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Re: Notes from the third Marimite novel, Part 2

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  • atheniag
    ... other ... She says she wants to be a nun, which while not being an exclusively Catholic thing, is certainly more likely to be Catholic than, say, Anglican.
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 3, 2005
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      --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, Erin Subramanian <esubramanian1@c...>
      wrote:
      > what is a dooky wrote:
      >
      > >Well, there's no evidence that any of the girls (apart from Shiori)
      > >are actually Catholic.
      > >
      > What about Shimako? I seem to recall that she's Catholic (or some
      other
      > kind of Christian? I can never remember ^^) despite being part of a
      > family that runs a Buddhist temple.

      She says she wants to be a nun, which while not being an exclusively
      Catholic thing, is certainly more likely to be Catholic than, say,
      Anglican. :-)

      It's true that Shimako tells us (by way of Noriko) that she wants or
      wanted to become a nun, (and here I'm drawing only on the anime as I
      haven't gotten this far in the novels and the manga hasn't gotten here
      either) we don't really see any sign of particular piety or
      "religiousness" in Shimako - certainly not the fervor for prayer that
      we saw in Shiori.

      (Which brings me to a point that I forgot to share re: the third
      novel. Sei tells us only the barest of details about Shiori, the same
      details we got in anime and manga - that her parents died while she
      was in middle school, that she lived with an uncle in Nagasaki then
      tranferred to Lillian. In the novel we learn only a few more things:
      Shiori's guardian in Tokyo is, in fact, our old buddy Saori, the
      school principal. That is why Shiori stays with her after she breaks
      up with Sei. The only other thing we learn is that Sei mentions how
      difficult, hard, painful, etc Shiori's life had been the last few
      years. Sei implies that Uncle was NOT a nice person and that Shiori
      was really, really glad to be away from Nagasaki. It is my opinion
      (based on nothing but gut feeling) that one of the reasons Shiori
      wanted so badly to become a nun was to escape her difficult life with
      that uncle - and to redeem it and give it some meaning. If she could
      tell herself that all her previous suffering brought her closer to
      God, then it would give the misery and pain some meaning. By turning
      her life to God, she could redeem it.

      Which is why I say, falling in love with Sei was the absolutely WORST
      possible thing that could have happened to Shiori. It cast into doubt
      every single thing she believed - and in a way that falling in love
      with a guy couldn't do. This was so so so against her convictions that
      it could only be seen as "one or the other." You can't be a pious
      Catholic and a lesbian - at least, not within Roman Catholic dogma.
      You can be a pious Catholic and a wife. You see the problem. Siori
      could only have *either* her redeemed life as a nun, *or* Sei. And, as
      Sei points out at the end of the book, they really had no future so
      she had to lose to Maria-sama....again.


      Also, her connection with Buddhism
      > is kind of a "dirty little secret" for her at school, as is Noriko's
      > Buddhism. To me, this would indicate that the religious orientation
      of
      > the school and its students isn't just a surface thing; unless
      Shimako
      > and Noriko are more worried about it than they should be?

      My gut feeling tells me that her desire to be a nun is kind of a
      childhood dream that became more important because she kept it hidden.
      The more of a secret it became, the more she would desire it.

      I'll have to wait until I get there, but I bet that once no one really
      cares if she wants to, she'll stop wanting to so much. :-)

      I'd guess that, yes, they are both worrying way too much. The power of
      a secret increases the longer you hide it.


      > Also, Yumi and the other students frequently pray at the Maria
      statue,
      > although that doesn't necessarily mean they're Christians in other
      respects.

      Yumi and Sei pray at a shrine on New Year's Day, too. :-) Doesn't make
      'em more Shinto. It's what you do, because, it's what you do. "Clap
      your hands and make a wish" said the tour guide. I thought it funny
      that he differentiated that from praying...which is essentially
      clapping your hands and making a wish. ;-)


      > In the Shiroki Hanabira arc, Sei seems to have some sort of belief
      in
      > Christianity, although I don't think she completely accepts it the
      way
      > Shiori and others do--she seems to be more of a skeptic.

      Very like most ex-Catholics, she isn't denying the existence of Mary
      and Jesus, just skeptical of the power they wield. I wouldn't think
      that makes her Christian, or not-Christian.

      Remember, Japan is still a country that is not monotheistic. Sei could
      well feel exactly the same about 3000 other gods. LOL "Sure, you're
      here - but what have you done for *me* today?"


      > I think in this case it has to do with running the family business,
      not
      > just securing the family fortune. But yes, I think it's at least
      > somewhat likely that Sachiko will end up married to Suguru.

      I agree. She's been raised her whole life completely inundated with
      duty to the family - this would be one more duty she has to fulfill.
      What are her options?

      They can
      > each have lovers on the side if they like, but I'm not sure how
      > comfortable Sachiko would be doing that (despite writing her doing
      > exactly that in a fanfic... lol).

      I'll have to track that one down... ;-)

      Sachiko may end up just not having any
      > real romantic/sexual relationships in her life. Aww. :(

      Something which is a lot more common today than people believe. I
      personally know several women who have married for reasons other than
      romance.

      I can see her having romance, but not taking a lover. Almost Heian of
      her, really. lol

      Hopefully she'll
      > still have Yumi, though...

      That's certainly one type of romance.

      It's very hard to imagine the kind of woman Sachiko will become. If
      she goes to school overseas, she might well come back with all sorts
      of bizarre radical ideas like her taking over the business herself, or
      wanting to marry for love.

      If she stays at Lillian, she will be surrounded by lesbians who are
      probably all incredibly closeted, who almost all go off and get
      married, then have love affairs with women on the side.

      If she goes elsewhere, she'll be killing time before she is married to
      Kashiwagi and cloistered in her house until she has to be dragged out
      as an ornament.

      There's not a whole lot of scenarios in which I can see her ever
      freeing herself from family obligations.


      > >As for the others (and leaving aside the arguments over the
      validity
      > >of such categorisation), it's hard to say whether they're gay or
      > >straight unless they have a declared love interest. Which puts Sei
      > >into the gay category and Eriko into the straight category, with
      > >everyone else sort of hovering in between.

      "Springtime of youth," yadda, yadda... :-) I think it is no
      coincidence that the bulk of anime and manga have characters in this
      age group - the sexual ambiguity is exactly what makes it such a free
      time.

      What fun, pointless conjecturing about the sexuality of words on a
      page. :-) Umberto Eco says that when a story begins to reach past
      itself, the characters are recreated and analyzed as if they were
      real, re-written and re-structured by a participating audience, then
      that story is "literature." :-)

      Cheers,

      Erica
    • Resop
      ... I stand corrected. ... Well, my thought was the irrational belief that since all the other girls who share a screen in the opening sequence of Marimite
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 3, 2005
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        --- Erica Friedman <alecto_fury@...> wrote:

        > >From: Resop <resop2@...>
        > >Reply-To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com
        > >To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > >On the other hand, I could see Yuuki being "pressured" into making
        > >Sachiko's other relation (the pig-tailed heel girl) her petite soeur.
        >
        > You mean Yumi and Touko?

        I stand corrected.

        > I don't think that's likely to happen at all. My
        > guess is that Yumi will pick someone who has not yet appeared in the novels
        > at all - an entirely new character. (I base this solely on my irrational
        > belief that Konno Oyuki writes pretty much exactly what I would write in any
        > given situation, and *I* would have Yumi pick someone entirely new. LOL)

        Well, my thought was the irrational belief that since all the other girls who
        share a screen in the opening sequence of Marimite spring get paired up,
        that Yumi and Touko would follow suit.

        Now, there is another scenario that I have thought of, based on Touko's
        self-image as a scheme-queen (she hasn't done the shoujo villain laugh
        yet, but I'm sure that she has practiced it). The idea would be that
        the girl who is helping Yoshino learn Kenpo decides she wants to help
        out the yamayurikai (so she can be closer to Rei). Since, obviously, Yoshino
        would never accept her as a petite soeur and Yumi would never accept
        Touko as her petite soeur (stay away from my grand soeur you hussy)
        Touko comes up with the scheme where Yoshino takes Touko and Yumi
        takes the Judo girl.

        Admittedly, not an idea anyone would be happy with, but one that
        Touko would be sure to consider.

        Craig
      • Erica Friedman
        ... It might make a nice fanfic, but I have several objections to it being anything like a possible storyline: It would be starkly out of character for
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 3, 2005
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          >From: Resop <resop2@...>
          >Reply-To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com
          >To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com

          >Now, there is another scenario that I have thought of, based on Touko's
          >self-image as a scheme-queen (she hasn't done the shoujo villain laugh
          >yet, but I'm sure that she has practiced it). The idea would be that
          >the girl who is helping Yoshino learn Kenpo decides she wants to help
          >out the yamayurikai (so she can be closer to Rei). Since, obviously,
          >Yoshino
          >would never accept her as a petite soeur and Yumi would never accept
          >Touko as her petite soeur (stay away from my grand soeur you hussy)
          >Touko comes up with the scheme where Yoshino takes Touko and Yumi
          >takes the Judo girl.
          >
          >Admittedly, not an idea anyone would be happy with, but one that
          >Touko would be sure to consider.

          It might make a nice fanfic, but I have several objections to it being
          anything like a possible storyline:

          It would be starkly out of character for Yoshino. Yoshino has no reason to
          help Touko and, in fact, disliked and suspected her long before Yumi even
          realized that there was a reason to. Not to mention the fact that, I can't
          remember her name, sadly, the girl you are referring to, (Chiharu maybe?)
          shows no real sign of being Yoshino's rival, per se, but is clearly dead set
          on trying to emulate Rei, rather than become her soeur.

          And as Yumi is Yoshino's friend, I seriously doubt she would choose the one
          even slightly potential rival in the whole of the school for Rei's attention
          for her soeur.

          I also don't see the ROI for Touko in this. Touko has all the access to
          Sachiko that she wants, since she is family, and Yumi has already invited
          her to help the Yamayurikai, so she is in and out of the Rose Mansion all
          the time. In fact, if anything, Touko seems rather unenthused about helping
          the YYK at the end of Parasol wo Sagashite. So conniving to become a member
          makes no sense.

          Cheers,

          Erica
        • runaway_donkey
          ... was gay or ... was ... understand ... alright, perhaps out was too strong a term. what i meant was, i believe that by the time of the novels, sei has
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 3, 2005
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            --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, "Erica Friedman" <alecto_fury@h...>
            wrote:
            > Frankly, I don't think Sei had enough time to realize whether she
            was gay or
            > not. She lost Shiori immediately after kissing her, so for her, it
            was
            > possible that the next year was when she might really start to
            understand
            > what was going on with her.

            alright, perhaps "out" was too strong a term. what i meant was, i
            believe that by the time of the novels, sei has achieved a level of
            acceptance about her attraction to women. she generally puts
            herself in the same boat as kashiwagi (although they dislike each
            other immensely). and she doesn't seem particularly interested in
            men. remember, she asks yumi to evaluate kashiwagi's
            attractiveness, since she apparently has no eye for such things.

            >
            > >My question is this, in Japanese are there two different words for
            > >female mistress and male mistress? After all, maybe the Ogasawara
            > >"tradition" isn't to take female mistresses at all?
            >
            > The text was fairly specific - Sachiko's father has "another
            woman" as do
            > all the other men in the family.
            >

            i think that it does specifically say women in reference to
            sachiko's father and grandfather. when kashiwagi is talking to
            sachiko, he actually says that he thinks the two of them are alike
            (i'm not sure what that implies...) and they should take lovers,
            using either the word koibito or aijin, i forget which. neither is
            particularly gender specific. as for other words, the only thing
            that comes to mind is the word nigou-san, "ñ†‚³‚ñ, which means #2 or
            something like that. also not necessarily gender specific, but i've
            only heard it in reference to women, unlike koibito or aijin.

            > To me it seems that
            > Yuuki/Kasahiwagi is meant as a foil for Yumi/Sachiko - one
            relationship
            > frought with emotional intensity, the other played for laughs,
            like a clown
            > parodying a dramatic actor as he recites his lines.

            i always thought that the yuuki/kashiwagi relationship was more of a
            parallel with the yumi/sei relationship. kinda like in the new
            years side story.

            > You mean Yumi and Touko? I don't think that's likely to happen at
            all. My
            > guess is that Yumi will pick someone who has not yet appeared in
            the novels
            > at all - an entirely new character.

            i agree that konno might just create a new character to be yumi's
            souer. neither touko nor kanako have outright declared that they
            are candidates for the position, and i've heard (haven't read that
            far either...) that in one of the later novels, kanako tells sachiko
            that if yumi were to ask her, she would refuse. could go either
            way. i'm actually quite interested in what yoshino's gonna do.
            after all, she's made a bet with eriko that she will find a souer
            soon. but the only 1st years she seems to know are noriko, touko,
            and kanako. some people seem to think that yoshino might make a
            girl by the name of naitou shouko her souer. this is because
            shouko's (real) older sister, katsumi, was a rival of eriko's, and
            shouko and yoshino have some personality traits in common. however,
            shouko has more of a tie in with tsutako, so who knows how that will
            turn out.

            -alf
          • Erica Friedman
            ... on with her. ... While I don t disagree, I m not sure we have any real proof of this at all. ... I m looking forward to reading the bits where Kei and Sei
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 4, 2005
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              >From: "runaway_donkey" <alf_the_donkey@...>
              >Reply-To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com
              >To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com
              on with her.
              >
              >alright, perhaps "out" was too strong a term. what i meant was, i
              >believe that by the time of the novels, sei has achieved a level of
              >acceptance about her attraction to women.

              While I don't disagree, I'm not sure we have any real proof of this at all.
              :-) Other than that gut feeling thing, again.

              I'm looking forward to reading the bits where Kei and Sei intereact. God
              knows I'd *love* to have a short about Sei's life at college to over-analyze
              for lesban cues. LOL

              she generally puts
              >herself in the same boat as kashiwagi (although they dislike each
              >other immensely).

              I'll agree with that. Sei recognizes a gayboy when she sees him...although
              it's possible that she knew about Kashiwagi through Youko, a priori.

              In the New Year's Day manga, amusingly, Sei does to Yumi *exactly* what she
              warns Kashiwagi not to do to Yuuki - so yes, they are obviously similar
              types and Sei knows it.

              and she doesn't seem particularly interested in
              >men. remember, she asks yumi to evaluate kashiwagi's
              >attractiveness, since she apparently has no eye for such things.

              I think that was, rather, that Sei understood Yumi's natural sympathy for
              Sachiko and wanted to know whether Yumi approved. :-)


              >i think that it does specifically say women in reference to
              >sachiko's father and grandfather. when kashiwagi is talking to
              >sachiko, he actually says that he thinks the two of them are alike
              >(i'm not sure what that implies...)

              Could be anything, but remember, Sachiko isn't the only person who will have
              to marry for the family. Kashiwagi also has a duty to his family and doesnt'
              really have *any* possibility of marrying for love. He'll be expected to
              take a wife and have children, and his desire for me will have to be hidden
              from everyone else in his family. In that sense, Kashiwagi is a little lucky
              to have Schiko as his fiancee' - at least he doesn't have to hide it from
              her.

              Of course, *we* want it to mean that he sees Sachiko as being attracted to
              same sex partners as well. LOL But they are actually the same in other ways
              that make alot more sense.



              >i agree that konno might just create a new character to be yumi's
              >souer. neither touko nor kanako have outright declared that they
              >are candidates for the position, and i've heard (haven't read that
              >far either...) that in one of the later novels, kanako tells sachiko
              >that if yumi were to ask her, she would refuse. could go either
              >way. i'm actually quite interested in what yoshino's gonna do.
              >after all, she's made a bet with eriko that she will find a souer
              >soon. but the only 1st years she seems to know are noriko, touko,
              >and kanako. some people seem to think that yoshino might make a
              >girl by the name of naitou shouko her souer. this is because
              >shouko's (real) older sister, katsumi, was a rival of eriko's, and
              >shouko and yoshino have some personality traits in common. however,
              >shouko has more of a tie in with tsutako, so who knows how that will
              >turn out.

              Fan art says....Shouko's all about Tsutako. LOL

              Cheers,

              Erica

              Yuricon - "For real women who like their women...animated."
              http://www.yuricon.org


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