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Wonder Woman (2009) Ryona Review

Discussion in 'Ryona' started by neosushi, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. neosushi

    neosushi Vivacious Visitor

    Sep 30, 2012
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    Wonder Woman has always been a favourite amongst ryona fans. From her personality, extreme strength and abilities to her iconic costume, she's everything one can hope for in ryona. In this thread, I wish to talk about the Wonder Woman cartoon movie from 2009 and talk about that film in the context of a ryona fan. The writeup includes a plot synopsis, followed by an in depth ryona analysis of the movie.

    I'm not very familiar with Wonder Woman lore and didn't really know much about her origin story. I'm viewing this pretty much purely as a casual (and not a WW fan), so I have no clue how true this is to her original character (though comic books tend to be rebooted so many times it's hard to tell what's canon), so I won't be able to contrast any of the different depictions of WW. This is going to be purely about the enjoyability of the Wonder Woman (2009) movie.

    What makes Wonder Woman such a great ryona fantasy?

    Many ryona fantasies are about depowerment and humiliation. I don't want to speak for everyone when I say this, but a large portion of ryona is centered around taking down and humiliating a powerful heroine. Bringing them down to their knees, stripping them of their confidence and breaking them down. Showing just how powerless girls actually are. What better heroine is there to break than the strongest and most iconic of them all?

    Ever since Wonder Woman's creation, Wonder Woman has been a symbol of feminism. She's the super heroine who can stand side-by-side with the best of the male superheroes, and can go toe-to-toe with the most dangerous supervillains. She is the symbol of gender equality among comic book characters and kicks just as much ass as any male hero out there. She is the very symbol of female empowerment.

    All of this is at odds with the ryona fantasy. Everything Wonder Woman stands for is precisely opposed to the ryona fantasy. She is against everything that we stand for. And this is exactly why we absolutely love fantasizing about her complete and utter defeat. Wonder Woman, to us, is no different from a good villain in any fictional setting. Villains like Joker are depicted as a threat to society and crafted in a way that makes the audience love to hate them. The more we hate, the more satisfying it is when we eventually see them failing. In much the same way, WW stands against the ryona fantasy, making her a very satisfying target. In our world, she is the super villain that we'd love to see fall.

    Wonder Woman (2009) Movie

    The movie that I'm going to talk about is a cartoon movie from 2009. In my plot synopsis, I will leave out details in it so the holes in my plot synopsis is intentionally. There will be minor spoilers, though I will do my best to avoid talking about some of the important plot points. For example I will talk about who won certain fights, but I will avoid details of how the fights were won. A lot of the plot points that I will spoil are either well known or predictable. The story is simple enough that I don't think this is a major issue. The fun in the movie is not in the twists and turns in the plot, but in the character interactions and action.

    For example, it may be considered a spoiler if I told you that Wonder Woman wins in the end, and that she actually defeats the villain. Yes, that is technically a spoiler, but it's not exactly a twist. Though this result may actually be unexpected if you're like me and more used to some of GIGA's depictions of girls in WW costumes.

    Spoiler alert: This never happens in the movie

    Brief Synopsis

    I am including a synopsis for completeness.

    The movie begins with a chaotic battle between the amazons and Ares army. The queen of the amazons, Hippolyta, finds Ares and fights him. At the end of the fight, when Ares is on his knees about to be beheaded, Zeus urges Hippolyta to spare him. They put power-binding shackles on Ares and give the amazons their own island, the female paradise Thermiscyra. Ares is to be locked up in a jail on Thermiscyra and the island is to be hidden from the rest of the world. Hippolyta then crafts her daughter from the sands of the beach.

    Some time elapses, and Hippolyta's daughter, Diana (not referred to as Wonder Woman at this point) is shown training martial arts. Meanwhile, in the outside world, there is a dogfight between US pilots and some unknown enemy. One of the US pilots, Trevor, crashes and finds himself on Thermiscyra.

    The fact that a male intruder is on Thermscyra alarms the amazons and they hunt him down and interrogate him. Knowing that he is essentially harmless, they decide to bring him back to the outside world. The most worthy of the amazons is to escort him off Thermiscyra, and this is decided by a sporting competition.

    Diana wishes to participate as she believes she is as worthy as any other amazon. Hippolyta refuses to allow her daughter to compete, not wanting Diana to make any contact with the men of the outside world. Hippolyta claims that Diana is not ready to face the evils of man, and Diana objects.

    Diana sneaks into the competition anyway. Since the amazons all wear helmets, she is able to compete in the tournament unnoticed.

    After winning several athletic events and eventually the whole tournament, Hippolyta asks her to remove her helmet. She does. Hippolyta hesitates, but congratulates her, telling her how proud of her she is. We are now treated to a proper introduction to the iconic WW costume and her weapons: the lasso of truth and the bracelets.


    During the whole competition, Ares escapes from the prison. Diana is now given a new purpose to her visit to the outside world. She needs to escort Trevor back home as well as stopping Ares, whatever it is he is plotting.

    Ryona Review

    Opening with a Bang



    The movie opens up with a chaotic battle scene between the amazons and Ares' forces. The battle is hectic and fast-paced. We are shown both sides beating the crap out of one another. The two scenes shown above are two examples good ryona that we see. The more intriguing ryona comes from what we do not see. The battle sets the mood and allows our imagination to fill out what sort of violent battles are occurring off screen.

    Amidst the chaos, Hippolyta finds Ares and does battle with him. The two of them trade blows in a very entertaining two-sided affair. Ares does not go easy on Hippolyta. We see her being smacked around, even launched across the building into a column. Ares reveals his absurd yet awesome superpower of becoming more powerful every time something violent happens. He should theoretically be unbeatable in a battle unless you one-shot him, since he would get stronger and stronger as the battle goes.

    This power alone can make for some great ryona fantasies. The heroine can dominate Ares early in the fight while Ares just builds up more and more power from getting beaten up. Then he turns the tables because the heroine was too good at beating him up. Then as he beats up the heroine, he gets even stronger and dominates even more, since the heroine is getting beaten up. It's absurd how this power works, but it's pretty cool.


    This intro sequence communicates several things.

    First, it establishes female power. Females are able to resolve matters on their own and they have the power to combat any sort of danger. They are treated the same way that any of their male counterparts would be; villains are not afraid to violently and brutally thrash the crap out of them.

    Second, it establishes the villain's power. Ares, even in defeat, is shown to be extremely dangerous. His power is definitely one that noone wants to let loose. At this point in the movie, I was just dying to see him fight Wonder Woman (who doesn't even exist at this point in the story).

    Displays of Feminism

    Throughout the movie, we get a good dose of feminine empowerment. On the extreme feminist side, we have Hippolyta who believes that all men are pigs. On the opposite extreme, we have the womanizing Trevor. Diana is a much more moderate feminist. She believes women to be strong and independent, but wishes to bridge any misunderstanding between two genders.

    Throughout the first portion of the movie, Hippolyta shows great disdain for men. She does not even believe that her daughter is ready to interact with any men at all. In one scene, when the amazons captured and interrogated Trevor using the lasso of truth, Trevor (being unable to resist the lasso's power) comments on Diana's rack. The amazons murmur in disgust. Hippolyta points to Trevor as proof that men are womanizing pigs.

    This scene shows a reversal of gender roles. Instead of the helpless female damsel being tied up, we have a manly man all tied up, at the mercy of women.

    Tying up and restraining a man is OK. Women and Men should have equal rights, so it stands to reason that tying up and restraining women must be OK too. Alright! I'm starting to love this feminism thing.

    After Ares' escape from prison, Diana escorts Trevor back to the USA. This lull in the action is used to establish Diana's character and where she stands on the feminist issues. She sees a bunch of kids playing in the park. The girl is side-lined and is relegated to the damsel role. Diana teaches her some fighting techniques and encourages her to play rough with the boys. A secretary asks Trevor to help her move a desk because she dropped a pen. Diana moves the desk herself. A series of scenes like this shows us Diana's views, that women should be strong and independent, and that she is disappointed that women have been culturally ingrained to think otherwise. The scenes do a good job giving us an idea of the WW ideals without being preachy about it.

    In a later scene, Trevor and Diana go out drinking and chatting about their lives. It shows the two of them drinking and chatting throughout the night and as time passes by, Trevor gets wasted while Diana remains unphased. The amount of alcohol one can take is, in some circles, a measure of manliness, yet Diana completely outdoes Trevor.

    Trevor completely wasted. Diana just continues drinking.

    Throwaway Fight

    Following the bar scene, Diana and Trevor stumble upon a gang in a dark alley. In another gender role reversal, we have Trevor completely terrified, urging Diana not to mess with these people. Meanwhile, Diana confronts the gangsters, protecting the helpless Trevor from harm.


    The scene serves not only to further reinforce Diana's strength as a woman, but as a bridge between the relative peace that we, the viewers, enjoyed and the action that is to come.

    Serious Fight #1

    Immediately following the dark alley fight, a servant of Ares shows up and fights Diana. After all this buildup, this is the first serious instance of WW ryona.


    The fight is an entertaining brawl between two powerhouses. They match one another blow for blow. They use everything under the moon as weapons against one another, including dumpsters and cars. Diana gets hurled all over the place, through buildings, through light posts, everything. While Diana's eventual victory was never in doubt, this was one hell of a fight and the animators certainly did not go easy on Diana.

    Tossed into the wall

    into the ceiling

    Aw yeaaah, we were all waiting for it.

    Cornered, and still putting up a fight.

    Climactic Battle

    Leading up to the climax of the movie, Ares has gathered his minions to give an inspiration speech. The military has all their guns pointed at the God. A one sided fight ensues.

    Silly... tanks NEVER work

    Diana jumps into the fray and immediately gets herself in trouble.



    Kneel, woman!

    She is immediately saved by the Amazons, and is able to concentrate her efforts on taking down Ares.

    Meanwhile, we see a scene with the president and one of his advisors. The advisor tells him that a mysterious island has appeared on the radar (Thermiscyra). Not knowing what this is, they decide this is probably Ares home and decides to nuke it.

    Back to Diana's battle with Ares. She starts off dominating the fight and taunts Ares. Ares laughs, explaining that the humans just fired a nuke which will give him incredible abilities, equal to that of a God (what, aren't you a God?). What follows is a one-sided smack down, with Diana going from dominant to dominated in mere moments.

    So smug, I hate her already. Humble her Ares.

    Absolute confidence to panic in a matter of seconds. Ryona done right.

    Domination. She doesn't stand a chance.

    The look of defeat.

    The battle is the perfect WW battle. WW starts the battle dominant, showing her strength and worth. Ares turns that back on her and shows just how worthless she is. This dynamic was set up from the start of the movie, when Ares fought with Hippolyta and revealed his power. The payoff is great, and we get to see WW get completely crushed.


    Diana obviously finds a way to win the fight and save the day. Overall, the movie was entertaining, and for me it was a good entry-level WW movie. The ryona elements are just about as good as you're going to get from main stream media. The first portion of the movie helps establish the heroine as strong and worthy, giving us a good reason to want to see her get beaten up. The climactic battle delivers almost everything we could have reasonably hoped.

    As pure movie entertainment, it is passable. It is good, it is entertaining, but it is not quite great. Honestly, it is about as good as you would expect from a mainstream superheroine movie. From a ryona perspective, it is top notch and worth the watch.

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  2. ghost13

    ghost13 Avid Affiliate

    Nov 27, 2010
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    "showing just how powerless girls actually are"

    I very much disagree with this statement. Girls can be the most kick assiest people ever and thats where this fantasy comes in. when a female fights and loses its not a general victory for males, it's not dudes saying "ha! thats nature!"..it's a weird taboo thats somehow exciting. saying that women are naturally weak solidifies the negative stereotype surrounding ryona and, with all due respect, makes it sound like we have this mission to claim victory over women everywhere and are compensating for something.

    i for one love strong women.