「好きになったらトロけちゃう」 (Suki ni Nattara Toroke Chau)
“Melting in Love”

Sorry, back to prose this week. Iambic pentametre is awfully difficult.

If the social institutions portrayed somehow haven’t riled you up ’til now, then congratulations, this is the episode that justifies moral outrage. Quite deliberately, I would think; say what you will about Okada Mari (and I will, HisoMaso is over and we do some retrospection), but as a writer she is very deliberate. When she’s trying to make a point it’s very easy to tell, so the rank hypocrisy that emerges in this episode is, I think we can safely say, intended to infuriate. When we have male pilots gossiping about this alleged female ‘love instinct’ when we’ve had plenty of examples of men charging penis-first into any interaction with the opposite sex (and, notably, in both cases of anastomisis the men fell for the women first), I’m pretty sure this is dramatic irony. Okada Mari, she knows drama. I do wish, though, she would spend more time expanding on the world building. We’re at episode 10 and a a lot of the OTF mechanics still feel arbitrary. I get they only accept dependent women, but why is it only in terms of romantic love? Why is platonic love fine? And, really, I have said this before, but if you really want psychologically broken individuals you really should start at childhood. It’s for the prosperity of Japan, right? What’s a few tortured kids compared to the good of the nation?

Obviously, HisoMaso is trying to make a comment about that traditional female dilemma, the choice between career and family. Can women really ‘have it all’? In countries with paid maternity leave, it feel like the answer really should be ‘yes’, but I’m told that while career and family can theoretically coexist, career, family and sleep is another thing altogether. The ladies at the Gifu base seem to have less options than even that, though. Simply being in love seems to be physiologically incompatible with their work. This is going to make for an awkward interview for their next job: ‘Why did you leave your previous employment?’ ‘The dragon thought I tasted weird.’. Regardless, it has to be one or the other for D-Pilots, it seems. For Hoshino, the choice is made for her (yada yada, chauvinistic patronising etc). For Hisone, though, she goes the other route: she decides to quit. Is she just taking the obvious answer? Does she not have a ‘dream’ as valuable as Hoshino’s? If she follows through, does that mean she does not have the same will or commitment? In this way, the D-Pilots are awfully comparable to the clergy. I don’t know if HisoMaso intended it, but it does have religious overtones so let’s just roll with it. As some of you know, some priests of some faiths are required to be celibate. Catholicism, in particular enforces this (to, er, an arguable degree of success. Let’s not go there). This is not because of the draconic allergic reactions, but is supposed to be a personal choice, a vow of devotion in service of God. But this dogma is not universal. Even within Christianity, other sects do not require celibacy oif their priests (some don’t have the same kind of priest at all, but that’s a topic for theologians). I doubt their practitioners will say their faith is lesser. Coming back to HisoMaso, Hisone evidently cares for Masotan deeply. She may still enjoy flying very much. If she was a regular pilot and not a D-Pilot, she may not have to face these issues (something Hoshino raged about in earlier episodes). But she declares her resignation anyway. I don’t think we should judge her as the lesser for it.

I write from a place of idealism, though, but curiously a lot of cynicism has seeped into HisoMaso as of late. One of the surprising sources is the yoghurt lady who has, bizarrely, morphed into some sort of weird, quasi-villainous character. Eh. Something seems to have happened to her in the past, back when she still had a partner but a bad break up has turned her into that crazy aunt you really don’t want to visit because all the cats smell really bad but you still have to because you want her to write you into her will. I’m wondering now how much of her advice is sage wisdom and how much of it is pure spite. Surely, we can find a compromise here? I mean, somehow Nao is able to pilot Masotan. Wasn’t she supposed to be in love with the costume guy?

Oh, before I forget: a moment of silence for the childhood friend, who was sister-zoned from birth. Poor girl.



One Comment

  1. It’s quite obvious that the old lady’s friend was chosen as the Binden back in the day and didn’t survive the experience. It has probably made her slightly bitter and cynical though she hides that behind a friendly face. In order to cope she has probably adopted a “Mission First” attitude and has dedicated her life to make the next mission a success too. Therefore her manipulating the girls emotions in order to further the mission is easy for her. Yes, she has probably been selling yoghurt on that very same airbase for 74 years or so just so she can be present for this mission too, so you got to give her props for dedication.

    After last episode I pretty much knew Hoshino and Hisone would be in for a hard time as the entire institution is out to kill any feeling of love they had as that is pretty much a condition now for them every piloting a dragon again. Hoshino pretty much got wrecked just like I predicted but I expected them to try something against Hisone too this week. Well, with her quitting that is sure to cause some headache for the guys at the top as they both want her to stay and pilot but they also need to mentally scar her for life. They are going to have to do some masterful manipulations to pull that off!


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