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Dated 14 February 2007: Everything I know about women I learned from Bing Crosby

She may be weary.

George and Miyuki

Young girls they do get weary

Dominic and Anemone

Wearing that same old shabby dress.

Asuka

And when she gets weary

Dominic and Anemone

Try a little tenderness.

Miyuki and George

It's not just sentimental.

Asuka and Kaji

She has her grief and care.

Minmay and Hikaru

And a word that's soft and gentle

George and Miyuki

Makes it easier to bear.

Dated 13 August 2007: Incorruptible Loyalty. In consideration of two-dimensional crushes

Shinji, Rei, Mana, and Asuka
Shinji is aghast. Rei should be ashamed.
Asuka loves Kaji. And Mana is quite the sticker-whore.

Who is the best anime/manga character of all time? Of ALL TIME. This is a question frequently discussed (usually inadvertently) in many forums and channels (although the term "best" is usually taken to mean "hottest"). These discussions often arise in the form of binary comparisons of characters from popular contemporary shows such as "Teana > Subaru" or "Shamal > Signum" that ultimately lead to final decrees such as "FATE > *."

Nanoha and Fate
Nanoha and Fate.
Fate > Nanoha.

Whatever the cause, and regardless of form, one thing is certain: Anime fans are fickle. Inevitably, their favorite characters are quickly replaced season by season; demonstrations and pronouncements of current favorites (such as message board avatars) are ephemeral, soon replaced, and sooner forgotten.

Saber, Emiya, and Rin
Saber, Emiya, and Rin.
Rin > Saber.

I've mentioned this phenomenon among anime fans in the past, and the general consensus seems to be that this flightiness is entirely normal. After all, they are fully cognizant of the fact that their favorites cannot love them back; these fans are not delusional even as they compulsively download and hoard pictures of their favorite characters and collect figurines and paraphernalia emblazoned with their likenesses, only to begin the cycle anew next season when they develop a new favorite in a month or two.

Meyrin, Athrun, and Lunamaria
Meyrin, Athrun, and Lunamaria.
Meyrin > Lunamaria.

I am not damning this behavior. I am merely setting the stage for the real object of my curiosity: Why is it so rare to find a fan with unshakable, indefatigable, incorruptible loyalty to a single character—one for whom there is no superior, no equal, no rival, no successor? To be honest, in the past seven or eight years during which anime emerged as my primary hobby, I can think of very few people who appear completely devoted to a single character. Bear in mind that this is a fandom in which nearly unimaginable perversions, grandiose neuroses, and unspeakable habits are not at all uncommon. And yet, I know of far more people who genuinely enjoy, for example, guro than I know people for whom there is adamantly only one best character. Are the latter the more perverse, since they are the more rare?

Souju and Sara
Souju and Sara.
Souju > Sara.

Perhaps this behavior is related to the aforementioned tendency to associate "best character" with "hottest character." Relying on the old standard, "familiarity breeds contempt," (or the more modern axiom, "show me a hot girl, and I'll show you a guy who's tired of fucking her"), it seems natural that people who are fully aware their 2-D love affairs will remain unrequited must quickly find and fixate on new characters as their fervor for their current favorite inevitably fades. So, do the rare Incorruptible Few not realize that their idols can't love them back, or is it that they just don't care?

Sara
Sara.
A Little Princess > The Secret Garden. Wait....

My optimism tells me it is the latter. For that reason, as far as I am concerned, for these few, their unique peculiarity is an attribute—their uncommon determined, dedicated devotion their defining characteristic. And so, so damning if I am wrong.

Soryu Asuka Langley
P.S. Asuka > *
Soryu Asuka Langley

Dated 26 December 2008: Leftover Christmas Cake. In consideration of two-dimensional spinsters

Yuri
Yuri.

Toradora! prominently features an unmarried woman over the age of 25: Yuri, the teacher (who is actually more than just a little bit past 25). Today's entry celebrates this under-appreciated anime staple.

Haruka
Haruka.

Tokimeki Memorial ~Only Love~ features Haruka, a lonely 27-year-old who wiles away her time drinking Mexico Beer and playing Tokimeki Memorial Online, quietly envious of her preternaturally perfect student, Sayuri.

Yukari and Nyamo
Yukari and Nyamo strike out after a night trolling for husbands.

Yukari and Nyamo from Azumanga Daioh are unlucky in love, despite being the best teachers in the history of anime. (Yes, better than GTO.)

Kagome
Kagome.

According the the Mao-chan website, Kagome is 27 years old. She is reassigned to teach at Mao's school. Also, she is desperately in love with Mao's grandfather.

Naturally there are numerous other Christmas Cake characters I am omitting, but let us not dilute attention from these five sweethearts today by crowding the room, eh. You're the BEST GIRLS today, ladies.

Dated 27 January 2009: No Means No

Yumi and Yoshino
Kotori
Mitsuki

Dated 14 February 2009: In re Girls With Bats

Shimizu Kaoru
Kaoru is the Best Girl in Major. Ryoko has more game, but Kaoru is a peach.

Kasumi
Kasumi from Hand Maid May is one of anime's All Time Babes,
and only partly because she's a natural right-hander
who takes baseball seriously enough to bat left.

Minori
Minori also deserves special mention for batting left and throwing right...

Minori
...and for being kinda broken inside.

Chidori Kaname
Chidori vents some aggression.

Narue
It's Narue's World. We're just living in it.

Mamini
Mamini is this post's Mendoza Line.

Sakaki
Sakaki is pretty athletic, but I'm scoring that at bat E-9.

Iizuka
Iizuka also bats left, but she's a natural southpaw.
I doubt she can hit, but her on-base percentage is pretty good.

Momo and Daniel
I guess Daniel isn't technically a bat, but it's kinda academic, since
you can't really let Momo from Shinigami no Ballad play ball.
People would die.

Dated 24 February 2009: Im@s Nine ~Xenoglossia~

Speaking of Not Idolm@ster Baseball, I would totally watch and/or play actual Idolm@ster Baseball. There are certainly enough girls to field a team. Here's my lineup:

  1. Batting lead-off, playing left field: Iori. She's got a small strike zone and hopefully some speed.
  2. Batting second, playing third base: Chihaya. She seems disciplined enough to be patient at the plate and hit behind the runner. I'm hoping she has a good enough arm for third. I'm not expecting her to be Brooks Robinson or anything, but I'd hope the Best Girl could handle the hot corner.
  3. Makoto bats third and plays center field. As the most masculine of the girls, I'm hoping she's the most athletic.
  4. Azusa bats cleanup and plays first base. There aren't a lot of big Idolmaster girls, so she'll have to do.
  5. Ritsuko bats fifth, catches. You need someone smart behind the plate to call the game, especially if your starting pitcher is a crybaby.
  6. Yayoi bats sixth, plays right field. I'd rather have someone with a stronger arm in right, but I don't even know if any of these girls can throw. Criminy, I've got a 13-year-old girl playing right field. That's no good.
  7. Ami bats seventh, plays second. As one of the weenie kids, I can't see her being much use outside the middle infield.
  8. Mami bats eights, plays shortstop. She and Ami are twins, so I'm trusting them to be on the same mental wavelength and hopefully be a good double-play combo.
  9. Yukiho is my starting pitcher, bats last. As a narcoleptic, I'm counting on her to be well rested.

Idolm@ster Baseball, Azusa edition
If Azusa's grip is normally this bad, maybe
I don't want her batting fourth after all.

So who do I have left? Haruka rides the pine. As the clumsy girl, I need to leave her as a pinch hitter because she'd be a defensive liability. Miki is a mid-season addition who starts out as a relief pitcher and perhaps moves into the regular rotation. Well, I say "rotation," but the 765 Idols only have one pitcher so far. Naturally, Producer is the manager, and a dead ringer for Earl Weaver besides.

Idolm@ster Baseball
There has to be an Idolm@ster version of
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Has to be.

Of course, this lineup is going to require some adjustments once I determine which players are left-handed or, say, incapable of hitting a curve ball. However, I think this team stands a chance against the Taisho Yakyuu Musume bunch. I'm afraid the Idols would probably get crushed by Hatsune Miku's baseball team, though. The damn Vocaloids have Kaito "The Hammer" in their lineup.

Dated 15 March 2009: I am REALLY glad Maria-sama ga Miteru was licensed by RightStuf instead of ADV

Yoshino, Eriko, and Rei

What is Marimite?

Shimako and Sei

Marimite is...

Yumi and Sachiko

ACTION!

Eriko, Sei, and Yumi

SCI-FI!

Yoshino and Minako

COMEDY!

Rei

MARTIAL ARTS!

Yumi and Sei

Marimite is...

Yumi's thighs

STRAIGHT FROM JAPAN!

Yumi's is surprised

TOTALLY UNEXPECTED!

Sei molests Yumi

NOT KID'S STUFF!

Youko, Eriko, Shimako, Sachiko, Yumi, Sei, Rei, and Yoshino

Marimite is...

Yumi, Yoshino, and Shimako

ON RIGHT NOW!

Yumi and Sachiko

24 HOURS A DAY!

Dated 9 October 2009: Zero Episode Test begins blogging Kobato ~ L@@K

I don't normally do this, but I encourage all y'all to check out the best new anime blog to come out in the last 24 hours—possibly all week: The revolutionary Zero Episode Test is at this very moment redefining what it means to be an anime blogger in new and exciting ways.

No, I'm dead serious.