If you’re ok with it, for females, could you specify your preferences for personality, background, etc? (fictional, or rather should I say, not limited to reality)
Though someone who insists on being PC would contend that “females” is not necessarily the right word here =P.
Also, I’ve been browsing CCY’s blog randomly once or twice recently and I’m quite certain he has some posts on this, but I can’t be bothered to link them here. blah.
Non-fictional is easier to put a pin on than fictional, surprisingly enough. Maybe it’s because I have such “simplistic” criteria for non-fictional girls. But I don’t want to post them here in fear of hurting anyone. If you know me well enough you already definitely know what the #1 criteria is.
As for fictional…well, as I mentioned to Ech when she passed this question on to me, there are different kinds of attraction for me. Let me try to give a few, without delving into examples first, just to give some general framework.
-One is the “ideal romantic partner” attraction. This is a character who I would see as being worthy of being a romantic partner (i.e. if they were a real person). Traits such as, ability to care for me, looks cute, pretty hair, is very affectionate, …
-Another would be the “so cute!~” attraction. This is somewhat analogous to the reason I love Sanrio products so much. You could also call it the “moe factor”. Traits such as, looks cute and innocent, falls into silly situations, is somewhat childish, …
-A third is the “girl side ideal” attraction. This is a character that I look up to as a role model, because I feel that they portray characteristics that I would like to have myself (however possible that may be). Traits such as, pretty hair, likes cute things, is very caring and thoughtful in general, …
-And then we also have the “represents myself” attraction. This would be a character that I am moved deeply by out of a sense of empathy. Someone who undergoes the same sort of troubles that I have myself (whether those troubles are real or “imagined”). Traits such as, shy, unconfident, inability to express self, desire to be protected, helplessness, …
Of course, this isn’t a strict categorization system, and all four of the above blend into each other very well. In fact, I could feasibly imagine someone who would combine all four into one–someone who is like me, and like the person I want to be, and whom I would be very attracted to. Sometimes I think that a fictional girl side me would be that person, but perhaps that’s just me being full of my (other) self =P
Okay, now that we’ve gotten some sort of handle on things, I can start talking about oodles of examples. So, in no particular order…(excuse the stupidly large images; xanga editor has no way of easily resizing things on the fly)
Ayu Tsukimiya is the “so cute!~” attraction. I have to admit I’m not as fond of her as I once was. But back when she was still in the runnings for my favorite character out of the Kanon cast, it was just because of the cutesy innocent moe-ness. She doesn’t even have long hair (major strike in my book), but I guess my admiration for the child-like attributes overcame that and made me fond of her and her “uguu~”. But I know that I wouldn’t ever want Ayu as a romantic partner (too whiny!), and I don’t want to be like her (too whiny!), and I don’t really feel empathy for her. So it’s just the cutesyness at work here.
As a small addendum, we can apply almost the exact same things about Ayu to Fuuko Ibuki from Clannad.
As another small addendum, Fuuko’s “hoeeee~~~” zone-out ^^ mode is something that speaks to my girl-side-ideal though, so that’s something that’s unique to her.
Sanae Furukawa is an interesting case. I think one of the main reasons I like her is because I am really, really fond of her hairstyle. Long hair draping down on either side, AND a ponytail? gwah~ Aside from that I think I appreciate her because of her gentle warm heartedness (though at some points she shows a more somber/serious side iirc). In that sense she is just like Akiko Minase, but Sanae is infinitely preferable simply because Akiko has braided hair. Yes, I’m terrible I know.
Makoto Sawatari is perhaps a combination of the “so cute~” and the empathy. I never liked initial Makoto in any way really–although her hair was pretty, I don’t get along well with bratty characters. But “helpless Makoto” resounded very strongly with me. Probably out of a sense of sorrow and sadness that I felt, because her story was so sad. And I guess it was that emotional impact that led me to appreciate Makoto as a character. But after I played through the Kanon VN, I think the empathy factor became stronger–perhaps because I was going through some rough times as well at the time. And so her sadness was something that resounded with me even further, because I saw it as being similar to my sadness. The quote in the image above resonates very strongly with me personally, and so does the following one:
“She has emotions still. Most of them may be lost, but this can arouse joy still. Because she wanted this so much. She’s been longing to do this for so long. All she’s wanted has been to stand among a group. To bathe in the warmth and comfort of the bonds of human relationships. This tiny, trivial thing has been her fondest desire.”
Yuki Nagato is an even more extreme case of the empathy factor at work. And this is because Nagato-san is someone who I don’t see as cutesy (there is no “uguu~” moeness), and not someone whom I would seek as a romantic partner, and not someone who I look to as a role model. She doesn’t even have long hair!
To be honest, I never really liked Yuki-san that much at first. I thought she was “cool”, but not to an such an extent that I would consider her one of my favorite characters. Not by far. Which reminds me, that’s another category I have yet to mention–the girls who are just “cool”.
But then came the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya film. And probably with it, tons of rabid fans dying out of moe-ness for “Yuki, Disappearance version”. Okay, I have to admit that the moe overload meter was spiking kind of high on my end as well. And actually, this deserves a mention as well, because Yuki’s moe version represents the “girl side ideal” attraction to me. Her shyness and timidity is something that is part of my girl-side ideal (at least, i think…it’s hard to keep it all straight sometimes T_T). And you can see this in me–if you see me in some degree of “girl-mode-ness” you can see that I always become a little more withdrawn and timid. And though that happens almost unconsciously, it’s a conscious choice (confusing, sorry), because that is the kind of girl I would like to be.
But Yuki’s moe version wasn’t the one I was deeply impacted by during the film. No–it was Yuki’s normal self. And I’ve already written about it here, so I’ll save myself the trouble of going through that again.
Uh oh, starting to get confusing now. As someone who is very innocent, shy, and has trouble making new friends, Nagisa both represents my girl side ideal (shy, innocent), but also represents someone whom I empathize with because I am shy, therefore I have some types of personal interaction issues and such. It’s odd that a characteristic that I idealize is something that is one of the sources of trouble in my life, but that’s how it is.
Okay, I feel terrible saying this, but I’ve had Fate in the back of my mind while I was typing the rest of this, and I’m still not sure I can describe why she’s #1 in my book. Perhaps it’s because it’s gone through enough time and depth that it’s almost unconscious now–I’ve had this experience with non-fictional charac—err…people before as well, though perhaps not quite the same extent. Anyhow, I -guess- what Fate has going for her is…a lot. For one, she has the “cool” factor, because she wields all this powerful magic and whatnot, -and- she’s kind of the silent type when you first meet her, which makes her that much cooler. In addition to that there’s the “fake empathy” card. By “fake empathy” I basically mean sympathy–her problems aren’t the same as mine (abusive mother…hm, maybe they are xD), but I can still sympathize with her. Then there’s the pretty hair factor, -and- the cute factor since…she’s cute. …but I guess after all the number one factor is probably her hair. Gah–just goes to show you how shallow my tastes are. >_<
As a small addendum, I think somehow or another I feel like Fate represents me, which is one of the reasons I replaced Sasami (more on -her- later) with Fate as my avatar/icon for everything. Probably has something to do with her quiet determination.
Kirby has the cutesy cuteness factor going on, so in that extent this is almost the same thing as my like for Sanrio characters. The only difference is that Kirby is cute AND kick-ass, so he has the “cool” factor as well.
Saga Bergman (from A Little Snow Fairy Sugar/Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar) does not have long hair. She does not represent my girl side ideal (too uptight and worrisome). She isn’t moemoe cute. She doesn’t represent myself (not the same problems). And she isn’t kickass. So what -does- she have going for her? Perhaps it’s partly just because I liked Snow Fairy Sugar as a whole, but I think one main reason is that she is earnest, thoughtful, and tries her best, which I guess falls into an “earnest, hardworking, admirable” category. And the other huge reason, which is the fact that she plays the piano, and that the song that she always plays is really beautiful.
Sasami Masaki Jurai would also probably fall under the category of “hardworking, earnest, …” because she’s so nice and thoughtful. Such a good kid!~ But I think you could also argue that she has the moe-moe cuteness. It doesn’t seem like it because moemoecutesyness has come a long way since then, but I think you could still consider it to be cuteness. But she also has a bit of “represents my ideal” because helping others out is very important to me. I very strongly associate myself with the idea of an Enneagram Type Two.
You might think Ushio Okazaki mainly has the cuteness card going for her, which is partly true, but I think the empathy factor has a bigger role in my admiration for her, because of her “is it okay to let it all out now?”, which was instant direct stab to heart, no saving throw.
Shuuichi Nitori (on the left) from Horo Musuko (Hourou Musuko/blah) wields the strongest empathy card of them all. Just look at this:
Shūichi, one of the two protagonists, is a young, effeminate boy who at the beginning of Wandering Son is in the fifth grade of elementary school. Otherwise known by his nicknames Shū (シュウ?) and Nitorin (にとりん?), he is a boy who wants to become a girl and often cross-dresses to assume the role of the opposite sex. Shūichi is described as cute by many of the other characters, and is able to appear as a girl when cross-dressing due to his feminine-looking face and physical build. Shūichi enjoys wearing clothes which make him look cute, and while initially not in the habit of cross-dressing, his friends Yoshino Takatsuki and Saori Chiba encourage him to dress and act femininely. As Shūichi grows up, he becomes increasingly concerned about the changes his body is undergoing due to puberty such as the growing of body hair, his voice becoming deeper, and the onset of pimples. Shūichi exhibits signs of gender identity disorder and he displays an outward attraction to two girls in the series—Yoshino and Anna Suehiro, whom he dates for a time in junior high, until she breaks up with him.
Shūichi does not show any outward interest in other activities akin to a boy his age, such as playing any sports, and is usually seen doing indoor activities. Shūichi enjoys and is skillful in baking sweet foods, though he is never shown cooking other more conventional foods. After starting an exchange diary with Yoshino, Shūichi becomes interested in writing stories, and even joins the drama club as a writer with Saori in junior high school after they co-write a rendition of Romeo and Juliet performed by members of their class. Shūichi has a very honest personality, which generally makes it easy for him to get along well with others. He tends to have an obedient, dutiful attitude, though as he grows up and enters puberty, he sometimes experiences outbursts of emotion which contrast his usual quiet nature. Shūichi can be overly sensitive at times, and is often shown crying in front of others. Due to his personality, it is easier for him to associate with girls his age, and as such he has very few male friends.
Hiiragi Kagami is different than all of the characters we’ve looked at so far. What’s the number one thing she’s got going for her?
…ok it’s her hair. m(_ _)m Aside from that, it’s her sarcastic attitude which makes me laugh. I can be like that at times too.
As an interesting addendum, it’s interesting to look at the four main lucky star characters and see how they fit in. Even though none of the other ones are characters whom I admire nearly as much as Kagami, you can see that Konata would be something like “represents my boy side” which is odd and interesting, then Ryou Tsukasa would represent a mix of cutesy-ness and girl-side-ideal, and Miyuki would be the pure moe-cutesy one (though I feel like her hair is lacking, somehow).
Kyou Fujibayashi, or “more realistic Kagami”, is appealing to me less so because of the sarcastic comedy moments, and more because of her hair the fact that she is “the responsible onee-chan” which appeals to my desire for a “perfect” onee-san character in my life. So Kyou appeals to me not only because she has the best hair in Clannad, but because I could imagine her taking care of me very well. In that sense, although I’m not 100% certain she would be the kind of person I would associate with in real life (at times she seems like she might be a tad bit too driven and ambitious), she might be the first real example of “possible ideal romantic partner” because of that strength. But that’s not a for sure thing.
Shana also has a strong-willed personality…but not one that I like that much. I don’t like the standard tsundere characters that much because it’s too much brattiness for me to handle. However, the things that cause me to like Shana are the kick-assery factor, and………okay you guessed it, her hair. (starting to notice trends here?)
The number one thing Nayuki has over all of the other girls in Kanon (except possibly Makoto) is………okay, I’m not even going to say it this time; you should already know without me saying by now. But! She also has some other things going for her. First is the girl side ideal–she really likes cute things (note the keroppi doll, snow usagi, love of piroshiki, etc). And second is a bit of empathy factor for being someone who has repressed feelings for Yuichi that never reach fruition (well, I guess it depends…).
I don’t consider Kaede Fuyou of Shuffle! to be one of my most admired characters, actually. But I thought I might as well toss her in here as another example of the empathy thing at work, because of her relationship with Rin. Hm, wonder if I’d like the Shuffle VN more than the anime (which I did not enjoy quite that much; it was alright) [/offtopic]
Mika Inamori (whom I just know as “Mikan”) from Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight! is cutesy (innocent, cute), earnest (like sasami), shy (so she represents the girl side ideal), and her worries about getting to know Mei are somewhat reminiscent of some of my personal interaction issues at times. So she covers a lot of bases pretty well, which is probably why she beats out Mei (who has long hair!) for top Manabi Straight character. Though it may also be because I think Mikan’s hairpin and hairstyle is adorable as well. Gah.
And last of all, we have Setsumi from the Narcissu VN, who bring about both a very strong sympathy card, and also a fragile and reserved personality, which I appreciate both in myself and in others.
Alright, I think that was way more examples than necessary. But hopefully that makes some sense now. You can see that almost none of my favorite characters are characters who I immediately think “I wish I could be in a romantic relationship with them”–I don’t think I’ve ever fallen in love with a fictional character in that way. I could say more on -that- statement, but I think I’m done analyzing for now. Ahem. Anyhow, instead, most of these characters would be more classified as “strong admiration”. In the case of Fate-sama, maybe “obsessive admiration”, but I wouldn’t “call it love”, even though I would say that I love Fate-sama. If that makes any sense.
Another somewhat related post, though not quite as thought out as it could have been, and probably doesn’t bring anything new to the table at all: