# But I Like Being Uncomfortable (Kill la Kill) Well, this is awkward. Ever since I read [this post](http://formeinfullbloom.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/what-not-to-wear-undressing-kill-la-kills-wardrobe-nsfw/) I've felt I should write some kind of reply. ajthefourth offers a sympathetic take on *Kill La Kill*, one that accepts its eroticism as a valuable thematic choice, one that even female viewers can understand and appreciate. It's a peace offering, a declaration that despite appearences, men and women don't need to be enemies. And I'm going to crap all over that. Satsuki has indeed chosen to own what she wears. She feels no shame in her exposure; she's strong without losing her femininity (unless you're the kind of extreme traditionalist who holds that shyness is an inherent part of being a proper female). She's also utterly uninteresting. At least to me. There's simply nothing erotic about a naked girl who's naked for her own purposes, with no care for who she's facing. Whereas Ryouko in her early episodes - those same episodes where ajthefourth wasn't interested - she was *fascinating*. The shame burning her cheeks, her flesh on display to those she hated, but standing firm nonetheless, she was the very picture of determination. The subtle difference in the way she responds when she's naked in front of Mako's family - still embarrassed, but with a different shade, and a different meaning - is beautifully eloquent. All stories are driven by conflict - ironically, porn (in its generalised sense) is often held up as the counterexample to this. A character struggling to overcome external adversity has the beginnings of a story - but even this is seen as the preserve of juvenile, genre fiction. No, to create a truly great work of art there must be conflict in the character themselves; a great tragedy may not, as Miller showed with *A View From the Bridge*, require a great man, but it *does* require a tiny flaw; the protagonist laid low by the subtlest conflicts in their own will, their own desires. *Hamlet* is widely regarded as the greatest work of English literature. And what is his downfall, his defining characteristic? Indecision, born of insecurity. It may seem a stretch, but that's what I see in a truly great piece of erotica, like Suehirogari's *Cage* - the tragedy of someone at war with their own desires, denying their self - or fighting their own embarassment for the sake of their friends, or some other narrative conflict. Desire usually wins in the end, of course. But the moment when a character ceases to be embarassed, ceases to be embarassable - achieves something close to enlightenment, in many works - is the moment the story must end, all tension having been already lost. And a few are brave enough to go the other way, or leave it open-ended, like the notorious *Sundome*[1]. In the real world, ajthefourth may well be right; I suspect the kind of experiences we see in these stories are nowhere near as fun in real life. But so it often is with fiction; utopias are boring, good stories require evil. Good erotica, at least for me, positively requires an unequal, socially regressive relationship; a hero who suffers at society's hand in a way no real person should have to suffer. (I don't that hero needs to be female; indeed, as someone who enjoys identifying with such, a male lead would be better. But "ENM" does not seem to be a genre of erotica the way "ENF" is. I would be very interested to hear of any counterexamples) [1] Which I haven't actually finished yet [Home](/) <div id="disqus_thread"></div> comments powered by Disqus