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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.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Tsukihime (Ciel)

3 down, 2 more to go. After this one, left only 1 more. Apparently, I'm doing this in reverse order (those familiar with the order of character routes will understand). This time round, Far Side of the Moon is alrdy over. It's time to unveil Near Side of the Moon. Before that, here's a song.

So who is Ciel?
Ciel
French for sky/heaven.
Firstly, fans will find this nostalgic. Secondly, she's quite a paradoxical character. In short, Ciel-sensei is nothing like her in-game self. Secondly, she's of Eurasian birth. Her father was a French while her mother was Oriental (i.e. either Chinese, Japanese or Korean). Lastly, she's Roa no.17. This is most likely the one character where Roa's presence took centre stage. Even Arcueid's route doesn't come anywhere close. This is due to the fact that if Roa doesn't die, Ciel can never die.

The Endless Cycle of Death and Rebirth
If Roa is an existence representing total anomaly, then Ciel would represent his alter-ego. Throughout the years of reincarnation, Roa had grown to forget who he is. Ciel, on the other hand, never forgot her own self. While it's a no-contest between Roa and Ciel in the manga, it still remains to be seen on whether the actual Roa was really that powerful (note: in the manga, Roa could easily use Magecraft. In the original VN, 'tis 100% opposite).

After Roa getting killed for the 17th time, said host body Ciel merely ended up in a coma. However, she gained the power of immortality, that no matter how hard she/others tried, Ciel could never perish. Sounds cool, right? NO! To Ciel, immortality was a painful reminder on everything she lost. Worst of all though, would be immortality tantamount to her sins committed.

The nature of being different
One interesting subtlety behind her lineage is this: as an Eurasian, she wasn't shunned or ostracized. As Roa no.17, she became literally different. In short, this has to be the biggest irony. That someone who was accepted despite being different actually became a mass murdering monster of a different nature. Sounds confusing? Well, there's a difference between a different human being and a different being, yet key word=different.

Now that I've talked enough crap, let's get onto Ciel's actual identity. You see, her life had all the while been an oxymoron. She wasn't born to harm others, but she ended up doing so gleefully. She wasn't responsible for another entity's sins, but she ended being that entity. She's a human being, but at the same time not humane. The cause of this paradox?

Nature of Roa
So long as Roa still exists, Ciel will never die. However, it must also be noted that the only thing Ciel wanted is an end to her immortality. Simply put, her life was devoid of meaning until she met Shiki. In fact, this phenomena was considered a paradox. Why?

To me, the answer is this: Roa himself IS a paradox. No life can return back to the living world once it reaches Akasha, aka the Root. Akasha is the source of every existence, it's also the only place where everything returns back to void so as to speak (the only exception being the Heroic Spirits/Servants due to the Throne of Heroes considered a special part of Akasha).

Therefore, a paradox parent will surely beget a paradox child.

In a major part, this was due to Ciel's immense magic potential. Indeed even Roa praised this new host body of his. The only thing he failed to notice? Ciel's immense fortitude. Note that unlike SHIKI, she wasn't doomed to be crazy right from the bat. I won't be surprised if this contributed greatly to her paradox child status since all the other reincarnations before her got offed for good (including SHIKI in her route).

In this sense, you can say that she's more powerful than SHIKI in spite of the latter considered half-Demon and her 100% human. Is this considered another form of oxymoron? Well, I think I did say Ciel's existence IS an oxymoron.

Meeting with Shiki
The start of her route was rather quirky to say the least. Supposed Arcueid's route only ended at Roa getting offed by Shiki, this will be where Ciel's route begins. Unlike the other routes, Ciel's path actually demoted Roa to the back burner. You can virtually say this=most character-driven route.

Above stated logic is not just about Ciel, but Shiki also. This is the path where two identical people met each other. By identical, I mean both having a murderer hidden within. Ciel's murderer was already a thing of the past, Shiki's murderer is perspective of his current state, something he couldn't escape totally. You can say the whole plot is not about self-discovery, but self-redemption. Quite similar to Kohaku's path, but I would call Kohaku a symbol of forgiveness, i.e. when you forgive another person, it doesn't mean you redeemed him/her.

How some in-plot similarity defines everyone...
Shiki killing Roa wasn't an oxymoron. Shiki becoming Roa's next host was the real deal. The Nanayas could only survive and thrive under killing Demons. To them, if it ain't humane, it's fair game. Roa would def fall under their hit list. Yet, the last of Nanaya clan ended up as a legitimate quarry's host. I suspect if Nanaya Kiri is still alive, he'd butcher his only son with no questions asked.

As for Ciel, nothing can be more ironic than her original name-Elysia.
Just a little linguistic history here:
France as we know it now is considered exotic by Western European standard. This is down to heavy Latin influences throughout the Middle Ages. Back then, Latin language formed an integral part of the Vatican authority where only the clergy were privileged to preach the Bible. Why? Because prior to the King James version (which is quintessentially the first English Bible), the Bible was written in Latin. Other Western European nations had broke free from the Roman influence, but not the French. This is why even up till now, we can still see visible traces of Latin culture in France. From language to arts, from architecture to romantic ideals (in fact, Latin=byword for passionate love), you can see them all in France (whether this contributes directly to the whole "jeunes filles en France=vous êtes belle" stereotype remains to be verified).

The only problem with above mentioned analysis? 'tis my own flawed opinion, so please take it with a grain of salt.

So what does Elysia means? Elysia is a Latin originated name meaning "blissful sweetness". Given Ciel was born in a baker's family, such name could only be seen as 100% apt. Sadly, Ciel, being a French originated name, is a mockery unto Ciel herself. While Ciel and Elysia as names can be easily linked together, Ciel as a human only possesses Elysia's regrets and pain. As part of the Burial Agency, the name Ciel only serves to further this oxymoron.

So there we have it, main protagonist is a living oxymoron, ditto for the heroine as well. Not to mention that seeing Shiki this way really reminds me of Elysia before she's officially Ciel.

Character dynamics
Ciel is a character wearing a mask. Just like the 3 heroines, i.e. Akiha, Hisui, Kohaku, before her. Said mask was nothing more than a self-defense mechanism against two things: external enemies and inner demons. The former is quite easy to understand, but the latter is the real problem behind her character. If she couldn't exorcise her inner demons, she wouldn't be able to execute her tasks perfectly. Such was her life as a lone killer, a life nowhere different from the actual Roa if we're talking abt methodology alone.

As for Shiki, he's a character having to fight against his Nanaya alter-ego. Granted he never had Ciel's extent of trauma, but the fact still remains that the Nanayas had became more akin to bloodthirsty Demons when it comes to killing their prey, i.e. those not considered humane.

And what about Roa? Well, I can say his antagonistic status lies in Ciel and Shiki's inner battles. He's more of a figment than something real, a figment of what-has-been (for Ciel) and what-if (Shiki).

In short, Nasu was actually using Roa as the plot catalyst rather than plot villain. Everything characterizing-wise goes through Roa, 'nuff said.

So if Roa is the catalyst, does that mean he's the catalyst behind Shiki's romance with Ciel? Yes, quite obviously so. Knowledge of Roa possessing Shik became Ciel's sole motivation, Shiki's struggle awakened the Elysia in Ciel. In short, Elysia was never dead, she's still perfectly alive. Why? Because Elysia=Ciel, Ciel=Elysia. It's just like me saying 1+1=2, 2=1+1.

The empathy named Elysia was finally roused, yet how did Shiki attract Ciel in the first place? To me, it's down to how Shiki views life. Ciel might have experienced death as Elysia, emotionally and less so physically. But Shiki actually went through something much worse. He was forced to accept death, not just in himself but also the entire world. It's one thing to see yourself as fragile and quite another to see the whole world in the exact light. Simply put, Shiki never went through Elysia's physical death, but emotionally he was effectively dead while Ciel was merely heavily wounded. Therefore, spending life one day at a time became a necessity rather than sheer laziness. Shiki KNOWS the reality behind death, that's why he can see life as a blessing. Aoko's stinging lecture indeed worked wonders, I suddenly have an urge to be Aozaki-sensei's bf.

Enough digressing here, let's do a summary. Ciel thought herself to be dead, Shiki denied her self-deception via his own way of life. Ciel believed Shiki must be terminated, Shiki ended up being her lover. Ciel only had a goal in mind, Shiki changed the way she approached said goal. No longer did Ciel need to end her immortality for the sake of ending it, end of everlasting life would only herald the beginning of newborn life. Come to think of it, this really sounds like how spring will always come after winter.

Ending (plus an idiot vamp)
Ciel's True Ending and Good Ending are basically the same, concept wise. In both Endings, Shiki managed to end Roa's existence once and for all. In both Endings, nobody died. In the Good Ending, the last few moments became a harem comedy. In the True Ending, it's literally happily ever after (which to Akiha fans, is unhappily ever after). Either way, I believe everything is all about Ciel finally making peace with herself because that's what she wants the most. Ending this vicious paradoxical cycle was merely the only mean to this certain end. If Ciel was able to destroy her own immortality, yet unable to make peace with her past, then she'd still be a living dead.

Oh, and herein comes Arc's portion. Here, we saw a jealous Arc. Needless to say, Ciel and Arc don't like each other (actually, "hate" may be a more accurate term). Her jealousy amounting to murderous impulse was the first and only such situation. Ciel's interaction with Arc also played heavily in her route since Arc was also after Roa. The only catch? If Arc busted Roa first, it means Ciel must bust Arc in order to end her suffering. More than just nigh impossible given Arc's status as the "perfect being" amongst the imperfect True Ancestors.

To be cont'd...
Sorry, but I needed to kick start my stalling engine. Guoxiang was right when he said before that "if you don't train your skills, you'll end up backsliding".