept that the protagonist is superior, the huge ego, generally large amounts of money, and values that I can't stand. Glenda is all of those things, and yet she becomes almost pitiable as the series progresses. Even right at the start, when she's going to be kicked out of school and Yucie stands up for her, something separates her from the other Annoying Snobby Rival Characters. I'm halfway through the series now, and while some of the newer characters are looking interesting, and I'll always be rooting for Yucie (and for poor Cocoloo to a lesser degree), I still have to see what's going to become of Glenda. In that sense, I'm glad it's a Gainax series, because I know she's going to get the attention she deserves at the end.
Those Who Hunt Elves - Mike. It's a tank with the spirit of a cat living in it. It's a TANK... with the spirit of a CAT living in it. That's two of my favorite things right there. Cats, and with.
Slayers - Sylphiel. She just fits the pattern. ^_^ No, really. She's the relatively shy girl who's devoted to Gourry, even though he sees her as a friend, or maybe even a little sister (hard to say that much, though). But she's working on becoming stronger, even if it doesn't completely work for her, and she's instrumental to all the big victories even though she contributes so little if you just look at screen time and spells cast. Every magical team needs a healer. So why don't they keep Sylphiel around more often? Maybe the novels will reveal more. I sure hope so.
Boy, it got late. purpleparadox, I blame you for being so much fun to talk to. I insist that you not change that at all so I can get used to it and learn to cope. And that's why I didn't comment on anyone else's entries tonight. It's not because I spent so long writing up those answers. Wait... yes it is. I'm a nimrod. But you like me anyway, don't you? ^_^ Please say yes.