Character Spotlight: Laura Bodewig

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It really does suck for Laura that she’s in a wonderful anime series in Infinite Stratos and shows herself off in all the best possible ways. She’s cute as all hell, can be super funny, super deadly and has a very unique look. However she has to play second fiddle to her best friend in the series, Charlotte Dunois because unfortunately she’s just more perfect than Laura.

But to say Laura is my second favourite girl from Infinite Stratos is like me saying missionary is my second favourite sex position. It’s not like there’s a huge gap between first and second, I love both pretty much the same, I just prefer one slightly over the other if I have to pick one. Yes, I just compared my love for two anime girls with my enjoyment of various sex positions. So sue me, haha!

Laura with Charlotte in their cat pajamas

Laura with Charlotte in their cat pajamas

The entirety of Infinite Stratos was a battle between these two girls for that #1 spot above the rest of the girls. It was always those two in first and second, no one else ever really came close to either of them, as much as I enjoy Chifuyu and the underrated Ran. I would argue the two of them are still duking it out for first and second, though Charlotte’s had the crown for quite some time now, simply due to the fact that between her and Laura, Charlotte just comes off as the better relationship choice in the end while Laura’s advantage is her just being so adorable that hugging her would probably turn anyone into an addict.

But I mean let’s be honest here, the longer the series goes on the more likely it seems to get that if you get close to one of these two, the other won’t be far behind. Uh…if I was living in that world, sign me the fuck up for that opportunity!

But anyways, let’s move onto the star of the day, shall we?

Laura in the Schwarzer Regen

Laura in the Schwarzer Regen

In the early going while ‘Charles’ was still being a sexy girl disguised as a pretty boy, Laura showed up onto the scene as a potential antagonist for the rest of the IS crew. Hailing from Germany, this silver haired, red-eyed tiny girl with an eyepatch looked like someone who would give everyone a run for their money and in a way yes she can. In the beginning she whips EVERYONE’S ass that’s a student, even dealing with Rin and Cecilia at the same time. However a couple episodes later, it’s shown that while yes she can take on two at once, it’s much harder for her to deal with two people who are actually working together, as Charlotte and Ichika did, defeating her. Though it’s still apparent that out of the five girls she’s the most skilled though Houki gets an unfair advantage at the end of Season 1 getting a customized IS unit from her sister who just happens to be the genius behind the IS units.

I was kind of disappointed that they removed Laura’s bad girl status as quick as they did, I think it would’ve been more interesting if they kept her wanting to beat the hell out of everyone until the end of Season 1, but then again if that had been the case I would’ve been robbed of two absolutely perfect moments that launched her into the fight for first between all the Infinite Stratos girls.

Laura 'sparring' with Ichika

Laura ‘sparring’ with Ichika

Of course the key moment is the beginning of Episode 9, but as a quick refresher or lesson to those who don’t remember or haven’t seen the series, after defeating/saving Laura where Ichika essentially holds her close to him before she falls unconscious she starts to develop feelings for him. But as a hard-trained soldier she doesn’t really get social norms especially in another country so she enlists the help of her commanding officer (who’s a manga enthusiast). Storming into Ichika’s class in her IS unit (how that’s allowed I’ll never know), she grabs Ichika and in front of everyone takes the first (and only) kiss of the entire series, claiming Ichika as her bride. So the following morning, he wakes up to find a naked Laura in his bed who believes this is just what you do when you call someone your bride. When he tries to get away, she traps him in an armbar and hails that she’s helping him improve his hand-to-hand combat, blushing while doing so. Now Laura doesn’t have a massive bust like some of the other girls, but you’d think he’d react a lot more when his arm is also touching something a bit lower, as would she. But then again, gotta somehow keep these shows rated for younger audiences than pornographic material. The moment itself is so great, it’s the first time we really see Laura in a more adorable light and yes her flawless body is a huge part of that.

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The second moment is later in the episode where we see Laura in what may just be the best swimsuit I’ve ever seen in an anime series (because girls in thongs like Highschool of the Dead don’t illicit the same level of reaction from me) altogether. After a hilarious reveal of her looking like a mummy (with the eyepatch on top and little tails of her hair sticking out), she rips off the bandages to reveal just how drop dead gorgeous smaller girls can look if you give them the tools to do so. Is Laura’s bikini a little skimpy? Yes, but is it at the level of the overly glorified skimpy bikinis the girls with larger breasts and butts wear? God no. It’s sexy and yet just conservative enough that it matches her perfectly. She wants to look adorable but at the same time is trying to coerce Ichika over to her and if I was him that day it would’ve worked in spades on me.

And that’s the thing with Laura, she’s not overly sexy, but they don’t make her so cute you’d feel awkward about saying how hot she is. She has a perfect balance between the two, she’s so cute you want to hug her, yet she’s so hot that well…you know…wink wink nudge nudge.

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Like Charlotte, it’s her English voice actor that really steps up Laura’s overall presentation. I’ve said it before, Infinite Stratos is one of the only anime that I will tell people to watch in English over the original Japanese because the accents done in the English version are so good. Tiffany Grant does a phenomenal job at taking a German accent and making it so adorable with Laura, the same way Shannon Emerick makes Charlotte so much more elegant and sexy with her French accent. For Tiffany to be able to make Laura sound threatening as all hell and then an episode later making her sound like the cutest girl ever is quite the feat.

And on top of that, taking Laura’s personality with the voice she gets just throws her so far up the ladder. Laura is a well-done mixture of danger, strength, cluelessness and downright cute. No matter what the situation is, she adapts to it and it works so well. Want her to get super angry about something to the point she destroys a beach ball with her bare hands? Done. Want her to blush brightly and be super embarrassed when Charlotte dresses her in kitty pajamas and hugs her tight? No problem. Laura works with everything they throw at her.

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In a series where there is already a Queen in Charlotte it’s hard for anyone to take the crown away. Seriously, I was already attached to her before she was even revealed that she was a girl and not a boy in ‘Charles’, because it wasn’t that hard to figure out. But Laura stormed onto the scene and by Episode 9 she was right there with Charlotte and never left her side. Since then, both of them have been right at the top of my list for not just girls in that series but girls in anime as a whole. Which is so ironic given that by Season 2 they’re pretty much like sisters.

Laura is an incredible example of taking a girl who you start off as a villain and slowly change her into one of the cutest girls I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching in an anime series. She’s adorable, she’s funny, she’s stubborn and most of all, she’s strong. She’s everything you’d want in a girl, so long as you don’t piss her off.

She’d certainly make your mornings interesting. Just practice getting out of submission holds.

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