If you watch the eighth episode of Space Runaway Ideon, you will see Gije struggling to make combat honour work. If you ask me, his increasingly wild rules-lawyering provides much of the episode’s pleasure. ‘Okay, I had to take children hostage to make you duel honourably with me, but they’re being held hostage by my assistant, and the warrior code doesn’t apply to him as he’s a commoner, now can we get on with it please’.
Gije loses, because Bes is the sort of badass who can comfortably use a lightsabre and a laser pistol at once. As Gije flees, the Ideon has the opportunity to squash him and suddenly, when it’s a matter of restraining rather than promoting violence, honour starts to function: we shouldn’t step on Gije since Gije is an honourable warrior, say the pilots of the Ideon. Well, all of the pilots but one, for Kasha thinks it’s perfectly fine to squash Gije.
So this episode carries two different inflections: first, that honour works best—only works?—when it’s restraining violence; and second, that women don’t understand combat honour. (After all, feminine honour is passive, physically-located, binary and perhaps irretrievable once lost.) There’s room to argue that Kasha got it right, that she chose the correct, pragmatic response to the Buff Clan’s largely unprovoked and never truly honourable attacks. I don’t think Ideon takes this tack itself, though.
(This was also written in cheerful ignorance about Ideon‘s country of origin: I can only read from where I am, after all. This is also all Mike’s fault.)