Re: Saving Strawberry Panic?
- --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, "crimsonlotus20" <crimsonlotus@...>
> Well, first and foremost, greetings. I'm CrimsonLotus (my pen-name
> well) and a new inductee to the Yuricon group,Welcome!
> If there is one item of contention in the Yuri community which
> divides opinion, it is Strawberry Panic.One? Hahah. Oh, right, you're new. lol
> First, there is a very interesting Platonic hyper-reality elementwhich
> can also be detected in Simoun and ICE. That is, a world populatedI have to say, while I consider your ideas to be really goo, I take a
> entirely by female characters (or biological females who willingly
> transgender to become males).
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
There is a certain strength to this
> premise, inasmuch as you have character interaction andsocial/romantic
> exchange without the overbearing presence of a male point ofreference.
> It presents female-ness (without saying femininity) as a self-contained,
> finite universe which is self-sufficient on its own terms, yet ishad
> knowable to the viewer through pre-acquired notions of the female
> experience. This would have been a fascinating thought-experiment,
> 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); Spicaaesthetic too
> (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)
> far by suggesting that the only 'healthy' sexual relationships arehealthiest and
> 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
> most balanced relationship on campus) are treated fairlymorbid or
> unsympathetically throughout the series. Ditto the unrequited
> Yaya/Hikari and Nagisa/Tamao romances, which are portrayed as
> 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, inmy
> eyes, went wrong, inasmuch as there are glimpses of interest andinsight
> throughout interwoven with fairly trite and gratuitous moments. Itnever
> quite works as a self-parody (through the Mrs. Robinson ending cameas
> close as possible to being parodic without, quite taking the finalleap)
> and it never quite works as a serious romance (but then again, Iwould
> 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 animeplotlines
> 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 beendone
> with the basic ideas and that opportunities were repeatedly missedalong
> the way.Well yes. Of course.
> Just my humble opinion. Which, since we're on it, I've said it once
> I've said it again: Hikari is perhaps the most odious, spinelessAMEN.
> 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.
And btw - good post. Got me thinking. I needed that.
Hungry for Yuri? Have some Okazu!