Tag Archives: butler

Underrated Anime Butler Time

 

Name: Raven
Series: Earl and Fairy
Age: 18
Occupation: Butler/Bodyguard

I never understood what it meant to watch a show for a character until Earl and Fairy.  It’s a good show, with lots of bishonen, a strong female lead, and an interesting fairy folklore angle, but I’m not so into  domineering male love interests.  Ordinarily this would mean watching one episode and keeping the show on hold indefinitely, but this was different.  This show had The Greatest Butler.

It’s a bold claim, but I think Raven deserves the title.  He meets all the standard requirements:  says little, keeps to himself, and does his job well.  With his battle skills and half-demon powers,  he may seem awfully similar to thatother butler, but unlike Sebastian, Raven has no ulterior motives.   He’s just that loyal.   Raven’s  sense of duty ties into his tragic back story, which involves him being enslaved and forced to become an emotionless battle machine until, of course, he’s saved and given a reason to live.  Cliche, but effective.

There’s just something about how dehumanized Raven is that really appeals to me.    Not just in the pity aspect, but in seeing him overcome it as well.  It’s a slow process, but when he shows even just a hint of emotion, it warms my heart.   Raven’s cold personality also acts as a foil to pretty much everyone else in the show, which is a welcome relief, considering how hot-headed and impulsive the other characters are.  He spouts some great deadpan lines, and is probably the only anime character that hasn’t freaked out upon seeing a girl changing.

Lastly, there’s Raven’s skin color.  No getting around it, the man is tan.   Very tan.  And he actually has black hair.  It’s wonderful.  Usually tan bishonen aren’t so tan, and have blond or silver hair as a racial cop-out.  Then again, Raven isn’t completely off the hook in that aspect, considering his green eyes and straight hair.  I still have no idea what race he’s supposed to be  (it doesn’t help that his twin sister’s bone-white either),  but hey!  Tan bishonen!  The world needs more of those!

So is Raven original?  Not exactly.  Is he a great character?  Definitely.  He’s a wonderful combination of traits, and I don’t think Earl and Fairy would have been half as entertaining without him.

Too cute for words.

In the future, butlers are robots

Back in the day, Chobits was the shit.   The little nerdlings were all over it; the spoiled few who actually managed to get some volumes of it passed them around the middle school’s network of dorks.  I distinctly remember huddling over a particularly racy volume during class, hoping I wouldn’t get caught.   Anyway, because we were young and  otaku-pure, we completely missed the point of what made Chobits so appealing.  It wasn’t about the sex jokes or the drama or the gothic lolita outfits (though those certainly helped), it was about one of the basest of geek fantasies:  sexy robot servants.

This kid had the right idea.

Sexy robots have always been a part of geek culture ( ex. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Hajime Sorayama’s art).   This concept was  fetishized even further with the explosion of maid robot anime in the late 90’s and early 00’s (Steel Angel Kurumi, Hand Maid May, Mahoromatic).   It made sense–if we were going to have attractive subservient robots, why not stick  them in maid outfits?  Clamp took this idea and ran with it.  It wouldn’t do for only for there to be only one robot, nor would it do for only the privileged to have them.  The only logical thing to do was to replace computers with robots.  To me, this is the most glorious thing about Chobits– in this world, androids are for the masses.

Unfortunately, real life isn’t even close to catching up.  Asimo can walk, but it’s not capable of opening a door.  Geminoid looks life-like and can make realistic enough facial expressions,  but that’s it.  Roxxxy, can, um, interact with you, but is absolutely terrifying.    Androids just can’t do much right now.   If we truly want mechanical servants in this day and age, we must turn to non-humanoids.

Meet Herb.

Herb’s beast.    He’s  autonomous– he doesn’t need a remote control or anything.   He can learn, navigate and interact with his environment, and even distinguish between objects.    If I’m not mistaken, Herb is the first and only robo-servant that exists today, and is estimated to hit the market in 2025.

But as you can see from this video, Herb isn’t meant for us lazy, able-bodied nerds, but rather the crippled and elderly.   Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that he is truly amazing.   Attractive, autonomous androids won’t exist for decades, but Herb exists now, and that is good enough for me.