I’ve heard it all before, about how otaku like the quiet, blue-haired anime girls because they’re empty dolls onto which fans can imprint any sort of fantasy on them. It’s supposed to be a selfish fantasy that speaks nothing of REAL women.
And this is wrong.
The first step to understanding the “emotionless” anime girl is to realize that they’re not emotionless at all. More important than the quiet distance that they usually provide is the evidence of emotion that appears. Because they are so quiet all the time, any actions they take are that much more significant. They may even say that they’re unable to feel anything, but when evidence proves otherwise, it fascinates the viewer, who gets a brief glimpse at what the character may really be all about.
Ayanami Rei’s stern reaction to Shinji holding that pair of broken glasses.
Eureka’s simple comment that Renton is “interesting.”
Nagato Yuki contributing to the defeat of the Computer Club.
Vanilla H’s anything and everything.
And of course, Hoshino Ruri discovering her childhood.
If someone wants a blank slate to fantasize over, the truth is that any character will do. But fans who love the “emotionless” type do not do it out of some desire for an everywoman, they do it out of the desire to see what this specific girl is all about. More important than imprinting an image onto the character is striving to find out what the character is all about.
PS: As I’ve said in a previous post, I don’t count Kawazoe Tamaki in this category. She’s just a quiet girl who wears her heart on her sleeve.