Iss. 7 || September 19th, 2022

Koinuko's Female Character Vibe Check

(warning: very slight internalized homophobia, but this was written with the express purpose of trying to help myself get over it)

Rare pic of me trying to figure out my taste in women (2022, colorized)


Despite the fact that I never talk about them, I do indeed have female characters that I absolutely adore. Characters like Clara Valac from Mairimashita! Iruma-kun and Kasane Teto, an UTAUloid, are some of my favorite characters of all time, and I hold them near and dear to my heart. The truth of the matter really just boils down to the fact that the vast majority of media I consume has a higher percentage of male characters than female characters, and thus I get more attached to the characters that are front and center in the story. My enjoyment of beautiful men is also a definite influence as well, lmao, which is probably a self-fulfilling prophecy based on how many pieces of media I've watched for the sole purpose of looking at boys.

When it comes to F/Os / self-ship and the like, though, the issue becomes a lot more complicated. I don't know if I've ever had a 'true' female F/O before. Granted, even with male characters it takes a lot before I label them as such, but any female characters I've liked have always been shrouded with confusion. Did I just like them for character-driven reasons? Their designs? Because I related to them? Because I wanted to be them?? Simply because they were pink-aligned and, thus, I was legally obligated to love them??? I can't even qualify having a 'crush' on any girl characters without second guessing myself about it.

The last time I mentioned liking girls on this site, I was having a little bit of a pity party, and it was mostly a quickly-written vent on how I'm not comfortable expressing that part of myself and how I usually ignore it. Having that be my last word on the matter didn't sit right with me, and I wanted to at least write something on the topic that was slightly more positive. So this post will be about my vague attempts to pick through female characters that I Really Like, and try to narrow down what about them appeals to me, and see if I can get a grasp on if I have a 'type' per se. These characters aren't necessarily ones that I have a crush on or even have romantic feelings for; I literally don't know how to categorize them. I guess it's just any female character I like a lot, but doesn't exactly feel like a 'favorite character'. It's a list of girls that just Hit Different I guess. Who even knows what I mean by that. Also, some of them are very stupid. I do not control what the chemicals in my brain do when it comes to #women.


Kobeni Higashiyama from Chainsaw Man

Kobeni my beloved....... On paper, she absolutely falls into one of my many types, namely "pathetic black-haired loser with dark eye circles and a shitty life". I am not immune to characters like this. I always, always fall for them. If she was a boy I would 100% be able to say that I had a thing for her. However, I kind of shy away from saying I have a crush on her because it doesn't feel the same as it usually does with characters like this. The few times I do think about her like that, I usually end up backtracking with the excuse that 'actually, I just want to hang out with her/be her friend in a totally normal way.'

The other thing that makes Kobeni different is that I feel bad about how much I love seeing her in emotional turmoil. I think she's hilarious in the absolute saddest way possible, and the way she's treated in canon doesn't bother me besides a general sense of 'damn, they didn't have to do her like that lmfao'. She fits into the vibe of the universe so perfectly and the other women in Chainsaw Man are all equally as deranged and maladjusted as her, so she doesn't feel like a weird character that exists for creepy torture porn reasons, but lots of fanart of her makes me uncomfortable because it DOES feel like that. I am extremely picky about how people talk about her/treat her, which changes her from 'funny loser character that I like seeing trip and cry' to 'woman who is put into tense and uncomfortable situations for the pleasure of freaks who like seeing women in pain', and no part of that is enjoyable to me. It kind of ruins the whole reason that I like her. So I guess my verdict on Kobeni is that she's totally my type and I am actually really into her, but I feel too guilty to actually enjoy her because a lot of the content I see regarding her makes me feel yucky. Maybe watching her in the anime will help me loosen up and spend more time thinking about her so I can get over this mental roadblock and just enjoy my absolute loser of a girlfriend.

Zoga from Captain Yajima by Worthikids

First things first: If you have not watched Captain Yajima, it is less than 10 minutes long. Please go watch it. Anyway, I don't really have much to say about her. A lot of it is probably just how charming I find Worthikids' work in general. There's an innate quality that is extremely aesthetically pleasing. It just kind of tickles my brain the right way. Zoga also has a Funnie and scratchy/goofy voice that I kind of like, and I've always had characters that I've gotten weirdly attached to just because of their voice and for no other reason. Even as a kid I would have cartoon characters that I had semi-crushes on just because I really liked listening to them talk. So I guess I don't actually 'like' her, it's a combination of me liking her voice and Worthikids' artstyle, which is what I expected honestly.

Foo Fighters from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean

This is a weird one, honestly, and it completely took me by surprise. I read Stone Ocean like six years ago, so it's not as if I didn't already know Foo Fighters before the anime came out. In fact, I love her, and she's one of my favorite characters from Part 6. I never had any feelings about her beyond thinking she was an awesome character and very darling; this was true during the first twelve episode of SO too. It wasn't until literally like episode 20 that I was like... yo, wait a minute, is Foo Fighters kind of hot?? Her VA does a stellar job, and she seems much more tough/masc than I imagined her while reading the manga, so honestly she felt like a very fresh and different character while watching the anime.

Another factor (and this might be kind of stupid tbh...) that might have had something to do with suddenly looking at F.F. in a different way was the Netflix subtitles using they/them pronouns during the second cour. I could be misremembering, but I could have sworn Netflix only used she/her during the first cour. I already use she/they interchangably while talking about F.F. because they are 1.) multiple creatures and 2.) not a girl, but idk, seeing it sort of canonized in the subtitles was a really nice feeling and it surprised me a lot. I think the combination of F.F.'s kickass voice actor, the subtitles reaffirming them as 'not a girl btw,' and the fact that they get two badass and sexy fights in the second cour just made me look at them differently. Plus, it's been six years since I read Stone Ocean, so I barely remembered any distinct F.F. moments until I watched the anime. The half-human design near the end of the cour has also always been one of my favorites, so seeing that animated was very cool. Overall, the anime really made me feel like I was being introduced to the character for the first time, and I guess I just like them a lot more than I expected to this time, lol!

Chika Fujiwara from Kaguya-sama: Love is War

I want to be her so bad it makes me look stupid. I am obsessed with her fr. She is so braindead and I adore everything about her. There are a few characters where I just have this absurdly strong feeling of 'this is what I aspire to be' and she's one of them, but she's also so endearing in general, too. The reason I like Chika so much is because she's pink, she's stupid, and she's obsessed with love, which are probably my top three traits for any character ever to have. She's not a kinnie character for me, she's like, "god I wish I could kin you so bad." I also love to ship her with Ishigami (even though nobody else does) because 'charming cheerful pink girl' + 'slightly edgy dark-haired loner' is a vibe that lives in my head rent free. She's in a tier slightly above favorite character, I guess, whatever you would call that tier.

Francine Smith from American Dad

What the hell am I supposed to say here? I have never once said to myself "Wow, I REALLY want to watch American Dad right now!" That being said, I sure have seen a shit ton of it, either when it would come on Adult Swim and I didn't feel like changing the channel or because somebody else is watching it when I'm in the room (which happens a lot). I honestly think the show is pretty damn funny sometimes. However, none of that explains why Francine is on this list. I also cannot explain why Francine is on this list. I think it's because she is often written as being a little bit stupid/ditzy, but also has a lot of obscure hobbies or weird behavior that, ironically enough, are so out there that it makes her feel more like an actual character. I'm sure a lot of it is made up on the spot for whatever antics the episode entails (I am no expert on deep American Dad continuity lore) but those are always the bits I remember.

I also fucking LOVE being a stupid character enjoyer. Not characters that are unintelligent (I mean I love that too), but characters that are from obscure/stupid/cringe/childish media. There's something really endearing about them to me. I think it's because, from their very existence in the first place, people are going to make fun of them and make fun of people who like them, which means I don't have to expend any energy saying "no, it's not stupid, listen." Yes, they are stupid and I love them. What are you going to do about me and my wife Francine Smith from hit Seth McFarlane television show American Dad? Precisely nothing. You cannot hurt me in ways that matter. So in a weird way, I am somehow way more comfortable saying "wow, Francine Smith is so bangin" than talking about a female character I have any real attachment to. The human mind is weird.

Dr. Girlfriend from The Venture Brothers

Sheila is so hot. She just is, there's no arguing it. I love her as a character too; she's one of my favorite characters in the show (even though nearly every character in Venture Bros. is one of my favorites). She's more an example of "character I really like that also happens to be sexy" than "character I'm actually attracted to/interested in self-shipping with," even if she is objectively attractive. She's also happily married to her equally attractive husband, so she's off-limits even if I was "into" into her.

Hayase Nagatoro from Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san


I fucking love Nagatoro. I still technically haven't finished the first season (I have two more eps I think) but I think she's so insanely funny. I make no claims about the show being good, but I was shocked to find out how much I like her as a character. Her VA is super talented and really sells the comedy bits of the show, and makes Nagatoro's annoying delivery really charming. She's an interesting character because she's entirely reminescent of male characters that I would totally fall for in other media/content, and I've never really seen a female character that falls so perfectly into that category. Kobeni does, I guess, but this is different. If you gave me a pen and paper and told me to design my perfect man, I would write down "loud, annoying, no sense of personal space, enjoys tormenting people for fun, etc. etc.," basically everything that describes Nagatoro down to a T. It turns out that when you flip all of those insufferable traits onto a girl, it creates my favorite genre of girl ever, and I want to be her best friend.

Also, I really love her and Senpai together (I think they r so cute for real). So in a similar vein to Chika and Ishigami, it's a little bit like I'm living vicariously through her relationship, lol. It's not that I relate to her, because we're not alike in the least, but cute relationships are so near and dear to my heart that a character in a relationship with a dynamic I like is rocketed up to a higher degree of likeability in my heart. I'm not really sure how to describe it, because I don't have that many examples - it just gives a character an extra layer that really appeals to me. Characters with crushes just make me so happy and I feel kind of represented, in a weird way. Characters dealing with crushes, if you're reading this, I love you so much.


Final Thoughts

Did I end up learning anything from writing all of this out? I'm not really sure. I think I can (semi) comfortably say I have a cr*sh on Kobeni, which is kind of a relief... I think I did finally pinpoint the reason I've never been totally comfortable with liking her. Maybe making some of my own content will help alleviate it even more, and someday I'll be able to be as loud and annoying about liking her as I am about liking my collection of weird loser anime boys.

I still have a hard time determining What It Is about a female character that hits me in such a way that I think I might like her, but that's probably just because I'm not used to it yet. That happens to me with other characters, too, being confused on if I actually have a crush on them or not, but with male characters I can figure it out pretty quickly. Since I'm hardly ever attracted to female characters, I don't have the same luxury of saying "oh, yeah, she's hot but that's about it" like I do with male characters; I have to genuinely try to figure out what stands out to me, and then figure out if that trait is cute, endearing, or just relatable to me. It's kind of like that feeling when you know someone IRL and you're like, "do I have a crush on you, or are you literally just my friend?" I imagine that's something I'll always have a hard time with, but maybe it'll get easier as I find more female characters to stash away in this small little corner of "Hm, There Is Something About This One", and maybe someday within that small corner there will be an Even Smaller Corner labelled "Yep, I Can Safely Say I Like This One, Alright."


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