If I Become an Anime Character...

In the spirit of Peter Anspach’s Evil Overlord List (and of my own *ahem* If I Ever Become a Dragonball Character list), this page is dedicated to everything I would and wouldn’t do if I ever became an anime character. Email new ones to me at namagomi@hotmail.com, and remember to tell me whether you want your email or home page linked to your name.

Last modified on 9/10/99 (but severely unedited).

To all of you who have sent in suggestions—thank you! My inbox is now stuffed with piles and piles of great advice for all of the aspiring anime characters out there. Trouble is, my life is now stuffed with piles and piles of things which I need to do before I haul butt across twenty states to go to grad school. And then I'll be in grad school, and if you thought dissection day in high-school biology was gross, try taking a forensic anthropology class... So the upshot of all of this is that if you sent me something and it's not up yet, or you haven't even—gomen nasai!—gotten an e-mail from me acknowledging it, please don't feel slighted. 'Tain't personal, it's endemic. Keep sending 'em in, and I'll get 'em posted as soon as my real life gets out of the way.

If I Become an Anime Hero(ine)... If I Become an Anime Villain... If I Become a Magical Girl...

If I Become an Anime Hero(ine)...

I will remember that sword beats gun and bikini beats armor; and if my enemies fall down giggling at the sight of a bikini-clad warrior rushing at them with a katana, so much the better for me.

I will cultivate a non-fighting-related skill so that when the war I've worked so hard to end is finally over, I won't be unemployed. Besides, women find it charming when a man can sew.

If I do find myself unemployed after the war, I won't go over to the side of evil just because they're the only ones who still need my skills. Vocational training is dull and embarrassing, but not as embarrassing as having to fight all my old allies.

One-on-one fights are for wusses who never learned to ignore schoolyard taunts. It takes a real man to ignore cries of, "Six-to-one odds aren't honorable!"

I will not attempt to operate any mecha until I have read the complete specs and have a signed affidavit that the self-destruct button works.

I will not fret about damages to my mecha. Unbeatable mecha can be trashed on a day-to-day basis, but the techie types are so good that it will always be repaired before I need it again. (Mike Taub)

If I am issued a suit of armor or fighting costume with high heels, I will get it altered immediately. Really, people, have you no sense of style?

If I can fly, I will bear this in mind at all times, and not waste time on chase scenes.

If I have a chance to pick a partner, I will not choose the cutest, most ineffectual kawaiiko in the cast. I will choose the villain.

I will bear in mind that a fight is the second most lasting form of contract known to the animeverse. If I lose, the jerk will show up and taunt me at every plot twist; if I win, he will follow me around demanding a rematch. Or worse, he will join me.

I will also bear in mind that a date is the most lasting form of contract known to the animeverse.

If an admirer refuses to understand that I don't want to date him, I will not fight him or engage in devious schemes to get away from him. I will go on a date with him and spend the evening demurely picking my nose.

If a too-cute-to-live girl refuses to understand that I don't want to date her, I will not hatch devious schemes to get away from her. I will go on a date with her and try at the first possible moment to get my hand down her blouse.

But before I do this, I will clear my plans with her brother, secret admirer, or anyone else likely to pound me for being hentai with her.

And if trying to cop a feel doesn't get her to run screaming from me, well, now I have a cute girlfriend who doesn't mind if I try to cop a feel. Things could be worse.

If my wise old jiichan or baasan tells me that the family shrine/forest/well/cave imprisons a demon, I will believe them. Tokyo has been blown up often enough already by kids who didn't believe their grandparents.

If my name is supposed to be in English, I will make certain that the English is grammatically sound and doesn't give English speakers fits of the giggles.

When faced with dripping, octopoid tentacles, I will not scream and wiggle. I will pour salt on them.

I will not be surprised when the person from the future turns out to be my kid. Of course they're my kid. If they weren't, they wouldn't be here. More importantly, who is the other parent? (OnnaRanma)

I will spend some time learning my family history, since it's good to know in advance that I am an alien/descendant of a god/heir to the throne/part of a deal to the underworld... little things like that are sure to pop up, and its nice to know in advance. (Noname Guzzetta)

In the same vein, I will keep track of anything my parents/sensei say and ferret out things like, "Did you marry me off when I was three?" "Do I have a secret weakness?" "Was I adopted?" "Is what that nice alien girl said about my lineage true?" and "Are you sure there isn't another ultimate technique I can learn?" (Noname Guzzetta)

If I'm facing a particularly amusing or pathetic villain, I will resist the urge to kill him or let him join me. All that does is to clear the way for some new villain who is probably infinitely worse. (Noname Guzzetta)

I will establish a plan to escape from those inevitable rampaging love triangles. It may save me some dimensional-hammer-related pain. (Noname Guzzetta)

If annoying suitors are inevitable, I will arrange to attract only suitors who lack my strength or powers. If I do fall in love, my suitors won't be able to interfere with me or my love interest. (Noname Guzzetta)

I will have an obnoxious personality quirk that makes others suffer. This will keep me out of the "unlucky" character bracket that nice people get stuck in. (Noname Guzzetta)

I will hit on the villain of the opposite sex. This will distract him or her, and I may even score another ally. As for the second worst possible outcome, well, s/he was going to kill me anyway, right? (Noname Guzzetta)

I will keep in mind that the worst possible outcome is that s/he will stay around and add another side to the love (geometric shape) I'm already in, so I should save it as a last resort. God knows that if it works, I'm probably swamped with suitors already. (Noname Guzzetta)

I will not even bother with a laser gun. When was the last time someone didn't have an energy shield to deflect it? (Noname Guzzetta)

I will remember to knock and loudly announce that I am entering the bathroom. There are no limits to how many times this would have simplified things. (Noname Guzzetta)

I will duck and avoid the large, heavy object which is coming my way, then say, "Wait! I can explain!" (Noname Guzzetta)

If I Become an Anime Villain...

I will take the Evil Overlord List as my bible.

I will not fall in love with the hero's romantic interest. I have no chance with him or her, and all of the interesting characters are already on my side.

If my enemy's partner is the cutest, most ineffectual kawaiiko in the cast, I will not underestimate her. She may be squealy, and she may be annoying, but she is probably the most powerful source of magical energy on the show.

I will not kill my underlings, no matter how ineffectual or used-up they are. It's terribly embarrassing to have the winning hand and lose because of sheer lack of numbers.

If my underlings repeatedly desert me for the hero's side, I will look into the merits of what he or she is doing. If it doesn't suit my plans to join the forces of good, I will at least institute a program to stop employee defections. Perhaps something involving cheery slogans and coffee-room posters.

If my enemy is a magical girl, I will not stand in awe as she goes airborne, drops all of her clothes, and starts spinning in preparation to transform. I will wait until her regular clothes are gone, then yank her down and start fighting. If her shock at my breaking the Law of Uninterruptable Metamorphosis doesn't paralyze her, the fact that she's in her birthday suit will.

If my enemy must shout the names of his attacks to get the full effect, I will invest in a simple first-level AD&D spell known as the "Sphere of Silence."

It hardly bears mentioning that my own attacks won't have a verbal component.

And if the author insists upon my shouting attack names, I will not choose eight-kanji confections with fourteen syllables and no identifiable meaning. I will have attacks with names like "HA!"

...Although I might make an exception for an attack called "Neener-neener-neener."*

I will remember: The plot is not on my side. There's no way that I can win, so I might as well have fun.

Whips are fun.

Chains are fun.

But they should be used sparingly unless I want to appear in yaoi fics for the rest of my born days.

If I am facing an unbeatable mecha, I will not aim for it to the exclusion of all other targets or risk my underlings to get the specs. I will take out the techie team which maintains it. And then I will aim for it to the exclusion of all other targets. (Mike Taub)

If I am a second-string villian, I will fall in love with the hero(ine) as soon as possible. This will save me time and trouble in the long run. (Jeremy Evans)

If I am a second-string villian, I will join the good guys at the first chance and help them kill my boss. Then, while they celebrate, I will kill them all and take over my boss's position. (Jeremy Evans)

The most plain/young/ditzy/wussy hero(ine) dies first. There's nothing I hate more than having some punkling start displaying awesome power after I've beaten everyone else. (Jeremy Evans)

If I Become a Magical Girl...

I will not be astonished when I manifest magical powers. Of course I have magical powers; it's in the show's name.

I will watch plenty of anime and play lots of video games during my stay on Earth so that nothing I meet in the magical world fazes me.

I will not waste my magical powers on trivialities like passing tests. If I play my cards right, I'll never have to go back to Japan again.

I will not waste my magical powers on getting boys, either. If the series is worth its salt, I'm already rolling in bishonen; and who wants a blob-faced future salaryman when she can have Hotohori or Allen Schezar?

I will, however, conquer the world. It's been a long school year, and I really need a vacation.

I will not wear a fuku. If I have to wear a fuku because it contains my magical powers, I will take it to a good tailor and have it altered. Most sailor skirts convert into culottes nicely.

Odango are Right Out.

I will perform exercises to sharpen that rare and delicate faculty known as a "memory," so that I don't have to waste valuable time repeating everything that is said to me phrase-by-phrase.

I will not say my beloved's name obsessively when he is not in the room. I will use my beeper.

...And if I am on Kodomo no Omocha, I will remember to set my beeper's vibrator on "low."

If I am faced with the choice of being destroyed by something evil, or of letting loose something even more evil in the hopes that it will destroy the lesser evil and then not eat me, I will think carefully. The greater evil is likely to become my romantic interest.

If I cannot cook, I will not keep trying in the vain attempt to convince everyone of my femininity.

I will, however, bring huge amounts of preprocessed snacks.

I will not waste my malletspace account on mallets. An AK-47 is about the same size and much more handy.

I will be a dyke. It's not that the thought of licking sweat droplets one by one from between Haruka's breasts makes my knees weak--it's that being a dyke will save me from the magical girl's ultimate fate of falling in love with the most colorless yoik on the show.

If I don't have that option, I will be a sidekick instead. Sidekicks always get secondary characters as boyfriends, and they have a much better chance of having a personality.

I will resist the urge to dropkick the obscenely cute and fuzzy whatsit which follows my party around. It may turn out to be the creator of the universe.

I will reaffirm my dedication to my quest and my friendship with my teammates less than once every three shows. The viewers get it, already!

If I get to choose a costume, I will choose one with a real disguise which leads to plausible confusion as to who I really am. (MorganaAML)

I will bargain for a fighting costume that covers my head, legs and arms, preferably with some sort of tough armor-like material. If my higher-ups won't spring for that, I will go out and buy an inexpensive bicycle helmet and strap pan lids to my kneecaps. (Lily)

I will carry a small, powerful, concealed firearm and a bottle of mace at all times, just in case my large, decorated, twangly-dangly attack doesn't work for some mysterious reason. I will encourage any other members of my party to do the same. (Lily)

I will wear my hair in a short, manageable style, not involving pigtails down to my feet, loops the size of bowling balls, a long, untied cascade of locks down my back, or anything else that I can get caught by/tangled in/suspended by a pole from. (Lily)

I will not allow the center of my powers, and thus the fate of whatever I am protecting, depend on a gem, stone, or any object smaller than a grapefruit, which could be easily stolen, lost, or accidentally flushed down the toilet. My powers will revolve around a 40-foot stone monolith on an unsightly, dangerous planet, far, far away, cemented to the ground, guarded by giant, savage housecats, and possessing a ghastly smell. Sink your teeth into that, villains. (Lily)

I will use the patented "anime eye-twitch syndrome" to look cute and sucker everyone around to feel sorry for me. At the very least, it should be useful for getting out of speeding tickets. (Slow Bob)

* Ninani Nani Na, "virtuous, graceful nun's mochi-sticking arrest": With a graceful sweep of my hand, grains of mochi fly out of my habit and gum themselves to the good guys until they're completely immobilized in man-sized balls of sticky rice. I'm going to be an interesting villain.

The gods who made those stars my track, Few days, few days,
Have laid their burden on my back, And I am going