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Old 2008-03-24, 11:36   Link #821
2H-Dragon
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Originally Posted by Mykas View Post
I think many of you are not looking at this from an outside perspective but are taking it personally. In most of the world, children are seen as little more than property and thier oppinion is worth about as much a one legged man in an @$$ kicking contest. As for Aoki he is really just an outsider interfering in private business and whether he is thier teacher or not his only responsibility in most cultures is to teach the skills that they should learn at school. I am no expert on Japan but when I visited I saw one small child misbehaviving in public and the mother smacked him on the face 3 or 4 times till he calmed down and quieted down. No one and I mean no one did or said anything most people ignored it like they were invisible. When I lived in China for a while it was even more pronounced, (I was a teacher) I had students beg me not to give them a bad grade because they would get a beating from thier parents. I was told by one of my Chinese colleages that I could hit the ones that acted up, when i seemed suprised he told me the parents would be more concerned with what the child had done to deserve a beating and probably hand out another beating rather than be mad at me for giving the beating. After I married a Chinese girl I asked her about this subject and she causually replied that she got beat by her teachers all the time, when I asked if her mom really beat her too after that she said only at first because after that she had the good sense never to tell her mother again. I saw babies going down the street naked squatting to pee and poop whever they pleased. Children as small as 3 or 4 left unattended while parents did who knows what. One time I went to a kareoke bar (found out that is where the Chinese red light district is) and saw kids (small ones) waiting around outside while men went inside and played around with hookers. Japan and China aren't the same and my experience with Japan is much more limited but it has been my experience that attitudes twards children lean more twards "spare the rod and spoil the child" than some of the "happy happy joy joy everyone deserves a hug" stuff I have seen in America....
BTW if you read all of this and you were offended or I said something that pissess you off I hope you won't take it personally most of this was just my observations of some Asian culture aspects that really may be far outside the experience of most people and just wanted to share so that you could get some idea of how the rest of the world sees children.
Yeah, but you are forgetting one thing. Rin isn't save. Even if he's an outsider he has to do something. Since a child is getting molested and the chances of more happening is huge. It's his responsibilty as a human being to do something. Even if you hurt the child in the process it's better then to just w8 and see what happens. Doesn't not saying anything make him an accomplice?
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Old 2008-03-24, 13:18   Link #822
Mykas
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I am not judging anyone I was just pointing out that the author may have him acting slowly based on different cultural values, in my experience it was extremely rude to interfere in someone elses affairs in east Asia. The idea that you have some responsibility to act is not a common thought. for example:
you don't see much violent crime in China but what I did see a lot of was pickpocketing and purse snatching, I saw one woman have her purse ripped right out of her hands and the man who took it ran away through a crowd of maybe hundreds on a busy street, no one did anything, (yes that includes me) I thought maybe i should do something but the guy was on the other side of the street and surrounded by people I thought someone would do something, but no one did. it isn't just a matter of respecting personal privacy because they don't anymore than any other culture they will snoop through your bathroom cabinet and sometimes ask questions that most westerners would never dream of asking (how old, weight, etc) but it is a cultural norm not to actual involve themselves in someone elses troubles lest it become thier trouble.
My whole point is the way most people seem to see what's going on in this manga is from a personal point of view, how would i feel if I were rin or aoki or whoever. Instead I am suggesting they take an outside view and maybe it will be easier to understand why character behave the way they do.
example: if you were born and raised a cannibal you would think eating humans is perfectly normal, but for most of us that is almost worse than the actual killing (think jeffry dahmer) culture plays an immense role in the way things are seen as normal.
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Old 2008-03-24, 13:41   Link #823
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Risking a knife to the gut to preserve a stranger's pocket change isn't the same as being the moral support of a kid you actually know personally. If the father could bring in his lawyer, I don't see why Rin couldn't have her teacher.
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Old 2008-03-24, 14:02   Link #824
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Originally Posted by 2H-Dragon View Post
Yeah, but you are forgetting one thing. Rin isn't save. Even if he's an outsider he has to do something. Since a child is getting molested and the chances of more happening is huge. It's his responsibilty as a human being to do something. Even if you hurt the child in the process it's better then to just w8 and see what happens. Doesn't not saying anything make him an accomplice?
Mykas is correct that children's wants, desires, and beliefs - and by this I mean beyond toys and clothing - are not generally respected or cared about. Dismissing their feelings and emotions outright is insulting to them and hypocritical of adults. All of us were children ourselves at one time, and I think we can all remember how much we hated being talked down to or have what we really wanted trivialized or ignored by our parents or other adults. Yes, in hindsight, a lot of those things from our childhood were probably unimportant. But they're unimportant to us as the adult we are now, not the child we were then, and many people seem to forget that. Rin's romantic and sexual desire for Aoki may be "wrong" from the viewpoint of adults, but that doesn't mean her feelings aren't heartfelt, genuine, or real. I don't think that Rin would care if Aoki didn't return her feelings if only he'd acknowledge their existence, respect them, and treat them seriously.

However, I strongly disagree with Mykas opinion about Aoki's presence. First of all, he didn't just show up at Rin's doorstep and force his way into a situation that wasn't any of his business. Rin specifically asked for him to be there and I suspect she did so because she wanted someone to represent her interests, something that Kuro herself acknowledged. As a child, she isn't taken seriously. I mean, Reiji's arguing in favor of himself and what he believes are Rin's best interests and Roku's doing the same. Who's going to defend Rin's own interests? No one will listen to her because she's a child. Aoki was her "lawyer" at that meeting and there to stand up for her rights. Yes, he nearly dropped the ball when he considered forcing his own belief of what was in her own best interest on her, but he came through in the end and let her make her own decision. Whether her choice was right or wrong is irrelevant: it was hers to make and she made it. I think that if Aoki had brought up the matter of Reiji's unwanted attention and gotten him jailed or at least have custody rights given to her father, that Rin would never have forgiven him for it and completely shut him out of her life. As it stands, however, Aoki's gained more credibility in her eyes by letting her make her own choice, and I think that he's in a better position to help her out when the time comes.

The other problem here is what Billborden mentioned a few pages back: Rin's at least partly in denial about the hickeys and what they imply about Reiji's feelings towards her. She herself is not completely able to let go of the image of her, Reiji, and Aki as a family all those years ago and is doing her best to maintain it even if she knows her mother is dead and not coming back. On the one hand, she purposely drove away that coworker of Reiji's who was interested in him. On the other, she did give Usa permission to follow her heart. She's acknowledged both problems on some level but has yet to figure out what to do about them. Until she comes to terms with both those things, I don't think she'll be ready to leave Reiji behind of her own accord.

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Old 2008-03-24, 18:12   Link #825
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Nicely written post. Its really too bad this excellent little series wasn't given room to breathe in my country, because it actually supports the idea of "think of the children" in the *big picture* way instead of the "witchburning" no-discussion-allowed way. And yeah, some of the problems and behaviors we'r seeing here are because of cultural attitudes (recently shifting a bit) in Japan about children.

Some days I think this should be required reading for family court judges, social workers, and teachers.
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Old 2008-03-24, 20:38   Link #826
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Truer words where never spoken...

I really have to say both Reiji and Roku were in the wrong. Neither one of them had been looking out for Rin's interest to start with so I believe what Aoki did was right Rin deserved to let her voice be heard.
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Old 2008-03-25, 00:05   Link #827
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Thanks for the compliments, DarkWing and Vexx. To be honest, the entire subject is something of a bone of contention for me. Maybe it's partly my own Lolita Complex talking here, but there're quite a few things about current child psychology that bother me, and this series raises a lot of those questions without giving any easy answers. While I don't condone romantic or sexual relationships between children and adults, I've often wondered how many of the children who regret those liasons as adults do so because they genuinely feel betrayed, how many only end up feeling that way because it's been hammered into their skulls incessantly by the adults around them that they were taken advantage of, and how many are simply bowing to popular opinion and playing the role of victim that society expects them to.

I'm reminded of the whole Mary Kay Letourneau mess that took place around ten years ago and being incredibly annoyed by how her interview on Dateline seemed to be edited together to make her look like some kind of insane sexual deviant rather than someone who made a series of really stupid decisions. Not exactly objective reporting, there, NBC. Last I heard, the two of them were married and living happily together, and I remember thinking, "Good for them on proving everyone wrong." even if I never supported their relationship in the first place. I'm kinda hoping Rin and Aoki get together in the end as well, hopefully minus all the illegal sex or jail time.

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Old 2008-03-25, 00:46   Link #828
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Originally Posted by Lunar Archivist View Post
Thanks for the compliments, DarkWing and Vexx. To be honest, the entire subject is something of a bone of contention for me. Maybe it's partly my own Lolita Complex talking here, but there're quite a few things about current child psychology that bother me, and this series raises a lot of those questions without giving any easy answers. While I don't condone romantic or sexual relationships between children and adults, I've often wondered how many of the children who regret those liasons as adults do so because they genuinely feel betrayed, how many only end up feeling that way because it's been hammered into their skulls incessantly by the adults around them that they were taken advantage of, and how many are simply bowing to popular opinion and playing the role of victim that society expects them to.
We're at the same frequency or at least same eyebrow-cocking at the "common wisdom" of the mob. Real life is a lot more complicated.
Quote:
I'm reminded of the whole Mary Kay Letourneau mess that took place around ten years ago and being incredibly annoyed by how her interview on Dateline seemed to be edited together to make her look like some kind of insane sexual deviant rather than someone who made a series of really stupid decisions. Not exactly objective reporting, there, NBC. Last I heard, the two of them were married and living happily together, and I remember thinking, "Good for them on proving everyone wrong." even if I never supported their relationship in the first place.
That whole travesty was an obvious witchburning circus from the get-go. Yeah, she made some terrible mistakes in judgement though.
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I'm kinda hoping Rin and Aoki get together in the end as well, hopefully minus all the illegal sex or jail time.
Maybe an epilog, years later....
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Old 2008-03-25, 01:30   Link #829
Anh_Minh
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Hm. Thinking of the children is nice, listening to their opinion is certainly important, but I also understand why one wouldn't want to let them make all the decisions. Even and especially when those decisions are going to shape their lives.
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Old 2008-03-25, 02:31   Link #830
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Hm. Thinking of the children is nice, listening to their opinion is certainly important, but I also understand why one wouldn't want to let them make all the decisions. Even and especially when those decisions are going to shape their lives.
Agreed. We don't want another Traci Lords coming along disrupting things.

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Old 2008-03-25, 03:04   Link #831
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Then again, Rin seems to be the brains of the outfit. Maybe she should take guardianship of Reiji and Aoki...
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Old 2008-03-25, 05:20   Link #832
Mykas
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[QUOTE]Risking a knife to the gut to preserve a stranger's pocket change isn't the same as being the moral support of a kid you actually know personally. If the father could bring in his lawyer, I don't see why Rin couldn't have her teacher.QUOTE]

Actually my point was there was no violent crime no risk of a knife, that would have been out of character. Ignoring someone elses trouble was in character. As for why she couldn't bring her teacher? as I pointed out, to them children's opions have no value at all. There may be some in Asian culture that would value the opinion of a child but they are the exception not the rule. Parents often arrange marriages, decide carreer paths and basicly rule childrens lives even today, if you look at many manga you can see the situation of adults still living with thier parents especially females long past the time we would consider normal in the west. For Aoki to go to the meeting was extremely intrusive, for him to have actually had the gall to ask what Rin thought was over the top by thier cultural standards. (Please keep in mind this is based on what I have seen and experienced, I didn't grow up with it and I am not a sociologist who is an expert these are just observations) I think instead of personalizing the story and criticizing the characters we disagree with we should step back and take a look at why the characters did what they did.
I remember my first shock in manga was reading a story where a pair of parents had both left behind thier teenage daughter to fend for herself because they had gotten remaried and she was inconvenient to them, and yet both parents still wielded tremendous power over the girl and her behavior. It seemed that the only value children had for the parents was what good they could produce for them and in that way the children were much the same as a chair or a tv set to be used when convenient and to sit silently doing nothing when not needed.
Btw please don't think these are my personal views just my observations and understanding of the way things work in east Asia.
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Old 2008-03-25, 06:36   Link #833
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Then again, Rin seems to be the brains of the outfit. Maybe she should take guardianship of Reiji and Aoki...
Nah she just looks smart. She's pretty mentally unstable. Though Reiji is the same. Aoki is a bit naive atm, but he'll figure something out...I hope.
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Old 2008-03-25, 08:40   Link #834
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Nah she just looks smart. She's pretty mentally unstable. Though Reiji is the same. Aoki is a bit naive atm, but he'll figure something out...I hope.
I thought all women are?

I am joking!

Don't hit me.
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Old 2008-03-25, 09:06   Link #835
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I just read through the English translated version of KNJ, and I found it very interesting. I couldn't agree more with what Lunar Archavist said about the dispute between Reiji and Roku over Rin. They claim they're doing what's "in the child's best interest", but in the end it was their own interests they were protecting. Whether this was intentional or not, it was extremely selfish on both their parts. But what was even more insulting toward Rin was how they talked about her like she wasn't even there. The lawyer was the most amusing of all. She could give two shits about Rin's needs or interests, she's just there earning her paycheck, but that's to be expected though. My opinion for Aoki however, went up significantly. He could have used the trump card of telling about the marks on Rin's neck, but he held his tongue. In the end, he had no concrete evidence that Reiji did this to Rin. Aoki would have only isolated Rin further by mentioning this. But where Aoki was really smart was how he told Rin to speak her mind and make her feelings be heard. Although Reiji might be whack job (unbeknownst to Rin), she still loved him and she didn't want to be separated from him. Whether or not this is good for Rin in long run, depends on if Reiji comes to his senses and stops treating her as a replacement for Aki. It'll be interesting to see how this works out.
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Old 2008-03-25, 14:21   Link #836
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Lunar Archivist, you have once again enlightened us with your words of wisdom on this particular matter, many thanks for taking your time doing so, I said this because after reading your posts I actually see more clear what's happening.

But like some said in previous post, we're just humans, and therefore our paths will be filled with all sort of obstacles, some may get past them, some may fall, but if you fall and get up, then you have conquered it and thus becomes a valuble lesson in life.

We saw that Aoki has bumped his head many, many times before realizing what's truly important and that's one of the things that makes you a grown up; as for Reiji he's more like growing down, he just can't get up from the obstacle that was the loss of Aki, yes it may sound harsh, but isn't overcoming difficult situations part of growing up? My only hope is that after this dramatical encounter and with the possibility of losing Rin, he wakes up from his delusional and sick (excuse my french) intentions towards her.

As for Rin I don't know what gonna be of her, this "it could have been my fault that my mother almost died when I was born" thing, has left Rin mental state on floors, as she feels guilty for it, and to make matters worst, Aoki is paying the price for "butting in family affairs", let's hope Shirai can save him in time.
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Last edited by Inanimated_object; 2008-03-25 at 14:58. Reason: gram. errors
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Old 2008-03-25, 17:58   Link #837
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Mykas View Post

Actually my point was there was no violent crime no risk of a knife, that would have been out of character. Ignoring someone elses trouble was in character.
In character? Out of character? For who? What are you talking about?

An hypothetical purse snatcher running away is already a delinquent. While it's not certain he has a knife he'll pull on you if you interfere, it's still worth considering.

And my main point was that interfering in the business of strangers isn't the same as interfering in the business of someone you know and like. Not being the sort to do the former doesn't mean you won't do the latter.

Quote:
As for why she couldn't bring her teacher? as I pointed out, to them children's opions have no value at all. There may be some in Asian culture that would value the opinion of a child but they are the exception not the rule. Parents often arrange marriages, decide carreer paths and basicly rule childrens lives even today, if you look at many manga you can see the situation of adults still living with thier parents especially females long past the time we would consider normal in the west.
Yes, and if you look at mangas a lot of people have superpowers. This is not a good indicator of what life in Japan really is, especially as, for the story to be interesting, it has to be exceptional or at least exaggerated. While Asian parents may be more involved in their children's lives, and more authoritative, than western ones, it doesn't mean kids live under their absolute, uncaring, unflinching tyranny. There's also no uniformity to parental behavior, either in the west or east. What goes on in one family may be the polar opposite of what goes on in another, even if they're neighbors. And neither has to be anything like the stereotype.

Quote:
For Aoki to go to the meeting was extremely intrusive, for him to have actually had the gall to ask what Rin thought was over the top by thier cultural standards. (Please keep in mind this is based on what I have seen and experienced, I didn't grow up with it and I am not a sociologist who is an expert these are just observations)
He was there because Rin wanted him, and because Reiji knew better than to antagonize her at this point. Sure, Reiji and Roku may have found it intrusive. But so what? And why shouldn't Aoki intrude, if he considers it worth the trouble?

Quote:
I think instead of personalizing the story and criticizing the characters we disagree with we should step back and take a look at why the characters did what they did.
And I really have no idea what you mean by that. The story makes no sense except from a personal point of view. Everyone in it acts for his or her personal reasons.

Sure, culture may change the meaning of their behaviors somewhat. But in this particular case... How? I suppose you could say it makes Aoki's presence less weird, since Japanese teachers are more involved with their students' personal lives than Western ones (I don't know about other countries, but France's teachers don't go around visiting their students' homes, for example...)

Quote:
I remember my first shock in manga was reading a story where a pair of parents had both left behind thier teenage daughter to fend for herself because they had gotten remaried and she was inconvenient to them, and yet both parents still wielded tremendous power over the girl and her behavior. It seemed that the only value children had for the parents was what good they could produce for them and in that way the children were much the same as a chair or a tv set to be used when convenient and to sit silently doing nothing when not needed.
Btw please don't think these are my personal views just my observations and understanding of the way things work in east Asia.
It's a manga, not real life. Don't draw any deep conclusions about Japanese societies from it. Heck, in the damn news, here, we heard recently about a mother who killed her own children. Nobody'd conclude that it's normal for French mothers to kill their babies, would they?
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Old 2008-03-25, 18:32   Link #838
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At least until recently, Japanese teachers were deeply involved in their student's lives and parents would quake if the teacher didn't approve of some family life situation. Being called to a parent-teacher conference was terrifying for the parents.

Unfortunately (in most cases), the teachers were hamstrung because of educational reforms a few years ago and in many cases, the parents have NOT stepped up to the plate. So much so that authorities are reconsidering many of these reforms.

Most anime and mangaka though, grew up in the older school ways and that's why you see it still played out in those forms of entertainment. Almost all "daily life" anime/manga like this is nostalgic in some sense.
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Old 2008-03-25, 21:19   Link #839
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
At least until recently, Japanese teachers were deeply involved in their student's lives and parents would quake if the teacher didn't approve of some family life situation. Being called to a parent-teacher conference was terrifying for the parents.

Unfortunately (in most cases), the teachers were hamstrung because of educational reforms a few years ago and in many cases, the parents have NOT stepped up to the plate. So much so that authorities are reconsidering many of these reforms.

Most anime and mangaka though, grew up in the older school ways and that's why you see it still played out in those forms of entertainment. Almost all "daily life" anime/manga like this is nostalgic in some sense.
This is particularly important in my opinion, because before the characters actions and motavations seem logical to us, they need to seem logical to miss watashiya. So if she was going thru these types of teachers, then it would make sense for these types of teachers to be in her story. But this story has both kinds of teachers, pre and post reform teachers (in mentality) shiro-chan is most certainly post reform, and dear daisuke is pre reform. Of course not because of any other reason than his personality I guess. But anyways Miss watashiyta already has the characters completely figured out. But this little tidbits gives me some insight on how a character like daisuke is created.

Also about the childrens desires. Most children are not allowed to make choices because they lack the ability to see in the future. If you ask a child rins age, if she would rather get a grand estate, valued in the millions, or a bunch of sexy clothes, a large amount of pocky, and the man of her dreams, I am positive she will choose the dream man package. Why, because she can only think about now, the estate has no value to her, because she does not understand it. I understand it is all about her choice, the ability for her to exercise her choice. But most grown ups feel she will make the wrong choice, so they make it for her. Staying with reiji is the best emotionally, daisuke sexually, and pops finacially. So Which is the best? Can we decided that? Can the characters decided that? I think not, only rin can, based on her emotional state at that very moment. When rin grows up, she may think, kuso I made the wrong choice. But I am positive it will feel better if she made the wrong choice, than if someone else made the right choice for her (without her input). Wow I guess I am just rambling now, lol. Well it all boils down to, adults do not let kids make choices because they do not understand, and I think rin should be permitted to choose.
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Old 2008-03-26, 06:37   Link #840
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For argument's sake I would say that Rin do understand what riches are (but she knows a lot of other things as well for her age ~ blame Reiji).

In a situation like this I would say that you have to consider what the child thinks as well as opposed to what the adults do. IRL such a small child won't be able to make the correct decision (due to the temptation of candy on the side) but for this story I assume that Rin definitely have a clear picture of the situation (and I suspect that she knows that Reiji has been crossing the line with their skinship). Yet the reason why she did choose Reiji was because she just can't see the stranger as a father. Be it anger for what he did to her mother or whether she just doesn't want to be torn away from her friends, she make her mind knowing all about the situation.

Nut of course, it's very hard to expect a real child of her age to do the same, no matter how smart they are.

I also can't see how leaving it up to the adults in this case will help. Reiji arguing with her father will bring no conclusion, and worse yet if it has to go to court. Aoki has no right to input his own opinions, so all that is left IS Rin to decide (and the only person any of the adults will listen to).
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