Mayu disappointed me. I hope she redeems herself in the last episode, but I’m not counting on it. Another example of Rider Girls who can’t handle it. (Which annoys me to no end. I think Nadeshiko only got a pass because she’s some weird alien goo.)
idk, i think it’s completely understandable that she feels that way. she feels like she’s been used—and she has. it’s less “can’t handle it”, and more a teenage girl being uncertain because what she thought was a weapon to bring hope and bring peace to her family turned out to be something twisted in order to kill her and the entirety of tokyo. i would be upset, too.
this is 100% false flagging though, she’ll be back next episode.
on a meta level it irritated me because while we avoided the gross ~revenge is bad (but only for girls)~ trope we replaced it with the more sanitized ~conflicted about her powers~ trope instead.
THAT SAID, on the third hand, mayu has always been about choice. that’s her arc, that’s her central focus, that’s her theme. “this is the beginning i’ve decided on”. she decides. having that stolen from her by fueki is a direct way to detract from that central theme, but as rinko says, her decision to take the thing that he did to her and use it to bring hope has power, for me, especially if we look at the way fueki violated her trust (and violated the minds of two others, including a young child, and another father).
what the hell are we giving nadeshiko a pass for? she has the personality of a paper bag and half of her whopping two appearances are face sitting and butt smacks
(I’M MAD ABOUT ULTIMATUM)
I mean, because the majority of Rider Girls either die or give up their powers. It annoys the piss out of me because the women in my life are so obviously strong willed and equal in every way that counts.
Nadeshiko died, sort of, but not really. And she’s still a Rider. So that’s why she gets a pass.
And I guess Akira from Hibiki would get a pass too, if I remember correctly. But I can’t think of anyone else who didn’t die or give up being a Rider.
ok but what is specifically happening here is a double standard and blaming mayu for having a human reaction to trauma and tragedy.
mayu is a 17 year old orphan who, in the last week, has had her revenge stolen out from under her, her trust violated by the man who gave her her powers, been kidnapped, and then was nearly killed in a move to kill the entirety of the city of tokyo in order to revive a dead girl. her losses have been immense, and raw, and she has not had time to deal with them. haruto’s losses are old scars. mayu’s are still fresh.
she says now that she intends to stop using magic, and frankly, i don’t blame her one bit.
you know who i don’t see people getting mad at? yamamoto, who misdirects his anger at the victim at the center of this. who gave up being a wizard. i don’t blame him for being angry or quitting. being a wizard sucks. the only good thing to come out of magic in the last few days involved nitoh giving his magic up for good.
do i demand better for female characters? abso-fucking-lutely. but demanding that every female character be a sudden bastion of emotional strength at expense of what is believable character depth and vulnerability isn’t better. it’s ~Strong Female Character~ crap, and i have no time for it.
what i saw this week was a young girl who put her trust in someone who offered to help her bring peace to the family that was ripped from her, whose loss she is still feeling, by killing the monster wearing her twin sister’s face and going around trying to kill others, and had that trust violated in an extremely violent way, express that violation and hurt and rawness to another women who was struggled, and been hurt, and had her trust broken. rinko was literally assaulted by a man thirty episodes ago and nearly killed. she chose to pick up that trust, and use it to help people despite her lack of powers. she encourages mayu to do the same—to move past trauma and do good.
there’s an allegory for any woman in there, in case you missed it.
(it’s an allegory about rape.)
i think it is important that they deal with the culmination of mayu’s arc of ‘choice’, and that choice doesn’t always mean ‘trusting someone offering a thing that seems like a miracle in order to do this thing i want’. sometimes it’s ‘something bad happened to me, and i have a choice to move away from it, and leave it behind’ and then choosing to do it because she wants to help people. she is a foil for haruto, because like him, she overcame her own despair, and she chose to become a wizard, but unlike him she doesn’t need to fight as a wizard to go on. but i think she’ll choose to do it anyway, in order to bring hope. there’s power there, and it’s important to me that they use a female character to do it.
what isn’t better for girls is not “surviving”. surviving is a tickmark on my list. nadeshiko doesn’t get a pass. nadeshiko is fetish fuel dressed in a schoolgirl outfit being objectified over and over again when they could have actually bothered to give her more personality than repeating everything that’s said to her. it wouldn’t have been so hard.
i want characters who are as real and as deep as their male counterparts. i want characters who are allowed to be weak, and afraid, and uncertain. i want characters.