draggle: Taken literally, the ending to Queen’s Blade: Rebellion makes no sense. The rebels and the Queen join in battle, and then… everyone leaves. Our heroines journey to the forest temple, where they transform into rainbows and fly into the ceiling. The twin peaks fall away to reveal a phallic spaceship.
This ending only makes sense if we interpret it allegorically. In the world of Queen’s Blade, the female principle has become dominant, leading to the world’s stagnation. But in Taoist philosophy, a balance must be preserved between yin and yang. So as females, our heroines cannot defeat the Queen. The yin must become yang to restore the world’s balance and overthrow the old order.
Emperor J: The ending to QBR can be interpreted in any number of ways. Personally, I see it as making perfect sense.
In the world of Queen’s Blade it is the Queen who ultimately rules over the rest of the continent. There are no male figures are anything beyond an amateur journalist, slave trader, or perverted demon. The queen also has immense power that no other character in this story has. Until she is defeated, the queen remains the queen.
That isn’t to say that this series was really a game of chess that was rigged from the start. Rather it’s pointing out the limits of challenging power. Standing on moral principles as most of Annelotte’s group did can only lead as far as an honorable defeat for Claudette.
Perhaps the real lesson should come from Claudette’s actions. Her rule clearly made a small number of people unhappy, so maybe the fact that there were people willing to fight her to the death in opposition will get her to change her ways. That’s a question for the OVAs to answer.
redball: The final two episodes of Queen’s Blade: Rebellion saw loose ends come together and characters pair off before the final battle at the top of the queen’s palace. Much of episode 11 was spent with pairs of characters enduring their last symbolic battles with each other. The battle fan service was turned up to 11 in these scenes and the passion felt by our warriors was never more clear. None of these battles was quite as spectacular as the one between Branwen and our favorite tentacled Moon Dancer in the Swamp Witch’s Arena. A well-timed shock from Branwen’s hedgehog-like trainer combined with a tentacle attack from Luna caused a massive explosion, leaving both warriors spent from the fight.
Episode 12 ends the individual fighting, favoring instead a free-for-all in which our entire cast takes turns with the queen, whose true intentions are finally laid bare. There is no satisfying match for the queen in this current cast. Ultimately, the queen leaves dissatisfied while our rebellious cast recovers from their engagements with her. They will need to train more if they wish to challenge her.
There was one moment that stood out in the last episode. I was not prepared, nor were my fellow viewers, for Siggy’s Holy Pose: Healing. To be honest, it made absolutely no sense. However, I’ve since analyzed this and come to the conclusion that the healing technique is a combination of the magic present in Queen’s Blade and the science of sex. Suffice to say that the Holy Pose: Healing is probably the most overtly sexual demonstrations in Siggy’s repertoire. I won’t spoil you with a description, but trust me when I say that it’s quite exhibitionary. I believe this is necessary to properly evoke the healing properties of sex. Sex causes a release in oxytocin, which is a chemical known to reduce stress, serotonin, a natural anti-depressant, and endorphins, which are a naturally occurring opioid that suppresses pain. Understanding this we can apply it to the Queen’s Blade universe and come to a conclusion: The Holy Pose: Healing activates the positive effects of sexual arousal within Siggy’s body, then uses magic to transfer those healing properties to those around her.
Reiseng: Forgive me, but unlike my comrades, I jumped into these final two episodes having only seen episode 7, so, naturally my understanding of the plot is not very comprehensive. With that said and out of the way, I want to point out a few things.
The first thing I want to touch upon is a topic my comrades already discussed in significant detail: the ending itself.
Why did the rebels retreat and more importantly, why did the Queen let the rebels go? The first question has an obvious answer. They retreated because there was nothing more they could do at that time, but the second question is far trickier and more open ended.
The most probable answer is that the Queen recognized the rebels perspective and even though she did not agree with them, she respected them enough to let them go. “A wise ruler should not punish those who only fight for the well being of others” might have been her thought process. As foolproof as this theory sounds, I feel that we are missing something, something important.
I would argue that the Queen let the rebels go not only because she recognized their effort and determination, but also because she recognized the bond the rebels shared with one another.
Having fought common foes and each other for so long, the women of Queen’s Blade had formed deep, intimate bonds with one another. It did not matter how strong the rebels were, the bonds formed were bright enough to impress any viewer. The Queen likely took notice of this bond and just as importantly, she took notice of its immaturity.
The bonds formed between comrades and enemies might have been strong, but they had not been developed to their full potential. So, the Queen let the rebels go in the hope that they would work on these bonds and show her something truly magnificent.
The rainbow at the end of the episode was likely the final form of the precious bond formed by the rebels. Their bond had become so intimate, that the warriors became “one” (quite literally). This is likely what the Queen wanted to see. She wanted to see some of her female citizens form such a close bond that in the end, they would not even be distinguishable from one another. Does this sound radical and out of the blue? I don’t think so. Queen’s Blade has been suggesting something similar all along.
We all know that realistically speaking, it isn’t possible for people to become one with one another, but it is possible to get close to that feeling. Yes, I am talking about sexual intercourse. We are closest to another individual during the climax of a sexual encounter (of the consensual kind of course).
So, what does sex have to do with Queen’s Blade? While sexual encounters by themselves do not really happen in Queen’s Blade, core elements of sexual encounters, in particular orgasms, do happen. And, where do most of these core elements occur? Why in the midst of battle of course.
I wasn’t joking when I said that the characters became more intimate with one another by battling. The fights in Queen’s Blade often revolve around sexual pleasure. Characters that can last longer when faced with intense pleasurable pain end up winning, but regardless of who wins, the very act of sharing an orgasm with another deepens the bonds between the two women.
Sexual pleasures in battle was expressed in many different ways. For example, in the second last episode, the battle between the moon dancer and the prisoner was full of sexual pleasure. The blows the fighters landed on one another caused each participant to experience intense sexual joy, but it also deepened their bonds. Queen’s Blade even had vibrating armor which while at first suggested masturbation was more or less a medium through which the involved parties could share vibrations and therefore pleasure each other. And, that brings us to the second topic I wanted to talk about: enjoyment in battle.
Enjoying your fights is not a new concept in anime or fiction in general. Many shows have characters that get thrilled by the excitement of fighting. The adrenaline, the exhilaration that comes from knowing you could die at any second and the joy of victory are all things commonly emphasized in such stories, but Queen’s Blade is a bit different.
As I alluded earlier, Queen’s Blade does not show enjoyment in battles via the use of adrenaline or a primal urge to fight, but rather it shows enjoyment through sexual pleasures.
Why does Queen’s Blade focus on sexual pleasures? I am not sure of the answer, but I believe that it is because Queen’s Blade is trying to make a statement. Queen’s Blade is trying to tell us that we place too much focus on regular joy and neglect the pleasures that come about from frequent, sexual relations. There are however two exceptions to this rule.
There are two characters in Queen’s Blade that do not display any battle or sexual lust whatsoever (at least not when they are sane). The two characters are of course, the Queen and our protagonist, Annelotte. I think that by denying these two characters sexual pleasure, Queen’s Blade is making another very important statement.
Leaders should not find joy in life and should focus on leading alone. Both Annelotte and the Queen are leaders. They are very different in terms of leadership style, but they are both leaders regardless. Through the use of these two characters, Queen’s Blade is suggesting that a good leaders should sacrifice any self-enjoyment that one might be entitled to for the sake of her underlings. It is a very poignant message and one I feel is not emphasized enough in our education system. Speaking of important statements Queen’s Blade makes, there is one more message it delivered and it was a message that I think all of us should play close attention to.
As redball mentioned earlier there is a scene that involves a holy healing pose by Siggy. I hope I am not spoiling much by telling you that this pose involved her buttocks. She used her buttocks to cast a spell that healed two fallen characters. It was a magnificent pose, but why did Queen’s Blade decide to show such a pose?
I agree with redball in that it demonstrated the healing properties of sex, but I think there was a bit more to it than just that. When you think of a healing prayer, you normally think of clasped hands and a beautiful chant, so, why would Queen’s Blade defy the norm and have the prayer associated with what some would call the dirtiest part of the human body? I think it’s because, according to Queen’s Blade, our buttocks are not the dirtiest part of our body; our mouth is.
Pardon the language, but a more crude way of saying it would be: “the shit that comes out of our mouths is worse than the shit that comes out of our asses”. With that one, short scene, Queen’s Blade was trying to give us an important lesson. It is a lesson that we should heed, but so often ignore. “Watch what you say because your words can really hurt people.”
I am glad the anime ended with such an important lesson. This is something we should all take note of and strive towards. So, at this point, I’d like to thank the Queen’s Blade team for making such a fine anime and more importantly, thank my comrades for giving me the opportunity to make this post. I regret not being able to make the time necessary for a Skype viewing session, but hopefully the Queen’s Blade OVA’s will rectify that mistake of mine.
redball: Now that we’ve analyzed the final two episodes, I’d like to look at the series as a whole. Given the imagery in the series it is no surprise that I think it tells a story primarily about fertility. Annelotte’s journey tells of the struggle to survive in an ever changing world, but it is also a story of continuation. If you recall our first post we noted the mountains in the Moon Dancer’s village, and how they stood as a symbol of a woman’s legs. The final scene in Queen’s Blade: Rebellion revisits this site, after an arduous trek our cast has returned to the beginning. However, this time something different happens, the warriors activate a special magic within the temple between the mountains that causes the two peaks to fall away as a new form rises from the earth. This is clear imagery of childbirth. The ultimate message of Queen’s Blade: life will go on.
Snippettee: Fertility, that’s a nice observation. I remembered the emergence of the new world was significantly shown by the end of the show. The “two-legged mountain” that we’re deciphering on our first post was replaced by one mountain—“two become one”. Another example how sex and fertility is allegorically presented is through the imagery of the moons. Each time the girls want to meet up or set a task, they always plan whenever the three moons are overlapping–portrayal of intercourse
Further, I would just like to revisit Siggy’s Holy Pose: Healing. For some Christians, some women are practicing chastity in order to become the brides of God. Hence given the ludicrousness of Queen’s Blade: Rebellion, Siggy, as a nun, acted the dumb healing post to embellish the idea of the “union of god and woman”. Indeed, her action failed but the stereotypical perception that women are always willing to sacrifice and be sexually submissive in order to save humanity and continue life was noticeably emphasized.
John Sato: I like where Draggle was going with this. I’ll get into why in a moment, but before I do I would like to point out that this series’ title is Queen’s Blade: Rebellion. Who was rebelling, you might ask? Well, one might argue that it was Annelotte and her group, but I believe the true rebels were the men of the Queen’s Blade-verse. If you remember, I proposed in the third colloquium that there was an influx in the male population, highly likely due to the evil Queen Claudette. If you consider my new theory, than this suggests not merely an affront to all that is good and holy, but an outright challenge. The men of this world were attempting to reach a higher status in life and gathered behind their representative, the dread queen Claudette (who speaks of such pagan ideals as equality of classes and presumably gender). In fighting Claudette and, by extension, the men of the world, Annelotte and co. are enacting a holy crusade to purge the heretical and pagan ideas of the false queen. In this sense, they are upholding the tradition of this world, as is one of the objectives of their crusade (again, covered in previous posts).
Though it can be assumed from the way that Claudette left at the end that men have retreated back to their dank, dark lairs – for the time being, at least – the last episodes make it very clear that their actions have not gone unnoticed by God. He is furious, and will not leave men unpunished. As Draggle and I suggested to in our most recent post, the men in Queen’s Blade are all but useless, their only purpose to aid in the reproduction process. I suggest, however, that God deems they have gone too far this time, and they will not go unpunished. He intends to completely eradicate them, making them little more than vermin to be exterminated by removing their last use from the world.
How will life go on? Through the means presented in Draggle’s suggestion that, “The yin must become yang to restore the world’s balance and overthrow the old order.” There is more phallic imagery in the last two episodes of Queen’s Blade than a normal human could ever fully fathom. Furthermore, though no actual males appear in either episode, we have women turning into traveling streams of light that result in what Redball pointed out is child birth. The imagery, and the meaning behind it, is clear. Women have, through some mysterious means god provided to to them, made the reproduction process workable with only themselves. Men have now become utterly worthless, and the prophesied Eden of a world without men has become a real possibility.
I would disagree with Draggle, however, on his remark that the women are overthrowing the “old order.” Rather, I think the fact that Maria shows up to aid Annelotte & Co. shows that they are, if anything, fighting for the traditional values set forth by God. Maria, for those of you who are unaware, is the disguise of Leina, the protagonist from the first two seasons of Queen’s Blade. Hailing from a time when men were men (i.e. subjugated) and God was under no assault from blasphemous vibration armor, Leina is a clear representation of tradition and order. The fact that she fights on Annelotte’s side against her own sister (for those who didn’t know, Claudette and Leina are sisters) makes it instantly apparent that tradition and the one it represents (God) are clearly on our heroes side.
As for what is to come? The era beginning after this may be one of war and purging, as God and his followers fight their crusade for the obliteration of all males. On the other hand, Annelotte’s final words to her comrades state that when the moons align next, they shall again fight Claudette (and therefore men across the world). If we go back to our first colloquium, we can see that the moons’ alignment is indicative of the male and female forms, as well as intercourse as Snippettee pointed out. Thus, Annelotte may be suggesting that the crusade wait until after women have fully assimilated whatever uses they need from the male body and tested the process. Who can say? All we know for sure is that, like Redball said, “Life will go on [for women].”
This is the final entry in our thoughtful and reflective series on Queen’s Blade: Rebellion. Please join me in thanking all of the Colloquium participants. Next, we aim to tackle the thorny philosophical issues raised by the second season of Horizon. Drop me a line if you’re interested in joining us.