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Ok, I admit that I've failed somewhere before. But anyway welcome. Just a brief intro on what you should expect here:
1. Football. Not gonna post much of that any soon since season is over. :S
2. Anime, Games, etc. Just abt anything conceivable under the Japanese radar barring anything and everything Rule 34. Now that's illegal. Period. -.-;
3. Music. Everything to do with it is listed under the tab.
5. Unacceptable humour: Anything and everything is fair game here. As long as I don't get rounded up by the ISA. -.-'

6.
The Known World=Fantasy world building in process. I: Used to be glossary, now devoted to random rambling; II: Character Concepts; III: Lore.
7. der Wolf=my Fictionpress account under the moniker Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu. A Ranger's Tale is hosted under this page. :)
8. New section now upped. Maybe I should also gun for upping A Ranger's Tale here since I do have this funny feeling that traffic coming to here is way more than whatever I'll get in FP.

Statement of intent: Everything said here is a figment of personal opinion, be it me or anybody commenting. I try to be responsible, but my parents=/=parents of the world.

@Druid of Luhn: Crap. Should have remembered far earlier to give you the credit for your CSS text box code. :(

A/N: But sadly, it seems that your CSS text box code has now been halved efficiency wise. :(

That most important note I should have added: Any images posted in this blog are NOT my own stuff. I got them from Google image search, I don't earn any shit by being a thief and liar. Those responsible for the pictures, rest assured that you all are great artists in your own regards. Sadly, we all know what limited space means in terms of posting.

Latest Note: Changed alignment for my page widgets due to my worry that I can't centre align the thing.

Note on A Ranger's Tale: In case any complaining fella wants to have a legal case with me, let this be known that A Ranger's Tale is rated M by default. I've upped the swearing and somewhat a bit on the dark/gritty factor. You all have been warned, let no little boy and girl enter the forbidden realm.

Latest on ART: A Ranger's Tale now starting to kick back in gear. But I really hate the insanely fluctuating climate here in S'pore.

P.S: Oh, and one more thing. Vid below is yet another ideal OP for A Ranger's Tale.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Tsukihime (Akiha)

Before I kick this off (no pun intended), all ow me to say that my heavy is feeling heavy atm due to the fluctuating climate, therefore forgive me if this post really seems substandard. But before that, I realised there's a song hidden unknown in my hard drive. Until just now that is... [portion dated 2nd Nov]

Why I decided to up such a sad song is down to two reasons:
1. I really like this BGM.
2. Even though this is part of the Fate/stay night OST, I discovered this is the one song quite apt for this post.

Tohno Akiha
Firstly, it's a no-brainer to see her as a tsundere. This is down to Japan boasting an insane range of creativity, which is both good and bad. We all know that sassy Korean gf archetype made famous by a certain Gianna Jun, but let's just face it: the tsundere trope is what made fierce little girls famous. In fact, a lot of ppl actually pointed out that Tohsaka Rin of FSN is, well, an Akiha clone. Which is a another no-brainer given we all know who bosses TM.

Yet, one must also understand that out of all the heroines (excluding Yumizuka Satsuki since we all are still looking forward to the remake), Akiha is, without a doubt, the most protective of them all. Not even Ciel can match her up to it, which basically says something (although Ciel's situation is much more complicated than being mere overprotective).

On the first glance, she's really your stereotypical ojousan. Yet, more than even the most ordinary plain Jane, she's fearful of losing those around her. For one, she had never approved what her father, Makihisa, did to Kohaku. Second, she actually tried making amends by using Kohaku as a normal servant rather than for abnormal purposes (and even then, Akiha sucking Kohaku's blood was down to mutual self-volition). Lastly, which is key to knowing her character, she loved her nii-san.

But wait! That's incest!
Above meme implies correctly what is actual incest, but not when it comes to Tohno family politics. After all, Shiki=/=Túrin Turambar. Now we all know there's a 2nd SHIKI [遠野 四季] and that's Roa. At the same time, SHIKI was also the REAL son of Makihisa. In short, the other Tohno Shiki is actually Nanaya Shiki. I believe this is not just Nasu's way of creating coincidence, but above all creating a legitimate source of conflict between Shiki and SHIKI.

Therefore, Akiha's love for Tohno Shiki [遠野 志貴] is not incest, but legitimate BGR (learnt this term in secondary school, this is the term harming my life for 10+ years till now). But for SHIKI, it's really incest since Akiha is, after all, his legitimate younger sister. However, we must also understand that the reason why SHIKI developed this warped sense of lust/love was down to his Inversion Impulse deemed irreversible. Ironically, Akiha could have stayed free from her demonic blood had she chose not to save Shiki.

Tsundere factor
At the beginning of Akiha's route, Shiki had a first hand taste of what he's gonna get. Obsessive interest in where he goes? Check. Obsessive tendency to shackle his freedom? Check. Obsessive jealousy whenever Shik is in company of other girls? You got it, bro.

In fact, this tsundere factor actually extended all the way to Akiha's standard where Shiki's way of living is concerned. To her, the firstborn son should be everything, the rest doesn't matter. And that includes herself. In fact, while it's easy to say Akiha is actually a sweet girl kind at heart, we must know that everyone in the Tohno family (apart from Shiki, that is) was guilty of hiding behind a facade. Kohaku's facade is that of "darkness", Hisui's facade is named "fortitude". The Tohno family is all about "secrets which cannot be revealed", Akiha had always been wearing a frigid mask of "love". Out of every individual/entity, I believe only Akiha would have the strength to change anything or everything about this dysfunctional clan. Because let's just face it: the Tohnos are quite obviously ****ed up together with those associated with them. Not that the Nanayas were anywhere better though.

When we used to be young and innocent...
If there's a common focus in the Far Side, I would use the phrase "innocence lost". Kohaku lost her innocence, that's why she could only watch from afar the happiness unattainable. Hisui lost her innocence because she chose to forsake everything in order to protect whatever left of her life, i.e. Kohaku. As for Akiha, she lost her innocence during that fateful moment where Shiki laid dying from his wound.

So how did above mentioned incident happen? I'd call this an accident waiting to happen. Not due to anybody's fault, but rather the truth behind the Tohno family. You see, this is a family afflicted by Demonic blood. In short, they're certified half humane, half-Demons. There are those with a thinner percentage of such blood, these people are able to live a normal life. Then we have those having a stronger concentration of Demonic blood, these are the ones who can and will never be sane once they hit an Inversion Impulse.

The latter case would include Makihisa, SHIKI, and Kishima Kouma (note that Kishima is a branch family of Tohno). Former case includes Akiha. In fact, Makihisa actually noted that Akiha could choose to live a normal life, a life where she can interact freely with other girls her age and sharing similar/identical hobbies. Why then, did Akiha choose to throw this right of hers away? Because she wanted to save Shiki!

This is NOT a "doh!" statement, this is the only thing defining Akiha's life and her future to come. Before we reach that point, let's ask ourselves this question-Is SHIKI's Inversion Impulse and accident or incident. Incident would imply either unforeseen circumstances or deliberate planning. Accident, on the other hand, means shit happens, shit outta luck.

Indeed SHIKI's Inversion was an accident. Before that, he and Shiki were very close. Either person viewed the other as a brother he wanted the most, 'tis a shame that everything just had to go terribly wrong. It's nobody's mistake, only the cruelty of fate turning destiny's wheel. Note that I'm NOT talking about Roa hidden in SHIKI because we shouldn't blame that asshole for the Tohno lineage.

Sadly, Akiha was forced between a rock and hard place. She never wanted this to happen, that both SHIKI and Shiki should deserve good things in life.

How the correct Shiki changed everything
Akiha's childhood was basically nil. In short, her hours were spent in lessons every ojou-sama should be learning. Never once did she have a chance to enjoy simple things every kid deserves. If not for Shiki, Akiha would be nothing more than a living dead. Interestingly enough, Akiha had always been fearful of SHIKI due to her knowing instinctively that "something's not right with him". This was also why she disliked Shiki at first (since they both shared the same first name). However, it seems that Shiki never minded this at all. Quite on the contrary, he actually took the initiative to invite Akiha out to play (note that Hisui was the one making this indirectly possible due to her being the only individual willing to approach Shiki).

With Hisui and SHIKI (not to mention the usual Shiki also), Akiha managed to have a decent childhood. Sadly, good things will never last long as SHIKI suddenly underwent Inversion out of nowhere. Akiha's fears were finally justified, she became SHIKI's first target. It was then where she realised Shiki took the blow for her. The fact that Makihisa managed to stop the worst possible scenario didn't matter to Akiha because she blamed herself for Shiki's predicament.

If only Shiki stayed put...

If only I'm the one killed...

Then everything wouldn't have turned out like this...

If I am to see things via Akiha's POV back then, this would be the most likely scenario. imo this is the reason why Akiha chose to give half her life force to save Shiki from death. Yet, this is also the reason why Akiha had to live a life nowhere different from SHIKI with a strong willpower being the only obstacle to her Inversion Impulse.

Fast forward to the present
Due to this convoluted past, one can't help but feel sympathy for Akiha. What turned out to be something unresolved ended up being something so much more. In fact, not only did Shiki's near-death sacrifice saved Akiha's life, but her soul was also salvaged as a result. That's why she could soldier on despite whatever hardship, this is also why she ended up being a control freak. As for her tsundere character, it's basically Akiha's frailty. Add everything together and you'll get Akiha popping up in Shiki's school on a permanent basis.

Fragility and promise
Ain't it sad, Sacchin? She loved Shiki because he saved her life, it's exactly the same for Akiha. In the end, Shiki chose Akiha over Satsuki. Why? Because he remembered what he promised to Akiha. Sadly for Sacchin, Shiki never made any promise to "come back home safely". To him, the Tohno mansion will always be his home and Akiha his only family left.

One important thing to note is this-Satsuki had already been turned into a vampire by then, the culprit none other than SHIKI.

How an Ending justifies the idealism tag
I'm not gonna say anything on any other ending apart from the True Ending. But before I get started, allow me to say this: SHIKI never played any major role for the early half of Akiha's route. It's only during post-Satsuki that he started making himself known. It's basically Nasu's plot device srsly.

With that being said, it's important to note that no matter how you make your choices (as Shiki ofc!), Akiha would always get kidnapped by SHIKI, Akiha would always be controlled by SHIKI, Akiha would always do the same thing as SHIKI. The last part is esp important because it highlights Akiha being the monster she detests the most. Said monster was never SHIKI nor herself, but everything wrong with the Tohno family and the associated clans. Needless to say, this was also why the Nanayas perished, be it literally (Makihisa's plotting) or figuratively (the fact that they could only live as Demon killers and nothing more).

What justifies Shiki's final choice-Akiha ended up ripping SHIKI's heart out, SHIKI died. I'd like to invoke that certain Trey Parker humour, but that would steal Lancer's thunder. Suffice to say, Akiha was no longer sane.

True Ending-No point for me writing up Normal Ending. Period. So there we have it, Shiki killing himself in order to release the remaining half of Akiha's life force in him. This is the only way to save Akiha via transferring whatever belonging to her in the first place. Symbolically, it also means Akiha regaining her freedom once and for all. Free from the malaise of her family, but at what cost? Shiki's sacrifice wasn't only noble, but ironic as well. Never before had I ever seen irony and idealism complimenting each other so finely, but this should be what Nasu wanted all the while. To tell us what is the true meaning of ideals finally attained. Without the relevant price, one can never obtain anything. Later on, we would end up seeing this concept being the plot focus in Fate/stay night where Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel are concerned (Ufotable gonna do HF? Hell yeah if so).

Most idealistic route of all? Limpeh's take-Okay, so Shiki never died post-suicide attempt. Kagetsu Tohya confirmed this via Ciel's statement(it should be stated that chances are, KT=fan disc=only pseudo fanwork). With Akiha still waiting for her nii-san to return home, I'll have to say that open ended endings never felt this good. Given the dark and sombre nature of Tsukihime, Akiha's past could only be construed as "how a living doll finally became a living human", nothing else. Shiki's sacrifice was merely a plot device to deceive us in believing happy endings=sasquatch myth. Out of all 6 heroines' route, half of them were accounted as happy endings (if we're talking abt True Endings ONLY). Kohaku is one, Akiha the other. As for the 3rd happy ending, I'll cover this asap next. However, we must understand that Akiha's back story was arguably the least cynical and the most romantic of all (srsly, don't lie to yourselves, girls. You'd def want to be Akiha and your bf Shiki himself). If Hisui's route is all about enduring and letting go, then Kohaku is all about revenge and forgiveness. Akiha's situation, on the other hand, is telling us "only the greatest sacrifice can bring about the greatest love". Full stop.

To be cont'd...