A post in the “Don’t Fuck This Up” series. In reply to comment 17 by Owen S.
One doesn’t have to look hard to find that Sengoku Basara and Strike Witches have a lot in common. They are both historical period pieces that completely do away with any semblance of accuracy. Both are very straightforward shows that succeed on the strength of their production and the severity of their fanservice. That fanservice, a sort of nudity on the part of the entire show, is what I will now explore.
The Bones of My Boner
The Nakedness of Strike Witches
Nakedness pretty much smacks you in the face as soon as you start Strike Witches in that none of the females in the show wear pants. And there’s a gracious double-standard in which the men DO wear pants, proving that there’s no good reason for the girls not to wear pants other than “why the hell not?” Kind of like putting an exhaust pipe on your horse *cough*
What makes Strike Witches work is that it knows exactly what it is and who it’s for, and bears it all to this audience with the confidence of a beautiful woman posing in a Playboy magazine. Besides the total pantslessness of the girls and occasional full-blown nudity in the show’s many bath scenes, literally everything in the show is fanservice. The personalities of the characters, the plot, the action scenes, the dialog – everything in Strike Witches is tailor-made to the desires of modern otaku.
It’s this sheer nakedness and honesty that makes the show so fun. There is none of the awkwardness of an out-of-place element, like a slapstick comedy making a failed attempt at drama, or vice-versa (common mistakes in otaku-oriented programs.) It’s like watching porn – you seek and it delivers, and it is good. You don’t go into porn expecting anything except for porn and naked bitches (and maybe singing), and you don’t go into Strike Witches expecting anything other than fanservice – in both cases, your desire is delivered.
The Nakedness of Sengoku Basara
SenBasa begs you from the get-go not to take it seriously, and to just sit back and enjoy the fireworks. Date Masamune (voiced by the excellent Kazuya Nakai) kicks off the show screaming “ARE YOU READY GUYS?! PUT YA GUNS ON!,” has an exhaust pipe on his horse, and when he and Sanada Yukimura collide, the force is that of an H bomb. You immediately know that this will be an epic, manly, and crazy awesome show – nothing more, nothing less.
It’s a different genre, but it’s the exact same kind of all-encompassing fanservice as Strike Witches. All of the men are ultra-cool, ultra-respectable, and ultra-attractive (for the huge fujoshi audience the show has in Japan), but us guys aren’t left hanging either as the women in the show also have immense tits and the tendency to cum at the touch of a guy (lol). It’s got that same self-awareness propelling the show to success and, once again, it’s easy to turn your brain off and enjoy the ride for what it is.
The Truest Similarity
It’s easy enough to point out the similar uses of fanservice in these two shows, but there’s a certain key that really drives the comparison home: Gayness. Both shows are really, really gay, with great purpose.
This gayness is really in the bones of both shows (I went there.) The original Sengoku Basara game, like many things with all-male casts, is really big among fujoshi (the female Japanese fans obsessed with yaoi) and the anime adaption is very aware of this. There’s boatloads of Foe Yay, guys who literally worship their commanders, extremely faithful servants, etc. Touches of dialog like Yukimura saying of Date Masamune ‘I felt his passion in my soul!’ through blushing cheeks are where the creators really acknowledge their purpose.
Strike Witches has all of the same things, but on the girlish side where it’s much more touchy-feely and emotional. It’s not enough that the girls all have female love interests, but there’s also not a male love interest the series over. Strike Witches even does us a bonus favor by giving us many possible pairs, but never finalizing any of them, making it easier to speculate, choose your favorite couples, and write doujins.
(Just a quick note, when SenBasa first started, ALL I could find of the show was bl and generally ‘cute’ images of the guys. Now I can’t find shit. Anyone know why? Is this US fandom fail? At least I am still finding some gay youtube vids as of Sep 09. As for Strike Witches, a simple ‘Strike witches yuri‘ search on any good image or doujin site should suffice.)
Boning a Parallel
It is not inaccurate to state that an otaku would both like to become one of the characters in these shows as well as bone one of them, or be boned by one of them. I would make the case that with Strike Witches, it is true that many male otaku want to be a young girl, but still like girls. It appeals to a man’s desire to be more pure, open, and emotional. A lot of guys feel that they cannot be that way as a man, but are totally comfortable with their heterosexuality – hence the desire to become a lesbian woman.
The same probably applies to fujoshi who are fed up with feminity and want to kick ass and be awesome but still be attractive to beautiful boys. And of course, even if we move past our fantasies and get straight to our desires, people on both sides will be happy about seeing beautiful people of the same sex gettin’ it on!
I was told to write about ‘wanting to be a Strike Witches character and wanting to be boned by a SenBasa character,’ but I think that betrays the gayness of these shows. I would rather be a Strike Witches character getting boned by other Strike Witches characters (NSFW link). However, I was also told ‘Don’t fuck this up,” so here we go – I want to be Lynette Bishop getting boned by Date Masamune while he screams “ALRIGHT! PUT YA GUNS ON! LET’S GO!”
STRIKE WITCHES IS PERFECT – My reaction to episode one.
SENGOKU [FREAKING] BASARA 2: HANDS DOWN, GREATEST ANIME EVER – I’m seeing a trend in overblown reactions lol
Sengoku Basara Fun – I AM THE RED CAPE DIVER – A post on the ps2 fighting game Sengoku Basara X before the anime was announced.