[Anime Investigative Reports] Ibuki Ikaruga vs. Haruka Minami

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Watching anime would leave people with the opinion that parents routinely leave the care of their children to the oldest sibling. Currently there’s two different anime, Minami-ke and Asu no Yoichi, that feature the eldest sister as the head of the household while still attending high school.While the intelligence of these parents are very suspect, that’s not why we’re here today; instead, the investigative division of The Null Set will determine which of the eldest sisters,Haruka Minami and Ibuki Ikaruga, would win in a head-to-head battle.

A total of five different areas will be examined, covering a wide range of points to better determine who is the better character.

Personality

Haruka is known for being sweet and caring by her family and friends. She’s always willing to lend a helping hand be it helping a family friend in buying their first bra or with the neighborhood cleanup or giving advice for getting the perfect gift. She’s very laid back, needing something major to make her angry like stealing her pudding. She doesn’t really have any bad habits except maybe the tendency to make a cake and then eating it all if no one is around.

Ibuki is serious in carrying out her responsibilities as oldest sister; though, this sometimes pushes her to violent corrective measures. Especially if it involves the distant male cousin that’s come to live with the family after growing up in the mountains. She’s also diligent in keeping the family’s dojo running, waking up early to clean and prepare it and then acting as the dojo’s instructor. She displays a maternal attitude to the dojo’s students.

Advantage: Haruka – Ibuki is just too violent

Skills

Haruka has mastered “Sa-Shi-Su-Se-So”, meaning she excels in her abilities to cook and clean around the house. She’s very adept at changing the topic away from dangerous subjects like the identity of the class banchou. She’s also adapt at playing volleyball, twister, and does well enough academically that she could study abroad. She does suffer from an inability to drink even small amounts of mystery juice before getting weird.Much like Haruka, Ibuki is an excellent cook and does very well academically. Unknown to her, Ibuki also has the ability to reform delinquents by just being a nice person. Ibuki also shines as a skilled sword user, winning contests, and making Yoichi work harder in their match then he had to with Wa-san. She’s also the instructor at the family’s dojo.

Advantage: Ibuki – knowing how to wield a sword > playing twister and volleyball

Looks / Fashion Sense

Anime inhabits a world where truly unattractive people don’t exist, unless they’re the bad guys. As such, it’s sometimes to find a real difference between two similar characters as is the case here. Both Haruka and Ibuki have a similar body build; i.e., a generous amount of curves in all the places that’s generally considered healthy for a woman. There is a few small differences, Haruka has a more standard hair and eye color – brown – compared to Ibuki’s purple hair and eyes but Haruka has a more exotic teardrop mouth compared to Ibuki’s normal mouth. In the realm of fashion, there’s more pronounced differences. Haruka’s wardrobe shades towards a mature, subdued look that always looks good on her. Ibuki, on the other hand, loves really large hair bows and wears them all the time – even when she’s going swimming or training in the dojo. I think they look a bit childish on her as well as being a bit odd. Her choice in actual clothes is much better but doesn’t quite come up the same standard as Haruka.

Advantage: Tie – Haruka’s advantage in fashion sense is negated by Ibuki’s slightly better looks (blame Asread, if you don’t agree)

Quality of Men Attracted

While causality doesn’t imply causation, it can be a means to help decide upon as issue. In this case, the quality of the men attracted by the two characters can be of some use in determining the better person. In Haruka’s case we have two guys that have taken a fancy towards her. The one is in elementary school and to get closer to her, he’s taken to dressing as a girl and posed as a friend of the middle sister. This level of determination might be admirable except he’s slowly losing sight of the goal and enjoying posing as a girl more and more. The other guy goes to the same high school as Haruka but hasn’t gotten past the stage of attempting to get her attention, instead he seems content with fantasizing about her in some very odd situations (on the deck of the Titanic for one). As of nine episodes into Asu no Yoichi, Ibuki only really has one guy interested in her that way. It appears the masked man might be in this camp as well but I’m not sure how he plays into this yet. And the main male lead will almost assuredly get to that point too (it is a harem-esque anime after all) and thusly will be included. The main character, Yoichi, is a master swordsman, caring, and an honorable character. The other guy is known as the local dangerous delinquent but since meeting Ibuki, he’s started to attend school more, helping the elderly when he sees that there in need, and turning himself into someone worthy of Ibuki’s attention.

Advantage: Ibuki – not even close this time

The Immediate Family’s Opinion Of

Nobody knows a person like their family does and that makes the opinion of the immediate family, the final component. Haruka is adored by both of her younger sisters. Towards the end of the second season, the two younger sisters thought that Haruka might be going to study overseas and this broke their hearts. On the other hand, the second oldest Ikaruga sister is almost constantly angry at Ibuki for always being perfect at everything and not letting anyone notice her. She probably doesn’t actually hate Ibuki but Ibuki’s inability in picking up her young sister’s pain and anger is definitely a strike against Ibuki.

Advantage: Haruka – for being amazing

Well, with two wins a piece and a tie, it appears there’s a tie. Since both characters are in Japanese anime, for the tie breaker let’s see who smiles better while wearing traditional Japanese clothing.

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The above picture clearly shows that Ibuki has the better smile so:

Winner: Ibuki Ikaruga

I’d like to award the winner with a second season but I don’t have that ability. Maybe, that’ll happen on it’s own so instead I’ll post a pic I took from blogsuki aka Derailed by Darry aka Anime on My Mind.

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6 thoughts on “[Anime Investigative Reports] Ibuki Ikaruga vs. Haruka Minami”

  1. Oh that’s an interesting comparison. You have several categories and provide a rationale for your choices 🙂

    I have not seen Yoichi, but I like that other girl from Minami-ke with dark hair and triangular mouth 😛

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  2. Hmm, I’ll have to disagree on a few points:
    a.) I think you’re vastly underrating the value of twister vs. sword fighting
    b.) I’d knock a point off of Ibuki for her umm… way too unrealistic proportions. Although to be fair, Haruka loses a point, because asread apparently can’t draw her at all
    c.) I like Washizu and Ibuki’s ok, but we’re comparing them to the king of GAR, Hosaka and budding trap, Mako-chan. I’d say that’s a huge advantage for Haruka on the Curry Yousei alone.

    So I think this is a win for Haruka. Though I’ll agree Ibuki looks better in the kimono, although she’s helped again by the fact that asread has this strange tendency to draw Haruka all lopsided.

    But otherwise, nice writeup. 😉

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  3. RP: No way, Hosaka + Mako-cakes is >9000 times more fail than Yoichi, Ukyo and Washizu combined.

    Nice writeup steel, a good comparison and since I watched both, I can agree with that analysis lol. Then again, I like both.

    Also, I thought you might mention it, but you might not have known (or it was not a detail that should be mentioned here) – both were voiced by the same seiyuu Satou Rina.

    Frankly though I far prefer Haruka, in Yoichi I prefer both Angela and Ayame to Ibuki. Maybe Ibuki is just the latest one in the long line of onee-sans in anime, or just more incredulous to believe than Haruka, who seems far more contemporary in context.

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  4. @everyone: thanks for your comments.

    @Kitsune: I believe you’re referring to Kana. She’s my favorite of the sisters.

    @RP: Hosaka and Mako-chan are far better comedic characters but like Panther said, they fail at being taken seriously. Ibuki can’t help the way she’s drawn 😉 . (Wonder if anyone will get that reference.)

    @Panther: Thanks for mentioning that. The fact that Rina Satou did both voices was what got me thinking in the first place. I did actually ponder if I should mention that or not but in the end it kinda slipped my mind while I was writing.

    @Baka-Raptor: Reading your recent article, I had a feeling you might agree and it also kinda made me want to pick Akikan back up.

    @Lehq: I have a feeling if Doumu had done all three seasons, I’d have probably gone with Haruka

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