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Old 2004-06-03, 17:47   Link #1
Rei's Cookies
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Question ~Sei Discussion~

Isn't Sei lesbian?

It seems clear to me that she is, but most Japanese(I say Japanese just for them being the same culture as the writer) I read that mention her, seem to imply that she isn't.

But it seems crystal clear to me that she is.


For the most point, Shiori and Sei's relationship, I mostly hear that its just a really -deep- friendship. But nothing more....

But, say, it it were a highschool boy and girl that couldn't stand to be apart from one another, and felt the need to run-away together and live off one anothers love, no one would even think that they weren't a couple...

Is it because no one finds a lesbian relationship 'honest' so therefore, there can't be any mention of it? Or is she in fact NOT gay?

I don't understand. Anyone want to share there thoughts on the subject?
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Old 2004-06-03, 18:51   Link #2
Göönk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rei's Cookies
Isn't Sei lesbian?
she is but I think she's the only one of the show

but where it's strange is the poll's result
http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=7309

hum lesbians reading this forum?
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Old 2004-06-03, 22:12   Link #3
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I think that most of the same-sex relationships in anime aren't quite clear, IMO japanese authors like the idea of letting you decide instead of openly declare who is or isn't gay, so they just give you hints, not sure why they do it thought...

The example of Shinji and Kaoru from evangelion comes to mind, when I first saw the scenes between them I was a little shocked (my little brother was extremly shocked). So for us as westerners with translated subtitles is a sure thing both of this are homosexual relationships. But a lot is missing in translation, like the verb "suki" which can have a meaning between just a "I like you" and a more serious "I love you", so the translation take away that "blurry" feeling, I don't know if that made any sense...
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Old 2004-06-04, 00:44   Link #4
lordwu
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It's perfectly clear in the novel (at least to me) that Sei is indeed a lesbian. Suguru is a gay too and both these facts were only faintly hinted at in the anime.
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Old 2004-06-04, 09:12   Link #5
Bracken33
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I also thought she is lesbian (I only know the anime).

Shioris and Seis behaviour induced this conclusion.
Running away together is really a big thing compared with the behaviour of the other roses.


Also she cannot stop to fondle the poor yumi .


Quote:
but where it's strange is the poll's result
Without her the show would probably be to calm . Nice character...
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Old 2004-07-07, 23:37   Link #6
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hehe i voted for sei. she's the best and without her where would the entertainment come from.
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Old 2004-07-11, 23:52   Link #7
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well...considering there's a story arc...about her...and another girl...
there is no doubt in my mind that Sei is a lesbian
as a matter of fact, due to the absurd lack of male characters (there's, what, 3? Yuuki, Sachiko's cousin, and a teacher?) i'm willing to believe they're all lesbians...not that it necessarily has to be true...
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Old 2004-07-12, 23:26   Link #8
aniforever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuven
well...considering there's a story arc...about her...and another girl...
there is no doubt in my mind that Sei is a lesbian
as a matter of fact, due to the absurd lack of male characters (there's, what, 3? Yuuki, Sachiko's cousin, and a teacher?) i'm willing to believe they're all lesbians...not that it necessarily has to be true...

hehe you can't count sachiko's cousin since he likes guys and it seems that he has a thing for yumi's bro yuuki. even though it seem obvious at points that this anime has yuri some people would debate on that saying that it's just friendship or erm what's that term. something about girls having crush on other girls when they are young is normal in which they will grow out of later. i think i had a debate on that right after season one ended but soon grew tired. yuri or not i still like the anime with it's interesting plot and sei-sama.
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Old 2004-07-22, 16:51   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aniforever
hehe you can't count sachiko's cousin since he likes guys and it seems that he has a thing for yumi's bro yuuki. even though it seem obvious at points that this anime has yuri some people would debate on that saying that it's just friendship or erm what's that term. something about girls having crush on other girls when they are young is normal in which they will grow out of later. i think i had a debate on that right after season one ended but soon grew tired. yuri or not i still like the anime with it's interesting plot and sei-sama.

I think you're referring to "S" or "essu" shoujo. There was a pretty big debate about it in this forum with a lot of good information. I don't remember which thread though :\
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Old 2004-07-23, 22:07   Link #10
aniforever
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Originally Posted by Sharkbark
I think you're referring to "S" or "essu" shoujo. There was a pretty big debate about it in this forum with a lot of good information. I don't remember which thread though :\
hehe i already know about that. i'm one of the people who took part in the debate. kekeke.
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Old 2004-08-03, 00:37   Link #11
The Yellow Dwarf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rei's Cookies
Isn't Sei lesbian?

It seems clear to me that she is, but most Japanese(I say Japanese just for them being the same culture as the writer) I read that mention her, seem to imply that she isn't.

But it seems crystal clear to me that she is.


For the most point, Shiori and Sei's relationship, I mostly hear that its just a really -deep- friendship. But nothing more....

But, say, it it were a highschool boy and girl that couldn't stand to be apart from one another, and felt the need to run-away together and live off one anothers love, no one would even think that they weren't a couple...

Is it because no one finds a lesbian relationship 'honest' so therefore, there can't be any mention of it? Or is she in fact NOT gay?

I don't understand. Anyone want to share there thoughts on the subject?
I typed a whole eight or so paragraphs and clicked "Submit Reply" when the system told me I was not logged on, and thereby erased the whole thing!

Well... to start off, I think the creators of the series has purposefully left this area blurred. On one hand it is to keep the story in line with most conventional views, on the other the hand they probably do not want to be bogged down by the nuances of a "romance" in the truest sense of the word -- or at least what people usually expect romances to be.

It is difficult to gauge the exact relationship of one girl to the other, often because of the contradiction posed by the frequency and the number of people the girls direct the word "like" to, and the often intimate situations they find themselves in (e.g. the creators employed many plot devices common to school romance comedies when crafting the story: Sachiko falling on top of Yumi in ep 1, the valentine chocolate, first date, etc., etc.). To be honest, this noncommittal attitude the creators have for the girls exact relationship is probably one of the few things that kept me watching the series (I mean, seriously, we've probably all seen the same old clichéd plot hundreds of times in other boy-girl animé).

It can be frustrating at times when the creators offer no guidance to the audience the exact nature of the relationship of the main characters in the story. Yet, this non-attitude also makes their gender, and the technicalities of their relationship a non-issue. While we cannot know exact what the creators have in mind, we have their creation in hand. The obvious fact is, that the girls "like" each other. Wether this is simply friendship, or something sexual, it's entirely up to the audience to decide. And since there is no direct reference (save a joke Sei made) to anything beyond proper behavior for friends, and we see no indication of any willingness to go beyond what is essentially sisterly love or perhaps maternal love (Youko and Sachiko's voices just scream "ka-chan" XD), there's no objective fact to back up the claim that anybody is a lesbian.

However, that is not to say that they are not, or none of them are, but rather that until we have more evidence, people can see the girls however they like. To me, this is obviously refreshing. For once, people can speak out loud, without hesitation, that they "like" somebody without having to contemplate the matter for 90% of the airtime in an animé. (Incidentally, I'm sick and tired of wishy-washy, lecherous nerds for protagonists.) We can take things however we like: they're just friends, platonic lovers, lesbians, whatever. The fact is that the plot rolls along and the story goes on, and that's the end of that.

In Sei's case, things are a little tricky, mostly because of that darned kiss. It does seem likely that the two are engaged in something "more-than-friends". I do believe that they were more than friends as well, but not that they were, or had the potential of having a sexual relation. Thanks to my extreme incompetence in Japanese, I had to rely exclusively on the English translation and therefore have no idea about the accuracy of the basis of my thoughts, but I think that the relationship between Sei and Shiori is one of extreme identification.

When Sei saw Shiori she thought that Shiori's a missing part of her, and the same thing with Shiori. It is not really love in the truest sense of the word, but the feeling that one is the missing part of the other person. Their relationship, as I see it, is the union of, or at least the perceived union of, to use a cheapened word, their souls. As Sei said, the two of them felt that they were "one" being, each person being the missing part of the other, and this sense of loss is probably the cause they contributed to their self-prescribed image: outcasts in their own societies. (There are also a few contrasts between the two that may or may not strengthen my argument, especially those concerning faith.)

This may sound very narcissistic, and I do not deny the implication of my thoughts. This sense of loss and longing of the self may also be behind the reason Sei didn't want to make Shiori her imouto: her reluctance to accept the existence of two separate entities in a relationship. The ending of Ep 11 (which confused me to no end) perhaps adds to my argument at the same time. When I saw it the first time, the resolution to the story -- in particular Sei's reaction to her Onee-sama's coming to the station and the fact that Shiori decided not to run away with her -- made absolutely no sense to me. It's mind boggling why Sei cried when she realized that all of her friends cared for a great deal, and why she chose not to confront Shiori in the end and just took things as they were.

We can imagine, however, that Sei came out of the ordeal a much more complete person: she finally realized that she is a whole individual, a person who, on her own, interacts with others. The fact that she had friends all cared about her as a person is an indication that she was not incomplete, but a living, breathing person on her own. Shiori last-minute"betrayal" may have also contributed to Sei's realization that they were, indeed, two separate people. And afterwards, she cut her hair (perhaps a symbolic gesture) and changed her image considerably from that of Shiori's. We might say, as the cliché goes, that Sei has grown to accept herself after the whole fiasco.

Whew...anyways, does anybody get the feeling that Sei is really manly? I don't mean this in a bad way, (Sei's my favorite character), but her wild hair (which reminds me of a soccer player or another), her way of acting around Yumi (as the animé stereotype #23: the flirtatious male protagonist's best friend), and her personality in general just makes me feel that she's a man underneath it all, or at least the stereotypical man. Plus, she is just so cool in her prince costume, and in her dark long coat, that she almost has a somewhat masculine charm.
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Old 2004-08-03, 01:38   Link #12
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Yellow Dwarf, I like your thinking and enjoyed reading your post.

Two things really stuck out for me, Sei saying that she wanted to disappear within Shiori and the headmistress saying, "I wonder if it is a lonely thing to become so absorbed in something that one loses sight of their surroundings?" That's exactly what happened to Sei. She became completely involved with Shiori and lost sight of things, like her friends and onee-sama.

I was under the impression that when Sei cried as her onee-sama told her that Shiori was going away she was feeling loss. Sei had somewhat used Shiori as an extentsion to herself to feel like a whole person and with Shiori gone she felt the same emptiness she had before they met.

Also, I don't think Sei could've confronted Shiori at the end. Maybe she was afraid that if she saw Shiori again she would become dependant of her again.

Yes, Sei does come off as a bit masculine, but I dunno. She still seems feminine to me. She sort of reminds me of Utena in that sense. A real tomboy. XD
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Old 2004-08-03, 13:12   Link #13
aniforever
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wow yellow dwarf that was a long post and i can't believe i actually read it all hehe. i rarely like reading long post but yours was interesting.

hmm....completing someone that is incomplete....

it's weird how when a man say that to a woman it would make him the sweetest guy but when it's coming from a girl it means she's incompetent?

i've heard this time again when guys would say things like "you complete me and without you i am nothing yadda yadda etc. " and the girl would come running to him and crying hehehe. i watch too much tv.

iono what to think sometime since there are so many different views and angles to look at. still i like this anime because it's different as you can say to other anime and with different people watching it they can develop different views. one word for this anime is = interesting....

ps. sei is manly but rei is more manly.
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Old 2004-08-03, 13:56   Link #14
The Yellow Dwarf
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I'm surprised that people actually read my post. Honestly, I haven't had a single thought in the last two days of my marimite blitz. I've spent most of my time braindead and ogling Sei.

The_Dreamer brings up some really good points and I think loneliness, both the cause and the result of Shiori and Sei's coming together, has a lot to do with what defines their relationship.

I don't remember saying that Sei or Shiori were incompetent, so I'm not sure exactly how to address the question, aniforever. IMHO, at least, both of them (Sei in particular), had a sense of incompleteness of her self. That's as much as I can articulate.

As for the much-used-and-abused phrase "you complete me", I think there is a slight difference between my usage and the common usage in a heterosexual relationship. In that situation, the man is still the man and the woman the woman, no matter how much they "complete" each other, they are still two people. No matter how wild or spiritual the sex is, the clash of two distinct identities is even more apparent in the act of it. That, I think, is different from Sei's desire to "merge with Shiori and disappear," which I took to mean nothing erotic.

I can understand why Rei is tomboyish -- she does kendo, she has that voice, and she looks like a boy, she's like like a slightly girlier version of Haruka/Sailor Uranus. But Sei seems to appear manly (at least to me) without doing any manly things at all, which is why I find it a little odd.
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Old 2004-08-03, 15:50   Link #15
Lanimoo
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IMO, I wouldn't say Sei's overall character resembles a guy, personality-wise, attitude or whatever. However, Sei could possibly be the most assertive, straightforward and confident "Rose" out of the bunch, which would make her look like the guy since those are the strong points expected from a man.
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Old 2004-08-03, 16:10   Link #16
Takemi_Ikazuchi
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I recently read up to book 12. If you really want to pidgeon-hole everyone:

Sei: Unapologetically gay and continues being so.

Suguru: The most blatantly canon gay character

Shizuka: Is romantically attracted to Sei, but to be a fully flegded lesbian you have to be attracted to women in general. Not just one special case person. Too little data to conclude.

Yumi, Sachiko, Shimako, and [spoiler] : sexually confused

Rei: Gender identity crisis

Yoshino: Warped

Eriko: Straight and scatter brained

Youko: Youko is youko. No buts, whats or ifs.
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Old 2004-08-03, 16:19   Link #17
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Well done Takemi_Ikazuchi ^_^
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Old 2004-08-03, 17:53   Link #18
The Yellow Dwarf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanimoo
IMO, I wouldn't say Sei's overall character resembles a guy, personality-wise, attitude or whatever.
Ah, yes. That was my twisted point of view all along anyways, I wouldn't be surprised if I was the only one who thought that way.
Quote:
However, Sei could possibly be the most assertive, straightforward and confident "Rose" out of the bunch, which would make her look like the guy since those are the strong points expected from a man.
I wonder...Sachiko's onee-sama is similarly assertive, straightfoward and confident, though she is completely different. I wonder if there's some secret ingredient in the making of Sei...

Though you did say something I didn't want to say, which is that having masculine qualities doesn't necessarily make a person a man. And Sei is definitely a girl (duh) no matter how masculine she may or may not appear to some audience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takemi_Ikazuchi
I recently read up to book 12. If you really want to pidgeon-hole everyone:
Nice...any evidence? I don't mind spoilers. (It's not like I'm ever going to read the novel or the manga anyways.)

I also have a question (sort of off topic I guess): what exactly are the novels like? I have never, in my extremely short lifespan, seen novels that span 16 books and going (maybe Poirot, but they are mostly episodic detective stories). Are they really short? Serialized? What other types of novels would you compare them to?
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Old 2004-08-03, 19:57   Link #19
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Actually, if Japanese novels are anything similar to Chinese ones (at least the ones that I have read), content wise, they are quite... *thin* - in relative to, say, an English paperback novel.

There are Chinese translations of "The 12 Kingdoms" novels out and I have bought and read most of them. It is slow reading since I haven't actually done any serious Chinese reading for a long time, but still, I would say an equivalent English translation would turn it into a very, very thin book.
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Old 2004-08-03, 20:29   Link #20
Takemi_Ikazuchi
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Well let's see...

spoilers for Yellow Dwarf

Spoiler:


...one more thing about Sei. Whenever she fools around with Yumi, she's only half fooling around.
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