Miyuki-chan in Wonderland: A Psychoanalysis
By Sean Gaffney
Just finished watching this, and in my opinion, manga or no (I haven’t read the manga), it desperately needs a conclusion taking place in the real world. Clearly Miyuki’s subconscious, growing weary of her shy, submissive, utterly clueless outward face, is putting together these dreams as a way of awakening both her repressed lesbian desires and her need to dominate those around her.
In the first episode, Miyuki is constantly beset by aspects of the dominant side of her personality, growing stronger as the dream goes on. Note how the initial girls in the dream either chase Miyuki away or allow her to pass through, showing how at this point Miyuki’s waking persona is still somewhat able to control events. Stronger measures are needed, leading to the sipping of the liquid ‘tea’ (we know what she’s REALLY sipping). Naturally, this one taste leads to her dominant side gaining control, and the Mad Tea Party, Cheshire Cat, and Red Queen all desire to make love to Miyuki, halting her journey, rather than seeing her continue on.
The second episode, Mirrorland ups the ante even further. This time Miyuki cannot pretend that somebody else is controlling her repressed desires and passions. The antagonist is herself, her own mirror image. Being a mirror, this image is allowed to let flow the sexuality that Miyuki refuses to acknowledge. (Note that the mirror persona comes to life immediately after Miyuki is primping herself. Presumably the ‘mirror image’ cannot tolerate Miyuki’s denial and need to tart herself up to appeal to a masculine ideal of what a woman should be like.) This second dream is not about dominance and submission, but more about acceptance – Miyuki’s dreams of flying through the air with a beautiful woman are Erica Jong-esque, and the fairies and chess game both indicate Miyuki’s desire for multiple partners and even harems – with herself as the leader. Miyuki could have ended up playing Humpty Dumpty in the final game – it is, after all, her board – but the sadomasochistic nature of the game means there’s only room for one woman in this house – Miyuki, Mistress of the Dark.
You’ll note I left out a girl from the second part, and I think this is the key point of the entire series. The butterfly girl is atypical of the rest of the dream – she does not try to seduce Miyuki or be overtly sexual, and she also cannot speak. In turn, Miyuki treats her far more kindly than anyone else in the dream, but finds herself frustrated at the same time by their inability to communicate. Their relationship is destroyed by one deep sigh from Miyuki’s mouth – and the dream takes offense, immediately whipping her off her island paradise in the sky and back down into a land filled with S&M temptresses.
I think that if we were to ever see into Miyuki’s real life, we’d find the butterfly girl. She’s the shy, quiet best friend, smiling with amusement at Miyuki’s frantic splutterings and babblings. Ever present at her side, knowing how she feels about Miyuki but willing to wait to give her friend time to realize her own true passions. A realization that is, in part, helped along by the psychological lesbian playground that is Miyuki-chan in Wonderland.
In the epilogue, amidst the cherry blossoms of the typical Japanese high school, perhaps leaning against the tree that they always ate lunch under, Miyuki will look at her butterfly-friend – and realize at last what her mind has been trying to tell her heart.
–so, did I sound serious? ^_-