Just last month, on the Thursday before Valentine’s Day, I presented virtual chocolate to my manga dream boys, or at least to those who might have been, were I still a schoolgirl in my teens.I promised then that I’d share my dream girls for White Day, and that week has finally come!
So, let’s get right to it, shall we?
3 manga Dream Girls for teen MJ:
1. Nana Osaki | NANA | Ai Yazawa | Viz Media – This one just seems obvious, doesn’t it? Anyone who identifies as strongly with Nana Komatsu as I do is going to be hung up on Nana Osaki. That’s just a given, right? Nana is badass enough to fight for what’s yours, and fragile enough to need your care–just the ticket for a softhearted girl like me. Her ambition is inspirational (or at least catching), and her presence is dazzling. I’d fall under her spell in a heartbeat. If I could only choose one dream girl for my attention on White Day, Nana Osaki would be the one!
2. Yamane | Flower of Life | Fumi Yoshinaga | Digital Manga Publishing – I suppose Yamane’s a strange choice, given that I don’t even know her first name, but anyone who read my recent ‘shipping post shouldn’t be too surprised. I’m definitely the sloppy Sakai in that pair-up, and I’m not ashamed to admit it! Similar to my Valentine’s Day Doumeki pick, I see Yamane as the mature, silent type, only with an extra dollop of politeness that goes a long way with me. She’s both thoughtful and circumspect as a teenager in ways I’ll never achieve in my whole lifetime. And after reading Not Love But Delicious Foods, I have to imagine that Yoshinaga would crush on her the same way I do. Thanks for the dream girl, Fumi!
3. Orihime Inoue | Bleach | Tite Kubo | Viz Media – Though she’s clearly set up to be this series’ ditsy, big-boobed babe (and she is in a way, though “ditsy” is really missing the point), two things draw me to Orihime, her hidden strength and her flights of fancy, particularly the latter. Like Tara in Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and, actually, Willow before season five or so), Orihime is someone whose rich inner life spills out into the “real world” in ways that make every day simply fun, for others as well as herself. Yet under all that gentle whimsy, she’s got a will of pure steel. I’d always wish for an Orihime in my life. Her love for very strange food is a bonus as well!
Even more so than with my Valentine’s Day post, I had difficulty paring this down to just three! Both Fullmetal Alchemist‘s kickass mechanic, Winry, and Paradise Kiss‘s elegant Isabella vied powerfully for spots on the list, and it was painful to have to turn them down. Why didn’t I name this column “30 Things Thursday”?? It’s a good thing I didn’t include anime characters as well. I’d have had to do a whole entry on the title character from Kino’s Journey. And the list just goes on and on.
Response for Valentine’s Day was fantastic, and though I was a bit disappointed by how few men were willing to divulge their crushes, I expect plenty of men and women will come through for me today.
So readers, you’ve waited patiently for a month to tell me about your dream girls. Comment away!
Sakuya saysMarch 17, 2011 at 9:18 am
I love your choices! (although, I have to admit I don’t know #2 b/c I’m not familiar w/that series) I think if a hetero girl like me was ever to get swept off her feet by a pretty lady, Nana would be the one. ^_^ She’s just so awesome and it’s very understandable why Hachi has the relationship she does with her. And I totally agree about Orihime as well. She’s very much set up to be some cheap eyecandy, but is actually given personality and character and I love that. I also really love characters that have such a strong will to hide their true strength behind a smiling mask (like Chichiri from Fushigi Yuugi, always my favorite).
I recently finished Gurren Laggan so I think I have to mention Yoko. She is used a lot for fanservice, but inside that scantily clad exterior is one tough cookie. She’s determined and tough and you really suffer along with her through her hardships.
Also, b/c I want to be able to mention Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish) as often as I possibly can, I have to add Tsukimi! I identify with this character so very much. She’s so adorably awkward. I love watching her try to cope with the real world and start to break out of her shell. After seeing the anime, I really, really hope someday the manga will be picked up in America.
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 9:42 am
I’ll have to claim ignorance of your heartfelt choices (I’m so sorry!) but I’m pleased with our points of agreement! :D
Sakuya saysMarch 17, 2011 at 9:53 am
Haha! It’s no problem. But you should totally get acquainted with Kuragehime! XD It is very much worth it. A really great, fun josei series. :3
David Welsh saysMarch 17, 2011 at 9:40 am
I feel someone must make a stand for the women of manga who might not fall into conventional standards of attractiveness:
1. Otose from Gin Tama: sure, she’s a greedy old crone, but there’s something alluring about a woman of substance and experience.
2. Yukari-sensei from Azumanga Daioh: I wouldn’t want her anywhere near my theoretical children or in any way responsible for their theoretical education, because she’s vain, impulsive, selfish, and totally irresponsible, but if those qualities can add up to “hot rebel” in men, I demand that they be deemed equally appealing in women.
3. Haruka and Tammy from Antique Bakery: I’m totally cheating and sneaking in a fourth choice here, but I can’t think of these two separately, and I love their combination of shamelessness and optimism so very, very much. Female announcers, go!
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 9:45 am
I think Yukari-sensei is a bit too much for me (I very rarely go for the “hot rebel” thing) But I’m right there with you on Haruka and Tammy! *heart* I have not read Gin Tama, but hurray for greedy old crones!
Kris saysMarch 17, 2011 at 11:13 am
Heh, it’s not something I’ve given as much thought as I do the boys I crush on. Though I’m not uncomfortable giving it some thought! Winry from Full Metal Alchemist seems like an excellent choice. Loyal, compassionate, strong. But I don’t like picking characters who are hung up on other characters, lol. And she’s way head over heels for Edward. Riza is also another excellent choice from that series, but she’s head over heels for Mustang.
Another character too hung up on someone else to notice little ol’ me, is Julia from Cowboy Bebop. Not only is she my favorite character of the series, she’s one of my favorite characters ever. Physically, her presence in the show is small, but her spirit runs through the entire series.
And thinking some more, I also rather like Moko from Skip Beat. She’s so awkward at showing her emotions, and tries to hide them all, but she can explode in adorable ways. She pretends to be aloof, but is really quite caring, surprisingly thoughtful, and loyal. I would love to see what sort of gift she’d surprise me with in return.
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 11:17 am
Ah, with fictional characters I suppose I don’t find them any less accessible if they’re hung up on someone else. :D
Thanks for putting the thought in, Kristin!
Noura saysMarch 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm
1. Shurei Hong from The Story of Saiunkoku: One of the few female characters that left deep impression on me. Excellent lead character. I like her strong personality, though she is young and know exactly what she wants to do with her life. She may not be the easiest person to win but she sure would make some certain men a great partner.
2. Kyoko Mogami from Skip Beat!: One of the things I like about this character is her innocence. It is actually not that common to find a lead character in a shoujo manga to be innocent, pure and still think the old-fashioned way. She is also a great actress and can switch from one face to another in seconds which I like. If I were a man, I would have liked to go out with such a girl.
3. Minami Asakura from Touch: Love how it was decided from the beginning who she wanted. She decided who she wants as a partner at an early age and stuck to her decision until the end. Love such characters. Not to forget that she is one of Mitsuru Adachi’s best female characters.
I have to say it was a bit hard coming up with three characters but not that hard as not many female characters appeal to me.
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm
I can’t comment on the others, but I give my thumbs up to Shurei!
Estara saysMarch 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm
Yay for Shurei! I so agree! I nominated her in the current ALA Great Teen Novels crop. Maybe you should do so, too. The more support the better.
kireipan saysMarch 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm
If I was in their school I’d totally be a fangirl for most of the cast of KareKano, some of the strongest female characters ever created in manga, they put to shame most of the stereotypical shoujo girls around. There are other female characters whom I like and think are cute for various reasons but the KareKano girls win my respect and white day gifts heads above the rest ^^
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm
Awesome! Thanks for participating! :D
Michelle Smith saysMarch 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm
There’s someone whom I can’t believe hasn’t been mentioned yet! In fact, I rank her over Nana O.!
1. Haruka Tenoh, Sailor Uranus of Sailor Moon
Boyish. Awesome. In a relationship with the mischievous and lovely Michiru (Sailor Neptune).
2. Okay, Nana O. goes here. I’d be as swept away as anyone.
3. Seiya Koh, Sailo Star Fighter in Sailor Moon
To be fair, I kind of love anime Seiya more, because the Star Fighters’ manga appearance is lamentably brief. And in the anime, Seiya is a guy who turns into a girl. But in the manga, she’s always female, so I think she counts! I love anime Seiya for his/her earnest affection for the main character, Usagi, and was actually cheering him/her on to replace the boring Mamoru as her love interest. Plus, s/he flirted with Michiru and made Haruka jealous.
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm
You realize, I hope, that my entire exposure to Sailor Moon consists of the couple of episodes of the anime we watched when you visited me last year. :) And it’s likely to stay that way until Kodansha finally rereleases the manga! :D
Michelle Smith saysMarch 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm
Oh, I know. I was reacting more to the fact that she hadn’t come up in the comments yet. :)
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm
With so many fabulous women in manga, I’m sure we’re all missing someone we’ll regret leaving out later. I bet somebody who has already commented is looking at your choices right now and going, “Doh!” :D
Rij saysMarch 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm
It’s probably a good thing that I’m straight since my taste in women seems to be somewhat extreme.
1. Yuuko Ichihara from xxxHolic. I’d just stare at her, maybe drool a bit and hang onto every word she says.
2. General Olivier Milla Armstrong from Full Metal Alchemist. She’d totally ignore me and I’d become one of those crazy stalkers who follow a celebrity’s every move.
At least my third pick is less extreme.
3. Yukari Fujimaru from Penguin Revolution. She’s competent, sensible, determined and damn cute.
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm
Sadly I have not read Penguin Revolution. But though your first two choices are not my usual types, perhaps, I think if I met them in person, I’d be right there with you on the drooling and stalking. Those are some pretty kick-ass ladies there.
Estara saysMarch 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm
You really should rectify reading Penguin Revolution – as long as CMX manga are still affordable.
Matt Blind saysMarch 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm
N saysMarch 20, 2011 at 11:54 am
I am intrigued by this “Penguin Revolution”. In fact, the only reason I don’t own it already is (probably) due to the fact that it is not actually about penguins *cries bitter tears*
Estara saysMarch 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm
well… true – but the female protagonist sees birds wings on the back of talented actors!
In truth, my favourite manga by this mangaka is Land of the Blindfolded/Mekakushi no Kuni
Katherine Dacey saysMarch 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm
The ladies of InuYasha would be high on my list: Kikyo, Sango, and Kagura are all capable of delivering a good beat-down or standing up to Naraku. I’m also a big fan of Yasamune, the female shogun who appears in the first volume of Ooku: The Inner Chambers. Her fierce intellect and tough demeanor make her one of my all-time favorite manga characters. And I’m fond of Remy Two-Hands from Black Lagoon, if only because she’s so cheerfully vulgar.
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm
Oh, Yasamune, what a great choice!
Kris saysMarch 18, 2011 at 10:22 am
Ooo good choices! Sango is totally awesome. But falls into my “character hung up on another character” category. Melinda may be able to ignore it, but I get hung up on it for some reason.
Yasamune! She is fierce! I’m anxious for the story to go back to her already, particularly after her brief appearance at the end of the most recent volume.
Cheerfully vulgar is an excellent way to describe Revy, though I think she’d be way too much for me to handle. Also, probably always threatening to kill me.
CJ saysMarch 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm
Yamame from Flower of Life is a good one! My other choices of “characters I’d go gay for” would be:
Mokuren from Please Save My Earth-I wouldn’t pick Alice, she’s a bit too shy and reserved, but Mokuren is just awesome!
Mine Kujou from Eternal Sabbath-nerdy is the most awesome thing to me, that goes double for biology nerds (as myself am one). Ironic as it turns off every man she meets in the manga, but I was like “what the hell is wrong with these guys?! That biology nerdiness is just epic!” and man, she just came off as someone I’d wanna be bestest friends with, even if it’s just to nerd out over biology.
Reiko from Peepo Choo- I do believe another 3 things thursday already said why she was so awesome so I’ll just point to it and go “pretty much that”
Haruo Hattori from Club 9-she’s the perfect type of naive! Such a sweet little thing! Naive normally comes as annoying to me, but not with her!
For some anime choices:
Juli Bahana from Infinite Ryvius-gets the respect of everyone on board, she’s both mature but is also rather unsure of herself when not around others, I like that balance.
I’d also include Kino from Kino’s Journey, but she’s a bit young….
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm
Yay, I am so happy someone approves of Yamane! :D
Good choices here all-around.
I don’t think Kino’s that young, though, at least not through the bulk of the series.
Matt Blind saysMarch 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm
Utena from Revolutionary Girl Utena
Rei Hasekura from Maria-sama ga Miteru
& Maggie Mui from Read or Dream
What can I say? – I like the tomboys. :)
[and yes, these are all from anime, but there is so much to be said for *hearing* a character, and not just seeing them on a page.]
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm
Thanks for coming over! :D You know, I actually hear their voices when I read. I’m that much of a nerd.
Matt Blind saysMarch 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm
Alas, I can only hear a character in my head if I have a reliable sample from some other source – otherwise everyone speaks [in my head] in my own resonant baritone:
works for most epic fantasy. not so much with manga. especially shoujo.
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm
I have a very active imagination.
judi(togainunochi) saysMarch 17, 2011 at 8:15 pm
My choices are kind of quirky couples. I know it’s girl’s day, but there is a theme here.
1. Yoshino Takatsuki(girl who wants to be boy) and Shuichi Nitori(boy who wants to be girl) from Hourou Musuko
2. Kuraosuke(dresses as girl) and Tsukimi(girl who thinks she’s a freak instead of a princess) from Kuregahima
3. Asuka Masamune(a girlie man) and Ryo Miyakozuke(man-ish girl) from Otomen.
I want to give them all chocolates for giving me so much enjoyment and relationships to ponder.
lys saysMarch 18, 2011 at 11:56 am
I’ve been thinking about this allllll night and here are my choices!
-Odette (Karakuri Odette)—it’s so fun to watch her figure out all the oddities of what makes people “human.” She says the funniest things with a straight face :D Maybe she can’t help it, but I love her straightforwardness in all things.
-Kyoko (Skip Beat!)—I love her in her wrath, I love her in her sparkly maidenly delusions, I love her when she’s acting a totally awesome part and stunning everyone who watches. She’s an amazing girl; I can’t help but cheer her on!!
-Those two came to me pretty quickly, but I had to ponder my third choice a little longer… and I decided on Kanoko (Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko)—she’s so cynical and tiny and cute! Ahhh!! I love her to bits :D I’m happy to see her making friends and opening up to people, but I also like that she’s confident in herself and doesn’t even think of changing her personality to suit other people.
Jade saysMarch 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm
This one is a little depressing because it has me questioning how flaky might real tastes might be. Also, I’m terrible at gifts.
Yuko Ichihara – She’s like a benign magical version of Liz Taylor in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf. The drinking is maybe a little more out-of-control though. I don’t know what appropriate gift wouldn’t be a condescending intervention or horrible enabling, so probably just a jewellery cop-out. Maybe that’s why she has so much jewellery.
Nana O – A big bundle of issues and self-loathing, but awesome anyway and pretty together when left to sort herself out. I don’t think she’d appreciate a nice gift, so she gets a half-assed gag gift like a rubber dog poop because it’s fun to see her get pissed off.
Aki Hinata – Once upon a time, I found myself more attracted to fictional moms than their fictional teenage daughters and that has been one of my only clues to my own adulthood ever since. Plus glasses. She’ll get a big book of free massage coupons.
Aaron saysMarch 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm
A little late but here goes anything my top three would be
Yui Hirasawa from K-on! because the girl is almost the embodiment of Moe for me I even have one of the color plates of her from the manga cropped and used as my cell phone wall paper it’s just her goofy sweetness that makes me melt.
Taiga Aisaka from toradora! the character that made me fall in love with Tsundere types and probably the only character I would cop to buying a body pillow cover of if I had the money (or guts) it’s the harsh exterior mixed with the soft almost fragile interior makes me think of that line from the Plies song if I may paraphrase “that face you make when your mad it’s so cute.
And number three Fate Testarossa from Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha: simply put it’s the eyes her strawberry red eyes that look perpetually on the verge of tears to her tegic past and shy sweetness it’s again can only be summed up in one word Moe becuese to see her is just fills me with Moe feelings and I’d give her chocolates most definitely
Logan saysMarch 21, 2011 at 3:13 am
I’m been so distracted from manga lately I’m late to the party — and after that Valentines post made me so look forward to this one! Anyways, here goes.
1. Sumire Iwaya (Tramps Like Us) : I love that Sumire is a strong woman, who can kick anyone’s ass and works so hard at her stressful job, but when the day is done she unwinds by kicking back and watching goofy sci-fi shows on TV. Not to mention she is so endearing in all the moments she reveals her imperfections and insecurities to Momo. It never hurts that she’s a knockout with or without makeup too.
2. Odette (Karakuri Odette) : Robot or not, I love this girl. Her combination of naivete and a desire to fight for what she believes in can occasionally get her in trouble, but it doesn’t make the thoughts behind them any less admirable. And she’s gotten to the point where she’s not afraid to be herself, whether that means being a cute girly-girl or using her strength to help people out, and it’s led to a great balance of both.
3. Nana Komatsu (Nana) : She’s got her share of flaws, sure, but doesn’t everybody? Her loving earnestness and care for people are so wonderful, which combined with her infectious excitement and desire to live life to the fullest make her impossible for me not to love.
This was a really hard list to narrow down for me. Honorable mentions go to Nausicaa, both Erza and Lucy from Fairy Tail (I like that entire cast so much), and Sawako Kuronuma from Kimi ni Todoke. I was kind of surprised no one from K-On! made it onto my list (since I’m an rabid fan, collector of K-On! merchandise, and lover of Yui Hirasawa), but I guess as adorable as they may be from afar, the idea of dating a shallow moe-blob just doesn’t seem very appealing.