Posts tagged ‘coburn’

January 22, 2010

Coburn on the Beauty of Deranged Longing in Revolutionary Girl Utena

Original Post: Lies, Murderous Intent, Remembering Love Gone Wrong, WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS Black Rose Society Arc of Revolutionary Girl Utena


January 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Mikage really is an odd one. He probably does rank as evil, but I’ve always been interested in his reaction to that normal bloke Wakaba rejects – Mikage’s coldness towards his duellists strikes me as a sort of projected self-loathing, when he comes across someone who rationalises a path through frustration Mikage is almost admiring.

The whole beauty of deranged longing thing kind of reminded me of a passage in the play Equus where a psychologist angst-trips over re-educating and normalising a patient as an intrusion on his individualism. At school that struck me as a pretty badass line in angst. What I enjoy about this arc as a concept is that the self-obsession of the duellists (including Mikage) is presented as something easily manipulated, rather than a product of immaculate internal logic. The insanity isn’t autonomous, and the role of memory (so, other people) in building personal identity is foregrounded.


August 12, 2009

The Inauthenticity of Senjougahara Fascination

While bantering with Coburn in the comments section in one of my earlier posts on Bakemonogatari, I conjectured that Araragi instead of being a viewer avatar is actually a commentary on the viewer. From the presence of fetishes to the impotence in fulfilling them — it’s as if the narrative is having fun at the viewer’s expense.

I find this very interesting. What fun it seems for the text to rip into its fans like so. Araragi is powerless against Senjougahara (real), and more himself and can fight on equal terms with Hachikuji (loli, unreal, a ghost). Otaku’s fetish for loli of the 2D variety has something to do with the latter’s powerlessness against the otaku. In the face of a ‘realistic’ woman, Araragi is powerless, has no initiative. His relationship, his life, is directed almost entirely by Senjougahara.

On the way to ‘study group,’ Araragi has no problem dallying with Hachikuji, who teases him with sexual entendre, fights with him, speaks his fetishes out loud while posing no real threat.


She is a ghost, and he has regenerative abilities. The viewer may like a real Senjougahara to show up in their lives [->] but as an otaku will not let go of the loli fetish. This is the inauthenticity of Senjougahara Fascination.

Furthermore, this regenerative ability… I will further conjecture that it is representative of the resilience of otaku. Hurt them, troll them, piss on them, ‘betray’ them, have your way with them. They will come back if they love you enough. If the Endless Eight DVDs of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu doesn’t sell, then I’m wrong. If “The Disappearance” doesn’t get a generate excitement leading to its release, then I’m wrong.

So Bakemonogatari has no compunctions pissing all over Araragi, the representation of its viewers. Araragi can survive almost anything, even Senjougahara.

Also, in Dungeons and Dragons, usually the first encounter player characters have with a monster that has regeneration abilities is with a Troll.

Just saying.