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Old 2013-01-28, 12:08   Link #41
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by Repelsteeltju View Post
Responsibility is a tricky thing especially in matters of state. Is he responsible for the deaths all the Ground Spiders Satoru killed during the first war arc? Is he responsible for the deaths of the molrats that gave their lives to protect Saturu and Saki then? Is he responsible for the deaths of the forward striving ministers his Queen killed? Is he responsible for the current mental states of all the Queens in the colonies allied with him? Is he responsible for the deaths of his allies who fel fighting Kiroumaru? Is he responsible for the defeated Giant Hornet soldiers? Is he responisble for the molerats killed by the Pest Control Department? Is he responsible for any death of any sentient being? And wat does this responsibility entail? I for one daren't answer any of these questions.
Actually I don't think it is tricky at all who is responsible, in many of the instances you mentioned he manipulated the situation so the other tribes would be attacked and killed. It was pretty clear what his intention were.

Again as Kuromitsu said we are third party observers and we can actually see what is going on with squealer.

And as for the queerrats, Satoru killed, Squealer led them purposely into a situation where they would have to defend themselves & kill his enemies.


Did Squealer lay the blow no, but that doesn't mean he is not responsible for what happened. Not to mention he is a coward, so manipulating others to do his dirty work is par for the course.

I also said he was responsible for the death of most of the queer rats (not all) and yes I will stick to that from what we have seen him do in the story.
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Old 2013-01-28, 13:05   Link #42
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>Triple_R
All I'm saying is, we don't have the full picture yet. :3
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Old 2013-01-28, 16:46   Link #43
Repelsteeltju
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Actually I don't think it is tricky at all who is responsible, in many of the instances you mentioned he manipulated the situation so the other tribes would be attacked and killed. It was pretty clear what his intention were.

And as for the queerrats, Satoru killed, Squealer led them purposely into a situation where they would have to defend themselves & kill his enemies.

Did Squealer lay the blow no, but that doesn't mean he is not responsible for what happened. Not to mention he is a coward, so manipulating others to do his dirty work is par for the course.

I also said he was responsible for the death of most of the queer rats (not all) and yes I will stick to that from what we have seen him do in the story.
I tried to sum up all the shown in-series occurrences of (mass) mole rat death. In some of these Yakomaru was involved (in)directly in others he was not.
Let's go to the cited example:

Quote:

And as for the queerrats, Satoru killed, Squealer led them purposely into a situation where they would have to defend themselves & kill his enemies.
It's a funny example because this is the only one example we know for sure he was physically present in. Where he stood on the forefront of the battle, risking death in defense of a queen that only moments ago nearly killed him over a curtain he accidentally lit on fire, over a silly accident. With all the accusations of cowardice flying around (I think him more calculating masking his true nature with old fashioned cowardice) that was a decidedly brave thing to do. Sure he was probably desperate and might have thought being around the child gods the safest but it's not like Satoru wasn't already intent on destroying the Ground Spiders and if Satoru --led along by Yakomaru or not (then still called Squealer)-- hadn't Kiroumaru would have and if even Kiroumaru wouldn't have have wiped them out the department of pest control would have. While he could have won with less casualties on his own side in a war of attrition he went on the attack in guiding Satoru to where he could dish out the most damage. I still lack the courage to judge Yakomaru for directly orchestrating the death of many Ground Spiders who may or may not have died regradless of his actions and who may or may not have been intent on either killing or inslaving him, his mother and his brethren. The world is too complex to just pin every cruelty on one character, there really isn't anyone in this show who murders for the heck of it. It's a cruel and inhospitable place filled with a dose of fairly justified yet unhealthy paranoia . There is no good path, no right nor wrong way to go about things form any position.

Similar arguments can be made for all the other examples.

I think the difference in our thinking lies in the weight we place on intent. I'd argue that it's nigh irrelevant as we can't ever really know what an another is thinking and from that I infer that we can only really hope to pass judgment on the actions we've seen on display, an act I cowardly waive because it's difficult.
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Old 2013-01-28, 18:41   Link #44
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Repelsteeltju I think we should agree to disagree, ultimately I think we have different ways of looking at things. And also perhaps the remaining episodes will either support or disprove both are view points & it might be better to take up the debate again then.

I know right now that I will definitely be nominating Squealer/Yakomaru nexy year in the best villain category.
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Old 2013-01-28, 21:47   Link #45
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post

I also said he was responsible for the death of most of the queer rats (not all) and yes I will stick to that from what we have seen him do in the story.
I honestly don't think that's a fair assessment to make of Yakomaru.

I like Kiroumaru, but the guy isn't exactly a paragon of diplomacy who wants to spread peace and love. He clearly was quite eager to take the fight to Yakomaru's group. In this case, I think the old saying of "It takes two to tango" definitely applies.


Also, my impression is that Yakomaru arose within a very militaristic period for the queerats (it honestly makes me think of the Sengoku period in Japan's history). My impression is that these feuds and squabbles pitting various Queerat clans against one another predates Yakomaru. He didn't cause these wars to arise, he himself just became caught up in them and tried to make the best of them that he could (and yes, he definitely tried to take advantage of them to empower himself, I won't deny that).

But really, from a more long-term perspective, Yakomaru is doing precisely what is probably best for the Queerats - Unifying them into one powerful group. And in so doing, the old Queerat clan struggles might finally end.
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Old 2013-01-28, 22:01   Link #46
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I honestly don't think that's a fair assessment to make of Yakomaru.
Oh I think it is a very fair assessment to make and I wasn't just talking about the situation with Kiroumaru. He creates situations to make war and destroy the other tribes. He's not just uniting tribes, he's killing off the other tribes.

On another note I never said Kiroumaru was a "paragon of diplomacy". Me assessing Yakomaru has nothing to do with Kiroumaru.

I am not saying Kiroumaru took the right course of action either but it's pretty clear that Yakomaru manipulated the situation so Kiroumaru's tribe would be destroyed. Yakomaru is clever he knew exactly how Kiroumaru would respond to that attack. He did a similar thing with Saki & Satoru in the past.

I am pretty sure Yakomaru is doing what is best for him, not for the queer rats. But we will just have to wait and see. I think his name "squealer" was definitely not random.
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Old 2013-01-28, 22:10   Link #47
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Oh I think it is a very fair assessment to make and I wasn't just talking about the situation with Kiroumaru.
How is it a fair assessment to make when these Queerat wars and squabbles predate Yakomaru? It's plain to me that the Queerats would have been warring and squabbling amongst themselves even if Yakomaru never existed.

Whatever his motivations may be, if Yakomaru succeeds in unifying all Queerats together, then that would end these very brutal and counterproductive clan wars.


Quote:
He creates situations to make war and destroy the other tribes. He's not just uniting tribes, he's killing off the other tribes.
Some tribes he actually is uniting with. That certainly seems to be the case, anyway.


Quote:
On another note I never said Kiroumaru was a "paragon of diplomacy". Me assessing Yakomaru has nothing to do with Kiroumaru.
Then it ought to, imo. If other Queerat tribes/leaders have a tendency to fall for Yakomaru's bait, then that means that those tribes/leaders are pretty warlike themselves, and that they rightly should hold some of the blame for the casualties of these wars.

Again, it takes two to tango. How many wars in human history do you think were so black and white that all of the blame for them should fall on only one side of the war?
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Old 2013-01-29, 06:00   Link #48
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I never said other characters were not at fault or that everyone is innocent in comparison with Yakomaru.

But this is the Yakomaru thread and I am talking about him. He manipulates situations to kill other queer rats. That is certainly not a hero to me. In the beginning you can argue he was trying to defend himself, later on he manipulated situations to make war.

Uniting tribes? Yeah if they follow his ways, if not he has them killed. And again why do you think he would unite with tribes for the same reason he used Saki & Satoru. He lets others do his fighting.

The term squealer actually means to betray. It is also the name of a character in Animal Farm that spreads lies & propaganda. I am pretty sure we have not seen the worst of Squealer yet.
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Old 2013-01-29, 06:19   Link #49
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I think his name "squealer" was definitely not random.
A bit off-topic, but about his name, I'm not sure it's really supposed to be romanized as "Squealer" though it definitely comes from that word... it's スクィーラ "suquiira" a "ー" short of "squealer." The official site romanizes it as "Squera" though the pronounciation doesn't really add up if you ask me.

Anyway, apparently all bakenezumi have names like that (except for Kiroumaru, we only know his gifted name). Squealer, Squonk, later on there's a Squeaky (or Squeaker? can't remember)... I think the author just wanted to go for something that evokes a rat-like animal.

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Old 2013-01-29, 07:25   Link #50
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I never said other characters were not at fault or that everyone is innocent in comparison with Yakomaru.

But this is the Yakomaru thread and I am talking about him. He manipulates situations to kill other queer rats. That is certainly not a hero to me. In the beginning you can argue he was trying to defend himself, later on he manipulated situations to make war.
I don't think Yakomaru is a hero in any general sense. In other words, I definitely don't think that he's someone who's inherently heroic. He's quite the contrary in many ways, yes.

But, in a practical sense, he might yet end up a hero to his people. Or he admittedly might bring his people to complete ruination. Time will tell.


Keep in mind that, to me, being a hero to your people is simply a matter of bringing great, positive change to your people. I can see where Yakomaru's big gambits might pay off in the end. He's playing a very high stakes game of Risk. I think he'll probably win big or lose big, and that'll determine his place in history (and so far, he's winning so much it would make Charlie Sheen blush ). As the old saying goes "History is wrote by the victors".
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Old 2013-01-29, 08:54   Link #51
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Triple R. I understand and I am certainly not saying that Squealer did not bring anything good to the queer rats. And I am sorry to bring godwin's law into this but you can argue that hitler also brought some good things to the Germans as well (not comparing Squealer to hitler so let's not go there lol).

I guess I am big on the ends do not justify the means type of thing. I don't know how the queer rats will ultimately see Squealer but as someone observing from the outside I can only see him one way.

That doesn't mean I think he is the only bad one in the story or everyone else is innocent or everything bad that happened in the story is solely his responsibility (when I say Squealer is responsible that doesn't mean I absolve others from blame)

But when we are talking "villain" I do see him as one. I think he is a great character. I mean I loathe him and yet I think the performance and writing of the character is impeccable.

Thanks for the correction Kuromitsu although I do wonder if the author was familiar with Animal Farm and did purposely pick that name for Squealer. I never read the book yet myself, but reading the description of the character, there are definitely some similarities. Although of course it can just be a coincidence.
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Old 2013-01-29, 10:12   Link #52
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Thanks for the correction Kuromitsu although I do wonder if the author was familiar with Animal Farm and did purposely pick that name for Squealer. I never read the book yet myself, but reading the description of the character, there are definitely some similarities. Although of course it can just be a coincidence.
Well, it's possible that Animal Farm was the inspiration for his name, but I don't think there's a connection between the two... Animal Farm's Squealer is the quintessential Soviet propagandist, Shinsekai yori's Squealer is more of a revolutionist.
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Old 2013-01-29, 10:20   Link #53
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Well, it's possible that Animal Farm was the inspiration for his name, but I don't think there's a connection between the two... Animal Farm's Squealer is the quintessential Soviet propagandist, Shinsekai yori's Squealer is more of a revolutionist.
I am not saying it's a direct comparison but "Throughout the novel Squealer is highly skilled at making speeches to the animals. He is also one of the leaders of the farm. Under the rule of Napoleon, Squealer does things to manipulate the animals"

These were the similarities I was talking about.

Well somehow making me research this makes me finally want to go ahead and read Animal Farm
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Old 2013-01-29, 16:06   Link #54
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I don't think Yakomaru is a hero in any general sense. In other words, I definitely don't think that he's someone who's inherently heroic. He's quite the contrary in many ways, yes.

But, in a practical sense, he might yet end up a hero to his people. Or he admittedly might bring his people to complete ruination. Time will tell.


Keep in mind that, to me, being a hero to your people is simply a matter of bringing great, positive change to your people. I can see where Yakomaru's big gambits might pay off in the end. He's playing a very high stakes game of Risk. I think he'll probably win big or lose big, and that'll determine his place in history (and so far, he's winning so much it would make Charlie Sheen blush ). As the old saying goes "History is wrote by the victors".
The heroes of old were mighty selfish murderous assholes. Sure some of this can be attributed to changing morals. But really what defines them as heroes more so than their being POV characters might just be their being their own person even if the whole world and the gods themselves would stop at nothing to halt them in being them they persevere in living however the hell they want.

Yakomaru owns most definitions of 'hero' that do not involve being a demigod or being in an actual legend and aside from the Wikipedia article that states 'will for self sacrifice' as a characteristic of a hero. Though arguing that he's a hero is bound to end in a silly debate on semantics.

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Triple R. I understand and I am certainly not saying that Squealer did not bring anything good to the queer rats. And I am sorry to bring godwin's law into this but you can argue that hitler also brought some good things to the Germans as well (not comparing Squealer to hitler so let's not go there lol).
Yes, yes you are comparing them! You're argument is basically:
Yakomaru did some good things for his people.
Adolf Hitler also did some good things for his people.
Hitler is no hero.
Therefore Yakomaru is no hero.
Either that or you're randomly pointing out that not everything Hitler was a holocaust which is true, probably, but completely irrelevant and tastless. You must know this to be a bollocks argument, you even mentioned Godwin, surely you know better than this.
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Well somehow making me research this makes me finally want to go ahead and read Animal Farm
You should it's a very nice read, though the politics and manipulations are a lot more obvious than the ones in SSY. It kinda saddens me you brought this up though because I was --probably vainly-- hoping to be the first to notice this and jap about it on the internet, and now when I do... Ah it wasn't that opaque anyway.
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You all mad? Yakomaru is the HERO destined to end decades of molerat slavery. He will tear those false gods from their pedestal, he and his people shall inherit the earth while simultaneously ending the corruption of the land caused by the overflowing uncontrolled cantuspowers of those who call themselves human.

Because really; shouldn't all intelligent individuals be given equal rights?
I really didn't think my original, tongue-in-cheek, baiting comment characterising Squealer as the biggest good in the SSY universe would spark this much discussion. That makes me happy. Aside from the argumentum ad Hitlerum, really don't... just don't.
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Old 2013-01-29, 17:46   Link #55
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Yes, yes you are comparing them! You're argument is basically:
Yakomaru did some good things for his people.
Adolf Hitler also did some good things for his people.
Hitler is no hero.
Therefore Yakomaru is no hero.
Either that or you're randomly pointing out that not everything Hitler was a holocaust which is true, probably, but completely irrelevant and tastless. You must know this to be a bollocks argument, you even mentioned Godwin, surely you know better than this.
No I am not comparing them directly and I think you are freaking out a little needlessly. I purposely stated I am not saying Yakomaru is like hitler or to make it clearer I don't see Yakomaru as a hitler like villain at all (which I think is a very lazy & too easy way to write a villain).

My mention of hitler was only in relation to just because someone does good does not negate the bad they do. Or just because someone does very horrible things does not mean they can't do anything beneficial as well. Was my comparison of hitler extreme, well of course but extreme examples are often used to illustrate a point. I don't think the comparison was inappropriate at all in this instance because it does fit and I only used it because I felt it was the best example.

So the difference is I am not ignoring any good squealer might accomplish but to me that doesn't matter in the face of the bad he has done and hence I do see him as "villain".
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Old 2013-01-29, 18:02   Link #56
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To me at least, by definition, a hero would have to be righteous. Superman is a hero.

Yakomaru is anything but. He might improve the quality of life of his people (or not? who knows), but that's just by stomping on other people. He's perfectly fine with lying, murdering, and making his queen into a vegetable that makes children. He has no issue trampling on innocents and manipulating them (at the time Saki and Satoru) to get what he wants.

I really don't think the end justifies the means. His actions might be good for the queerats (or at least for his clan), but I could never consider him a hero.

I'm also positive we haven't seen the worst of him, seeing the next episode preview.

Spoiler for Episode 18 preview/speculation:


Admittedly, the esper society is no better, whose methods are, too, despicable but also appear to have noble motivations - preserving the species. They may be misguided but they mean well. "Meaning well" is not enough.

This story has no true evil or true good I think. Just look and Saki and Satoru. They're not bad people and they're our protagonists, yet they take 0 issue with the "department of pest control" and with how the queerats are treated.

You have to look at everything in context, and SSY's society is pretty screwed up . If I go by my morals, I can't even begin to consider anyone in there a hero, though I could emphatize with some characters...if you look at it from an in-universe point of view, then you can understand the cited characters' actions and maybe not call them "evil", but certainly not righteous.
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Old 2013-01-29, 19:28   Link #57
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Part of the reason I've defended Yakomaru is because I'm finally starting to see a possible coherent theme arise out of this narrative (and I didn't really see that before), and I think that Yakomaru is tied tightly into it. While Yakomaru has been an antagonistic figure (especially as of late), I think he may also be the primary vehicle through which this theme is conveyed.

There are two things that I have found particularly striking about the last few episodes of SSY...

1) How the humans of SSY have become, in some ways, less human over time. Maria's farewell letter to Saki conveyed this very eloquently and poignantly, in my opinion. The humans of SSY now fear their own young in a way that's twisted and unnatural. In some ways, it has made them less human.

2) How the Queerats of SSY have become, in some ways, more human over time. We're watching Queerat societal evolution, and its honestly fascinating to behold. It's impressive just how far the Queerats have come in such a short time. Remember, we're only talking a little over a decade here, and yet in that time the Queerats appear to have made massive social, cultural, and technological leaps forward. In the period of a decade and a half, they've covered as much societal evolution as it took humans hundreds of years to cover.


Whatever Yakomaru himself privately believes, the democratic ideals he expresses are like vibrant echoes from history condemning the humans of SSY. A sharp, vivid reminder of what humanity has lost in this world. For me, it was like a bright beam of moral clarity at last punching through the clouds of morally murky miasma that permeates this entire work.

That's not to say, of course, that the humans of SSY are in any good position to become more democratic, egalitarian, and human rights-respecting themselves. But at the same time, its a curious choice to have a major antagonist be the figure to voice these human ideals of history.


I get the impression that Yakomaru represents, more than any other character, how the Queerats are becoming more human. And I think that one key thematic question that SSY may well be raising is "What does it mean to be human?" If another species better exemplifies certain human ideals than humans themselves do, then have humans in a sense given up on their human inheritance, and passed it on to that other species? And should we even cheer that species if they attempt to eclipse the humans who have lost sight of what it means to be human? If we should cheer them, then what does that make of their leader, who more than any other has lead them to this point of possibly eclipsing humanity?


These are some of the questions that I find myself asking myself at this point in SSY. I don't think they're entirely unfounded, or that the author doesn't intend the reader/viewer to ask himself/herself these questions. Actually, my impression is that the author is driving this home subtlety, but consistently, with how we get to watch dramatic Queerat evolution right in front of our eyes.
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Old 2013-01-29, 20:39   Link #58
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I agree the queerrats are becoming more human, although not all of that is necessarily good as seen by the advanced weapons they have started to develop.

I also agree the humans have lost some of their humanity in their fear of each other.

Quote:
And should we even cheer that species if they attempt to eclipse the humans who have lost sight of what it means to be human?
I have no issue with the queerrats themselves just Squealer. I don't think it is wrong for the queerrats to want basic rights for themselves. However do only results matter what about methods?
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Old 2013-01-30, 05:57   Link #59
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To answer Triple R's quoting of my, well, quote, the reason I mentioned Solid Snake's opinion on heroism is that it all really depends on the viewpoint involved.

It's easy to think that Squealer's actions among his people, usurping the monarchy and establishing democracy (for what it's worth) makes him a hero to his colony who have become self aware enough to have a sense of personal rights. Likewise, it's easy for humanity in SSY to see him as some sort of monster who has, in essence, bloodied his hands for his ideals.

Heroes and tyrants aren't always mutually exclusive. You can be both at the same time depending on who's describing you. As the cliche goes, the victor defines history, as such the victor defines whether he will be seen as a tyrant or a hero when all is said and done.

The Queerats for me, for me, represent an observable phenomena where a cognitive and self aware species is basically reliving the cycle of civilizations that humanity itself had undergone. We see them first as an iron age species, slowly growing into an organized monarchy, and then rejecting the tyranny of monarchy to bring about democracy.

And then Yakomarou and Kiromarou. We are almost seeing a cult of personality being led by both in their respective groups. And then what develops are two gigantic factions (essentially alliances) going to war against each other. Battle lines are drawn, alliances made, neutralities broken. This is very much similar to, well, the two world wars.

So what humanity in SSY is seeing is history repeating itself in another species, albeit at a greatly accelerated pace. Queerats as a species are living through the very same process that their... Gods have that led them to this state.

Imagine it this way. Perhaps at some point in the distant past we were the same, and gods observed as we waged wars and developed. Eventually these gods were usurped by humanity, the humanity of the time itself became the replacement gods, and now they themselves rule like gods over a species going through the same deal. I will not be surprised if one day, the Queerats develop Cantus, and the cycle repeats anew.

It is somewhat similar to the Eternal Recurrence, popularized by Nietzsche.
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Old 2013-01-30, 22:42   Link #60
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Yakomaru is definitely a sneaky and untrustworthy fellow. He's machiavellian to be sure.

But perhaps he really does hold to democratic ideals. I mean, I don't see any particular pragmatic benefit to him laying that out the way he did in the most recent episode.

But one day a George Washington or a Benjamin Franklin appears, and says to his fellow humans that these gods are not deserving of our respect.
I love the character of Yakomaru and while he's definitely no Ben Franklin, I actually have been sympathizing with the mole rats while watching this show. Actually I'd go as far as saying your thought exercise are my actual thoughts while watching the show. I understand the reasons for Saki's society to operate as it does, but their dealings with the mole rats and their air of superiority almost make me root for Yakomaru who consistently outsmarts them and uses them to his advantage.

Even Saki, who is quite kind to the mole rats, accepts without hesitation that she is a 'god' compared to these creatures, and now in the latest episode we find she works in an arm of her society to control and regulate them, again showing even her sympathy doesn't extend far and is more akin to a benevolent slaveholder than an actual progressive viewpoint.

I also agree that there's no real benefit for him to lie about the democratic nature of his system. His only reason to use this line of deception rather than simply proclaim himself leader outright would be to appeal to the morals of Saki's society, but since they don't practice democracy, that wouldn't make sense. I assume the mole rats are giving us a more realistic, nuanced viewpoint of a powerful modern nation, which may be both democratic, economically powerful, aggressive, and manipulative all at once.
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