I don’t know how… coherent it’ll wind up being when all is said and done, but I can’t help see some subtext about exhibitionism (to use a neutral term) being woven here. I mean... has the show harped enough on how these characters’ strength comes from their outfits?
When you get down to brass tacks, then sure, that isn’t actually uncommon for superheroic fiction (going anywhere from mech armors to symbiote suits). However, this show takes a distinct angle on that trope by equating power with fashion; seeming to blow up the sort of catty antagonism about dress choices and face-biting that you’d see in something like HEATHERS or MEAN GIRLS. It blows it up in the same way tennis was mutated into an Earth-shaking duel last episode, but it’s a kind of conflict that’s so specific to the experience of high school girls that it frames this whole installment from much more of a female perspective than any previous portion.
At first, that all feels enormously confusing because of… well… the rampant T&A that’s there to please the guys - - but it maybe makes a little more sense as the metaphor stretches further.
Look at the crux of this episode again: it comes down to our arch villainess shedding her bland, frumpy uniform for a skimpy outfit that will grant her enough power to defeat our heroine in her slightly-less-revealing get-up. The whole time these two are fighting, they’re each accusing the other of secretly loving to dress sexy in a manner so self-contradicting that nobody even needs to say “she doth protest too much.”
My best guess? It honestly seems like the message here is that a gal who embraces her sexuality (or, at least, her desire to flaunt it) without any apologies will ultimately triumph. If that’s the case, then this might actually be an epic deconstruction of T&A in anime by Trigger - - and maybe an epic trolling of dudes who get off on this stuff - - and I don’t know if my mind’s ready to process that.
(Yes, it’d be very easy to accuse me of over-thinking this show. So be it. I need some justification for watching all the bouncing).
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|