「ぱんちDEでーと」 (Panchi DE Dēto)
“Punch and Date”
If I haven’t been obvious enough, I’m going to use this post to write a letter of love and admiration for Yui Goido, who, of course, is my favorite TWGOK girl.
No, I’m not really going to write a letter. But I do think Yui is the best girl, though not necessarily because she’s such a tomboy (though that’s fun too). I like Yui because, first of all, she’s a great character, and she’s hugely entertaining to watch. It’s not everyday you see the heroines in this series be more of a casanova than Keima himself, and her suave style and endearing enthusiasm is rather contagious. I also really appreciate that for all her crossdressing and gender-bending preferences, she still insists she’s a girl, because, after all, she is. Just because she wears mens’ clothing, it doesn’t make her a man, and I like that she’s openly more comfortable that way, even if others treat her like a boy for it. In other words, I admire that she’s doing what she wants and acting however she feels she should, rather than listening to those around her; and I don’t just say that because I like strong, independent female characters (though I do). I say that because of Yui’s background, which Megami-hen cruelly cheated us out of. Yui Goido was a sheltered, delicate Ojou-sama, the type who was always chaperoned and told to act lady-like and refined, and thus she never followed her own desires and passions (playing the drums, for one thing). So it’s huge character development to see her actively challenge her family’s ideals and do as she pleases, and I personally find that really refreshing in her arc.
Secondly, Yui is my favorite because of the reaction she elicits from Keima himself. There are only a few heroines in TWGOK that leave lasting impressions on the Capturing God, and Yui is one of those girls. As Keima himself says, Yui is more like a player character than a heroine, and that comes in no small part from the impact his capture of her left on her. Again, I’m afraid anime-only viewers are cheated of this character dynamic since Yui’s true arc was skipped, and Keima’s tactics this time around probably don’t feel as referential as they actually are. It’s not just that Yui can only be conquered by leading her into doing the conquering, it’s also that she affects Keima’s inner girl (yes, he has one, trust me) and leaves him far more flustered than he’d like to be.
In any case, Yui is special not just because she’s a crossdresser, but because her arcs are hugely entertaining and also really nice to watch, at least from a female viewer’s perspective. It’s not that she’s better than other heroines, since I really like a good deal of Kaminomi’s leading ladies, but that she’s different. She’s a character who actively grew and took charge of her own life after her capture, and though the other girls do this too, none of them are quite as dramatic or as infectious as Yui. It makes sense then that her goddess would be none other than the headstrong and hot-blooded Mars, the goddess of war, or that she’d actively take the prince role to save her beloved, even if it was all a plan on the Capturing God’s behalf. The bottom line is, Yui is pretty cool, and definitely a hugely amusing poke at the dashing bishounen stereotype in dating games, except way better.
Oh and she’s best girl. Maybe I just relate to her on a deep, spiritual, tomboyish level.
Well, now that really did turn out to be a bit of a love letter, didn’t it? Oh well.
Also, crossdressing Keima. Enough said.