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News Article
Not Just Another Pretty Face
Anonymous writes: Tired of cliché high school girls who fall madly in love with the first guy who abuses them? Feel like you could scream if you see another panty shot? Want a break from all of the anime that justifies the claim that anime is demeaning and degrading toward women? Then here are six anime that are sure to be a breath of fresh air.

1. Fruits Basket-Tohru Honda
Tohru Honda is forced to live in a tent due to some rather tragic circumstances. Unknown to Tohru, she has pitched her tent on Sohma land. When the Sohma's find out, they offer to let her stay in their home and ask her to be their housekeeper in exchange for rent. There's just one little thing: the Sohma Family is cursed. It seems they change into the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac when they are hugged by a member of the opposite sex, when they are sick, or when their bodies come under a great deal of stress.

-What makes Tohru so cool?
At first she might not seem like anything special, and in fact she really isn’t by anime heroine standards. She’s just a normal student, trying to survive the sometimes unbelievably harsh trials of life. What makes Tohru’s character so strong is in fact her weakness and moreover, her determination to overcome her weakness so that she can be a pillar of support her loved ones.

2. Boys over Flowers-Tsukushi Makino
Makino is forced to go to an elite high school by her parents in hopes that she will meet and marry one of the rich socialite students that also attend. Naturally the working class Makino doesn't fit in, and she longs for the two years to pass quickly and quietly. Her wish is promptly destroyed when she defends her friend from a group called the F4 and finds a red tag in her locker for standing up the snobbish bullies. The red tag makes her an outcast and everyone goes out of their way to make Makino's life a living hell and drive her out of the school. The situation gets confusing when Makino finds herself falling for the quietest, strangest member of the F4 and finds the brazen leader of the F4 falling for her!

-What makes Makino so cool?
It doesn’t take Makino long to obliterate the weak and unsure schoolgirl mold that you see in so many anime. She stands up to the scariest bullies in school, something that has never been done before, at the risk of becoming an outcast. No matter the tactics used Makino doesn’t break, proving that some of the most endearing female characters are also the toughest.

3. Noir-Mireille Bouquet/Kirika Yumura
Noir is the story of two female assassins who are bound together by events of the past. Mireille Bouquet has been working as a successful assassin for some time when she gets a mysterious e-mail that changes her life. The e-mail is from a high school girl named Kirika Yumura who can’t remember her past or anything about who she is. Though she doesn’t remember her past, one of the only clues that she holds leads her to Mireille. Together they try to figure out the mysteries of the past while trying to stay alive.

What makes Mireille/Kirika/Chloe so cool?
This anime is full of your not-so-average girls. They are all strong, smart, and you never see their panties once. Just be warned that most of the gals in this anime are assassins so be prepared for violence.

4. Twelve Kingdoms-Youko
Youko feels that she has never fit in despite being a model student. She finds out why when a mysterious man named Keiki shows up and bows before her, swearing his eternal loyalty and protection. Keiki whisks Youko and two of her friends to a mystical world of kings, demons, and unicorns. Despite his promise, Keiki disappears and the three students find themselves alone and struggling for survival. To make matters worse, they are hated for being foreign, there is a price on their heads, demons attack frequently, and only Youko can speak the native language.

-What makes Youko so cool?
Youko is another character that knows her weaknesses and strives to over come them. She eventually learns to trust herself and face obstacles in her own way.

5. Vampire Princess Miyu-Miyu
To all my lovers of angst, this anime is for you. Miyu is a vampire who wanders the earth throughout time sending shinma (god/demons who tend to enjoy playing with humans) back to the darkness from which they escaped. Her only companion is Larva, a western shinma who swore to protect Miyu and stay with her forever after she defeated him in battle.

-What makes Miyu so cool?
Miyu is able to carry on for hundreds of years despite all the heartbreak that comes her way. She sees the sad and often tragic side of human existence but she holds fast and carries on with her mission.

6. Gokusen-Kumiko Yamaguchi
Kumiko has always wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember. She went to college, worked hard, and now her dream has become a reality when she gets hired at a less-than-reputable school. The only problem is that she is the next in line to inherit a powerful yakuza family, a fact that will end her blossoming teaching career before it even starts.

-What makes Kumiko so cool?
Kumiko is another tough and cunning heroine. She is able to balance her Yakuza life and keep her teaching career going, all while dealing with the worst class in school. She can handle anything that the world throws at her and she is definitely a heroine that you don’t want to mess with.
Posted by Manick on August 25th 3:15am Comments ( 4 )  [ View ]  [ Add ]
Comments

» Unknown on August 25th, 2005, 11:21pm

I'll will personally recommend Noir, The Twelve Kingdoms, Vampire Princess Miyu and Gokusen, and I do have them all in my collection ^-^. Those are the series you really want to have if you're looking for the "special" type of female characters that you don't usually encounter in the anime and manga.

- The Wallflower (Yamatonadeshiko Shichihenge) - Sunako Nakahara
"Sunako is dark loner who loves horror movies. When her aunt, the landlady of a boarding house, runs off with her boyfriend, Sunako is forced to live with four handsome guys. Sunako's aunt makes a deal with the boys, which cause nothing but trouble for Sunako. "Make Sunako into a lady, and your rent will be free." The only problem is that Sunako isn't exactly a co-operative partner in the process, and so we witness the hardship these four guys undergo in order to turn a "creature of darkness" into a "shining lady of light"."

- Just to quote one of the manga's characters:
"Sunako-chan is totally cool, super gorgeous and she kicks ass in a fight. You girls ain't got nothing on her." - Noi

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» Unknown on August 29th, 2005, 2:40pm

Feel like you could scream if you see another panty shot?

Actually, no. I can't get enough of this!

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» Unknown on August 30th, 2005, 3:41am

I have seen/read all of these except Vampire Princess Miyu-Miyu and I have to agree whole heartedly. Each of these were so fun because of their strong characters and a bit of a refusal to do the standard jokes. But I have to push Twelve Kingdoms up there a bit higher- that anime is just breath taking. I am currently wading through the books because it just wasnt enough of that world.

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» Unknown on August 31st, 2005, 10:00pm

Is this supposed to be a bad joke? I mean, Noir has got to be one of the most disgustingly clichèd series in existence. Invincible, emotionless girls with guns, killing millions of guys... yeah, like that hasn't been done to death.
In fact, the whole stupid "strong girl" is a much bigger clichè than the pantyshots (though they're often combined). What makes it really bad is that the authors usually give the girls supernatural powers or extreme physical strength in order to make them strong, instead of giving them a strong will or an interesting personality. Once you give girls equal or better physical attributes than men, you suddenly remove a large portion of the difference between men and women, and you end up with a bland, pathetic show full of clichès. I'd much rather watch a show where a girl uses her own resourcefulness, rather than a show that turns her into a heman with breasts.

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