Sunday, February 14, 2010
Happy Ani-Valentine's Day!
Valentine's Day has a lot of history and meaning in different countries.
It's that time of the year, when girls give the men in their lives chocolate, when men start planning their White Day gifts in return and when love is in the air! Of course, that's in Japan. In the US, this is the time of year men start measuring anatomy and bank accounts by seeing who can splurge on the best flowers and jewelry and get it delivered to their woman's office in the most appealing way. (Too bad Valentine's is on a Sunday this year, so any gift-giving will probably just come from the heart rather than the ego.)
Anyway, today it seems like an appropriate time to discuss anime crushes. Yes, we all have at least one, even if you'd never admit it. 2D characters, being pure fantasy, can easily capture your imagination and heart if you aren't careful. Having an anime crush is a harmless fantasy that lets you think about the qualities you find most appealing in a mate, friend or just in general.
My personal heart-stealer is Captain Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa of the Full Metal Panic! franchise.
Tessa is the Captain of the Tuatha de Daanan, Mithril's powerful submarine though many people question her competence at first sight. The light novels (click link for a place to get the first 3 in English!) give some details about her involvement with the scientist chiefly responsible for the Arbalest, Sousuke Sagara's enhanced mecha as well as her own work in creating the Tuatha de Daanan. Tessa is the Captain because she helped build the sub and has unique talents that are necessary to run certain systems. Inteligence is a turn on for me and Tessa got that.
She also has this amazing habit of playing with her hair that always just make me have a moe overload.
Oh yes. Lovely. I love girls who play with their long hair!
Ah, sorry about that! Anyway, Tessa's got some odd habits too. As Full Metal Panic!: Fumoffu informs us, Tessa likes to sneak into Sousuke's bed when able (lucky stiff) and she appears to lack awareness of the dirty connotations for some things she says. Tessa's had a somewhat sheltered life but she's still a capable tactical officer in Mithril's organization, as the early events in China show in Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid. She also handled incidents in the first series well, even putting her own life at risk. Unfortunately, Tessa has difficulty putting her emotions aside with Sousuke. Which leads to a hilarious scene in The Battlegroup Commander's Sort of Boring Day, an OVA episode sequel for the Second Raid. I find the duality of her character interesting, strong while in combat but an almost naive girl outside of it, in many ways she and Sousuke are similiar.
The OVA also shows us that even the girls can't help but want to get their hands on Tessa! Of course, who can blame them? I mean, look at her.
Tell me you aren't interested? (Get bigger pic here.) Tessa's English dub voice is Hilary Haag, who I personally could listen to reading a phone book. She imbues Tessa with a warm tone and a sort of breathy quality that sizzles my brain.
Captain Teletha Testarossa would be my choice for an Ani-Valentine. I'd be quite happy to receive even giri-choko (obligation chocolate) from her! Stupid Sousuke'd probably get honmei-choko (favorite chocolate.) Why is it that making chocolates for people isn't a tradition in the US? It would be so much more personal and awesome than store-bought crap.
So are there any anime characters you'd like to spend Valentine's Day with if they were real? Feel free to share, there's nothing wrong with having a nice fantasy or two, as long as you know the difference between fantasy and reality. And really, is it any stranger to find an anime character attractive than, say, a celebrity or a supermodel? (Whether a 2D lovely like Tessa or a real-life lovely like Grace Park, my chances are still zero.)