When manga and anime creators go to design a new character, they have many personality types to start from. They might choose an orthodox osana-najimi childhood friend, a girl who’s known the main character all his life and thus knows all his faults, or perhaps go with a classic tsundere, a girl who’s angry at the main character 85% of the time, then head over heels in love with him the other 15%. One fun character archetype is “genki girl,” a girl in a perpetual state of genki, a Japanese word that means energetic or happy. (It’s also used in Japanese greetings to mean “fine” or “well,” and it can also refer to a certain state men find themselves in when they wake up in the mornings.) Genki girls are ridiculously high-spirited and full of energy, always shining brightly and full of life, though sometimes the reason for their excessive genki becomes an interesting character twist later in the story. Some example of the genki girl character type include Minori from Toradora, Tomo from Azumanga Daioh, Kaolla Su from Love Hina, the “cat girl” Nekoko from our outstanding visual novel Yume Miru Kusuri, or (sorry to get all old school on you) Hikaru from Magical Knight Rayearth and Hikaru-chan from Kimagure Orange Road.
Minori from Toradora is my favorite “genki girl.”