Have Your Christmas Cake and Eat It, Too!

December 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

No posts for the next couple of weeks, since I’m home for the holidays and away from the computer. In the meantime, why not contemplate the most seasonal of anime tropes, the Christmas cake — not the baked dessert, but the unmarried woman over the age of twenty-five?

Kuroi Nanako contemplates a Christmas cake in Lucky Star

Yeah, I know it’s impossibly sexist in concept, but I’ve also found that some of the most sympathetic and complex portrayals of female characters in the medium come out of its use. All the anxieties of adulthood — growing impostor syndrome, narrowing social circles, and recurring romantic failure — are contained in the paternalistic disapproval of any given women experiencing loneliness in her late twenties. Really, in some recent shows, like My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, the writing itself is sympathetic to characters like Hiratsuka Shizuka, depicted as unfairly short-changed by a society that doesn’t properly value strength, intelligence, and ambition in women.

In the meantime, contemplate the best execution of the trope in episode 11 of Lucky Star, if you can. It’s worth it!


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