Spotlight on Brown Characters in Anime – Rei Hououmaru


by K. Hopson

I’ll be highlighting these characters where I find them. Anyone familiar with anime knows that brown characters are few and far between. Though some would argue that most all anime characters are “of color” since they’re all technically Japanese, but that’s another long, confusing debate for another time.

I ran across this cutie while I was reviewing Kill la Kill last month. Did anyone else notice Rei Hououmaru?

Rei acts as the personal assistant to the main antagonist of the series, Ragyo Kiryuin, and has white/pale lavender hair that appears to be styled in locks, or really big sausage curls. She wears gold hoops and an all-white business suit with shorts, thigh-high stockings, and pumps.

Rei is always super-serious, and never loses her cool under any circumstances—even while she’s being sprayed with copious amounts of blood. (That’s all I’ll say about it, no spoilers!) Like the Honnouji Academy students’ Goku Uniforms, her suit functions as a weapon as well. In later episodes, she uses the sleeves as whips/shields. She may also have some sort of regenerative powers.

Her first appearance in episode 11 was accompanied by the SCREEN OBSCURING RED LETTERS that fans of the show have come to love. I took that to mean that she would play a major part in the series at some point. Unfortunately, she’s not all that interesting so far…
The season is nearly over and she has yet to give off any hint of a larger role, or show off any notable powers. Was it too much to expect her character to expand beyond her servile status? Probably, but I’m still hoping she will surprise us before the finale.

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