The second part of my history with anime girls brings me right into the mid-90’s when anime was on television pretty regularly and the strength of Japanese-made consoles made the anime aesthetic quite well known. Speaking of anime heroines, get yourselves down to the cinema and see Arrietty! It’s magnificent!
Much too young (still single digits as far as age goes) to appreciate how difficult importing Japanese games were I still had magazines packed full of illustrations to gaze at. This is where the anime aesthetic became more easily recognisable for me (compared to the European character designs seen in the previous post).
I would spend many hours tracing the elaborately illustrated images for characters like Ryu from Street Fighter but it was the girls who caught my attention simply because they were much more distinctive.
I have never played the game but I have watched it being played on my technology mad uncle’s Sega Mega CD (he has owned every major console released in the UK). Inspired by Dragon’s Lair, the game allowed the player to select actions within a time period and a video would play out. I remember watching with fascination as Time Gal Reika Kirishima battled with cave men and dinosaurs.
Taking a more active role in the action she was the first female videogame protagonist I had ever seen and she was totally cool and cute – especially when in chibi form. She was handy blasting and punching monsters and sliding down hills in cool videos and wore a skimpy outfit which struck me as silly but what the hey. I loved the animation and character design so much they stuck in my memory.