Some Thoughts on Men, Women, and Animé

In response to Steven’s comment, I posted some information on Saito’s connection to Louise, which abruptly terminates in season 3.

I think it’s because he kissed Louise (for real this time, not as a part of the familiar-bonding ceremony) but then when he tried to go a step further and unlace her blouse, she went tsun-tsun and rejected him. Can’t imagine what her problem was….

Later, he tries again, and she blasts him, then makes him run behind the carriage the next day. While it’s refreshing to see a male lead who actually wants to score with one of the haremettes, Louise’s alternation of tearful insecurity with berserk smackdowns is tiresome. Yeah, she’s cute, yeah she’s a powerful mage when she can cast her spells, but she’s not growing up; she’s growing *down*. One minute she’s begging and pleading with Saito to never leave her, the next, she’s abusing him.

Well, I got to thinking: I’m sounding like I believe Saito’s attitude should be, “Listen bitch, you dragged me into this world, made me your familiar, I’ve been confessing my love to you since the middle of the second series, you begged me to never leave you, and now I’m risking my life for you when I don’t have to and have no power. Blasting me is your idea of a reward?? Enough emo abuse, either put out, or get out of my life!”

And you know…. I think he’d be a cad to state it so baldly, yes, that’s what I think. She wants him… but she doesn’t want him. She’s emotionally tied to him, but she’s a like a child, unable to commit herself, and blaming it on him. (I thought commitment was the guy’s problem?)

Now, I’d bet there’s some pretty old biological imperatives behind that line of thinking; ones that any bunch of plains apes from 2 million B.C. would recognize in an instant. “Hang around, defend me and this territory, and I’ll make it worth your while.” (Well, it was probably more like “Oook ook eee oook!’ but you get the idea.) I’m sure there’s a feminazi or two dozen that would like to sew my nuts to their totem just for saying that, but tough shit.

So yeah, lets go there, as controversial a subject as it may be. Why should he stay with an insecure emo girl who is probably going to get already has gotten him killed? Given that:

1. Louise (unintentionally) kidnapped modern-day teenager Saito into her medieval world,
2. Louise at first treated him like a servant, but later came to appreciate him,
3. Saito on many occasions has proclaimed (to her) that he loves Louise,
4. Louise obviously is very insecure, and afraid Saito wont stay with her without the familiar bond,
5. Louise broke down and tearfully begged Saito to never leave her,
6. Saito has, even *with* his powers, died for her once (brought back by magic),
7. Saito has defended her, even without his powers, at great risk to his life and limb,
8. Saito is a genuine hero of the kingdom (the queen was going to reward him with a patent of nobility, but he turned it down),
9. Louise angrily rejects any attempt at intimacy by Saito “It’s too early!”*
10. Louise routinely blames Saito for her own mistakes,
11. Louise abuses Saito constantly, blasting him with her wand or making him run while she rides the carriage,
12. Saito is about as good a guy as you could get: he’s brave, he’s loyal, he’s not afraid to confess to Louise (he’s almost boringly nice); his only flaws are that he can’t disappoint or be rude to women, and sometimes he’s a bit of a hothead,

Should he tolerate the status quo?

*In the first series, under the effects of the love potion, she offered to close her eyes for an hour and let him do anything he wanted. “If I close my eyes, then I won’t see anything and it never happened.” He turned her down, because she was under the influence of the potion.

Unfortunately, #12 is a recipe for him to be walked on by Louise. The way I read this is that she wants to possess him, but not be responsible to him for anything. That’s why she is so upset over losing the familiar contract with Saito; it gave her a claim of possession, without any need for commitment on her part. Even in medieval times, oaths of fealty and loyalty worked both ways. A knight pledged himself to a lord, but the lord also pledged to defend the knight, and this chain of binding commitments went all the way to the top. Hell, the Magna Carta was one big call by the barons on the king, saying, “look, we’re supposed to have these things based on our oaths, now stick by your word!”

(Edit: My point here is that Louise is demanding a one-sided deal; even if you look at Saito as a faithful retainer and bodyguard, she’s interfering in his private life by not permitting any involvement with other women.)

But if we waive Saito’s wishy-washiness for a moment, then the question I have to ask is, given the emotional investment by the parties should Louise’s commitment to Saito include physical intimacy? Or to put it bluntly, should Louise “reward” Saito with sex to keep him around? If Louise does not, given that he’s a free agent, and she makes extreme demands without providing anything but room, board, and abuse, should Saito continue to stick around, or should he leave her? If you’re not familiar with the series, Saito has a few other prospects, even if powerless — Siesta would certainly elope with him in a heartbeat; she considers herself Saito’s proper match.

So… I think my opinion is obvious. Tea and crumpets are served, please step into my parlor, and state your opinion. Do try to keep it civilized, as Sir Charles (Barkley) might say.

Update: Heh, no comments despite linkage from Steven. Rejoice feminazis, your gelding of the American Male is almost complete! (My expectation was that no guys would reply — especially no married guys. I should just put up a sign saying “<— Minefield this way! Form one line to the left!” and be done with it.)

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