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View Poll Results: Hyouka - Episode 11 Rating
Perfect 10 20 28.99%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 25 36.23%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 17 24.64%
7 out of 10 : Good 3 4.35%
6 out of 10 : Average 4 5.80%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 0 0%
Voters: 69. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-07-04, 11:32   Link #81
Haak
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There were moments where I was actually thinking "Isn't this a little too srsbsns?" but I did generally find Oreki's anger at being manipulated justifiable.

Well my stab in the dark theory didn't turn out to be true but I can't say I mind since this was a lot better. A great way to develop Oreki's character and hammer the point to the viewers that the MC isn't the typical cliché detective that manages to solve everything on his own and needs people around him to help him out. Even Oreki has his weaknesses and apparently manipulative women like Irisu is one of them.

And I'm getting major Karma Houdini vibes with Oreki's sister so i hope she gets just desserts...
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Old 2012-07-04, 12:37   Link #82
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Originally Posted by FlareKnight View Post
Apparently she never watched the movie. No clever script was going to save that sad display of acting . Should have gone with the last girl's idea of just a mess of a story where almost everyone dies. At least the bad acting might actually work in that setting.
You're quite right I think. It'll turn in "so bad it's good" though, which I think they won't like it much.

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Originally Posted by Flower View Post
it is another thing to be inspired to do this because one feels moved to help someone in trouble (as Irisu did) and then manipulate and wound others. That is - if you are close to her she will do you a favor and hurt others around her to do you the favor.
Edit: I retract the below question as Flower clarified his opinion in later post below. Agree with him there.

I agree with almost everything you said except that bit. I still think it's pretty clear Irisu doesn't try to help Hougou, as pointed out by (presumably) Tomoe. Her intention is good, but it's "make the movie a success" and not "Help out Hougou who couldn't tell the class they messed up her script." She did not even try to denied it when Tomoe say she doesn't really care about Hougou. It started to seem like I'm the only one holding this opinion though. Can you (or someone) explain why you think so?

Last edited by Hyper; 2012-07-04 at 16:19.
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Old 2012-07-04, 12:53   Link #83
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NCP, my reply to you is fairly long, so I'm putting it in spoiler space below.

Spoiler for My reply to NCP:



Quote:
Originally Posted by Flower View Post
Well, after watching ep 11 all I have to say regarding Irisu is "I told you so." But in the same light I think Oreki's older sister is equally manipulative, though in a different way and degree tempered by knowing what things are more important...
So having a lame student movie with a displeasing ending (based on a scenario that the students voted against) is Ok?


Quote:
It is one thing to be "heartless" and put achieving goals and fulfilling responsibilities above all else - truly an "ends justify the means" p.o.v.; it is another thing to be inspired to do this because one feels moved to help someone in trouble (as Irisu did) and then manipulate and wound others.
And you think it's better to be totally heartless?

So you think it's better to be like, say, Kyubey or Lex Luthor than to be like Irisu?

Wow, Flower, I'm genuinely surprised by what you're saying here.

And I also completely disagree with you on it.

It's the truly heartless people that are the most dangerous, because you can't appeal to them emotionally or persuade them to feel empathy or sympathy for the people that they hurt. You can't change them. You'd have an easier time getting through to Irisu than you would getting through to Kyubey or Lex Luthor.
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Old 2012-07-04, 14:05   Link #84
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
...So having a lame student movie with a displeasing ending (based on a scenario that the students voted against) is Ok?
Never said that was "okay" per se. This is not an either/or approach to things. Irisu shows considerable intelligence in the eps (I think to that all will agree, at least).

Quote:
And you think it's better to be totally heartless?

So you think it's better to be like, say, Kyubey or Lex Luthor than to be like Irisu?

Wow, Flower, I'm genuinely surprised by what you're saying here.

And I also completely disagree with you on it.

It's the truly heartless people that are the most dangerous, because you can't appeal to them emotionally or persuade them to feel empathy or sympathy for the people that they hurt. You can't change them. You'd have an easier time getting through to Irisu than you would getting through to Kyubey or Lex Luthor.
Have you ever met and interacted and been directly "burned" by a truly heartless person? I have not. They are rarer than hen's teeth. The only real life ones I can think of were accounts of certain people inflicting torture in some Communist prisons (prisons in Romania in particular - I knew a person who had the misfortune to be subjected to incredibly horrible physical, psychological and systematic personality-breakdown methods over the course of months) - such things could to my mind only be labelled as "demonic" in the sense that they were something that could only be conceived and developed by a being with an intellect that was not human.

But I have met and interacted with a fair number of people (to varying degrees of inflicting pain, damage and what not) who have outright malformed, crippled and even driven to insanity and suicide by others who excused, "looked the other way", or justified, etc. their actions largely because it was "in the name of a good cause". I myself have been directly affected like this too.

The examples you gave of utterly ruthless characters were fictional - i.e. Kyuubey and Lex Luther. The references I was referring to were based on my own experiences.

I have never met a real life example (i.e. first hand xp) of a Kyuubey, but I have been told directly by another who experienced it (i.e. direct second hand xp) that there are extremely rare RL examples of such people - who incidentally often either end their lives in insanity or suicide themselves or do a complete 180 and head in the opposite direction).

I have met half a dozen people (first hand knowledge and xp) who inflicted horrible damage on others of varying sorts - and every single one felt that they were doing the right thing.

Hope this makes things a little clearer why I would say the things I did. And again, credit goes to the writers/presenters of Hyouka for being able to so accurately display a person like this. Irisu is not a "demon", by any means. She is very human. Neither is she totally and completely "bad". But what she did to Oreki was wrong. Period. Plain and simple. There is no getting around that. And to my mind she did so because she felt that the desired end result was needed and necessary for other purposes. That in of itself is understandable, of course. But does that make what she did "right" in any way? In my opinion it does not.

Ah well. It's fine if you don't see eye to eye with me on this though Triple R. Sometimes people just don't see certain things the same way.
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Old 2012-07-04, 15:00   Link #85
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Agreed. Which is why I'm disappointed that this anime chose to portray a person who's willing to be a little bit manipulative in order to get things done, in an entirely negatively light.

I'm going to make a confession here to try to better explain where I'm coming from. In high school, I was a Student Council President (and in College, I was involved in Student Councils in various executive positions). Managing people, especially fellow teenagers, is not always easy. A lot don't want to do any more school-related activities than what is absolutely necessary, and so it can be hard to get anything worthwhile off the ground at all.

Irisu's approach (trying to avoid offending people who's ideas you think just won't work, appealing to people's pride and self-esteem, twisting arms a bit) is often the only way you get anywhere, and I'm not sure if the writer for Hyouka understands that.
Eh, I think even leaders have different styles; how you navigate the demands placed upon you defines your character. I was also Student Council President and head of other clubs through all my time at school, but this sort of approach or tactic has never seemed right to me. I tried to appeal to people genuinely. That has carried with me through to my career, has lead to me quitting previous jobs, and so on. Manipulating people to get what you want may be "the way of the world", but you don't have to choose to play that game, and I think you can still find success.

I'm not sure that the author doesn't understand why Irisu acts the way she does. But that also doesn't mean that he (the author) can't make his own moral/ethical judgement about whether it's ultimately right or wrong. And, in the end, it's on reflection that Oreki -- after he's calmed down and had some time to look back -- will have to come to his own conclusions about it, both in terms of how to detect this sort of behaviour when he's on the receiving end, and also to resist the temptation to do the same to others if the opportunity presents itself. Even though the narrative may portray things negatively at the moment, that doesn't mean there won't be points he has to concede on reflection later. How he reacts to this situation, and how he chooses to let it affect his future behaviour, are absolutely key.
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Old 2012-07-04, 15:20   Link #86
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Originally Posted by NCP View Post
Consider this. As someone else pointed out, Irisu is a very "the ends justify the means" type of person. She is willing to do almost whatever it takes (in this case manipulating pretty much everyone around her) to get the job done. She admitted as much when she said "I was not in a position to let the project fail" after being called out by (presumably) Oreki's sister. Of course, when the "ends" are a success, people usually tend to forget all about the "means". And this is exactly what happens. As was shown in episode 10, everyone loved the movie. In fact, they were going to have a party to celebrate its success. Now, don't you think that if the narrative were really attempting to cast Irisu in a negative light, then it would have made the movie a failure instead, in spite of Irisu's best efforts? It would have been a nice "Hahaha that's what you get for being a manipulative ****" kind of statement. But that isn't what happened. As it turns out, at the end of the day, Irisu wasn't affected negatively at all by what transpired with Oreki.
I think you're wrong there. I'm reminded of Bujold's distinction between honor and reputation. About how the worst was to have your reputation soaring while your honor lies broken at your feet. That's what happened to her (on a small scale), I think. She salvaged the project. It's a success. Woo. But she used dirty means, Houtarou got hurt, and she feels guilty. She can't enjoy her victory.

Quote:
Furthermore, you say that her portrayal was very "black-and-white". Once again, I must respectfully disagree. Notice that during their final confrontation, Oreki never once accuses her of wrong-doing. He does not blame her for the fact that he feels like crap. He says nothing like "You did something horrible and should feel bad." He simply asks her to admit whether she was lying or not when they first met in the cafe. Oreki was not aggressively pressing her to admit she was wrong. And how does she respond? With some stone-cold indifference.
I don't think it was indifference. I think that, true to form, she reached for something to say, true or false, that would resolve the situation - and came up empty. The words to make Houtarou feel good about being used don't exist, or maybe she just couldn't think of them any more than I can. So she... froze. Neither confessing nor denying nor justifying nor apologizing. From his point of view, it wasn't the worst thing she could have done, but it's not close to good, either.

Quote:
And finally, that chatroom scene. While even I'll admit that it was a pretty damning scene, I'll once again say that any negative impressions of Irisu were brought about primarily by her own character faults. Notice how till the end she continues to play both Hongou and Oreki's sister. Not only that but she lets her cheekiness get the better of her. Luckily, Hongou is clueless and Irisu is able to brush it off with a simple "Nevermind". But unfortunately for Irisu, Oreki's sis isn't so easy to fool. Irisu left open a hole ("There wouldn't be any point in bluffing...) and Oreki's sis just plows right through it. But notice how not only does the narrative allow Irisu to attempt to justify herself, it also leaves things quite ambiguous and allows viewers to decide whether or not her justification holds any weight. Oreki's sis does not reprimand her further or call her defense BS. Instead she simply logs out. Once again, I would hardly call that heavy handed.
Not really disagreeing, but her interlocutor, who presumably aimed Irisu at the Classics Club and told her how to make them dance, is hardly the best person to fault her for anything anyway.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And you think it's better to be totally heartless?

So you think it's better to be like, say, Kyubey or Lex Luthor than to be like Irisu?

Wow, Flower, I'm genuinely surprised by what you're saying here.

And I also completely disagree with you on it.

It's the truly heartless people that are the most dangerous, because you can't appeal to them emotionally or persuade them to feel empathy or sympathy for the people that they hurt. You can't change them. You'd have an easier time getting through to Irisu than you would getting through to Kyubey or Lex Luthor.
It's a common theme in fiction. Heroes, even when outmatched, win because they fight for more than themselves. Villains are limited by their own self interest. You can't appeal to their emotions, but you can reason with them, even if your argument is "desist or I'll put a bullet through your head". Heroes, OTOH, are notoriously unreasonable. There's no telling what they'll do.
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Old 2012-07-04, 15:43   Link #87
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Have you ever met and interacted and been directly "burned" by a truly heartless person?
To the best of my knowledge, no. But there are actual sociopaths in this world. People with antisocial personality disorder. These people probably come the closest to what's commonly meant by "heartless".

Now, if you read over what Wiki has to say about people with antisocial personality disorder, do you think that Irisu is worse than that?


Quote:

But I have met and interacted with a fair number of people (to varying degrees of inflicting pain, damage and what not) who have outright malformed, crippled and even driven to insanity and suicide by others who excused, "looked the other way", or justified, etc. their actions largely because it was "in the name of a good cause". I myself have been directly affected like this too.
Well, keep in mind that people can lie. A person can say they're doing something for a good cause when their true motivations might be different.

I don't think this is the case with Irisu, though, because she seemed genuinely disturbed by Oreki becoming upset with her. A sociopath, or a completely insincere person, wouldn't have cared about Oreki if s/he was in Irisu's shoes.


Quote:
The examples you gave of utterly ruthless characters were fictional - i.e. Kyuubey and Lex Luther.
Yes, because Irisu herself is fictional.


Quote:
Hope this makes things a little clearer why I would say the things I did. And again, credit goes to the writers/presenters of Hyouka for being able to so accurately display a person like this. Irisu is not a "demon", by any means. She is very human. Neither is she totally and completely "bad". But what she did to Oreki was wrong.
She asked him to come up with a good solution to this murder mystery. Was that a wrong thing to ask of him? If so, why?

In a sense, what Hongou originally wanted is no longer relevant, because her original idea didn't involve a murder, whereas the movie now does. That's a significant change in the mystery that calls for a different approach. There'd be no benefit to anybody if Oreki had simply arrived at where Hongou was.

Personally, if I was in Irisu's shoes, I probably would have just went with the horror movie theory and turned it into a cheesy slasher film. Clearly, that sort of flashiness is what the students wanted anyway.

But I can understand Irisu not being satisfied with that, and feeling a need for a good mystery solution that incorporates a murder.


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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Eh, I think even leaders have different styles; how you navigate the demands placed upon you defines your character. I was also Student Council President and head of other clubs through all my time at school, but this sort of approach or tactic has never seemed right to me.
So what would you have done in Irisu's shoes?

Personally, I don't think Oreki would have responded well to "Can you finish writing this movie script?" Is simply asking him for his opinion on what the solution is to this murder mystery really such a horrible act?

But I will say this, upon further reflection - I think Irisu goofed in saying (or at least implying) "Can you figure out what the writer was aiming for here?". Instead, she should have said "If you can come up with a good solution to this murder mystery, that'll be great, even if it isn't exactly the same as what the writer intended".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post

It's a common theme in fiction. Heroes, even when outmatched, win because they fight for more than themselves. Villains are limited by their own self interest. You can't appeal to their emotions, but you can reason with them, even if your argument is "desist or I'll put a bullet through your head". Heroes, OTOH, are notoriously unreasonable. There's no telling what they'll do.
Well, equating Irisu with a hero is going to the other extreme, imo.
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Old 2012-07-04, 16:07   Link #88
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Hmm ... it seems that the difference in looking at this may come from our emphasis of angle (and maybe the person we are most "identifying with" or "trying to defend").

I am definitely approaching the story and the interaction between Irisu and Oreki from Oreki's p.o.v. You seem to be arguing for the moment from Irisu's - things like "if I was in Irisu's shoes" and asking others what they "would have done if they were in Irisu's shoes". When ReFl gave an answer what he would have done you commented that you did not feel it would have been effective.

And I guess for me the issue lies near this. The primary focus/issue in this situation (and I would even argue in many RL situations) should not be "effectiveness". Effectiveness is important, of course. But when faced with an issue of "should I manipulate and deceive this young man so that I can achieve the result I want so I can fulfill my responsibilities, live up to my reputation and look good in the eyes of others?" I feel that the choices she made were morally wrong.

And this was Irisu's main motive - Oreki's sister called her on it when she confronted her with trying to manipulate her as well and said: "you sure know how to help yourself under the pretext of helping someone else." To this Irisu in a somewhat agitated mode replied with: "my priority has always been to ensure the success of the project". If that doesn't spell it out Irisu's approach I don't know what else can.

There is nothing wrong with asking him to write the story. But that is not the issue I have a problem with. There was something wrong in the way in which she asked (if you can call it truly asking and not a manipulated conversation designed to achieve per-determined results).

I would even go a bit further. The author of the novels (of which the anime is a very good adaptation imo btw) does not outright "take sides" in this case, but he does spell out the fact that Irisu's main motive was self-serving at the end, so he does present the material from a certain perspective, and imo he spells out that such an approach is, in the end assessment, not one that is desirable. I happen to agree with that assessment.
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Old 2012-07-04, 17:51   Link #89
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You seem to be arguing for the moment from Irisu's - things like "if I was in Irisu's shoes" and asking others what they "would have done if they were in Irisu's shoes". When ReFl gave an answer what he would have done you commented that you did not feel it would have been effective.

And I guess for me the issue lies near this. The primary focus/issue in this situation (and I would even argue in many RL situations) should not be "effectiveness". Effectiveness is important, of course. But when faced with an issue of "should I manipulate and deceive this young man so that I can achieve the result I want so I can fulfill my responsibilities, live up to my reputation and look good in the eyes of others?" I feel that the choices she made were morally wrong.
Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head here. Character is best-defined when you're back up against a wall and seem to have no other options.

I think the big trap people get into in this sort of case is that they start to think they're more clever than they really are, and they don't really think through the emotional consequences of their actions (perhaps because, in previous situations, it didn't seem to have any visible negative consequences). Indeed, they are so focused on the goal (on "efficiency" at accomplishing the desired end) that they lose sight of everything else. Even in real life, this is typically rooted in pride and selfish conceit, as it was here. And the problem is that, when they get found out -- which almost always happens eventually -- people can't trust them anymore. Even the people who seem like their closest allies are always wondering "when are they going to turn on me?" That's the same fear that the manipulator themselves ends up living with, since they can't have faith in the goodness of others.

So anyway, to go back to the question that was asked, I wouldn't have played games to get the desired end. You make an earnest request, you explain the truth of the situation, and you hope for the best. If you fail, you fail together with your team, and not for lack of trying. Failure isn't so bad if you're working with people who support you. Irisu's problem now is that, at the end of the day, she's really got no one. Of course, all this is perspective that you gain as a result of your experiences. Irisu has some growing up to do as well, and this will be a valuable learning experience for her too -- provided she learns the right things from it.
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Old 2012-07-04, 21:06   Link #90
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Hmm ... it seems that the difference in looking at this may come from our emphasis of angle (and maybe the person we are most "identifying with" or "trying to defend").
I can identify with both Irisu and Oreki. However, Oreki hardly needs more people to identify with him - The narrative format alone ensures that plenty of people will identify with him and his position in the narrative. So in the interest of fairness, it makes sense to me for at least somebody on this thread to look at this from Irisu's perspective.


Quote:
And I guess for me the issue lies near this. The primary focus/issue in this situation (and I would even argue in many RL situations) should not be "effectiveness". Effectiveness is important, of course. But when faced with an issue of "should I manipulate and deceive this young man so that I can achieve the result I want so I can fulfill my responsibilities, live up to my reputation and look good in the eyes of others?" I feel that the choices she made were morally wrong.
I'm not sure if that's a fair assessment of Irisu's approach. There's plenty of reason to believe that Irisu is genuinely concerned about the welfare of other students.


Quote:
And this was Irisu's main motive - Oreki's sister called her on it when she confronted her with trying to manipulate her as well and said: "you sure know how to help yourself under the pretext of helping someone else." To this Irisu in a somewhat agitated mode replied with: "my priority has always been to ensure the success of the project". If that doesn't spell it out Irisu's approach I don't know what else can.
Well, of course that's her priority (as in, her "main goal"). Why shouldn't it be? Aiming to accomplish this priority while causing the least amount of problems for other students is a good goal. Now, Irisu probably could have done a better or less harmful job in how she went about trying to accomplish that goal, but the goal itself was right, imo.


Quote:
I would even go a bit further. The author of the novels (of which the anime is a very good adaptation imo btw) does not outright "take sides" in this case, but he does spell out the fact that Irisu's main motive was self-serving at the end,
How is it self-serving? She didn't get all the glory from this. Ironically, Oreki did (initially, I mean - Before the other Classics Club members grilled him on it).

While I'm sure personal self-esteem factored into Irisu's actions, I don't think that Irisu's motivations were primarily self-serving. At worst, she put the good of the many ahead of the good of the one (and even then, she was hoping "the one" being used would come out of this feeling good about himself). As manipulation goes, this is actually pretty mild, which is why I feel like the way this narrative presents Irisu is rather harsh.

Here's the thing - I can think of some pretty popular and well-beloved anime characters who operate on false pretenses and manipulation every bit as much as Irisu does, if not moreso. Those same anime characters also have personalities pretty similar to Irisu's. Two in particular that are at the forefront of my mind right now are Accel World's Kuroyukihime, and Madoka Magica's Akemi Homura.

So I can't help but feel that Irisu is getting a bit of an overly harsh treatment here, given how anime characters very similar to her are presented.


That being said, you and relentlessflame obviously have every right to have a personal ethical code that says manipulation is always a no-go for you. I respect that. And if that leads either of you, or both of you, to disliking Kurisu, then I respect that as well.

But on the other hand, and as relentlessflame himself referred to, people in authority using occasional manipulation is how the world tends to work. And I just think that Irisu is getting a rather hard ride just for making the sort of slight moral compromises that are commonplace in the real world.

Irisu is no worse than countless other people that are in positions of authority. While I think that those that always avoid manipulating people and still somehow achieve success deserve loads of credit and recognition for it, I don't think that those that are "moderately shady" (for lack of a better term perhaps) should be presented in an entirely unsympathetic light.

Just my opinion.
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Old 2012-07-04, 21:50   Link #91
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Moving away from the main topic for a second (since that's way too much typing for me at this hour ) thought I'd pull back to an earlier episode in a sense.

We saw that episode about the seven deadly sins. Houtarou thought to himself that thinking he can know Chitanda's heart would be suffering from pride and that he needs to be careful. Also ties into how Chitanda talked about needing some balance since if you have no pride it means you have no self-confidence. Houtarou suffered more here because he doesn't have a great deal of self-confidence. Was inflated by Irisu's manipulation and suffered. Could also look at it because he thought he understood Irisu's intentions and instead was played.

Suppose in the end not sure what I'm saying though. Was he too prideful in being able to read people that he got tricked by a side of Irisu he didn't know about or was his lack of self-confidence the reason he could be tricked like that? Maybe it was just the wrong combination of pride and self-confidence.

Regardless of Irisu it sucks how this all turned out for Houtarou. Roped into things and used for the sake of a poorly acted movie.
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Old 2012-07-04, 22:07   Link #92
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Hmm ... I would argue that just because moral compromises are commonplace does not make them any less right or acceptable or whatever. I am not advocating such a black and white "labeling" of people who have given way to pressure or temptation or the like. People are weak and make mistakes or encounter circumstances where it would be very hard to do what they think is right - this is what is commonplace more than anything else. I have made plenty of errors and lapses and given into weaknesses of many sorts throughout my life, as have many people in the forums here no doubt.

And even should we have a moment(s) of lapse and give in it is still very important to be honest with ourselves and fully recognize what we have done and not somehow make excuses for ourself and make that ever so slight and yet ever so important moment deep inside ourselves where we make a resolve that to behave thus is right and justifiable should the situation demand it: a sort of "turning the corner" inside in one's resolution. There is a difference between a moment of weakness and a changing of one's principles to "accommodate" one's weakness.

Ultimately the reasons for this change very, very often boil down to making a self-serving disposition the priority as opposed a set of principles where the self is not the idol on the pedestal of one's life deep, deep down within the fiber of one's being. If this idol is in place then one's life very often is quite lonely and miserable, even if successful or filled with achievements or the like.

This is the path down which many a person has walked and found themselves stuck and trapped by their own decisions when things have progressed to a place where it is way harder to uproot than in the early stages [insert sapling vs. established tree imagery here ] It is one thing when one is weak and struggles with the results of their decision. Irisu does not. She has "turned the corner" and made an act of resolve that should the occasion demand it the ends justify the means. This is what enabled her to use the means whereby she deceived, manipulated for her own ends and hurt Oreki in the end, and this is what I am pointing out is wrong - both IRL (yes, despite my or any other's moments of weakness and capitulation) and as portrayed in the character of Irisu.

By the by - when I said Irisu's main underlying disposition motivating her main goal was self serving I was slightly re-phrasing the words of Oreki's sister who said: "you sure know how to help yourself under the pretext of helping someone else". Two things here. The goal in of itself is not necessarily "bad" in and of itself - the problem was the disposition.

What we have here is Oreki's sister confronting the Irisu's modus operandi she showed in her dealing with the entire situation shown in the narrative of eps 8-11 as a result of "turning the corner" and calling it for what it has become: i.e. self-serving while cloaking itself in seeming altruism.

This phrase is the author's (and the anime's) "last word" on looking at Irisu, a sort of "final summary", and one that she loses her composure on hearing and hastily tries to justify herself. Now one might disagree with the author's (and the anime's) last words and assessment of Irisu and ask him "How is this assessment of Irisu self-serving?", but the fact remains that they were the author's final assessment.

****

Phew! I think I have exhausted the topic from my angle on it - any more would be needless repetition, could easily come across as "preachiness" and/or beating a dead horse, perhaps. So I will stop for now.

Thank you btw, Triple R, for engaging in this discussion with me over the past few posts - as always discussions like this that I or other people have are of help to me in forming and articulating my thoughts and feelings about certain things. And once again, kudos to both the author of the novels and the producers of the anime adaptation for presenting charas so real and engaging like this to spark such discussions. Just a tiny aspect of why I am enjoying this series so much thus far!
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Old 2012-07-04, 22:19   Link #93
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But on the other hand, and as relentlessflame himself referred to, people in authority using occasional manipulation is how the world tends to work. And I just think that Irisu is getting a rather hard ride just for making the sort of slight moral compromises that are commonplace in the real world.

Irisu is no worse than countless other people that are in positions of authority. While I think that those that always avoid manipulating people and still somehow achieve success deserve loads of credit and recognition for it, I don't think that those that are "moderately shady" (for lack of a better term perhaps) should be presented in an entirely unsympathetic light.
But is making this sort of ethical compromise really okay? Even if it's "how the world tends to work"? Even if it's "commonplace"? Even if it's "no worse than countless other people"?

Maybe the "way of the world" is wrong, and it's the author's prerogative to point that out. In that sense, it's not so different from the story of "Hyouka" itself -- one person is sacrificed for the good of the many, while others turn a blind eye because they accomplished the goal. How does the rabbit being eaten alive feel? "I Scream." The story has come full circle.
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Old 2012-07-04, 23:02   Link #94
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Great discussion. I already showed which side of opinion I'm on and others especially Flower and relentlessflame said it better than I can, so I won't repeating anything. I want to comment on this bit though.

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In that sense, it's not so different from the story of "Hyouka" itself -- one person is sacrificed for the good of the many, while others turn a blind eye because they accomplished the goal. How does the rabbit being eaten alive feel? "I Scream." The story has come full circle.
Now that you point that out, the two stories and indeed similar. Houtarou would be Sekitani Jun. He get credited for something he don't want and for the wrong reason. And Irisu would be the real guy behind the student movement. She/he did something for a goal they think will ultimately benefit a majority of the students, and use that to justify whatever they have to do to achieve that goal. The fact that they will not receive benefit or punishment from the said action is also the same. The risk is all on Houtarou/Jun. If the movie (with Houtarou's script) turned out to be boring, he will suffer the consequence, not Irisu. Well, maybe not entirely true since they probably won't credit him as a writer, but you get the idea.
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Old 2012-07-05, 00:32   Link #95
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By the by - when I said Irisu's main underlying disposition motivating her main goal was self serving I was slightly re-phrasing the words of Oreki's sister who said: "you sure know how to help yourself under the pretext of helping someone else". Two things here. The goal in of itself is not necessarily "bad" in and of itself - the problem was the disposition.

What we have here is Oreki's sister confronting the Irisu's modus operandi she showed in her dealing with the entire situation shown in the narrative of eps 8-11 as a result of "turning the corner" and calling it for what it has become: i.e. self-serving while cloaking itself in seeming altruism.

This phrase is the author's (and the anime's) "last word" on looking at Irisu, a sort of "final summary", and one that she loses her composure on hearing and hastily tries to justify herself. Now one might disagree with the author's (and the anime's) last words and assessment of Irisu and ask him "How is this assessment of Irisu self-serving?", but the fact remains that they were the author's final assessment.
Is that the author's final assessment of Irisu, or is it KyoAni's? (more on that at the end of this post)

In any event, it's precisely this final assessment of Irisu that I disliked the most about this episode (most of the rest of this episode I liked).

It's simply not a fair or accurate assessment of Irisu. It simply does not make logical sense given Irisu's actions and responses to other characters as shown and detailed by this episode.

Please read Anh_Minh post's here on this topic to see why this "self-serving" assessment of Irisu is not a fair one.

These are not the actions of a self-serving person who doesn't care about other people.

You yourself initially had it right when you wrote...

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it is another thing to be inspired to do this because one feels moved to help someone in trouble (as Irisu did) and then manipulate and wound others. That is - if you are close to her she will do you a favor and hurt others around her to do you the favor.

How can someone be "self-serving" if their actions are based on "feeling moved to help someone in trouble"? You're right about what "moved" Irisu. And that's precisely why she isn't self-serving.

My initial point to you wasn't that your assessment of Irisu doing this to help Hongou was incorrect, but rather that I disagreed with your viewpoint that this makes Irisu more dangerous (and worse, implicitly) than a truly heartless person (or a sociopath, to use a more precise term for it).

It's fine for you to disagree with Irisu's actions. It's fine for the anime to, on the whole, come down against them.

But what I don't think is fine is the anime presenting Irisu as this self-serving monster when that simply does not logically follow from what Irisu did throughout this arc. Irisu clearly wanted to avoid hurting the feelings of others. She clearly felt guilty over Oreki getting upset with her. She clearly wanted to avoid Hongou getting hurt.

And I frankly think that it does a real disservice to her character for the final note of the arc to act like this wasn't the case when it was the case. A person doesn't have to be self-serving in order to think that questionable methods are worth it for a desired end result. There's several clear examples of this in Fate/Zero and Madoka Magica.


Given all that I've wrote above, I am curious to know if the online chat sequences between Irisu and Oreki's sister are in the novel itself. If anybody can address this growing Eru-esque curiosity within me, I'd appreciate it.
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Old 2012-07-05, 01:27   Link #96
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Given all that I've wrote above, I am curious to know if the online chat sequences between Irisu and Oreki's sister are in the novel itself. If anybody can address this growing Eru-esque curiosity within me, I'd appreciate it.
For you convenient: http://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/in...8#Log_No_00313

I read that the first time and actually coming out a little more confused though. I do not change my opinion, but can't be too sure about what exactly is written in Japanese.

Edit: After cross-checked Commie's translation, I think there are some mistranslation in that link, or I just don't understand the language. In any case, it doesn't change my opinion.
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Old 2012-07-05, 04:28   Link #97
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How can someone be "self-serving" if their actions are based on "feeling moved to help someone in trouble"? You're right about what "moved" Irisu. And that's precisely why she isn't self-serving. [...] Irisu clearly wanted to avoid hurting the feelings of others. She clearly felt guilty over Oreki getting upset with her. She clearly wanted to avoid Hongou getting hurt.

And I frankly think that it does a real disservice to her character for the final note of the arc to act like this wasn't the case when it was the case. A person doesn't have to be self-serving in order to think that questionable methods are worth it for a desired end result.
"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions"?

Even a seemingly-selfless act can be tinted in many shades of selfishness. In a way she might have meant well, but at the same time she was furthering her own agenda to accomplish those ends. A lot of this is revealed by your actions. When your actions are underhanded and reek of deceit, it's hard to come out looking like an angel. She may feel that she did what she had to do, but that doesn't mean it was right. I think the objective of that scene was precisely to clarify that what you thought you saw in terms of her motivations to that point were not actually the full story after all. I'm not sure that this revelation does a disservice to her character; if anything, it puts it into further perspective. Maybe some people can do questionable things out of necessity and pure motives, but I think the story is simply suggesting that Irisu's motives were not actually that pure.

Edit: For what it's worth, in looking back at the previous episodes in light of the chat comments, I think we can get a pretty good sense of what her real motivation might have been: to take control of the project and make it succeed (by her own definition). As Satoshi said in Episode 8, she uses everyone as pawns in her own game. Irisu said back then that she wasn't there when the project was conceived, and if she had been there she wouldn't have agreed to it. But then she had to live with it, and the script wasn't to her satisfaction (per the chat comments), so she had to come up with a way of taking control of the project again without stomping all over the person who was asked to write it (by class vote). So, to do that, she took advantage of Hongou's timidity and discomfort for having "disobeyed the class's will" (even though Hongou's own opinion was disqualified), and -- in a sense -- got her out of the way. Then, as Houtarou proposed, when the rest of the class couldn't come up with a good ending that satisfied her, and neither could she, she had to come up with a different plan, and started asking around until the right circumstances presented itself. So, did she really feel bad for Hongou's feelings, or did she just not want to see the class she ran associated with something sub-par and took advantage of the opportunity when it presented itself? Did she really feel guilty over Oreki getting upset, or was she just realizing that it was something she probably should feel sorry for (and that's why she admitted she was just talking big)? That closing scene brings that all into perspective. I can see how you might say that they could have omitted that scene, and someone could have believed that she was well-intentioned but prone to using less than honest means. I just don't think that's what they were trying to say here. And the reason why that's important is because she also deceived "A~ta~shi" -- who we presume with near-certainty to be Houtarou's sister -- with a false pretence for asking for help. If not for the revelation, we'd potentially believe that she was in on the trickery, but it seems that she only agreed to get them involved because she really thought the situation was desperate. As it turns out, the situation wasn't that desperate after all, except from the point of view of Irisu's pride. "I wasn't in a position to allow the project to fail", typed at a frenzied, nervous pace. She really has no other excuse.
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Old 2012-07-05, 06:50   Link #98
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She clearly felt guilty over Oreki getting upset with her.
Not the impression I got. I was left with the impression that Irisu couldn't care less what Houtarou thought of her or her methods.

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A person doesn't have to be self-serving in order to think that questionable methods are worth it for a desired end result
Nor does a person have to be angelic in order to do something nice for someone else. Just as the angelic darling may occasionally do something out of character (lying, deceiving, or manipulating someone they don't know to achieve a specific goal), so may the self-serving monster also occasionally do something out of character (being nice to a friend by lying, deceiving, or manipulating someone they don't know to help get their friend out of a difficult situation).
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Old 2012-07-05, 10:11   Link #99
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Thanks for that.

Yeah, I also found that pretty confusing. There seems to be real contradictions there that muddies the water. Perhaps that's intentional, to setup further clarification if Irisu shows up again in Hyouka. I guess that's all I can reasonably hope for here.


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"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions"?

Even a seemingly-selfless act can be tinted in many shades of selfishness.
Well, many would say that pure altruism doesn't exist period. Even if it does exist, it's rare. So, to me, "self-serving" implies more than simply having a personal vested interest in something. It implies that's all you have.

And if that's all Irisu had, then she went about things in an awfully odd and roundabout way.

As Anh_Minh correctly pointed out, Irisu took Hongou off the project in such a roundabout way, instead of just letting the class come to a consensus the script had to go. The only motivation I can see for this is that Irisu didn't want Hongou to be hurt or humiliated. As Anh_Minh also pointed out, if Irisu's only concern was that the script was boring, and she didn't care about Hongou and her classmates, changing the script could have been decided in a much more direct fashion.

People with purely self-serving motivations wouldn't go through all these hoops just to try to spare another person's feelings.


Quote:
Irisu said back then that she wasn't there when the project was conceived, and if she had been there she wouldn't have agreed to it. But then she had to live with it, and the script wasn't to her satisfaction (per the chat comments), so she had to come up with a way of taking control of the project again without stomping all over the person who was asked to write it (by class vote). So, to do that, she took advantage of Hongou's timidity and discomfort for having "disobeyed the class's will" (even though Hongou's own opinion was disqualified), and -- in a sense -- got her out of the way.
One thing I want to say here is that Hongou herself isn't entirely innocent here. She put aside the narrative preferences of the rest of the class to write a story without a murder in it (she's the only one in the class who wanted that - everybody else wanted at least a murder).

Now, while I can certainly understand the importance of writer's feeling free to write what they want in a general sense, I think different "rules" are at play when you're writing something for a team project. In such situations, the input of the rest of team should be factored in, and the writer shouldn't go off and write just whatever he or she wants to write.

Honestly, if I was in Irisu's shoes, I don't know if I would have felt compelled to protect Hongou. "You did something selfish against the wishes of the rest of the team, Hongou, and now you're going to be held accountable for it" is a position that Irisu could have legitimately taken with Hongou. But she didn't. She went to considerable lengths to protect Hongou.

Again, that clearly points to Irisu caring about Hongou. Which means that Irisu isn't entirely self-serving.


Quote:
Did she really feel guilty over Oreki getting upset, or was she just realizing that it was something she probably should feel sorry for (and that's why she admitted she was just talking big)?
If she didn't feel guilty over Oreki getting upset, why even bring him up?

"A.ta.shi♪: seems like you got things sorted out
Anonymous: all thanks to you, sempai
A.ta.shi♪: why you're welcome. glad to be at your service"

What more needs to be said after that? It doesn't make sense to me for Irisu to bring Oreki up unless she's feeling at least some actual guilt over how he became upset with her. So my thinking is that Irisu brought that up to A~ta~shi in the hopes that A~ta~shi might come up with a way for Irisu to smooth things over with Oreki.


Quote:
If not for the revelation, we'd potentially believe that she was in on the trickery,
Many people believe that anyway. Oreki's sister comes across as pretty manipulative to me.


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Originally Posted by FredFriendly View Post
Not the impression I got. I was left with the impression that Irisu couldn't care less what Houtarou thought of her or her methods.
Then why bring it up in chat? Why would Irisu even give it another thought (let alone actually chat about it) if she didn't care at all about Houtarou or what he thought of her?


Quote:
Nor does a person have to be angelic in order to do something nice for someone else. Just as the angelic darling may occasionally do something out of character (lying, deceiving, or manipulating someone they don't know to achieve a specific goal), so may the self-serving monster also occasionally do something out of character (being nice to a friend by lying, deceiving, or manipulating someone they don't know to help get their friend out of a difficult situation).
I disagree. Self-serving monsters would only do something seemingly out of character if it served an ulterior motive. I see no possible ulterior motive for Irisu trying to protect Hongou.


This is probably my last word on this discussion.
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Old 2012-07-05, 14:03   Link #100
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As Anh_Minh correctly pointed out, Irisu took Hongou off the project in such a roundabout way, instead of just letting the class come to a consensus the script had to go. The only motivation I can see for this is that Irisu didn't want Hongou to be hurt or humiliated. As Anh_Minh also pointed out, if Irisu's only concern was that the script was boring, and she didn't care about Hongou and her classmates, changing the script could have been decided in a much more direct fashion.

People with purely self-serving motivations wouldn't go through all these hoops just to try to spare another person's feelings.

[...]

Honestly, if I was in Irisu's shoes, I don't know if I would have felt compelled to protect Hongou. "You did something selfish against the wishes of the rest of the team, Hongou, and now you're going to be held accountable for it" is a position that Irisu could have legitimately taken with Hongou. But she didn't. She went to considerable lengths to protect Hongou.

Again, that clearly points to Irisu caring about Hongou. Which means that Irisu isn't entirely self-serving.
I think this line of reasoning rings a bit shallow.

Hongou was chosen to write the script at the class's request. She took it seriously, and apparently did a good job despite not writing it in such a way that people would die. What would actually have been looking out for Hongou's feelings here would be to either work with her to face the situation, or to stand up for her given all the hard work she's done. Instead, Irisu played on Hongou's guilt and insecurities and provided her with a third option: a way out that would allow her to run away "blameless" from the project while she (Irisu) was free to figure out what to do with the script. You could say "how nice; she's providing a way out for Hongou!", but if we go by "A~ta~shi"'s theory/accusation, her real motivation was that she realized the script needed to change and this was the most efficient way of doing it -- by bypassing the original author entirely. Yes, I suppose she could have taken an "it's all your fault" tact, but was that really likely to arrive at the end-result? Are they really going to ostracise her when they're the ones who basically "voluntold" her to do all the work (even though she had no experience in the mystery genre to begin with)?

She lied to Hongou to avoid telling her what she really felt about the script. She lied to A~ta~shi because she knew she couldn't elicit sympathy from people if her story was just "the author wrote a script I/the class don't like the ending for". She lied to Eru and the Classics Club by setting up a fake premise to get them involved in her problem. She lied to Houtarou because she believed it would motivate him to write an ending that made sense for her movie, and she lied to him again by giving him a false sense of accomplishment as if he figured out a great mystery despite it still having obvious flaws (that she figured most wouldn't notice). And beneath this tangled web of lies, you're asking me to believe that, at the root of it all, she honestly didn't want Hongou to be hurt? I think that's definitely a stretch.

Now granted, I never once claimed that Irisu was "purely self-motivated", and I don't think even A~ta~shi's accusation precludes any possibility of good motives being in the mix to some degree. I'd go back to what I said earlier: I think, like a lot of manipulative people, she thinks she's more clever than she is, and she lacks some emotional awareness of the real impact of her decisions on others (particularly what will happen once she gets found out). I do think there are elements of her decision-making that seem self-serving, particularly her apparently-compulsive need to lie to everyone to accomplish what she wants. I suppose that, in her mind, all this may be what passes for consideration for others... but she's not exactly what I'd call a "good person" either. I would propose that the author's judgement call is that using such deceptive means to arrive at an end is a form of selfishness, because she cared more about efficiency at accomplishing an end than she really cared about anyone's feelings. Based on her reaction when faced with the accusation, there seems to be a grain of truth there after all.


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If she didn't feel guilty over Oreki getting upset, why even bring him up? [...] It doesn't make sense to me for Irisu to bring Oreki up unless she's feeling at least some actual guilt over how he became upset with her. So my thinking is that Irisu brought that up to A~ta~shi in the hopes that A~ta~shi might come up with a way for Irisu to smooth things over with Oreki.
Two things:

1. I think there are different degrees of guilt. In this case, it seems more like "an awareness of having done something that made someone else upset". It's not clear that she truly felt remorse over what she did. There was certainly no sense that she was thinking she'd never do something like that again. And even if she did want A~ta~shi to "smooth things over", that's not exactly selfless either -- that would be manipulating someone else into cleaning up her mess.

2. I think that Irisu assumed that A~ta~shi was something of a kindred spirit since she was the one who suggested "using" Houtarou in the first place. What resulted from her suggestion is very much on-topic. So she lets her guard down assuming that she would laugh it off and make some joke like "it's his fault for being so gullible" or something -- which you might expect a kindred spirit to say. So I think she was genuinely surprised by A~ta~shi's reaction that shows she has some limits as to the ways she's willing to "manipulate" others and why. And I think that's the only time she really showed any signs of being truly troubled by her actions, but whether she was troubled because she actually felt guilty, or because she realized that she was just "found out" is hard to say for sure. Manipulative people are usually trying to protect their status and position, and I think that's the underlying accusation here.


Anyway, it seems that most of your real contention was about the perception that she's "pure evil" and has no once of goodness in her, and I wouldn't necessarily go that far. But at the same time, perhaps to provide a counterargument to that other extreme point of view (a sort of "devil's advocate" position... literally?) I think you're taking it too far the other way. I think the show has provided ample evidence to cast doubt on her motivation. But, having both presented our evidence and points of view, it's time for everyone else to make up their own minds.
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