In a world where generally speaking the average anime girl would freak out (and then some) if anyone caught them holding a pair of underwear, let alone seeing them wearing underwear, you would think a show all about underwear would be an endless supply of slaps to the face, right?
But then you see the main character isn’t male and everything goes topsy turvy. Enter female main character, Nayu Hayama.
Unlike the usual anime girls, Nayu has absolutely zero shame when it comes to underwear. With her older brother being a women’s underwear designer, she was exposed to various kinds of underwear at a young age, wearing underwear that you wouldn’t see girls wearing until at least high school, before she even became a teenager. So because of this, Nayu was looked at as an oddball by her classmates. Hell, some of them brought down the ‘indecent’ hammer on Nayu, because how dare she wear pretty underwear that isn’t just white panties with a ribbon on it or a teddy bear on the back!
It goes back to my old article about my own experiences in elementary school and how after years of wearing “tighty-whities”, that the norm suddenly changed and you’re looked down upon for not falling into that norm. Granted, my case is more of a not changing with the cultural norms whereas Nayu’s situation is more a shaking the foundations kind of change, I still feel for Nayu and the idiotic opinions that the girls had of her, which I truly do believe that in real life would’ve actually happened.
I’ve said it before, we especially here in North America have a real problem when it comes to sexuality and sexual content in media. Underwear is no exception to this, we almost try to hide the fact that we wear them sometimes. It’s funny when malls are littered with La Senzas and Victoria’s Secrets and other such sexy underwear stores, but there’s still that connotation of being ‘slutty’ if you wear a certain type of underwear. And this falls into Nayu’s situation in the anime, many other girls think she is just that, because she doesn’t come to school wearing plain old white bra and panties, she wears frilly underwear, striped underwear, skimpy underwear, all that jazz.
What I really like about Nayu the most though, is her carefree attitude. She doesn’t allow the ‘norm’ in society to alter how she lives her life, she’s more than comfortable in the skin she’s in, even if that skin is considered by many to be tainted and impure. She wants to wear what she wants to wear and not only that, but she has no problem letting you know that this is how she is. It’s to the point that she begins the Underwear Club at her school, the main focus of the show’s plot and conflict. She doesn’t care that people will look at her differently because of it, this is what she wants to do, this is what she loves and this is what she believes in. She’s willing to take the consequences, believing that in the end, she’ll come out better for it.
And this goes beyond just talking about underwear, she goes above and beyond the course of duty. Granted, going up to a classmate she’d only just recently met and sticking her hands into this girl’s bra to show her how the girl’s current bra is too tight for her and why that is. Obviously the anime is going this route because what straight male wouldn’t be interested in watching high school girls groping each other, but putting that aside, let’s assume this is Nayu’s true persona and she has no real boundaries for this sort of thing. It’s not out of the question that she might be overstepping her bounds just a little bit.
In the end though, I think beyond her very likely pervert side, Nayu’s genuinely trying to help all the girls out there, because she knows how important it is for girls to have underwear that is not just cute, but comfortable. Through her own experiences and through what she’s learned from her brother, she’s really just looking out for all her female classmates. That’s it, she’s not trying to turn them all into slutty girls, she’s not trying to get her hands down the pants of all the girls in her school, she’s just trying to help them.
She doesn’t do the best job of showing that by squeezing girls’ breasts all the time, but hey, no one’s perfect.