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Errinundra's Beautiful Fighting Girl #133: Taiman Blues: Ladies' Chapter - Mayumi


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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 6545
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:21 am Reply with quote
It's a new year and a new page so I'm starting a new project. An epic project. It could take years.

Anime's Beautiful Fighting Girls

It is my contention that the signal feature of anime, beyond its visual cues, and what sets it apart from non-Japanese cartoons, isn't giant robots, nor is it limited to magical girls. I cannot think of any other narrative artform where female protagonists are presented with such frequency and variety as there are in anime and where the audience is primarily male. It's a most peculiar thing.


Sailor Moon on a wall in Northcote, near where I live. She has been recently restored after being defaced -
you can still see traces of the graffiti bleeding through her freshly re-painted image.


It wasn't always so. In the early days of anime in the 60s, studios found that magical girl shows aimed at girls, such as Sally the Witch (1966), could pay their way through TV advertising and merchandising. Titles like Cutie Honey (1973) attempted to garner a male audience, while, by all accounts, it became apparent that males were, in any case, watching the magical girl shows. In the wake of the Daicon III and IV shorts (1981 and 1983) and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984), the amount of anime with female leads aimed at a male audience exploded. Almost all, such as Dirty Pair (1985), followed the comic irony of the Daicon films, until Ghost in the Shell (1995) showed there was a market for strong, female protagonists in a serious narrative. (The Rose of Versailles (1979) did much the same for female audiences somewhat earlier, of course.) Thus began the golden decade or so of deadly serious anime girls that, in hindsight, probably ended with Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit (2006). Fashion moves on and anime female protagonists remain plentiful, if less serious, while still shouldering some sophisticated thematic luggage.

The genesis of this project was inspired by my love of the girls with guns genre, nobahn's thread on strong female leads, and by the book Beautiful Fighting Girl by Tamaki Saito, however I intend to extend the range of anime covered beyond fighting girls to consider any title where the the female protagonist is conflicted or contested, be it girls with guns, magical girls, sports anime or adventure. Slice of life titles will generally be avoided for several reasons: to narrow the range of shows to be reviewed; they interest me less than other genres; and their lack of the phallic girl that makes anime so distinctive and so beguiling. Early on in the project I shall consider characters who don't meet these requirements but are otherwise important due to their role in the evolution of the beautiful fighting girl, such as Chameko in Chameko's Day (1931), which would best be described as slice of life, or Captain Tonga (Kimba the White Lion, 1965) and Françoise Arnoul aka Cyborg 003 (Cyborg 009, 1966), who aren't protagonists, however they provide the earliest images of anime girls with guns that I've so far found, while the latter is the template for many non-magical girl protagonists that follow.


Beautiful...

I will be, for the most part, following my review format, except that I won't bother with the Reason for watching paragraph, as the reason is obviously a given. As a reference I'll list in each review the director, studio, source material, composer, scriptwriter and, perhaps, the animation director and key animators. The aim is to follow their careers as the history of anime unfolds. From time to time I may include essays on related matters. If I've already reviewed a title in this thread I may do a fresh review or discuss some aspect of the anime that interests me, ie why Mireille Bouquet (Noir, 2001) appeals to me so much. I may also discuss female characters who aren't strictly protagonists but are interesting in a related way, such as Shiki Ryoji (Garden of Sinners, 2007) who may not be the point of view character, but is arguably the most important player, or Rin Tohsaka (Fate/Stay Night, 2005), who would make a far better protagonist than Shirou Emiya.

As suggested above I also intend to review the titles in chronological order so that I can place them in their proper context and observe how visual styles and themes have changed over the years. I don't have any concrete theses on why the beautiful fighting girl has come about beyond Saito's own that postulates she is the result of the otaku's creative interpretation of her in the hyperreal world of anime. It is no coincidence that the rise of the beautiful fighting girl parallels the rise of the otaku. I'm sure some of my expectations will be upended as I explore the vast wealth of material before me.


...fighting...

There are practical problems with the project. I already have a list of over 200 titles to consider. Even at the rate of one review a week that's over four years with my eyeballs glued to my screen and beavering away at my keyboard. I'm sure I'll be bored, let alone burned out. The arrival of a RL girlfriend could well be the end of the project. ANN might not even be here in four years. Hey, I mightn't. More immediate is the difficulty in tracking down copies of some of the most essential early titles. The Princess of Baghdad (1948) is completely unobtainable. The Anime Encyclopaedia has no more to say of it than most of it "was lost until the 21st century, and hence not part of anime chronologies." Only 13 episodes out of 109 have been fansubbed for Sally the Witch (1966) along with only 4 of 50 for Lucy of the Southern Rainbow (1982 - come on, Aussie fansubbers, get off your collective arses). Even more criminal is that crucial titles such as Himitsu no Akko-chan (1969), La Seine no Hoshi (1975), Hana no Ko Lunlun (1979) and Fairy Princess Minky Momo (1982) can only be found as raw downloads. The unobtainable status of La Seine no Hoshi is especially egregious as it's the progenitor of Rose of Versailles (1979) and a line of anime through Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997). Mind you, I'm not sure I really want to sit through every episode of Sally the Witch, or Akko-chan, or Minky Momo - they are annoyingly twee. I'm also not sure I want to endure almost 300 episodes of the Sailor Moon (1992) franchise. And, do I really need to watch Ikki Tousen (2003)? Or Queen's Blade: The Exiled Virgin (2009)?

I intend to have breaks from time to time. Timely reviews of cinema screenings will take precedence over the project. It's also my intention to watch one or two new shows per season, so I may have a break every three months to review them, especially if the genre falls outside the perview of this project.


...girls.

I intend to use the following resources:
Anime News Network
The Font of all Knowledge
My Anime List
100 Anime, Philip Brophy, British Film Institute Publishing
500 Essential Anime Movies: the Ultimate Guide, Helen McCarthy, Collins Design
Anime: A Critical Introduction, Rayna Denison, Bloomsbury Academic
Anime: A History, Jonathon Clements, Palgrave MacMillan via Kindle
The Anime Encyclopaedia 3rd Revised Edition: A Century of Japanese Animation, Jonathon Clements and Helen McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press via Kindle
Anime Explosion: The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation, Patrick Drazen, Stone Bridge Press
Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle, Susan Napier, St Martin's Griffin
Beautiful Fighting Girl, Tamaki Saito, trans J Keith Vincent and Dawn Lawson, University of Minnesota Press
Otaku: Japan's Data Animals, Hiroki Azuma, trans Jonathon E Abel and Shion Kono, University of Minnesota Press

As I use other sources, I'll add them to the list.


Detail from the image at the top of the post.

Well, I'm nothing if not ambitious. We shall see how it all goes.


Last edited by Errinundra on Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:19 pm; edited 29 times in total
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 6545
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:21 am Reply with quote
Part 1: Evolution



1. Chameko, Chameko's Day
2. The Ladybird, Kumo no Tulip
3. Princess, Princess of Baghdad
4. Friendly Girl with a Teddy Bear, Tales of the Street Corner
5. Mary / Capain Tonga, Kimba the White Lion
6. Françoise Arnoul (aka Cyborg 003), Cyborg 009 & Cyborg 009: Monster Wars

Part 2: Revolution



1. Bai Niang, The Tale of the White Serpent
2. Sally Yumeno, Sally the Witch
3. Sapphire, Princess Knight
4. Atsuko Kagami, Secret Akko-chan
5. Cleopatra, Cleopatra
6. Mako Urashima, Mako the Mermaid
7. Nozomi Mine, Wandering Sun
8. Merumo Watari, Marvellous Melmo
9. Etsuko Sarutobi, Sarutobi Ecchan
10. Chappy, Chappy the Witch (scroll down)
11. Jeanne, Belladonna of Sadness
12. Satomi Nishiyama, Miracle Girl Limit-chan (scroll down)
13. Hiromi Oka, Aim for the Ace!
14. Honey Kisaragi, Cutie Honey
15. Heidi, Heidi, Girl of the Alps
16. Meg Kanzaki, Majokko Megu-chan (scroll down)
17. Princess Marina, Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid
18. Simone Lorraine, The Star of the Seine
19. Princess Elisa, The Wild Swans
20. Perrine Paindavoine, Perrine Monogatari
21. Chikkuru Komori, Majokko Tickle
22. Maetel, Galaxy Express 999
23. Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables
24. Lunlun Flower, Lunlun the Flower Child
25. Isabelle Rostain, Isabelle of Paris
26. Oscar François de Jarjayes, The Rose of Versailles
27. Lalabel Tachibana, Lalabel
28. Chie Takamoto, Chie the Brat
29. Yayoi Yukino, Queen Millennia
30. The Unnamed Girl with a Glass of Water, Daicon III
31. Lum, Urusei Yatsura
32. Lucy-May Popple, Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow
33. Minky Momo, Fairy Princess Minky Momo
34. Ranze Etou, Tokimeki Tonight
35. Yuu Morisawa, Magical Angel Creamy Mami

Part 3: A Splash of Crimson



1. Lili, Rainbow Squadron Robin
2. Françoise Arnoul (aka Cyborg 003), Cyborg 009 (1968 TV series)
3. Kathy Flint, Animal Treasure Island
4. Fujiko Mine, Lupin III (1971 TV series)
5. Sayaka Yumi, Mazinger Z
6. Michiru Saotome, Getter Robo
7. Yuki Mori, Space Battleship Yamato
8. Hikaru Makiba & Maria Grace Fleed, UFO Robo Grendizer
9. Yuki Mori, Farewell Space Battleship Yamato
10. Fujiko Mine, Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo
11. Françoise Arnoul (aka Cyborg 003), Cyborg 009 (1979 TV series)
12. Fujiko Mine & Clarisse d'Cagliostro, Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro
13. Olga, Space Firebird 2772
14. Kasha Imhof, Space Runaway Ideon
15. Sayla Mass, Mobile Suit Gundam Movie Trilogy
16. Remy Shimada, GoShogun
17. Karala Ajiba & Sheryl Formosa, The Ideon: A Contact & The Ideon: Be Invoked
18. Misa Hayase & Lynn Minmay, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross
19. Ciela Lapana among several others, Aura Battler Dunbine
20. Alfin, Princess Royal of Kingdom Pizanne, Crusher Joe

Part 4: Eruption



36. The unnamed girl in a bunny costume, Daicon IV
37. Emiya Tachi, A Time Slip of 10,000 Years: Prime Rose
38. Alice, Alice in Wonderland
39. Princess Nausicaä, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
40. Shin Tanokura, Oshin
41. Jeanne Francaix, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross
42. Persia Hayami, Magical Fairy Persia
43. Sandy Brown, Noozles
44. Ami Nonomura et al, Cream Lemon
45. Nora Scholar, Nora / Twinkle Nora Rock Me
46. Yohko Asagiri, Leda - the Fantastic Adventure of Yohko
47. Remy Shimada, GoShogun: The Time Étranger
48. Mai Kanzaki, Magical Star Magical Emi
49. Rem Ayanokouji, Dream Hunter Rem
50. Kei & Yuri, Dirty Pair & Dirty Pair: From Lovely Angels with Love
51. Minky Momo, Fairy Princess Minky Momo: La Ronde in My Dream
52. Princess Fandora of Aura in the Phantos Dimension, Dream Dimension Hunter Fandora
53. Iczer-One, Fight! Iczer-One
54. Suzuko / Suzu, Fire Tripper
55. Kei & Yuri, Dirty Pair: Affair on Nolandia
56. Antoinette, The Humanoid
57. Yumi Hanazono, Magical Idol Pastel Yumi
58. Elfie, Coral Reef Legend: Elfie of the Blue Sea
59. Maris, Maris the Chojo
60. Eiko Magami, Project A-ko

Part 4 continued



61. Samy Yoshino, Chojiku Romanesque Samy - Missing 99
62. Mitsuko Hayami, Cosmos Pink Shock
63. Ai, Ai City
64. Rabby and surviving crew members of the Solnoid space cruiser Star Leaf, Gall Force - Eternal Story
65. Rumi Natsumi, Call Me Tonight
66. Nayuta Yanagihara, Nayuta
67. Moira, Roots Search
68. Princess Apricot of Fountainland, Bosco Adventure
69. Miyako Negishi (aka Neko), Tobira o Akete
70. Midori Ichinotani, Ingrid "Shizuka" Gruber & Yuriko Edogawa, Katsugeki Shojo Tanteidan
71. Kei & Yuri, Dirty Pair: Project Eden
72. Princess Kahm of the Santovasku Empire, Outlanders
73. Lemon, Cherry & Berry, Twinkle Heart - Gingakei made Todokanai
74. Miki Morita & Eriko Hara, Wanna-Be's
75. "Priss" Asagiri; Sylia Stingray; Nene Romanova; & Linna Yamazaki, aka the Knight Sabres, Bubblegum Crisis
76. Asuza Shiga, The Laughing Target
77. Mami Sakura, ESPer Mami
78. Mariko Okazaki, Circuit Angel: Ketsui no Starting Grid
79. Ayame Hayami, Yotoden
80. Biko Daitokuji, Project A-ko 2: Plot of the Daitokuji Financial Group
81. Ferris, Sybil & Mario M-66, Black Magic M-66
82. Lipmira Gweiss, MAPS
83. Persia Hayami, Yuu Morisawa, Mai Kanzaki & Yumi Hanazono, Majokko Club Yoningumi - A Kuukan Kara no Alien X
84. Lamba Nom, Mia Alice & Pai Thunder, Dangaioh
85. Amy, Spea, Catty, Shildy & Lufy, Gall Force 2 - Destruction

Part 4 continued further



86. Alcia Grace, Relic Armour Legaciam
86. Althea, Good Morning Althea
88. Kei & Yuri, Dirty Pair OVA
89. Leina Stol / Reina Haruka, Leina Stol in Wolf Sword Legend
90. Hinako Shiratori, Ultimate Teacher
91. Ikuuru, Dragon's Heaven
92. Miho, Harbour Light Story from Fashion Lala
93. Mako Domon, Madonna
94. Deunan Knute, Appleseed
95. Noa Izumi, Patlabor
96. Leona Ozaki, Dominion Tank Police
97. Shiko Kotobuki, Project A-ko 3: Cinderella Rhapsody
98. Miyu Yamano, Vampire Princess Miyu
99. Noriko Takaya, Gunbuster
100. Riko & Rulishia, Dragon Century
101. Spea, Amy, Shildy, Catty and Lufy, Gall Force 3: Stardust War
102. Irene "Rally" Vincent, Riding Bean
103. Susan Sommers and Miranda, Venus Wars
104. Atsuko Kagami, Himitsu no Akko-chan (short movie)
105. Sandy Newman, Rhea Gall Force
106. Maiko and Shoko Ogi, Karura Mau
107. Cleopatra Corns, Cleopatra DC
108. Rainu Kizuki, Explorer Woman Ray
109. Mia Kawai, Aya Kishida & Kazumi Kishida, Ariel
110. Atsuko Kagami, Himitsu no Akko-chan: Umi da! Obake da!! Natsu Matsuri

Part 4 continued yet further



111. Noa Izumi, Patlabor: The Movie
112. Sonnet Barje & Ran Komatsuzaki, Blue Sonnet
113. Kiki, Kiki's Delivery Service
114. Lemnear, Legend of Lemnear
115. You "Angel" Mikawa, Angel Cop
116. Junko Yajima & Reiko Shinokita, Yajikita Gakuen Dochuki
117. Agent D (aka D-ko), Project A-ko 4: Final
118. Sally Yumeno, Sally the Witch
119. Noa Izumi, Patlabor on Television
120. Ruka and Rumi Kobayakawa, Dark Sea, Moon Shadow
121. Yawara Inokuma, Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl
122. Yama Rikudo, Demon Hunter
123. Maron Namikaze, Assemble Insert
124. Sandy Newman, Gall Force: Earth Chapter

Part 5: Crash



125. Judy Abbott, My Daddy Long Legs
126. Kei & Yuri, Dirty Pair: Flight 005 Conspiracy
127. Seiko Nagare, Satsujin Kippu wa Heart-iro
128. Masami, The Curse of Kazuo Umezu
129. Sally Yumeno, Sally the Witch (movie)
130. Carol Mudagolas, Carol
131. Ginga, Like the Clouds, Like the Wind
132. April Bikirk et al, Sol Bianca
133. Mayumi Hashimoto & Noriko Tokada, Taiman Blues: Ladies' Chapter - Mayumi

Marginalia



1. The Female, Male (scroll down)
2. The Mermaid, Mermaid (scroll down)
3. Hilda, Horus - Prince of the Sun
4. Miriam, Tales of a Thousand and One Nights
5. Mimiko, Panda! Go Panda! & Panda! Go Panda!: Rainy Day Circus
6. Rachel, Dallos
7. Lamina, Love Position - the Legend of Halley
8. Kate Lee Jackson, Bavi Stock (scroll down)
9. Sheeta, aka Princess Lusheeta Toel Ur Laputa, Laputa: Castle in the Sky
10. Kajika, The Phoenix: Yamato Chapter
11. Fujiko Mine, Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy
12. Kei, Akira


Last edited by Errinundra on Sun Feb 20, 2022 10:08 am; edited 178 times in total
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Zin5ki



Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 6680
Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:20 am Reply with quote
What a project this will be!
If this is going to be a compendious critical exploration of how a character archetype has arisen to appeal to (and ultimately shape the interests of) a consumer base, I can think of several people who might wish to keep an eye on it. May I share a link to your post with the wider world?
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 6545
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:24 am Reply with quote
Of course.
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Alan45
Village Elder



Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 9897
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:37 am Reply with quote
@Errinundra

Since you asked, I would suggest that you at least try the first season of Ikki Tousen. While people go on and on about the exploding clothes, I found it interesting because the heroine fights not because she was dragged, tricked or forced into it but for the shear joy of fighting. Add a fair amount of background intrigue, the actions of fate and other complications and you have an interesting story.
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Blood-
Bargain Hunter



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 23921
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:39 am Reply with quote
Very cool! This is a topic close to my heart, as well. And yes, for your project to have any intellectual validity at all, of course you have to watch Ikki Tousen. Wink
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nobahn
Subscriber



Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 5126
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:42 am Reply with quote
Errinundra wrote:
The genesis of this project was inspired by my love of the girls with guns genre, nobahn's thread on strong female leads, and by the book Beautiful Fighting Girl by Tamaki Saito, however I intend to extend the range of anime covered beyond fighting girls to consider any title where the the female protagonist is conflicted or contested, be it girls with guns, magical girls, sports anime or adventure.

Oh my goddesses, I keep on forgetting to update the indices there! Embarassed
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Akane the Catgirl



Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1091
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:13 pm Reply with quote
Welcome back, nobahn! We've been worried about you! How've you been? Also, interesting topic. Are you going to cover Kill la Kill?

(Also, it's not too late to vote for the next Akane Analyzes, only one person's voted so far...)
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 6545
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:07 pm Reply with quote
Ikki Tousen will be #104.

Kill la Kill is #195.

That's assuming two things: I'm still alive by then; and nothing is added beforehand.

It's ironic, reading this post in light of developments in this thread.
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Blood-
Bargain Hunter



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 23921
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:28 pm Reply with quote
Errinundra - unless it is the sheer epic scope of your project that is providing the most juice, you may want to spend some time devising an alternative, less ambitious (but therefore more accomplishable) plan. Through text research, perhaps you could limit your list of shows to, say, the most significant of each particular decade. Following the evolution of the beautiful fighting girl is a very interesting topic but I fear the sheer number of titles may overwhelm you and cause you to give up at some point.
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 6545
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:40 pm Reply with quote
It's no bother. If I get fed up after, say, 20 shows, I'll do something else for a while.

Besides, I've already downloaded or bought pretty much everything up to mid 80s. (I gotta say Project A-Ko was much more fun than I expected it to be.)
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 3804
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:18 pm Reply with quote
Among recent shows there is no finer nominee then Yatori from Alderamin on the Sky.

https://youtu.be/BXHN5ippQ1k
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 6545
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:11 am Reply with quote
^
I don't know much about it. Is she the protagonist?
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getchman
He started it



Joined: 07 Apr 2012
Posts: 9129
Location: Bedford, NH
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:45 am Reply with quote
she's one of the show's protagonists. shares the spotlight with Ikta
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 4116
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:42 am Reply with quote
yuna49 wrote:
Among recent shows there is no finer nominee then Yatori from Alderamin on the Sky.

https://youtu.be/BXHN5ippQ1k


Fiery fighting women who happen to be redheads could make its own list. And I said that without clicking on the link or watching the show but I do see the show's cast image when I'm choosing not to watch it; "She's a redhead, she's the fighter." I think to myself and I click on the link and, yeah, there. Why not keep a separate count? For Japan and their genetic pool of black and brown hair, it's kind of a fun side effect of anime hair color.
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