Who is your CLAMP-defining character?

Can you guess who’s mine?

I am not exactly an avid CLAMP fan but their works have played major part in my anime experience since the early days of my fandom. A few days ago when I was sitting idly in my room, I absent-mindedly pick up an old manga from the bottom of my stash; it was RG Veda. Then I found her, the one who defines my view of CLAMP for the last whole decade and all other CLAMP characters afterwards are just milder derivatives of her; Kendappa-o.

Kendappa-o is the daughter of one of the four generals. She lives the double lives of the royal musician and secret general of Taishakuten. She is beautiful, calm, and intelligent. She is a good musician and a great and powerful warrior. But her truly amazing qualities are her unrivaled ability in acting sweet while actually being murderous, her strong determination to hang on some ridiculous promise she made when she was like six years old (the promise that leads to her lover’s death) and her taste in men and women. Kendappa-o loves strong men like Tishakuten (who may prefer other men…but she does not seem to mind) and she loves other beautiful women in a sadistic/masochistic yuri way. In short, she is full of surprises and is a rich source of guilty pleasure; yuri, S&M, blood and violence.

Yuri plus SM = Ecstasy

Why do I think Kedappa-o is CLAMP’s signature character? Easy, you can hardly find any character similar to her in works of other writers. In every CLAMP’s story, at least one character always has a secret that will eventually pack the big shocking revelation at the end. Yuri love affair is extremely common especially when love leads to tragedy. And finally, CLAMP’s characters usually have double personality or drastic internal mental conflicts. Kendappa-o fits with all these said features. Later characters in CLAMP’s works mostly possess these qualities as well but only partially or in lesser extent. None surpasses Kendappa-o.

Other similar characters include Taishakuten and Kujaku from RG Veda, Fuma, Hinoto hime and Arashi from X, Subaru and Seishiro from Tokyo Babylon, Yukito from Card Captor Sakura, and Ichiro from Angelic Layer.

The runner up: Kinomoto Sakura of Card Captor Sakura comes to mind. If there is any other major character arctype in CLAMP’s works other than ass-kicking, sexy yuri women with personality and judgment disorder, it would be the almost helpless, pure-spirited girl who want nothing but her loved ones’ happiness and world peace. The kind of girl who is apparently incapable of taking care of the great mission given to her but somehow is able to accomplish it thanks to her genuinely pure soul, help from other people and in some cases, plain miracle. Yes, I am talking about Kinomoto Sakura! Similar characters include Kohaku from Wish, Misaki from Angelic Layer, Chi from Chobits, Yuzuriha from X and Kobato.

What do you think of my choice (Which is obviously influenced by my preference of girls with long black hair)? And who is you CLAMP-defining character?

23 responses to “Who is your CLAMP-defining character?

  1. SAKURA!!!

  2. Kenndappa-ou was a wonderful character , I also loved how multi-layered she was – nice choice!

    Sakura is somewhat iconic for CLAMP, especially since they used an alternate version of her for Tsubasa Reservior Chronicle.

    For me its a very obvious choice though – Yuuko from xxxHOLiC. Not only is she my favourite CLAMP character, she’s probably my favourite character from manga/anime ever!

    • Speaking of Yuuko, she is one unique person among mostly typical Clamp characters though her mysterious aura is nothing new in Clamp’s stories. :)

  3. For me, that is Kiryuu. Mainly because he is the character that turned me into a CLAMP fan, and I’ve never seen a character I like as much as him. I also like the pair of lovers where is an Angel and one is a Demon also seen in Wish.

    Wish is flawed, but I honestly loved it.

  4. Sakura, hands down. First CLAMP series I ever watched, albeit forced to.

  5. I generally avoid watching anything that looks like Sailor Moon

  6. Yuri and SM… I’m sold!!

    Anyways, Sakura is probably my CLAMP defining character. She is probably the most recognized character from CLAMP as CCS and Tsubasa Chronicles are both some of the group’s most popular works. Based on that alone, she defines CLAMP for me.

    Of course, as you mentioned, her personality is also a factor… But since I’m not too familiar with all of CLAMP’s works, I can’t really say much about that.

  7. Clamp wow, new to it xD.

    Sailormoonish perhaps anyone?

  8. I like your choice, RG Veda is a series so beautiful that I even bought an art book of it. The character I feel I relate the most to is Chun Hyang. But my CLAMP defining character is absolutely Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura. After her it’s probably Touya, and after him it’s probably Syaoran Li. Cardcaptor Sakura was a series that influenced my tastes in anime/manga for a very long time.

  9. My vote is for Kenndappa-ou
    Sakura’s kind of character can be made for severals authors, but a strong/beautiful/backstabbing/tragic/elegant/S&M bitch/queen only CLAMP can do so nicely as Kendappa-ou.

  10. As someone who was introduced to CLAMP by Tsuabasa, I would have to say that the character trope I recognize as CLAMP is — effeminate guys. Coupled with manly man friends of an ambiguous nature. Because, in all seriousness, I did background research on all of the different CLAMP series (supergeek alert) so that I could better understand the crossovers in Tsubasa. My reaction was “Whoa, why are there so many tall, dark guys paired with slim, girly guys?” Like, Legal Drug, CCS, RG Veda, Holic, TB, and… I can’t think of any more now. Maybe I’m just mistaken and this is a character trope that lots of mangaka’s use?

  11. Sakura and Chii are the most iconic CLAMP characters that I can think of my head. Sakura especially is quite often being associated with CLAMP, pretty much like Mickey Mouse is quite often being associated with Disney.

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