Now This Is Only My Opinion, Part 2

April 3rd, 2006

Last week, I offered to wax opinionated on anything you asked, so here we are. A lot of the questions are Marimite related, so take all answers with the requisite grain of salt.

Q: I might as well ask the most obvious question (to me): Which Lillian schoolgirl would you want to be?

This is the “most obvious” question? It wouldn’t be to me, but okay… I’m not in the habit of wanting to be fictitious characters. And to be very, very honest, the idea of going to a Catholic school does not appeal to ex-Jew, currently pagan me. BUT, if I absolutely HAD to be someone at Lillian, well then there’s no choice at all. Lesbian, comparative literature major and dirty-old-man at 18, I’d have to go with Sei. And the sky is blue. ^_^

Q:I STILL want to know if you think Rei and Yoshino are sleeping together. And hey, I can’t seem to remember any evidence besides their word that they really are cousins…

Other proof? You mean other than the fact that the author says as much? Authors, despite fan’s hopes and dreams *do* have final say. Rei and Yoshino ARE cousins. Their fathers are brothers and their mothers were soeur at Lillian. I do not think they are sleeping together, no.

Q: Not sure if you are familiar with the fanfiction of Paul Corrigan, (and I don’t mean to plug someone else’s work on your site, nor am I affiliated with Paul Corrigan in any way) – but after your reading of the Marimite novels and such, what do you think of his characterization of Yumi and Sachiko in fanfics like this one? http://tinyurl.com/hdvup – Just curious on your take on it.

I am familiar with Paul and his curious brand of Canada-insert fanfic. I was not familiar with this story, because I mostly do not read fanfic other than those written by the members of the Fanfic Revolution. However, in the spirit of trying to be as fair in answering as I could, I went to the link and tried to read it. Again, to be perfectly honest, I was unable to get past the poor formatting and swiftly and randomly changing tenses and points of view to encounter the characterization that you spoke of. It seemed to me that story was that Sachiko had propositioned Yumi, but due to Sei and Youko’s unintended interference they got nowhere and everyone ends frustrated. I did not care for it. At the risk of sounding abominably pompous, I did it better in Distance.

Q: Any opinions on Shizuru and Natsuki of Mai Hime/Otome fame? (or any of the other couplings in that universe)

Nope. None at all.

Q: And while I’m at it, what DO you think of Kannazuki no Miko?

It was a funny, train-wreck of an insensible anime, and a slightly more heinous manga, clearly written by and for people who haven’t the least little idea what rape does to a person. But the multitudes of children who think it was beautiful and fantastic and sexy HAWT yuri make me want to cry.

It was fun. But it was NOT good.

Q: Who is the greatest anime villain of them all?

What a great question! I have no idea…there are so many.

Desslock from Starblazers was my first; with his beautiful blue skin and stylin’ orange hair, but no one gives him any respect these days.

(I’m doing a little review of my entries in the November ’03 issue of Animerica, in which I contributed to a “Rogues’ Gallery” of evil, and wrote a short piece on the “Badass-ness of Being Bad” to assist my memory.)

Gestapoko from the Kekkou Kamen anime is offensive in every possible way, so she’s on the list, absolutely. A Nazi-regalia-clad S&M “queen” with the look of a street hooker from “Hunter” Gestapoko made Alan Harnum collapse in horror once – that’s got to count for something!

Because of the recent Live-Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon I have to put Queen Beryl on my list. She was just another red-headed baddie until she was brought to life in the newest incarnation. And woo-hee, she was GREAT! The nails, the breasts, the *dress*! Beryl’s da bomb in every way.

Goldie Musou from Gunsmith Cats has always been one of my favorite Evil, Psychotic Lesbians (TM), for her driven insanity and desire to make a sex toy out of Rally. I respect that kind of vision in a woman.

But I have to say that my *personal* number one favorite villain ever is… Eudial of the Witches Five from the Sailor Moon anime. Doorknobder is the most pathetic miserable wretch of a Monster of the Day, Eudial is so hopeless, and so funny and so cracked, that I’ve loved her from first sight. I mean – she collects the parking and driving tickets she gets! Eudial can have my heart any day – pure or not.

Q: Do you know if anything ever happens between Sachiko and Yumi?

Um, do you folks realize that Maria-sama ga Miteru is for young teens, right? No one is going to have sex in this series. Move on already! I am prepared to bet money that none of the soeur couples will ever be seen having sex in the books proper. Ever.

Q: I’ve been wondering for a while, what exactly are your feelings about the ‘onee-sama complex’ in Yuri?

It’s a perfectly natural extension of the usual sempai-kouhai relationships all Japanese form throughout their lives, and has roots of tradition that date back to pre-literary times. It’s just a thing.

Q: Flat tax. Yes or No?

Doesn’t Matter. It’s not the tax system that is flawed (although it is, of course) but that *any* system of government or taxation is inherently flawed because people are inherently monstrously selfish. And regardless of the system of taxation, rich people will be able to hire professionals to wangle out of it, governments will always count on the middle class (a part of which I proudly account myself) to bear the burden of the lowest class, who are the unlikeliest to seek the correct kinds of help to lessen their loads for many and various reasons.

Q: Aside from the ones you’ve mentioned here on Okazu (or maybe even including them, for those who haven’t read all the archives), what original Yuri doujinshi circles do you read?

My top Circles currently are, off the top of my head: Jesus Drug, Sakuraike, NWXP, Office Mono, Girlish, Pen-Pen Gusa Club. Some of these do original, some not. I’m on a Jesus Drug kick at the moment, as I’ve become a huge Hayashiya Shizuru fangirl.

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16 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Okay, so I just have to come out of the woodwork on this. You’ve talked several times about the close shinryuu (probably misspelled) sister-like relationships between two girls, and how the soeur pairings in Marimite are just an extension of that. I think I understand the idea pretty well (I have seen Bonnie and Clyde after all), even if my culture doesn’t have a specific name for it.

    But still… are you serious?

    Especially after reading the novel translation you posted a while ago, I have to say that while some pairs do seem sisterly, many others most definiely do not. Does shinryuu pair normally get jealous of anyone else talking to their partner (see: Yoshino during Rei’s Valentine date)? What about trying to actively exclude anyone else from becoming friends with their partner (see: Yumi vs. Touko)? How about talking to others with the implicit understanding that they want to totally win/seduce/possess their onee-samas (see: Yumi talking to Yoshino)?

    In short, unless the standards for behavior between sisterly female friends is awful different from this side of the Pacific, there seems to be a whole lot more Yuri love going on than you want to admit.

    Also, two addendums: first, while I agree wholeheartedly that we will not SEE any sex in Marimite, I don’t think that includes OFF-SCREEN sex. Just because we don’t see them climaxing doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    Second, I think you mistyped, because at one point you seem to claim that because the Marimite girls are experiencing love based on *both* admiration and desire as opposed to only desire, they are *less* likely to sleep together. I find this logic strange and off-putting.

  2. claudia says:

    hahahaha,
    I wasn’t asking about sex! Just a kiss or something like that. And I’m a teenager so… Anyway I just had to ask, couldn’t help it. I love marimite and Yumi feelings are sometimes like mine… I know, lame, but that’s me ^_^’
    thanks for taking the time to answer all those questions.

  3. punistation says:

    DEH-slock, Desslock, Desslock..
    DEH-slock, Desslock, Desslock…

    1. What character would you cosplay at, and get away with?

    2. Who would you WANT to cosplay as, regardless of what you can get away with.

    3. What character would God Himself do all He could to PREVENT you from cosplaying as?

    (You forgot to mention how Goldie is *really* big; towering and forboding. EEK!)

  4. But still… are you serious?

    Yes. These girls are not sleeping with one another. Period. No matter how much you want them to be.

    They are in love with each other – the concept of akogare (which I define as admiration/desire) is a separate thing in Japan from adult sexual relations. Akogare *might* develop into sexual experimantation for some people, but it is much more likely to be a relationship that, while acknowledging attraction/admiration/desire, does not become physical.

    What character would you cosplay at, and get away with?

    None – I really loathe cosplay.

    Who would you WANT to cosplay as, regardless of what you can get away with.

    None – I really loathe cosplay.

    What character would God Himself do all He could to PREVENT you from cosplaying as?

    All of them, apparently, by making me really loathe cosplay.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Okay, so… either every single piece of anime/manga I have ever read has misrepresented the way girls behave in akogare relationships, or several of the Marimite girls have more than the usual amount of romantic desire towards their soeurs.

    I’ll have to think about this one.

  6. punistation says:

    “I really loathe cosplay.”

    Sounds like someone’s been wading hip deep through the Lillian soeur system a tad too much. C’mon, have fun! Be genki! Walk at a brisk pace! Slip on the Keiko Kamen costume and dance the night away!

    (Just kidding about the walking briskly thing. I mean, that’s just not done!)

    ^__^

  7. Okay, so… either every single piece of anime/manga I have ever read has misrepresented the way girls behave in akogare relationships, or several of the Marimite girls have more than the usual amount of romantic desire towards their soeurs.

    It doesn’t have to be an either-or statement. I think both are true.

    Konno Oyuki has clearly written her characters with tremendous romantic desire between them. And much of what we, in the west see as “lesbian” is, in fact, akogare. I was presenting the Utena movie to a British audience at a GLBT film fest and a Japanese woman argued that she saw no lesbian content at all – just akogare.

    For Japanese, “lesbian” is a lifestyle/political statement. Akogare is just part of growing up.

  8. a) So you love Eudial, because she collects all her parking tickets in her car…I do that, too. Do you love me now?

    b) In your report on the Seattle-thingy you called your wife repeatedly “the wife”. As much as I love this way of adressing someone (I would use this for my pets, my kids, etc…not that I would call them “the wife”, but you know what I mean?!), it is still intresting to know, if “the wife” actually has a name. (If you don’t want to, don’t say the name…a yes or no is ok for me!)

    c) What do you think about a new chapter of your “Saiyuu no Ryokou”?

    d) Do you think, I should think about more questions for you?

  9. a) So you love Eudial, because she collects all her parking tickets in her car…I do that, too. Do you love me now?

    No. That is not whay I love Eudial. Thanks for missing all the rest of the reasons.

    b) In your report on the Seattle-thingy you called your wife repeatedly “the wife”. As much as I love this way of adressing someone (I would use this for my pets, my kids, etc…not that I would call them “the wife”, but you know what I mean?!), it is still intresting to know, if “the wife” actually has a name. (If you don’t want to, don’t say the name…a yes or no is ok for me!)

    Yes, obviously she has a name. On the Yuricon Mailing List I refer to her as the “First Lady.” Neither of these forms of address bother her, so don’t let them bother you.

    c) What do you think about a new chapter of your “Saiyuu no Ryokou”?

    I think it will come out later this month, as they all do.

    d) Do you think, I should think about more questions for you?

    Not particularly

  10. Anonymous says:

    Oh! Oh! I have a question!

    When Yumi is always extorting Yuuki to not be weird (by which she means gay) with Kyu… um, that guy who is (was?) Sachiko’s fiance, does it ever occur to her that she’s pretty hypocritical cause she wants to be weird (again, means gay) with Sachiko?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Uhhhhh… that is assuming you think Yumi is actually a lesbian or has realized she’s a lesbian. I thought it was pretty clear, but maybe you disagree.

  12. When Yumi is always extorting Yuuki to not be weird (by which she means gay) with Kyu… um, that guy who is (was?) Sachiko’s fiance, does it ever occur to her that she’s pretty hypocritical cause she wants to be weird (again, means gay) with Sachiko?

    Kashiwagi…and I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Uhhhhh… that is assuming you think Yumi is actually a lesbian or has realized she’s a lesbian. I thought it was pretty clear, but maybe you disagree.

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    And folks – that’s it for me and Marimite questions, ‘kay? Read ’em yourself if you want to find other answers than the ones I’ve provided.

  13. punistation says:

    “And much of what we, in the west see as ‘lesbian’ is, in fact, akogare.”

    Not forgetting the simple fact that a woman can completely love and be IN love with another woman, but not on a sexual level.

    Stories like that (including absolute loves formed from childhood upwards) are sadly near-absent in western media.

    * Do Rei and Yoshino love each other? YES.

    * Are Rei and Yoshino actually IN love with each other? YES.

    * Is it sexual, or thwart all potential for boyfriends? NO.

    Quite simple, at least from my perspective.

  14. Mary says:

    Odd. You go on and on about how nasty the fans of a certain anime are…

    …and yet I have not seen any complaint from you about Noir, an anime about cold-blooded mass murderers(including murdering a certain parent), nor that one of them works for the Mafia sometimes. Which, as a lot of south italian people will tell you, is not exactly un-traumatizing for these terrorized by the Mafia either.

    You know, I see the “sexual abuse” thing = horrible. It very much is, I know that personally, and even after four years, I am still afraid of going into a certain part of Bruxelles without company, even in daylight.

    But so is mass murder.
    And nevermind that the case of Kannaduki was quite different. The ending did not work because of it, Himeko decided for Chikane DESPITE it, after having understood the reasons for it, which were very different from that of a rapist. Rapists don’t do their crime because they want someone they love dearly to kill them. They don’t go and sacrifice everything they -really- love. They do it for power over another human alone. And that was not why Chikane did what she did. Chikane simply fought evil with evil, fire with fire so to say, expecting to be condemned for it. The beautiful thing of this anime is that she WAS forgiven. Not due to stockholm but due to a conscious decision. It had been up to Himeko there, and only to her.
    So I, as a viewer, have no qualms forgiving Chikane as well. I’d not have done so if Chikane had just snapped and decided to take a bite because she couldn’t get any(Like Shizuru in Mai Hime did – that is why I dislike that couple for instance). But the anime makes it crystal clear that in Kannaduki this was NOT the case.

    Poor Kannaduki

  15. Well gosh, that one’s easy – I enjoy violence in anime. Especially when it’s absurd.

    And I really don’t know whyt everyone thinks I didn’t like Kannzuki. I said I did – about half a dozen times. I also said was that it wasn’t well-written or sensible.

    Everyone goes on and on justifying the rape. NO ONE ever explains the actual plot holes. I’ll give you a hint…who were the kubi, why those particular people were chosen, what their role was meant to have been or what Susano-no-ou would have done should he have suceeded.

    Oh, and how Chikane escaped her “eternity” on the Moon.
    None of this stuff is explained. hence…not a good anime. A GOOD story would have told us all this stuff.

  16. Witch-Member says:

    Well, first of all… Allow me to join the otakus that happen to really really really (Shrek’s Kitten Eyes) like the way you write, and what you write about (lets not messure which one is bigger XD).

    Once that’s out… I’d like to say that as i lived a few years in Japan (sadly before Marimite came out… about 10 years before.. And never got to learn a single kanji… -_-)it’s quite often for a girl to look up to another so dearly that on the US anyone would say “those two are together” in…. all sorts of ways, but this isn’t only so in Japanese culture, it also happens VERY often in both russian and mexican culture (been there, hated that).

    And a cool side of it is… If one of them makes a move on the other…. No matter the strings (weather they are related, or not… weather the world likes it or not… weather it’s planned or just comes out) a romantic/sexual relationship comes out (at least on about 9 out of 10)… Not that such thing happens a lot, but truth be told, when one is *so* close to someone else, it’s only natural (not that Japanese ppl are known for their natural goings… well they are, but i mean their instincts and feelings are often represed).

    And there *is* a very very *veeery* slight posibility that in Marimite Yumi *will* try on making a move on Sachiko, though, of course with Sachiko having a fiance… It just gets a tad bit harder…

    On the Yoshino/Rei side, I do believe it’s to far and behiond to even consider the situation… Obviously there *wont* be any action on that relationship, as we can see how their relationship is quite complicated as it is…

    But a clear example of moves working, we have the Sei/Shimako and Shimako/Noriko relations, if Sei was to make a move on Shimako, it’s quite obvious it would work. Budist and all, Shimako would comply… And I haven’t read the novels nor manga, but it does seem like there *is* something already going on between Shimako and Noriko…

    I would go on about this, however, I feel a comment straight towards you, Dear Author (*-*) is at hand… As I understand that you may get tired to be asked questions regarding Marimite, please do try to understand us, as we only seek for thy wisdom… As you have already become the Marimite Guru for several web pages. And us poor little fans have no one to turn but the magnificent Mari-gician… Long awaken…. °-°

    This is in no way ment as a mockery, but I do mean that, there aren’t many people as articulated and elocuent as you are, that actually know well the subject, and as tireing as it might be, it’s somewhat out of admiration that most Marimite fans turn to ask you…

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