Hozuki and Chinami (+ Yaya for her design) left the strongest impressions on me too so I'm not surprised they're your picks here. I don't here characters described as "effervescent" very often though it fits Chinami pretty well. Muriel and Mirai left fairly strong impressions on me too but not so much because they stood out as being particularly tiny or cute: I tend to be strongly sympathetic to timid girls.
(As someone who tries to use them in stories, I have to say writing timid girls who leave a strong impression is actually rather difficult, it's probably why a decent number of them in anime end up being a bit bland. Though at the very least I'd submit that EF's Chihiro, K-On's Mio and Azusa, and Kotomi are classics.)
Anyway "petite girls everywhere" has kind of been a running gag for me this season... I noted Chinami and Ai as being particularly cute before the season started, and then they piled on characters like Hozuki, Yaya and Komari as well.
I'm absolutely loving Hozuki. Best kid character I've seen in anime in awhile. It's like someone took the best aspects of a Disney kid character and the best aspects of the anime loli, and threw them altogether to create something wondrous that has all the strengths of both character types but almost none of their weaknesses. Wonderful character!
I also agree with you on Yaya's character design, which helps to explain why I'm able to roll with her clingy personality.
Chinami is pretty fun. She has this effervescent quality to her. Combine that with her thoughtfulness and eagerness to please, and she makes a very engaging character.
I don't have a strong opinion yet on the other girls on your list, but I could see some of them growing on me over time.
That being said... I could resist putting together a list of who the directors and lead writers are on various KyoAni shows, because I think it might be useful:
Kigami Yoshiji (with self): Munto
With Gatou Shouji (the guy who wrote the FMP novels): Fumoffu, TSR, Hyouka
With Machida Touko: Lucky Star
+Haruhi (see notes)
With Shimo Fumihiko: Air, Kanon, Clannad
With Hanada Jukki: Chuunibyou, Nichijou
+Haruhi (see notes)
With Yoshida Reiko: K-On , Tamako Market
With Yokotani Masahiro: Free!
With Hanada Jukki: Kyoukai no Kanata
S1: Ichihara Tatsura
S2/Disappearance: Takemoto Yasuhiro with Ishihara as Chief Director
This makes me quite curious as to what the "old guard" will work on next.
I'd avoid making too much of Hanada being lead writer for Chuunibyou, Nichijou, and Kanata no Kyoukai - because he also was lead writer for the Sola and Steins;Gate animes.
The LN/anime comparisons are fair, just unfortunately timed as they exasperate what was already annoying me about the discussion.
Edit: BTW, at this point, I'd like to wrap up my involvement with this discussion rather quickly. I'm hitting the point in the semester where I'm needing to devote more time to studies and I'm finding all this too tiring (though I still want your opinion on the petite list LOL).
Don't worry, I'm going to sleep on your post. It's worth reflecting on.
I'll be honest - More than anything, I'm just pissed that KyoAni felt it was necessary to change Mirai the way they did. I feel like certain tropes and character elements are getting overplayed in anime lately, to the relative exclusion of others. Anyway, I'll leave it at that for now.
I wasn't just going after the anime v. LN criticism there. The thread just kind of feels like the "let's dogpile on Mirai!" thread in general. The rest I'll let my post explain.
Ugh, I really should have just quit the thread rather make that kind of "rage against the general tenor of the discussion" post. I'm too tired to be letting myself get dragged into this kind of thing these days.
Do you really not get why anime Mirai is taking a lot of heat? It's because LN Mirai sounds way better to most of us!
There hasn't been a major KyoAni female character quite like Yuki Nagato since, well, Yuki Nagato herself. Some of us would prefer a character like that over yet another shy, timid, wants to be decisive but struggling with it girl. You do realize just how commonplace Mirai's character type is in anime right?
Yuki Nagato's character type is significantly rarer. That's probably part of the reason why characters like Yuki Nagato (Kanade, Eu, etc...) and Yuki Nagato herself tend to kick ass so much in moe competitions.
I suppose I at least have a shot at getting into Madoka 3 - you guys in Atlantic Canada never seem to have much luck with these things. I'm wondering if it's a case of different theatre ownership - looking at the list of theatres it'll be playing in Canada, most if not all of them are owned by Cineplex.
I think the clearest way to illustrate how this is a petite girl dominanted season for me is to look at the shows where my favourite character is petite versus those where she isn't:
Petite girl wins:
Galilei Donna: Eight words: Hozuki's "please don't make me shoot" puppy eyes
Golden Time: Chinami was on my "cute" list even before the show started airing
Non Non Biyori: Komari-senpai
Unbreakable Machine Doll: Yaya's character design unusually striking.
Outbreak Company: Muriel - depending on whether you think she's a "petite" or "medium" option within the show itself.
Kanata no Kyoukai: Ai is adorable, as a fan of timid girls I actually like Mirai a lot and she's on the small side
While Golden Time's Linda is intriguing and KnK's Mitsuki really is a looker in glasses, most of these victories are pretty clear cut too.
Contrast the cases where my favourite isn't the petite girl:
Infinite Stratos 2: Charlotte obviously wins here, and I've never been nearly as much a fan of the loli-est of the bunch (Laura) as some are. Though Rin is petite and probably my second favourite. This one would probably be a more meaningful victory if the second season was leaving much of an impression though.
Little Busters Refrain: This one has been leaving a much stronger impression than IS2 and Kurugaya has clearly eclipsed all others so far. That said, I could see Rin making a comeback here (my S1 favourites were Kurugaya, Kud, and Rin).
Tokyo Ravens: Suzuka is actually a little bit annoying, so this one goes to Hokuto and especially Natsume.
Strike the Blood: Err… I support lead hero X lead heroine route instead of the incest route? Bit of a weak victory.
A few other shows like I'm watching like Kill la Kill, Samurai Flamenco and Coppellion don't have an impact either way.
I mainly just dislike anime's tendency to reveal absolutely critical information about its characters just as they're dying. This includes everything from the massive sob story for otherwise villainous characters to the show basically saying "So you thought she was just a normal human girl? Well, think again!"
I just find this approach kind of cheap and overused. If I knew from Episode 1 that Hokuto wasn't a normal human girl, I'd probably have been totally fine with her character and death scene. Although, I will admit that lingering Red Data Girl confusion also raises red flags for me when we get fake supernatural-based humans in other anime shows. I never did get a handle on the Souda siblings...
All of that being said, I agree with you on the romantic flashback. That really was great.
And yeah, good point on Natsume. A perfect star drawn with her own blood applied with her tongue... that's really amazing, lol.
I'm curious to know who are the petite girls you're liking this Fall 2013 season? There's probably at least a few we both like.
Thanks for the info on Madoka Magica! Here's hoping you get to attend the movie when it launches in BC.
I sort of agree with you on why the twist with Hokuto was a bad idea - but I think the romantic flashback they follow it up with restores a lot of the impact.
The real question I have is who created her as the impression as the flashback implies Harutora met rather than creating her. Makes me wonder what her "master" thought of her rush.
Also, Natsume seems to be rather... "dexterous" with her tongue.
I'll just say she has a lot of counterbalancing to do this season. There's usually a few petite girls I'm into each season but right now they seem to cropping up all over the place.
Aniplex of America has announced that Madoka 3 will be playing the same four Vancouver area theaters as the first two... but hasn't said what the date will be. The US screenings for Madoka 3 are slated for December, so I'm really hoping they don't pick a day that conflicts with my exams. Unlike in the US, all Madoka 1 and 2 theatrical screenings in Canada occurred on the same day and I wouldn't be surprised to see the same here given that it's the same theatre chain involved.