marshtide: (Mist)
[personal profile] marshtide
Dear Dreamwidth,

In the past week I have read all the manga I could get my hands on and a not insubstantial amount of queer and feminist theory.

The two have collided in my mind and there has been some kind of terrible explosion.

Send help.

Love,
Liz

(Manga, by the way, is the best way I've found to survive dark evenings when I just want to go to sleep at seven pm. The rest of the books I read are by that stage way beyond me, but can I read To Terra and go "oooh, the hair" for a few hours? Can I ever. By the way, I'm making a list of stuff I'm going to try and get hold of in the near future; do you have any interesting manga that's published in English or Swedish? whether it's in print or not, because by the wonders of public libraries many things are possible. So far it's all Hagio Moto! Takemiya Keiko! Yoshinaga Fumi! etc...)

Date: 2010-11-05 07:29 am (UTC)
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
From: [personal profile] dancing_moon
Swan by Kiyoko Ariyoshi is so utterly beautiful. Also the most "shonen" shoujo manga I have read. They fight, they suffer, they bleed - for BALLET!! *burns with determination* It's awesome, though they didn't publish the entire thing -_- And so out of print

Bunny Drop by Yumi Unita, about a 30-something single man who takes care of his grandfathers very late illegitimate daughter when the rest of the family just wants to get rid of the kid "for the shame of it". Super sweet and quite realistic series about being a lone parent in modern japan, and how you build a family and all.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki. The manga blows the movie out of the water

I also think that the Sailor Moon manga is required reading. Naoko Takeuchi's super-hero take on the magical girl trope renewed it, and the drawing style takes a lot from the old shoujo classics - more than I realized at the first time reading SM! This one is wildly out of print, and the English translation is not so good, but hopefuly a library has some copies. I also own an almost complete set of the English magazine version of Sailor Moon and a set of the German books, though I guess the latter don't help much?

You may also be interested in the book Takarazuka by Robertson, a scholarly work. The all-female Takarazuka review is something that has influenced the aesthetics of manga loads and many people in Europe and the US... kinda missad that for a few decades. I've started to see references pop up lately, but the more I read, the more I realize that the whole "They took the big eyes from Disney, it's all Tezuka, yeah. Then the women added flowers" is just. So. Wrong.

(alright, it hasn't been that bad for a while now, except sometimes it still is... but whatevs)

Date: 2010-11-05 09:37 am (UTC)
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
From: [personal profile] dancing_moon
Sailor Moon the manga is quite a different thing from Sailor Moon the anime, more so than many other manga adaptions. It's also, considering it's originally aimed at 10-12 year old girls, a surprisingly powerful story.

What I also think (I haven't done any real analysis, this is just a gut feeling) I've noticed with SM is that, while a children's story and rather simple in its plot (girl & friends fight monster, saves universe, get's the guy and becomes a princess) it is much more queer than most mainstream manga for girls that didn't come from the revolutionaries.

I mean, compare to Fruits Basket, which starts off with interesting premises and queer characters of various types but ends up disappointingly heteronormative with every character paired off girl/guy, including the bit characters. This is a problem with many of the girl's manga that don't set out to break taboos (a lá Kaori Yuki) or have "a higher artistic ideal" (like Moto Hagio, who while big in Japan is also seen as Quality Manga with a big Q).
Manga aimed at boys otoh tend not to have as much romance, so the non-heterostandard characters more often seem to end up unattached (or, ehm, dead) although they are frequently played for comic relief.

Sailor Moon otoh has a dedicated lesbian couple and transgender characters, who are not punished for what they are, and who do not end up in a straight coupling at the end. The anime adds three gay characters (though all villains.)
There is also the choice some characters make to put their mission over love, and they are not "rewarded" with straight love in the end – another rarity for female characters, I'm sad to say.

Of course, it's not perfect, there's a lot of how Usagi/Sailor Moon needs to be saved by the guy and the anime is super repetitive in many episodes etc. But I think it went further than most realized when they were kids. Oh, and the anime went further than most dubs allowed -_-;;

Utena btw is also a shining example of an anime that hit the mainstream, yet dared to go "all the way", but I expect you know that already =)

Date: 2010-11-05 07:47 am (UTC)
crystal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crystal
I heart Sailor Moon. <3

Date: 2010-11-06 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] alphaviolet
Do you want to do a creative project now? Or just do something else?

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marshtide: (Default)
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