For this First Shoot poll, I decided to try and stick to characters I didn’t expect my audience to know. I wanted to see how they’d vote without the bias of familiarity, so I used characters from older or more obscure properties that I enjoy, but I know aren’t as widely known or popular. Maison Ikkoku is an anime that most will probably recognize for its use in “aesthetic” or “city pop” anime videos and gifs, but it’s a pretty fun romantic anime about a bunch of characters living together in a small, aging boarding house. There’s a fair number of anime in this genre (whatever it’s called), but to my knowledge Maison Ikkoku’s the starting point for this type of series. A staple in a lot of these series is the slightly older woman who drinks and is flirtatious, usually single and a bit bitter. I always love these characters or one reason or another, and Akemi’s a great example of the archetype. I was happy to see her win the poll, even though I liked a number of the options people had to vote for, and I tried to capture her charm here in this First Shoot.
Her partner, Sakura, is the older sister of Nadeshiko in Laid-Back Camp, and I kind of like this pairing. Something about their red and purple colors works well for me, plus I like that they both come from pretty grounded and realistic anime series. They also have very different vibes, with Akemi being something like a lascivious aunt, while Sakura’s more of a stoic big sis type. Anyway, I hope y’all enjoy this debut of an undervalued character.