Discussion in 'Fan Town' started by keltena, Feb 6, 2017.
is this about fate go? because I think I know exactly which character you're talking about
It's not not about F/GO, but that's only one of, like, 3 or 4 times I've seen it happen.
(e.g. I've got a friend in the Tiger and Bunny fandom who's gotten hate mail for writing Fire Emblem/Nathan Seymour as a cis gay man when his name is literally a pun about that fact. Nathan -> nee-san (sister) -> onee (big sister), the less slur-y name of the gay subculture being caricatured by this stereotype.)
Honestly. Exasperation with Japanese media fandom about ANYTHING related to queerness in said media. I'm also growing increasingly exasperated with the lack of understanding of tropes, themes, story structures, etc that are common in Japanese media just in general. Especially when it takes the form of "This doesn't make sense and therefore it is bad." Ichigo sitting on the floor and meditating to get super powers makes sense because that is a very common trope in Buddhist story telling because it literally appears in all of the Buddhist canons. Including Japan's. I feel rather gatekeepy but like at the same time I can't help but be pissed when I see people say blatantly stupid shit and then use that as a metric for quality.
Feeling this way re: non-Japanese people very aggressively headcanoning Chihiro from Dangan Ronpa as trans.
(edit: obvs headcanon is fine, but a lot of white queer people Insist that Chihiro is canonically trans and like. that's not really the story being told afaik)
Also irritating are people who don't know yuri tropes claiming that a character who is obviously pulling from yuri and S tropes and story structures, is somehow not doing that and how anyone who reads the character as being in love with another girl as us just reading too much into it.
Like no, Frank. Maybe you just don't know yuri and S tropes and story structures. Maybe the people who read it do know.
Wait, seriously? I've got my gripes about Bleach, but how do you even get into weeb fandom and not know "meditate to Get Stronger" is a Whole Thing even if you don't know squat about the religious context? o_o
Never underestimate people.
Also on the subject of Bleach. I love Bleach fandom generally as we tend to mind our own fucking business from what I've seen. Unlike One Piece fandom which seems always be up to telling me how shit the comic I like is. But if there is something I do not love about Bleach fandom. It is how people get really weird about Yoruichi's skin. Stop describing her like fucking food. Please. Someone showed up in my DMs to talk about yorusoi and I was initially like oh that sounds fun why yes I do like yorusoi.
the food words came
and ruined my day
Describing a skin tone as anything related to chocolate or coffee is a felony punishable by instant block.
My favorite is still the person who described her like red velvet cake. And by favorite I mean I noped out of that fic fucking immediately.
And from the other direction, I've seen people talking about shows that are OBVIOUSLY bog standard S tropes, cute girls doing things and holding hands but never actually doing more, the kind you see every season, getting the same amount of reverent hype as like, the she ra finale.
What's S in this context?
I'm sure Aon can elaborate a lot more, but essentially, subgenre of yuri that sort of works on the idea that girls can be in chaste romantic relationships with each other when they're young, but they'll inevitably go their separate ways and move on to lives of presumed heterosexuality.
S is a shoujo genre. It is NOT yuri and it is NOT a subgenre of yuri. Yuri is a later development in Japanese art that pulls heavily from S. In essence, S is yuri's older sister. It was born in the early 20th century, with its heyday being the 20's and the 30's. At the tail end of the 30's it was banned by the government. It eventually got unbanned but the genre remained largely dead until the 2000's due to Marimite reviving it and creating a decade of neo-S and heavily S inspired yuri. We owe the current shape of yuri to both Marimite and the works older than it that inspired Marimite. They are, however, different from yuri.
S has a few important factors. First is the relationship. It cannot be made unambiguously romantic. Though it may read as extremely so, with references to wanting to kiss the other girl or a heavy focus on the other girl's breasts. The ambiguity is often played with very heavy and part of the fun of it is is that you can read certain scenes a variety of ways each time you read them. Of the girls we have an older girl and a younger one. The older girl teaches and tutors the younger one, teaching her how to live a nice and good life adult life. Traditionally, this means getting married to a man. Along with various emotional lessons. You do this to grow up and you do this for your parents as families aren't comprised of individuals but of units. This hierarchy is always kept in place and often expressed by the narrative in many ways. A common way is to refer to the one girl by her family name only if she is the older one and the other by only her given name if she is the younger. In a good chunk of classic S the younger girl is also not the viewpoint character and acts more like an object that the older one interacts with. This is the reverse of the situation we have now, where finding works that exclusively focus on the older partner are rare.
We then have like...That growing up thing. This means relationship death. This often extremely dramatic. It's often tragic, especially in the earliest stuff. Over time it got to be less exclusively terrible, even in the stuff from the early 20th century. This death tends to be like. Ever present. The flowers you so often see are Buddhist death metaphors. You will also find things like, making of promises to elope together made while temple bells play. With Buddhism being the religion that handles death in Japan. The death is tragic and sad and it makes you cry, but the death is also why it is beautiful. The relationships, like flowers, lead quick but brilliant lives.
Now what the fuck is up with this? The answer is, this genre is based off real life homosocial relationships in Japan. In the early 20th century, lots and lots of Catholic all girl's schools opened up. And these schools were often boarding schools. So girls were being taken out of their former family situations and being thrust into these all woman worlds for limited periods of time in their youth. Relationships ended up forming. Some of which would read to us now as being gay though they might not be. Women in factories also dormed together with exclusively women and formed relationships like this though, unlike the Catholic schools, the depressing world of Japan's factories would not become a common S setting. Heavily romanticized versions of these S relationships started being published in girls magazines and they were very popular at the time. However, once schools became increasingly co-ed the exact social situation that led to the existence of the genre started to die out. This lack of popularity is part of why the S relationship in Rose of Versailles just kind of...Abruptly ends. The relationship type was no longer popular. Girls wanted to read romance between men and women now.
And on that note. Legality and scandal. S was legal and generally uncontroversial during its existence until the end of the 1930's when it was banned. Similar relationships between boys and girls in fiction were much more scandalous and much more strictly controlled during S's heyday. So you couldn't find your het romances and you also happened to have your own onee-sama at school. Of course you're going to buy these stories. Some girl twenty years later who has no fucking idea what is up with these god damned Catholic schools and who just wants to kiss a boy though is probably going to gravitate towards the comics where girls are kissing boys. Also I said generally uncontroversial because S did lead to some terror when girls and women started committing lover's suicide together instead of breaking up upon graduation.
This then leads to the last note I want to make which is like...The nature of S and its most prominent figure Yoshiya Nobuko. Yoshiya is...contentious. To some she is a queer ancestor. To others she is the reason we have yuri and that's just awful because yuri isn't, by and large, actually queer. We honestly just don't know because Yoshiya herself never identified with the then recently developed terminology for lesbianism in Japanese. She did move in with a woman and she did have an extremely close relationship with that woman, but also she may well have adopted someone else as her cousin instead of said woman. This adoption thing being done as a sort of quasi-marriage, to get the woman on her family register if one believes in the theory that they were in love. We can note that her stories did get happier after moving in with the woman though. Earlier stories like Yellow Rose had basically no hope for anyone. At all. But after moving in with another woman the writing got a bit cheerier. The women still fell apart, but like girls were able to keep hobbies they liked, go on cool trips, get jobs they wanted. It wasn't just "And then Whoever-chan got married and was sad while Whoever-san ran away to America to be depressed as fuck and write mysterious bits of poetry expressing how absolutely broken of a woman she is now without Whoever-chan." Yoshiya might have been gay. She might not have been. She's as ambiguous as her stories. Which is frustrating but also fitting. Either way, we owe a lot to the woman.
unrelated to yuri+s stuff: I just saw a fanfic use "whitette" as an epithet unironically and now I'm fucking dead
Thank you for correcting my bad and inaccurate information! Also that epithet causes me minor emotional pain.
whitette is literally one of the most cursed words i've ever seen holy shit
also it is fine! it is a weird little genre! and its history is so tightly tied to yuri at this point now that like...it is really hard to separate them honestly?
Thank you so much for all that cool info on that genre history, though, seriously! it's inspired me to go back to some old shows I liked back when I didn't know anything about anime or wlw culture/history and re-watch them with this kind of context + more than a decade of lived context in mind
Of course! It makes me really happy when I can share these sorts of things with people and then they can like make things fit together or like they're inspired to go back to things they've seen or read before. I just like sharing cool knowledge.
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