While I've found that I really enjoy reading shojo manga, I enjoy watching both shojo and shonen anime. There isn't a logical explanation for that one, but I guess for the more action-oriented stories, I like the visual nature of anime over reading the manga version (Bleach and Soul Eater immediately come to mind).
And I've recently discovered that there are more...*ahem*...mature forms of manga out there (mature as in 18+ and very, very explicit). Yes, it exists (who knew?). I'm going to have to try to get my hands on some. You know...for educational and research purposes. (Yeah...I know.)
History: BlackRose (ブラックローズ, Burakkurōzu) is a female Heavy Blade (she bears the same character model of Mimiru from .hack//SIGN, but they have different color schemes) who meets Kite in the video game series. BlackRose is just starting on her adventure at the same time as Kite (though this is a fact she attempts to hide when they initially meet). The two clash immediately, but warm up to each other little by little. She reveals that her purpose for joining is to find a cure for the data bug that placed her brother in a coma. BlackRose is a young woman with a tough-as-nails attitude and can be a bit full of herself at times. Luckily, she has Kite alongside her to balance her out and keep her in check. Her real name is Akira Hayami and is a member of the tennis team at her high school. (source: Wikipedia)
Anime/Manga: Wolf's Rain
History: Blue is a dark blue coloured half breed, being a wolfdog.
At the start of the show, Blue is shown as Quent's pet and aide in hunting wolves, believing, like her master, that wolves were to blame for the destruction of her home and family in Kyrios. She lives her life as a pet dog, unaware of her heritage. Upon meeting Cheza her wolf blood is awakened. Unable to continue hunting down her own kind, she joins the pack in search of Paradise. Blue grows especially close to Hige, promising that she will follow him whatever happens. Blue is killed by Darcia protecting Hige and Cheza. She is not seen after earth's regeneration. (more: Wolf's Rain Wiki)
Anime/Manga: Oh My Goddess!
History: Urd is Belldandy's older half sister and is the second Goddess to appear to Keiichi. Urd ranks as Goddess second class, management category limited license, similar to her youngest sister Skuld. She is Yggdrasil's System Administrator and Manager.
Although her powers exceed those of her sisters, she was supposedly relegated to second class ranking due to her tendency to lie according to her younger sister, Belldandy. Later, the real reason that Urd dropped the first class license examination was revealed to be because she was asked why she wanted to be a first class goddess. When she did not answer and the licensing goddess said "I think it better if you don't," meaning don't become a first class goddess. Many years later, Urd once again took the first-class licensing exam this time examined by Peorth and Belldandy. At one point, Peorth commented that Urd's control and mastery of her own powers, exceeded her own. At the end of this story arc the licensing goddess approved her first-class exam to which Urd surprisingly declined. She explained to Peorth that a first class goddess' prime directive is to protect and bless all things. However, Urd wishes to selectively protect what is most dear to her (this is followed by a page with Urd drawn enveloping her sisters with her black and white wings). She also concluded that there can be use in a Goddess that can lie, which is forbidden to first class goddesses. (more: Wikipedia)
Anime/Manga: Cowboy Bebop
History: Coffee is a bounty huntress who was after Domino Walker. This bounty huntress only appears in the Mushroom Samba episode. She is a bounty huntress on the trail of an illegal mushroom seller named Domino. She clashes with the vengeful brother of a man who died after eating Domino's hallucinogenic mushrooms. The bounty huntress wants to claim her reward, so she does not want the brother of Domino's victim getting in the way. (source: Anime Vice)
* * * * *A special thanks to everyone for your suggestions!
Black Women/WoC in Japanese Anime and Manga I
Black Women/WoC in Japanese Anime and Manga II
Black Women/WoC in Japanese Anime and Manga III