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Old 2013-12-29, 13:38   Link #1061
KleenexGhost
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I just feel like her character has been sadly wasted.

Even after the ARUS Purge episode, they had all the following options for her...

1) Comeback story.

2) Total heel turn.

3) Tragic heroine.


Either of those options would have been better than what they went for (total heel turn would have at least been interesting and engaging).
I feel the same way. If the show had more time then hopefully we might have gotten a more fulfilling redemption for her or they could have explored those other options that you used as examples.

Where she's at in the post epilogue, it makes sense that she would want to carry on Haruto's will, but like other people have said before, Haruto wouldn't have wanted her to pilot Hito and go through what he went through (losing his runes, memories) But that's null if they found an alternative way to supply the Valvraves with Runes, but we don't know at the moment.
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Old 2013-12-29, 14:54   Link #1062
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I disagree with you on this point. I think the writers did everything they could to make Shouko's moment of weakness understandable and forgivable if she does something to make up for it. A lot of people really did underestimate the severity of the situation facing Shouko in the ARUS Purge episode (and I think Valvrave made it very clear just how horrible and chaotic it was), and how a lot of people would similarly make bad decisions (or even have a complete nervous breakdown) if put in such a nightmare scenario.

And I really don't see what genre has to do with any of this.

However, a screw-up is still a screw-up. It still calls for the character to do something to make up for it.

Consider Satomi. He screwed up in one episode by unintentionally alerting Dorssia to the presence of himself and company. But he made amends for that by playing a key role in getting everybody through the immediate emergency. Which is why nobody really holds his screw-up against him.

Shouko did nothing to make up for her screw-up, and in spite of that she received a decidedly happy ending (youthful immortality piloting a Valvrave while happily greeting aliens on the side) so I can't blame you for disliking her now.
Oh sorry, I don't think I made myself clear enough. I was talking about the viewer reaction being understandable. I'll elaborate below. I also think she could have been redeemed for her screw up if she had done something to make up for it (off screen or in side material doesn't count), the problem is that they didn't.

Our opinions aside, it was quite obvious that the majority of viewers would react quite strongly.
What does the genre have to do with it? Well, that comes down to understanding your audience. Look at any number of popular mecha or sci fi shows of recent years (or even in general). How did the audience receive characters? What did characters get flak for? Who was popular and who wasn't- and what criticism did they receive? You'll probably find things like
- acts of disloyalty/betrayal (perceived or real, understandable in the situation or not)
- passivity, having things handed to them for no good reason, being easily forgiven despite their failures
- having good stuff happen to you despite not doing much to deserve it

being factors in a lot of them. People are extremely unforgiving towards these types of characters, no matter if their actions were understandable, if they were under pressure or not.
Some examples off the top of my head:
- Ranka
- Cagalli, Relena, Fllay, Quess, generations of Gundam girls
- Mikono
- the Black Knights in general/ Ogi, Suzaku (kind of), Nina, Shirley, probably half the cast of CG

Heck, it doesn't even have to be just the mecha genre, just take anime in general. Remember Sayaka. She doesn't deserve the crap she gets, yet she does. Anime viewers hate for a lot less than what Shoko did, so really, the audience reacting this way isn't out of the blue and they would have to be completely oblivious if they didn't anticipate this- which quite clearly they are, since they didn't see this coming for some bizarre reason.
But it says a lot about how much attention they pay to the target audience, namely not enough.
They should have known that people would probably not take this development well and that they needed to do something substantial to redeem her, but they failed.

They gave us nothing, so like you said, I think it's understandable if people consider her character ruined now, which is a shame. While I had to conclude that I dislike her in the end, I had really hoped they'd find a way to redeem her, but if anything they made it worse- showing her with her face in her hands for the entire finale and just handing her the very immortality she rejected. They only rubbed it in and made her look hypocritical on top of everything else now, which I doubt they indended... :/
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Old 2013-12-31, 22:15   Link #1063
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I don't like Sayaka because a lot of her problems is her own doing.
It's all in her head. She's the one that chooses to make the worst out of her situation and go on a self destructive path.

Haruto is like that too, but he has more excuses to brood
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Old 2013-12-31, 22:18   Link #1064
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Originally Posted by Key Board View Post
I don't like Sayaka because a lot of her problems is her own doing.
It's all in her head. She's the one that chooses to make the worst out of her situation and go on a self destructive path.

Haruto is like that too, but he has more excuses to brood
Is this really the place to be bashing characters from non-Sunrise shows?

In any event, I think you're being way too hard on Sayaka and not giving her a fair shake. It's honestly ridiculous to say it's "all in her head". Most of the problems she faced were very much of an external nature, and this is obviously so. It wasn't "all in her head". And it's simply not fair or accurate to say that someone "chooses to make the worst out of a situation" when they understandably despair at being faced with an objectively very bad situation, just like most normal people would.

I also don't see where Haruto has "more excuses to brood". His issues and Sayaka's are actually very similar, and about equal in severity (well, up to the ARUS Purge episode at least).
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Old 2014-01-01, 02:10   Link #1065
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We're comparing them. Why not?

they're similar. And they make the same mistakes, and met similar ends

Spoiler for Comparions to Madoka Magica:
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Old 2014-01-01, 11:12   Link #1066
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Just so people are aware, I took this discussion up with Key Board via PMs, since I don't think the Sashinami Shouko character thread is the appropriate place for it.

But if anybody wants to know my take on Hartuo/Sayaka comparisons, just PM me, and I'll share them with you.
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Old 2014-01-01, 17:35   Link #1067
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I almost agree with SkullFaerie that I can't believe that the writers didn't anticipate all the hate Shoko got. To the point that given her whole development they did it deliberately.
What did go overboard to me was the treason. If the writers decided to go with some politic mistake that took module-77 to that point it would have been different, I think. But betrayal is the worst thing she could have done, despite every extenuating circumstances we can count in her favor.
And what if Haruto and L-Elf died due to that choice of her? Everything would have ended thanks to that. It's not happened, but it had a high possibility to happen. That the weight of her choice. The biggest I'd say. And I'm not even counting the interpersonal treason.
Surely, the writing discontinuities and narrative problems didn't help.

In any case, FWIW, I instead had always a different take on Shoko. One of the things I hate in anime is when the story tries to sell you a certain character, that clearly has not any skills in a certain field, being able to succeed in that field without the due efforts and what not.
So from my point of view I could never take seriously Shoko's leadership skills. And I have to say that the hints (or can we call them evidences?) were all there in season one. From the undressing threat to the jingle bell attempt, culminating with the election speech. So my next expectation was a bloodbath ending for the S1 that never happened thanks to L-Elf.
So the moment Shoko cracked and the bloodbath happened to me it was like a confirmation and conclusion of what I thought about her. So my hate faded partially away.

What I'm trying to say is that looking at her key moments in the story she was the wrongest person (because she did have that ability to engage people, without the proper licence to use it) in the wrongest position (to take vital decisions not having the ability nor the experience to take them). IIRC it was not her to decide to go for the elections, but L-Elf, so I think that she is somehow innocent, it not for the betrayal.

If not, I really can't explain her praying in the final moments. Bar the time-skip. I will not comment on that.
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Old 2014-01-02, 00:18   Link #1068
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Originally Posted by Arya
So from my point of view I could never take seriously Shoko's leadership skills. And I have to say that the hints (or can we call them evidences?) were all there in season one. From the undressing threat to the jingle bell attempt, culminating with the election speech. So my next expectation was a bloodbath ending for the S1 that never happened thanks to L-Elf.
The bloodbath did happen; it was just gas instead of bullets. Though obviously not to the extent of episode 21. And the only reason things didn't turn out worse was due to Prue's migraines resulting in Cain calling things off. L-Elf had nothing to do with it.

The massacre in episode 21 is also never portrayed as being Shoko's fault for all that people like to insist otherwise. There was no commentary about how the students should've been armed, no one blamed her for holding the conference.

Quote:
What I'm trying to say is that looking at her key moments in the story she was the wrongest person (because she did have that ability to engage people, without the proper licence to use it) in the wrongest position (to take vital decisions not having the ability nor the experience to take them). IIRC it was not her to decide to go for the elections, but L-Elf, so I think that she is somehow innocent, it not for the betrayal.
The election was Nanami's idea. But in general, I think you're giving the writers too much credit. They really just don't know how to write politics and that seems to be a thing with anime in general (at least the ones that don't use it as a focal point in the plot). The Fuhrer and ARUS president never went beyond caricatures of their respective government types. Your idea is interesting but I really don't feel that's what they were going for.

Last edited by ~BC~; 2014-01-02 at 00:38.
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Old 2014-01-02, 05:41   Link #1069
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The bloodbath did happen; it was just gas instead of bullets. Though obviously not to the extent of episode 21. And the only reason things didn't turn out worse was due to Prue's migraines resulting in Cain calling things off. L-Elf had nothing to do with it.
At the end of the day they were saved. They survived. Considering the power imbalance between the two forces, I saw that as a victory for Module-77.
Speaking of L-Elf, he had to do with it. Didn't he give Satomi a script to follow? Didn't he take away Shoko from the bridge deck? He organized their defense lines. It's just that Cain outsmarted him. Then the Prue's migraines, due to stress in fighting against Haruto and L-Elf IIRC.
From my point of view the fact that a high school, even supported by VVV, survived to that kind of attach is everything but a defeat.
For that reason the real bloodbath that happened later felt (to me) strictly related to this first event.
What was missing from the equation in that second event? L-Elf. That's because L-Elf was the solely reason they went that far into the story. Considering even how much worthless Haruto had been until that point. He was pivotal for everything. Much more than one could think.

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The massacre in episode 21 is also never portrayed as being Shoko's fault for all that people like to insist otherwise. There was no commentary about how the students should've been armed, no one blamed her for holding the conference.
I don't blame her for the tragedy, as I said, the moment you took L-Elf out from the games the house of cards collapsed at the first occasion. Still I admit I can't avoid to relate it, the massacre, to that unfulfilled S1 ending as being the real ending of that, just postponed.
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Originally Posted by ~BC~ View Post
The election was Nanami's idea. But in general, I think you're giving the writers too much credit. They really just don't know how to write politics and that seems to be a thing with anime in general (at least the ones that don't use it as a focal point in the plot). The Fuhrer and ARUS president never went beyond caricatures of their respective government types. Your idea is interesting but I really don't feel that's what they were going for.
I also don't know what to think. That is more what I saw and felt, if they were really aiming for that is, I guess, impossible to know. But the out of proportion L-Elf skills in comparison to your normal school boys and school girls feel more down-to-earth than having a girl with no skills ruling a country. And the evidences were there. Even A-drei response to L-elf unnecessary info-dump he was giving him seems to remark that
Surely all the holes and missing points in Shoko's development, (it felt like they cut away hers and Saki's parts completely from the show), didn't help, but still they decided to show really odds scenes to depict her.
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Old 2014-01-02, 07:14   Link #1070
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At the end of the day they were saved. They survived. Considering the power imbalance between the two forces, I saw that as a victory for Module-77.
Cain's main goal was grabbing a Valvrave, and doing a lot of damage to Module 77 as a secondary goal. He succeeded. He left a lot of student deaths in his wake.

He won the battle, and Module-77 lost the battle. But you can lose a battle without losing the entire war. If I was L-Elf or Haruto, there's no way I'd feel "victorious" after this. I doubt that they did either.
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Old 2014-01-02, 07:15   Link #1071
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At the end of the day they were saved. They survived. Considering the power imbalance between the two forces, I saw that as a victory for Module-77.
Speaking of L-Elf, he had to do with it. Didn't he give Satomi a script to follow? Didn't he take away Shoko from the bridge deck? He organized their defense lines. It's just that Cain outsmarted him. Then the Prue's migraines, due to stress in fighting against Haruto and L-Elf IIRC.
From my point of view the fact that a high school, even supported by VVV, survived to that kind of attach is everything but a defeat.
Actually, if it wasn't for Akira's timely intervention on Unit 6 (which even L-Elf was surprised at), everyone on the module would have been killed by the gas drill, and L-Elf, Haruto as well as the other pilots would have been captured along with the Valvraves. So you can say that Akira is the true reason why Module-77 was able to escape total defeat during that incident.
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Old 2014-01-02, 12:23   Link #1072
Arya
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Cain's main goal was grabbing a Valvrave, and doing a lot of damage to Module 77 as a secondary goal. He succeeded. He left a lot of student deaths in his wake.

He won the battle, and Module-77 lost the battle. But you can lose a battle without losing the entire war. If I was L-Elf or Haruto, there's no way I'd feel "victorious" after this. I doubt that they did either.
I also doubt.
I clearly exaggerated saying "victory". Still as an observer I consider their outcome as positive in the economy of the war. Even more taking into account what kiak666 said (I forgot about that), that basically implies how they were lucky to survive. Even having L-Elf on their side.

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Actually, if it wasn't for Akira's timely intervention on Unit 6 (which even L-Elf was surprised at), everyone on the module would have been killed by the gas drill, and L-Elf, Haruto as well as the other pilots would have been captured along with the Valvraves. So you can say that Akira is the true reason why Module-77 was able to escape total defeat during that incident.
Following your logic, since Akira main drive was to save Shoko, we can conclude that who saved the day was actually Shoko.
Still, I keep thinking that L-elf is the true reason.
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Old 2014-01-02, 16:28   Link #1073
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Arya, what you're describing is sort of what I was hoping they would do with Shoko after episode 21. I was hoping the point of her character would be to take a bit of a dig at the "nice but objectively unqualified princess who comes to political power for a random reason and magically succeeds at everything" stereotype.
That's part of why I was so disappointed that we got nothing, to the point that the writers seem entirely unaware of not just this angle but the problems with her character in general.
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Old 2014-01-03, 08:42   Link #1074
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...No one has to give a heavy-handed delivery of a message when actions speak louder than words: Nanami, forcing herself back to her feet even if she's injured, to put an order to that ship while Shoko did nothing but look aghast ties up with her adult responsibility as teacher. She committed a huge mistake to run an election for the position she was filling before episode 10: these were children who had no idea to how to communicate with each others let alone try to play politicians.

Look at how Kibukawa and Nanami communicated as the slaughter happened in episode 21, they weren't antagonizing each other or pointing fingers about lies, they sort out their priorities and talked things, trusting their judgment. There was no shadow of a doubt, or time to think about their personal drama. These are adults vs children.
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Old 2014-01-11, 14:06   Link #1075
mechalord
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I feel the same way. If the show had more time then hopefully we might have gotten a more fulfilling redemption for her or they could have explored those other options that you used as examples.

Where she's at in the post epilogue, it makes sense that she would want to carry on Haruto's will, but like other people have said before, Haruto wouldn't have wanted her to pilot Hito and go through what he went through (losing his runes, memories) But that's null if they found an alternative way to supply the Valvraves with Runes, but we don't know at the moment.
Haruto was different from other kamitsuki. He was the only one who had to feed and the only one who went berserk. He was also tasked with harvesting runes for pino and the Valvrave.

He was directly linked to Pino, unlike the others.

His death doesn't make sense. One can argue that the previous test pilot died because she didn't feed regularly. L-Elf agreed to get harvested. And Haruto died while mind-linked with L-elf, which means that L-elf should have been splitting the rune load.

Shoko would have been fine if she fed on humans.
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