#7 Who is your anime crush?
If you’ve been following my blog for a while (or even for a few weeks) you’ll know that I have a finely honed taste in anime bishies, a taste that has been refined and cultivated over the span of a decade like a sommelier’s taste buds. The kind of men who float my boat all fall into a few select categories, chiefly: cocky, confident, capable, flamboyant, and ever so slightly effeminate. Howl, of the Howl’s Moving Castle fame, fits snugly into all of these categories and, so, has been a favourite of mine for quite some time now (2009, to be exact). Below are some more of the many reasons why he takes my fancy.
Howl physically dominates every scene that he’s in. Even though the world he inhabits is lush, vibrant, and colourful, filled to bursting with pastel pinks and verdant greens, cerulean blues and blacks as deep and dark as the midnight sky, he still manages to draw your eye in every scene that he’s in. Howl is dazzling. His smile is as wide as the sky, his eyes sparkle like sapphires, and the way he moves his body is captivating. Howl has a sexy, self-assured gait and every move that he makes is graceful and elegant. Frying eggs never looked so beautiful!
But Howl’s ability to captivate his audience extends beyond his dazzling good looks. Throughout the first half of the film in particular, he is the epitome of the white knight trope. During the very first scene that Howl’s introduced he coolly and calmly rescues Sophie from the clutches of a duo of leches by pretending to be her lover, shortly before sweeping her up in his arms and taking her for a jaunt in the beautiful summer’s sky in order to escape the Witch of the Waste’s minions. These are two of several instances where he saves Sophie throughout the duration of the film. Howl also protects Sophie and provides her with shelter, gifts her a meadow full of wildflowers in bloom, and repeatedly calls her beautiful. I know that the princely type has fallen out of favour in recent years and that it’s becoming far more common for women in media to be their own heroes, which is awesome, but, growing up on (late 80s/early 90s) Disney movies, I’m still incredibly partial to this kind of man!
But for his many, many strengths, Howl also has a number of fatal flaws. He is phenomenally vain and has a (literal) meltdown when he accidentally dyes his hair orange. Howl’s also a notorious womaniser (though this kind of appeals to me too! Why do I do this to myself…?) His womanising ways are responsible for inciting the Witch of the Waste to target Sophie in the first place and without which there would be no story. And, finally, Howl is an actual man-child. He shirks his responsibilities, throws apocalyptic tantrums, loathes to clean and tidy, and hurts himself when he fails to consider his limits.
You may be wondering how anybody could still find Howl attractive despite all of these things? But these flaws, the last one particularly, just make Howl more moe. They coax out my nurturing side and make me want to look after him. Howl’s flaws also make him more human. Nothing is more disconcerting to me than a seemingly perfect man. Nobody’s perfect, so when I consider a man like this I can’t help but think: “What are you hiding, you strange, flawless man?” And often what my imagination conjures up is much worse than the reality! Without Howl’s flaws, he would be just that, eerily perfect. At least his imperfections are out there in the open for all to see! No nasty surprises! Furthermore, given that Howl is able to perform impossible feats using his magic and that his appearance borders on monstrous during certain parts of the film, his character definitely benefits from being given these distinctly human imperfections.
Thank-you for reading my 700 word long love letter to Howl. If you’re interested in finding out who some more of my anime crushes are, check out this post: Ty Builds a Harem. Don’t forget to comment telling me who your anime crush is!