One of the numerous reasons I just can't care about Attack on Titan. The people I know that like it all say it's for purely primal and gratuitous reasons. I can appreciate what you're trying to say, but with the exception of Mikasa, I just can't care.
I take it Tsuruko and Naruko both never get their love interests to realise how much they like them?
I'll rephrase it to modern shounen then - I have watched a bit of Fist of the North Star and totally dig it. Kenshin - maybe....another on a long list to get through. It's okay but wasn't standing out. I'm aware one of the OVAs is highly regarded. As for YYH and HxH, not my cup of tea. But Ken is cool as flock.
Okabe - yes. Little Busters - can't watch it.
Fate/Zero - Urobuchi wrote it, therefore I despised the characters for the greater part, particularly the males. Especially Kirei, who was one cool, snide villian in the FSN game - didn't think Urobuchi could make him that boring. And as for Kiritsugu - I am sure people dig the whole destruction angle and get some form of beauty or weird satisfaction from it. I don't - he had choices and he always made terrible ones. It's the same reason my mentor and I utterly despise Grave of the Fireflies - the guy made terrible decisions over and over when he knew better. And Kiritsugu knew better. He was permanently convinced his way was the only way. The only thing I can say was he deserved what he got. Maybe he set things right in the long run, but whatever. I couldn't give a damn about Kiritsugu and his code and that he couldn't see the consequences of his actions until it was too late. To hell with Urobuchi and his obsession with the abyss and killing the characters he loves most in the most painful way and giving women utterly cruel, demeaning deaths while the guys die in glory. (I know you like his stuff, so if we could agree to disagree, I'd appreciate it.) However, we can agree that Rin was portrayed well in it. However, you're the first person from here to say that to me. I remember during its airing everyone bitched hard about that episode dedicated to Rin.
Batou - erm...not really...Togusa - yes. Aramaki - didn't see enough of him to form a solid stance.
The whole Mikasa's abs thing is stupid. Interestingly it was started because the author received demands for fanservice, and as you can see he pretty much decided to not demean his characters to that kind of bullshit. People don't get it.
Anohana is centered around Menma as a plot device, but in reality most of the show is about the characters. Understandably, this is still a weakness but I don't think it's as pronounced as many would claim. The end kinda went off the rails and wasn't that good, but I don't think it really matters.
I'm not exactly convinced that shounen is some kind of sinkhole, considering that Fist of the North Star and the Togashi Duo of Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter have developed some of the most notable characters and meaningful relationships between the male characters as well. And what about Kenshin? Which of course brings up male characters in anime. I think there are a lot of good male characters ranging from the cold and calculating Akagi to the ever so pouring his heart out Kaiji. Attack on Titan itself has strong characters in the form of Armin and Levi, both of which show their care for others in an exceptional way through development in the form of the former, and character revelation in form of the later. Sure, I would say that Eren's single minded potential sociopathic tendencies probably made him an inferior lead but that's how the cookie crumbles. The fandom is irritating as hell and should be ignored.
Steins;Gate has Okabe, who develops into someone that must balance reality with wish as well as dealing with circumstances he is most uncomfortable with on a constant basis.
The relationship between the four male characters in Little Busters! are the main strength of the show; a feat that is fairly unusual for its genre. The concept of group camaraderie is exceptional and reminds me of older Star Trek; another series that focused more on interpersonal bonds in the context of ridiculous happenings.
Fate/Zero has one of the most interesting antagonist-antihero relationships, though certainly Kirei has more to talk about than Emiya. And as a side note, I think it showcased Rin's character as a little girl more effectively than Deen had portrayed her.
And what about Ghost in the Shell; Batou and Togusa are on different levels cybernization and the story went into their thoughts concerning their humanity rather well. And then there's the subtly paternal leader with Aramaki, who does care deeply for section 9 and pulled all the stops and gambits so that they all could succeed.
I never really saw the Major as an object of desire or wish fulfillment. You can accuse the movie of sexualizing her, but I really don't think it's any more overt than anything else anime tosses at us. As for the perception of intention, it may or may not be intentional.
I think there is a tendency to focus too much on the Shus of anime. And there are certainly many like him, but there's way more than it, even in anime, just like there are many repulsive portrayals of females in anime.
We agree on enough things. If we were too similar, it'd be scary and make for boring conversation. I think the only other fundamental difference is you've traversed recent anime way more than I'll ever dare to, while I've gone back in time way more than you have.
*shrug* Well, for about every male character I actually give a damn about from stuff I've watched, there's ten female characters I like. Feminine characters are fine as long as they're not just submissive saps. But when it comes to me, I need complexity. I just can't see anything or anyone from a simple perspective.
I'll say it again - Madoka Ayukawa and Tomoyo Sakagami are virtually kindred spirits. They have virtually the same background, they both do things their way, they both have one heck of a kick. I guess one fundamental difference would be the naivete. Tomoyo is somewhat unfamiliar with the expectations of others/the norm - Madoka is all too familiar with them, to the point it is a nemesis. And there's this crazy but pure win episode where the three main characters end up being in a Top Gun-like scenario and Madoka is a fighter pilot.
Don't get me started about what people whinge about when it comes to females in shounens....frankly, to be a female character in a shounen title is almost always tragic, as far as I'm concerned. You're always going to have red-blooded readers only giving a damn about your body and being a love interest. They're rarely allowed to be proper characters. And I've utterly had it with the constant flood of stupid comments about Mikasa's abs, yet alone her as a character. Heaven forbid a girl from being fit and physically powerful...*facepalm* Honestly, I didn't even finish the first episode of Titan. I knew within minutes this title would make me utterly sick. My stance on shounen has pretty much come to this - if it isn't Fullmetal Alchemist, I don't care. I utterly despise shounen.
Fair points on Fate and Misato. I like them too.
Ohana was the only thing I could find to care about in H-S I and I really didn't care for what Okada saw fit to do with her.
As for Anohana - see, this is one title I wish I could have liked. Except...well...Menma....freaking Menma....You know how Rin from Bunny Drop is that kind of character that makes your heart swell and you'd do anything to give her a decent chance in life? When it comes to Menma, every organ in by body wants to simultaneously explode and send a fatal virus airborne to wipe out humanity. The guys ticked me off too. Whereas Naruko and Tsuruko were both characters that had appeal. Even if they were polar opposites and antagonistic to each other, they gave things some depth and something unique. But since the story revolves around Menma, I couldn't stay with Anohana. Again, because Okada.
The Major...see, I did think about putting her on that list. But I didn't for one reason - wish fulfillment. As awesome as Motoko's personality is as well as how she conducts herself if general on the job and in her private life, the original Stand Alone Complex series and the movie overly sexualised her. As much as the character is supposed to not be subject to one's desires, the way they used her in those parts ultimately did allow that. As for the 2nd GIG, that is when she breaks free of that stupidity IMO.
See, almost every female you listed, I somewhat agreed with. I don't think we're as different as you think we are. I just think life shaped us differently to give us different needs and perspectives.
The thing I'm always careful about now is never assume for one second what women are into within anime these days. I've learned that Elfen Lied and Gantz have WAY more female fans than I'd ever thought possible. I've seen women that look like they're in high-end jobs discretely walk into a comic/manga store and walk out with a pile of yaoi. I've seen and been told about women who only watch ecchi titles. And while it can be assumed somewhat that some women will love cute - you never can be sure of what kind. Women/females are more complex that what anime makes them out to be for the greater part. Perhaps that's part of why I need characters that are more complex than the norm. There's only so far I can detach from reality.
Frankly, it's not the females in anime that I have more issues with. It's the males....I'm not kidding that when out of the hundreds and hundreds of titles I've seen, I would utterly struggle to list ten male characters that I actually gave that much of a damn about.
Another notable example is Ohana from Hana Saku Iroha. While at first she just seems like a generic plucky girl that wants to lighten things up, things are not so easy here, and the resistance from the inside and outside causes a lot of internal conflict. She runs through the whole gamut of emotions that one could possibly ever feel, and I think this kind of stuff at the end creates a realistic character that ends up the wiser after the story. Now, of course, I know you threw the series in the trash after that really bad episode, and yes, the other characters are idiots leading the series to collapse under its own mediocrity, but I think that should be additional credit to her.
Other picks include Tsuruko from Anohana who was the only sane one in a histronic atmosphere with a decent amount of wit and Motoko from Ghost in the Shell. Sure, season 1 was a bit silly with that stupid outfit, but the main personality from Motoko can't be denied-- she doesn't really give a fuck about what you think, and isn't subject to your desires.
Extended music video really describes .hack sign. If only someone bothered to write a script to fill stuff in, or maybe halve the series. Ironic that it would have worked in today's atmosphere well.
Dickbrains... enough said about that trash. I think people want things to have a shock value so they put a bunch of tasteless shit so they can be edgy. Something that will gross you out and shake you. But to that I use this analogy-- if one took a dump all of a sudden in public, that might also be gross and shock people. But there's no real value to that. And as for those dickbrains, what they did is pretty much no better. "You think your work is vile and disgusting? So is a piece of shit. And so are you."
I don't think you and I see much on the subject on characters if you would click on my MAL and arguably I probaly prefer more traditionally feminine characters, relatively speaking. Regardless Lain is a very interesting character despite the lack of input from her but on the other hand having someone that was basically a construct discover the concept of care, respect, and love for not only Arisu but humanity as a whole is a rather subtle development. Of course people just go "omg that's just pretentious bullshit" despite the fact that the concept is rather straightforward. And characters like Shiki and Kurisu are certainly in short supply in anime when they are the most needed. But if you really want mold breaking:
So I would definitely list Tomoyo from Clannad, because she is just drastically different from every other girl from not only that show but the grander scale of Key things. Probably the only other one is Yuiko Kurugaya from Little Busters that really has her own initiative. Unfortunately, Key has an obsession with girls that can't function on their own and while they've been getter with each work, it's not hard to find moments where you still want to punch the writers and even the better characters sometimes suffer from this.
Anyhow, while innocence and naivety are supposed to come across as moe, it often gets overused to the point where you again, want to punch someone. Tomoyo is just a bit more unfamiliar with other people's expectations but it's not like she's completely unaware either. But at the same time her straightforwardness makes it intimidating enough for people to not really comment on it, which confuses her even more, leading to some humorous scenes.
There's quite a few ones in which Tomoyo wants to handle her gender identity by acting more feminine with mixed results. In the end, it comes off to me as just accepting who you are and to not try and twist/bend to other people's opinions who don't even matter anyways. While most Key characters would collapse in these times of existential crises, this is where she thrives and establishes her character.
A lot of people accuse her (and later Yuiko) of being too "perfect", and this accusation is also levied against characters such as Mikasa from Titan. Yet, if any of these characters were dudes, they'd be cheering for how awesome ass kickers they are. Hmmph. Fear of competent women, I'd say! It was blatantly hypocritical in Titan since Levi is such a fan favorite.
This is of course more prevalent for Tomoyo in the original novel, but the anime did decently at getting the point across. And don't bother coming in contact in Tomoyo After; since it just decides to ignore all of this for generic characterization and melodrama, and shows why Jun Maeda can be quite the complete hack; not always, thankfully.
I think Fate (season 1-2 at least) is a decent point for me, since she is probably the core of a lot of the values I hold true. The thing about her is that at surface it seems like a classic pity parade, but then the story doesn't bother to whitewash any of her actions. It's not like "DURR this girl is sad and crying, and thus you should excuse her for any of her actions". And the fact that Fate really doesn't bother being a drama queen and tries to remain buisness like is a strong point considering the age they started at. And Nanoha is pretty unique too. Unlike other magical girls that are ditzy and afraid to fight, we have something else right her... I think RRR can fill the rest.
Misato from Evangelion is also quite a special character for me since she seems tied down by so much baggage, but ultimately she always perseveres to do the right thing. While she does occasionally fall into self pity, there's always the sense that no matter what, she's always trying to find a solution. Some may say she's tied down with her love, but I would say this is one of the few relationships where they are tied to each other. Note that despite all the womanizing Kaji seems to do, he never actually manages to really come down to it. Misato's the working person in this mess where everyone else is just flailing around with their own agendas.
Lafiel from Crest of the Stars - A very apt representative of a process-driven race and culture. An even bigger contradiction of the damsel in distress trope since Lafiel was almost always saving Jinto. Straight-forward, feisty, polite, elegant, overly confident without being arrogant. The maturity of her conversations with Jinto is just mind-blowing. If I ever had to pick one female who could have a bond with a male that wasn't solely defined or dominated by love yet so darn epic, Lafiel's with Jinto was just magic.
Lain from Serial Experiments Lain - Oh, Lain...Now, are we going to avoid the idea that Lain is a genderless entity rather than a human since she is more like a process rather than a person? Certainly Lain's creator intended Lain to be female, so I guess we can say for our discussion's sake that she is. But certainly the one person Lain always gravitated to was Arisu - after all, Arisu was the only person who ever showed Lain any true affection/treated Lain as a friend. Lain's form of love for Arisu would be quite a pure one - given Lain's real identity, there is no sexual aspect to it. It also does reinforce that affiliation and affection are earned through actions rather than mere intentions.
Lina Inverse from Slayers - Personified chaos, a real anarchist, selfish and pragmatic. Yet so damn awesome...She was never a hero but did whatever a dire situation required. An eternal source of laughter. And that crazy voice that Megumi Hayashibara gave her. They don't make them like Lina anymore.
Shiki Ryougi from Garden of Sinners - Morally ambivalent, always walking a line between sanity and darkness. Female yet many aspects of a male, further amplified by that dual-tone voice Maya Sakamoto gave Shiki. So dangerous yet so insatiable. Someone you can't be a fence-sitter with. Someone afraid of living but scared of dying. Someone who knew happiness and a normal life would never be attainable, but was able to find something worth living for just from knowing one person in the world gave a damn about her and wouldn't ever give up on her, even if he is a fair idiot at times. And seriously, how badass can you get with that red jacket and blue kimono combo outfit? Nasu, why are you so awesome?!
Kurisu Makise from Steins;Gate - Well I had to pick someone really stuck in the modern way of things in anime yet still standing. Kurisu just turned that damn tsundere trope upside-down and ending up being way more than that. The antagonist to the fanciful dreams of Hououin Kyouma and the catalyst required for Okabe to man up and become the hero. A real source of intellect and awesome nerd moments. (lab coat, Dr. Pepper, @chan, Tina) And seriously, she is the main reason those overly moe early episodes are bearable. (And yes, I know I haven't finished it yet...but I saw enough to appreciate Kurisu. It's either the next thing I watch or the one after.)
I'm going to have to extend that list to make room for Erin. Hopefully I can find a few more to go with her.
Note these wouldn't be my ten fave characters - but in terms of 'breaking the mold', for sure.
Just wondering - if you had to pick a list of female characters in anime that 'broke the mold' so to speak - aka they weren't tied down by tropes, stereotypes or the males around them and they had something about them that really made them stand out from the rest, who would you put on there?
Last year I made a list of 10. Particularly since I'd watched certain titles to completion at the time and didn't want to forget things about them, so I typed them so I wouldn't forget.
(Splitting this into 2 posts due to length)
They were: (in no particular order)
Kajika Burnsworth from Hanasakeru Seishounen. Like, this girl....where do I begin? Her first love was a leopard. She's openly seeking love in multiple avenues from a pure-minded point of view. And fundamentally, for a shoujo title, rather than the girl becoming stronger via reliance from the guy, multiple guys are becoming stronger via her. Not to mention she resolves global tensions without batting an eyelid. She's pretty awesome.
Hiroko Matsutaka from Hataraki Man - Never have the trials and triumphs of a working woman ever been so utterly magnetic. She can be a bit crazy, she had some major vices. And whenever she was deprived of sex, man did her conversations go bonkers! But she just had an undeniable flair for success in the workplace. The positives and negatives of her and her life have quite a degree of reality to them. Hiroko really is the modern woman of today - in a real world sense. Forget the anime sense...
Kino from Kino's Journey - Nomadic and living by the principle of 'survival of the fittest.' And there is a challenging element to her. You have to appreciate Kino is the story and not the judge. And as she chooses to never judge anyone, thus the viewer must refrain from judging Kino or anyone else, otherwise the point of this show is utterly lost.
Madoka Ayukawa from Kimagure Orange Road - I'll be brief since you've heard it before. One of the original high school wonders. One of the original 'deep ocean' characters. You could never be certain how she would react to something. Madoka was the harder option, one with some glaring flaws, but a real sense of fulfillment in terms of appreciating what lay beneath the surface and the person she really was and would become. She's also a reminder that young love isn't the innocent, sugary experience too many titles make it out to be.
Nina Fortner from Monster - Quite the anti to the damsel in distress for someone with no special powers or the like. Nina was simply a woman who reacted to the terrible situation she was in admirably. She didn't back down from a task very few would have the courage to do and she did it with a mix of wit, compassion and feminista. And bonus points for anyone who makes Nazis wet themselves in terror while voiced by Noto Mamiko.
The double-edged sword of NANA for me as that Hachi had to fall in order to become strong. I get why some women admire that. But it's also depressing - particularly for some men - when the female gravitates to the bad man even though she knows she shouldn't. Clearly there is truth ingrained in it. But like you said, if Takumi gets off lightly after everything he's done, I will be livid. At this rate, I hope Yazawa regains the ability to finish it - as well as want to. No josei/shoujo title has reached its heights in quite a while and the legacy it would leave could be telling for what comes after it. A bit of kudos for Yasu too would be nice - now there was one cool guy.
I dropped Blue Drop, Strawberry panic and KnM very quickly. As for School Days - never seen it, don't want to. I don't need a nice boat.
.hack//SIGN - Geez, I saw that back right when I started getting into anime proper. The thing I always felt was it started reasonably well and ended fairly well. But in between it was like one drawn out music video with no RPG action going on in an RPG. Tsukasa and Subaru - there was certainly quite a bond of trust between them. That ending was a bit lol but kind of appropriate - have to hand it to Subaru considering her IRL plight. The music in that title was astoundingly good - pity the show didn't back it up.
Just for a bit of thought - conversions from game to anime. You know how some characters get turned into something they're not for god knows what reason by the director or whatever? Kaede from Shuffle is a classic example. What the hell did they do to her...in the game, she was a wreck but she never resorted to being violent or crazy if she didn't win. It was as if the people adapting this thought Kaede being the main route was criminal and had to do everything possible to defile her. Have her attack Asa for Rin choosing Asa in the anime, then go have her make invisible dinners, hang out under bridges in the rain and make her look like a complete freak. That was never the point of Kaede! Kaede was once a bit of a loony - in her early childhood because Rin made up a lie about the reason her parents were going somewhere then died so that Kaede would focus her hate onto him instead of herself. Kaede then learnt the truth and spent her life atoning, damn it...She was as understanding and supportive as someone could be. As for her route in the game and any other route for that matter - Kaede's actual stance was 'Even if Rin loves me, I don't deserve to be with him for the terrible things I've done to him.' Rin then had to work damn hard to convince Kaede she was worthy of being loved. But, you know, that freaking director and his studio had to go and turn Kaede into something she wasn't for kicks...And it turns out there's a reason. You know what the director went on to do in 2011?! Mirai Nikki! Aka THAT title with THE most crazy, insane, twisted, evil girlfriend ever! Aka giver of Stockholm Syndrome and maximum carnage daily in Yuno! Yeah...a director who likes girls losing their mind over love...what a dickbrain...Hey, in the case of Yuno, it was sometimes amusing, albeit disturbing and then some. But in the case of Kaede and making her into something she's not...that's just despicable. He also helped Minami-ke lose its popularity after the glory of Season 1 by giving it sub-par treatment...what a prick...
There's another dickbrain to go with the KnM and SD scum.
His gumption is high, but a few years ago, he lost the ability to finish everything, about 5 years after I lost. And he's been watching anime for over a decade longer than I have. I think Star Driver was the straw that broke the camel's back. The amount of people - especially fangirls - who claimed Star Driver was FABulous beyond belief and that it was the only reason needed to exist - ticked him off to no end. Recently he pointed out to me that Sunrise have become obsessed with overly dramatic wankfests in the aftermath of Code Geass. And I have to admit, the last five of so years of Sunrise have really made them decline in my eyes. But hey, when pure stupidity like Horizon gets made successful by obsessive fans, making insanity like that is justified.
As for Uchouten Kazoku - he quite likes the visual side of things. Visuals aren't he primarily looks for but I think it's the thing keeping him determined to finish it. It is the characters that are ruining it for him. And based on the small amount I saw of it before I dropped it - I agreed with him. But I feel his distaste and inability to care about them well exceeded mine. He's probably also determined to finish it because we both rate The Tatami Galaxy very highly, so both of us thought another title from the same author would likely be good. Wasn't the case for us.
The friendship between my mentor and I took a fair while to develop. Back when we starting crossing paths back when AJAS was actually a decent place and had a large number of people attending, he was already somewhat hardened and weathered. I can't really recall when I started approaching him since he'd decided to not be one of the active runners of things anymore at that point. What I do remember that back a decade ago - the things I was into early on were mainly terrible. And did he know it...I think from experience, he just took the approach 'he's new, in a couple of years, he will realise the downfalls and perils of the anime realm and begin to see things from a better perspective.' And he was right - a couple of years in or so, I certainly did realise most of what I had tried was terrible. There were still titles I did like, of course. It was probably around the point that I latched onto Paranoia Agent, Samurai Champloo and Genshiken S1 while they were airing that he thought 'he's beginning to go in the right direction.' I think we both felt somewhat gloomy in 2005 - in hindsight, it was an okay year, but things hadn't reached the point most titles were being made available to check out by today's usual methods. So the gems of around then weren't known to us. 2006 offered a mix of the good and bad - in hindsight, we've come to agree that 2006 was the last stand of the anime woman to quite an extent. Strong 'adult' females certainly declined in numbers post-2006 in favour of the teen version, or losing strength altogether. I think we began to speak more one-on-one around the time Code Geass was at its peak and The Garden of Sinners started appearing. The thing with him was, since he was the walking encyclopedia and would investigate almost any title, a good deal of people wanted part of his time. It wouldn't be until about sometime around 2009-2010 that he'd start making sure that I'd get a certain amount of his time no matter what. By then, other people were wearing him down hard and the people he knew from AJAS's golden years were virtually all gone to other places/things. Around then, I was as frustrated as he was with how much the signs of moe's impending empire in 2006 had taken root in 2009. So around that time, now that my gumption had been shot to pieces and titles we liked from a given season were beginning to coincide a good deal, he started making specific recommendations to start testing my boundaries. He felt life had shaped me enough/hardened me enough to be ready for the kind of titles and discussions he wouldn't bother to have with anyone else. Come 2011 and the retro year, I think we both had a revival since once certain guy compelled everyone to play old stuff once a month that year from across the decades, we both realised that with groups willing to chase after older titles, there was plenty for us to explore - or re-visit in his case. After that year, I think I've pretty much become his go-to person for someone to have a serious discussion with and to somehow find a title he either forgot or didn't notice at the time. Our views somewhat differ but we both have the appreciation of respecting what the other things and likes even if we always don't agree on specific titles. We generally agree on the basics and the state of the world and humans - if you've got that, you can get along long-term. I'm not sure how much longer he'll be alive since his physical state is terrible and has been for a long time. But it's been an honour to know him and be considered one of his friends.
Well glad you finished Erin and liked it. There were some really sketchy moments in the final stretch but the ending was one of the most awesome things I've ever seen. Storytelling works wonders. Your mentor seems determined though I would say that finishing every anime regardless of quality seems to be masochistic and a waste of time, to me at least. And what was their opinion of Uchouten Kazoku?
Back to teh Yuri, as you might have pointed out to RRR, that I do consider Nanoha to be an utter failure in this regard due to them treating Nanoha and Fate's relationship as well as certain other pairings as a plaything because as you noted, fans wanted to have their stupid cake and eat it too. Then again, we've seen terrible shit in the fandom where people throw fits when they find out favorite character isn't pure and subject to their sick fantasies. It's a bit cruel of me to say this, but sometimes said folks need some natural selection to deal with them.
I've always joked about Nana^2, but it's kinda scary how that it's quickly becoming the default option. Whatever happens, Takumi should be kicked to the curb, seriously.
Blue Drop is quite vile though I'm not sure if the anime took the same route. Strawberry Panic is pretty awful and pretends sexual harassment is just another dating method. Fuck off, indeed.
Of course, while Strawberry Panic can be written off as stupidity, it's not so easy to write off Kannazuki no Miko, because as you said, that piece of crap is actually cherished. Why the fuck is that a mainstay? They're both awfully written characters-- Himeko has no independent thought. She could just be a doll, and Chikane could be masturbating against it and it would still be a better anime. Well, it wouldn't be yuri, but at least it would become the trashy, badly animated smut it always wanted to be.
Chikane is plain creepy but we're supposed to sympathize with her because who the fuck knows. I guess she looks cool with that hime cut and has that aloof look. She wants to "protect" Himeko. Protect with dat serial killer rapeface at all times. I mean seriously, if she was actually a dude, how would people react to it? Most wouldn't think that's hot now that it's suddenly a guy. Well, some might, because they're sick fucks, but that's another story. I hate these the most-- it honestly feels more like a predator and prey relationship than any actual meaningful relationship.
Oh, and Chikane didn't rape Himeko with a flute, bro. It was actually the back of her sword. Yep, it's even worse than you thought. Tvtropes claims the anime toned down Chikane's sociopathy namely by cutting out most of the actual assault. Dear lord. Want to punch someone yet?
See, the whole point was for Chikane to make Himeko hate her so that the later would be able to kill the former to avoid a tragic ending. That's fine and all, but all you really get is throwing crap on the screen and attempting to justify it. Cuz you know, she's totally awesome and hot and if she needs to rape a few people in the name of justice, we've got to find a way to make that right too. All without a hint of irony. Lelouch she is not.
Fun fact, it was done by Kaishaku, and if you've seen any of their doujin, they just love to demean women a lot. Pity given their artwork. And according to wiki "The name comes from Kaishakunin (介錯人?), an appointed second person whose duty it is to decapitate one who commits seppuku". Right, after their readers kill themselves due to losing enough brain mass due to prolonged exposure to their work or getting a stroke due to its badness, they need to clean up right?
Meanwhile the anime was done by TNK, responsible for the even more vile School Days. And before anyone says it's just an adaptation work, one must remember they deliberately combined several bad endings for that show to make the most tasteless thing possible.
In summary, shit writers + shit studio = fucking burn in hell.
It was funny when we had a certain ending scene for an anime and then people were like to me: You don't get the reference; it's referring to KnM. I hated them for it, because really, I know the reference and that's exactly the kind of association I don't want to make. I pretty much responded with "I don't give a fuck".
As a side note, as boring as the anime .hack sign was, there was actually a notable yuri relationship that wasn't crap. It was based off trust and respect, and actually reached into some issues of gender and futuristic methods of communication not unlike Serial Experiments Lain. Of course, that kind of thoughtfulness is exceptionally rare, since the previous examples I put out lack them completely, but it's nice someone gives a fuck right? Aoi Hana also seems like one of those "give a damn" show and I'll finish that eventually.