Jumpin’ Joestars, it’s a new month, and it’s Autumn in North America! You know what that means – another introduction for a Backloggers monthly round-up that’s talking about the weather and how fast this year is moving! Seriously though, a year back, it felt like these posts, and everything else, really, came and went quite slowly. But time has been picking up its pace recently, and we have certainly been feeling that here at Backloggers HQ. Most of all, we’ve felt that in the deluge of great articles and posts that the community has put out this month! I feel as though we say this every time, but truly, this is just a small taste of the hot content that was available in the anisphere from the month of September. So sit back, relax with a warm drink of your choice, and dig into a little bit of what our peers have put together!
In the recent months, there have been several anime releases that have caused a massive amount of discussion about the concept of “show, don’t tell” between fans and critics alike. From my observations of discussions on recent anime, including Re:Zero, Mob Psycho 100, and Kizumonogatari Part I, along with many others, the community at large seems to have varying perceptions of which animated productions utilize this concept well and which ones do not. Many people seem to share a common opinion about the topic though, and that is “show, don’t tell” is a storytelling technique that is universally accepted as a standard for media or literature to always strive for, and when used, it is almost always presented in a positive light. Likewise, when there is a large amount of dialogue presented to the audience, it tends to have the opposite effect, creating a near universal hatred for moments that tend to use dialogue-heavy scenes. Although personally, I don’t think either of these expressions are a great way of thinking about the concept as a whole.
So here’s one I’ve been thinking about doing for a little while now as a follow up to a previous post I did ages ago called My Favorite Hilarious Troll Moves I’ve Seen in Anime. In keeping with the theme of favorites, this is My Five Favorite BAMF Female Characters from Anime! With so much anime that’s written specifically for a male audience, I think it’s good to take some time and showcase those characters that show a little girl power or at least some damn good writing with respect to women. Hopefully we’ll see more badass ladies as time goes forward but for the time being, this is my list of awesome girls who are great characters that shine in their series.
Now, I will say right away that there are some stipulations. The first is this is only from television shows and not movies because this list would very quickly turn into my favorite girls from Studio Ghibli and the directorial works of Mamoru Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children, etc). Second, I’m obviously only picking from stuff I’ve seen so this list won’t be comprehensive and may not have choices that others may have. This list is also unordered because I’d rather not compare great characters when they all have amazing reasons to be number one on any list. Lastly, and this goes along with the second point, this is only my list of favorite characters. I’m not saying this is “The Top Five of All Time” or anything like that because this is entirely subjective and biased to me. However, I do think these wonderful ladies have a chance to warm your heart as much as they did mine with how much ass they kick, both figuratively and literally.
On a last note, I’ll try to keep spoilers to an absolute minimum, but consider this a small warning for minor plot points being talked about. So without further ado, here are our characters who carry wallets like this…
Fair warning, while I try to be unbiased to an extent in my discussions, I feel this one is a bit more opinionated than my other ones. I’m not deeply entrenched in 4chan’s /a/ or other anime communities, so my viewpoint about the terms “waifu” and “best girl” comes from a different perspective. Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading my discussion!
If you’ve ever watched Azumanga Daioh, there’s a hilarious scene where the creepy teacher of the school, Kimura, drops a picture of a beautiful woman from his coat pocket. The students pick it up and comment on how she’s very beautiful and looks like a nice woman, wondering who she might be. The creeper of a teacher suddenly appears from behind them and exclaims in deadpan, broken English that she’s “Mai waifu.” The students freak out, not only over his sudden appearance, but that such a beautiful and charming woman would be married to a suspected pedophile and scary man.
Originally, the terms “waifu” and “hazu” were borrowed from English in the early 1980s in order to better define modern marriage in Japan as the original Japanese term for wife, “Kanai”, means “inside the house” and the term for husband, “shujin” or “danna”, means “master”. Obviously outdated, “waifu” and “hazu” were adopted to show a modern expression of equal treatment. While Japanese otaku definitely would have used the term before, fans of the show Azumanga Daioh thought the juxtaposition of a possible pedobear with a wonderfully nice woman, as well as the teacher’s broken English response, were so funny, the term “Mai Waifu” came to become a meme for the people of the Internet. The term means that a female character a person enjoys is so loved by that person, they claim to be “married” to them. People have also used it to refer to their favorite character in general, disregarding gender and including male characters in a humorous, but endearing way as also their “waifus” and sometimes “husbandos”. While for some, the level of love towards their fictional character is just a fun aside to their own lives, many on the Internet latched onto the idea of having an actual love interest in their two dimensional favorite characters. This in itself is not bad as I feel we’ve all been there to certain extents. I know I personally love at least half of the main characters Joss Whedon has ever written and, given the chance, I would absolutely date Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly and I’m a hetero male. However, it’s important to note that these fantasies can be taken too far.
All right, so Madoka was a serious and depressing topic last time, so I thought I’d go with a pick-me-up for this next discussion. So! Let’s talk about my favorite hilarious troll moves I’ve seen from anime. Now these are just my five favorite trolls that I wanted to point out, and I’m limited by what I’ve seen, so I won’t make this a list of “The Top Five of All Anime” or anything that conceited. Also, another limitation on this list is that I’m only including what I consider as funny trolling in anime, i.e. playing a joke on the audience for a bit of fun, rather than for a sudden plot twist in the story that changes everything, or a scene that is a big middle finger to the fans such as Sword Art Online S1 and its main antagonist’s final spiel. (Also, I’m looking at you, OreImo. The lesson here is if you wanna write a story, but your publisher doesn’t want it written the way you want, get a new publisher.) As such, I’m also excluding any major plot twists from anime that greatly influence the story, such as Madoka: The Rebellion Story or other twist endings that change everything in general. These are all great, but they deserve their own discussion since the anime industry really loves to take a left turn towards the end of their series, whether they need to or not. Since this isn’t including any major plot twists that dramatically change a series, this discussion will actually be relatively major spoiler free, but we will be going over material that’s in the middle to end of some anime so SPOILER ALERT if you care about minor spoilers for a series. Now, let’s get this crazy hootenanny, shindig started!