It’s week three in our four-part series about sapphic icons in anime history! This month we’ve covered Haruka Tenou and Haruhi Fujioka. Next week our inbox is open and we’re hoping to write about fan submissions.
This week, we cover Nemuri Kamaya, better known as Midnight, for our #WomanCrushWednesday.
Warning: Some spoilers for My Hero Academia (Boku No Hero Academia) up to season three.
Nemuri is from the hit anime Boku No Hero Academia, which is one of the most popular animes this year. She appeared in season one during the USJ arc, although her quirk isn’t introduced until later. Nemuri gets a proper introduction in season two during the sports festival arc.
Nemuri’s quirk, or power, is called Somnambulist. The quirk allows her to emit a fragrance from her skin that puts people to sleep. Her power necessitates a certain amount of bare skin, which means Nemuri’s outfit is incredibly scandalous. She’s known as the 18+ Only Hero or the R-Rated Hero, a reference to her power and outfit.
As it turns out, Nemuri is the reason pro-heroes in the anime have a uniform dress code. Her original outfit was even more risque, which lead to regulation in the universe. As someone who was constantly dress coded when I was in high school, I found this pretty relatable. Nemuri is seen as highly influential on women pro-heroes, even appearing on television in an interview with Mt. Lady, a newer hero.
Nemuri does a lot more than have a flashy power and create regulation. She’s also a pro-hero and a teacher at the prestigious U.A. High School. Nemuri helps students come up with their hero code names, participates in final exams, and even referees for the sports festival in season two. She works to save Bakugo Katsuki when he’s kidnapped in the third season. She even acts as an internship coach for Mineta Minoru.
Why Is She a WCW?
While the last two characters I talked about were from shoujo anime, meaning they were aimed at younger girls, Boku No Hero Academia is a shounen anime, aimed at boys. The anime was also based on a manga written by a man. The writer wrote Nemuri’s character for the male gaze, so that viewers objectify her.
And I am not immune to propaganda.
Sailor Moon and Ouran High School Host Club were animes you’d watch as a younger anime viewer. Meanwhile, Boku No Hero Academia seems to have caught on with an older audience in America. Nemuri fits into an older audiences idea of a WCW. At 31, Nemuri feels much more grown up and mature than the other women I talked about.
Aside from being very attractive, Nemuri is also incredibly smart. At U.A., Nemuri teaches modern art history. Her faculty position at the high school means Nemuri is often responsible for ensuring student safety. While she sometimes acts flirtatious around students, Nemuri is a professional. She knows when to play up her act and when to set it aside to save the day.
Nemuri is also the side character with the most personality. She’s got a razor sharp wit and a short temper. She fights with most of her coworkers, although this is played for laughs. She’s a good friend to Shoto Aizawa, and she’s got a lot of friends in the pro-hero community. Nemuri is smart, well-connected and quick on her feet. She’s a great pro-hero and a great #WCW.
Nemuri is a smart, flirty and attractive character. Her quirk is one of the strongest in the show, and her personality matches this. She’s designed to be attractive and her voice acting by the legendary Akeno Watanabe (and Elizath Maxwell in the English dub) really lends itself to the character.
This series marked how my tastes in anime and women have evolved. Each character I covered in this list covers a certain phase in a sapphic viewers life. While this series only tracked my relationship with anime women, I think a lot of women who watched anime while discovering their sexuality can find some similarities in their stories.
Do you agree? Who was your first anime #WCW? Tweet us @geekgalsco and we’ll talk about your answers next week!
Featured image credit: Bones