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What does the Major symbolize?

 
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Togusa



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:46 am    Post subject: What does the Major symbolize? Reply with quote

Well I have three questions really.

1. I notice that Motoko is shown jumping down from extreme heights a lot. What do you think this symbolizes? A bibilical fall from grace? Seems unlikely considering the cultural basis of GitS is Japanese - unless the producers are intentionally trying to appropriate Western symbolism as a means of seeming more "exotic"(not sure if this the best word) and thus escapist to a Japanese audience. But then you see precisely this is some anime (I'm thinking of Haibane).

Falling into the net? Something else? Anyway it's rather funny how Batou offers the Major a ride on the helicopter at the end of SAC 1 and she jumps off the roof instead.

2. What do assertive female leads like Motoko represent to a global audience? Or Angelina Jolie's Tomb Raider, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dark Angel, or Charlize Theron in Aeon Flux for that matter? There's a bunch of other examples, but these are the ones that come to mind. One important difference is that the Major's identity as female is open to question as she also questions her own humanity... Is it possible for a cyborg to be female without being human?

3. In addition, why is Motoko the only female in Section 9? Notice that while Motoko performs a sharply unconvential role for a female character, the Operators are exactly the opposite. By the way, check out the film The Phantom of the Operator if you want to examine their historical context.

Anyhow, the other post on symbolism got me thinking, so I thought I'd share. Smile
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Epiphany



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 260
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shes also shown jumping up buildings and across some pretty wide spans.
Batou jumps from a tall building in the innosense movie. and jumps up and down from a statue in the heart of berlin.

you see it as a fall from grace, i see a leap of faith.

as for strong female characters. its about time the males in the world see that we are a strong and self reliant sex. we've been the silent backbone of society for as long as society has existed. were just more vocal about it now. plus the teenage male seems to get off watching it and thats the target audiance of most of the characters you've mentioned.
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cybric2686



Joined: 08 Jan 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:26 pm    Post subject: agreement Reply with quote

I think that the reason that the Major is the only female character in section 9 is so that the audience would focus on her and also to emphasize the differences between THe Major and the rest of the squad. It stresses the isolation of her situation.
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douyang



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with epiphany, the superman like jumps she makes are both to show off her physical abilities and psychological fortitude, that she can do something so dangerous so casually (and dangerous activity that gives little or no heed to her own welfare seems to be trademark of hers; I wonder if this has anything to do with her questioning her humanity?), since she has taken for granted that things will work out as she plans, that her high tech body can handle it, that the rest of team will come through for her, faith in her own abilities and those she works with.

Her jumping off the roof instead of taking a helicopter ride seems to be a sign of utter self-reliance and confidence in her in abilities, since imagine what would happen if she didn't land at the right place at the right speed at the right time and position? They'd probably be digging up scrap metal.

This attitude of hers probably also stems from learning to master the untried cybernetics technology as a young child, and due to her physical abnormalities in what is a a deeply conformist and exclusionary society (little sympathy for people not in the in-group, kusanagi makes a comment as to this in Episode 10 of 1st GIG "People don't care about the deaths of others") resulting in her never being able to count on anyone but herself.
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Togusa



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I agree, the Major's roof jumping does point to her faith in her abilities as well as her exceptional abilities. By the way, has anyone noticed the really thin thread that seems to extend from her when she drops? What is that? I've seen all the films and SAC TV episodes, and there is no explanation of what the thread is. Is it in the manga somewhere? If so, I hope the answer isn't a huge spoiler. Wink
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Epiphany



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 260
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Togusa wrote:
Yeah, I agree, the Major's roof jumping does point to her faith in her abilities as well as her exceptional abilities. By the way, has anyone noticed the really thin thread that seems to extend from her when she drops? What is that? I've seen all the films and SAC TV episodes, and there is no explanation of what the thread is. Is it in the manga somewhere? If so, I hope the answer isn't a huge spoiler. Wink


I think that is like a bungee cord. she uses it when she kills the diplmat in the 1st series. It's some thing she uses when she doesn't want to go all the way to the ground.
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Vince



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See, I thought this was in reference to her role in general in both the films, manga, and series. Not so much her jumping abilities.

As a woman she represents, life, birth, etc. Yet her cold demeanor would suggest a cruel kind of mother nature. There's no simple Jesus parallel. But if you were to examine Kierkegaard's theory on The Single Individual. That would apply to Motoko. The Single Individual implies a lone individual to rise up above a sea of individuals, to become with manifest destiny and the idea of God. Though, in GITS... God has been replaced by technology. She had become transcendent, something that all of humanity may reach.

I hope a 3rd film (A REAL 3rd film retconned from SAC) will examine these issues.
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marto_motoko



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 536
Location: Ni'ihama

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always the jumps as a way to get away from the realities around her - including the gravity of the earth she doesn't want to be part of. Perhaps it is also a foil to her feeling of floating in water. She's always liked diving, but what about free-falling? She seems to enjoy knowing that she's partially not in control. While a human might get an adrenaline rush, perhaps hers is something similar, or far the opposite - euphorically peaceful.

mm
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