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Old 2006-04-05, 10:19   Link #41
idofgrahf
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confuscianism despite the change in time continues to be one of the if not The governing principle in Easter Asians lives, believe me, live there studied it seen it in practice. Like I said, the anime is based on the games Mitsuki path and in the end they are happy, what are you arguing about? I think you are way over analazying things, the whole point of the show is to see who Taka truley love, in the end it turned out to be Mistuki and as I said you just have to take his word for it. If everyone started out in life knowing who they love then things would be rather borning no? For him its hard to figure out who he loves more then the other, Haruka who has been in hosipital for the past 3 years or Mitsuki. I would simply say that he loves Mitsuki more but is obligated towards Haruka, and since he can't please two at the same time, he chose to please Haruka because he thought Mitsuki wouldn't really leave him, she is also at least in his point of view a stronger woman then Haruka, which is for the most part true and he could make up for it later (She didn't abandon him when he was in depression why would she start now?). And so the Eternity taka wishes for in the end is with Mitsuki, concluding the anime.
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Old 2006-04-05, 15:22   Link #42
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confuscianism despite the change in time continues to be one of the if not The governing principle in Easter Asians lives, believe me, live there studied it seen it in practice.
Oh dear, you make it sound like we are a very inscrutable people stubbornly clinging to an anachronistic set of traditions, lol. May I know where in East Asia you've seen Confucianism in practise?

I'm Singaporean Chinese. Yes, the influence of Confucian tradition is still very much alive, but not in the same way as it used to be in feudal China 150 years ago. Singaporeans, because of English being our first language, are possibly the most Westernised East Asians outside of Japan. As such, it would be an extremely rare thing for any Chinese couple here to find arranged marriage acceptable. I emphasise Chinese, because among some of our fellow Indian citizens, that might still be the practise -- but their traditions have little to do with Confucianism

You'll find that this attitude is more or less the same in modern Japan. Particularly among women, the expectation for Japanese women to become submissive housewives upon getting married is increasingly being challenged by the younger generations.

However, what I don't know for sure is how young Japanese express romantic love. If J-dramas can be considered reliable, lol, it certainly appears to be more restrained than compared to the West.

There seems, to me at least, to be a preference for many things to be left "unsaid", almost as though saying it would make it less real. Being a complete gaijin, I may be totally misunderstanding them though

My simple point is this -- it's highly unusual, as far as J-drama is concerned, for the hero to so openly declare "I love you", in the same context as Takayuki's and Mitsuki's final scene. Yup, I agree he has carelessly uttered those words in the past. But it seems to me, given the seriousness of the setting, that Takayuki for once, is being truly sincere.

Lol, not everyone will agree of course, but I'm prepared to accept his final words to Mitsuki at face value.
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Old 2006-04-05, 16:28   Link #43
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Um, I'm arguing the same point that Taka's confession should be take at face value so I'm not quite sure why your arguing with me.

Anyways, yes confuscianism does not have as a strong of a influence as it did in ancient times, and in no way am I saying that arranged marriages are common, I', saying they exist as I have seen them being or attempted to be made. ( Confuscianism as far as I know makes no mention of arranged marriages, nor does it preach it in anyway) The philosophy of confuscianism however is still very strong in Asia, why do you think we take care of the old and not send them to a nursry house like they do in the west? (not that its a bad thing) Why do you think entire families still live together in one house, why do you think that Chinses and Japanese values the opinon of their grandparents more then their western counter parts, why do you think that most asian countries still venrate their ancestors? the list goes on.

I use confuscianism to argue that if Taka were to simply leave mitsuki as she is without doing anything, he then would be accused of ingratitude in confuscianism philosophy, which is still very dominate in Japan. (one of the three studies in Bushido is Confuscianism) There is a chinses saying that when you are dying of thurst and some one gave you some water, you should repay the person ten times over when you get the chance. Weither Taka loves Mitsuki or is simply repaying her is up to the viewer I personally think He loves her and if he can repay her by loving her well all the better.
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Old 2006-04-07, 09:25   Link #44
Perishthethought
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First of all, I apologise if I came across as somewhat abrasive. This is an environment of open discussion and dialogue, I don't want to challenge that in any way. My over-analysis is a symptom of trying, sometimes trying too hard, to make sense of and rationalise a lot of the characters actions in the anime. Character development and the realism of their actions based upon such development are very important to me - and what's more, I fundamentally believe that when you pour your heart and soul into a project, a project that is ongoing for several months, sometimes even years, that you ensure that the development of the story and the characters contained therein is not something you throw away. The writers of this anime have gone to what I believe is a much further distance than most other animes in ensuring that the characters within are well-rounded, three dimensional people with depth. Yes, the anime is based on a H-game, a 'dirty exercise in wish fulfillment', but the anime IS NOT the game. They share certain aspects of the story but outside of that the story has been developed in a very specific and very mature way.

When I want to make sense of a characters actions, you can be damn sure that the writers have also had just such a discussion. And oweing to the sophisticated nature of how the story is told in the anime and the remarkable insight and realism it has in terms of how people deal with rapidly deteriorating relationships (as well as a plethora of other crisis), these will not have been 5 minute conversations. Motivation is key in a character driven drama like this one. The motivation for every character's action is right there in the anime, they give you the circumstances, they give you the characters, they even give you the character's chosen outcome - you can see as the anime develops what prompts them to make certain choices and what makes them do otherwise. Some of it is very subtle, almost too subtle to notice on a viewing first time through. In light of future events, certain utterances belie the feeling that will come to the fore later on.

Now, on to a few other things. I do not believe Mitsuki is stronger than Haruka - in fact, I think they're both as affected by Taka as the other. Mitsuki, on losing Taka for the last time, quits her job and wanders around in a sentimental haze, aimlessly and somewhat hilariously in her working outfit. Mitsuki was also very susceptible to her working collegue's advice about 'throwing a pebble' - i.e. do something to make Taka demonstrate he cares. She did this by sleeping with someone, anyone, and it ended up being Shinji. This is not a good way to try and solve problems in a relationship, and instead of communicating with Taka like she should have done, she took the easy way out and got drunk, offering herself up to whoever wanted her. Telling Taka was not an easy thing to do, but she only did so as to get a reaction out of him. 'Don't get mad' she says - and he doesn't. He wasn't even going to in the first place, because he doesn't care about her, to an extent where he can be raging at her, at that point. He's got Haruka on his mind - so what if Mitsuki slept with somebody, your best friend, in fact. He couldn't care less at this point... at least not to the extent that he willing to declare he wants her and only her. Let's not forget Mitsuki threw away her entire life because she wanted to care for Taka - she threw her swimming to be with him (deliberately screwing up the preliminaries to be with him - because otherwise she would have gone to a different Uni, leaving Taka behind). This is not particularly strong - she's let herself be manipulated by her love for him. You could argue that it is a strength to do such things based on love - I don't think so. She cannot leave him alone or take her mind off him, especially post-accident. She couldn't leave him alone while he was officially with Haruka. Haruka, too, is similarly as weak. She burdens Taka with her feelings in the worst possible way, blurting out that she 'likes' him after months (years?) of shadowing him, learning about his every move. She cannot bring herself to tell him to his face, her crippling embarassment rendering her mute. When he is not with her when he is supposed to be, she ends up in tears (like missing the original rendezvous for the festival date).

Where Haruka demonstrates her 'strength' is in telling Taka she no longer needs him herself (her loving the boy of three years ago - a lie). This is not true. In fact, if anything, it is a weakness that she gives him up. She could have fought for him, if it wasn't for the fact that he seemed to have made his mind up. She respects his decision to the extent that she makes it easier for him to walk away, but that does not mean that she doesn't still harbour feelings for him. Watch the bit where she goes for the kiss on the beach. She's putting her all into it, and when she gets no reaction from Taka, she slumps down, distraught. There's a real look of 'Oh no, I've lost him' on her face. Similarly, Mitsuki's leaving of Taka seems to render her as strong, if not more so, than Haruka. She's left him behind, quit her job, and is moving on. Only, she's not because she's just wandering around. She doesn't want to see Taka when they meet again on the hill (she first tries to run away) because she knows that if they meet again, she'll end up falling for him - like Haruka and Taka. This is not strength - this is weakness with avoidance. She knows she'll go weak at the knees for Taka again. Haruka knows this too ('I thought we could remain friends... I realise that was overdoing it'). This parity of susceptibility renders them, at least for me, as weak as each other, or more positively, as strong as each other. The only difference between the two is that Taka wanted Mitsuki, and she got what she (really) wanted in the end.

Incidently, I can't make another post without highlighting how well observed the drunk Mitsuki scene is (where she's back in the flat after a night on the tiles with her collegue). If you've ever seen anyone drunk in your entire life, you'll recognise all the classic symptoms in Mitsuki in that scene. The facial expressions throughout are fantastically done, the behaviour is absolutely spot on. That has to be one of my favourite scenes in the whole anime.

Last edited by Perishthethought; 2006-04-07 at 10:28.
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Old 2006-04-07, 10:37   Link #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perishthethought
First of all, I apologise if I came across as somewhat abrasive. This is an environment of open discussion and dialogue, I don't want to challenge that in any way. My over-analysis is a symptom of trying, sometimes trying too hard, to make sense of and rationalise a lot of the characters actions in the anime. Character development and the realism of their actions based upon such development are very important to me - and what's more, I fundamentally believe that when you pour your heart and soul into a project, a project that is ongoing for several months, sometimes even years, that you ensure that the development of the story and the characters contained therein is not something you throw away. The writers of this anime have gone to what I believe is a much further distance than most other animes in ensuring that the characters within are well-rounded, three dimensional people with depth. Yes, the anime is based on a H-game, a 'dirty exercise in wish fulfillment', but the anime IS NOT the game. They share certain aspects of the story but outside of that the story has been developed in a very specific and very mature way.

When I want to make sense of a characters actions, you can be damn sure that the writers have also had just such a discussion. And oweing to the sophisticated nature of how the story is told in the anime and the remarkable insight and realism it has in terms of how people deal with rapidly deteriorating relationships (as well as a plethora of other crisis), these will not have been 5 minute conversations. Motivation is key in a character driven drama like this one. The motivation for every character's action is right there in the anime, they give you the circumstances, they give you the characters, they even give you the character's chosen outcome - you can see as the anime develops what prompts them to make certain choices and what makes them do otherwise. Some of it is very subtle, almost too subtle to notice on a viewing first time through. In light of future events, certain utterances belie the feeling that will come to the fore later on.

Now, on to a few other things. I do not believe Mitsuki is stronger than Haruka - in fact, I think they're both as affected by Taka as the other. Mitsuki, on losing Taka for the last time, quits her job and wanders around in a sentimental haze, aimlessly and somewhat hilariously in her working outfit. Mitsuki was also very susceptible to her working collegue's advice about 'throwing a pebble' - i.e. do something to make Taka demonstrate he cares. She did this by sleeping with someone, anyone, and it ended up being Shinji. This is not a good way to try and solve problems in a relationship, and instead of communicating with Taka like she should have done, she took the easy way out and got drunk, offering herself up to whoever wanted her. Telling Taka was not an easy thing to do, but she only did so as to get a reaction out of him. 'Don't get mad' she says - and he doesn't. He wasn't even going to in the first place, because he doesn't care about her at that point. He's got Haruka on his mind - so what if Mitsuki slept with somebody, your best friend, in fact. He couldn't care less at this point. Let's not forget Mitsuki threw away her entire life because she wanted to care for Taka - she threw her swimming to be with him (deliberately screwing up the preliminaries to be with him - because otherwise she would have gone to a different Uni, leaving Taka behind). This is not particularly strong - she's let herself be manipulated by her love for him. You could argue that it is a strength to do such things based on love - I don't think so. She cannot leave him alone or take her mind off him, especially post-accident. She couldn't leave him alone while he was officially with Haruka. Haruka, too, is similarly as weak. She burdens Taka with her feelings in the worst possible way, blurting out that she 'likes' him after months (years?) of shadowing him, learning about his every move. She cannot bring herself to tell him to his face, her crippling embarassment rendering her mute. When he is not with her when he is supposed to be, she ends up in tears (like missing the original rendezvous for the festival date).

Where Haruka demonstrates her 'strength' is in telling Taka she no longer needs him herself (her loving the boy of three years ago - a lie). This is not true. In fact, if anything, it is a weakness that she gives him up. She could have fought for him, if it wasn't for the fact that he seemed to have made his mind up. She respects his decision to the extent that she makes it easier for him to walk away, but that does not mean that she doesn't still harbour feelings for him. Watch the bit where she goes for the kiss on the beach. She's putting her all into it, and when she gets no reaction from Taka, she slumps down, distraught. There's a real look of 'Oh no, I've lost him' on her face. Similarly, Mitsuki's leaving of Taka seems to render her as strong, if not more so, than Haruka. She's left him behind, quit her job, and is moving on. Only, she's not because she's just wandering around. She doesn't want to see Taka when they meet again on the hill (she first tries to run away) because she knows that if they meet again, she'll end up falling for him - like Haruka and Taka. This is not strength - this is weakness with avoidance. She knows she'll go weak at the knees for Taka again. Haruka knows this too ('I thought we could remain friends... I realise that was overdoing it'). This parity of susceptibility renders them, at least for me, as weak as each other, or more positively, as strong as each other. The only difference between the two is that Taka wanted Mitsuki, and she got what she (really) wanted in the end.

Incidently, I can't make another post without highlighting how well observed the drunk Mitsuki scene is (where she's back in the flat after a night on the tiles with her collegue). If you've ever seen anyone drunk in your entire life, you'll recognise all the classic symptoms in Mitsuki in that scene. The facial expressions throughout are fantastically done, the behaviour is absolutely spot on. That has to be one of my favourite scenes in the whole anime.
Wow, what a huge amount of content posted in here. I'm really impressed with the amount of thought put into making those posts. Thank you very much for all the alternative views (those supporting Mitsuki, those supporting Takayuki etc).

In any case I have to agree that Takayuki generally has a ambivalent attitude towards relationship, which may be good, or may be bad. As for Mitsuki and Haruka, I may have slightly different views, but I guess I'm too out of touch with the anime now to really substantiate my points.

I do have to comment that to some, fighting for the one you love is the correct thing, but to others, giving up and ensuring that the one you love will be happy is the noble thing to do. I tend to lean towards the latter view, as such, I think, ultimately, a tragedy born out of selfishness and wanting for exclusive love was resolved both giving up the guy they like to the other side. (Simply put, a tragedy born out of selfishness was resolved by unselfish love).

And that, the ties of friendship is undeniable.

Edit: Don't worry about over analysing, I actually think that your analysis is good, and as long as things being rationalised logically, please do not change your style. No offense taken, really.
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Old 2006-04-07, 19:39   Link #46
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Yeah great analysis.
I pretty much only registered to say that...

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Old 2006-04-12, 14:45   Link #47
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sorry, didn't mean to crticize your analysis, I just think that you are reading too much in to the show and characters thats all. Taka is a nice guy but in this situation he is also cruel by being nice.

That said, I think at the start of the show its pretty obvious that Mistuki is the stronger of the two, as the show progess, we see Mistuki and Haruka shift postions which is not a bad thing. Mistuki at the start acts much like more male then female (not a bad thing) while Haruka reminds me of shinobu from love hina (again not a bad thing), but as the show progress these two characters balance out. I will however say this, Mistuki at least fought to get Taka while Haruka just kinda took him for granted after the accident, partly of course because she doesn't realize the time lapse, but really all she did after the acciedent is give me give me etc. So I still think Mistuki is stronger of the two, fighting to get Taka and having the guts to betray her best friend to get him, shows how much she loves him.

Some say its obessive, I don't think so because she did know when to quit. As for her not wanting to meet him I think that is quite natural, how many of you would want to see your ex right after break up? As for Haruka's strength, someone has to give in the end or else the show would last forever since Taka is such a nice guy. Her world revloved around Taka before the accident, for her to be able to break free of he previous attachment shows strength as well as weakness in not pursuing it, its a matter of opinon.
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Old 2006-04-13, 00:30   Link #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idofgrahf
having the guts to betray her best friend to get him, shows how much she loves him.
It takes some guts to be selfish and backstabbing. Yeah, Mitsuki's so brave and determined, I mean, what hero has the courage to betray his best friend like Mitsuki. Mitsuki is the stuff of legends.

Are you actually SERIOUS?
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Old 2006-04-13, 00:43   Link #49
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Actually yes, all's fair in love and war. And lets not forget, she didn't exactly backstab Haruka the moment she got smashed by a car, I would say she didn't even backstab her at all. Considering they don't know when Haruka is going to wake up or if she is going to at all and its been over 3 years I would say what she did is not at all wrong, should her life be on hold just because her friend was in an accident? That and Mistuki wasn't planning to interferer with Haruka and Taka before the accident.

Was Mistuki's actions Selfish? yes, however, I have never meet a person who isn't selfish and never will, you are expecting Mistuki to be like mother theresa in porportion here and even she isn't completely without selfishness. I've posted this before, but I'm willing to bet there isn't a person alive that acts 100% of the time in favor of others and not in their own, ( I say alive because those who actuall do act that way would have given their liver, heart, lungs etc to the hospital in order to save those with liver cancer, lung cancer etc and would be long dead, because if you don't donate them, guess what your being selfish) so I'd say Mistuki's selfishness is more then resonable.
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Last edited by idofgrahf; 2006-04-13 at 00:56.
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Old 2006-04-13, 00:51   Link #50
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Ah well, that's why humanity is doomed. You can't trust anyone with anything. I disagree with this attitude but whatever, judging from global events, I'm a minority declining.
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Old 2006-04-13, 00:58   Link #51
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We're not dead... yet. but no civilization is eternal and certain no human can be immortal...yet.
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Old 2006-04-16, 06:29   Link #52
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Mitsuki's loyalty does shine through on a number of occasions, and her loyalty to Haruka DOES actually convince Taka to go through with the relationship in the first place - it is Mitsuki's interference in highlighting just how much Haruka means to her (as a special friend) and just how much she has been secretly pursuing Taka (so Haruka has a large amount of emotional investment in the scenario and the least Taka can do is agree to a date - which he does). This does not mean, however, that she 100% loyal or is somehow always putting Haruka's interests first. Mitsuki suffers from acute bouts of insecurity (although no more so than Haruka, remember, it's important) and needs to see her love 'tested' in a variety of different ways in order to show if it is worth her time and worry. History repeats itself in this respect because Mitsuki attempts to illicit a reaction of jealousy out of Taka when she tells him about her prospective 'boyfriend' on the hill, much as she does later in the series regarding Shinji - this is purely kids' stuff, as she's attempting to make him say "No wait! I love you! Stop!" but instead, being Takayuki and the picture of niceness, he simply tells her "I'll cheer you on" (which he also does later on in entrusting her to Shinji instead). It is important to realise that Mitsuki, while not deliberately or overly consciously, makes her love known to Taka WHILE he is dating Haruka. She makes it utterly obvious to the point that Taka goes to see her for the aforementioned hilltop scene prior to the festival date. Remember, at this point she seems to think Taka has gone to her out of some inordinate amount of concern for her - he goes because he says anyone would having left three blank messages. She thinks it means 'he will listen to her'... Regardless, Mitsuki is giving Taka's actions a significance he himself does not want to own up to.

Mitsuki does not longer regard Haruka as a friend after the three years have passed, or rather, no longer her 'best friend'. This is in part due to the betrayal she thinks she has committed in taking Taka away HOWEVER it is important to note that for Mitsuki, Haruka is no longer a priority in her life. Mitsuki is the first and most ready to embrace the fact that three years have passed and that there is a life to be gotten on with - she has to in order to keep Taka by her side. Still, despite not regarding Haruka with the same level of friendship she did once before, she STILL pushes Taka towards Haruka in the hospital room upon their first reunion. This is Mitsuki's insecurity, NOT her selflessness or firendship with Haruka, shining through. She needs to see Taka 'tested' in order to guage his love for her over his love for Haruka's 'memory', so to speak. This is also the reason why any overt showing of affection for Mitsuki over Haruka reduces Mitsuki to tears of joy - the moving in, after the first night ('It's alright...') etc. etc. She enjoys any and all displays of Taka demonstrating he thinks of her more than Haruka, to such an extent that is makes her unbelievably happy - because it has always been her insecurity and her lack of trust in Taka's love for her that is her weakness.

Mitsuki is NOT overly selfish, nor is she overly kind. She's human, and has levels of kindness depending on her priorities for her situation. It is important to realise that while trying to maintain her loyalty to Haruka, she does nevertheless make it clear to Taka that she has some interest in him (which, I believe, Taka picks up on). Taka, being the opposite of this, does not have any drive or passion to make sure that his interests are never contradicted (although this is partly because he doesn't really have any apart from 'keep everyone happy') and therefore cannot afford to act on any lingering feeling he might have. Haruka, meanwhile, is very much like Mitsuki in the sense that she has some self-doubt over her relationship with Taka (particularly in light of Mitsuki's incursion, post-confession) and needs to prove to him somehow that she isn't just some charity case he stays with out of obligation. Instead of relying on other people to prove that Taka loves her, she takes matters into her own hands, which is essentially her downfall. Mitsuki, instead, wants the presence of other people/temptations to prove Taka's commitment. One is active, so to speak, the other reactive. Having said that, I don't think we can afford to explicate any profound statement about the human condition from this anime, as inevitably the actions depicted therein are that of specific character sets and I'm always cautious about making sweeping statements generalising the behaviour of an entire planet's worth of people based on merely on the actions of a few characters - no matter how real they may appear to be. A fundamental characteristic of humanity is that the capacity exists, no matter how unfulfilled it may be, to perform actions for the greater good at the cost of one's own enjoyment/quality of life. While it is an argument that is virtually impossible to counter to say that all actions have a selfish root cause, always remember that at least the appearance of a selfless act (or rather the 'significance' thereof) is more than mere selfishness.

Mitsuki, the character, did what she did out of mix of desperation and a genuine thought that Haruka wasn't coming back (or rather, that Taka wasn't going to be able to see her again). THAT is the point at which she breaks. Mitsuki, being brutally honest, actually says that while feeling bad for Haruka because of the accident, she was at least quite pleased to have the opportunity to date Taka. You have to remember that it has been a significant amount of time after Haruka's accident, she looks in her deepest state of being comatose, and it looks like she will never wake up. Add in the fact that Taka can no longer see her and she may as well be. Taka is now 'clear' of Haruka in a relationship sense because he is no longer going to see her nor be able to demonstrate he cares about her. He is, by a stretch, 'fair game' to Mitsuki. Mitsuki actually sees Taka as 'fair game' immediately after the accident, and it was his 'staying by her side' [Haruka's] that slowed Mitsuki's attempts to get to him. This frustration, desperation, and overwhelming love for Taka FORCES her to make a move on him, if not for her own sanity. How she goes about it, however, is where people demonstrate their dislike for her. I must admit, I find Mitsuki's actions distasteful in that scene. Granted, she is desperate, but she does literally throw herself at Taka DESPITE him being in the very lowest state that he has been in since the accident. Taka is virtually comatose himself. While you could argue that it was doing him a favour to provide him with some 'external stimulus' to return him to reality, remember that he is remarkably vulnerable at this stage and starting a relationship would be more to do with exposing his weakness than out of affection for the other party - regardless of how you look at it, Taka IS being taken advantage of in this scene as he is virtually powerless to resist (although you can in the game, should you prefer. Interesting to further note that it is Mitsuki who 'takes the lead' in the ensuing scene, and it is only your last minute decision to back out that stops 'it' from occuring). She also employs emotional blackmail, although probably not intentionally, in getting Taka to sleep with her. Another 'test'... 'Am I not enough?' while stripping naked is a difficult question to answer otherwise while she herself is obviously hurt and upset. It is in this spirit that their relationship starts out on the wrong foot, the very worst foot in fact. This is why Mitsuki is always questioning of her relationship to Taka because they got together out of a spirit of desperation, not as a couple whose courtship flowed as organically as somebody like Shinji and Miki, for example. Even Haruka and Taka were somewhat more conventional than Taka and Mitsuki in their courtship, although not by much. This is one of the root causes of Mitsuki's insecurity, although she has always posessed this quality to a degree - it's just that her determination in swimming and boistrous nature as a kid eclipsed this.
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Old 2006-04-16, 06:55   Link #53
npal
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That whole thing seems circular to me. It essentially holds no value since it is based on a simple circular argument

"Mitsuki behaves like that because she is human"
"Mitsuki is human and therefore can behave like that"

Then no one in this life is at fault, ever. Take ANY human, put him where it says Mitsuki, and the most brutal criminal suddenly becomes human.

As for me, I'll never agree with that logic. Unless we agree that no human has free will but is a product of various factors that stretch back to the beginning of life. If that is not the case, absolving someone of everything (when he doesn't do anything to atone) because he is human is ignorant at best.
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Old 2006-04-16, 07:22   Link #54
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You're well within your rights to condemn Mitsuki for what she did. I am simply providing you with her possible motivation. The fact that you are entitled to make such a decision over the value of her actions is what makes you human. I don't have to agree with it, but then again, neither do you. I can make appeals to whatever overriding moral principle I hold dear to counteract your argument, but that has no more legitimacy or moral superiority than your argument, if it is based on similarly as spurious grounds. What I see in Mitsuki's actions is that of a hurt and emotionally insecure person. That does not make her 'right', nor does it make her a 'good person', whatever that is. It does, however, make her understandable.

While I would agree with you in that there are certain standards of action, defined as 'moralistic', that could do with being followed and adhered to, but these stem more from desires for instrumental compatibility in humanity rather than any overriding principle to see what is 'right' done. What Mitsuki did is no more or less human than that of any other action you care to mention. What a brutal criminal does is no more or less human than any other action. What Mother Teresa does is no more or less human... etc. etc. A brutal criminal is not somehow 'less human' than any other. Nor does Mother Teresa's actions make her somehow 'more' human. Right or wrong? That we can argue about, but if doing something 'wrong' makes me less human, then we have grossly different frames of reference. I have a feeling that the can of worms is going to spring forth at any moment...
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Old 2006-04-16, 10:30   Link #55
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No, I never said anything about standard behaviour, I just said that the argument presented to justify Mitsuki's actions is circular, therefore invalid. On the other hand, I think most of us can understand how specific stimuli lead to such actions and in that sense Mitsuki's actions ARE understandable, as we can comprehend HOW one acts beneficially for others and another does not. Her motivation is pretty obvious, that doesn't mean anything. Everyone has motives for what he does. The question is if those motives can excuse the behaviour. If someone points a gun at Mitsuki and says "Sleep with Taka or else", the motivation is again obvious but is enough to excuse Mitsuki, if she complies. The problem is that no one forced her to do anything, she was fully aware of what she was doing, and she did it. Now, unless no human has free will, she is to be held responsible for her actions.

No one said we were not passing moral judgment, that's what we do when we put the blame on someone. The difference between the ones who sympathize and support Mitsuki and the ones who don't (like myself), is that the former group makes continual usage of a circular argument, the infamous "human argument". I am just trying to point that this argument has no merit.

Second, I didn't say someone is more or less human. I just pointed out that you can't defend someone because he is human whenever he commits something that hurts others.

Third, I didn't say that certain standard actions are defined as moralistic. One's moral compass is personal anyway. Although there are certain standards a philosophy of morals must adhere to, with the first being its ability to apply to everyone. And I can't accept that Mitsuki's moral compass can be applied to everyone's thought and help humanity survive. The purpose of moral systems is to help human relations and ensure the continuation and well-being of the society in which they apply. If we are talking about global morals, the global moral system has to be able to ensure the well-being of everyone or at least the just treatment of the individual.

Now I know, some anarchists will argue that moral systems were created to benefit only those who rule, but I won't even comment on that.

The problem with Mitsuki's actions is that they are indeed betrayal. Would it be better if some other girl, and not Mitsuki, got Takayuki? Well, depends on many things. What if Mitsuki wasn't Haruka's friend to begin with? Well, that's not betrayal, but it's another form of immoral behaviour. Why is it immoral?

Well, I accept that a moral system exists to benefit people and help society stay together. Under that prism, immoral is an action that, if taken to the extreme (and applied to everyone), will cause society to crumble. It's the fundamental question "what if everyone did that?". If everyone acted like Mitsuki, we wouldn't be willing trust anyone. Society stays together because we expect certain patterns of behavior from a great number of different people. Mitsuki's actions, which I label betrayal -people can label it anyway they want- is a)hurting people and b)poses a threat to societal and human bonds if taken to the extreme, and therefore immoral.
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Old 2006-04-16, 11:20   Link #56
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The Kantian categorical imperative! What if everyone did that? There we are, it's arrived! The single most popular moralising argument concieved in the modern era. Thank you Kant, for all the good times and bad. It's a good argument, it is an argument based on the sustainability of the human race, and is what I was getting at earlier when I mentioned instrumental compatability.

I feel I should mention that the circular argument is flawed somewhat because you play with semantics in the second move.

"Mitsuki behaves like that because she is human"
"Mitsuki is human and therefore can behave like that"

In your first move, you say that Mitsuki's behaviour is a symptom of her humanity. In your second move, you claim that her behaviour is somehow excusable in light of the first move (she 'can' behave like that as opposed to behaving like that). The 'can' here is exchanged for the possibility of action with the excusability of the possibility of such action - i.e. the reason for her action is NOT just that, the reason, but instead an appeal to something other than the mere possibility. The excuse. Which for you, comes from an outlying moral credo, or rather, the categorical imperative. So in your second move, you have introduced something other than the mere behaviour itself, but applied a moral standard to it. This was something that was supposed to be avoided, as it changes the argument. This fits in with your standpoint of every action having a motive, or rather a moral standpoint that generates the action committed. This, to an extent, removes the free will from the argument as instead of the person making a decision based upon their credo, their credo IS the decision, or motivates it. This is not free will, so where does the accountability lie? Where does the responsibility lie? To what extent can we excuse an action if we thought we were doing the right thing at the time? The only time we realise that something has been done wrong is when it is demonstrated to us by other parties, other groups, acting in accordance with their own belief systems... So can anybody ever be blamed for anything?!

Bear in mind I'm playing the devil's advocate here. I honestly believe in the accountability of people, the capacity for free will, and the possibility of action without moral equivalence. The moral equivalence is not the action but something applied to it afterwards - like light through a lens. Whether we should have an outlying set of morals with which to act as a guiding principle is of no concern to me. The only set of morals I hold are that of the importance and sanctity of the human life, and the support of the overall quality therein. That does not mean I feel should apply my morals to anybody else, or institute them as a moral standard. If somebody disagrees with me, so be it. I don't have the 'will to power' you seem to demonstrate. You mention that a philosophy of morality should apply to everyone, and that everybody should be held accountable to the same moral standpoint were it to be instituted. We all do it, however, I do not pretend that one set is more important or legitimate than the other. Even my own moral standpoint is no more legitimate (although for me to hold it I have to believe otherwise...), being based on nothing other than a desire to see nobody dead and everybody living a good life. For better or worse, it is the will of the greatest amount of people that dictates what is right or wrong, nothing more, nothing less.

"...and the most brutal criminal suddenly becomes human."

I'm sorry but that phrase seemed to me to be loaded with a sub-human connotation. That a criminal 'becomes' human because we can understand their actions underlines their humanity. Because somebody acts in a way in which we cannot understand, that does not entitle us to treat them as less than human or regard them in such a way. Not that I am saying what is right or wrong, but criminals are humans too. It is not a 'defense' to say that a criminal is a human. I was not 'excusing' the actions of a criminal just as much as I do not 'excuse' the actions of Mother Teresa. I don't need to 'excuse' anybody of anything, much as I don't feel I need to 'excuse' Mitsuki of how she acted. I said I found her actions 'distasteful' in light of her taking advantage of a vulnerable Takayuki. I do think we have quite similar positions, however, I do not think that what Mitsuki did was particularly right or particularly wrong. I am very careful about making such a judgement, as I am aware of the positions involved. You use the categorical imperative position to argue how Mitsuki's position is immoral. It is immoral under that conception. It is wrong, under that conception. It is not immoral outside of that. It is nothing - it has no connotation. If instrumentality should be the basis of society, and what is right is whatever supports that, then it is wrong. However, there are myriad different societies, many of which do not abide by the principles of instrumentality. Western democracy barely qualifies. Societies can function, albeit 'poorly' or 'badly' viewed under the impression that instrumentality should be the 'right way'. A society is then instead a system that functions according to the norms and values already assigned to it under your conception. That's not 'A' society but a type of society. They are not the same thing.
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Old 2006-04-16, 12:24   Link #57
npal
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Kant's nice. I don't see anyone using it in moral arguments though. I do see the "human argument" most of the time. If it was so ingenius, people would've been using that. Instead, the usual arguments are either the human nature argument or the relativity of morality.

Well yes, I thought the "can" and the whole argument was more appropriate than saying "Mitsuki is human because she behaves thus" and "Mitsuki behaves thus because she is human". But if that will make it clearer, you can use the above as a circular argument. And I wasn't the one supporting the circular argument, I was just stating it.

Well, your stance about morality being subjective is understandable, but if all moral systems are subjective, what keeps me from killing everyone? What keeps everyone from killing everybody else if every moral guideline is subjective? And why shouldn't I kill people? We have to come with a definition about WHAT is morality. And to me, morality has nothing to do with divine right and wrong. It has to do with what I said in my previous post.

Someone might argue that morality is just a set of rules that help the individual survive, instead of the group, so I can consider actions that hurt others but benefit me as morally sound. Sure, but a) how long will you be able to survive alone? The evolution of humanity encouraged group creation. If that wasn't viable, it wouldn't have been encouraged, as is the harsh law of evolution.

If someone doesn't care whether he or the local or global society survives, well, I can't say anything to him.

When I say "a moral system should apply to everyone" means that one must take his moral system and assume that everyone adheres to the exact same system and see if his system is viable. After all, when we think of morality, each of us thinks that his own system is correct, whatever that may be. The logical step that people don't make is to apply it to everyone. It's like how a thief steals from others but gets frustrated when people steal from him because he couldn't comprehend that some people are doing the exact same thing, with the exact same thoughts, only this time he's on the receiving end. Or how someone betrays someone else with ease and then is devastated when he is in turn betrayed.

About the "becoming human" part, I wasn't actually considering a criminal to be sub-human. What I did say however is that, under the mentioned human argument, EVERYONE is just human. Maybe I should add the just there -> "and the most brutal criminal suddenly becomes 'just human' ". In this sense, no matter whan everyone does, he is just human, he is not a traitor, or a criminal or a thief or whatever. He is just human. Well EVERYBODY is just human so what's the point of the whole argument? And what is human to begin with? Why should all harmful behaviours be considered human? Depends on the definition of what it is to be human. But that's not really relevant when talking about morals. If only ONE human existed on this Earth, can we even talk about morality? The only law that one human has to obey is the law of nature, which is a simple word. Survive. Morality is tied to group of people and therefore should be discussed as a vital part of that relation. There's no morality without other people. Since the individual wants to be happy and prosper, we have to assume that the more people a moral system helps, the more "right" it is. If we were all left to do things according to his personal moral system, we'd be worse than a jungle. A common ground is needed for the global community to prosper as a whole. Saying that morality is relevant is a nice step, since it enables individuals from different societies to accept each other up to a point, but staying that won't accomplish much in the long run, unless a common ground of understanding and agreement is reached.

Well, again, if people DON'T want the community to prosper as a whole, what can I say, we're going to go like the dinosaurs at some point, hurray...

I do consider my two rules to be superior to any other moral system.
And my two rules are these:
1. If something hurts people, it's wrong.
2. What if everyone did the same?

I have written an essay about WHY I chose those two rules, so if you're interested, I could sent it in. There's a simple system with which to apply those two rules. This system along with those rules can (up till now) describe an action as morally sound, morally wrong or totally irrelevant. And it's a pretty good guideline I might add in that it does what it is supposed to do, mainly to avoid getting people hurt.
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Old 2006-04-17, 23:04   Link #58
Stardust
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The show ended in the only way it could have...

I am a new fan of the show (watched it in one sitting yesterday!), and I'm shocked at how deeply it can cut you. I'm also impressed at the lengthy comments here, but I think that after all is said and done, the show ended in the only way it could have ended, since it boils down to which one Taka chooses, Haruka or Mitsuki, and the painful (but obvious in retrospect) answer is Mitsuki. Because in the end, no matter how much Haruka or Taka wanted it, they simply could never go back, and their memories together were just that now, memories.
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Old 2006-04-17, 23:16   Link #59
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To PerishTheThought:

I only watched the show a couple days ago, and it has left a profound impression on me. Just wanted to say thanks for the insightful commentary, since you pointed out many things I suspected but wasn't sure of, and I must confess, you make some pf the very same points I would have made if I hadn't been such a latecomer to this thread. I get the feeling that we both see the show ending the way it should have been (according to us at least!).
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Old 2006-04-18, 15:17   Link #60
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Me think if you guys are going to argue philosophy at least argue on the ones that is in use, mainly social contract not Kants categorical imperative. Kants categorical imperative would have said lying no matter under what circumstance would be wrong because you have to use lying as a unverisal maxim. That said, everyone would be a traitor not just Mistuki because very one lies with in his/her life time.

That said however, I still fail to see how Mistuki is a traitor, may be its just me but being selfish is just as important as being unselfish. Everyone is selfish even the most revered of saints, eveyone watch for their own interest, (other wise you would probably be six feet under by now) and everyone at least once in there life put their interest before that of their friends weither knowingly or not. so does that make everyone traitors? Betrayers? Everyone are ONLY human, to say that you don't have a selfish bone in your body is the same thing as saying that you are a God among men, in other words impossible. All it comes down to is that Mistuki is know watching for her own interest instead of Haruka's, how is it then that Mistuki is a betrayer when all she is doing is watching out for herself? So then watching out for your own interest is wrong then?
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