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Old 2011-05-21, 09:34   Link #164
Komrades of Kitamura Kou
Join Date: Jul 2004
Age: 33
I watched episode 19 the same day I watched episode 18 of Clannad After Story. Left me in a strange euphoric high for days. Anyway so as not to sound redundant on one of the best RomCom episodes I have ever seen, I stand by the very same post I talked about more than 2 years ago.

What makes Taiga for me for me stand at amongst a whole slew of characters of a similar character build (Tsundere, but not really so much of that) is that unlike the others, we are given some insight and backstory that givs some weight as to why her personality is as such and why she acts that way to Yuuji to some degree. Now I personally don't think she's Tsundere as most people seem to say she is, but she does share some similar traits, but as a whole she's more different than that.

Taiga is a very, very, very, really really flawed character. Even if her traits are similar to many other characters of the same archetype, she isn't like that for some default reason of by some completely sadistic personality disorder. She has a bit more backstory from what I've seen in the series (and purely the series, never read the original material), and backs it up with consistent action and language. Granted the past 2 episodes are a bit of a deviation, but she does state some plausible reasons for suddenly being nice which is a polar opposite expectation to how she would be acting even though it's Xmas, again pointing out her own inner conflicts in terms of how she "genuinely" treats other people. She's already selective enough as it is.

Her violent and anti-social attitude is perhaps deeply rooted in her anger towards her father and towards a feeling of betrayel she gets from people she'd have thought really cared about her. Even if people truly cared, with the exception on Minorin, she still acts the way she is.

From a Psychiatric POV this is a typical defensive technique to shield oneself from hurt and harm by being unapproachable and eccentric. At the same time these people are also the ones crying out loud for someone to love them, but their defensive stanced prevent them from reaching this.

Taiga is almost a classic example of this. I would know, I used to be like her.

I think one of the reasons why she acts like a bitch towards Yuuji is that Yuuji, to some extent, acts like sort of a "father figure" type to Taiga. Yuuji is genuinely a caring and loving person, one of the very few genuinely real anime characters of that type I've seen in recent years. That said, we all know of Taiga's history with her father. She hates the bastard for understandable reasons. I doubt she truly understands to have a caring male figure, most likely having had an absent or irresponsible father most of her life. She treats him like crap, rightfully so, and doesn't perhaps truly understand what it means to have someone "caring" over her.

I'd think she had spent most of her life looking out for herself. Besides Minorin anyway, she's never had a an adult figure and someone to truly rely on. Remember how she laments that she fears she'll never have someone care over her, thinking that the men in her life never gave a damn about her. She has some probably dislike for men, or at least some fear, which extends towards her crushes. Towards that she is suddenly all hesitant, shy and reserved, a far cry from her violent and aggressive self. The only man to have really cared for her was Ryuuji.

Which is why about at around the end of the father arc I think I finally understood why she treats Yuuji as she does:

She sees Yuuji as an extension of her father, thus a father figure, and as such treats him like crap. And yet, as the conflict in herself manifests to us, she is unable to respond and integrate well to the fact that Yuuji is indeed, very much different than her father is. That Yuuji is unlike any caring man that she seen before, she simply does not know how to act. She would simply treat him as she treats her father, but he is obviously a person far from him.

I see her conflict enough as it is. Many scenes were shown of her being dumbfounded enough as it is that Yuuji is nice to her despite her abuse. She clearly isn't well adjusted to this, and like a maladjusted person reponds typically with disdain. But as the series progresses, despite her usual violence, I can see some appreciation in her eyes.

She's slowly warming up to him. She is, in short, slowly learning.

The years of neglect and potential man/father hate is slowly disappearing. She has never appreciated what it meant to have someone care for her, despite her longing for one, because she never grew up with it. She never truly understood, because she was not given the chance. The first time she felt what it was like to have someone care for her almost without recompense was Yuuji. She didn't understand, she didn't know, she could not notice, and thus couldn't appreciate. But she found herself on that street, crying out his name, because she finally realized what it was to truly have someone watch over her.

This, I think, is what makes her the penultimate example of her character type.

And with that, with her heartfelt realization, tells me no other person deserved Yuuji more than her.
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