Its kind of amazing how Ryuuko was designed on the one hand to embody hyper-sexualized femininity that seemingly only exists for the sake of her male viewing audience both in and out of the series, but also the tough-as-nails unyielding masculinity of Gainax’s Kamina or Simon.
She, much like the message of the show, transcends the stereotypical dualistic gender paradigm and shows that ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ are not mutually exclusive, and that female sexuality should not be held to a dual standard when compared to male sexuality.
Female sexuality exists not as a thing to be controlled or confined or as purely an object for the sake of men, but is as fundamental to her sense of self as the masculine sexuality is to a male subject. Her character challenges the ascribed gender-specific traits we hold in our society and I would argue, delivers a narrative that on the outset may seem to degrade women and pander to a sex-driven male audience but in reality instills a sense of empowerment to a female audience through a traditional coming-of-age paradigm.
Bravo TRIGGER, bravo.