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Female characters meme

(from canis-m) "the goal is to produce a list of 100 female characters you love, think are awesome, etc." I'm not sure I can name 100 *characters* I love, especially depending on how awesome they're supposed to be but we'll see. All fiction seems to be fair game.

Jame Talissen (God Stalk)
Kirien (Dark of the Moon)
Youko Nakajima (Twelve Kingdoms)
Aerin (Hero and the Crown)
Cordelia Naismith (Bujold)
Elena Bothari (Bujold)
Zefiris (Scrapped Princess; questionable femaleness as AI)
Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice)
Anne Elliott (Persuasion)
Buffy, Willow, Tara, Zoe, Kaylee, River (6 Whedons at once)
Jenny Callendar, Drusilla (2 more)
Susan Ivanova (Babylon-5)
Wednesday Addams (Addams Family Values)
Elizabeth Swann (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Agatha Heterodyne, Girl Genius!
Lafiel (Crest of the Stars)
Admiral Spoor (Crest of the Stars)
Fuu (Samurai Champloo)
Florence (Freefall webcomic; non-human)
Horo (Spice and Wolf)
Major Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell)
Alice (Mahou Shoujoutai aka Tweeny Witches)
Haruhi (Ouran Host Club)
Misa (Death Note; presents as obssessive blonde ditz which she kind of is, but she was fairly smart when she needed to be too)
Mikoto and MISAKA (A Certain Magical Index)
Lia de Beaumont (Chevalier d'Eon, despite being dead)
Nausicaa (Miyazaki)
Marta Korolev (Marooned in Realtime)
Della Lu (Marooned in Realtime)
Nanoha (Nanoha)
Leela (Doctor Who)
Leela (Futurama)
Iselle and Beatriz (Curse of Chalion)
Ista (Paladin of Souls)
Nico (Runaways)
Johanna Constantine (Sandman)
Mina Harker (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen *comic*)
Takako (Heliothaumic)
Sarine Elle (Errant Story)
Sasha (Sluggy Freelance)
Antimony and Kat (Gunnerkrigg Court)
Marena and Secret (Keychain of Creation)
Anya and Petria (Phoenix Requiem)
Amanda Carter (SG-1)
Xena and Gabrielle and Callisto (Xena)
Azula and Katara (Avatar)
Kino (Kino no Tabi)
Granny Weatherwax (Discworld)
Aliera and Sethra Lavode (Brust)
Skade (Redemption Ark)
Ellen May Ngwethu (Cassini Division)
Death (Sandman)
Sunshine (Sunshine)
Ariane Emory (Cyteen)
Emer ap Allel (the Prize in the Game)
Sulien ap Gwien (the King's Peace)
Highliber Zarvora (Souls in the Great Machine)
Ael (My Enemy, My Ally)
The Lady and Soulcatcher (Black Company)
Elaine Belloc (Lucifer)


Rogue (X-Men movies; admittedly more cute than awesome)

Actually this probably gets into "female characters I like, or females in fiction I like" who don't strike a gut feeling of awesome. I like Higurashi, Haruhi Suzumiya, Aria, Maria-sama, Macross Frontier, Princess Tutu, Baccano!, Card Captor Sakura... lots of women there, many cool, some action heroes. But somehow Suzumiya and Yuki don't feel like they belong on the same list as the others, despite both being literally godlike figures; perhaps they just don't feel as real to me. Tutu's cool, but... And there's characters left out from the works above: Alyc Vorpatril, Anya and Inara, Delenn, Meji who's the main character of Errant Story but more of "overpowered cute annoying brat" compared to Sarine... Ask me on another day, probably get another list.

Also, a few of those I don't *like* as people, especially Skade and Ellen May. My gut cannot deny their awesomeness, however.

Control experiment: awesome male characters

Miles, Aral, and Mark Vorkosigan (Bujold)
Cazaril (Curse of Chalion)
Giles and Spike (Buffy)
Londo and G'Kar (Babylon-5)
O'Chul (Order of the Stick)
Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner (Pirates)
Marcarn (God Stalk)
En-ou Shouryuu and Enki (Twelve Kingdoms)
Hei (Darker Than Black)
Zero/Lelouch (Code Geass)
L (Death Note)
Vimes, Vetinari, and Carrot (Discworld)
Vlad Taltos (Brust)
Clavain (Redemption Ark)
Sam (Lord of Light)
Robin Hood (Outlaws of Sherwood)
Oolong (Tea with the Black Dragon)

I don't know, this is harder in a way. There's lots of male characters who have cool power or do 'awesome' things, but I tend to respond emotionally to them less, and the whole knowledge of this as an affirmative action exercise is making my responses even more finicky and arbitrary. Batman defines awesome but I just don't care. I didn't list Sousuke from Full Metal Panic, but did Hei from Darker Than Black. Why? I dunno.
Should Justin from Cyteen be listed, for being a genius and enduring under extreme pressure? Probably.

I'm going to stop now.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 2nd, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
How did you do this so fast Yeah, love vs. like vs. think/feel are awesome vs. find fascinating but do not love--I had trouble with those distinctions, too.

It's interesting that your male character list is so short!

Oolong (Tea with the Black Dragon)

Preach ittttt.
Feb. 2nd, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
Well, I put less effort into the male list. Female list took a bit of thinking and consulting "what I've read/watched" lists to remind me of what was out there. Male came pretty quickly (shaped by the same lists), but I recognized increasing emotional ambiguity, and decided to mention that and abort rather than thinking more about whether Morrolan qualified. Or the Doctor himself -- sure he's (sometimes) awesome, but that feels less impressive than Leela, maybe because he's supposed to be and she's not necessarily. And why Elaine and Johanna but not John Constantine or Lucifer? Run away!

Though for a guy, I am rather female-oriented in what I think of as my favorite characters, or in favorite series. I puzzled Jo Walton once by saying I identified with Jame.

Well, favorite anime series (12K/Scrapped/Crest), anyway. Most re-read authors are Bujold, Brust, Pratchett, McKinley, and Hodgell, and only two of those is female-dominant, though they've all got plenty of good female characters. But 3/5 female authors!

I almost listed Damiano, which I first read by finding Raphael at the public library as a kid. "Hey, it's my middle name. Hey, it's got someone with almost my first name."
Feb. 3rd, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
(Here via james_nicoll. Your name is familiar--were you on the old Julian May mailing list, back *mumbledy* years ago?)

I think "awesome" is massively open to individual interpretation...if all you go by is power level, Marc Remillard and Aiken Drum (Pliocene Exile) more than qualify, but when you talk about emotional response I'd say a character like Nazhuret (Lens of the World) fits the bill much better from my perspective.
Feb. 3rd, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
I was indeed.

I thought of Pliocene characters -- those two, and Felice Landry, and Jack. Lots of power, but nice character arcs too, especially Miltonic-Satan Marc and poor Felice. Haven't read Lens.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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