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Old 2011-09-19, 17:56   Link #41
Slick_rick
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
I think all that's cool on an intellectual level, and maybe even at an emotional one. But narratively specking, if she ultimately doesn't act, she will be swapped away but the narrative. To put in English. What if she didn't want her brothers to risk their lives (and maybe even sacrifice themselves) for her sake? Even if she did feel this way, unless she said anything, she would be unable to change things.
While I think her inaction speaks to the opposite. That she might actually liked them risking their lives for herself, making things harder for them, and playing innocent. Now, if she had to act I think she would, for instance when she told Kanba how she missed him and Shou not being around and once he started getting flustered yelled just kidding! I think those are actions that define her character. Now that part of her character so far has had much relation to the overall plot but that's different that saying she doesn't have a defined character.

Her character relation to the overall plot though I think is reflected through the Penguin Queen. That where we see her action through commanding the brother overtly.

I think she is a proper character, I just don't think she's the type of character most people relate to well and therein lies the problem.
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Old 2011-09-19, 17:58   Link #42
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by Slick_rick View Post
I think she is a proper character, I just don't think she's the type of character most people relate to well and therein lies the problem.
We'll have to agree to disagree then. I do think she has potential though.


Well, all this Himari talk was interesting, but I think is time we go back to Shouma.

I don't know if we're allowed to post novel spoiler here, but here is bit I found interesting and worth posting:

Spoiler for novel:

So, any ideas what he's talking about?
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Last edited by Kazu-kun; 2011-09-19 at 18:15.
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Old 2011-09-19, 18:16   Link #43
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I've only read the first chapter of the novel so far but yeah I definitely got the notion that Shouma is a lot darker from his thoughts than he may appear in the anime. So while Shouma is playing the regular guy now. I definitely think that is going to change as we learn more about him.


I mentioned this before but also from novel chapter 1

Spoiler for Clarification for scene in first episode of the anime:
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Old 2011-09-19, 20:41   Link #44
faburosumakusu
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So far, Shouma is my favorite character. However, as many of you already said, I also feel like he is hiding something. I also get the feeling that his revelation will be the most surprising one (may be tied in to why his parents disappeared?).
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Old 2011-10-15, 01:07   Link #45
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This guy has been pretty emo as of late.
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Old 2011-10-23, 10:56   Link #46
Kirarakim
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Not enough talk about Shouma lately

Anyways I can't take credit for this since I saw it on another blog but when I think about it does really make perfect sense. So why is Shouma largely ineffective and despite trying never quite making it. Possibly the only thing he did manage to do was get through to Ringo and save her from being hit by the car (but then he did get hit by the car instead).

If you pay attention unlike No 1, 3 and Esmeralda; Shouma's Penguin is often off doing something completely different from Shouma.

When Shouma runs in to try to save Ringo in the last episode, No. 2 isn't even there to help, instead Shouma trips on a bottle No. 2 threw on the ground.

From Super Frog Saves Tokyo


"My enemy is, among other things, the me inside me.


Hence Shouma's real enemy here is himself. He's burdened by the guilt of what his parents did, thinking it is somehow his sin. And until Shouma can get over this (hopefully with the help of Ringo) I think Shouma will continue to be largely ineffective and not in line with his penguin (or really himself).

Of course Kanba also considers what their parents did their sin but unlike Shouma he still fights against and defies that fate (hence why Kanba & No. 1 do work together).
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Old 2011-10-23, 11:19   Link #47
Kazu-kun
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Hence Shouma's real enemy here is himself. He's burdened by the guilt of what his parents did, thinking it is somehow his sin. And until Shouma can get over this (hopefully with the help of Ringo) I think Shouma will continue to be largely ineffective and not in line with his penguin (or really himself).

Of course Kanba also considers what their parents did their sin but unlike Shouma he still fights against and defies that fate (hence why Kanba & No. 1 do work together).
You know, I understand this on a conceptual level, and I even agree with it to some extent, but in the end it just looks like a cheap plot contrivance to make Shouma look like a clown for the sake of it.

I know Ikuhara is very surrealist and symbolic. But there's a heavy arbitrary nature inherent to this kind of storytelling, and I feel Ikuhara sometimes just doesn't know how to deal with it. A lot of what happens to Shouma, for instance, is awfully arbitrary most of the time, instead of a natural consequence of his actions. A bit of this a cool, but when you go to the extremes it just comes across as cheap.

All in all, I think that Ikuhara is the kind of creator that would need some restrain in order to be better, as contradicting as this might seem.
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Old 2011-10-23, 11:27   Link #48
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Shouma is actually my favorite character in the story (Ringo is 2nd). Fifteen episodes in I can now definitely say that. Perhaps because I like rooting for the under dog.

Does Shouma sometimes come off as clownish, well maybe but I feel to not be perfect, to mess up, to not always save the day is human. When Shouma does get over his guilt (and become more in line with No 2) and actually does accomplish what he is after than it will be all the more rewarding for me because then we will see his character arc come full circle. It will have more meaning for all the times he did fail.


Quote:
A lot of what happens to Shouma, for instance, is awfully arbitrary most of the time, instead of a natural consequence of his actions.
But you see I don't feel it is if you do understand the symbolism behind it. If it's just there to make Shouma a laughing stock than I agree with you it's pointless. But if there is a reason for it then for me it becomes something compelling.
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Old 2011-10-23, 11:50   Link #49
Kazu-kun
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But you see I don't feel it is if you do understand the symbolism behind it. If it's just there to make Shouma a laughing stock than I agree with you it's pointless. But if there is a reason for it then for me it becomes something compelling.
My point is that if the author goes to the extremes with these storytelling devices, he risks overwhelming the audience even if they understand the symbolism.

I'm not saying Ikuhara shouldn't do things this way. I'm just saying he should learn to dial down on this a bit sometimes. It's ok to use symbolism to make a point about Shouma's fate; it's not ok to go to the point he comes across as a looney tunes reject.
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Old 2011-10-23, 12:09   Link #50
Kirarakim
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It's not ok to go to the point he comes across as a looney tunes reject.
Well okay but I guess I don't see Shouma like that. Somehow I even find the fact that he tries even if he messes up endearing.
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Old 2011-10-23, 12:24   Link #51
Kazu-kun
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Well okay but I guess I don't see Shouma like that.
I like him too, but a lot of people feel he's a joke and they understand the symbolism too.

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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Somehow I even find the fact that he tries even if he messes up endearing.
But most of the time is not him messing up, but rather fate (ie Ikuhara) screwing him over. That's what makes him a joke, not the fact that he's ineffective.
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Old 2011-10-23, 12:37   Link #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
You know, I understand this on a conceptual level, and I even agree with it to some extent, but in the end it just looks like a cheap plot contrivance to make Shouma look like a clown for the sake of it.
At this juncture, Shouma's role in the story can be summed up as this:

1. Buttmonkey AKA Comedic Relief.

2. Occasional foil for Kanba and/or Ringo

And... that's pretty much it.


Not saying I dislike the guy, just that I don't necessarily think that Ikuhara has any grand plans for Sho.

That's fine. Putting aside his more emo moments, Sho is probably the closet thing this anime has to a normal teenage guy, amongst its primary cast. So it's good to have him there to act as a foil to the much more headstrong/intense Kanba and Ringo.


Also, at least Sho's more well-defined than Himari.

If I had to rank the four main protagonists of Penguin Drum from "most well-defined characterization" to "least well-defined characterization" it would be...

1. Kanba
2. Ringo
3. Shouma
4. Himari
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Old 2011-10-23, 12:41   Link #53
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
You know, I understand this on a conceptual level, and I even agree with it to some extent, but in the end it just looks like a cheap plot contrivance to make Shouma look like a clown for the sake of it.

I know Ikuhara is very surrealist and symbolic. But there's a heavy arbitrary nature inherent to this kind of storytelling, and I feel Ikuhara sometimes just doesn't know how to deal with it. A lot of what happens to Shouma, for instance, is awfully arbitrary most of the time, instead of a natural consequence of his actions. A bit of this a cool, but when you go to the extremes it just comes across as cheap.

All in all, I think that Ikuhara is the kind of creator that would need some restrain in order to be better, as contradicting as this might seem.
I fail to see how Shoma is made to look like a clown - You're obviously thinking of Shouma's friend - THAT guy is a clown and made a laughingstock of every single time he shows up.I fail to see how Shoma's treatment equals that. I see Shouma instead as the Everyman, the "normal person" thrust into this situation, as someone we're supposed to pity/identify with, and who doesn't go along with the sillyness that his friend tries to push him into.

If people here are laughing at Shouma constantly (as that word laughingstock implies is happening), that's not a problem with Ikuhara's portrayal of him, that mean's we have people here who enjoy laughing at other people's misfortunes - which is not a good thing. I didn't laugh at Shoma at all in this episode, though I did laugh at his friend.

I also think, in a series in which things are told to us out of chronological order, and things repeatedly that don't seem that important become much more important later (ie diary, Momoka, etc) it's hard to call most things definitely arbitrary at this point. After all, A famous movie star like Yuri knowing Tabuki seemed pretty arbitrary for a long time, didn't it? It took a little while before we got to that, so by relation, it makes sense that it may take us a little longer to see why even bigger things are not just randomly inserted.

Real life, by the way, does seem pretty arbitrary at times, and sometime it takes a little while to see the importance of why things happen.

Last edited by Spoonroo; 2011-10-23 at 12:51. Reason: Used wrong word
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Old 2011-10-23, 13:02   Link #54
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
At this juncture, Shouma's role in the story can be summed up as this:

1. Buttmonkey AKA Comedic Relief.

2. Occasional foil for Kanba and/or Ringo

And... that's pretty much it.
I pretty much agree that this is how Shouma looks now, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Not saying I dislike the guy, just that I don't necessarily think that Ikuhara has any grand plans for Sho.
Here I disagree. If Ikuhara didn't have a "grand" plan for him there would be no need to make him so conflicted. His internal conflict is what makes him inactive/ineffective, but eventually the moment for his personal epiphany will come. The more that moment of personal realization is delayed, the more likely his action will take a central role at the turning point of the series( ie climax).

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
"least well-defined characterization"

1. Kanba
2. Ringo
3. Shouma
4. Himari
I think we have different concepts of what a well defined character is. For me, the core element of a character is the internal conflict. Motivations are important, because they make the characters act, but it's the internal conflict what makes those actions dramatic, and overcoming this conflic is what makes a character grow. All that concidering, my list would be like this:

1. Ringo
2. Shouma
3. Kanba
4. Yuri
5. Himari
6. Tabuki and Mazako
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Old 2011-10-23, 13:10   Link #55
Kirarakim
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Not saying I dislike the guy, just that I don't necessarily think that Ikuhara has any grand plans for Sho.
I completely disagree and I think it is pretty obvious that Ikuhara does have a grand plan for Shouma.


As Kazu says why present Shouma's conflict at all (his guilt and self loathing) if it was not going to get resolved?

Also Shouma is obviously connected to Ringo. This is something the story keeps beating us over the head with (even having Shouma turn up at the same hot spring as Ringo in the seemingly most silly & contrived fashion).

I actually think it is because Shouma needs Ringo to get over this guilt and self loathing so he can accomplish his part of the story.


Also I will say while Kanba comes off more affective than Shouma at the moment (he is actually doing something); his actions are ones where he doesn't think of the consequences. It's very possible that Shouma will have to be the one to fix whatever Kanba is doing now.
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Old 2011-10-23, 15:20   Link #56
mellomarie
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i really like sho--him and kanba are tied as my favourite characters.

i definitely think there's a grand plan for shouma.

sho is supposed to be the archetypal passive brother, but he was the forefront of the action in the first half of the show. even if he was "failing" to get the penguindrum, or now failing to save ringo, he's constantly striving to get out of that role & it's admirable.

the most interesting thing with shoma is the constant internal battle. his motivations aren't one hundred percent clear cut. sure, he loves and wants to save his sister himari but at the same time he was always against using ringo as a means to an end, and eventually you can see he genuinely cares for her. compartively, kanba motivations are very clear cut & he's stubborn about it.

that in part may have to do with why sho's penguin is not in sync with him, and is more of a hindrance than anything.

the opening also shows that sho/himari are going separate ways from kanba. the most obvious reason is that kanba will go his independent way, but shoma may also find his own path as well.
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