Wednesday, June 13, 2012

True Love as Terrorism: "Destroy and Revolution" and "Spanner"

Destroy and Revolution by Kouji Mori is a manga about the sweet, sweet love story of two pretty Japanese boys — who just happen to be violent terrorists on a bombing rampage. Strangely enough, I only heard of it yesterday, while randomly surfing TV Tropes (it's on the "Ho Yay → Anime" page as the sole entry under "D"). Like Chaos Angel Spanner, it begins with a bang — with our titular heroes, brooding Makoto and charming Yuuki, destroying a high-rent apartment block in Tokyo for "the purification of the unworthy" (a corrupt politician in this case).

Like I said, I only heard of Destroy and Revolution yesterday. That means it could never have become an influence on Spanner, which I've been working on since 1992. Now consider this: in developing the relationship line for Spanner, I did this, in approximately this order:
  1. I centered it on the story's two main girls.
  2. I made their personalities volatile: brooding Leila, hot-blooded charmer Shira.
  3. I put their love in direct opposition to a future fascist United State of Amerika.
  4. I re-envisioned it on the Surrealist principle of l'amour fou or "mad love", which can lead to not just personal liberation but the destruction of society, thus making their love itself terroristic.
And even though the two stories developed completely in isolation from one another, Spanner uncannily resembles a yuri version or "distaff counterpart" of Destroy and Revolution, with a more sophisticated revolutionary ideology (which, admittedly, grew out of nearly 30 years of at least rebellious thinking). Also consider that Shira and Leila are only a couple years younger than Yuuki and Makoto. Now consider this scenario: Destroy and Revolution, starring Utena and Anthy from Revolutionary Girl Utena, working toward a real revolution, against Ozymandias from Watchmen. That's as close to a perfect description of Chaos Angel Spanner as you'll get in terms of other stories.

Adolescent love expressed as a passion for destruction. Too bad Destroy and Revolution came far too late to have any direct influence on Spanner. But you never know...

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