When it comes to exploring the principal kinds of relationships possible, their metapsychanalytic signification and energetic potency, this anime is among the most inspired pieces of media ever produced in Japan and by extension everywhere. From the cover we can deduce it will talk about love with feminine homosexuality at the forefront… not only though, by far.
While it could be deemed merely symbolic, when you know about metapsychoanalysis, it takes on a properly surrealistic level of signification: Those are symbols, but at the same time more than that, and on some level literal representations of reality.
This series started in 2009 is highly politically incorrect, tackling as we will see on serious issues such as death and loss in a surprisingly straightforward way, but so skillfully that I have yet to find someone really picking up on it. One of the reason being the first episodes, whose over-the-top humor discouraged quite a few people.
This however serves a purpose, consciously or not. What could be assimilated to light fan service (but really isn’t, as we don’t see anything…ever) or random sprinkling of girly cuteness abounds in the series, actually hiding a constant stream of sly comments on Western society or mores. In general, the vast majority of excellent animes which reached global fame, are actually aimed at the West, which after the Empire’s defeat destroyed its cultural values and perverted the people’s morality. What was normal and holy - pedophilia, incest, feminine homosexuality - was swept under the rug or vilified, thanks America.
Beyond the apparent silliness, this anime teaches us extraordinarily precise and crucial lessons about love and its true purpose, extrasensory transcendence. Not only that, but the historical cause of our current situation is hinted at: the fight for the right of children to love which occurred between the mid 80s and early 90s and the ensuing defeat of truth, opening a new era of sexual repression in which we still live in. While faggots have been begrudgingly included in a new normality true pederastic relationships were actually much more common before, mostly ignored by families if not actively supported. A truly era-changing event in the history of mankind (at least on a global scale) took place around that time. Love belongs to children, adults only borrow it, and the social order we live stands on its corpse.
That said I now enjoin you to watch the episodes here accompanied by my explanations.
Analysis episode per episode:
The story takes us far in the future, after five hundred years of technological evolution and space exploration, during a huge battle where evil forces seek to trigger the explosion of a whole planet potent enough to burn the entire galaxy. The scene happens 25 years before the beginning of the series. We are then introduced to the good faction and some of the main cast. Space is not really space, as we see people breathing in it without any protection,as if it had oxygen.
It is the space of the archetypes or Unconscious, where the true battles of concepts and values happen.
Those last characters, Lumiere and Eclair choose to unleash the totality of their powers to freeze the explosion… and with it the whole planet in time, sacrificing themselves in the process.
The naming convention means a lot in this series. Lumiere, the smaller one, is Noos, inspired intelligence, while Eclair stands for action and intuition.
Their physique, clothing and thematic colors confirm it, however with a twist: penetrating intelligence is seen as a child’s attribute while it is the adult which embodies passion and spontaneity: her breast attests of her maturity but could also refer to liberated sexual spontaneity. Together they exemplify two archetypal roots of spiritual realization.
Then… the generic changes tones entirely, with an upbeat music and a collection of scenes which for now makes little sense (since they’re always drawn from incoming episodes) but will make more later.
The song describes elegantly a situation where two lovers are far from each others, context central to the plot and story. One can resent the situation as nightmarish, and suffer, as most people do, but true love isn’t diminished by distance, bounds forged through intimacy connects people beyond time and space. A true promise ,is like a spell cast on oneself enforced by destiny which protects meaningful,magical relationships.
In that pure state of mind one can develop unbreakable trust in the universe. The last sentence concludes that we should let destiny chooses when intimacy should take place, instead of intellectualizing like later evil characters defined by that trait very much do.
After that introduction of genuinely epic proportion, we go back to present days,on the planet Aineias, headquarters of the GTO (Galactic trade organization) employing all holders of superpowers on the side of good, and where the heroes work at, as apprentice ES members. ES for Extra Sensory. We are introduced to the lead characters, two girls present in the opening, the one with pink hairs and the other with long, blue hairs. Both seemed to be employed as waitresses… as a cover.
Ascoeur, the pink haired one, is deliberately written as absolutely insufferable with attitude to her high-pitched voice and demeanor all the like and little to no redeeming quality nor feminine , while Qfeuille the other (both named after ace cards) painfully bear with her.
But that irritation can’t go far:
Isn’t she tiring ?
No, we’re partners.. In English in the text a word that keep coming but whose precise meaning is left open to interpretation: trade partners, or romantic partners ?
What is the nature of these relationships ?
The contrast is strong when compared to two seasoned members, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, calm and serious, haughty even. A big sister and an unmistakably infatuated brother. Most likely, it relates to the rather common case (especially in Japan) of failed incestuous relationships, unrealized and growing into a kind of immature regressive dependency.
The rest of the episode (like quite a few of them) is on the surface very silly, overtly so. However episode is centered around an attack of the headquarter, by unidentified enemies, camouflaged as elderly people on a visiting tour then revealing themselves to be attractive young men… putting on armors and shooting everywhere to kill the director Hiver.
During the episode (before and after the rescue operation and neutralizing the enemies), the comedic theme paints the stupidity of undergarments’ ads on Western television: the one Ascoeur wears is supposed to make oneself slimmer… bring wealth and celebrity. At the same time, none other than Minourose, the waitress-in-chief obvious transvestite chastises her for lacking in lady-like bashfulness but ending lifting more skirts and embarrassing girls to make his point… ordering her to remove her bloomer whether or not she has something below.
Minourose in French translates literally as “pink pussy”… A transvestite championing feminine virtues, while having nothing androgynous to himself at all, but aping females with his giant fake breast. Insisting that Ascoeur remove her ungirly immodest bloomer, they dispute pulling over the garment until she removes it… right in front of the director, which doesn’t understand why she would strip.
While people are supposed to wear panties, Ascoeur finds herself pantless. Thus she is forced fight the invaders and a giant metal dragon while trying her hardest (and failing) to hide her nether regions ! An acute mockery of Western pudor. Ascoeur’s two non-agent feminine friends working as guides symbolize normal girls, especially the mindless big-boobed one, fully inline with the “system” by their reaction to the beautiful half-naked boys.
Pretty clear message: Beware the lure of outward appearances, your attraction might cause your doom. For girls, seducers truly are mortal enemies.
We discover Ascoeur’s power of teleportation, abnormal strength agility and speed, manhandling several armored men in obscurity. Lastly, one enemy creates a mechanical dragon out of their armors… which immediately vaporizes him, then attacks everything in the vicinity before Ascoeur destroys it with her laser sword after a little rodeo, but not before half the place is in a shambles and many could gaze her at her womanhood. They are scold lightly, but as two female agents coming back put it they showed a lot of courage when no one else was present, thus bear little blame. This ends the first episode.
After the attack the security system is upgraded, continues as usual, this time in the cuisine. Ascoeur is obsessed by food, pumpkin pudding in particular, constantly and annoyingly (a feeling shared by readers and in-universe characters alike). One note of interest: Minourose the transvestite, in charge of all waitresses, bath with them, while everyone knows his real gender. What is it supposed to mean ? A sense of trust that he is not like other men, not your average heterosexual ?
The transcendence of gastronomy
Due to a stupid incident, her pudding falls on the ground of their room, a true catastrophe of cosmic proportion. She leans to shamefully lick the top of the meal like an animal (something I wouldn’t mind at all), is stopped, to see the pudding getting definitely plastered on the floor…
Not bearing the thought of not eating it this very night, she proceeds to put her life on the line by climbing the imposing high tower on the roof where the pudding stock lays protected by the security system we mentioned, to then breach said system tailored for potentially deadly enemies. All for food.
Her friend can’t help but accompany her, eager to test her super-human brain against the computer… They encounter ridiculous obstacles after ridiculous obstacles, psychological tests more apt to ridicule intruders (giving them masculine voices, forcing them to not walk but crawl all over disgusting naked and greasy moaning fat men, pursuing them with an army of gropers(!), cute groping dolls…). For some reasons, we see Qfeuille pants a lot more than before and afterwards. She suffers from this humiliation much more than her partner, which enjoys herself till the end.
We see the striking difference between Ascoeur and Qfeuille: the first has an obnoxious, child-like innocence to her, while the second embodies maturity and intellectual prowess. In short, a grow-up. However, succeeding would be impossible for either individually, they are one. Ascoeur could have teleported inside once within distance if she wanted to eat so desperately. But declines when Qfeuille points it out to her, arguing how there’s no point doing things alone. She finally accepts leaving her partner behind, both making such a ridiculous scene for nothing, no danger at all, as if someone was to die… even the epic exposition music from episode with Eclair and Lumiere sacrifice gets played !
And the last, hardest trap, for both, to reach the divine (food) was a hole. How precise… This episode ridiculed the lengths we would go to for cooking, aping with much disrespect, the sacrifices others would do to save the world instead… And this was the next attack on the moralistic mindset (in the bath, Ascoeur freely exposing her childish body, and all throughout the trials) in a long line, far from ending.
Airheaded, indelicate and obnoxious as ever, unable to remember orders, Ascoeur annoys her partner and all customers. For the first time, Qfeuille’s qualities of reliability and responsibility are compared to that of a good housewife, therefore subtly demeaned.
We meet Trixi and Troisienne, older couple of full-fledged ES agents that younger aspirants idolize, Troisienne in particular for Ascoeur. Mirroring somewhat our protagonists, Troisienne is considerate and feminine while Trixie is the tomboy. While making a fool of herself (again), Ascoeur gets handled by her idol and blush, alluding at something more than admiration.
Both of our apprentices have an affinity for the opposed personality of the older pair, however conflict with each others, as if neither of them were the perfected version of themselves represented by their elders. Troisienne is a sweeter (or demure), less presumptuous and pedantic version of Qfeuille, while Trixie seems like a more composed version of Ascoeur.
We discover that Qfeuille has an unreasonable passion for very cute childish characters, magical girls in particular, to which Ascoeur sees no interest whatsoever, carelessly manhandling a precious artifact. They clash and declare their hate for each other, wishing their partner would resemble more their older counterpart. Both appear to share their immaturity, and they spend the night at their waitress friend’s complaining about the other.
As a consequence, they can’t work at all anymore and are forced to learn the trade and syntony once again by seeking a single man with the most generic name ever (Smith) in 6 minutes lest all the planet’s inhabitants be ruined and commit suicide ! Funny remainder, that ultimately economy runs not so much on resource but on human energy and trust in one another.
Instead of relying on her brain, Qfeuille uses her prescience to narrow down the possibilities, seeing a woman even though all candidates are male, while Ascoeur teleports to each of the 25 persons directly. With no more luck. It appears visions were right, and Smith was actually a woman, albeit a very masculine, body-building one. Finally, Qfeuille bonds with her corresponding elder Troisienne over a shared puerile passion for Sakura Card-Captor. Finally, the one ending up spending time in Troisienne’s room is Qfeuille…
Behold the mighty phallic symbolism
This time, our fledgling ES members are given the charge of Di-air, a totally adorable little Aryan girl with an aristocratic air to her, behaving with dignity of herself with the third person, demanding to be called her name and ashamed of making noises (a Japanese taboo).
So they go on their normal days but with Di-air, cutely prononced
Dia because some phonemes are too complicated (I had such issues at her age), while other people get similar involuntary nicknames. Firstly, since guarding the child is an official mission, they change cloths for their uniform, providing a pretext to see them scantily clad which is very rare in the anime, regardless of wind, angles etc. There are a few things to take note of in that episode, which at first notice seem unimportant, but to keen eyes, strike an uncanny, therefore meaningful. In a rather obvnoxiously pedo-lesbian anime, these “alluring” moments are deliberate.
However we learn right after that Qfeuille’s age is 7, the same as Di-air, which seems nonsensical even to the girl. Those who saw the useless prequel series (loved by fans but a pile of dog shit nonetheless) know that ES members aren’t exactly
humans: most of those with powers are actually created, for some aged up artificially until reaching maturity, then aging no more. Science can reverse nearly any wound and if anticipated for those beings even death can be eluded, through transference into a newly grown body. Indeed we learn that Di-air had no mother and father and spent her short life cocooned under protection, not having seen the sun yet.
The outright stricken attitude around Di-air of usually very strict adults like Minourose, suddenly overwhelmed by cuteness, illustrates the Japanese sensibility for the
enfant-roi: the transcendent obedience to a child’s every need. Something often confused with the nevertheless completely opposite notion of the
tyrannical child when the child starts abusing his rights and abuse her parents. In only appearance the difference is slim, while in fact it portrays the fundamental disconnection of Western societies, which see children as a chore, properties of their parents and duty-bound to obey them.
More inspired cultures on the contrary, like that of Japanese until recently, place the child at the center of every hope and love, a magical being rightfully deserving all their devotion. A pedophile worships his/her lover, which gives that devotion back, explaining the insane back-breaking discipline kids routinely showed in Japan .
At her demand, they wander outside, accompanied by the most endearing love song (愛(ai) means love as in
love story or
New villains arrive interrupting their idyll. Unlike the naked male fodders from episode 1 these have powers. The woman clad in blue has ice powers (Saphyr), with which to freeze and skewer her enemies while her partner clad in red (Rubby) has a panther form increasing speed, reaction time, strength and elongated nails acting as a sword, stronger than Ascoeur’s hard light sword. We will see later what both represent.
Lacking battle experience, her short range teleportation becomes a liability as it is easy to predict her next location, necessarily within her visual range. Taking a blow, she happens to crash at Di-air’s side, who… French kiss her.
Immediately, both her teleportation range and stamina increases, and it works on objects too now. While the characters don’t understand yet - believing it is their own power - visuals tell us Ascoeur’s energy increased.
The enemies flee as reinforcements come, as they came only to gauge the strength of those responsible for earlier assassination mission’s failure. The episode ends with earlier lovely tune ringing as they assert their desire to shepherd Di’air - their love, taking on her official glorified babysitting assignment willingly.
Our team has to visit the ruin of the headquarter of the previous organization, the GOTT destroyed before the foundation of the GTO 25 years ago (or 50, or 17, we’ll see later for the meaning) and that has shown weird energy spikes recently, despite all electricity cut off. Immediately, the tone is set, that episode is a parody of horror anime à la higurashi, using its tropes as an homage. I am no fan of this genre, that name the only worthy exception in my humble opinion. Characters’ face distort heavily to depict exaggerated fear. From the mere mention of suspicious activities in an abandoned derelict building, Qfeuille immediately gets the creep, ever more so as they enter the facility.
We pass by what looks like memorials of a lot more ESP members than they know but which we saw in the series’ expositions flashback. Perhaps the most fascinating dialog of the whole series occurs: Qfeuille teaches to Qfeuille what I wrote before, that science made life extension and rejuvenation a reality for the select few possessing superpowers, so that only the most violent death can end ESP members. However she interprets that their life (therefore, her own) must be that of servitude (
treated like slaves), robbed of the possibility of a normal life… But Ascoeur makes the following counter-argument:
These were couples simply wishing to stay with their loved one forever, embracing a meaningful life at the service of the greater good. Qfeuille despite her vaunted intellect needs Qfeuille’s naivety to realize the most important.
partner also found a definitive meaning: in the highest sense of the word they are lovers, and we just saw a couple of two older women, of siblings, an old man and a little girl, two handsome men. Only the older women truly died, the others’ fate being unknown.
I posit that all the ES member pairs, represent the archetypes of relationships or different triggering patterns.
We have a number of combinations between the three axes of homosexuality/heterosexuality, partner’s respective age and age gap, and the possibility for incest. By the end of the series, more combinations appear, essentially on the enemy’s side, alluding at inherently dysfunctional models of relationships (or made such due to society). The very purpose of this series is to teach us the solutions to the problem of love, teach us the good attitude, affinities and priorities to develop in order for energy to flow as it should, and powers to grow naturally without limits.
From the lost couples, we may already deduce that male horizontal (no age-gap)
gay homosexuality is hinted as problematic now, if only temporarily, the same goes for adult man - prepubescent girl pairing, while at least a certain form of mother-daughter incest (arguably a so-called
emotional, unrealized incest) relationship is truly dead for some reason, that none of the series give for the previous one that does provide backstories is utter nonsense. Many elements carry with them an historical or symbolic gravitas not lost on a history student, but ultimately are left to the audience to imagine. It also allows good fictions not to overstep what amount of inspiration they were allotted.
They all get lost and Qfeuille gets the scare of her life, stalked by a shape-shifting ghost trolling her. Joined by Ascoeur they’re chased by the entity, until Di’air teaches them it’s no ghost, but a
genetic-beast similar to the dragon from earlier, though much more creative and faster. Much more… polymorphic. They realize what we the public were already privy of: powers don’t increase from nowhere or your
training, but from touching the child… or rather, letting him/her touch you.
Fresh-minded as ever, Di’air immediately befriended the beast and gave it power, as she does with everyone, to make them grow. They end up adopting it, reduced to a wearable size, mentioning nothing to the director… and imagining they wouldn’t realize. But good teachers, like Plato, do that: instilling the right ideas in the child’s mind, leaving the impression they come from himself and the confidence that goes along.
The immediate emphasis on Di’air lips at the very start and the use of the word “polymorphic” prove the beast personifies the (innocent) little girl’s polymorphic partial drives. Able to grow a lot from excitation/energy - like her clitoris - and taking many shapes depending situations, unlike the single-minded destructive adult obsession with coitus, in men in particular, as symbolized by the dragon. A child’s sex drive on the other hand, is very subtle and flexible, impossible to categorize, powerful but calm, responding only to magic to magic. Freud called children natural
polymorphic perverts. Such surgical precision in symbolism forced me to consider whether or not this instance of
could possibly still be unconscious. Sometimes me and Mr Burger wondered if the staff may have followed the courses at Montramé or read the books somehow ! Our protagonists also form a marvelous example of triangular constellation, the amplification of magic through free exchange between three (or more) people.
The problem for now, is that Di’air supports the couple as they haven’t realized their love, thus cannot actualize their powers yet.
This episode begins right at the start of a love-making session between the director Hiver and her assistant, which is apparently a pervert, calling in the girls at the same moment, seemingly to teach them a lesson:
physical contact is a good thing to improve relations., while Hiver’s mind can’t think straight anymore. Our girls don’t really know who Summer is, nor his age, misjudging his age due to his diminutive size.
So our two teenagers meet the adults’ weird demeanor and proximity with puzlement, even imagining the director might be sick… or the assistant Sommer (leading them on on purpose) an enemy threatening her ! Di’air of course in her naivety notices nothing at all.
They shared intimate moments between lovers, which, well usually aren’t meant to be shared. But this is no ordinary couple and this is no ordinary love. What we aren’t ashamed of, should be shared shamelessly to those we wish could partake in that experience. Devoured by curiosity they can’t help but teleport in and out the director’s room several times.. to find the pair of lovers making out more and more, with Sommer noticing, eager to show them the way. Until he strips her down fully.
Fully interrupted, Sommer compares this game to a magic trick… pretending he gives power through kisses, but they all call his bluff. Sommer and Hiver’s relationship, while in the side of good, isn’t nearly as energetic as the child’s. Leaving us with a strange feeling, not knowing what to make of them. The girls leaves doubting the explanation, not realizing the f**king taking place… Or willing to not realize it.
The second part of the episode heavily ridicules Japanese women’ fascination for
yaoi, mangas themed on boy-on-boy relationships, often smearing their pages of overblown violent sadomasochistic sodomies in anatomically impossible positions. Or playing on the ambiguity and drawn in a very stylized if not feminized fashion… or both at once. What makes the last sense, is the idea to fantasize on homosexuals with no hope, in theory or practice, to partake in those exchange. What even is the point in that ?
In contrast, the yuri manga genre, featuring cute lesbian girls enjoying each other, while also totally fascinating men, enraptures a great many women too. Both the writers and public are more balanced, including a fair amount of people of the same sex as the manga depict. Here we see a
BL (for Boy’s Love) themed
host club, institutions bordering on prostitution, wherer people essentially pay to be in
good compagny, pretending having an ideal boyfriend/girlfriend catering for their every need, with or without consumming afterwards… Except this is a BL-themed one: homosexuals caring for girls. The apex of feminine fantasies’ self-contradiction.
And more often than not one partner is imagined not so much younger - not every Japanese has the guts to acknowledge their inner pedophile - but more effeminate, to compensate, as well standing for women’ self-insert. An effect of (self)censorship and wishful thinking (or frustration) polluting innate representations of trigger patterns.
Funnily enough, those men like Di’air immediately, but their faux attitude is detected by Tama, which asks for a kiss and take the form of a human a bishonen. No one understands how or why, but most girls instantly fall for him. Or her, given Tama stands for: guilt-free instincts with little concerns for social games.
Tama tells us that what is originally the sexual drive, can morph into whatever shape the Unconscious perceives as adequate to protect and promote transcendence. A vast array of psychological behaviors are motivated and sustained by the same drive.. It proceeds to ridicule all the boys going straight to what the girls want, his(her ?) body. The pretty boys try to
eliminate by what looks like poison… only to change Tama into the Incredible Hulk and level the whole building to the ground. The Unconscious doesn’t like deceitful behaviors, at all, and can if pushed too far destroy with not so blind violence what opposes natural order, above all and especially regards to love, inhibition of which exploiting is the very principle of this kind of establishment.
Instead of liberating girls, capitalism plays on and nurtures their delusions.
Our girls are taken in recoinaissance mission (or on a tour…) with their idols, Troisienne and Trixie. The Tweedle siblings are commented uppon, the brother’s excessive attachment for his sister’s. Then all of sudden Troisienne is low-key accused to have had her way with Qfeuille when sleeping over end of episode 3, and the latter to have gone along ?
And Ascoeur of abusing Di’air ?! All this with a false air of seriousness, then the tomboy proposes to have a sleepover with Ascoeur… and
touches gently too, and everyone jokes it off.
Their mission involves seizing an illegal warship factory, heavily armed and defended. Which they proceed to attack with teenagers and a child, only prepared with a
Help us the best you can, by just crashing into the factory head-on.Who cares about strategy and planning when there’s supertech and muh superpowers ?! They could have trigered a giant explosion, but Trixie’s powers are to freeze and control time, reminiscent of Lumiere’s, which protects whatever gets phase-shifted, which in science-fiction is often hand-waived as being
send one second in the future. While Troisienne’s relate to space, teleporting, distording space.
Every damn equipment of their has a clear phallic look, their ship, their flying vehicle/robots, Triumph, which takes them on a trip to the enemies’ main base. Riding the latter for the first time is a not so subtle metaphore for a first sexual encounter, with the robot that must go fast but drive more gently.
They need to collect people and evidences to incriminate the G-society (which caused the terrorist attacks and attempt at the director’s life so far) before the galactic court of law. But it is also an occasion to portray the absolute badassery of true ES members - cementing Qfeuille and Ascoeur’s admiration - and a real fight with equally superpowered enemies. A recurring trend, as we’ll see, is of enemies ignoring Di’air completely:
Evil doesn’t even factor the presence of the little girl, but may she hold unseen powers within her ?
However, when Di’air choses to stay, they don’t mind bombing the place anyway, from afar: those two’s powers center around the mind: Shade’s power is to make himself invisible, induce lasting hallucinations on one person and mind control to some degree, while Torch produces illusions everyone sees and makes himself and things invisible. All enemy power holders - Shadow workers - embody a certain mindset or character traits, inmannerisms, looks and abilities.
Because they knew nothing of the enemy while the enemy knew their abilities, without both Ascoeur’s teleportation and Qfeuille’s future sight (as well as Dia’s kiss, and their mighty ship) both adults would have died, either incapacited or slowed down by illusions. This episode served to establish a few enemies’ power, their willingness to kill even kids for their (unknown) goals, and to cement Troisienne and Trixie’s role as mentors and symbolic first erotic partners. As well as the apprentices’ entry in the real world.