" Feminism doesn't need to turn into a warped version of chauvinism where women are STILL limited in their activities. "
Sunako at her best!
This reminds me of one of the central themes that transformed Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge
into a good piece of shoujo manga for the awakening woman. Sunako (at first) might be an insecure girl who is also violent and tends to use excuses to further berate herself..but as the story develops, we soon discover that she's also very 'housewifey' because she enjoys menial chores of cooking and cleaning (and serving people in any way she could). She does use brute force and would appear selfish but in her own way, when something needs to be done, she does it if she can. And she also believes that all human relationships are summarized into "You receive what wewe give"
which I find a very wise statement of hers all throughout the manga. And Hayakawa-sensei, through Sunako, made it seem that a girl can still be into unconventional stuff (just like Sunako with her horror and gore) but can aslo remain on her female role of motherhood, etc. (like Sunako who is esteemed for her 'culinary' skills). Sunako even told her auntie that if becoming 'a lady' (the chauvinistic portrait of women who are always docile and polite and pretty) would mean to sacrifice her hobbies and her fondness for housework, then she won't.
I am totally recommending the manga! I do hope y'all find the time to read it. On the surface (volumes 1-6) of the manga, it seems like shit-giggles comedy but it really has positive-reinforcement themes on self-image. It shuns superficiality (but makes fun of it first in the process). I think Hayakawa, although she's quite a wacky gal from what I gather in her extra notes after each volume, created a terrific story about Japanese girls in society and how people put too much pedestal quality on good looks (and the people who have them). It also explores the psychology of how insecurity works in each person and the impacts it has on their relationships with people. I know I'm making it sound all-serious but the best thing about The Wallflower
is that it's not meant to be serious; but it's the most honest when it delivers something crucial.
I don't think Hayakawa meant to send a message across; I think she was basing Sunako's strong-mindedness with her personal feelings and opinions about how a 'real lady' is for her. And it's quite impressive. She makes Sunako so dark and moody and selfish (like any of us can be) but manages to give her humanity a cool ease, reminding us that, as much as we make bad choices and as much as we try to shut people out, we also desire real Marafiki and a nyumbani to come back to. And that makes us good people who need to learn to make best choices in life. There are many instances throughout the manga where Sunako's relationships with her hot bishounen roommates become zaidi than just humorous turn-this-ugly-girl-into-something-normal formula. The bishounen guys become zaidi like real people because, although the fangirls still nosebleed over them, their personalities onyesha and evolve whenever they're around Sunako. And even though Sunako never admits it, she would never want to lose this newly-found 'family' of hers (she still nosebleeds at the sight of them, damn creatures of the light!). Noi Kasahara, a bishoujo, is also a great contrast to Sunako. She tells Sunako to "stop being so dark and let some light in your life,"
but she displays an eccentric edge to her beauty (she's very tactless and quite a tsundere) that actually made her become closer to Sunako zaidi than the guys.
And of course, the exciting Sunako x Kyohei relationship parallel! It is taking them a long time to get into a romantic angle so far (although Kyohei has realizes he has feelings for Sunako he can't understand kwa volume 19). They represent each other's falling-outs and anger towards society standards (Sunako on her ugliness that made her agoraphobic, and Kyohei on his physical beauty that gets him harrassed anywhere he goes, even at work) and this makes them relate to each other uniquely; albeit they torment one another if they have to onyesha who's wrong between them about something. Hayakawa keeps their relationship inscrutable. wewe don't really know how they feel about each other but, in a weird way, they share similarities in opinions and conflicts. Kyohei forces Sunako out of her shell, claiming that it's her negativity that makes her ugly; while Sunako defends Kyohei without hesitation when she sees him distraught over unwanted female attention. Their chemistry is something subtle but present in every interaction nevertheless.
Another interesting angle to the story is Chibi Sunako
and Full-Grown Sunako
. Chibi Sunako is the comic relief, insecure, horror-loving social recluse who nosebleeds at the sight of beautiful people. Meanwhile, when the moment calls for it, she finally shows the real Sunako: an assertive, force of nature who stands up for herself and the people she cares about. Hayakawa always uses this technique and it never gets old. We adore Chibi Sunako---and we always fall head over heels when Beautiful Sunako emerges from all that dark.
So pick up a manga volume and enjoy the journey to becomming a lady!~
In summary, Yamanade
simply concludes that: Women should let two worlds, two mixtures of their souls; the fiery independence and the warm tenderness; meet so they could become well-rounded and happy. That's what matters.
Bishounen roommates tries to transform Goth Girl into a Beaut; but ends up being transformed themselves through her exceptionality.