Anime Girls: Ushio

May 28, 2008 at 10:00 am | Posted in Articles, Top Ten | 14 Comments
Tags: , ,

Well, here’s the second installment of my currently running feature of my top ten favorite anime girls. Last week was Tomoyo as number ten and this week we go into number nine.

Amamiya Ushio (Shinshi Doumei Cross)

This week I’m going to go on endlessly about one of my favorite manga girls. I know the running title is “Anime Girls” but manga counts too. So, I’m introducing Amamiya Ushio, one of the main characters from Arina Tanemura’s Shinshi Doumei Cross (The Gentlemen’s Alliance). Before I go any further though, this probably isn’t the last you’ll be seeing of an Arina Tanemura character in this list.

Ushio is the only daughter of a rich family and attends the prestigious Imperial Academy. She is cold to everyone except her best friend, Haine, and even goes as far to say, “All I need is Haine.”

Spoilers from Shinshi Doumei Cross (AKA The Gentlemen’s Alliance) beyond this point.

Well, with Tomoyo and now Ushio, it seems I’m inclined to like girls who have crushes on their best friends. I’m not sure why it’s turned out that way. I think I just like the dedication and love they show toward their friendship. It’s touching.

So, I’ve always had a weakness for a friendship like Ushio and Haine’s. Where each girl is always so willing to do something for the other. Where two friends put their friendship before anything else. It’s too bad that friendships that deep are mostly an invention of shoujo manga.

*sigh* I’d kind of like a friend like Ushio. I mean, I suppose having your best friend be in love with you (or in Ushio’s case, having your best friend think she’s in love with you) would be really awkward and would cause a lot of problems but…

I do want a friendship like what Haine’s and Ushio’s ultimately ends up becoming. Through the whole series, Ushio is a good friend. She puts aside her own desires for Haine’s happiness (at least until that certain breaking point). And for that I adore Ushio~!

At least, because of her friendship with Haine and all that, I came to adore her.

To be perfectly honest, for the first…twenty-something chapters of ShinKuro I wasn’t even really that interested in Ushio. At all.

To me she was just there to fill the role of Haine’s best friend. She was cold, and too cool, and hated all other girls (and men too). I’m sure most people who know what sort of characters I like now must be going, “lol what?” because if a girl is cold in manga and anime, these days I automatically look for the good in her and become a giggly little fangirl.

I’ll give Ushio some credit for me becoming like that.

But in order to show how I came to love Ushio, let’s start at the beginning. Right from when she appeared.

My reaction was, “Ah! Tanemura-sensei! I adore you for making such love-love and emotional shoujo manga, but why did you fill in this stereotype?” I actually sighed out loud when reading Ushio’s introduction.

I’m not a naive “Arinachi” fan like so many others. I completely acknowledge the fact that she’s not the best and her characters aren’t exactly the most original. But back then I didn’t really like the whole, “I hate men” sort of characters. Or girls that are possessive of their best friend and get all jealous.

Oddly enough, I think it’s probably because I’m like that too. The extreme possessive-ness. So far I have hated every single one of my best friend, Ashley’s boyfriends. Not all of them are bad guys (though I stand by the fact that most of them were). Especially the guy she’s dating now; he’s in college, calls her regularly, has a steady job, and he isn’t possessive. But if she talks about him while we’re out I just automatically get in a bad mood. I’m like that when she talks about her other friends too. However, most of them are just genuinely bad people (spreading rumors and crap).

But at the time I was completely unaware of my bias. Though I’ve since learned it’s fairly common to dislike characters that have some of your own bad traits.

But luckily for me, even with my bias against Ushio, there was another person keeping me interested in her story.

Oh Senri~! You bad, bad man. Hitting on high school students.

Actually here, Ushio had another bias working against her. I generally disliked TeacherxStudent (or in this case School DoctorxStudent) relationships. They’re an overdone female fantasy that I didn’t get. I had no interest in guys that are older than me by more than three years. I just did not get it (I do now after a friend explained it to me).

But Senri was different. He made it fun. I have a weakness for guys who keep obviously hitting on girls even though they get rejected. It is my greatest weakness when looking at pairings to ship. So basically, it just trumped my bias against teachers being into their students.

Haha, if Ushio had responded to him, it would have failed. I guess that’s the first thing that brought me a little away from disliking Ushio. Since her cold and calm behavior was incredibly entertaining in those scenes with Senri.

Though even when I was first reading those scenes I kind of went, “Huh. That’s amusing.” and just moved on. (BTW, now I break down into fangirl giggles)

But Ushio’s story arc changed everything. There were a lot of developments in Ushio’s story as things went along, but I didn’t really pay attention to any of them until we reached Ushio’s arc.

I started out ready to hate the upcoming arc since when it began and ruined my, “OMG! Haine finally admitted she loves Taka-kun~!” high. I discussed it like I discuss everything, but I wasn’t really into it. Then the end of the next chapter came along. And with Ushio so happy that she was crying in Haine’s arms…my dislike of Ushio evaporated immediately.

Like I said, I love characters who love characters I love also. It’s just up until that point, Ushio was being all dramatic about her Haine love.

I was still all in denial about it, hoping the arc would end soon so I could get back to the Haine and Taka-kun love, but I was beaten. After finishing Ushio’s story arc I realized two things: A) Ushio and Senri were definitely one of my favorite pairings now, and B) I may be biased against cold girls, but I have a weakness for cold girls who overcome their problems and all that. the picture of Haine and Ushio smiling at the end made me an Ushion fan. Without a doubt.

Of course, as it turns out I was still all tsundere for Ushio and didn’t admit anything, even to myself, until chapter 42.

In chapter 42, seeing Ushio smiling casually and talking with all of the student council, that actually hit me more than the super drama events taking place in that chapter. I was just so touched that the cold Ushio from the beginning was saying things like, “All of us want to be together.”

It took that long for it to hit me how much Ushio had changed. And it easily secured her a place in my top ten. If a female character is being hated when she doesn’t deserve it, her rank automatically goes up, even if I was the one doing the hating. I have greater love for girls who get less love.

But if I needed anything to make my love for Ushio greater, her relationship with Senri made for some great drama and moments that made me go, “So cute~!” because I am a sadist and like to see my favorite characters suffer.

B-but! In my defense! It’s just because I can love a character more if I see their cute vulnerable side! That’s all!

I’ve read in places that tsundere was orginally for a girl who started off all mean and cold (tsuntsun) and then became all sweet and stuff (deredere). Haha, so Ushio is an original sort of tsundere, isn’t she? Because she starts off like, “Don’t touch me. Disgusting!” Then in chapter 41 we see her laying in bed sending Senri text messages about how she wants to see him.

So cute! >////<

I also liked that she called herself an “unpleasant woman” because if she realized that being relieved about Shouka being dead was bad, it didn’t detract any points from her. It added them. Girls who realize their faults are just wonderful.

Yup, the sad scene with Ushio would have been my favorite scene in chapter 41 if it weren’t for Haine-chan realizing her feelings.

Now, into super fangirl mode…I loved this scene so much.

It didn’t change how much I love Ushio or anything, and likely does not belong in this post, but the UshioxSenri fangirl in me commanded me to put it in here. I don’t know when I’ll get around to writing up a post about all my favorite manga pairings, so I want to fangirl a little bit here.

Because Ushio’s relationship with Senri is part of what made me like her, it’s completely relevant!

Despite all the awesome scenes in chapter 44 of the manga, this one was my favorite. There was even that reunion between Taka-kun and Shizumasa that I had been looking forward to for so long. This moment still beat it.

To get back to Ushio though, I think this scene showed how her character had progressed during the series. She went from loving only Haine, because she believed only Haine would love her back, to being able to loudly declare her feelings for the one she loves. It’s pretty amazing.

I’m still so glad to see how much Ushio managed to change. Declaring her feelings, stating very clearly what was bothering her instead of keeping it all locked inside for…years. Ushio might be the character that grew the most. Taka-kun and Haine grew a lot too though, so it’s hard to really say for sure.

The only thing I regret, now that the ShinKuro manga is coming to an end, is that we didn’t get to see much of Ushio’s family. I think her family history earned three pages and it felt like a lot was left unanswered. It would have been a little more…easy to understand her from the beginning if we had seen her being treated coldly at home all along. We just knew things about her family situation from how Haine and Ushio acted.

But, I adore Ushio now and I guess that’s all that matters.

Alright, time to wrap this up. I’ve gone on long enough (trying to make up for unfairly disliking her I suppose).

Ushio started out as a character I usually dislike: cold, loving only one person, and a subject of admiration. Because of how she changed, the sort of character I just described is now often the type I adore immediately. Of course, that’s only if I believe they can change too, or if they have a good heart deep down under neath all their ice queen posing.

And so, for making Ushio into a girl worth adoring, I will give my thanks to Haine and her declaration that she would free Ushio. She did. And now we all love the smiling Ushio that was almost never seen before.

*sigh* I just love shoujo manga girls. They’re great.

14 Comments

  1. Another best friend character! Cool, though Ushio on the other side of the specturm from Tomoyo. ^_^

    Ushio always reminds me of Utau for some reason.

  2. Never thought about Ushio that way (well, I haven’t paid much attention to her either though ><) but now that I read this, I kinda realize how awesome she really is. -runs off to read other posts-

  3. Ushion~! <3333
    I adore her so for so many reasons. Hmm, where to start? Where to start?

    Well, my reasons are almost the same as yours, the foremost being her deep friendship with Haine. I especially love how Arinacchi displays her as a (very) selfish character over Haine (because this way, the readers see right away that she’s flawed) and how hard it was for her to suppress her feelings (showing she really is selfless) while she kept on dropping heavy hints that she was “in love” with her best friend (and Haine being too naïve to see it). Hmm, yea, I guess I can say I have a weakness for characters going through great inner turmoil…but wait, does that make me a sadist?! xDDD;;;

    My first impression of her was mostly like everybody else’s: “Oh, she’s so beautiful and cool! But so cold!” And kinda manly, lol. And as much as I try to avoid stereotypical characters (I fail at this 95% of the time), I immediately fell in love with her cuz I knew from the start (like all the other characters who fall under the same stereotype), she was gonna have a great change in character sooner or later. And also the fact that I find cold girl characters interesting…and I find tsuntsuns amusing…and also because she’s so pretty! I’m not shallow, I swear! I just can’t resist eye-candy! xDDD;;;

    Hmm, that’s an interesting point you brought up about not liking characters because they have similar traits to yourself. I’m sure it happens with a lot of people. The bad part is that it takes them a while to realize it. Hmm.
    And to tell you the truth, I don’t think possessiveness is entirely bad thing. If you’re hanging out with your best friend (or significant other/whoever else), it’s natural to want it to be just the two of you and any interruptions would just be ruining the special moment. Hmm, not sure if I have the right to say that since I don’t think I’ve ever been in that kind of situation but I can relate a little. ^^;

    Ah, but going back to Ushio…or er, Senri. Kya~! I love Senri! He’s so amusing. xD And again, another bias. Actually, I’ve never had a problem with the whole StudentxTeacher relationship, which is kinda funny since I grew up around people who have strict thoughts about that. I guess I just find that kind of “love” more exciting (yea! Rebel against the standards! :P ).
    Hrm, but what I like most about Senri in regard to Ushio is that he is the second person (and the first and probably only male) who truly understands her and one of the very few who have significantly changed her for the better. It’s more than evident in the chapters after her arc ended (like how awful she feels about feeling relieved that Shouka was no longer alive).

    (Btw, are you goin’ to go into top ten pairings, too? xDD;; J/k.)

    Ushio’s family, eh? Isn’t there a special on that? The scans for it were probably not available but I’m sure there is one since nowhere in the chapters were there any direct explanation on how she became adopted (at least, I think). :/

    Huh, I’m pretty sure that’s not all I wanted to say about Ushio (oh god, prepare yourself if Haine is in your top ten, which I think she is) but I guess I’ll leave it here since I don’t know how to put it into words right now…which makes Ushio so great, haha. If there’s a character I love who leaves me lost for words, then they have to be great. ^^

    ~~~

    warriorhope: Omg, that’s so true! Utau and Ushio are quite alike, huh? Both very pretty, obsessive and tsundere. x333 Yep, gotta love that kind of girl. lol

  4. […] reading a certain post in FuyuMaiden’s blog Simplicity, I suddenly got the urge to rant talk about someone I adored. […]

  5. warriorhope: Yeah. Tomoyo only wants Sakura’s happiness, Ushio only wants Haine for herself. Very different motivations.

    But I know what you mean! The similarities between Utau and Ushio occurred to me while I was typing this post up. They’re really similar if you just take a step back.

    ———-

    saimaisama: Ah good. I’m not the only one who didn’t notice Ushio then. But she is awesome. Just…great,

    ———-

    xiao_jie88: We’re all sadists. Every single fan of shoujo manga. We enjoy seeing our favorite characters in pain. But I’m so thankful for fiction…it keeps me from being labeled as a pervert.

    That’s right “manly” that’s one of the things I forgot. I could totally imagine Ushio having a legion of fangirls as big as her group of fanboys…I’m surprised Tanemura-sensei didn’t write that in. But she really is pretty, I just didn’t notice it until she smiled because I was so distracted by her coldness.

    It does take a while to realize it, but I’m on the lookout for it now. Not that it will help much. If you dislike a character, you dislike them.

    I’m sure everyone can relate to being possessive like that to some extent. In my case it just happens to be a part of myself that I really dislike. But still, it’s better to be possessive and be on the lookout for bad guys when your best friend thinks every guy in the world is wonderful. Heh, so since I discovered my dislike, I’ve actually come to look up to Ushio in her ways of dealing with people that she thinks are bad for Haine. I just hope I’d only bother the ones that are really bad.

    It is more exciting, but only if they do it right. If the teacher is all mature and stuff I’m like, “meh” but Senri got me super excited about it. You take his deviousness, add in his tragic past, and take into account my man moe and he’s perfect! Seriously. And he’s just so perfect for Ushio. Since Ushio’s such a mature girl, it would have felt wrong if she liked someone her own age.

    Yes, Senri is great like that. It’s one of the few times he got to act like an adult, but he really made Ushio realize what was wrong and help her to change. Haine couldn’t have done it alone. If Ushio hadn’t gone to Senri’s house that night, things probably wouldn’t have worked the same.

    Heh…maybe. I’m not revealing any future top ten things yet (but the real question is, can I resist doing my top ten pairings?)

    I know there’s another Ushio special out there, I just don’t know what’s in it. I’m hoping it’s in the next volume released in English. That special never got translated. I don’t even know if anyone ever found scans.

    Ah you saw through my hint about future Arina Tanemura charcters, or you just figured from my ramblings about Haine. But I won’t reveal where she’s ranked.

  6. Oh, Ushio! She’s like my favorite Shinshi Doumei Cross character! She’s so cute!
    I love the fact that she has layers like an onion or an ogre…or a cake.
    I love her sweet personality towards the end. I really wanted some background family info on her too! All we got is that she doesn’t get along with her father and that she’s like rich.
    I love the SenrixUshio goodness in chappie 45! And other chappies too, but that one seemed to stand out the most because of the two kiss scenes. Kyaa!><
    I really like Ushio and I’m glad you did one of these one her. I can only guess 3/8 left girls you’re going to do one of these for. They’re Amu, Haine-chan, and Sakura. I just have a feeling.
    Do another one soon so I can see if I’m right! Or just read another one.
    Good work!

  7. Fuyu-san: Haha, yea~. xD;
    I think Ushio’s legion of fangirls lie in most of the readers of SDC. lol And maybe it’s her extreme coldness towards people that chase all the fictional fangirls away or something.
    True, true. *nod nod* You never know if they’re playing with you or not so you’ll always have to be cautious.
    Yesh~! Older guys who like to tease excessively but had some kind of bad past they can’t get over are great! lol And I agree. I can’t really see Ushio dating someone the same age (or close to it) as her. She’d probably be bored with him and dump him shortly after. *smirk*
    But yea, Senri. I think he’s the only adult who you can call an “adult.” Everyone else (Maika, Kazuhito, etc.) was always holding back because of something but he seemed to have kept his cool throughout almost everything. Huh, I’ve also begun to notice how big his role is in the story overall (but he is more like a backstage character kind of guy so maybe that’s it). :/ Well, anyways, he needs to take of his glasses and be happy already! He deserves it. ^^
    (I dunno…can you? xDD;; )
    Me, too~. SDC/Shinkuro specials are great. Hehe.
    But I can still guess, can’t I? xD
    ~~~
    Erin-san: Ah, that’s an interesting way of describing Ushio (ha! Shrek! Awesome. xD). I can see her character in layers.
    I also think/am pretty sure Amu, Haine and Sakura are on her list but we’ll have to wait until the next Wednesday to find out where exactly do they reank. And then the next, and the next…*wonders who’s next*

  8. Fuyu: about your above comments to xiao_jie88, if you mean volume 6, there is no Ushio special (I just got my copy). I do remember reading in the ex-fansubber’s blog that there was one in volume 7.

  9. Erin: You forgot parfaits! Everybody loves a parfait. Wonderful layers of yogurt and fruit. But yes, Ushio absolutely has layers. That cute girl.

    Yeah…there’s a special with the info. But just reading the manga you also get to know that Ushio’s adopted and that something happened between her and Haine. But it’s mostly guesswork. I want that special.

    Those two wonderful kiss scenes…yes. Heh, I loved that.

    Haha, I won’t confirm or deny any of those girls but…heh. Very good guesses.

    ———-

    xiao_jie88: When the series started Ushio was as popular as Haine, right? I remember Arina Tanemura saying that in one of her comment sections.

    Well she obviously didn’t think much of any of the guys she knew. She dumped them all the day after her big revelation. None of them were good enough for her. She’s too awesome.

    Senri was controlling so many things for a long time in the story. After chapter 42 I think…I went back and reread all the chapters. Senri does a lot of things subtly that you don’t really notice the first few times around. You only see it if you’re looking for it.

    Heh, I’m pretty sure no one will guess who’s next. She surprised even me by being on the list so she’d be a tough one to guess about.

    ——–

    warriorhope: Ah…I kind of figured it would be missing. But volume 7, huh? That’s better than nothing. And is volume 6 out now? I need to get my copy. Once I get a paycheck that’s what I’ll buy first.

  10. Yes, she was quite popular. o.O Arina even said she was worried that readers wouldn’t like her but the exact opposite happened. xD;
    And they were all losers. They only liked her for her looks, probably. Maybe Yukimitsu is an exception since she turned his life around with her words but that’s it.
    Huh, now that I think about it, I’m still curious about Senri’s so-called “plan” (but then, how would Taka know about it?) and what it has to do with the twins and Haine (my foremost thought is the abolishment of the kagemusha system). Did he already accomplish it or is it still yet to be finished?
    Btw, on Shinkuro forums, I think Mina Murray posted a summary about Ushio’s past/special so you can go check out there if you’re curious (no scans, tho). Poor Ushio. Her story’s so sad. T.T
    Ha~. When you say that, I feel like it’s someone from a series I’ve never watched or something. xD;

  11. No one can resist Ushio. Even if you dislike her for a while. I’m proof of that.

    Yeah, I kind of felt bad for Yukimitsu for like…half a second. But then I remembered that it was all for the sake of SenrixUshio…so I didn’t care anymore.

    I have no idea. That’s a good question. I guess it’s time for me to be rereading the chapters again. But not until after chapter 47. Then I can reread everything.

    Ah, maybe I will check that out then.

    Haha, maybe, maybe not. I’m not saying anymore.

  12. Actually think it was volume eight that we see an Ushio story. Volume 6 has a bonus story Tachibana and Kasume , but it’s only a few pages long.

    Ribon has the first few pages from mistress fortune on thier website now.

  13. Volume eight? Aww…but at least I get to see the Tachibana and Kusame story soon. I only saw the raws of that before. Need to get to the book store now.

    Oh I saw! Now all that’s left is to wait for the actual chapter.

  14. i absolutely luv this show


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: