#4 Who is your favourite female anime character?
Yuuko Ichihara is the anti-heroine of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and XXXHOLiC. Yuuko has long been the lady love of my life and whilst there are many reasons as to why I love her so ardently, I’ll try to list just a few of them for you poor readers!
Probably the most shallow reason why I love Yuuko is that she is absolutely gorgeous. Being somewhat vertically challenged, I have a borderline unhealthy fascination with her long, white, slender CLAMP legs. Yuuko’s wardrobe is also pretty enviable. Each item of clothing that she wears is stunning and, unlike most anime characters, she undergoes a costume change every episode. And where most female anime characters are not complicit in their sexualisation, either by other characters, who may spy on them while they are bathing or “accidentally” trip and grope them, or by their viewers (body pillows, anybody?), Yuuko completely owns her sexuality. She oozes confidence and feminine charm and wields them as weapons to seduce her unsuspecting clientele. I’ve always lacked confidence and am about as sexy as a potato, so I’ve always admired that about Yuuko.
But on a much deeper level, Yuuko is so compelling to watch because she is not at all like your average female anime character. She is prone to vice, intelligent (she is able to see right through to the heart of a problem), seductive, and refuses to let a man take charge (poor Watanuki is subject to each and every one of her whims). Yuuko will never need a man to rescue her from peril and she will never accept the more traditionally feminine role of settling down, marrying, and raising 1.5 kids. And she is made to seem no less of a woman for that.
In addition to foregoing traditionally womanly habits and roles, Yuuko also shows a disdain towards societal norms and expectations. This sets her apart, not just from other women, but from other human beings. During one episode of XXXHOLiC Yuuko asks a client struggling with an Internet addiction “What’s wrong with neglecting your family?” and later suggests that sometimes you have to put yourself first before you can begin to help other people. And despite knowing that harm will befall several of her clients should they not change their ways, she is content to give them no more than a cryptic warning and let them go on their merry way. As a result, one of her clients is struck by an oncoming truck, another is killed by a cursed monkey’s paw, and yet another is mutilated. Yuuko also doesn’t hesitate to place herself above the law. Rather than reporting a murder to the police, she takes it upon herself to punish the culprit. Yuuko warns her that should her image ever be captured by a camera, her crime will be revealed to the world, essentially guaranteeing her a lifetime of seclusion and loneliness.
Another reason why Yuuko is so interesting is because she is so darn mercurial. The only thing you can expect from her is the unexpected. One moment Yuuko is whimsical and childlike, the next she is all about the job. One moment she is lamenting her particularly potent hangover, the next she is wielding all of the wisdom and power afforded to her as an immortal dimensional witch.
OK, that pretty much sums up why I love Yuuko. To be sure, this multi-dimensional witch is indeed a multi-dimensional character.
Nice. I picked Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail. 🙂