How have I gone this long since relaunching in the Wired without posting something related to my inspiration?! Time to fix that.
What better way to acknowledge the one who changed the way people interact with one another than with this somewhat disturbing illustration of Lain in her native environment after she learned to control her power.
One of my favorite anime series is Haibane-Renmei. It was truly a Yoshitoshi ABe creation, since not only did he do the original character designs for it, but it’s also his own story.
Driving that story is Rakka, who suddenly finds herself in a world full of questions, and she has the bravery to ask those questions when it is largely considered taboo to do so. Her quests for knowledge and for herself are part of what makes her one of my all-time favorite anime characters.
I’ve done this list twice before, and somehow I’ve managed to overlook Mayuko both times! Why is this a shock? Because Mayuko from NieA_7 is my favorite anime character of all. At last on this third list, I correct this glaring omission.
Mayuko is not the type of character one would usually expect to be at the top of a favorite characters list. She’s a poor high school graduate working multiple jobs just trying to put food on her table while living in the bathhouse her family used to own, where she also works for the current owners. The bathhouse is struggling to stay in business as well, so each day they remain open is a small victory. Mayuko is also going to cram school to prepare for college entrance exams, and somehow maintains some of the highest grades in the school despite her situation.
And by the way, Mayuko’s roommate is a lazy, freeloading alien who keeps trying to mooch off her meager food supply and builds junk UFOs in her room.
With everything that Mayuko has to go through and put up with day after day, she became the kind of character who, if she was a real person, I would want to help out any way I could. She deserves a secure, happy life without worry, and that’s why Mayuko is my favorite anime character.