Some time ago, I tweeted about a lovely yuri K-ON! doujinshi featuring a very unlikely pair, Tachibana Himeko and Hirasawa Yui. 
A subtle romance, the doujinshi is tinted with the slightest hint of restrained love. The story is cute, but very short and obscure. I am surprised at just how much I enjoyed it, and, even more so, at how much I enjoyed Himeko.
Himeko is a very minor character in K-On! Her role is only a sliver more significant than faceless passersby. In two seasons, she probably has at most ten lines. She is simply the girl who sits next to Yui. Yet Himeko seems to have captured many’s, including my own, fancy. Long before I read this doujinshi, I had already known her . In an anime so character driven, it seems odd that a wallflower with almost no development, personality, or even screen time would be recognized, let alone memorable.
This could be a testament both to the popularity of K-On! and, not unrelated, its ability to make every detail count, from minute character growths to animation quality to even a whole class of supporting cast. The incredible care K-On! gives to building a complete world for Houkago Tea Time extends to the minor characters; each student in class 3-2 has her own unique face and name. As such, if we were to immerse in this slice-of-life, noticing and taking a liking to these girls would be easy.
Additionally, fan generated materials continue to build on the girls’ presence and develop their characters. For example, Himeko is often portrayed as having a secret crush on Yui (Oh Himeko, you adorable stalker!).  I find that especially fascinating since those feelings have little basis in K-On! other than the two being friendly table mates. However, the fans have sculpted Himeko to be this wonderful, interesting girl.
Perhaps Himeko may shed some light on our general fascination with minor characters. Having merely the basic characteristics – appearance, name, and role in the series – and bare minimum development, Himeko provides a perfect skeleton for our imagination. She has the raw potential and freshness for fan fiction authors and doujinshi artists to expand on. Similarly we can latch onto her relative obscurity, and, to a certain degree, claim her as our own. In some sense, Himeko and other such minor characters  appeal to our inner Pygmalion.
- This short K-On! yuri doujinshi with Himeko and Yui is by pixiv artist, Sakayama Shinta. Downloads for English translations are in the comments.
- I first started paying attention to Himeko after reading Smithy’s post.
- Himeko is also often paired with another side character, Asakura Nagi.
- There are a lot of such characters outside of K-On! who have found a niche fan base. Touhou is perhaps the best example.
And as @fkeroge points out, even Charlotte from Puella Magi Madoka Magica has her H-doujinshi.
- I talk about the sort of voluminous hair I love in a later post.
- It seems I was right when I wrote in my earlier review of K-On!! that I might never stop talking about this anime.