Seriously, I know I can be an asshole sometimes, but come ON. They're CHILDREN. They are allowed to not get it perfect right away.
I get so indescribably frustrated when people come into a story about kids learning "how do I work relationship" and going "WHAT THE FUCK WHY AREN'T THEY INSTANTLY PERFECT AT THIS".
Literally the entire point of the story is them learning -how- to have a healthy relationship, and that frequently begins by starting in a less healthy space, especially when one of the pair has a significant childhood trauma to deal with.
I feel the same. Characters are allowed to be flawed and have hangups that they need to get over as the story progresses - that's what makes following stories so interesting, and what makes characters feel realistic and relatable!
This thread has been an excellent example of how the entire concept of “shipping,” which is pleasant enough as a parlor game or imaginative projection (or simply a re-labeling of the basic way readers connect to characters in relationship stories—who doesn’t ship Romeo and Juliet?) can become counterproductive to critical discourse and even toxic to the exchange of ideas.
Some “shipping wars” are the result of differing readings of a particular character or different readers’ preferences for a specific character type (or even gleefully perverse and contrarian, as in “I ship [Predatory playgirl domme from Story A X shy virtuous librarian in wheelchair from Story B]”). That’s perfectly understandable—after all, you like what you like.
In this case, however, the character of Sayaka in this series could literally have been designed to disprove the premise that predictions about the future plot are based on liking or disliking a particular character or pairing. She’s a great person without being artificially perfect; she and Touko get along splendidly, and (as the people around them explicitly say) they look great together. She has lot of integrity, discretion, and loyalty. It’s true (as she herself says) that she’s been a bit of a coward as she held back on expressing her feelings, but that only makes her intensely relatable—if every person here who at least once didn’t confess for fear of losing a precious friendship left the Dynasty forum, this place would be a ghost town. A story about Touko and Sayaka getting together could well be a great yuri story.
But no matter how clearly a given proposition is stated, it’s obvious that several posters in this thread have been unable or unwilling to perceive an argument or to understand disagreements in interpretation except through the lens of the other person’s “shipping” preferences. That hasn’t been the only problem—several elementary terms and concepts in literary/narrative analysis have been profoundly misunderstood or misused—but it’s (at least) extremely annoying to explain in detail how a reading of the text isn’t motivated by “shipping,” only to essentially be called a liar, or to see an clear explanation of the fundamentals of narrative form dismissed as if it’s about character preferences.
As a fan, I ship like anybody else, and I find, say, a mental image of Koyomi in domme gear standing over a lingerie-clad Akari quivering in anticipation to be pleasantly amusing (so sue me). But I’ve seen plenty of examples lately of people talking past each other in these threads because they assume that “shipping” is the default motivation for other people’s ideas, at which point what was once a fun, even whimsical, thought experiment has metastasized into a significant barrier to communication.
EDIT: Of course, none of this has anything to do with people who apparently don’t know what words mean—nothing to be done about that.
Seeing you make a new post gives me a feeling that should be bottled and sold as an anti-depressant.
"She just wants to be with someone" "ready to accept Sayaka's confession". Nah, that's stretching too much. If someone can actually read between the lines or at least look at the context and Touko's act of holding the keychain close to her while looking hurt, it should be obvious what she is referring to. I don't see any ambiguity in saying "I am lonely", maybe, like you said, it can be taken ambiguously in another context, not in this one. I don't think "I miss her" is the best TL either, but again, opinions.
Just adding my voice to say that "I miss her" is a pretty accurate translation in that it's what Touko intends to communicate, and translating it as "I'm lonely" erases that communicative intent. That an English reader could intuit a similar meaning is irrelevant - even if they come to the same conclusions, it's still not what Touko actually said.
Why is there an argument about the asexuality of canonically non-asexual characters on a forum dedicated to a romance manga? And why is someone getting called a psychopath for pointing out that the characters in question aren't asexual?
Let's get back to several paragraph-long discussions about characterisation so I can passively read them and nod sagely.
I love it. It's what a great character looks like. Just as mysterious and clear-cut as real humans, as defined by both actions and self/other evaluations. I have noticed that Nakatani's characters always carry this ambiguity that's hard to describe. Like that they are self aware and also aren't? Like they act without thinking but it's also obvious why they made the decisions they did.
Isn't this just what it means to be a well-written character in general? Although, granted, you don't see that much in manga/anime these days anymore, so. :p
I actually loved this chapter. And, honestly, I'm happy with any "pairing" that happens, as long as it's well-written, because I don't really have a main ship or anything. I'm just interested in how the story pans out.
I don't think a story needs to be filled with twists and turns to be well-told; it just needs to execute itself well. I think this executes itself very well.
To be honest, I don't really like a lot of plot twists or whatever in fiction. I find they often end up being "how can we misdirect/mislead the reader/viewer" and turning everything into an arbitrarily complex jigsaw puzzle of vagueness instead of "how can we tell the best version of this story with the most emotional heart".