The True Appeal of Izumi Konata

Konata is a surprisingly good character. There’s something very endearing about her and for a long time (since I finished watching Lucky Star), I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but now I know.

I’ve heard from numerous people that they think Konata’s popularity is because she has the same tastes as and acts like a male otaku. That’s not necessarily off the mark, but it’s a little too simplistic. The actual appeal of Konata is not simply that she’s an otaku, but that she’s an otaku who’s not afraid to show that side of herself in public.

I think there’s a fear within everyone (but particularly relevant to dorks) that if they reveal too much of themselves that people will think less of them. They will either believe they cannot make any friends, or that their friends will stop being so friendly. Konata stands in the face of all that. Where most of dvd-and-figure-buying comrades falter, Konata is able to confidently declare to her “commoner” friends that yes, she loves Haruhi, yes, she goes to Comic Market, and yes, she is indeed an otaku.

Combined with some of Konata’s more poignant scenes, such as the Hirano Aya concert or some of her conversations with her dad, Konata shows that she’s not just an impossible ideal for otaku, but that it’s possible to both feel weak and strong at the same time.

Konata, one might say, is the opposite of Ogiue. However, unlike, say, Kohsaka from Genshiken, Konata doesn’t appear to be too perfect. Sure, she’s athletic, sure she’s friendly and outspoken, but in the end she is still genuine to her own interests, still has her own doubts and insecurities, and really isn’t that much different from the otaku from which she is derived.

The Fujoshi Files 2: Tamura Hiyori

Hiyori

Name: Tamura, Hiyori (田村ひより)
Alias:
Hiyorin (ひよりん)
Relationship Status:
Single
Origin: Lucky Star

Information:
Tamura Hiyori is a student at Ryouou High School in Saitama Prefecture. A friendly and sociable girl, Hiyori has no problems making friends. Despite her age, Hiyori is a doujinshi artist and member of a popular circle which has even sold at Comic Market. A very enthusiastic artist, Hiyori frequently comes up with ideas for new comics but often forgets them just as easily, which is a continuing source of frustration for her. While not obviously a fujoshi at first sight, Hiyori has a tendency to (almost) accidentally blurt out phrases which betray her true status.

Fujoshi Level:
Hiyori frequently uses examples from real life to inform her work. Most notably, her two female friends and classmates, Kobayakawa Yutaka and Iwasaki Minami, who have a very close friendship with each other, have become a recurring subject and inspiration for many doujinshi. Unlike many fujoshi, Hiyori’s draws more than just boys’ love pairings, as shown in the example of Yutaka and Minami. However, she rarely ventures outside the theme of sexually charged pairings, which perhaps says more about her status as a fujoshi than anything else.