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Old 2004-08-23, 07:20   Link #1
Asynca
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Smile Regarding sexuality...

Okay, I realize I'm flogging a dead horse here in terms of discussing the sexuality of the marimite characters - but like everyone else I want to get my 0.02c in. Sadly, I found the perfect thread to respond to before I registed, but afterwards I couldn't find it again!

Everyone is always mentioning that their Japanese friend doesn't think a or b is a lesbian - they're just friends etc etc. From what I can gather, being a lesbian in Japan is not the same thing as being a lesbian in the west. The mere term has a very heavy gender and role burden on it, and most girls would not want to associate themselves with the term or associate people they like and admire with the term. Lesbians tend to be socially outcast and endure hard lives at the mercy of social conformists. Therefore, it is very unlikely a Japanese person will tell you someone else is a lesbian even if all evidence points to yes, unless the person has explicited stated publicly that they are a lesbian.

Therefore, I doubt anyone besides Suguru will ever be referred to as a lesbian.

This type of physical relationship between girls in Japan (admiration/worship-go-attraction-go-physical intimacy) I'm told (and also from my own observation) is quite common, and none of the girls who engage in it would be very likely to think of it as anything other than a very strong friendship. However, this is exactly what the rest of us would be inclined to call a lesbian relationship.

I've seen discussions of people who say, "How can these girls possibly call themselves Christians?! Christianity is against this type of relationship between girls!" And my simple answer is they don't see their relationships as lesbianism, just as loving friendships. Why should friendship be considered wrong and bad?

So I don't know if it's appropriate to discuss whether this character or that character is a lesbian - because by our (by our, I mean typical western usage)usage of that word you'll find 95% of the characters ARE lesbian. However, technically, because of what I have discussed, they're not. But there is no doubt this is shoujo ai, and the girls do enjoy (or at least desperately wish to enjoy) physical relationships with the girls they are in love with. However, sadly it doesn't mean they won't grow up and get married like their real life parallels in Japan

I have more to say, but I think that's enough for now
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Old 2004-08-23, 08:55   Link #2
Kensuke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asynca
This type of physical relationship between girls in Japan (admiration/worship-go-attraction-go-physical intimacy) I'm told (and also from my own observation) is quite common, and none of the girls who engage in it would be very likely to think of it as anything other than a very strong friendship. However, this is exactly what the rest of us would be inclined to call a lesbian relationship.

I've seen discussions of people who say, "How can these girls possibly call themselves Christians?! Christianity is against this type of relationship between girls!" And my simple answer is they don't see their relationships as lesbianism, just as loving friendships. Why should friendship be considered wrong and bad?
Good post, and you have very good points there, and I see that this is your first post so welcome to the Animesuki!

I think that we here in western countries think that anybody who shows any kind of attraction or admiration to the person who is same sex as she/he is, is lesbian or gay. I don't know is this the case in Japan, but I agree, in most cases we just mistake strong friendship as sexual attraction.

Most relationships in MariMite are just beatiful friendships, ne? And I mean those which are clearly friendships. I have seen relationships in anime when two characters clearly hate each other and constantly fight, so of course fans reason that they are just denying their love... like Sei and Suguru.
But one the other hand, lesbian related implications are obvious, maybe to please fans, so they are not meant to take so seriously. (We need more Sei x Yumi! )
What I see is in most cases just friendship but that doesn't stop me speculating who in love with who and enjoying this series. (Especially when Sei is teasing Yumi)
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Old 2004-08-23, 09:43   Link #3
Bracken33
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Quote:
I think that we here in western countries think that anybody who shows any kind of attraction or admiration to the person who is same sex as she/he is, is lesbian or gay. I don't know is this the case in Japan, but I agree, in most cases we just mistake strong friendship as sexual attraction.
We (Germany) are probably not Japan but admiration of a person of the same sex is allowed here imho.
Why not say:"I wish I could be like this guy/gal. He/she is so cool."
A physical attraction to one´s own sex is of course still a big stigma.

I also have the impression that there is a bigger tolerance for females showing physical attraction to eachother.
Best female friends can dance together, they can visit the toilet together, they can kiss eachother or they can hold hands..., without causing too much turmoil.
Now do this all the time with your best friend if you are a male. I think most people would consider it 100% gay and nothing else.
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Old 2004-08-23, 10:11   Link #4
dreamless
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^^ yup, I blame it to the sexism... I guess it means a lot of people today are still... sexists
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Old 2004-08-23, 11:47   Link #5
Asynca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kensuke
Good post, and you have very good points there, and I see that this is your first post so welcome to the Animesuki!

I think that we here in western countries think that anybody who shows any kind of attraction or admiration to the person who is same sex as she/he is, is lesbian or gay. I don't know is this the case in Japan, but I agree, in most cases we just mistake strong friendship as sexual attraction.

Most relationships in MariMite are just beatiful friendships, ne? And I mean those which are clearly friendships. I have seen relationships in anime when two characters clearly hate each other and constantly fight, so of course fans reason that they are just denying their love... like Sei and Suguru.
But one the other hand, lesbian related implications are obvious, maybe to please fans, so they are not meant to take so seriously. (We need more Sei x Yumi! )
What I see is in most cases just friendship but that doesn't stop me speculating who in love with who and enjoying this series. (Especially when Sei is teasing Yumi)
Thanks for the warm welcome!

I don't mean at all that there's not physical attraction between some of girls. There clearly is. You're asbolutely right that westerners jump to label anyone lesbian or gay. Japan is the opposite - they jump to avoid doing so The usage of the words is different.

I really like sexuality as displayed in MariMite - the opportunity to explore it without having to adopt alternative lifestyle and alternative gender roles. No one is labelling anyone (except Su-kun, hmmm...), and all sorts of ai behaviour is clearly acceptable. It's a true blurring of the boundaries and I totally love it ^_^ It's what actually goes on at school before you learn about what lesbianism/bisexuality is and what everyone tells you it should mean to your identity. You love someone and what to be with them - why give that a (extremely stigmatized) label?

That said, I'm going to totally contradict myself and say that as soon as Sei gets into university, SHE'S MINE, HISS! Although, I'm also quite happy to concede and give her to Yumi. SeixYumi has gotta be one of my fave pairings. I've never heard such blatent yuri come out of the mouth of a female character in popular anime to date!
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Old 2004-08-23, 14:22   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asynca
I've seen discussions of people who say, "How can these girls possibly call themselves Christians?! Christianity is against this type of relationship between girls!"
One minor point. Do any of them even claim to be Christians (with the exception of one "abandon friend at the train station" woman at least) in the first place? It's not quite so uncommon over here for girls to be sent to Catholic schools over here and not have any Christian leanings in the slightest. They pay lip service to "Maria-sama", I'll grant you that, but no further. It's pretty much how many Japanese treat religion actually. Tradition and custom are followed for the sakes of tradition and custom, not so much for the sake of devout belief.

In any case, while I can only judge the fandom's attitudes by the doujinshi at Comike, it would seem there is a strong belief for relationships between many of the characters that those in US and elsewhere would portray as lesbianism (or leading to it), though except for the productions of crazed fanboys selling their wares on Comike's unofficial H doujin day, there was very little in the way of suggestions of a sexual nature.
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Old 2004-08-23, 15:03   Link #7
Sweets Yumi
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As far as Christianity and sin goes: I don't believe it's a sin to be a homosexual, only a sin to commit sodomy. And there are more heteros doing that these days them homosexuals anyway.

Also, I think, just because someone does something that's considered a 'sin' doesn't automatically make them a non-Christian. There isn't a single person alive who is 100% pure (besides babies anyway ) So saying gays or whatever can't be Christian, is a mistake. If the person themself, considers themselves to be Christian, then they are.

Otherwise, you'd have to say there are no Christians on the planet, cause, like I just said, nobody is perfect.


But, to Maria-sama. I think it's true that people always assume, especially in animes, that such and such are gay, or such and such are lesbian, just because two people basically share an admiration of each other. Of course people even pair up people that are in no way even remotley homosexual. It just our times I guess!

But then again, it's on the viewer how they perceive things. I only see Sei as being lesbian in Marimite. All the other girls (even Rei & Yoshino) just seemed to be just close friends. Of course, I'm just going by the anime, I can't comment on the novels or manga.

And I notice, alot of people on this board think the majority of the Roses are lesbian (-Eriko) The thing about this anime, in particular, is it basically lets you run with any perception you feel. So 5 people could be viewing it 5 different way. It's like a perfume, it smells a litle different on each person that wears it!

So basically (I do run on don't I? ) I think there are lesbians if you want there to be, and none if you don't want them to be.
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Old 2004-08-23, 17:08   Link #8
Takemi_Ikazuchi
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May I give you guys and girls some advice?

Hold your opinions until the 2nd series completes its run. A lot of things will happen, and you'll get a better perspective.
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Old 2004-08-23, 18:51   Link #9
mintyfresh
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From what I've seen in most anime (well... in shoujo anime, anyhow), the concept of sexual orientation or preference doesn't really exist -- a character is free to fall in love with whomever they fall in love with -- Marimite is no exception. It's just that since the show is coincidentally set in an all-girls' school, the pairings usually tend to be two girls.

In all honesty, I dislike referring to the romantic aspects of this (or any anime where two characters if the same sex seem interested in one another) show as hints towards whether or not a character is gay or bi, but rather if person A is in love with person B.
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Old 2004-08-23, 19:32   Link #10
baik!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mintyfresh
In all honesty, I dislike referring to the romantic aspects of this (or any anime where two characters if the same sex seem interested in one another) show as hints towards whether or not a character is gay or bi, but rather if person A is in love with person B.
:nods head: love doesn't always = sexual orientation. love and sex are different things. we all (myself included) forget that sometimes. blame it on how the world works nowadays.
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Old 2004-08-23, 22:06   Link #11
overfiend
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First, I'm new to the forums so, "Hajimemashite!"

Now that introductions are out of the way, I've noticed that Judeo-christian iconography and theology are referred to or incorporated in quite a few anime and manga. I find this to be interesting, given that the target audience practice buddhism and observe Shinto rituals and holidays.

What I know about Japanese and Asian sociology is limited, but what I do know is that Asian views on homosexuality are a little less strict then Western views. From what I've gathered, Buddhism does not specifically proscribe homosexual relations. What Buddhism does say is that you should not engage in sexual misconduct, which rules out sodomy.

In China and Japan, female impersonators were quite celebrated and admired for centuries. Many daimyo, mandarins, shoguns, and emperors made use of their services. Some more so then geishas or courtesans. So while it may not have been something openly discussed or admitted to, it happened and was accepted.

Interpersonal relations are far more intimate and expressive in Japan then in the West, America particularly, where we are taught to be independant and that being emotionally intimate with people isn't considered to be a good thing. People like that are called pansies, fruits, etc. The Japanese place much more importance on their relationships with friends, family, and coworkers.

In this kind of situation, I think it's only natural that the girls not only become emotionally attached to their soeurs, but also develope romantic bonds with each other. They would not consider themselves lesbians, as I'm sure none of them are planning to elope, with the exception of Sei and Shiori - but that's another story. Instead, these relationships will probably deepen beyond what you and I would consider a friendship, but they would still be less then what we think of as lovers. Could you see Yumi and Sachiko trying to make love?

Anyway, thanks for letting me blabber on. And thank you for the downloads. Just finished Season 1, and I'm working on Spring as we speak.

I'll be seeing you.

Ja!

PS: Baik!, Where'd you get the chibis?
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Old 2004-08-23, 23:45   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overfiend
What Buddhism does say is that you should not engage in sexual misconduct, which rules out sodomy.
Incorrect. Sodomy is a Christian idea (The "Sodom" part didn't give that away?). In Buddhism, it's taken more to refer to adultery, and in some sects, is taken further as a vow of celibacy.
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Old 2004-08-23, 23:56   Link #13
aniforever
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Could you see Yumi and Sachiko trying to make love?
hehe not sure but i wouldn't mine seeing yumi and sei. well not until yumi is 18 that is heheh.
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Old 2004-08-24, 00:00   Link #14
Sweets Yumi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aniforever
hehe not sure but i wouldn't mine seeing yumi and sei. well not until yumi is 18 that is heheh.

But in Japan, I believe the legal age is 14. *laughs*
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Old 2004-08-24, 00:17   Link #15
Archaic
 
 
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IIRC, it's 13 actually, though many of the prefectures have their own "corrupting a minor" laws that make the legal age there effectively 16 or 18.
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Old 2004-08-24, 00:54   Link #16
aniforever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweets Yumi
But in Japan, I believe the legal age is 14. *laughs*
wah you serious? so what is consider child porn over here is actually adult porn over there huH? hmm...hehe i'm such a dork.

me vote sei x yumi coupling.
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Old 2004-08-24, 01:24   Link #17
kj1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aniforever
wah you serious? so what is consider child porn over here is actually adult porn over there huH? hmm...hehe i'm such a dork.

me vote sei x yumi coupling.
Age of consent and age of adulthood are two different things.
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Old 2004-08-24, 02:07   Link #18
NoSanninWa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
Age of consent and age of adulthood are two different things.
Does that mean it is legal for a 19 year old to have sex with a 14 year old, but pictures of that wouldn't be legal?
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Old 2004-08-24, 02:48   Link #19
Archaic
 
 
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I seem to remember a court case about exactly that from a while back, though that might have been in America. My memory's not so great. Sounds about right in any case though.
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Old 2004-08-24, 02:55   Link #20
Asynca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overfiend
First, I'm new to the forums so, "Hajimemashite!"
Douzo Yoroshiku! (^_^) (-_-) (^_^)

Quote:
Originally Posted by overfiend
Could you see Yumi and Sachiko trying to make love?
Oh, yes! I was in the same situation as Yumi in grammar school, and that definately went somewhere
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