| 19 Aug 2007 @ 18:13|
Japanese Weirdness. It's a term you may have heard before. Claustrophobic capsule hotels, over-the-edge TV shows, the most overtly sexual animation anywhere and much, much more all contribute to the perception that Japanese modern culture is, well, different. It's proven to be fertile soil for this writer, who has covered bizarre drinks and weird condoms to mention just a couple. Leave it to Japan to surprise and shock us again - just when you thought you'd seen it all.
It's in the psycho-sexual realm that things really get weird. Lolita "Roricon" complexes, cosplay, mask fetish and extreme S&M are just the tip of the riceberg. Combine the three and you get something beyond weird, even for Japan: Kegadol. Loosely translated as "Injured Idol", Kegadol images feature pretty young women in casts, bandages, eyepatches... or all of the above (oh joy!).
It's not clear where this kinda creepy Kegadol trend began, though there does seem to be a longstanding erotic fringe that appreciates injured females. References to 1970s Penthouse Forum articles extolling "monopede mania" and primal primate protective programming are markers on a rough trail that few follow - but "few" is more than none. Here's how Peter Payne of JLIST explains the Japanese eyepatch fetish:
"Almost everyone has an eye infection or disease at some point [in Japan], and for that reason eyepatches are a common sight. Recently eye-patches have become a staple in anime culture as well, with eyepatch wearing characters appearing in such anime as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Battle Vixens, Lone Wolf and Cub, Fullmetal Alchemist, Bleach, D.Gray Man and others, where an eyepatch adds something mysterious and distinctive to the character."