Aug 17, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - The Weekly Graphic Novel: Week 20 - Battle Vixens v.3, August 2004

http://www.comics.org/issue/315677/

I continue, trepidatiously, to make my way through Yuji Shiozaki's brazen and brutal series. I have to admit that I'm finding the story quite compelling - my earlier noting of all of the characters paying far too much attention to Hakufu's breasts comes to a head and even she is tired of the size of them ("Geez...they are big, aren't they? I can't even see my feet. Da-amn!"). There's an interesting thing happening with her character, as all she wants is, in her words, a fair fight without having the addition of men either drooling over her or sexually threatening her.

And it's on that point that I'm having a slight problem. I've allowed that, hopefully, the hyper-sexualization is ironic, to a certain extent, commenting on our meshing of the drives for sex and death. Freudians would have a field day with this comic. But this volume contains a number of very off-the-cuff references to and jokes about rape, which is hardly a matter to take less than seriously. Again, I'm really hoping that there's an ironic subtext here that I'm perhaps not picking up on. It could have to do with the translation, as always, or it could be something that will develop over the course of the series. It's certainly one of the most awful mixes of the two drives, and if the series is hinging around that, a conversation about rape culture is vital. But I just don't know if it's going to happen in this series. Every female character thus far has been both badass - more so than just about any of the male characters - and object of the male gaze. I guess we'll see where things go.

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