Anime and Manga have been for me, a wealth of gratuitous displays of manliness. Before I get sucked into gender politics discussion, I disclose that I am male and revel in gratuitous displays of manliness for whatever reason you probably imagine, but above all because it is fun. So yes, anime and manga have indulged me with hot-blooded manliness in all kinds of activities, beyond just fighting and sports:
…among others. It would seem that the well of hot-blood will not run dry. Even so, one of the more satisfying experiences of hot-blooded entertainment showed me that the boiling blood of awesome beats through the heart of a WOMAN!
And no, I don’t mean to talk about woman fighters like Kushana, Balsa, or Nausicaa; nor mecha anime standouts like Allenby Beardsley, Cornelia li Britannia, or Renais Kerdif-Shishio. Fighting is already an established realm for hot-blooded women. Action anime allows noncombatant women to display hot-bloodedness.
I’m talking about Mogami Kyoko of Skip Beat! who is hell bent on destroying the man who spurned her by becoming a bigger, better, and more popular POP IDOL!
Wait, why is the often cast as a misogynist Friedrich Nietzsche framed right beside our hot-blooded protagonist? I ask your indulgence for a rather roundabout way of explaining. kimaguresan of his road to nowhere blog participates in a community event that lets fellow anime bloggers read each other’s early material. Here he does a good job of reading Revenge at the core of love: Skip Beat Impressions; a blog post I wrote back in October 24, 2008.
When I wrote that post, I had only seen the first episode. I have since watched the whole show with my wife, and have attempted to read the manga (I’ve put it on hold for some time). Whatever my expectations of how shojo worked was turned on its head. Sure familiar elements such as sparkles, the illustration style, and the pretty boys are all there. But otherwise it reads almost like a tournament style shonen story. Probably closest to Bakuman among the manga I’ve read (due to the non-fighting based talent competition nature of the narrative).
The rivalry in Skip Beat however, are far more intense as they can sometimes be predicated on the destruction of the other – and yet even made more intense by the love melodrama between the participants. The source of the power, the comedic highs (and quite high too), and the entertainment as a whole in Skip Beat comes from Kyoko dealing with adversity by looking inward and summoning her reserves of ability by indulging BURNING RIGHTEOUS RAGE.
If you need to slake your thirst for hot blood, give Skip Beat a look.
My own participation in the community event: Anime in a Day by 21stcenturydigitalboy (05/29/2010)
Revenge at the core of love: Skip Beat Impressions [->]
Slave morality in Nietzsche’s discourse re-values the values of the masters. If Kyouko went the slave route she could’ve dismissed Shou and everything he’s about, particularly the pursuit of (superficial) celebrity as beneath her. This value of his would make him less of a person in her eyes. Instead she acknowledged the actual jerkassery of using and mistreating her, and not his goals as the reprehensible acts.