Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

15 September 2007: Meia is the best character in VanDread

Meia Gisborn
Meia Gisborn.

I love Meia. That's not saying anything; everyone loves Meia. And it's only mostly because Meia is fully awesome.

Meia before bed
Asuka:Hair Clips::Meia:Face Thingy.

It's also because we first see Meia as a strong, confident, standoffish leader that the other characters look up to and respect, then get back-to-back episodes revealing her vulnerable side. It's a tried-and-true formula designed to evoke admiration, sympathy, and empathy in the viewer, and it works here.

Meia captures Bart
Meia captures Bart.

We go from an extremely fit, no-nonsense warrior who stops Bart cold with a fist and some cameltoe, to a wounded girl who hallucinates about running while crying. Naturally, Meia is going to be a viewer favorite.

Meia from episode two
Meia from episode two.

Also, her character design gets softer and prettier. Compare the episode two shot above with the episode six shot below. Both feature similar poses, but the latter clearly appears more engaging and personable.

Meia from episode six
Meia from episode six.

Contributing significantly to Meia's appeal is the superb voice acting of Fumiko Orikasa. She's great as Meia, and I still consider it to be one of her better roles. Re-watching VanDread reminds me how much I miss her work. Now that she has a steady starring role as Rukia in Bleach (which I've long stopped watching), I have to wonder if maybe she could have found time to be in five or six other shows if she wasn't lost in neverending Shounen Land.

Meia crying while running
Meia running while crying.

In related news, I would like to nominate "crying while running" for the moe melting pot.

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