Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena

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A case for Tamaki Kotatsu

Well I can tell you what we didn't do today, which was watch a new episode of Miraculous. It's kind of silly, really. I don't think it would bother me nearly so much if we haven't been seeing so much hype around it. That's what we get for following things on social media. Before, we would have been checking the news just enough to know that it was coming eventually, and we'd be happy knowing we'd get to see it eventually. ...Then again, the confusion about who has the streaming rights in the US is not helping. Oh well. We continue to check Netflix and Disney+ obsessively.

In the meantime, we're still keeping up on the Fire Force anime! We've had some thoughts about Tamaki that we wanted to put out there. They might be entirely off-base, though.

Anybody who has even heard of Fire Force has probably heard about Tamaki. She's probably why, one day when we were on Discord with some other manga professionals, somebody asked us how we feel about working on such an etchi series, and we were like, "...Huh?" So first of all, I want to point out that, despite Tamaki, Fire Force is really not the most fan-service heavy series we've ever worked. Not even compared to Mashima stuff, let alone Ken Akamatsu. I mean, if someone had asked us about Negima or UQ Holder!, we would have been like, "Wellllllll..." but it was Fire Force!

So we were like, "Well, we translate Negima, so..." And the person asking the question was all, "Oh, no, Negima's not that bad," and we're like, "????"

So for those of you who don't know, Tamaki has a condition which is called the Lucky Lecher Lure in English. It's derived from the Japanese term "lucky sukebe," which means roughly, "lucky act of lechery," and refers to times when, for example, a woman's breast just falls into a man's hand, or a strong breeze comes along and treats the lecher to a view of the woman's undergarments. The creator of Fire Force, I suppose in an attempt to just be contrary about everything, wondered, "Hey, what if we had a character who, instead of being treated to lecherous pleasures, is the one who is affected by that 'luck'?"

It makes a little more sense in Japanese, because it's kind of a wordplay. "Lucky sukebe" becomes "lucky sukeberare," which makes it passive...and I'm really not sure I can explain the grammar in this circumstance, but me that it's a wordplay.

Of course, while the lucky lecher thing was all over the place in anime fifteen, twenty years ago...and has not been generally eradicated as far as I know...making one character the constant victim of this kind of thing is definitely problematic. ...Or is it?

Women have been trying to tell men for decades that they don't like being cat-called, they don't like it when men assume it's okay to cop a feel. And now we have a character who is showing men that she does not like that kind of thing. I mean, in a meta sense, she's being treated like an object by the creator of the series...

Anyway. Some people have said (well, at least one person that we know of) that it would be okay to treat Tamaki like that if it looked like she enjoyed it. But here's the thing: if men only see women reacting with pleasure to that kind of thing, would it not reinforce in their minds the incorrect idea that all women actually do want it?

So while I'm not going to say that female characters should be treated like Tamaki, I think it might not be the worst thing to have an example to point to and say, "Look, women don't all like that kind of thing, okay?" (I mean, there's also characters like Naru and Motoko in Love Hina, but Love Hina also has Kitsune, Su, and even Shinobu, so...)

And there's my hot take on Tamaki.

Today I'm thankful for getting to finish watching Julie and the Phantoms, knowing that Kurono will be on Fire Force next week, getting to watch Heroes' Day again, work not going too terribly, and getting to sleep in tomorrow.
Tags: fire force, miraculous

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