Nagata Kabi has explored her struggles with her physical and mental health in her previous memoirs and now turns her attention to one of her biggest lifelong hurdles – love. Okazu founder and yuri scholar extraordinaire Erica Friedman joins us once again to discuss the latest chapter in Kabi’s ongoing and evolving memoir narrative, My Wandering Warrior Existence.
Kabi uses the evocative image and anecdote of holding a wedding dress photoshoot as a springboard for exploring her desire to love and be loved, and her frustrations figuring out how to do that, including her experiences with online dating apps. We come to understand why she’s afraid to meet and form relationships with people, a response that stems from lingering issues about her own negative self-image, and a mistrust of other people in part caused by, CONTENT WARNING, a horrifically traumatic sexual assault she experienced as a child. Which, because of the particular descriptiveness and upsetting nature of the story, we encourage you to use your discretion and the timestamps in the podcast breakdown below as to whether you rather skip that part of the discussion.
But lest you fear Wandering Warrior finds Kabi drowning in her sorrows and traumas, we discuss how the book instead reflects the emotional growth and self-awareness that Kabi has come to understand over her previous books. This book finds Kabi taking in her memoirs in a new, confident direction with a clear thesis and structured storytelling designed with a message to the reader in mind, and we explore how it represents a positive direction for her as an artist and storyteller as we appreciate the messages she imparts in the book and her experiences and thoughts resonate with our own. Kabi may still be a wanderer in the landscape of love, but like a warrior, she’s held firm in her resolve to find happiness, and we’re more than happy to travel with her on her journey into whatever unknown territory the future may bring.
00:22 – Intro, Podcast Context, & Content Warnings
08:15 – My Wandering Warrior Existence w/Erica Friedman
09:15 – The Storytelling, Pacing, and Construction of Wandering Warrior
16:00 – Kabi’s Growth as a Person and Storyteller
22:58 – Dating Apps and the Stress of Emotionally Taxing Tasks
26:33 – Having a Negative Self-Image and Being Afraid of Emotionally Investing Oneself in Another Person
28:11 – The Significance of Seeing More of Kabi’s Friends and Relationships with Other People in Her Life
32:35 – CONTENT WARNING: Kabi’s Sexual Assault Story
38:08 – Taking Down the Mental Hurdles in the Way of Forming Love and Relationships
43:25 – The Importance of Self-Love and Self-Care
45:30 – Importance of Seeing Positive Examples of Healthy Relationships Growing Up
47:33 – The Broader Relatability of Wandering Warrior’s Themes of Navigating Love and Relationships
54:03 – Realizing What Makes You Happy May Not Be What We Think Will
58:09 – Understanding Your Own Gender and Sexuality: “I Am” vs “What”
1:02:45 – Appreciating the Small Pleasures of Life
1:04:50 – Final Thoughts and Takeaways
1:09:27 – What We Would Like to See Next from Kabi
1:11:04 – Brief Thoughts on Meisou Senshi Nagata Kabi: Gourmet de Go!
1:14:04 – Erica’s Plugs
1:19:00 – Community Shout-Outs:
- Erica’s reviews of My Wandering Warrior Existence
- MSU Japanese Pop Culture Localization Roundtable
- Drop-in on Wandering Warrior’s Look at Dating with Mental Health Problems
- Manga Machinations’ Wandering Warrior Existence Podcast w/Jocelyne Allen
- Ogiuemaniax’s Blank Canvas essay
- Girls Over Flowers: Tsukushi character analysis
- How All My Darling Daughters Shows the Importance of Showing Both Success and Failure Stories About Working Women
- Belladonna of Sadness in context of second-wave feminism theory in Japan in the 70s
- Kate on JJK0’s exploration of grief and love
- Doujinshi creators’ opportunities
- JaidenAnimations on “Not Being Straight”
- Wisecrack on the Philosophy of Polyamory
- Lum’s Guest Appearance on MHA Pod #199
- Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation’s Summer 2022 Internship
1:39:09 – Wrap-Up
Enjoy the show, and follow us on twitter at @manga_mavericks, on tumblr at mangamavericks.tumblr.com, and on Youtube! You can also follow the hosts on Twitter at @sniperking323 and @lumranmayasha. If you’d like to help support the show financially you can pledge to our Patreon and receive some awesome rewards like our Patreon-exclusive Bonus pods! If one-time donations are more your speed you can donate to Colton’s Ko-fi here and LumRanmaYasha’s Ko-fi here, and if you want to support LumRanmaYasha’s art and other projects you can follow them @siddartworks on Instagram and Twitter and donate to their personal Patreon. Don’t forget to also like and subscribe to us on Youtube and iTunes and leave us reviews to help us curate the show and create better content!
“Densha Kamo Shirenai” by Tama
“Lover Soul” by Judy and Mary
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