View Poll Results: What's your favorite faction?

Voters
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  • Oodou

    18 5.92%
  • Flag

    129 42.43%
  • Onigiri

    95 31.25%
  • Pencil

    6 1.97%
  • Mission Impossible

    9 2.96%
  • Marker

    2 0.66%
  • Cousin

    3 0.99%
  • Kid Meal

    30 9.87%
  • Monkey

    12 3.95%
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  1. #51
    DemonXero is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    I just finished the most recent chapter in the manga. At first I was really rooting for Flag...but now I'm just at a point where if he hooks up with any other girl EXCEPT for Tenma, then I'll be pretty satisfied with the series. If it ends up being with Tenma, I will probably never watch or read the series ever again. I'm not a big fan of crappy endings. Especially cuz I can't stand it when Harima finally realizes that Tenma doesnt like him and then in some stupid way, he misunderstands and goes back after her (over and over and over again). Arggh...it's getting kinda irrating.

  2. #52
    Opmrph is offline Member Frequent Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemonXero
    I just finished the most recent chapter in the manga. At first I was really rooting for Flag...but now I'm just at a point where if he hooks up with any other girl EXCEPT for Tenma, then I'll be pretty satisfied with the series. Especially cuz I can't stand it when Harima finally realizes that Tenma doesnt like him and then in some stupid way, he misunderstands and goes back after her (over and over and over again). Arggh...it's getting kinda irrating.
    Tell me about it, the sooner he gets rejected by Tenma, the sooner the plot starts going somewhere

  3. #53
    skye is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    I will stop reading too if the story leads to Harima-Tenma. Harima..is the most idiot person in the world, too idiot to realize that there's a hot chick fallen in love with him..zzz

  4. #54
    pizza_blade is offline Member Newbie
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    Why the Oudou hate?

    I am not saying that I support Tenma-Harima, but it IS one of the probable path. In fact, should Jin choose this path, I think it will be interesting to see how he will manage to pull it off amidst all of those relationship chaos in School Rumble.

    At least, in my opinion, Tenma-Harima is a lot more interesting pairing than the ever-generic (and typical too, I might add) Eri-Harima.

  5. #55
    Swampstorm is offline Senior Member Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by pizza_blade
    At least, in my opinion, Tenma-Harima is a lot more interesting pairing than the ever-generic (and typical too, I might add) Eri-Harima.
    It's far from generic. Not only does is the pairing based on the two most well developed characters in the series, but their interactions are constantly evolving throughout the series. If you take a pairing like Onigiri, by contrast, the interactions exclusively depend on writing manga and philosophizing - and when Harima stopped writing manga, their relationship recieved no further development. Oudou, too, is limited in the sense that Harima and Tenma's interactions create entertaining situations mainly by virtue of having parallel reactions to events. As of about Valentine's day, Oudou loses this aspect of it's relationship, only to be replaced by Flag. This only adds to a large list of tricks that Flag has in it's repetoire - whether it be in humorous banter, or sweet, moving, and emotional scenes like the ones we just witnessed in S2 Ep.17.

    It's an amazing pairing.

  6. #56
    Opmrph is offline Member Frequent Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    It's far from generic. Not only does is the pairing based on the two most well developed characters in the series, but their interactions are constantly evolving throughout the series. If you take a pairing like Onigiri, by contrast, the interactions exclusively depend on writing manga and philosophizing - and when Harima stopped writing manga, their relationship recieved no further development. Oudou, too, is limited in the sense that Harima and Tenma's interactions create entertaining situations mainly by virtue of having parallel reactions to events. As of about Valentine's day, Oudou loses this aspect of it's relationship, only to be replaced by Flag. This only adds to a large list of tricks that Flag has in it's repetoire - whether it be in humorous banter, or sweet, moving, and emotional scenes like the ones we just witnessed in S2 Ep.17.

    It's an amazing pairing.

    I wouldn’t say its far from generic, you see the Eri archetype in many mangas, down to how (correct me if I’m wrong) it seems that every major interaction between Eri and Harima, ends up with Harima, often unwillingly, having to bail Eri out of some predicament ie. the arranged marriage fiasco, against Max in Kyoto. Typical knight in shining armour stuff. Or otherwise its coincidence, where they’re forced to work with each other, at the beach, the kibasen match etc.
    It goes without saying that the interactions between Eri and Harima are more probable simply due to the fact they are in the same class and that Eri is a friend of Tenma’s, hence the reason why most of the interactions happen in class activities (Kyoto, cultural festival and so on)

    On the other hand, when Harima needs help (albeit just with his manga) he willingly goes to Yakumo. However whether or not their relationship develops is entirely up to KJ, all he has to do is expand on Harima’s mangaka career in the next arc.

    Oudou has its merits but when you consider the low popularity of Tenma as a character, although it’s a possibility, it’s the lowest one. Though personally I would prefer Oudou over Flag anyday.

  7. #57
    Swampstorm is offline Senior Member Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    I wouldn’t say its far from generic, you see the Eri archetype in many mangas, down to how (correct me if I’m wrong) it seems that every major interaction between Eri and Harima, ends up with Harima, often unwillingly, having to bail Eri out of some predicament ie. the arranged marriage fiasco, against Max in Kyoto. Typical knight in shining armour stuff. Or otherwise its coincidence, where they’re forced to work with each other, at the beach, the kibasen match etc.
    There's a common myth that non-archetypal characters exist, and are preferable because they are more "original" than archtypal characters. Archetypes are an inescapable aspect of storywriting. Every character in every story can be linked with a particular archetype. Originality comes from the manner in which the character develops and grows throughout the course of the story. Archetypes only really become an issue when they become commercialized. For example, when you see a character show up every episode only to display a new moe fetish outfit (Yukata, Miko-outfit, Maid-outfit, Bunny Girl-outfit, Police Officer-outfit, Witch-outfit, Nekomimi-outfit, etc.) you can see that the character serves little purpose outside of being a marketing tool to target all different types of fan groups.

    Properly designed characters can be distinguished from commercial ones, though. Characters like Eri become immensely popular and encourage the production of commercial varients of their archetype. However, characters like Eri have a level of character depth that cannot be emulated by superficially mimicking their personality traits - and that is where real originality comes from.

    Harima and Eri both bail each other out of situations. In Ep.22/23 S1, during the Sports Festival, for example, Eri throws herself to the ground and injures her leg, just to protect Harima's baldness - she bails him out of trouble. In return, Harima exposes his baldness to rescue 2-C's chances of winning the Sports Festival. There's a number of other occasions where Eri steps in to protect Harima, as when she pays for his restaurant bill when he can't afford it. As a matter of fact, even in the Kyoto arc, which you mentioned, Eri becomes Max's hostage only because she volunteers to go - to protect Harima from getting beaten up again.

    Eri and Harima's interactions have a great deal of variety. They're thrown together into just about every situation imaginable - and the results range from comedic, to dramatic and emotional. The events where one character is forced to protect the other is just a small subset of the vast array of different interactions that we see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    It goes without saying that the interactions between Eri and Harima are more probable simply due to the fact they are in the same class and that Eri is a friend of Tenma’s, hence the reason why most of the interactions happen in class activities (Kyoto, cultural festival and so on)
    They need not be probable. Remember, Harima thinks that Eri is serious bad luck, and actively tries to avoid her. Much of the story involves events (as guided by the author) that conspire to drag Harima and Eri together. The beauty of this couple is that it is completely improbable and unconventional. As a matter of fact, that is where "Flag" gets its name from. Harima's choices are like those in a dating sim - he makes exactly the right combination of choices (completely unintentionally, of course) to pull him towards Eri. Think about how random some of these events are - what are the chances that Harima would make an accidental confession to Eri? That he would happen to stay over at the dojo that Mikoto is looking after at exactly the same time that Eri was there? That Hanai would be absent at just the right time to allow Harima to have the highest English mark amongst the guys, allowing him to plan the Kyoto trip with Eri? That his Harima x Tenma marriage charm would leak in the rain, to create a Harima x Eri marriage charm? Flag's charm is in making the impossible possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    On the other hand, when Harima needs help (albeit just with his manga) he willingly goes to Yakumo. However whether or not their relationship develops is entirely up to KJ, all he has to do is expand on Harima’s mangaka career in the next arc.
    He goes to Yakumo only because she isn't in his class. However, the shared secret of the manga becomes a non-issue when Harima unveils it to Tenma. Another point to note is that Harima's manga career was exactly parallel to KJ's career until Christmas. After his manga dreams were crushed, the story pulled completely away from Onigiri - and their storylines were no longer parallel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    Oudou has its merits but when you consider the low popularity of Tenma as a character, although it’s a possibility, it’s the lowest one. Though personally I would prefer Oudou over Flag anyday.
    Oudou is a solid pairing, and serves to create some important conflicts over the course of SR. However, there are a few problems with Oudou. Firstly, Harima's approach to a relationship with Tenma has always been egocentric in nature - and his growth as a character depends on his ability to show support for Tenma's desires, rather than sabotaging them and trying to force a relationship. Secondly, Oudou has had remarkably little focus for a main pairing in the series. If Flag were to remain a side pairing, then KJ would have sidelined it a long time ago, before it got out of control and took over the series. Lastly, Karasuma's growing relationship with Tenma is the biggest obstacle that Oudou faces. Not only was True Oudou designated as a central pairing from day one (Harima and Oudou aren't even introduced until chapter two of the manga), but Karasuma shows himself to be opening up as a character through his interactions with Tenma - and we see Tenma as well mellowing through her interactions with Karasuma. As a matter of fact, Tenma has even stopped her raditional "syncronization routine" with Harima in the process (which Eri has started up with Harima, in Tenma's place), which was the biggest bond between Tenma and Harima. In all, Tenma and Karasuma are growing closer by the day, and it's unlikely to see their established relationship torn apart simply to accomodate Harima's personal desires.

    I'm not surprised that you prefer Oudou to Flag. I've even seen Riceballers promote the Pencil Faction during the omiai arc, hoping that something, anything would stop the inexorable progress between Harima and Eri.

  8. #58
    pizza_blade is offline Member Newbie
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    Swampstorm, the front fighter of Flag Faction.

    No matter how 'sophisticated' your explanation over this matter, Swamp, I still see Flag as one of those generic anime pairing. And why do you seemingly vehement on disagreeing with this assessment? Just because Flag is generic doesn't mean that in the end Eri-Harima wouldn't happen. Eri-Harima being generic doesn't impair the probability that this faction win in the end--in fact, I think being generic basically raises the odd for this faction to win, seeing that there are already a crapload amount of animes/mangas out there with successful generic pairings.

    Just example of Flag generic-ness (is this a word?):
    1. The Love-Hate relationship. Well, at least its from Eri's direction, seeing that using the term 'love' for Harima is not appropriate..., yet.
    2. Bickering. Bickering. Bickering. How many times do you see this pattern on romantic animes/mangas? Really. Honestly. A million times? More than that, I am sure.
    3. Denial of feelings. Again, from Eri's side. "No, I don't like him!" blushes. "No, I hate him" blushes. "No, you're wrong!" blushes. Come on, honestly, can't you say that this pattern is the very definition of generic as hell?
    4. Both of them are, like, total opposites. Total opposites couple in animes/mangas = genericness.

    Once again, I am not saying that them being generic is necessarily a bad thing or anything. Them being generic doesn't necessarily impair the plausibility of this faction to happen in the end, should Jin choose this path.

    But, no matter how many times you sugarcoat it with sophisticated and 'meaningful' explanations, the portrayal of their relationship is generic.

    Deal with it, okay?

  9. #59
    Opmrph is offline Member Frequent Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    There's a common myth that non-archetypal characters exist, and are preferable because they are more "original" than archtypal characters. Archetypes are an inescapable aspect of storywriting. Every character in every story can be linked with a particular archetype.
    I agree, in a highly popular genre like shounen romance manga (such as School Rumble), the use of archetypes is unescapable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    Archetypes only really become an issue when they become commercialized. For example, when you see a character show up every episode only to display a new moe fetish outfit (Yukata, Miko-outfit, Maid-outfit, Bunny Girl-outfit, Police Officer-outfit, Witch-outfit, Nekomimi-outfit, etc.) you can see that the character serves little purpose outside of being a marketing tool to target all different types of fan groups.
    LOL no need to pull punches, you can just say Yakumo is who you believe to be a heavily commercialised archetype. I can’t deny the fact that Yakumo serves as a type of fan service in the manga, but so do Eri, Mikoto, even Tenma; nearly all the main female characters have received some sort of fan service. KJ’s free to put as much as he wants in his manga, and he aims to please the fans, don’t forget that Yakumo is the most popular character (as of the 3rd popularity poll). Perhaps in future chapters we’ll see Eri wearing something other than her school clothes or a bikini.
    Where I believe you’re grossly wrong is when you say she serves little other purpose than fanservice. I believe Yakumo has far more potential as a character than say, Eri. Yakumo is given far more emphasis in the manga (ie many of the b chapters focus mainly on her). At the beginning of the manga she was portrayed as a timid (especially among boys), demure girl who only really had her sister and her cat as a companion. Up to the current chapter (18, now she’s gotten more outgoing, she has a host of new friends (including Harima), we learn more about her connection with children, Iori, her inner struggle with a mysterious ghost and her mind reading powers (sounds sorta stupid I know), her development with Harima (whatever that may be), her strong relationship with her sister, as well as the past behind the Tsukamoto family.
    You place far too much emphasis on what Yakumo wears and not enough emphasis on how her character has developed, like you said;
    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    Originality comes from the manner in which the character develops and grows throughout the course of the story.
    Compare this with Eri who, only seems to develop as a character when she’s interacting with Harima. When she’s with the other girls, she’s just a secondary character. All I can recall of Eri right now is that she’s a rich half-Japanese, half-English girl(?), seems to be in a semi-state of denial/confusion in regards to Harima (who she has a crush on), loves her father dearly, but doesn’t see him often, has a estranged relationship with her mother and oh, she has an arranged marriage. Add this to the fact that her character develops only relative to her growing feelings for Harima, means that with no Harima, no character development. Just like her name implies (Eri literally means ‘love reason’) I believe she only shows her worth as a character as a love interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    Characters like Eri become immensely popular and encourage the production of commercial varients of their archetype. However, characters like Eri have a level of character depth that cannot be emulated by superficially mimicking their personality traits - and that is where real originality comes from.
    So it’s true what Nietzsche said, ‘Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.’ As much as I’ld love to agree with you, unless you substantiate your argument or make your statements less positive and more of an opinion, I can’t.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    Harima and Eri both bail each other out of situations. In Ep.22/23 S1, during the Sports Festival, for example, Eri throws herself to the ground and injures her leg, just to protect Harima's baldness - she bails him out of trouble. In return, Harima exposes his baldness to rescue 2-C's chances of winning the Sports Festival
    True, but it was Eri who shaved his head in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    There's a number of other occasions where Eri steps in to protect Harima, as when she pays for his restaurant bill when he can't afford it.
    I was aware of this, hence why I pointed out the major ones only, the ones where Eri and Harima’s relationship shows the most progress, namely the Omiai and Kyoto arc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    As a matter of fact, even in the Kyoto arc, which you mentioned, Eri becomes Max's hostage only because she volunteers to go - to protect Harima from getting beaten up again.
    True, but that didn’t change the outcome that the Princess had to be saved from the dragon by the knight in shining armour. I think Harima would have gone regardless, in order to get his marriage charm back.


    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    The beauty of this couple is that it is completely improbable and unconventional.
    It was probable the moment Harima accidentally confessed to Eri. I don’t find the pairing completely unconventional; the delinquent with the tsundere, what’s more unconventional is the delinquent with someone overly-cute and innocent like Tenma.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    As a matter of fact, that is where "Flag" gets its name from. Harima's choices are like those in a dating sim - he makes exactly the right combination of choices (completely unintentionally, of course) to pull him towards Eri.
    I never knew the origin of the ‘Flag’ name, thanks for the info ^^


    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    Think about how random some of these events are - what are the chances that Harima would make an accidental confession to Eri? That he would happen to stay over at the dojo that Mikoto is looking after at exactly the same time that Eri was there? That Hanai would be absent at just the right time to allow Harima to have the highest English mark amongst the guys, allowing him to plan the Kyoto trip with Eri? That his Harima x Tenma marriage charm would leak in the rain, to create a Harima x Eri marriage charm? Flag's charm is in making the impossible possible.
    Hmm… I see what you mean, the main drawcard of the Flag pairing seems to be purely coincidence.


    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    He goes to Yakumo only because she isn't in his class. However, the shared secret of the manga becomes a non-issue when Harima unveils it to Tenma. Another point to note is that Harima's manga career was exactly parallel to KJ's career until Christmas. After his manga dreams were crushed, the story pulled completely away from Onigiri - and their storylines were no longer parallel.
    Sorry, I didn’t mean the actual physical act of going to the other classroom; I meant his going to Yakumo for assistance, for example, ringing her up for help, asking her to stay at his apartment. Even if the secret’s out I don’t think this will change the fact that he will go to Yakumo for help with his manga. Just because it has been paralleling KJ’s career doesn’t mean he can’t choose to make it a ‘what if’ path.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    Oudou is a solid pairing, and serves to create some important conflicts over the course of SR. However, there are a few problems with Oudou. Firstly, Harima's approach to a relationship with Tenma has always been egocentric in nature - and his growth as a character depends on his ability to show support for Tenma's desires, rather than sabotaging them and trying to force a relationship. Secondly, Oudou has had remarkably little focus for a main pairing in the series. If Flag were to remain a side pairing, then KJ would have sidelined it a long time ago, before it got out of control and took over the series. Lastly, Karasuma's growing relationship with Tenma is the biggest obstacle that Oudou faces. Not only was True Oudou designated as a central pairing from day one (Harima and Oudou aren't even introduced until chapter two of the manga), but Karasuma shows himself to be opening up as a character through his interactions with Tenma - and we see Tenma as well mellowing through her interactions with Karasuma. As a matter of fact, Tenma has even stopped her raditional "syncronization routine" with Harima in the process (which Eri has started up with Harima, in Tenma's place), which was the biggest bond between Tenma and Harima. In all, Tenma and Karasuma are growing closer by the day, and it's unlikely to see their established relationship torn apart simply to accomodate Harima's personal desires.
    I agree, we’ll see what happens when Karasuma leaves for America.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampstorm
    I'm not surprised that you prefer Oudou to Flag. I've even seen Riceballers promote the Pencil Faction during the omiai arc, hoping that something, anything would stop the inexorable progress between Harima and Eri.
    I hope you’re not mistaking me for a Onigiri fanboy, I acknowledge the Flag pairing, and I know a sinking ship when I see one (excuse the pun), and the existence of the Onigiri pairing itself is purely based on individual perspective. I just simply don’t like Eri as a character (yes, I’m a guy).
    Last edited by Opmrph; 08-03-2006 at 01:39 AM.

  10. #60
    Swampstorm is offline Senior Member Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by pizza_blade
    No matter how 'sophisticated' your explanation over this matter, Swamp, I still see Flag as one of those generic anime pairing. And why do you seemingly vehement on disagreeing with this assessment? Just because Flag is generic doesn't mean that in the end Eri-Harima wouldn't happen. Eri-Harima being generic doesn't impair the probability that this faction win in the end--in fact, I think being generic basically raises the odd for this faction to win, seeing that there are already a crapload amount of animes/mangas out there with successful generic pairings.

    Once again, I am not saying that them being generic is necessarily a bad thing or anything. Them being generic doesn't necessarily impair the plausibility of this faction to happen in the end, should Jin choose this path.
    I'm not challenging your right to choose to label Flag as a generic pairing. I'm challenging the relevance and the consistancy of that label. The probability of Flag's success is irrelevant in this regard.

    Just example of Flag generic-ness (is this a word?):
    1. The Love-Hate relationship. Well, at least its from Eri's direction, seeing that using the term 'love' for Harima is not appropriate..., yet.
    2. Bickering. Bickering. Bickering. How many times do you see this pattern on romantic animes/mangas? Really. Honestly. A million times? More than that, I am sure.
    3. Denial of feelings. Again, from Eri's side. "No, I don't like him!" blushes. "No, I hate him" blushes. "No, you're wrong!" blushes. Come on, honestly, can't you say that this pattern is the very definition of generic as hell?
    4. Both of them are, like, total opposites. Total opposites couple in animes/mangas = genericness.
    1. In a romance series, any guy or girl who has the potential to become a couple with someone else can take one of two approaches: warm up instantly to their love interest, or be initially unapproachable and warm up later on. If the Love-Hate relationship is generic, then the alternative, the Love-Love relationship, is equally generic. Is every relationship in every romance series then generic? If so, what purpose does the label "generic serve? Isn't it redundant?
    2. Bickering is a consequence of disagreement, which is a consequence of Love-Hate relationships. Agreement is a consequence of Love-Love relationships. Regardless of whether a couple agrees or disagrees, they still end up appearing to be generic. There really is no escape, is there?
    3. A character can deny their feelings, or they can express them. A character who expresses their feelings puts their cards on the table, which forces the other character to decide on their own feelings. The dramatic tension in the story comes from the fact that we haven't heard a 'yes' or 'no', yet. There isn't much way around this one, I'm afraid.
    4. It's hard to classify the two as "opposites" or "similar" (both of which would have to be equally generic, for consistancy). While Harima and Eri have some differences in their personalities (in terms of introversion vs. extroversion and so on), the two have a remarkable number of similarities - so much so, that they often have very similar responses when faced with similar problems. They're similar enough that they have common ground, and different enough to complement each other nicely.

    As I've pointed out earlier, nothing in a story is free from archetypes. Can you show me a relationship in SR that doesn't belong to an archetype? The word 'generic' is meaningless if it equally applies to all of the relationships in the series.

    Perhaps the word you're really looking for is "universal", rather than generic. SR is remarkably good at depicting the principles of human nature and it's fallibility - which is where most of its humor comes from. If Harima and Eri appear to be generic for embodying universal human qualities, then so be it. Art needs to always draw relevance from life, after all.

    But, no matter how many times you sugarcoat it with sophisticated and 'meaningful' explanations, the portrayal of their relationship is generic.

    Deal with it, okay?
    Your decision to label the pairing (and, in the process of being consistant, all other romantic pairings) as being generic is an arbitrary choice on your part. As such, the phrase "...the portrayal of their relationship is generic." presents your opinion under the pretense of appearing to be fact. To be more accurate, you would do well to add "...in my opinion." at the end.

    You have a right to state your opinion, as you have done. I, too, have a right to state my opinion, which allows me to disagree with you. You can post anything that you want, but that doesn't guarantee that your ideas won't be challenged.

    You're welcome to deal with that in any way that you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    I agree, in a highly popular genre like shounen romance manga (such as School Rumble), the use of archetypes is unescapable.
    Not just in shounen romance manga - this phenomenon occurs throughout all forms of storytelling. There's an excellent treatment of this idea in Joyce's Ulysses, if you're familiar with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    LOL no need to pull punches, you can just say Yakumo is who you believe to be a heavily commercialised archetype. I can’t deny the fact that Yakumo serves as a type of fan service in the manga, but so do Eri, Mikoto, even Tenma; nearly all the main female characters have received some sort of fan service. KJ’s free to put as much as he wants in his manga, and he aims to please the fans, don’t forget that Yakumo is the most popular character (as of the 3rd popularity poll). Perhaps in future chapters we’ll see Eri wearing something other than her school clothes or a bikini.
    Every character has shown some degree of fanservice to a degree, but some of those cosplay moments were so horribly out of place that the intent behind them became painfully obvious. My jab might have been a little unfair, but the main point that I was trying to make was that when you see commercialization at work, it's often blatantly obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    Where I believe you’re grossly wrong is when you say she serves little other purpose than fanservice. I believe Yakumo has far more potential as a character than say, Eri. Yakumo is given far more emphasis in the manga (ie many of the b chapters focus mainly on her).
    If you do a running count throughout the series, you'll probably find a very different story. Initially, Tenma's story was to occupy the # chapters, and Yakumo's story was to occupy the b chapters. This holds true for the first two volumes of the manga or so, which serve as a series of standalone (one-shot) gag chapters designed to introduce the main cast. The first story arc, which is the beach trip, occurs just as Harima and Eri come to the forefront and Flag starts to take off. From that point on, every major story arc ultimately revolves a conflict involving those two characters.

    Every story arc builds up a crisis towards a climax, and then brings about a conclusion in a cathartic moment that diffuses the dramatic tension built up to that point. In this regard, almost every story arc crisis is focused around Eri. Even the manga story arc (which is arguably Onigiri's strongest story arc) between Yakumo and Harima is no exception (at around volume 7). In that story arc, the manga writing scenes are constantly juxtaposed with scenes of Eri brooding over Harima. Note that the limo scene concludes that arc, resolving the concerns that Eri was facing at the time and providing a catharsis.

    If you look closely, Yakumo's primary role in SR is as a dramatic foil. Initially, she is a foil to Tenma, to contrast Tenma's incompetance with Yakumo's "perfection". Later on, Yakumo serves a similar role for Eri, bringing out Eri's insecurities when the two interact. The conflict, however, is still within Eri - Yakumo allows us to see Eri's insecurity, and provides a means to resolve it. The Cultural Festival arc is the centre of this - Eri shows her growth as a character when she apologizes to Yakumo for being immature during the play. Every story arc shows Eri growing in similar ways. Yakumo, like Tae and Mikoto before her, are means by which the author explores the multiple facets of her character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    At the beginning of the manga she was portrayed as a timid (especially among boys), demure girl who only really had her sister and her cat as a companion. Up to the current chapter (18, now she’s gotten more outgoing, she has a host of new friends (including Harima), we learn more about her connection with children, Iori, her inner struggle with a mysterious ghost and her mind reading powers (sounds sorta stupid I know), her development with Harima (whatever that may be), her strong relationship with her sister, as well as the past behind the Tsukamoto family.
    You place far too much emphasis on what Yakumo wears and not enough emphasis on how her character has developed, like you said;
    Every character in SR recieves this sort of treatment, to some degree. Even Karasuma and Akira, who often seem to be mere plot devices, show that they too have their own personal problems and inadequacies that they are trying to overcome. While this says a lot for SR in terms of character design, it doesn't necessarily mean that every character in the series is equally well designed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    Compare this with Eri who, only seems to develop as a character when she’s interacting with Harima. When she’s with the other girls, she’s just a secondary character.

    All I can recall of Eri right now is that she’s a rich half-Japanese, half-English girl(?), seems to be in a semi-state of denial/confusion in regards to Harima (who she has a crush on), loves her father dearly, but doesn’t see him often, has a estranged relationship with her mother and oh, she has an arranged marriage. Add this to the fact that her character develops only relative to her growing feelings for Harima, means that with no Harima, no character development.
    While much of Eri's character development comes from her interactions with Harima (after all, their interactions are a dominant part of virtually every major story arc in the series) Eri gives us significant insight into her character even when she is just interacting with people other than Harima. Take the baseball game in Ep.5 S1, for instance. In that episode, Eri secretly convinces Karasuma to encourage Tenma - but is dismayed and embarrassed when he reveals that she told him what to say. Similarily, in Ep.4 S2, we see a warm moment between Eri and Akira where Eri encourages Akira, and follows up by secretly writing a story to cheer Akira on. While Eri often plays the role of a princess in public, she spends a lot of time caring for her friends and making sure not to take credit for it (this is also consistant with her interactions with Harima, where she sews his jersey and pays his restaurant bill without claiming credit for it.)

    Ep.8 S1 gives us some further insight into Eri as well. Note that she invests time and effort into making a dinner for her father, rather having someone else prepare the food (an option which is readily available to her, since she has an excellent kitchen staff as shown in Ep.7 S2). We see this same quality later on when she tries to sew Harima's jersey - although she lacks experience in sewing and tends to injure herself with the needle, she gies through the effort of stitching the name tag on by hand. On the surface, while she appears to be the typical spoiled, rich girl, she lacks the pretensions that go with the stereotype - a fact reflected in how she ignores the class issues associated with her relationship with Harima. If anything, Eri shows that she envies the normal, simple lifestyle of her friends, and shows her wealth to be merely an obstacle that she manages to overcome.

    There are plenty of other examples of Eri insights that don't involve Harima, scattered throughout the story. Ep.14 and 15 S1, while linked originally to Harima, show flashbacks to the past that describe how Eri feels alienated by her popularity, and how her friends bridged that gap. Her responses to the sequence of confessions that she recieves throughout the series shows an evolution in how she has come to regard most potential suitors (compare the first confession and the teasing confession of the old man in Ep.15 S1's flashback to Sano's confession in Ep.8 S1 and the return of the old man in Ep.10 S2.) Her conversation with the girls in Ep.18 S1 shows her thoughts regarding romantic ideals, and her reflection in Ep.24 S1 later puts those ideals in context of her feelings for Harima.

    There is a tremendous amount of depth that lies within Eri's character, glimpses of which you can gain through seemingly innocuous conversations that she has with her friends. These same issues later reveal themselves in major plot points throughout the series, many of which are linked to Harima. Although Harima is an important part of Eri's character development, her development is by no means limited by him - rather, it is enhanced by her interactions with him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    Just like her name implies (Eri literally means ‘love reason’) I believe she only shows her worth as a character as a love interest.
    理 (ri) means "reason" in the sense of rational thought. Reason vs. Emotion form a classic binary pair, the tension of which can be seen in Eri's character. Much of character conflicts revolve around Eri's battle between her need to behave in the way that she feels that she is expected to, as opposed to acting on and sharing her true feelings with those around her. I think there's a perfect illustration of this in the first big turning point in the series, ch.85 (which just so happens have the chapter title "Turning Point") where Eri is torn between the rational, practical obstacles of a relationship with Harima, and the genuine feelings of happiness that she experiences when she's around him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    So it’s true what Nietzsche said, ‘Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.’ As much as I’ld love to agree with you, unless you substantiate your argument or make your statements less positive and more of an opinion, I can’t.
    Existentialist philosophy sees convictions, rather than truth. I think you might be misinterpreting his meaning.

    Either way, just look a couple of paragraphs earlier to see Eri's depth as a character. That section illustrates how well developed and vividly portrayed her personality is throughout the series.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    True, but it was Eri who shaved his head in the first place.
    That still doesn't change the fact that she bailed him out when he was in a moment of trouble, which was what I sought to establish with that premise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    I was aware of this, hence why I pointed out the major ones only, the ones where Eri and Harima’s relationship shows the most progress, namely the Omiai and Kyoto arc.
    The top three events are the Sports Festival, the Omiai, and Kyoto. I showed you examples of Eri bailing Harima out in both the Sports Festival and Kyoto. If you want an example for the Omiai, just think back to Ch.154 where Eri stands up for Harima in front of Tenma. I think that's a good enough pile of evidence, between this post and the last.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    True, but that didn’t change the outcome that the Princess had to be saved from the dragon by the knight in shining armour. I think Harima would have gone regardless, in order to get his marriage charm back.
    Regardless of Harima's actions, he was still bailed out by Eri. For that matter, it was Eri who watched over Harima and tended to his injuries when he was beaten unconcious by Max in their first fight. That's a second instance of her bailing him out of trouble.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    It was probable the moment Harima accidentally confessed to Eri. I don’t find the pairing completely unconventional; the delinquent with the tsundere,
    When Harima and Eri first start out, Eri has all of the markings of a side character. She does little more than be part of the chorus of reactions (along with Mikoto and Akira) to Tenma's antics. If this were a conventional series, Eri would have gotten a little bit of attention, and then the focus would have shifted over to other girls in class in sequence. Harem animes frequently use this formula - each girl gets their own episode. What's happened here is that a character that initially appeared to be slated for a supporting role has come to the forefront, developed a complex character, and taken over the spotlight. Flag breaks a large number of conventions by doing so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    what’s more unconventional is the delinquent with someone overly-cute and innocent like Tenma.
    Midori no Hibi? First girl wins?
    There's always an archtype.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    Sorry, I didn’t mean the actual physical act of going to the other classroom; I meant his going to Yakumo for assistance, for example, ringing her up for help, asking her to stay at his apartment. Even if the secret’s out I don’t think this will change the fact that he will go to Yakumo for help with his manga. Just because it has been paralleling KJ’s career doesn’t mean he can’t choose to make it a ‘what if’ path.
    The possibility always exists for the manga and Yakumo to become relevant once more to the plot. Then again, there's just as good a possibility that Tae, or Mikoto, who are also old rivals of Eri, to make a return and stir up a new conflict. While Yakumo is certainly in a position to block Flag for an Oudou ending, I'm not sure that anything constructive could be achieved through further Onigiri interactions, given the time left to Karasuma's departure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opmrph
    I hope you’re not mistaking me for a Onigiri fanboy, I acknowledge the Flag pairing, and I know a sinking ship when I see one (excuse the pun), and the existence of the Onigiri pairing itself is purely based on individual perspective. I just simply don’t like Eri as a character (yes, I’m a guy)
    I'd disagree with you even if you were a Flagger, having raised the points you just raised. Your affiliation doesn't matter to me.

    Acceptance and understanding go hand in hand. The more we understand about a character, the easier it becomes to accept both their virtues and vices. Some characters are instantly attractive because they are designed to appear impressive and eyecatching - but they can become uninteresting just as easily. It takes some effort to discover the nuances of Eri's character, but I believe that it's well worthwhile.
    Last edited by Swampstorm; 08-03-2006 at 09:20 AM.

 

 
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