What do the characters we like say about us?

Apparently I am easier to read than a picture book. It seems that people are rather easily able to tell which characters I like from series that I watch. This revelation led Narutaki and I to have a long conversation not only about what types of characters we liked but what did it say about us as people. Do your favorite characters give you and others insight into who you are? Do they reflect any pattern in the types of friends you make or people you date? Do they say anything about how you view yourself or others? Narutaki and I are going to share three different charters that exemplify types of characters we enjoy and one oddball character that does not fit our standard categories. We then have a little challenge for all of our readers.

A good deal of us put a lot of love into the characters that we like and there is no denying that sometimes it can go over the top. But that is neither here nor there in this case. There are grand ideas abound! Specifically, I am constantly wondering just how much the characters people like actually say about them. And I move in wide circles from thinking it is the window to someone’s soul to convincing myself it means absolutely nothing, and then back again. It would be egregious not to mention that I am thinking about the personalities of characters rather than looks. Frankly, looks tell me nothing about anyone, sure I may be able to pick out another character they enjoy on the surface but it doesn’t delve very deep.  Now who a character is, there there might just be something to be learned about someone. To further matters along in a fun way, we will be giving you a glimpse at some of the characters that are near and dear to us. Happy analyzing!

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Anime and Manga of the Month: August

Anime of the Month
Irresponsible Captain Tylor by Tatsunoko Production

The United Planets Space Force and the Raalgon Empire have been at war for years. Justy Ueki Tylor is a slacker determined to make an easy life for himself by joining the UPSF. In his estimation, being a part of the military is easy because they give you free room, board, and clothing. Through a bizarre chain of events Tylor becomes the captain of his own ship despite the fact that he has no real experience. Since the top brass wish to have nothing to do with Tylor they assign him to the Soyokaze, the worst ship in the fleet with every problem case in the space forces. Tylor quickly learns that the crew have forced out every other captain. Tylor seems to survive battle after battle and assassination attempt after assassination attempt of the enemy (and his own crew) through sheer luck. But is Tylor the luckiest man in space or is their some method to his madness?

Irresponsible Captain Tylor can be comedic, dramatic, suspenseful, and action-packed all in one episode. No matter what is going on, the show always exudes an upbeat feeling. The changing between tone never feels abrupt because it has a consistent theme of positivity. Most of the crew is textbook eccentric but they are all fun variations on the stock characters. From the crazy marines to the ships doctor who can only work when drunk they are all guaranteed to bring big ole smile to your face. I would be remiss not to mention that I love Yuriko Star. She is a great, strong female character. She acts as a good foil to Tylor while still being a pleasant, feminine part of the crew.

Tylor himself sells this show. He is easily one of the most entertaining characters in anime. Tylor is an amusing character and every scene with him is infused with a sense of whimsy and energy. He is instantly likable and disarmingly charming.

Manga of the Month
Sugar Sugar Rune by Moyoco Anno

Chocolat and Vanilla are two young witches competing to become queen of their realm. A contest is the way to settle things and the girls are whisked off to the human world. Their mission is to capture people’s hearts but really they are capturing emotions given off by the heart. Chocolat is a hyper, over the top, tomboy while Vanilla is a shy, sweet, feminine girl. Their friendship is built on understanding and knowing they compliment each other. A constant struggle occurs for Chocolat to be herself or to win more hearts (as she quickly learns most guys love Vanilla’s personality). There is also nice dialogue about what it means to take someone’s emotions because once you capture them they forget them (or how they felt about you). Enter Pierre, a boy with a cold demeanor, who Chocolat is determined to win over, but he has his own agenda. This manga’s art certainly sets it apart from a lot of young girls series. The manga-ka is better known for her josei work but actually Sugar Sugar Rune is a perfectly done (and award-winning) children’s manga. It exudes fun and friendship and gives an interesting spin to the magical girl concept.