I have in the past months exposed myself to quite a bit of Japanese pop culture, an odd hodge-podge of western and eastern thought as expressed through entertainment. The Japanese, it seems, are accomplished hogde-podgists; even Shinto, the dominant religion (though it doesn’t really fit the Western definition of a religion) seems little more than a framework to hang together anything that comes along that seems like a good idea. Gods and demons aren’t so different from each other, really; it’s more about which side they’re on than whether what they want to do is good for the regular folk.
Japan, it seems, would be a terrible place to be a schoolgirl, unless you are the one girl at each school who is a master of everything (particularly fencing), is the semi-erotic idol of all the other schoolgirls, and can transform into a superhero by calling out the right phrase. The rest of the schoolgirls have it much worse. They are groped, raped, and generally sexually harassed by fellow students, teachers, and the occasional demon; they are cruel and abusive to one another; and they almost never have parents to speak of.
Technology and progressive ideals are just making things worse for little girls. There is a lot of weapons research going on in Japan, and unfortunately for the schoolgirls it seems entirely devoted to transforming humans into weapons, and schoolgirls seem to be ideal for that purpose. I’m not sure who’s funding all this research – it seems to me that if you can deveolop a gun that can shoot down an entire squadron of aircraft, you could find a way to deploy that weapon that didn’t require kidnapping a schoolgirl who just got her first boyfriend and surgically altering her so giant cannon erupt from her arms in times of stress, and then turning her loose again to see what happens. Now, I don’t want to start any cultural wars, but I think in America we would have found a more convenient way to deploy the weapon. And we would have made more than two (the prototype that didn’t work out quite right who becomes a Big Problem, and the second attempt who only might become a Big Problem, but whose humanity remains intact).
Still, one cruel project at a time, damn near every high school in Japan has one of these super-weapons meekly roaming its halls, although most don’t realize it until the school is reduced to rubble. There is a lot of rubble in Japan. Cities are destoryed and rebuilt, only to be destroyed again. The citizens take it in stride – another city destroyed, millions die, but after a couple of days they all agree that it’s time to move on. Often the destruction is visited upon the city by little girls who have been cruelly transformed or engineered up from scratch. Note to Little Girl Super-Weapon (LGSW) Engineers: be nice to the little girls. It’ll go better for you in the long run. Way better.
I’m not sure, actually, why Japan is developing all these LGSW’s; in general the greatest threats to the island nation are Runaway Research (LGSW’s turning on their creators), Evil Criminal Organizations (often abusing LGSW technology), Killer Robots From Space (against which LGSW’s are of limited use, instead Japan has developed its own fleet of Killer Robots), and Demonic Invasion (against which LGSW’s are simply cannon fodder – it takes a male to stop a demon, nine times out of ten. The only exception is the wicked hot female demons, who can be bested by super-popular sword-swinging high school girls.)
While we’re on the subject of wicked hot female demons, it is undeniably true that the amount of sex a Japanese male has is inversely proportional to the number of girls he knows. It is quite common in Japan for a teen-aged boy to find himself living with a whole bevy of hot young women, all of whom are fond of him, without an adult in sight. Not only will this unfortunate lad never get anything more than a fleeting kiss and the occasional accidental boob-grab, all the women will also fall under his anti-sex spell. Japanese cities are filled with abandoned Buddhist temples, unused hotels, and various guest houses occupied only by partially-clad teenage nymphs and the one guy in town who will never, ever, get any. (Japanese regulations require that there be at least one sexy but severe teenage Uber-Samuraiette, one devil-may-care buxom party girl, one ten-year-old who builds killer robots as a hobby, and one super-smart, super-sexy shy martial arts expert who can’t get in touch with her own feelings.) Not even demons, goddesses, or nymphomaniacs from other planets can penetrate the poor guy’s anti-sex aura, try as they might.
There is always something falling through the air in Japan: usually either rain, snow, or plum blossom petals, but occasionally there will be bombs, laser blasts, or killer robots. Most of the time it will be one of the first three, but I advise wearing a hard helmet when you visit, just in case, and if you have an LGSW who’s been brainwashed to adore you, you might want to take her along as well. Just make sure she thinks it’s a special trip just for her, and surprise her with a stuffed animal, while you’re at it. LGSW’s love stuffed animals.