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Re: Saving Strawberry Panic?

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  • atheniag
    ... as ... Welcome! ... radically ... One? Hahah. Oh, right, you re new. lol ... which ... I have to say, while I consider your ideas to be really goo, I take
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 5, 2007
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      --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, "crimsonlotus20" <crimsonlotus@...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      > Well, first and foremost, greetings. I'm CrimsonLotus (my pen-name
      as
      > well) and a new inductee to the Yuricon group,

      Welcome!

      >
      > If there is one item of contention in the Yuri community which
      radically
      > divides opinion, it is Strawberry Panic.

      One? Hahah. Oh, right, you're new. lol


      > First, there is a very interesting Platonic hyper-reality element
      which
      > can also be detected in Simoun and ICE. That is, a world populated
      > entirely by female characters (or biological females who willingly
      > transgender to become males).


      I have to say, while I consider your ideas to be really goo, I take a
      different view. There's nothing at all "hyper" about an all-female
      society. Even setting aside all-girl or all-boy schools, of which
      there are many in Japan, because the Jesuits were the first ones to
      set up a school system, there's always been all-female communities in
      existence, and I don't mean Dianic covens. ;-) The two that come to
      mind immediately are nunneries, Christian and Buddhist, and the women
      of the silk weaving world in China.

      These were (and in a few cases, still are) realities that exist. As
      do the all-girl's schools. And one has to assume that most of the
      women and girls in these communities are straight, so platonic
      relationships would be the most common. That some women would take on
      slightly more "masculine" roles comes as no surprise - someone's
      going to be the tallest, or strongest in a room, no matter how weak
      or short the population might be. lol

      So I don't see the situations in Simoun or ICE (travesty that that
      series is) as "hyper". Just a fantasy/sci-fi take on a all-female
      world.


      There is a certain strength to this
      > premise, inasmuch as you have character interaction and
      social/romantic
      > exchange without the overbearing presence of a male point of
      reference.
      > It presents female-ness (without saying femininity) as a self-
      contained,
      > finite universe which is self-sufficient on its own terms, yet is
      > knowable to the viewer through pre-acquired notions of the female
      > experience. This would have been a fascinating thought-experiment,
      had
      > Strawberry Panic not botched the operation,

      take the Ages of Woman and assign their
      > archetype to each one of three sub-divisions of the School. Thus,
      Lulim
      > (Maiden - plastic, fluid identity; creative; irresponsible); Spica
      > (Mother - powerful; dynamic; competitive); Miator (Crone - wise;
      > intrsopective; brooding). So far, so very interesting, but then they
      > took the Classical Greek (and arguably Classical Japanese)
      aesthetic too
      > far by suggesting that the only 'healthy' sexual relationships are
      > senpai/kohen based: Nagisa/Tamao and Hikari/Amane are both 'good'
      > because there is a clear relationship of dominance; conversely, poor
      > Momomi/Kaname (who, in my humble opinion, have by far the
      healthiest and
      > most balanced relationship on campus) are treated fairly
      > unsympathetically throughout the series. Ditto the unrequited
      > Yaya/Hikari and Nagisa/Tamao romances, which are portrayed as
      morbid or
      > unabalanced.

      Now this I can buy. The nature of sempai/kouhai is an exchange
      between unblanced powers. It's not entirely alien to us, as
      mentor/mentee - in the business world it's fairly common for
      executives to groom subordinates for later, greater things. In Japan
      (and Greece) as you point out, the tradition existed with sexual
      favors exchanged for entree' to inside networks - the balance of
      power had to be uneven.



      > In the end, I don't think I can isolate where Strawberry Panic, in
      my
      > eyes, went wrong, inasmuch as there are glimpses of interest and
      insight
      > throughout interwoven with fairly trite and gratuitous moments. It
      never
      > quite works as a self-parody (through the Mrs. Robinson ending came
      as
      > close as possible to being parodic without, quite taking the final
      leap)
      > and it never quite works as a serious romance (but then again, I
      would
      > argue that Marimite - a generally far more accomplished series -
      doesn't
      > either).

      The two differences there is that marimite isn't *trying* to be a
      serious romance - it's a romantic series, which is an entirely
      different thing. :-) And that the large portion of people who enjoyed
      SP *as* a serious romance relaly can't tell that it's not - and that
      it's poking fun at their inability to tell.



      So what is there to save? I think Strawberry Panic should serve
      > as a starting point for studios interested in shoujo-ai anime
      plotlines
      > as a thematic, rather than substantive, inspiration.

      Hah.

      In watching the
      > series - which on a superficial level, I found perfectly enjoyable -
      I
      > was always left with the regret that so much more could have been
      done
      > with the basic ideas and that opportunities were repeatedly missed
      along
      > the way.

      Well yes. Of course.

      >
      > Just my humble opinion. Which, since we're on it, I've said it once
      and
      > I've said it again: Hikari is perhaps the most odious, spineless
      > character I have encountered in a long time. There, I said it. Now,
      > perhaps when I have more excess time on my hands, I'll devote a few
      > lines to how she probably represents the Romanticist 'pure soul' or
      > feminine ideal.

      AMEN.

      And btw - good post. Got me thinking. I needed that.

      Cheers,

      Erica

      Hungry for Yuri? Have some Okazu!
      http://okazu.blogspot.com
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