Galaxy Railways 15: Gender Relations in the Leijiverse
Although apparently there are up to 20 platoons in the SDF, only three feature prominently in this series: Sirius, Vega and Spica. The Spica platoon is all female, Vega is all male and Sirius is mixed. Consideration of the three might give us insight into gender and gender relations in the Leijiverse.
In this episode, Spica comes off as too careful. Vega, on the other hand, is reckless to the point of endangering itself. Sirius is just right, neither too hot nor too cold. The lesson here seems to be that women need men and viceversa.
It’s probably just as important to note that Sirius is not even close to being gender balanced. The crew consists of 4 men (Bulge, Bruce, David, Manabu) and 1 woman (Louis). If you count Sexaroid Yuki then the ratio of males to females is still 2 to 1. My understanding is that the elite SPG team is also composed of 4 men and 2 women. So maybe the ideal setup in the Leijiverse is a majority of men with a minority of women.
We could link this setup to the Arcadia in SPCH: there the crew is overwhelmingly male, but it’d be really hard to see the ship accomplish anything without Miime, Kei Yuki and Masu. The crew of the Yamato has Yuki Mori as its single female crew member, but when you factor in the crucial influence of Starsha (in the original SBY) and Teresa (in Arrivederci) then it’s clear that without women the Yamato would never have triumphed.
There is perhaps another way to explain this issue of success while bypassing the question of gender altogether. I’m talking about focusing on the great heroes (or gods) of the Leijiverse as holding all the keys to success. In the case of SPCH, Harlock and Tochiro; for Yamato, Starsha and Teresa; for GE 999, Maetel etc. Following this model then every triumph in Galaxy Railways must be attributed to Layla Destiny, with the platoons fading away in importance. And it’s impossible to notice that in this model it is the women that seem to be numerically predominant.
Maybe the gender question is inescapable after all. Maybe both models can operate at the same time. Maybe neither is right. But it’s interesting to ponder…
P.S. Is it me or does Capt. Julia Reinhardt look remarkably like another Julia from another (extremely popular) anime show???
P.P.S. I haven’t found any hard evidence of this, but it seems to me that the SDF must be structured into companies (which are then subdivided into platoons), and that Sirius, Vega and Spica belong to a single company. This would explain why they work together so often.