Back when she was writing for Japanator, Karen wrote a couple funny posts about taking good anime characters from terrible shows and putting them in anime worthy of their presence. These articles came up during our Bakacast pre-show banter, where Karen, Glen, Larry and I lamented the fact that shows like AnoHana and Hanasku Iroha had some genuinely fun characters in them but, sadly, were painful to watch. So, with a little cajoling from Master Jon, I decided to continue Karen’s benevolent mission.
In the first installment of the Rescue Project, I reference an anime only three people have seen, remember a time when noitaminA aired good shows, balance out a sausage-fest and increase a certain super-robot show’s cougar-count by 100%.
Oda Nobunaga (Battle Girls) —> Sengoku Basara
Poor, poor Nobunaga. In a show full of idiots who couldn’t keep their mouths shut and a “plot” that barely even deserved to be labeled as such, you were the only thing I genuinely enjoyed about Battle Girls. And while saying you were the only character who didn’t annoy me might seem like I’m damning you with faint praise, your design, voice and fighting spirit were all way too awesome to be stuck in a show that bad.
So, let’s give you a chance to shine and pit your burning passion against worthy foes. Sengoku Basara might not be that great, but I at least found it entertainingly silly. With your tendency to generate huge flames with each sword swing and need to give dramatic speeches, you’ll feel right at home in a show that uses the most manly of shounen tropes as its foundation. In return, Sengoku Basara gets a far less comically evil villain for its first season. Yes, I know, it’s supposed to be over the top; but I still find it kind of absurd that Oda Nobunaga was painted as a megalomaniac who drank wine out of skulls.
Plus, let’s be honest here: Sengoku Basara desperately needs some more female characters. Once Nobunaga’s wife dies, the only prominent female is a ninja who orgasms if her lord so much as gives her a compliment. Seriously.
Avril Bradley (Gosick) —> Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief
Now, I know what you’re thinking: what the hell is Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief? It aired in the spring of 2008, and one of my friends got me to try it by describing it as “Lupin III meets The Big O.” Protip: if you want to make me watch something, compare it to The Big O somehow.
Anyway, it was about a mistreated girl who leaves her family and becomes a student of the legendary thief, 20 Faces. Half-way through, though, a pretty major plot twist occurs and Chiko goes on her own adventures, picking up a sidekick in the process. Unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly fond of Chiko’s new friend. She was okay, I guess, but was never that interesting to me.
Which is where Avril comes in. Despite having a fun and adventurous personality, her main purpose in Gosick is to pine after Kujo. Not only is this a completely pointless role (since we know there’s no chance of a love triangle ever developing), but her affection for Kujo is mind-boggling. Yeah, sure, he saved her life once, but the dude’s dumber than a sack of bricks.
So, let’s team Avril up with Chiko, where her bubbly personality will serve as a nice counterpoint to Chiko’s seriousness. And she’ll actually get to go on adventures instead of staying on the sidelines while Kujo and Victorique have all the fun.
Naruko Anjou (AnoHana) —> Eden of the East
By the time AnoHana got to its fourth episode, Anjou (aka Anaru) was the only character besides Jinta’s dad that I still cared about. Everyone else was either boring or insufferable. Or, in Jinta’s case, both. Anjou, however, felt like the most realistic character out of the whole bunch. Sure, she had her problems, but she at least tried to deal with them even if she didn’t always succeed. Also, she was clearly intelligent and actually took time to analyze her own emotions. All in all, she was a very sympathetic and entertaining character.
Of course, AnoHana‘s story decided to punch her in the face repeatedly. Yeah, all of the main characters have emotional bruises, but I think it’s safe to say that Anjou has the most bad stuff happen to her over the course of the show; stuff that’s never satisfyingly resolved.
So how about we put her in a show that will actually respect her rather than beat her up constantly? She’d fit perfectly with the rest of the nerdy kids in Eden of the East and, as a bonus, would be in a noitaminA show that had a good story.
Satsuki Matsumae (Hanasaku Iroha) —> Star Driver
Out of all the characters I thought of, Satsuki was the hardest to place. She had such a great personality that I knew I wanted her out of Hanasaku Iroha, but I couldn’t figure out what other show she’d fit. But then, as I was about to give up, it hit me.
Satsuki is energetic, wild, intelligent, determined, stubborn and a fan of summer flings. Where have I seen a lot of those traits before? In Wako from Star Driver.
It would be a huge genre shift, yes, but Glen, Larry and I liked the characters from Star Driver because they were filled with spirit and a little crazy in their own ways, which perfectly describes Ohana’s mother. And as tempting as it would be to see the antics a teenage Satsuki would get up to, I think Star Driver would be better served by having another prominent adult in its cast. To be specific, let’s give Satsuki the role of Wako’s mom. She’d round out the cast a bit and have plenty of chances to tease her daughter about her boy problems. In other words, she’d be free to do what she does best among characters who are just as wild and funny as she is.
And her conversations with pretty-boy-lover Midori Okamoto would be priceless.