I am not a big fan of Kill la Kill! but I must admit that it was skillfully made.
If you haven’t finished watching the show, just skip this post; it contains minor spoilers for the final episode.
The heroine and her sidekick are not exactly in love. However, they have an extremely strong emotional “crush” on each other; the sidekick has a very legitimate role in preventing the heroine from going totally berserk.
Note that the warrior’s companion who prevents berserk rage and homicidal mania is a real phenomenon. There are plenty of men in various armies who restrain themselves from wanton slaughter only because their buddies tell them, “Take a deep breath, man, chill out, you don’t need to mass-murder these civilians.” Most of these men do NOT have sex with their buddies.
The writers had it in their power to make the sidekick into a loyal friend and companion with no lesbian overtones. They didn’t do that. They put in enough details to make the lesbian subtext unmistakeable, and then they didn’t resolve it. They had the characters go out on a “date,” and dates are supposed to be romantic, but we don’t actually get resolution.
If the writers were willing to make these characters into bisexuals, it would be entirely appropriate for the plot.
What pisses me off is that the writers are having their cake and eating it too.
The writers are presenting girls with a very vague bond.
The hetero male porn addicts in the audience will see the girls as fantasy sex objects.
The lesbian feminist agitators in the audience will use the girls as rallying banners for gay activism.
The appeasers in the audience will claim that they don’t have to take sides – which means that they will be letting the gays define the boundaries of the conversation.
Maybe the writers really are pro-gay. Fine – then they should come out and make explicitly pro-gay propaganda, and not give themselves the option of hiding behind the excuse that the lesbian themes were just a sop to the hetero porn addicts.
Or maybe the writers want to make effective porn for hetero males. In that event, they should have the honesty to admit that if hetero males can define the boundaries of acceptable sex, gays are going to lose many of their current civil rights.
I don’t hate all art. I do hate vague art that uses the diversity of mass-market customers as an excuse for vague characters and unresolved stories.