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Blastaar
New Game discussion 29 Nov 18:36
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joined Jul 29, 2017

Last time, lingerie fluff, this time existential introspection.

I like it.

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

Back in my days the kouhais had to settle with just a look or a head pat from the onee samas, and they were damn grateful for that!!!

When they started in with all that straightening and re-tying the ties business--that's when it all went to hell! Next thing you know it's tongues down their throats by the shoe lockers. . .

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

How can you deny her a kiss! Tsk kouhais this days

“No kisses” have been almost as important as kisses in this series—in the storage shed after the sports festival Yuu’s “I won’t kiss you” moment was overshadowed by the ensuing “but I’ll let you kiss me” smoochfest, but it was a crucial point in bringing just a touch of balance to a very asymmetrical relationship.

Yuu should just turn the tables on her—“Do the play the way I want and I’ll reward you by initiating our next makeout session.” :-)

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

Alright, at this point they're just stalling and dragging it out before we get to the actual play.

This chapter is only "stalling" if you assume that the actual performance of the play needs to be the central event in resolving the story's conflict. Some important things do get done in this chapter, most notably, of course, the "no kisses for Touko" scene on the rooftop, where Yuu puts some (but by no means all) important cards on the table concerning how deeply she cares for Touko, but there's also the confrontation between Touko and Sayaka, where Sayaka definitively declares herself to be a member of the "what Touko needs, not what she wants" party.

Actually "confrontation" is exactly the wrong word for what happens in that scene--it literally means "to go face to face with someone," but the two of them never directly face each other in that scene; Sayaka mostly is talking to Touko's back. Then, after Yuu forces Touko to look right at her while she says her piece on the rooftop, onstage Touko says, "Let's do this," and rather tentatively turns back toward her friend. Excellent staging and use of body language in this chapter.

There's still important work to be done, and the play itself may be the vehicle or catalyst for some or all of it--Touko needs to be able to say, "I want Yuu to love me back," and Yuu needs to be able to say, "I love Touko," first to herself and then to Touko. I want all that to happen, but I'd prefer to see it unfold at a slower pace--as things have been happening all along*-- if the alternative is rushing through it.

*Except for Touko's initial confession to Yuu--that was a lightning strike out of a clear blue sky.

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

This chapter makes me ridiculously cheerful.

Blastaar
New Game discussion 26 Nov 11:12
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joined Jul 29, 2017

I'm pretty sure there isn't a company in the world that's lenient enough to let you off with adding an extra half hour to your lunch break

Actually, I've worked at a couple of places where the workload would ramp up to a particular deadline (and everybody's going all out almost 24/7), then slack off for a bit--there were still things to do, but nothing particularly pressing. If a group went out with a supervisor, someone might say, "Where did you guys get to?" when they got back, but that's about it.

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

^
I don’t quite understand why in this reading some of Touko’s characteristics are seen as inherent while others are “contrivances” imposed on her by the author. The world is full of people like Touko who are exceptionally accomplished and who demonstrate sound judgment—except when it comes to solving their own problems and resolving patterns of self-destructive behavior the “natural and healthy way.”

Maybe it’s just an extremely roundabout way of saying “I don’t find the character to be believable,” which is certainly your right. I’m also not sure I understand how changing her hair color would rectify any of the deficiencies that you believe you perceive.

There’s no doubt that the basic setup of the story is “contrived”—whatever the psychological backstory of the characters, having one character who has never fallen in love before fall in love at first sight with a second character because that character seems to be unable to fall in love is quite implausible. Equally implausible is that second character agreeing to be loved rather than saying, “Sorry, I’m not interested.” But for readers who can swallow that, these other supposed contrivances seem rather trivial.

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

^
This is an excellent recap of the development of Touko’s character up to this point. To emphasize a bit of the positive, however, when she initially reaches out to Yuu in the first place, while the terms she establishes for their relationship are fundamentally unhealthy, the fact that she does it at all suggests (or may suggest) that at some level she’s aware of her need for an alternative to the “fake being your dead sister until you make it” project. (The crisis for that project really becomes acute when the older drama senpai reveals that Mio as student council president was nothing like Touko thought she was.)

In her relationship with Yuu we see a Touko who is shy, vulnerable, affectionate (and horny), as well as desperately self-loathing and emotionally repressed. As a reader I want that cute (and smart and highly competent) Touko to be the “real” one in the end, but she’s been a potential psychological time-bomb from the opening moments of the story.

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

As an antagonist, Seju is a success.

Thanks, that’s pretty much what I was looking for. I do actually think that (for the purposes of the story dynamic) Seju is overly-developed compared to the main pair. As you say, we do get a pretty clear picture of who she is and why she does what she does, which I don’t think is true of either Sumin (we get a good sense of who she is in relation to Seju, but not much sense of her as a complete personality outside of that) or Sungji—her “perfection” seems to be stipulated rather the outgrowth of a coherent backstory. So, yeah, a love triangle with two blurry protagonists and a vivid antagonist isn’t really a recipe for overall storytelling success.

Looking at Seju in imaginary person (rather than story dynamic) terms, I’ve seen (and slightly experienced) exes who enjoyed throwing hand grenades into the new relationships, so—not my favorite type. But that’s completely separate from Seju in the story.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question. Wdtfs is still an enjoyable read (like I said, it has style to burn), despite some serious flaws as a work of art.

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

Understand the reader and you may understand their reasons.

OK, then—that’s that.

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

You'd have more luck reading this entire thread to find the answer to that question.

I actually have read most or all of the posts here at one point or another; I was hoping for maybe a condensed now-that-it’s-over-and-the-ships-are-all-in-port version.

last edited at Nov 18, 2017 3:11PM

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

This isn’t really a preference question, though, and I certainly don’t plan to argue back to anyone. I think that overall this story had a load of style but rather mishandled its characters by not giving the audience enough reasons to be invested in the relationship of the main couple. I’m just interested in why Seju seems to have sparked that degree of audience attachment.

Maybe it’s just that (in terms of the cues I was getting from the narrative) I always assumed all along that Sumin & Sungji were the inevitable couple, while others were reading the triangle as having a different potential resolution.

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

I have to admit (after a full re-read of the story) that I don’t get all the love for Seju as a character. I do understand the position that Sungji is rather underdeveloped as a protagonist, but Seju seems to me to be a classic needy, manipulative ex who exists to cause trouble for the main pair. Her feelings do seem genuine, even though a real relationship with Sumin is well past its expiration date, and she has a not uninteresting poor-little-rich-girl backstory to explain her present-day behavior, but the reaction here seems to go well beyond “at least she’s cooler than the bland Sungji.”

I don’t mean this as an attack on the character or people who like her—it’s just that a fair number of readers seem to be seeing something about her that I must be missing.

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

I’m not sure that “husband cheats, yuri ensues” is all that much more trite and predictable than “apparent cheating has innocent explanation”—(Reiichi’s business trip ended early, he wanted to surprise his wife so didn’t tell her, then he ran into Riyako by chance at the station, etc.).

I’d prefer to see the plot driven more by what Uta does than by chance or by the decisions/actions of her brother and sister-in-law, but since Uta seems to avoid actually doing anything at all costs, maybe that’s not this story.

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

Who is this woman in the top right panel? She is clearly older and Kaoru seems younger than her present self. It could be Kaoru's mom or whoever else, but it also could be Uta's mother. Now, what if Kaoru had some kind of unfaithful relationship with Uta's mum? Probably thanks to the mum initiative since Kaoru was probably in love with Reiichi.

That's not entirely farfetched, but not entirely solid, either (again, until we get more info). My previous post missed the point that not only does Kaoru feel guilty about the divorce, when Reiicchi says it wasn't her fault Kaoru says that in any case she hurt Uta specifically.

So how does Reiichi’s childhood friend/girlfriend contribute to the breakup of the marriage in such a way that Reiichi knows about it, doesn't think she's really to blame, but doesn't treat her feelings of guilt as completely absurd?

Maybe the father coming on to Kaoru was the catalyst for Reiicchi "taking responsibility"? At this point I feel like I'm just writing fanfic, so I dunno.

last edited at Nov 16, 2017 8:49AM

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

It's really hard to get a solid read on the marriage of Reiichi and Kaoru because there's that big past secret that we know very little about. We do know:

Uta had "serious hardships" and "family issues" in the past which significantly affected her personality.
Kaoru feels partly responsible for the divorce of Uta and Reiichi's parents.

We also know that Reiichi is "not reliable," and Kaoru likes him, or at least is attached to him, more than he is to her.

(As a side note, we have had some slight hints that Kaoru might be pregnant.)

So speculation on where the story is going from here is seriously hindered for the lack of important facts not (yet) in evidence.

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

The results from a recent survey here make for a decent starter list for exploration. (Caveats: Not all of the works listed are manga and not all are here.) And Citrus in particular tends to get love-it-or-hate-it reactions. But it's a place to start.

https://dynasty-scans.com/forum/topics/12810-survey-on-yuri-fandom-demographics-updated-with-results?page=1#forum_post_314095

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joined Jul 29, 2017

Anyhow, my bet is that Shiramine beats Kurosawa and then confess. Anyone has any other theory?

1) Shiramine beats Kurosawa
Don’t see what else can happen, since it’s been the other way around all this time (Shiramine giving up on the competition just doesn’t seem to be in the cards.) The question is what the circumstances of that win would be—if Shiramine thinks it’s because Kurosawa is slacking off, there would be hell to pay. (The other possibility is a perpetual tie for best, but I don’t see what that accomplishes.)

2) Shiramine confesses
That’s got to happen in some way too, since Kurosawa has been one long confession from the very beginning. But (as they used to say in Tennessee) I also might could foresee first Kurosawa giving up as “not worthy,” and then Shiramine doing the, “Baka! Are you too stupid to see I love you back?” treatment.

Unlike some series where I’m anxious to see a big emotional confrontation, I’m actually fine with watching these two brainy idiots continue to twist in the wind for a while.

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joined Jul 29, 2017

Like Koveras says, that previous (beaming, cat-eared) “love,” although sincere as far as it went, wasn’t the kind where Yurine actually put herself at risk; the way she feels now, to not have her feelings reciprocated would be emotionally devastating.

And like Lyendith says, some of Ayaka’s POV would be very useful right now to see where she is (or rather, where Little Miss Self-Deception is willing to admit she is).

last edited at Nov 14, 2017 7:28AM

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joined Jul 29, 2017

Shiramine needs to go back to her old conditioner.

Blastaar
Kase-san discussion 12 Nov 09:11
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joined Jul 29, 2017

I meant “Just MAYBE the very first one could be a “like” (before she hears that Kase is into girls), but all the rest certainly should be “loves.””

And you nailed it—Kase-san’s “I’ve been in love with you for the longest time” speech loses a lot with the substitution of “like.”

last edited at Nov 12, 2017 9:13AM

Blastaar
Kase-san discussion 12 Nov 02:36
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joined Jul 29, 2017

That is, in fact, exactly what they did in the official English tank.

That is exactly the matter under discussion—which one works better?

Blastaar
Kase-san discussion 11 Nov 22:23
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joined Jul 29, 2017

Personally I like the “love” instead of the “like,” but eh.

Tend to agree. It’s always an important choice where there’s some ambiguity about the extent of the feelings of the characters—“She said she likes me, but is it that kind of ‘like’?” But in this case both characters knew that they had fallen hard for the other one pretty much immediately, and they found out each others’ feelings soon enough.

Maybe Yamada’s very first, “Please let Kase-san be in love with me!” in Chapter 1 could be ratcheted back to a “like,” until Mikawacchi’s “Kase dates girls” reveal in Chapter 2 puts the possibility of “love” front and center. (Even though at that point it’s a false rumor that turns out to be true.)

last edited at Nov 11, 2017 10:25PM

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joined Jul 29, 2017

One thing I like about yuri is that it can throw more twists into the basic rom-com narrative arc. (For whatever reasons, in recent years I’ve moved almost entirely away from stories, movies, TV, etc. in which people are killed, shot, tortured, or things blow up, especially ones where women are killed, etc.). Since, in a het-normative world, we (or the characters) don’t always start with the expectation of romantic involvement between the characters, there are a few more possible turns/paths before we get to plot resolution.

It’s similar to one reason I like Kdrama rom-coms—it’s not the het/non-het aspect, it’s that often the tsundere chaebol protagonists are so emotionally oblivious that they have no clue why they suddenly start going doki-doki in the presence of some obviously “unsuitable” partner.

In US stories, the initial presence of romantic attraction is often signaled by the principals playing tongue hockey and having sex up against a wall. So where do you go from there?

Blastaar
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joined Jul 29, 2017

I can't really judge this arc until we see how it ends.

It ends with the flaming deaths of Shima and Yuzumori, and the destruction of Mimika’s house, of course.

It’s going to be a “kamikaze” attack, after all. :-)