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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Working Title: Dragon Lady: From YKTTW

  • This troper is not sure if O-Ren Ishii qualifies as a Dragon Lady, she is not overtly sexual and doesn't seem to be untrustworthy leader. Sure she fighted with a Katana but so most of the other members of her squad including Bill himself. With so many white expert in martial arts it was only fair to have a true asian who could do the same.

  • Call him crazy, but this troper has never been entirely comfortable thinking of the Dragon Lady as a purely villainous archetype. It seems to have more in common with Lady of War, Broken Bird, and Tall, Dark and Bishoujo than with The Vamp, Femme Fatale, or The Baroness. Certainly this is an archetype that lends itself to relatively constructive interactions with the hero — IIRC, the original Dragon Lady taught Terry to dance, to help him prepare for his first date; and I think that a non-villainous character can be a Dragon Lady — see, not Imperial Woman, Pearl Buck's novelized life of Ci-xi, but Pavilion of Women by the same author. The heroine of Pavilion is what this troper thinks of when he hears Dragon Lady, and she's definitely not a villain — although the subject does come up.
    • Also, if you're going to look into Pavilion of Women, don't see the movie. The book's less than 300 pages; and the movie's story was deliberately conflated with that of Dragon Seed (concerned with the Japanese sexual atrocities in China, portrayed so appallingly in the book that I don't want to think what they would look like on-screen), and elements that the Chinese government was ashamed of — like how the Chinese poor of this era sometimes abandoned female babies, but not male ones — were swept under the rug.


Sukeban: I object to Ni Chang from The Forbidden Kingdom being a Dragon Lady — she's either Lian Nichang herself from The Bride With White Hair, an established wuxia character who has always been a rather bitchy warrior woman, or an Expy of her. Either way, the original character is Chinese.

Also, Deus Ex has Maggie Chow, a Femme Fatale Chinese actress with a Qipao and a sword. Seeing as she's an actress, she might be embodying the trope on purpose.

I'm not familiar with Deus Ex, but isn't this character a Shout-Out to Maggie Cheung? :D