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.
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?