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Queen’s Blade Post Mortem

I recently watched all of Queen’s Blade: Rebellion with a group of brave souls. I’m happy to say that we made it through the watch relatively unscathed, though it should be noted that PTSD sometimes takes a while to manifest. After each viewing we attempted to decipher the greater meaning of Queen’s Blade in a colloquium work that was posted on Draggle’s blog. Once we’d finished, both John Sato and Draggle had their final say on the matter. This will be mine.

First, I have to get this off my chest:

I really wanted to drop character in that last post of the series on Draggle’s blog, but I couldn’t. I had to ride it out to the end. I wondered a bit whether some readers might think I buy the crap I said about the show. Rest assured, I don’t think Queen’s Blade has any depth or actual understanding of its own culture.

The viewing experience for this was fun. If you’ve never heard someone facepalm, get on Skype right now and do a group watch of Queen’s Blade. Start at the last episode. Nothing can spoil you because you likely won’t know what the hell is going on even if you start from the beginning. Your group will benefit from having a least a few viewers familiar with MST3K or Beavis & Butthead.

With that said, I was surprised in analyzing the show how much symbolism is present. Sure, it all leads to the same place: Holy Pose: Fapping. I’m pretty sure that when the artists and writers plan this out they aren’t even aware of the sheer amount of symbolism they’re including. That’s the way culture works. Eventually we just take things for granted as the way it should be, even when we have no explanation as to the reason.

This brings me to my real takeaway from writing about Queen’s Blade: you need to trust your editorial sources and read critically. I put a lot of effort into those posts. My analysis of the symbolism was at least half honest. If I said an image symbolized something, I meant it. The creativity was in being dishonest enough to piece these together to form narratives that were clearly not the intent of the source.

Imagine if I were to write about a less trashy show but with the same dishonesty. Or if I were to honestly believe that the pieces of the puzzle fit that way out of ignorance or lack of skill. It’s not that difficult to form a completely false narrative using more truthful facts than lies. My favorite part of that series is the post on pantlessness for just this reason. That post has many, many legitimate interpretations. To toot my own horn (yuru yuri, toot toot) I am quite fond of my historical citations in that piece. I backed up my theory with hard facts about the history of religion, going so far as to check them against my history textbook. If one were to ignore that Queen’s Blade is a trashy sexploitation show they might be forgiven for accepting the various theories in these posts.

The group goes on, though. Our next watch is this week, where we’ll be trying to crack the code of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere. I watched the first episode of this show when season one came out. I hear it never got much better, but I also hear the source material is not so shallow or vapid. I hope this time I can write with a little more sincerity. Either way, it’ll be fun.

8 responses

  1. Yep it is always fun to get together on skype and poke fun at something! It usually inspires some of my screen cap things, but I can’t wait for Horizon! That is going to be just as fun.

    2012/07/20 at 05:10

  2. redball

    Your screen caps held it all together. WIthout them I don’t think we could’ve continued publishing.

    2012/07/20 at 05:13

  3. You hit here on one of the reasons I decided to do this (aside from the fact that it’s fun), and why I called it a “Colloquium”. Sometimes, I think, people in our community can get a bit overzealous in our analysis. We’ll declare that some show has a certain aspect— some philosophical underpinning, feminist commentary, whatever. Then we’ll find examples of this to use as evidence, and proudly declare that we have hit on something big. But seek and ye shall find.

    That’s not to say, of course, that the things we find don’t exist. They do, and for us, this may be the way we view the show. For example, when I watched Penguindrum, it came across as having a strong gnostic influence. Did it? Well, for me it did, but I doubt anyone on the creative staff had ever even heard of gnosticism. When reading my post, I hope that people can get something out of it and see things in a new light. But I don’t want them to come away thinking that the creators were actually influenced by gnosticism, or that this is the best way to interpret the show. I think that perhaps we should approach shows and their interpretation a bit more humbly, and hoped that our discussions of Queen Blade would show this.

    2012/07/20 at 05:32

  4. Yeah, this is truer than you realize, Fosh’s pictures sitting in my email inbox were sometimes the only thing that guilted me into writing a post :)

    2012/07/20 at 05:33

  5. redball

    For what it’s worth, I think the original colloquium posts were instructive for watching Penguindrum. While I wouldn’t say they were always right, I would say that they shed light on ancillary information that I would have otherwise been without. That made the series make much, much more sense to me. If those posts didn’t exist I’d likely have dropped the show midway through.

    I don’t want writers to have less confidence in their interpretations, though. I want readers to have a skeptical eye and question what they read. Those posts exemplify what can happen when a good-natured, but wrong, theory goes too far. That’s why I love the pants post so much. We took women being half-naked and ran it to a conclusion of an alternate timeline with female empowered religion. If I were to use this as a demonstration to writers it would be that they should seek criticism and consider opposing viewpoints and theories. There is a difference between confidence and a closed mind.

    If you hadn’t done that watch I wouldn’t have watched Queen’s Blade. (I’m not blaming you, though.) Nor would I have continued to watch without the accompanying posts. The project was a lot of fun. Doubly so because there were no wrong answers. Triply so because of the people involved. (Going to admit here that I was giddy to be involved in a call and a writing project with SnippetTee, no offense to anyone else.) As such: Thanks.

    2012/07/20 at 13:51

  6. I think that’s a good point with interpretations. When someone writes a blog post, one would hope they believe what they’re writing is true. But it’s just one possible interpretation; theirs. The writers *should* know that, but it’s less important for them to acknowledge this, because it’s their writing. It’s obviously their interpretation, and they don’t need say “in my opinion” every time they bring up a point. It’s just poor writing, because it makes it sound like you barely believe in your own points. Certainly, you don’t need to suggest you’ve found something definitive (as Draggle brought up), but you also shouldn’t second guess yourself in your writing. What’s more important than the writers realizing is the readers, as you say. You shouldn’t just accept something as truth, but think, “is this really important, is it as big as they say it is, does it make sense.”

    2012/07/20 at 14:49

  7. My favorite one was the “Who reads this crap anyways” right at the top of one of the colloquiums.

    2012/07/20 at 14:50

  8. Perhaps I am phrasing it wrong. I don’t mean to say that people should preface everything by saying “in my opinion”, or anything like that. As you know, I never do. What I mean is simply that you shouldn’t be so surprised when you find what you’re looking for. I’ve seen people on twitter say things like: “Wow, I discovered something amazing! XXX has Marxist elements!!!” Of course it does. You were looking for Marxist elements. It’s not that amazing.

    Also, I think vuc and AJ do an excellent job with their colloquiums, the main reason I chose that name is only because we have multiple people like they do, the posts ended up being really long, and vuc is fun to tease. :)

    2012/07/21 at 01:50