Yuri Talk: The Eruna Ordeal and Negative Queerbaiting

So it is safe to say if you are a fan of mine, are remotely interested in the yuri genre and stalk yuri forum sites and the like the first episode of Mikagura School Suite (that aired on  January 6th, 2015) and heard of the debate regarding protagonist Eruna Ichinomiya and the extent of her sexual preference. The following post will address this situation, specifically how I will approach her character from now on.

Portable Dating Sim

Episode 1 gave nation members plenty of reasons to support the theory that Eruna is both a yuri fangirl and a lesbian. Previews of episode 2 shows no signs of this dwindling. However, researchers who have delved deep into the recesses of the yuri forums, wikis and boards suggest that in the Mikagura manga and novel Eruna is either a heterosexual girl who likes cute girls for their cuteness or just a dreamer. This had alarmed some yuri fans into saying “Not again!” while others remained optimistic about Eruna being a shining beacon of hope.

I summed up my coverage of episode 1 with the following line: This show could either be a sacred yuri treasure or another Nobunagun. Basically queerbaiting in a negative sense. Gettting yuri fans’ hopes but later dashing them. Thankfully this does not look as bad as Cross Trash which blatantly screwed with yuri fans over and over again after the last minute bullcrap pulled in the OP.

Love Lab Cast

Someone brought up Love Lab as an example of negative queerbaiting. No. This show from the get-go made it clear the girls were researching how to pick up boys. Some fans foolishly got delusional and believed Riko and Maki would somehow fall for each other in the end. Having said that, LL’s highlights are its massive shipping potential during the show and its inconclusive epilogue and it being a really good show overall.

Riko Kurahashi

For those wondering why Riko’s in the Yuri Hall of Fame and not Yu Kashima despite both being “chick magnets”? Because unlike Yu Riko remained neutral and very much feminine, even after the obligatory yet still stupid addition of the male characters not named “Huggy”.

Hotaru_y_mikan

The anime version at least gave us hope compared to the manga.

Love at first sight 2In love

I could mention other examples of shows accused of negative queerbaiting like Gakuen Alice but that’s going a bit off track. Back to Eruna. One of my peeps brought up her similarity to another Yuri Hall of Fame inductee with a very similar name, way of expressing her desires and has her own “One”, Erena Mochizuki. Currently Eruna is in the Erena level of expressing her desires. Erena too likes girls but what made Erena special is that she never turned back. Lesbian or not she remained a girl who “likes girls”. Eruna could also remain this way but maybe, just maybe she could cross the line and go beyond lust and admiration for her “One”.

As it stands, Eruna has potential. Keyword being “potential”. She could either be an inspirational heroine who brings change to the landscape and be a lesbian protagonist from the start in an anime not about lesbians and one who MIGHT succeed…or she will be a “what could have been”. Too soon to tell as anime adaptations tend to differ from their source material somewhat.

Having said all this, I have come to the following conclusion regarding how I will approach from now on. Instead of contemplating whether Eruna’s quest to reserve two tickets for Holland will be a promise rather than delusional thinking, Instead of being worriedI will instead remain neutral, not get my hopes up but not stress about what could happen. Whatever happens, happens. This is not the first time the yuri nation had been in this kind of situation regarding potentially blissful yuri in a show that’s not dominated by a female cast. For now, all we can do is wait and see. No matter what happens in between, it ain’t over till it’s over.

I will make sure to remember this should another anime similar to this one pop up in the future.

NANA

Oh and since I brought up negative queerbaiting, here’s a perfect example from personal experience. I love NANA. It is one of my favorite soap-opera-ey anime of all time, possibly one of my favorite anime period…but DAMN IT ALL did the Nana X Nana teasing piss me off! Some would bring up how this situation is similar to Love Lab but for viewers who saw it, they know in this one the teasing was FAR MORE BLATANT!

Difference between negative queerbaiting and subtext, subtext has almost nothing standing in its way from deterring supporters.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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35 Responses to Yuri Talk: The Eruna Ordeal and Negative Queerbaiting

  1. cirno9fan says:

    I’ve had my hopes and dreams dashed too many times, so I’ll leave this one to you. And follow along with your posts, like I did with Cross Ange.

    I still really need to get to watching Shiro Bako….

    Like

  2. automaticimperfection says:

    Yes, Eruna is a hot topic on forums, everyone is wondering, me? Well, she’s funny,if she goes super hetero for some odd reason I may or may not drop the show, it’s quite easy, some people worry too much,like this person wondering if the whole Alice wedding thing could be het… ( cos Shino was depicted as a groom,that makes it her ,the person said ) I was like YEAH RIGHT.

    Like

  3. Anna says:

    Actually, she is not straight in the novels or manga. She still likes cute girls but starts seeing them as something more and tries to build relationships with them, same with the boy’s but Shigure just Will Not give up on her. She does ship the boys together, thinking that they would be perfect together(ex. AsuhixYuto and such). But she does lessen up on her crush on Seisa while she starts getting irritated that Eruna is giving more attention to other girls. Mostly, Eruna tries to make friends with everyone, and tries to help them with their problems — I guess you can say that it’ teasing the straights(which is why she also gets shipped with boys, unfortunately)

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      I can easily see this show ending without anyone hooking up. For now I’ll sit back and watch events unfold.

      Liked by 1 person

    • automaticimperfection says:

      That’s mean Seisa does end up liking her for real no? Well ,we have to wait and see,but they are super cute together so far hehe. Kudos for the building relationships,let us remember anime,manga and novel versions tend to differ,we can only hope.

      Like

  4. kitsu260 says:

    Some differents, in Love Lab even with the shipping material they interested in boys is constantly, not exporadical like Illya crush for Shirou, Respect to Cross Ange, is not bait in the complete sense, it had legit lesbians who legit have sex and stay lesbian in the end, the problem was Ange and her explicity relationship with woman but end with a boy, is extremelly anoying but she was a mistake but not Hilda trio.
    And Nobunagun was a legit bait but we can say it was still ”subtext” in mc relationship with her friends,
    Eruna is gay in Benio, level, turn her het will be extremelly incoherent like bad harems

    Like

  5. elkat4 says:

    I’m not giving up or believing anything until it actually happens in the anime. An anime should stand on it’s own rather than be judged by its source material (not to mention it’s not entirely unheard for an anime to go different route from its source material).

    Like

  6. kracen says:

    I have high hopes for Eruna, no matter how many times the dreams get crushed, I will never give up, there is always hope.

    Like

  7. Anon says:

    Okay, so my definition of queerbaiting must be different from yours, because I can’t think of a single instance of it that isn’t negative. In fact, queerbaiting is inherently negative for me. May I ask what you’d consider positive queerbaiting? I’m not trying to be confrontational, don’t worry. I’m just curious–in my mind, queerbaiting mostly refers to Western media and the tendency some showrunners have to encourage people to ship two characters of the same sex to lure in viewers, before vehemently denying that they are anything but straight (sometimes going as far as insulting that group of fans in interviews or even inserting jabs in the show itself).

    As for Eruna, I’ll keep a cautious eye on the show. I’m not expecting her to hook up with her crush (or with anyone for that matter), but it could be a fun ride. Although I hope there won’t be too many jokes like “two girls can’t get married” or “you’re immature for crushing on other girls” because that nonsense gets old real fast.

    Like

  8. Just gonna copy that in here from another post of mine. Spoilers ahead.

    According to someone who knows someone who reads both the novel and the manga, there is a bit of ship teasing going on between Eruna and pretty much every character in existence, boy or girl. Eruna does show some interest in boys, but never more than anything platonic. In general, the series deals with every character’s relation to every other character, not just Eruna x someone.
    At one point in the novel she ponders about getting a love life but doesn’t specify.

    Her crush on Seisa becomes less transparent as she gets to know her and after Seisa gets used to the attention, she gets annoyed when Eruna pays more attention to other girls. They are both very important to each other and Eruna is a big part of Seisa’s character development.

    As said person who knows another person put it:
    “My suggestion though, don’t expect too much but still hope for the best~ ;)”

    Like

  9. Pingback: Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyou Episode 2: Scouting Moves | The Yuri Nation

  10. jianuzzi says:

    Honestly, I just think some people don’t posses yuri goggles what so ever. (And this is coming from me who learded about yuri awesomness watching Tears to Taira on netflix. Ya I was a late bloomer.)
    So I was doing catch up on Nanoha StrikerS and i sometimes like to read comments while waiting for the video to load. First comment I read (this is on Anilinks ep. 26 for StrikerS if anyone wants to see it.) was a person wondering why Teana didnt get with the sniper and also why Nanoha and Yuuno havent became a couple yet.
    Maybe I look to much for Yuri couples or some people just dont look at all. I was just a little shocked that people havent noticed nano x fate at all. seriously though… they share a bed and adopted Vivio who calls them both mommy.
    oh well, to each their own.

    Like

    • That’s because most people don’t even consider homosexuality a possibility. I’ve seen someone on Youtube say something about Nano x Yuuno and people were pretty quick to make fun of them. NanoFate is definitely the more common pairing. There’s probably like 3 Yuuno x Nano shippers on earth.

      Like

      • jianuzzi says:

        I was pretty dumbfounded just seeing the comment. Even the comment about Teana And sniper dude. Subaru was only person she was thinking about when she was fighting for her life against not 1, not 2, but 3 combat cyborgs.
        I didnt know the 3 to 4 encounters Teana had with sniper dude over the coarse of 26 episodes made someone possibly think they could be a pairing.
        as i said though, to each their own.

        Like

  11. kracen says:

    Too be completely honest, as long as things stay as theyre going i think it’ll be fine, even if no one hooks up, we have our shipping and our goggles to ease us through it, as long as it isn’t dropped and then just ignored i have no issues.
    Also source material should be taken with a grain of salt, as until the anime adaptation is completely finished, we cannot know what way they will take it, think about illyaXMiyu, her affection to her brother is significant in the source, but in the anime he is so irrelevant you could remove his character entirely and nothing would change.
    Shipping for me is always tricky as there has to be clear signs of affection from one side or both as i reject fanon in its entirety, and loose reasoning for ships i dislike even more, there has to be some canon connection for me to give it any consideration.

    Like

  12. animelover32 says:

    By the end of this series, I’m gonna either be congratulating the author or I’m gonna be killing the author!

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Frustration is understandable but no need to figuratively get that upset. If a show teases yuri but pulls a fast one, get mad but not even. Trust me.

      Like

      • animelover32 says:

        I’m just joking around bro. I’m too focused on another show right now to care about Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku. Anyway, I was already expecting this from this show, especially after learning my lesson watching Love Lab. So I don’t really mind it. I’m just gonna be watching this anime for the action and fights from now on, instead of the Yuri subtext.

        Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Safer that way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • animelover32 says:

        Yeah it sure is. Like literally. Back when I first started watching anime and watched Love Lab, (with out knowing about the Yuri genre at all) I got depressed for quite some time after finding out that they weren’t gonna end up together.

        (And remember, I had barley started watching anime back then, so don’t laugh at me for getting hurt by Love Lab) Basically, I don’t want to go through that pain again, so I never put my hopes up anymore. So that I won’t get hurt like that again.

        Like

      • Overlord-G says:

        There there dood.

        Liked by 1 person

      • animelover32 says:

        ;-; 😭😭😭😭😭
        Anyway yeah, I’ll just watch it for the action from now on.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. miharusshi says:

    Oh my god, speak about perfect timing. I skimmed through the important parts of NANA and felt the same way, that’s why I’ve formally started watching it. Ugh. But anyway, other than the potential yuri NANA is a very good drama anime–it’s what I usually dig for.

    Also, have you watched Marnie?

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      As far as good drama anime go it’s one of the best I’ve seen.

      Not yet. Waiting for a good quality version of it to come out. One that’s not bigger than 600 mb.

      Like

      • miharusshi says:

        Yeah, I strongly feel that I’ll love NANA for sure, even though I’ve pretty much spoiled everything myself. XD

        Hoho, so we’re comrades, huh? Mini-encode watchers? Mind if I share a DDL link here? I watched it in 1080p, but I found a 720p link that just suits you.

        Like

      • miharusshi says:

        Ah, nvm. I’ll just DM you over at twitter; scared it might be removed.

        Like

      • Overlord-G says:

        Yes. I am certain you will enjoy it in spite of already knowing the juicy details.

        I will see you there.

        Like

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