That thing guys do where they approach a girl on the street based on looks is such an ineffective strategy in my experience like its cool to know my outfit is “elegant” but sir I already promise your expectations are wrong the only service I offer is being an awkward meme-loving-fuck you’re literally only signing up for 1am discussions about fanfiction and anime characters and trash jokes
A dude stopped and walked with me last night telling me my outfit reminded him of some fashionista he knew if France and i dont know jack or shit about France or fashion and whatever vibe I was giving off was 100% bullshit because the only thing on my mind was getting on my pjs and watching boku no hero reruns
like whats the right way to communicate “you seem nice but im grappling with the stress of realizing ive somehow set expectation too high and i am in fact 400% more of an awkward loser than you realize and i spent all of middle and high school being super ugly so i really dont know how this ‘lets get coffee’ game works i just wanna watch my japanese cartoons in peace”
I have a klk question, and I apologize if you've answered it before, but, do you find any significance in Ryuko taking a big bite out of an unpeeled lemon in her introduction? Like, was it just meant to make her seem hard? Or like, does it have some subtext I don't understand? Is she ever seen eating lemon/drinking lemonade as a background thing? I've always wondered about this. Thanks.
I gotta be honest with you: I’m atrocious at talking about symbolism. There’s a reason that my hundreds of essays hardly ever mention it.
So… I haven’t especially covered this before, but I can provide some Thoughts.
First and foremost, the lemon scene has been largely understood as a homage to FLCL, a coming-of-age anime worked on by Gainax—the studio that Hiroyuki Imaishi and Masahiko Otsuka left to found Studio Trigger, which is the team behind Kill la Kill.
In the first episode of FLCL, Naota, the protagonist, refuses to drink the rest of the sour, “Lemon Squash” pop that his friend Mamimi didn’t finish. He claims that he “[doesn’t] like sour drinks” and proceeds to toss the can aside.
However, at the end of the episode, Mamimi offers Naota the sour pop again, and his reaction changes. While he repeats his sentiment—“I told you, I don’t like sour stuff”—Naota doesn’t toss the can aside this time, instead guzzling the drink down.
So, when Ryuko, the protagonist of Kill la Kill, begins the first episode of her show not just forcing herself to consume something sour, but does so purposefully, without flinching… there’s probably something there. Kill la Kill’s director Imaishi did work extensively on FLCL, after all.
But what exactly is meant to be conveyed in either series is entirely dependent on how the “sour” symbol is understood.
On the one hand, the “sourness” could be a symbol of “first love.” For Naota to accept the drink in FLCL would be to accept an “indirect kiss” from Mamimi, who had been drinking from the can previously. The “first love” idea seems supported in Kill la Kill, with Ryuko noting, after Mataro steals her lemon (at least in the original Japanese script), “You’re that eager to learn what first love tastes like?”
Mataro: Bitch, don’t try to be all witty! I’ve had my first kiss!
And with the idea of “first love” comes the idea of childishness. Though it may have some… Unfortunate Implications, in both FLCL and Kill la Kill, it could be said that getting into a first romantic relationship is a sign of growing up. The fact that Naota initially refuses to taste “first love” represents his initial refusal to come of age—and the fact that Mataro in Kill la Kill insists that he has had his first kiss (or “get[s] way more action than [Ryuko]!” in the dub) represents his desire to seem “grown-up” and experienced.
Ryuko’s utterly blase eating of the lemon would then also imply that she has had romantic relationship(s) in the past and is not afraid of them.
However, with all of this, the “sourness” could simply be a larger metaphor: a metaphor of adulthood, maturity, that kind of stuff. Naota deciding to take in the sourness at the end of the first opening episode signifies that his show is going to feature his coming of age—something he initially didn’t want anything to do with, but that the story is going to push him to experience regardless. Ryuko immediately biting into a lemon could then signify that she’s already come of age, but—and more likely, considering Kill la Kill’s ending—it could also signify that she’s not afraid of the hardships, challenges, and “sourness” that comes with coming of age.
In this way, I also see the “sourness” as a bit of a metaphor for moving forward rather than running away. The lemon pop in FLCL is first featured when Naota struggles to tell Mamimi that his brother is seeing someone else—a hard, difficult, “adult” situation that’s not fun and not comfortable. Naota throws the can away, perhaps representative of how he wants to run away from this problem. At the end of the episode, though, Naota has revealed the truth to Mamimi, and he then drinks the pop, signifying that there’s no more running away: he’s growing up, whether he likes it or not.
But disregarding the FLCL tribute, a character introduction that features the character biting into a raw, unpeeled lemon is powerful on its own. It tells audiences right away that this character is badass—whether her lemon-eating is because she’s not afraid of growing up or hardship or “first love” or because of any other reason, you shouldn’t mess with this chick.
He didn’t get why the cards never seemed to be in his favor, why the world kept piling more stones upon his back. He just, couldn’t comprehend, what he had done to deserve this. Was it his jokes, the ones no one seemed to get? Or maybe his smile, that was either too bright or too flirty for anyone to handle. Or even his walk, was his shoulders too slouched or was he too tall? Was it that superficial?
Or maybe, it was just him.
Back home, he had a place and instead of the cards going against him, they built with him; his family and friends building this stack of cards that gave him a purpose. He was somebody to them, either a brother, a son, a friend, a teammate, someone. To them, he was important and valued for all that he was worth. They knew him, they understood him, they cared for him to the fullest extent.
But this wasn’t home. No, this was space; dark, empty, infinite space that did not care who he was or what he had done back on Earth. It only cared about what he could do, and out here, his talents weren’t as helpful as they once were. Even if they were, he was never given the chance to use them and despite what others would tell you, he wouldn’t try to outshine them. He didn’t deserve it.
That didn’t mean he didn’t give it his all, he did every single day of being out in this hell he used to dream of exploring. He put his heart and soul into every battle he fought, letting his desperation to protect the ones he loves to motivate him. It was never enough though. Not for them, not for Voltron.
And he didn’t know how much longer he would last out here alone. Just Lance, not only fighting evil, but also the disappointment of those around him. His hands would begin to shake just thinking about it, about the weight of his actions if he failed again. These battles weren’t the neighborhood soccer matches he would dominate back on Earth, these meant life or death.
Perhaps that’s why he finally did it. Finally broke free of the chains that began to loop around his throat and choke him.
He finally understood, that if Voltron didn’t need him.
Then Lance Sanchez sure as hell didn’t need Voltron.