Suspended Animation Dreams

Best Trap Ever: Saitou Ayumi by Digibro
February 6, 2010, 8:22 pm
Filed under: Anime, Shion no Ou, Trap | Tags: , , ,

female ver.

I know that none of you fuckers have seen or probably even heard of Shion no Ou, a fall 2007 anime about shougi and murder that went superbly under-the-radar, because finding images of Saitou Ayumi is  harder than finding pictures of a trap character should ever be. Now, let me talk about why I think the blue-haired beauty is the best trap ever.

male ver.

I’ve always had one problem with traps and the people who love them, which is that traps are, for all intents and purposes, usually female. They tend to look like a (hot) girl, act like a girl, have a chirpy female seiyuu, and are completely gay. Now, how hard is it to fall into that trap, really? It’s not even a trap, because it’s easy to defend your sexuality when the character might as well be a female anyway. For instance, one of my favorite traps is Peppo from Gankutsou, but Peppo looks, sounds, and acts so much like a girl that I’m half-convinced she’s not even a real trap at all! The Animanachronism once made a great point that traps are only really ‘men’ insofar as the canon demands it, as if we just ignore that it’s a boy (or don’t even know) then it would be pretty hard to be called gay for finding it attractive.

female and male

Here’s where Saito Ayumi differs from the crowd. While Ayumi is believable as a girl, she is more believable as a guy. It is revealed to the viewer that Ayumi is a guy right in the middle of the first episode, even going so far as to show him with his shirt open to absolutely confirm this fact. And the truth is, while Ayumi is a pretty girl, it’s not hard to believe she’s a guy when you know it already. She isn’t very feminine, and she’s just a bit more sturdily built than most women – not to the point that you would doubt it was a woman, but just enough to not be surprised by the contrary. What’s more, Ayumi doesn’t sound like a girl. Sure, it’s a female seiyuu, but it’s Paku Fucking Romi! She’s played more young men than she has women! Paku Romi’s career is practically centered on the fact that she can convincingly play young men who actually sound male, but haven’t quite cracked their voice yet. Once again, Romi’s voice isn’t enough to make you go ‘that’s a guy’ on first site, but once you know it’s a guy, then she’s not doing a lot to convince you otherwise.

this image doesn't really do justice to his masculinity... or height.

The point is, if you still find Ayumi attractive, you have truly fallen into a trap. Ayumi is shown in male ‘form’ plenty of times, including shirtless, has a male voice, and is convincingly male even when dressed as a woman. But you know what? I’d still fall for the trap. Ayumi is a great character, which helps to give him another edge over most traps who tend to be side characters or gags. He is actually one of the most interesting characters in Shion no Ou and has a great personality that, while distinctly male, is also kind of cute in it’s own way. Ayumi would be like the ultimate ‘bridge’ trap. As I see it, most traps will convince you of your ability to ignore canon in your adoration of a character design. Ayumi is a trap that might convince you that you’re gay.

(For the record, Hideyoshi is a pretty good one for the same reasons, but he’s not as much of a solid character as Ayumi is.)