Lookback at 2007: Moe and GAR

First of my multipart installment of looking back at 2007. Actually, I really hate writing this things, mostly because I always feel I will leave out something, but what the heck.

Anyways, kicking it off, here are my picks of the moe and GAR characters and moments of anime in 2007. They’re mostly dominated by a few shows, but then it’s expected :).

Moe-est Female of the Year

Lucky Star

Hiiragi Kagami, Lucky Star

A no brainer for this one, since anyone who reads this blog already knows how much my love for Kagamin is and are probably Kagamin fans as well. Truly, her tsun-tsun and tsukkomi-ness provided much of the fun of Lucky Star and gave the otaku-centric show the voice of the common people. My moe for her will probably last a long while, and she’s already himegimi status in my heart :).

Honorable Mentions: Katsura Hinagiku, Hayate no Gotoku!; Potemayo, Potemayo.

There are actually quite a number of contenders also, but I’ve gotta give honorable mentions to those stated above even if they didn’t win. Hinagiku, god damn she’s so awesome. Her character is well described during her first appearance in the show, where she climbs up a tree to save a chick, which being morbidly afraid of heights herself. That combination of being perfect, yet a sore loser and tsundere seriously makes her one moe character.

Potemayo was just…. so cuddly! Honi~ honi~. I really attribute much of her moe-ness to having Kana Hanazawa as her seiyuu.

Moe-est Male of the Year

You honestly think I would actually award this out? ▼

Moe-est Moment of the Year

Lucky Star

Kagami switching places with Konata at the Haruhi Live, Lucky Star.

Oh yes, this single moment really, REALLY hit me there at that moe spot on my heart, with Kagamin’s kindhearted gesture of changing places with Konata, noticing her spot was blocked. At the first place, she actually followed Konata to the live. I probably couldn’t persuade my normal friends to actually follow me to any otaku-ish events in real life, so this was really a sign of their strong friendship.

GAR-est Male of the Year

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Simon, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan

No question. Simon has to be the GAR-est male of the year. GAINAX really did a good job in fleshing his character out. While at first he seemed to be another Ikari Shinji, but that quickly changed with the death of Kamina and his subsequent meeting with Nia that raised his spirits and gave him back his motivation, which proves to go even further heights than Kamina did. From the battle with Lordgenome and the final faceoff with the Anti-Spirals and subsequently his decision to retire and wander alone, Simon definitely proved himself to be a real hero.

Honorable Mentions: Kamina, TTGL; Michishio NaGARsumi, Seto no Hanayome; Yagami Kazuma, Kaze no Stigma

Of course, Kamina has to make this list, and his influences were no doubt the biggest reason that Simon grew up to the man that he became. NaGARsumi practically makes this list for all the shit he had to endure for being San-chan’s bride and the awesome finale that earned him this moniker. And while Kaze no Stigma was a so-so show, Kazuma’s antics made it very much watchable and his attitude of casual indifference towards everything, plus his penchant for teasing Ayano every chance he got makes him one of the GAR-est males this year.

GAR-est Female of the Year

Seto San

Seto San, Seto no Hanayome

Who else would win? San-chan’s spirit of chivalry was the cause of much trouble to poor NaGARsumi, but yet, her intentions were always pure, even if it was misguided. Not to mention she’s actually pretty awesome with swords, managing to even match up to the trained Akeno Shiranui definitely makes her one of the rare females that are GAR. Also worthy of mention, her awesome Nemuri no Uta.

Honorable Mentions: Alice L. Malvin, Pumpkin Scissors.

Second on the list of Alice L. Malvin of Pumpkin Scissors, of which I wonder how many actually completed this show. While the show itself was rather mediocre, but Alice’s GAR-ness was truly awesome and she was one of the sole reasons I finished the show. Thanks to this role, I also became an Itou Shizuka fanboy for real :).

GAR-est Moment in Anime of the Year

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan

Kittan’s death, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan.

While Simon was all round GAR in TTGL, Kittan’s death was, to me, the pinnacle of GAR-ness in it. His selfless sacrifice made it possible for the whole Gurren-dan to survive, and not to mention he managed to actually kiss Yoko before dying off. Even now, every time I rewatch this scene, I really can’t stop shedding some manly tears for him.

Honorable Mentions: Alice L. Malvin fighting in a ballroom dress and high heels, Pumpkin Scissors; NaGARsumi catching bullets with his bare hands, Seto no Hanayome; The LICK, Kaze no Stigma

Honorable mention also has to be given to the part where Alice actually fought using a dagger in a full ballroom dress coupled with high heels. I’ve always had a lot of respect for women who willingly wear them, and for Alice to actually fight and win while garbed in such finery was no less than awesome and totally defined Pumpkin Scissors for me.

NaGARsumi catching bullets with his bare hands is also awesome, as it truly showed his love for San-chan. Truly it was exaggerated, but damn, it was epic.

As for the LICK, oh it truly reflected on how awesome Kazuma was, for him to casually do that so as just “not to waste some good wine”.

Thus ends my first installment for now, honestly I’m still not sure on what will be next, so you’ll know when I post it up.

26 Comments

  1. Haesslich Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 1:58 am

    Eh, Tsukasa had more ‘moe’ moments than her twin, at least if we’re talking about the original meaning of the term, which focused on ‘cute in an almost Disney (read: kinda helpless, Bambi) way, like her being swept away at ComiKet, or Miyuki’s neervousness in front of the Opticians when she thought of getting contacts.

    Kagami has had her moe moments, but I would put her in the lower ranks below her sister, Miyuki, and Yutaka… and the concert was NOT moe, at least if were going to go the Shirashi route and cleave to the non-debased, non-4chan meaning. We MUST DRAW A LINE HERE! ;)

    For Kagami moe, see when she’s reading the Gauron x Sosuke yaoi doujin.

  2. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 2:54 am

    Dunno, Haesslich. I just don’t see it your way.

    In terms of moe, this year really had very little that made me go “moe” over a character. But I guess I should mention that “moe” for me is defined as a character that evokes a feeling of love which is not sexual in nature.

    That being said, I follow a rather own meaning of moe myself, which is mainly influenced by the writings of Akamatsu-sensei rather than the current 4chan/2chan influence. I did not feel moe for Kagamin just because 4chan/2chan said so, I felt moe for Kagamin because it’s her.

    And that’s why for me, this year’s moe-est character for me is Kagamin.

  3. Heero Yuy Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 3:32 am

    I agree with almost every thing on that list with maybe two exceptions:

    Nagasumi = gar? I haven’t seen the last two episodes yet, but he never struck me as badass….though I can understand why with the reasons you put.

    And although Kittan’s death was amazingly gar, I would’ve put Simon and Viral’s teaming up in the Gurren Lagann as at least an honorable mention, but that’s my taste.

    Still, both of those choices you made make plenty of sense to me, and I won’t say anything about Kagami for moe-est since I completely agree with you there.

  4. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 3:46 am

    Oh, Simon and Viral teamup was something that was waiting to happen already. I could feel it when Viral hadn’t died with Lordgenome. Kittan’s death… meanwhile, was just rather awesome in a much different manner, especially when the rest of the Gurren-dan were just dying in normal ways, but Kittan’s one was just pure.. GAR.

    Nagasumi was pretty much GAR too at the last episode. You should watch it when you have the time. He literally caught bullets in near point-blank range with his bare hands.

  5. Heero Yuy Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 4:10 am

    I think I see what you mean….the teamup was still cool, but predictable. That makes sense.

    I guess I really need to finish the last two episodes of SnH then? You should have a “Most ‘oh my dear gosh NO’ moment award”, I think then Luna’s Dad would’ve won hands down with the terminator gone dating sim episode.

  6. Haesslich Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 6:03 am

    You know, you post that and I’m reminded of Genshike when they’re arguing in the last volume about Saki-chan’s moe versus that of the other girls in the club, and.. well, the vulnerability she shows with Kousaka’s response is probably the most ‘moe’ I’ve seen Saki, really – when she’s being picked on by him. Even with Akamatsu-sensei’s definition, I -like- Kagamin and find her cute… but most of the time she’s less ‘moe’ than some of the rest of the cast (Miyuki and Tsukasa are two characters Konata finds VERY moe, and I’m reluctantly forced to agree with her here) because they’ve got those cute little flaws which make them appealing in a non-sexual way.

    That’s why I’d say that doesn’t really count as a ‘moe’ moment for me, because it doesn’t make me squeal with glee over HER any more, really. It shows the strength of the friendship she has with the (helpless at that moment due to height issues) Konata, but it doesn’t make HER moe. The way she was when she saw the FMP doujin, on the other hand…. that’s probably more moe than that example you listed. When she’s falling deeper into the otaku pit because of something she likes (Full Metal Panic) combined with a VERY otaku sort of thing (yaoi doujin).

  7. Ithekro Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 6:34 am

    Hmmm. Considering that when Moe was being decided in recent memory, Kagamin’s fight was the largest of all for the year. No count of votes that mattered were higher that Kagami’s last fight. She has a chance to do it again in ten months or so…but then so does the winner of that fight. That should tell people something about Kagamin.

  8. Haesslich Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 8:23 am

    Ithekro: Hinagiku won SaiKorea, and Kagami lost to Rena before the quarterfinals, IIRC. Given how it went, I’d have to say that the fact there were over 600 fake votes in her box suggests that she wasn’t seen as ‘moe’ by a lot of people… but more that she was a hindrance for the rest of that group (Nanoha, IIRC, was in that seed). What that tells me about Kagami is that she’s cute, but she’s not as moe as Tsukasa, who survived all the way through to the quarterfinals.

  9. Crisu Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 9:49 am

    Kagami lost in Saimoe because the last few episodes of Lucky Star had not yet aired at that point. Especially the one where she got the supposed love letter and was bothered all day by it (and Konata taking notice was so shoujo-ai for me) and then the screenshot above where she eventually agrees to the cheerleading. Tsukasa’s cute, but she’s just a moeblob to the fullest extent of the term; Kagami has a lot more character and depth and, to me, that’s a greater and more refined level of moe.

    For moe-est male, you could also use the Belldandy-Hayate picture; if I had never seen the series before, I’d believe that Hayate was totally female from that. So interestingly pretty.

    Runner-up for moe-est moment would be when Kagami changes her expression from surprised shock to loving acceptance of Konata’s otakuism at the cosplay cafe.

  10. Haesslich Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 11:07 am

    Crisu: Any episode where Hayate’s in nekomimi counts as a ‘moe’ mode, alas – just look at how Klaus fell for him, among others. That’s what scares me about HnG, outside of the possibility he’ll end up with Klaus or Wataru given how little he responds to most women who aren’t at least a bit assertive (Hina’s drawn the most responses outside of Maria so far).

    Kagami’s attractive, but I don’t know if she counts as ‘moe’ to most people out there. She’s had moe moments, especially when she hit ComiKet and found the “Chained” doujin (that one really stands out for me, with the way she can’t look away, but has to keep leafing through it).

  11. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 11:23 am

    Let’s set Saimoe aside for the time being. The problem with “democratic”-style processes is that inevitably, only the “majority” view wins, and I assure you, that there are many ways to, em, “ensure” the said “majority” view, even if the said “majority” view is actually only the views of a small percentage of the voting body.

    Even though Kagamin didn’t win Saimoe 2007, although I wish she did, she still remains my own individual “saimoe”. I think the point here is that you’re nitpicking on my own choice too much. Tsukasa may be the closest to the mainstream definition of “moe”, but to me, I don’t actually find her “moe”.

    While “moe” can also be described as characters that are “helpless” and evokes a sense of protectiveness in the perceiver, weirdly enough I don’t really fall “moe” for those characters that much, only exception for me is probably Asahina Mikuru from Suzumiya Haruhi.

    Crisu: Oh god… I probably should’ve used that.

  12. 0rion Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 11:37 am

    Haha, I laughed at the Hayate thing; that was well played.

    Also, totally agree on Moe-est Female, Kagamin~ FTW!

  13. Haesslich Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 11:45 am

    I think a better contest is ‘what is Hayate’s most moe mode: Belldandy, Nekomimi and crying, or Fairy Meido Hayate’?

  14. quigonkenny Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

    “GAR-est Female of the Year
    Seto San, Seto no Hanayome
    Honorable Mentions: Alice L. Malvin, Pumpkin Scissors.”

    Hmm… Didn’t see Seirei no Moribito, eh? Balsa-neesama was more GAR than half the men on your list. Do gotta give props to Alice for the ballgown swordfight, though.

  15. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

    Oh shit, I forgot about Balsa. Yeah, she deserves to be on the list.

    On a sidenote, I realised that Hayate is actually more closer to Haesslich’s definition of moe than the girls.

  16. faye Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 6:16 pm

    Yes, Simon is t3h GAR :P

  17. nutcase23 Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 8:44 pm

    “MY DRILL IS THE DRILL THAT WILL PIERCE THE HEAVENS!!!”

  18. shaoron Said,

    January 2, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

    most moe male char…

    yes… i agree….

    and i’m disturbed at myself to agreeing with you as well…

  19. Ithekro Said,

    January 3, 2008 @ 3:34 am

    Oh I didn’t say she won. I said the vote count was highest during her last fight. Check out the numbers between Kagami and Rena for just the real votes alone. No other two-way fight had as high a numbers of people voting in 2007. Some were closer fights, but not with as high a numbers. Yes Rena won with the highest vote count of 2007 only to loose later to Nagi who then lost to Rika, but the Kagami-Rena fight was still the largest total vote count (post fake vote removal) of 2007 (aside from maybe the three way fight between Fate-Suigintou-Kanna…but only because of the relatively small number of votes for Kanna).

  20. Telliamed Said,

    January 3, 2008 @ 6:27 am

    What? No Shiraishi? I think Minoru should win for both Moe //and// GAR.

  21. Harbin Said,

    January 3, 2008 @ 6:30 am

    I gotta say, this post just made my day. May the GARRR be with u! lol

  22. Haesslich Said,

    January 3, 2008 @ 10:24 am

    It’s really scary – Hayate is more ‘moe’ than half the female cast of Hayate… and got more fan letters than Maria did to start, especially when he was in nekomimi mode. That’s probably why he keeps showing up in these guises (Belldandy, other female outfits).

  23. ron~ Said,

    January 3, 2008 @ 10:36 am

    I agree with kagami for the most moe female 2007! too bad she didn’t win saimoe 2007 :(

  24. DKellis Said,

    January 3, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

    To me, how moe a character is and how much one actually likes the character are two separate measurements.

    For example, in MoHS, I thought Mikuru was more moe than Yuki, but I still like Yuki a lot more. In LS, the order of moe from more to less would be Yutaka – Miyuki – Kagami, but the order in which I like them from more to less would be Miyuki – Kagami – Yutaka.

  25. Progenitor Said,

    January 3, 2008 @ 4:32 pm

    yeah kagamin was one of the most moe characters from lucky star,
    proof : http://nekomimi.ws/fatalpulse/img/kagamikoc.jpg

  26. Owned4Eva Said,

    January 3, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

    Agree with Haesslich , Tsukasa IMHO Is More Moe Than Her Sis, Tho Her Sis Is Highly Moe Too >

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