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I love most anime characters, but occasionally, one comes along who I dread to see each time they appear. Prince Soma from Kuroshitsuji is such a character for me. He’s a pathetic, spoiled brat, who eventually realizes this about himself, and you start to sympathize with him. But in the manga, he just never freakin’ seems to go away and I say ‘oh no’ every time he’s back. Sorry, Prince Soma, you are pretty to look at but please shut your mouth.

Pic of Prince Soma from Kuroshitsuji anime

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Pic of Xerxes BreakTo the degree that it is possible to have a crush on an imaginary character who is drawn, I would nominate Xerxes Break from Pandora Hearts as my crush. He’s a trickster figure, wizard, clown, court jester and parasol & cane-wielding girly man all rolled into one. He’s sadomasochistic, cunning, goofy, and wears some seriously stylin’ threads.  You would never guess that his fey exterior would hide such strength and power, or that his obfuscating stupidity would hide a nearly psychic level of intelligence, and that tension puts him high on the scale of smexy.

 

Surely you want to know more and see the pictures, ah? )
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Pandora Hearts is undoubtedly my favorite right now. The reread value on this story is so high…it seriously gets better each time you read it. It’s the only one I’ve bothered to buy the Japanese volumes of (so I can see the pictures clearly, even though I can read very little Japanese). It’s the one I write Fanfiction for, and the one I wish someone around me actually had read so that I would have someone to talk about it with. (Hello? Husband?)

 

Ah well, I’m slowly finding an online community of Pandora Hearts-obsessed virtual friends…thank you all for being here and helping me keep my sanity. There will be much more raving here about Pandora Hearts and its characters in the months to come, I’m sure.

 

Click the Pandora Hearts tag and scroll down to see what I’ve already blathered about so far.

Pic of some of the main characters of Pandora Hearts

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Pic from What's Michael...cat horrified on shampoo bottle
Years ago, I stumbled upon What's Michael, and bought every volume. Though it is a far cry from the bishounen goodness I am immersing myself in these days, it still holds a special place in my heart as my very first manga. Click the What's Michael tag below and you can read more about it.

In this pic, you can see a good example of the wonderful facial expressions this mangaka is capable of drawing, as this cat sweats in horror of seeing a cat shampoo bottle.
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One of the challenges of writing characters who have names that are not commonly found in your culture is that you don’t usually have a clear idea what those names connote for people. For example, in the United States, certain names bring certain stereotypical images to mind, and when a mangaka uses one of those names for a character and it does not fit, the result can be rather disconcerting.
 

Be amused by the pictures )

 

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15-year old Oz Vessalius is apparently the “key” to obtaining the Will of Abyss and has already contracted with one of the most powerful and feared chains of the Abyss, the dreaded B-Rabbit. If you haven’t read or seen Pandora Hearts, you have no idea what I just said.

 Pic of Oz Vessalius by Jun Mochizuki

So let me tell you some things even a non-otaku could understand: )

 

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15-year old Allen Walker of D. Gray-man charmed me into downloading 103 episodes of anime, most of which I have not watched. I’m currently on book 8 of the series, and am enjoying it for the most part. But I have to say at least a third of my enjoyment is simply due to the presence of this sweet little cursed exorcist with a deformed arm and an eye that can detect the presence of demons.

 

Read more and see the pics... )

 

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14-year old Miharu Rokujou’s body contains the text of the Shinra Bansho…the most powerful of the ninja forbidden arts. Miharu is trying to fight his destiny with apathy, but that tactic is doomed to failure. He’s got to start caring at some point…and what he eventually learns to care about and why forms the emotional heart of the story of Nabari No Ou.

 Pic of Miharu Rokujou

 

Read more and see the pics... )

 

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Few kids have a sadder past than (roughly 14 year old) Teito Klein from 07-Ghost. [spoilers ahoy] His Dad was killed, he was sent into slavery and then the army. His worst enemy killed his best friend. He’s ill prepared to take on the task he was born to do in the world. Teito has a ton of growing up to do, and he’s going to do it under the care of a buff, porn-loving Bishop who is slowly being overtaken by evil.

 

Read more and see the pics... )

 

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Let me start with an admission. I know that the animation in Japanese anime is of poor quality compared to the latest stuff coming out of Hollywood animation studios. I’ve seen how they use the same background and just float the characters over it. I’ve see how lame the characters look when they are walking or running. I can recognize that they are taking shortcuts to save time and effort in the animation process. But:

I .

don’t.

care. 

Now, with that out of the way, let me tell you why I rarely watch live action movies and TV any more, unless they involve lots of humor or martial arts fight scenes.

Wanna know more? )

 

 

 

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12 year old Ciel Phantomhive (of Kuroshitsuji) has been through a lot in his short life. His parents killed, his house burned down, tortured and tormented…and then, in a fit of God-hating frustration, he makes a contract with a demon, whom he names Sebastian. Sebastian is supposed to keep him alive until he enacts his version of revenge, and then, Sebastian will eat Ciel’s soul in exchange.

 Pic of Ciel Phantomhive

Read more... )

 

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I have been reading mostly shounen manga lately, which is marketed toward teenage boys. Naturally, boys and teen boys are the main protagonists of such manga. So here I am going to profile some of the boy heroes of the manga I’ve been reading.

 

They are too young to be sexy in my opinion, too male to be female or genderqueer and so that’s why they are boy heroes in manga [pachi pachi…sis boom bah!].

 

Get ready for the nouveau testosterone parade.

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Grelle is one of those love him or hate him sort of characters. I have to say, that if you are reading/watching Kuroshitsuji and you haven’t gotten through the Jack the Ripper story arc yet, much of what I’m about to say will be spoilers.

 

I’m including Grelle as genderqueer because although he is male, he has said himself in a character guide that he thinks God should have made him a woman. Indeed, he prances about, acts quite girly at times, and wants to have Sebastian’s babies.

Read more and see the pics... )

 

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We don’t know much about Ouka at this point in the story of 07-Ghost, but in a story that is curiously void of good female characters, Ouka stands out. It’s not just the contrast between her and the bubbly nuns and mermaid in the story, however. She’s got enough strong characteristics to hold her own.

 

Read more and see the pics... )

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Raikou Shimizu from Nabari No Ou is the classic pretty boy, but he’s not just standing around looking fey with his pink hair, he’s rocking the house with his sword and his personality. Like his sister Raimei, he has strong beliefs and backs them up with action. He’s a lousy driver and a bit of a sadist, but you can’t help but side with this not-so-bad guy after getting to know him.

 

Read more and see the pics... )


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Okay, this is another weird pick on my part, but I have no shame in admitting that this white-haired retired Grim Reaper who works as an undertaker is pretty high on the heat scale for me. Though he shows up sporadically in Kuroshitsuji, he’s got a special place in my heart.
Read more and see the pics... )
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Yoite from Nabari No Ou presents as a male (albeit one who is described as “beautiful” and having long eyelashes), and male pronouns are used throughout the majority of the story. But about halfway through you find out he is “neither male nor female” and this gender confusion may have contributed to his sense of having no place in the world.

 Pic of Yoite

Read more... )

 

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Kuroyuri from 07-Ghost is of undetermined gender, and Wikipedia, describes hir in genderneutral terms (with invented pronouns like sie and hir), so I will try to do the same. Sie used “boku” as an “I” pronoun in Japanese, which is usually used by boys and tomboys.

 
Shot of Kuroyuri from 07-Ghost anime

 

Read more and see more pics... )

 

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Not everyone in this world can be neatly categorized into “male” or “female.” I’ll be happy when our culture (I’m in the USA) has evolved enough to include intersex and differently gendered people in all aspects of life. A good start would be non-gender specific bathrooms everywhere, and a choice for “other” in the sex category on the census.

 

Manga is great for including characters whose gender is unclear or specifically neither male nor female. I’ll be profiling such characters in manga as I come across them.

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Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji is a classic Victorian-era hottie. Rakish hair, looks good in a butler suit, can catch a dart between his fingers without even looking and leaps tall buildings in a single bound. He may be a demon, but he’s got the face of an angel.

 

Read more and see the pics... )

 

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