Ha! Older superiors show a little unhealthy interest in some members of our mostly underage cast, and how does Ringo describe it? She calls it “tricky.” As much I’d like to believe that the dub team was inspired by my coinage, I’m just going to have to assume there must have just been something powerfully tricky floating around in the meme zeitgeist lately. That, or maybe they just watched that ridiculous Yellow Dyno video too.
Maybe it’s because I encountered Capcom’s RIVAL SCHOOL JUSTICE at an early age, but the notion of scholastic rivalries taking on the qualities of gang warfare has always captured my imagination. There’s just something fundamentally fun about pushing such grudges off the game field and through lens of fantasy superheroics. So you can imagine the kick I got out of how the plot of this episode basically breaks down to Ryoko rounding up a posse to send Onigashima high school a message of “BACK OFF!” that’s punctuated with a kitty-clad punch or two.
There’s also the eyebrow-raising sexual tension with that most buxom Momoko gal, which brings up another far-reaching anime issue that I’ve always been rather amused about. That is, for as long as manga and anime have been a larger part of American pop culture, they’ve very often been held up as an example of more gender-inclusive power fantasy to shame the institutional chauvinism of American comics. (Lord knows how many blogs have been written about how degrading Power Girl’s boobs and Black Canary’s fishnets are.)
Yet, you watch a show like this and some of the girl’s breasts may as well have names for the amount of screen time they get. Somehow, by opting for the doublespeak of “fan service” over the more accurate “T&A,” what would be demeaning when produced stateside is now accepted as fun or empowering because it’s coming from overseas.
Surely, there’s a larger discussion to be had here, but I’d rather toss the ball to you, the Anime Vice community, and see where it hops to. I’m not really offended by any of this so much as amused, but I’d still be curious to hear some possible explanation.
Look up this episode, "Ōkami-san Goes Demon-Exorcising with Momo-chan-senpai" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.