Catherynne Valente’s written this epic about mechagirls. I like it because it’s made me think about my own relationship with anime. For example, part of me (probably a really horrible part) loved High School of the Dead. Which contains swords, guns, zombies, and panty-shots (but mostly panty-shots).
It’s sad the materialization of women is so common that I felt no discomfort watching all twelve episodes. Sure, I felt silly. Stupid. And part of my brain probably rotted somewhere along the way. But hel, I had fun. Which isn’t an excuse. Never, never, never an excuse. I should be uncomfortable. (But because of the flesh-eating undead humans or the gratuitous lingerie close-ups?)
My intent for tonight, though, was not to write an essay on the objectification of women in anime. I just wanted to share a poem.
Make sure to listen and read at the same time. Catherynne Valente doesn’t speak in the drool-milking monotone some poets use–her voice here is more of a mildtone that still lets the poem’s music be heard. Even so, the reading’s subdued enough to be a fitting contrast to the DRAMA-saturated nature of (many an) anime, making the metal numbness of the mechagirl literally shine through. But part of me still wants her to read it like it’s a bad J-pop song (I know, how redundant of me).