Empowering anime characters as Kulfi Underlined Kajal shades
Yes, we really had to do this.
By Samia Abbasi, Editor
Anime is something that has anchored me throughout my life. From my early days of watching Yu-Gi-Oh! on Saturday morning cartoons with my siblings, to falling in love with the mystical world of Cardcaptor Sakura in middle school, to the countless nights of watching anime in college to ~cope~ with everything. My older sister Ferheen studied Japanese in high school and college, and I got to visit her in Japan when she went to Osaka University for her Master’s degree. I also took Japanese in high school and have been able to retain some of my listening and speaking skills by watching anime. Not to be that person, but I recently counted that I’ve watched roughly 100 anime so far.
Wild and whimsical anime plot-lines fuel my imagination as a writer.
As a fun treat and testament to the creativity of anime, I paired some of my favorite anime characters and their personality traits with the Kulfi Underlined Kajal shades they most represent. I hope you find some fun anime recommendations and a new layer of meaning in each kajal's name.
Chihaya Ayase as Tiger Queen
If you're anything like Chihaya from Chihayafuru, you are passionate and driven about one interest (for her, that's the card game Karuta). But don't let her majestic & effortless facade fool you; she puts in so much time and energy into her craft—making her such a ‘Tiger Queen.’ This matte terracotta kajal shade gives me a cool and confident start to any day.
Chihayafuru is easily one of my favorite anime. It’s a slice of life, sports adjacent anime set in high school. It follows the life of Chihaya who falls in love with Karuta after her shy childhood friend & Karuta prodigy Arata Wataya shows her how to play. Her goal is to become the Queen, which is the ranking given to the top woman player in Karuta. It’s one of those anime where the characters pour so much time, energy, and dedication into something, and it makes you feel motivated to pursue your own passions. Chihayafuru is available to watch on Crunchyroll.
Ami Mizuno (Sailor Mercury) as Rain Check
Ami Mizuno aka Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon is someone you definitely want on your team during a zombie apocalypse: she is calm, intelligent, and analytical. She's the kind of friend who will give you a 'Rain Check' on plans as soon as she knows she's not free. Rain Check kajal is a teal blue with a slight shimmer, and I love to pair it with my extensive wardrobe of denim and navy blue shirts.
Sailor Moon is a classic romance and action anime about Usagi Tsukino and the Sailor Guardians who are tasked with saving their city from energy-draining monsters. Some might find Usagi to be annoying, but I love that she is unapologetically herself, including the fact that she doesn’t necessarily want the leadership position given to her as Sailor Moon. We all can agree that the 90’s feel of this anime is *chef’s kiss* with its saturated teal greens, hot pinks, and peaches. Sailor Moon is available to watch on Hulu.
Shinobu Kocho as Purply Pataka
Shinobu from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a skilled demon slayer known for her ethereal butterfly presence and unwaveringly cheery attitude. Her ‘Pataka’ (firework) energy comes out when she's fighting the most terrifying of demons—without an ounce of fear. Whenever I swoop Purply Pataka kajal, a mauve shade with a slight shimmer, onto my eyelids, I do feel like a subtle butterfly.
Rising to be one of the top grossing manga and anime, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is an action anime inspired by ancient Japan that you need to check out. Tanjiro Kamado becomes a demon slayer to take revenge after a demon kills his family (except for his sister who becomes a demon). The art style and animation in this anime are a masterpiece, and the opening theme song Gurenge by LiSA has to be in my top anime songs of all time. Demon Slayer is available on Hulu, Netflix, and Crunchyroll.
Aoi Tsubaki as Cheeky Chiku
You know that kind of person where cooking seems to be in their DNA? That's Aoi from Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits. She soothes souls with her delicious, unique recipes (including lots of ice cream!), her stubborn approach to problem-solving, and her ability to make the most out of any situation or ingredient. Cheeky Chiku, a matte neutral brown, is the alternative to black eyeliner that I didn’t know I needed—but I'm now obsessed with it.
Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits is exactly the kind of whimsical anime that Studio Ghibli fans would want to watch. In this supernatural romance anime, Aoi Tsubaki is whisked away to the Hidden Realm of demons and spirits by the master innkeeper of Tenjinya—who says that her late grandfather promised Aoi has his bride. Filled with delicious-looking food, cute spirit characters, and floating boats against a glittering hidden city, Kakuriyo is such an underrated gem that I can’t wait for you to watch. It is available on Crunchyroll.
Mikasa Ackerman as Nazar No More
With her piercing gaze, Mikasa from Attack on Titan is bold and resilient. And with her strong sense of loyalty to her friends, she is the kind of person who'd secretly perform rituals on you to ward off Nazar / Evil Eye before you leave the house. Nazar No More, is a matte, warm-toned black kajal that is classic for any occasion and makes my eyes pop on any Zoom call.
Attack on Titan first came out when I was in high school and I remember how obsessed people were with it. Yes, my high school’s Japanese club did dance to the first theme song at the multicultural rally. Closing out with its (potentially) final season airing right now, Attack on Titan is a dystopian, action anime. Eren Yeager and his friends become part of the Scouts branch of the military in order to discover more about titans—people-eating giant beings that devastated their hometown. Attack on Titan is available on Hulu, Netflix, and Crunchyroll.
Kulfi Kajal image credits: Badal Patel, @bybadal