Guest Writer – Anime and phallicity, important issues discussed.02/14/2010
Today we have Funnel, a guest writer for Deretsun to enlighten us about the phallucity of today’s anime. Funnel is a writer who wouldn’t be considered to be an otaku based on the western interpretation of the word, though it is interesting to see some insight from the other side of the spectrum.
Funnel is the creator of various webcomics on vectorbelly.com.
Is That A Giga Drill Breaker in Your Pocket?
The world fades to darkness. Suou Pavlichenko rises into the sky, clothed in only a purple radiance that explodes around her. She is perfectly calm. She leans back and from her supine body emerges a colossal rifle. It’s a beautiful and powerful scene to watch. It also kind of looks like she has an erection.
But Darker than Black isn’t the only show with suggestive imagery. It seems that almost every anime with combat has incredibly phallic symbols scattered throughout. Absurdly long swords pierce enemy torsos as giant guns blast through hostile flesh. Gurren Lagann, one of the most phallic shows of them all, is centered on Simon, a kid who finds a drill that grows to immense proportions as he becomes stronger. It has Yoko, who carries a ten-foot sniper rifle curiously at waist height. It has a mech named Dai-Gurren that has an immense … erm … landing dock protruding from its crotch.
I’ve come up with two possibilities for why anime is so genitalia-centric. On one hand, it’s difficult to blame shows with phallic weapons when real life is just as bad. Since the dawn of time, humans have been killing each other with phallic weapons. We began with clubs, turned to swords and arrows, created the gun, and now we threaten each other with missiles. In order to have combat, one must have a weapon, and all the cool weapons just happen to look like penises. Maybe the shape we so often associate with male genitalia just so happens to be the optimal weapon. It gives a fighter distance from their enemy, minimizes weight for maximum agility, and has a modified tip that increases potential damage. The only alternative, it seems, is to fight with elemental attacks, such as in Pokemon. There’s nothing dirty about Pikachu’s thunder. On the other hand, I could have filled this entire article with jokes about Pokeballs.
The second explanation I thought of is Freud’s theory of wish-fulfillment. Wish-fulfillment is experiencing a desire vicariously through another medium, such as anime. Shows with humans displaying god-like combat are undeniably awesome, and I’m sure everyone who watches these shows wishes they were capable of such feats. And if we’re talking about Freud and unconscious desires, we’re talking about sex. Am I really going argue that all forms of combat, all weaponry and displays of heroism, are just latent desires to have sex? Do I really believe all weapons were unconsciously designed to look like penises? Even though the relationship is rather suspicious, I’m not going to argue that here. It’s probably just a coincidence. Not everything has to be a metaphor for something else. I mean, even Freud once admitted that, “sometimes a Giga Drill Breaker is just a Giga Drill Breaker.”