January 5th, 2007

foxfire foxes

The forbidden degrees of relationship

I'm currently reading the Ze that kickinpants sent me, about guys who do it with animated pieces of paper, and that Chinese-set one of paleaswater's about the guy who falls prey to a peony. Truly, Japanese manga does alter the west's settled and disapproving notions about what constitutes a permitted, or even possible, sexual partner. If nothing else you're dealing with the culture's reflex animistic assumption that everything is a spirit, which means in our terms that everything is a person. Dogs? People. Goldfish? People. ('I wouldn't use the verb 'yaru' when talking about feeding fish. It's disrespectful to the fish.') Parakeets? People: and in 100 Demons they'll kill you if you put a foot wrong. Trees? People for very sure. Even here they're people. Look at the unsavoury personality of willows in various English fantasy writers.

Maybe we wouldn't write stories where people are raped by randy tree branches, but that's 'cause we're puritans. Minami Ozaki did because she's Minami Ozaki. (Me, I always figured there was a good kink story inherent in the Whomping Willow.) Since rocks are people too, especially in Shinto shrines, I confidently look forward to a manga about someone doing it with a rock. Actually I wouldn't be at all surprised if back in the day people did do it with rocks. There are enough of them around of the right shape. And if Ima Ichiko hasn't yet done a story about a rock spirit (hasn't she? memory is pinging lightly) she will, Oscar, she will. (I'm also flashing here to Marianne Dreams, about menacing rocks with eyes in them (and whatever happened to my copy, huh?) and Edward Gorey's Black Doll, that always looked like it was made of stones to me.)
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