Satsu (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
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|Buffy the Vampire Slayer character|
|First appearance||"The Long Way Home"|
|Created by||Joss Whedon|
|Notable powers||Supernatural strength
agility, and reflexes
Satsu is a fictional character created by Joss Whedon for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, the canonical comic book continuation of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her first appearance as Satsu was in the first issue of the "Long Way Home" story arc (2007).
Satsu is introduced as a "Slayer", one of many girls endowed with supernatural abilities and destined to battle evil creatures such as vampires and demons, like protagonist Buffy Summers. Distinctly, Satsu is also a brief love interest for Buffy; Satsu is an out lesbian.
Satsu is a Japanese or Japanese American Slayer, first appearing in season 8, and is one of the best in Buffy's squad, along with Leah and Rowena. She is known for her funky hairstyles and wardrobe. Satsu is a lesbian, which apparently was a source of conflict with her parents. She was called as a Slayer while in the hallway at her school, causing her to fall to the floor and weep with joy.
Satsu is chosen to assist Buffy in rescuing Willow in Part 4 of the "The Long Way Home", and had previously aided Buffy many times in missions and battles. In "The Long Way Home," when Buffy is put under magical sleep that can only be broken by the kiss of one who loves her, Satsu is the one who anonymously breaks the spell, although this is not revealed until later. She makes cameos in "The Chain", and "Anywhere But Here", and has a much bigger role in "A Beautiful Sunset". In this issue, Buffy takes Satsu to a vampire nest, and they dispose of them quickly. Buffy informs Satsu that it's become general knowledge in their group that Satsu is in love with her and was the one who woke her from her magical sleep (Buffy herself admits that she figured it out by recognizing the taste of Satsu's cinnamon lip gloss). Buffy is sincerely flattered, but tells Satsu that a relationship between them would not work, and warns her that people who love her have a tragic history of getting hurt (citing Angel's banishment to a hell dimension, Spike's immolation in the Hellmouth, and Riley's struggles with masochism). Afterward, when Twilight attacks, Satsu is knocked out at the beginning of the battle.
In "Wolves at the Gate, Part 1", Satsu and Buffy have sex together and are discovered in bed by Xander, Andrew, Renée, Dawn, and Willow. "Wolves at the Gate" Parts 2 and 3 illustrate the awkwardness that follows. In Part 4 of "Wolves at the Gate", Satsu decides she needs to spend time apart from Buffy to come to terms with her feelings, and stays in Tokyo, becoming leader of the Japanese squad of the Slayer army after having one more night of intimacy with Buffy.
Kennedy visits Satsu in "Swell", both as a performance assessment and to talk to her about the Buffy situation; Kennedy leads Satsu to reluctantly accept that Buffy is straight and not interested in her romantically. Satsu proves an effective leader for her squad, and successfully commandeers a submarine for the team's use. In "Swell," Satsu's body is invaded by a small stuffed-animal-like demon called a Vampy Cat, which causes her to behave in an aggressive and misogynistic manner until Kennedy kicks her in the stomach during a fight and causes her to vomit the creature up; however, the Vampy Cat was able to extract from Satsu's mind the location of the Slayer's secret headquarters in Scotland.
In the "Retreat" arc, the stolen submarine was used by Buffy, her companions, and a large group of Slayers (including Satsu) to escape from an attack by the forces of the villain, Twilight. After Willow magically transports the submarine and its occupants to the home of their friend Oz in Tibet, Satsu temporarily gives up her Slayer powers, with the others, in an attempt to escape notice by Twilight... a tactic of which she vocally disapproves. She remains steadfastly loyal to Buffy, and at one point saves her from a sniper's bullet.
The "Twilight" arc finds Satsu in Buffy's inner circle, often using computers and other technical equipment. She reacts with anger and disgust when she observes Buffy and Angel having sex, Angel having been revealed as the true identity of the villain Twilight. She continues to be present, in the background, during the concluding "Last Gleaming" arc of Season 8.
Satsu does not appear in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine, but she reappears in Season Ten, working with the U.S. military. She contacts Buffy and persuades her to make common cause with the vampires against a mysterious influx of demons.
Buffy's lesbian encounter controversy
The sexual relationship between Satsu and Buffy was a source of considerable discussion and controversy both inside and outside the series' fan base, as it was the first homosexual experience of a major character (Buffy) who had previously been portrayed as exclusively heterosexual . The implications were debated heavily on Internet forums and in the comic's letters column, as well as in blogs dedicated to feminist and lesbian topics, and in major entertainment and pop culture news venues.
Satsu has appeared in 22 canonical Buffyverse episodes.
- "The Long Way Home, Parts 1-4"
- "Anywhere But Here"
- "A Beautiful Sunset"
- "Wolves at the Gate, Parts 1-4"
- "Retreat, Parts 1, 3, & 5"
- "Twilight, Parts 1-4"
- "Last Gleaming, Parts 1, 2"
- "In Pieces On the Ground, Part 1"
Footnotes and references
- "Buffy. Satsu. Sex", About Womyn (March 9, 2008)
- Vineyard, Jennifer, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer In Gay Romance For Next Comic Book Arc", MTV Movie News (March 6, 2008)
- Gustines, George Gene, "Buffy: experimenting in bed when not after vampires", The New York Times