#but also the consequences don't isolate or punish him in a way that makes the viewer wonder why he bothered trying at all
"Redemption arcs are an overdone and badly executed trope" factoid is actually just statistical error. Redemption Arcs Mythicalsausage, who spent episodes after his Xornoth possession systematically apologizing to the people he hurt and working to regain their trust while also giving them ample space to forgive him or not forgive him in their own time, as well as setting up an accountability network to keep himself from falling into evil again, is an outlier adn SHOULD be counted because oh my god it is so refreshing to see someone actually make their redemption a real arc instead of just a tacked-on excuse and a guilt trip -
Hello, so can I request yan jojo villains with artist s/o who paints? I already imagining dio said “draw me like one of your french girl” lol
Sure! I only did parts 1-6, hope that's okay!
Thank you for your patience. I have a lot of asks to go through but I make sure to reply to as many as I can within a day.
I'll leave it under the cut
Dio finds it interesting that you have such a talent. But it's only befitting that his darling ought to be as talented as he is
"Draw me like one of your French girls" type of guy, this man has the biggest ego
He wants to see himself in all your artistic glory. I really do imagine him wanting to be painted nude lmao
Dio will also want a painting of you too, his favourite pet~
If he likes your paintings enough, he'll have his servants buy you paint supplies but only if you promise to paint more of him
Kars is intrigued by your little hobby
Doesn't quite get it but after seeing you paint, he accepts it
He rather you paint than try and run away (not like you can though)
Kars isn't completely heartless. Although he has darling bound in chains, there's enough wiggle room for them to paint freely
He may interpret your art. Trying to see some deeper meaning behind it. If you paint about your feelings of isolation and despair of being his darling, Kars will take a bit of pleasure in that
He'd probably ask you to paint the Mona Lisa with a focus on her hands
Tbh, he might just request you paints hands
Till your entire house is filled with paintings of just hands
But aside from revering your paintings, Kira likes to watch you paint. He finds it calming but loves watching your hands move with every brush stroke
I imagine he'd want to hold your hand while you paint. It's the best of both worlds
Being in his mansion alone can be awfully boring so he'll allow darling to paint if it keeps them busy and rid their mind of any ideas of escaping
Diavolo doesn't seem to care what you do. As long as you are an obedient darling
The only thing he will make sure of is that you don't paint his face or anything that could give away his identity. Otherwise, there will be grave consequences
He can be pretty cold and quick to anger. So if darling ever pisses him off, then a form of punishment could be destroying your paintings. Especially the ones you're most fond/proud of
Diavolo won't comment on any of your paintings cuz again, he doesn't really care. But sometimes you will catch him staring at them with a certain curiosity
Gasses you up for all your paintings
He loves every single one that you do, even if you're not proud of it
Doppio will pay attention to every little detail and comment on it. Not in a bad way, but to admire even the little things you've created
He might ask you to paint a portrait of him and you together
The type of guy who would also try to pick up painting too so he can do it together with his darling
Will admire your work greatly and make positive remarks about it
Like Kars, he'll analyze the painting. From the painting techniques you've used to hidden symbolism about what you're trying to convey in these paintings
He knows most of them are about him in some way, shape, or form. Keeping you prisoner hidden beneath the chapel does make darling antagonize him, and he understands
You hate how he's so sweet with his words about your work. But most importantly, how he can see right through you and read your true feelings and intentions
What you hate even more is that a deep part of you actually enjoys his praise
what’s your opinion on when nesta antis defend the ICs decision to keep the Made weapons from nesta bc she’s “mentally unstable” and can’t be trusted?? personally i think it’s a similar line of thinking that tamlin used in the beginning of acomaf that they all seem to think is unforgivable but idk.
It's such an interesting dynamic. It is exactly like what Tamlin did, but that's not even the most intriguing part. You see, I think the problem - as most of them - roots itself in the decisions made in MAF.
I've always said this, but the heavy moralization in regards to Tamlin is one of -- if not the most -- central problem in the story. The story writes itself in a corner, and I think Silver Flames especially pays the price for it. In reality, I don't think either one of the Archeron sisters should be in charge of such insane amounts of power all at once. I think they should have been allowed the ease into roles of leadership instead of being thrust into it. And that portion of the decision to withhold the power from Nesta is one I can understand, from an objective point of view. The thing is the ones who are doing the withholding, and the established consequences. Feyre wasn't mentally sound either, but the story argues she should have been given the power all at once anways because she's...good. The problem with the IC's decision rests firmly in the fact that these were not the same concerns when Feyre was placed in the same position as Nesta. None of the IC voted whether or not Feyre was fit to lead them, even when she was just as bitter and just as mentally unstable. And no one hated Feyre to the extent they did Nesta.
The IC isn't interested in easing Nesta into her power, they're interested in holding it. Amren straight-up tells Rhys he deserves it. And although the story has Rhysand humbly deny this, the narrative (i.e. SJM) absolutely agrees with this. Look at the way Cassian's narration immediately affirms she's right, unironically. Even if Rhys denies it, we know he'll be High King via Nesta's power.
But even more, the problem always comes back to Tamlin.
I think Tamlin has this kind of thought process, where he tries to ease Feyre into this political role, and she kind of just....makes no effort to try, from a political point of view. It's like, if she's not given all the power, all at once, she doesn't want to make the effort to like,,, earn her place in the court. And that's really a problem with all of SJM's heroines, except maybe Nesta. They don't try until they are either pushed directly into the role or until they have complete control of a situation they have no expertise or experience. So, because the story vilifies Tamlin to the extent it does, it makes it hard when other characters fall into the same mistakes. And because the story, again, never makes an effort to actually critique these problems at the root, we keep getting the same scenarios over and over. Tamlin isn't bad because he's abusive, he's bad because he's...Tamlin. And again, Tamlin IS ABUSIVE, but his abuse isn't isolated to him. Other characters (Rhys, Az, Cass) constantly replicate his behaviors, it's just they so happen not to be Tamlin.
Because of this, the characters are always going to be held to these ridiculously high, and sometimes unreasonable standards, because Tamlin was. And we've seen the extent of the consequences he's paying. And when you've preached to, for five books, that certain behavior is wrong and punishable by what we see Tamlin go through, and then other characters do the same and aren't ever given consequences -- it cheapens the theme. It also makes people begin to really hate Rhys/IC because their flaws are constantly held up as moral standards.
All of this is written out in a blog post that you can find here.
I'm also going to paste the blog post beneath the read more for those who can't read the images and don't want to click the link. (The link does have a worksheet I made to go with it!)
This post will talk about the Pros/Cons skill. This is a distress tolerance skill.
This skill is useful to help you to resist the urge to behave in a way you are trying to avoid. When you are in a situation where you feel such an urge, describe the behaviour you are trying to avoid.
Consider the positive consequences (pros) or negative consequences (cons) of giving into the urge for that behaviour. Think about the results of that behaviour from past times acting on those urges and any consequences of them, and consider whether those would be pros or cons of doing it again.
I am feeling the urge to self isolate.
No one else will be exposed to my mood.
No one will be able to distract me.
People may worry about me which will affirm that I am cared about.
In the past, it has made me feel worse and made my negative mood last longer.
It may put strain or tension on my relationships.
It may make people worry about me and it makes me feel guilty when people worry about me.
It may make it harder for me to meet my needs, such as hydration, food, etc.
(Please note that it is valid to need space as a form of coping in a lot of situations, but there is a difference between needing to be alone and actually self isolating and the latter is why I’ve used it as an example of a behaviour to avoid.)
This skill can also be used to decide between two or more actions. It might seem obvious which is the right choice outside of the moment, but in moments of intense emotions, our thoughts can be clouded and it can be difficult to use reason to choose the best course of action.
I am feeling frustrated because my partner said something that upset me. It wasn’t his intention to upset me, but I am angry.
I could either: Yell at him and make him understand how wrong he was.
I get to vent how I feel.
It will feel satisfying in the moment.
In the end, I end up crying and having a breakdown which ultimately helps release a bunch of emotions leading me to feeling lighter.
It will be hurtful and potentially scary to my partner.
I will punish myself afterwards with guilt.
There may be tension between us and/or it may damage our relationship.
I may not explain the problem in a way that my partner can understand, which may lead them to upset me in the same way in the future, or to change their behaviour in a way I don’t want them to do.
Or I could: Use my Coping Skills.
I get to feel proud of myself for using my coping skills.
It will likely lead to me communicating with him in a healthy manner afterwards about what upset me, and potentially strengthen our relationship.
Will help calm my body and mind which is better for my physical well-being.
Will help build and reinforce positive thinking patterns.
It is draining sometimes to use coping skills.
Sometimes it feels good to get a reaction out of my partner in the moment.
Weighing pros and cons can be helpful for making any decision between two or more options, but it can be particularly useful to help avoid negative behaviours which we have found hard to resist in the past. It may help to consider a potential future situation or an urge we know we experience sometimes, before it happens. We might even write a list of pros and cons for that possible future decision or urge. If we can remember the list we made, or even read a written list at the time when we have the urge for a behaviour we want to avoid, it may help us resist that urge.
The goal of this skill is to help us to realize that the positive consequences of not giving into our urges will outweigh the discomfort we may feel when we work at resisting those urges.
punishment headcanons for yandere!rantaro and shuichi please?
✧Punishment Headcanons — Rantaro, Shuichi✧
In my opinion, these two wouldn't actually harm their darling (well in Rantaro's case, not in a cruel way), no no no. They wouldn't dream of it, but you know, somehow you've got to learn in order for this mistake to not repeat itself.
Warning(s): Guilt Tripping, Somewhat Patronizing Behavior (Not with ill intent), Isolation (Locked in a Room), Slight Suffocating Behavior (Shuichi just doesn't let you have alone time)
"You do know what you did wrong, correct? It's okay; just the two of us here so don't be so quiet. Chin up and raise your voice. I want to hear you loud and clear."
No matter what you did to earn this punishment, Rantaro will always sit you down, facing him with no way of turning away. He wants you to look him in the eyes while he scolds you about your behavior/actions. This man will not bring harm to you physically, but he can certainly guilt trip you to oblivion.
He will make sure you apologize on your own accord by making you feel bad for what you've done. Let's say you attempted an escape: Rantaro is calm as he expresses how grateful he is that you're okay and that your safety is a priority. He wouldn't know what to do with himself if something happened. You could've gotten hurt, you know. The world is such a dark, unforgiving place and you should be happy Rantaro has taken the time to protect you from such darkness. You will be sitting in 'your room' to think about what you've done as he checks up on you once in a while.
You'd feel like a child as he chides on about what you've done if the punishment concerns your behavior. Being a brat? Oh well, I guess he has to treat you as such and bring down even more guilt inducing comments (along with other methods...). You're being a bit ungrateful aren't you? But that's okay, Rantaro still loves you and the two you can get past this phase. Neglecting your health to spite him? Now, that's just dumb. Please don't do this to yourself. He knows you're smarter than this.
Again, it doesn't matter what happened, it will end the same. You'll still be scolded and guilt tripped until an apology leaves your lips. Then everything will be right as rain. Honestly the worst you'd get is isolation time in a room or a slap on the wrist. Privileges lost is also something Rantaro would do to make you understand that your actions/behavior have consequences and the only way to get them back is through bettering that. Overall, Rantaro is not cruel, just concerned.
"I understand that you're upset, frustrated even, but... Can you at least tell me how I can make it all better?... I'm sorry, but that's not possible."
Again, this depends on what you've done, but he still wouldn't hurt you. Being the source of your pain is something Shuichi never wants; he'd cry at the thought of your burning hatred staring at him. So, he comes up with something else to deal with the situation.
If you tried to escape, which breaks Shuichi's heart, he's going to question you. Of course those questions would be focused on the why in all this. Basically, your escape attempt has only made him stick closer to you, even if you don't see him at times. Shuichi is now going to be a very prominent figure in your daily schedule so good luck trying that stunt again. Complaints to this are only met with a hard stare and a "It's for your own good" which is a statement you'll soon grow to be familiar with. In his mind, you need to at least learn and if you don't... Then you won't stop.
Every time he punishes you, Shuichi never makes eye contact. He knows you're going to sneer and glare at him, but refuses to face it. That would only show a weakness that you could use against him (which is likely) and shift the guilt to his end. No, he can't have that. It'll only make the whole situation more strenuous than it already is. Maybe he will look you in the eyes afterwards, but it's obvious that there's pain written in his face.
On the matter of your behavior/responses towards him deteriorating, again, Shuichi will ask you why you're acting like this. Maybe he can rearrange some things to fix everything. Just let him know and stop hurting him like this. No, he won't leave you alone... You should already be aware of that by now. The only reason Shuichi would get stern with you (tone low and voice laced with disappointment as he means business) is if you push him too much. He is a calm and collected figure yeah, but we all know he has a breaking point. Shuichi can become a mess and when that happens, there's no such thing as private/alone time or letting things slide. He will voice out his frustrations with you followed with an apology once he's done. This man will absolutely not hurt you when he talks because he deems communication to be a better way to show you he means business.
TOJI AND MAKI
The parallels between the two outcasts of the zenin clan have already been pointed out plenty of times in canon, for example they're both incredibly buff. However, I thought I would take a deeer look at both characters, as they share both a role as the abused child that destroys the system that created them, and the same fatal flaw.
1. The Child Who is Not Embraced by the Village Will Burn it Down to Feel its Warmth
"The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas" is a 1973 work of short philosophical fiction, about a summer festival in the utopian ity of OMelas, whose prosperity depends on the perpetual misery of a single child. The idea is written around the idea of the scapegoat, a reoccurring trope in stories where someone innocent is blamed, or outcast for the mistakes of other characters.
All of this to say that both Maki and Toji represent the archetype of the scapegoats of their generation. Just like the child of Omelas, all of the problems in the Zenin household are blamed on one child.
This is something Ogi does to Maki directly, and also Naoya recognizes that the other members of the clan did to Toji. They were unable to face their own inferiority, so they blamed it on a scapegoat. Ogi blames his failure to become the head of the clan on his children. The entire clan is unable to recognize Toji's strength, because it would make them question their traditionally held notions of strength, Toji requires the use of weapons and can fight without cursed techniques, which means the cursed techniques they were born with don't make them inherently better with other people.
This is also related to Gojo's criticisms of Jujutsu Society at large, of which the Zenin Household is a very toxic microcosm of. Gojo's critique is that the previous generation will sacrifice the lives of the younger generation, to maintain their power, and in the name of pointless tradition. In the Zenin family "tradition" is the idea that inherited curse technique determines a person's worth.
Their entire system is built around one, keeping cursed techniques in the clan, and two, passing down inherited curse techniques from father to child. Which would go farther to explain the treatment of women by the clan, but we're not getting into that this time. Basically, the "peace" and the "superiority" of the household are built on the idea of marking and scapegoating an outsider, that is anyone who doesn't fit in with the clan's traditions. "If you are not of the Zenin Clan you are not a sorcerer, and if you are not a sorcerer then you are not even Human". That quote alone should explain how Maki and Toji were both treated as subhuman 'monkeys' by everyone around them.
However, the story shows us by both Toji and Maki snapping how terrible these abusive power structures are. One person cannot handle all of that alone, so they snap. Of course they snap. It's not a sign of who Toji and Maki are as people, but rather how no one deserves to be treated that way. A major reocurring theme in Jujutsu Kaisen is no one person alone, can take responsibility for everything, not even Gojo who is the strongest can save everyone he wants to save or be responsible for all of society he needs allies too. Toji, and Maki without allies, they snap and lash out against the same abusive power structure that created them. They are so thoroughly othered by everyone around them, that they embrace their own inhumanity, Maki becomes a weapon bent on killing her family even murdering her own mother, and Toji outright calls himself a monkey.
This is also why Toji is referred to as the "destroyer of destinies" there are two reasons for this. One, Gege is making a thematic point here. The abusive system built on othering and excluding children among other things doesn't actually provide the stability it promises. The center does not hold. The abuse of the system perpetuates and only leads to more destruction. Toji's outcasting isn't something that just hurt Toji alone, everyone felt the consequences of it because the abusive system proliferates and only causes further destruction. The second reason is a Jungian idea on which the story is based on. Toji himself is much like a curse created by the actions of his entire family. If Mahito is created from the fear humans have for each other and acts as the shadow of humanity representing their dark side, Toji metaphorically represents the combined shadow and dark side of the zenin clan. In Watch Man, Rorsarch monologues about how the accumulated filth of all of the abuses that happen in the city will one day rise up and affect everyone.
"This city is afraid of me, I have seen it's true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will form up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout save us and I'll look down and whisper no."
This is expressing the same Jungian idea, a society that ignores these problems will only cause the muck to rise up further and further until it affects everyone. The Zenin clan was a microcosm for the abuses of Jujutsu Society as a whole, they weren't the only ones affected by their abuse because abuse perpetuates. They endured it until they snapped and then acted out that abuse. The Jungian idea put forth is that this sort of reckoning was always going to happen, as long as the Zenin clan continues to create these outcasts in order to hold themselves up as superior, another Toji will happen.
2. Love is the Worst Curse of Them All
Toji and Maki also share the same flaw as people. Their abuse revolved around the idea of outcasting them from the rest of the family, othering them, continually putting them down and also most likely not even doing the job of raising them as children or providing them with the help they needed. We don't see much of it, but in the databook apparently Toji regularly had cursed spirits sicked on him to mock him, and Maki was locked in the cursed spirit room as punishment.
This taught them not only do they need to be strong on their own, but also in order to prove themselves they both thought they needed to be stronger than anyone else in the clan. Toji left Jujutsu Society as a whole, whereas Maki just left the house, both of them with the motivation of proving themselves stronger than the people who looked down on them.
This strong sense of individualism is their greatest strength, and also their weakness, as the situation is more complicated than being stronger than a bully. Maki and Toji are made to feel alone because of their abuse, however, neither Maki nor Toji suffer their abuse alone.
Mai was abused right alongside Maki, they were both outcasts due to being twins. There's no point in arguing which one of them had it worse, because Ogi was perfectly willing to kill both daughters right alongside each other. Maki does and doesn't remember that Mai is right alongside her in her abuse, it's... a bit complicated.
I mention this because Makiaated reason why is that she would have hated herself if she stayed inside that household with Maki. She put pursuit of becoming a stronger sorcerer above her relationship with her sister.
Maki later states "I can't create a place where Mai would feel like she belongs". I don't believe that was always her intention from the start that she secretly left the household for Mai's sake, and wanted to get stronger to create a place where Mai belongs, because Maki's always been really clear she was doing it for her own sake. I think rather after the loss she suffered in Shibuya, and also the fight she had with her sister in the school met, that she came to change her mind and realized she wasn't just in this alone. She changed her mind, that she wanted to be together with Mai, but she didn't change it in time and tragedy struck.
I mention this because Maki and Toji both share the same tragic flaw. Both of them have no idea how to be close even to the people they love, so they end up pushing away the ones they love the most. Maki continually shows behavior of pushing away Mai, and in Toji's case he does everything he can to try to show himself he doesn't love his son.
Maki continually pushes away her sister Mai. Mai reacts to getting pushed away in a not-so-healthy way. Toji full on deadbeats his son. He doesn't raise him or participate in his life to the point where Megumi can't remember his face or name at all. Toji did everything he could to try to give Megumi to someone else, anyone else other than him and avoided his responsibility as a father.
It doesn't come from malice on Toji and Maki's part, but rather it's a less savory aspect of their abuse. Both Toji and Maki believe themselves to be worthless, and that they can't be accepted or loved. They've internalized the way the clan has treated them. They are so isolated that this comes out in how they treated their closest loved ones, their response is to always push them away and isolate themselves further. Toji narrates this, he chose to throw his son aside because he wanted to affirm himself and prove that he was better than Jujutsu Society. Maki says to Mai that she left the house and left Mai because staying would have meant hating herself.
They are both trying desperately to prove themselves as individually strong, to the point where loving anyone else, or even requiring that love from someone is a weakness. They prove they are strong by avoiding the vulnerability of loving someone else. Toji and Maki both try to separate themselves from their heart in order to become even more physically stronger. For Toji his heart was his son Megumi who he did everything to distance himself, forgetting his name, selling him to the Zenin clan, while at the same time paradoxically believing that he was somehow protecting Megumi and arranging for things that would have been better than Toji just stepping up as a father and taking care of him.
At the same time Maki pushes Mai away when Mai does not want that, and believes that also she can return to the clan and make it a safe place for her sister by being individually stronger than everyone else.
They both approach their loved ones this way, because they were taught that one, they are unworthy of love, and they choose to try to get stronger by throwing away anything that might make them vulnerable.
TWhich is why Maki breaks so hard, and lashes out at everyone when Mai is gone, because Maki believed that keeping Mai separate from herself and protecting her was her way of showing love.
However, Mai and Megumi are like... people. They're people entirely separate from Maki and Toji and also affected by their actions. Megumi was neglected his entire lives, whereas Mai didn't get to have a relationship with her sister and felt like she was worthless and only holding her sister back. This is the central idea of Toji and Maki's abuse narrative, that abuse is complicated, and abuse proliferates and hurts people you don't even intend for it to hurt. It has consequences. Megumi suffers the consequences of the Zenin family's abuse because it turned Toji into such an unfit and emotionally immature father. Mai was being abused alongside Maki, and even ended up dying from her abuser's hand as her father Ogi beat her half to death and locked her in a room. Now, as a consequence Maki is lashing out at everything around her. That's also why the connection between Toji and Maki is drawn, to show that as long as the abusive institution still stands, it's just going to keep creating more outcasts like Toji and Maki.
I'm torn re: Edelgard's AG fate. I agree with you that it's absolutely what she deserves. She's essentially lost everything. It's almost as bad as death, and some might say it's worse even tho she's alive. And yet as you said, it prevents her from taking actual responsibility over her actions. Losing her memory and free will as a puppet is a consequence sure, but it's not a consequence of being a dictator/conqueror. It's only a consequence of opposing Thales. So she still gets off too easily.
I'm definitely torn about it because I think it's a mixed bag. In a way she (the personality we know) is kind of... dead? Which that stops the war, that stops innocents from dying, etc etc... but it doesn't make things better for the people who died. If this whole thing didn't happen to her then she might have actually had to take responsibility.
One of the biggest issues I take with the way she gets handled in both games is that, between all of Hopes and CF, she never has to take responsibility for what she does. Whether you like her or not, it's not fair that she doesn't have to take responsibility for her actions but everyone else does. Claude does nothing wrong in Houses (and I mean like, literally - he doesn't do anything or cause anything that he needs to take responsibility for), but yet he can literally die for betraying Edelgard in Hopes. If you recruited some of his allies, they all get mad at him and fight him for... betraying Edelgard. He gets killed for fighting back against the person who started the war and dies thinking of how he was trying to do the best he could but now look what he did to everyone (? seems more like they wanted to write him as a villain or something here even though the only one who suffered for it was him). The second he goes against her it's like oop gotta off him.
Even in AM, Rhea steps down as Archbishop and... goes into isolation. While I agree some of her measures were extreme, she didn't do those things to innocent people. While I think the western church's men who said "this isn't what they were told would happen" deserved to share their side and get a fair trial, it was at least her executing, you know, people who brought about harm to others/attacked the Church. It wasn't just executing some random guy off the street because he didn't like the Crest system or something. Isolation however is just too much and I don't think she deserved that, and it's part of the reason I feel like there's too much Edelgard bias in the writing.
That, in turn, loops back around to her fate in AG. That kind of bias kept her from having to take responsibility. While Seteth didn't really have any responsibility to take, hell, even in Houses he turns himself around and explains himself to Byleth after Flayn is saved (regarding why he didn't trust Byleth and was on edge around them). Every character that does anything wrong has to either make up for it, try to, die for it, or claim they have to right their wrongs that they didn't even cause (ex. Dimitri claiming he "started a war with the Empire" in Hopes which LITERALLY never happened and seemed like a writing excuse to prop up Edelgard as "not the villain").
In a way this is cruel for Edelgard because now she's lost everything. However, it's also true that, if my theory has any weight in canon, her entire war self might have been a persona created by Thales to begin with. He might have manipulated/erased her memories about Dimitri and created a different personality within her so that she'd hate the Church and go to war with them, so for Thales he can just watch his enemies fight each other. That means she might have been "reset" in a way with the dark magic removed from her, meaning she's not actually this horrible war starter etc etc.
While I'd agree that a twelve year old girl doesn't deserve to be killed or given punishment for if Thales was actually the one who created that personality, therein lies the problem. In the event that this wasn't the plan for Houses and the Edelgard we know is just... her as is, this is a cheap way to get her out of having any repercussions in Hopes. She either regresses to being twelve through losing all her memories of willingly starting war, OR her personality wasn't real the whole time.
If her personality was real, yeah, this is like a cruel twist of fate for her to lose everything, even her memories of who she was. I think she deserves something cruel to happen to her for the cruel things she did. Even with Dimitri, he technically had cruel things happen to him (physically and mentally), and he claims that over the five years in Houses he did cruel(? at least bad/not good) things. He still has some form of punishment. If Edelgard's fate in AG could be likened to if she died, sure I can tolerate that... though I still wish she had to take responsibility for what she did, even if that means rotting in a damn cell. Hell, even if she was pulled out of a cell years later only to be shown the happy world Dimitri, Claude, Seteth and Byleth (if it's Houses) created without her.
If the writers gave her proper repercussions, I wouldn't feel as strongly about what I think she deserves. The fact that the writers just want to help her evade what she did is frustrating. I don't like Hopes Claude in the second half but I don't think he deserved to die for what he did in non-Byleth SB. That, too, is an example of them giving repercussions that are more extreme than the person deserves. Meanwhile Edelgard is treated like a wonderful person who has no reason to be punished for her actions even in the routes she loses in in Hopes.
What I want from this game is for it to be written in a fair way to all the characters. I also don't like the whole concept of forced unification and war being the answer to everything, so that on top of her getting away with it at no cost is... annoying.
cat and mouse - agust d.
pairing - yandere!agust d x gn!reader
summary - it's a fun game for him.
warnings - yandere themes, psychopathic behaviour, mentions of tied up, bruises, wounds.
word count - 1.6k
a/n - had an mv marathon at 3 am where i was accidentally hit with this idea, also i do not condone such behaviour. proceed at your own risk.
Straight up doing things for the fun of it.
Of course, he was. But weird was an understatement.
Of course, he was. But weird was an understatement.
That man was a psychopath. Completely driven by passion, anger and raw emotions.
Consequences be damned.
He saw it fit to abduct you because he was so deeply in love.
He saw it fit to tie you up because he was that angry on you.
He also saw it fit to isolate you because he became jealous quite quick. Something he hadn’t experienced yet with you and you hoped he wouldn’t because he would be feral beyond control.
He was an absolute sweetheart for a moment and literally trying to see how much it took to tear you apart the next.
If you began to count how much mental disorders this man could be a victim of, you’d lose count.
And you were angry, of course. But you found yourself sympathizing with him a number of times, trying to figure out what exactly was wrong with him.
But his mood swings made it hard to not hate him.
So you stuck with being indifferent to his advances now. Not flinching when he waved his knife up on your face threatening to cut something if you don’t respond. Not crying when he shouted numerous insults at you, all directed to cut through your heart. And they would have if you didn’t steel yourself against him.
For his betterment and yours, you had to escape from here.
Escape so you could have the upper hand in helping him.
As he sat in front of you, hands tangled in his own hair, you promised him softly to help him out. No matter what it takes.
Because you knew you could.
he fiddled with his car keys while you grew increasingly restless. Of all the time you were kept here, you had never been left alone.
Call it agust’s fear or just plain not wanting to go outside.
He’d make hoseok run errands for him, but even then, you’d never seen hoseok.
As your thoughts progress more, you wonder how long it’s been since you actually talked to someone.
Someone who didn’t have a dangling knife on your head.
And suddenly, agust was here, taking his car keys, wallet, and stuff.
If he was afraid of you running off, he didn’t show it. He just tried to play it as if he’s just driving to a grocery store nearby.
Your features displayed a questioning look, but either he didn’t notice or he just knew that’d be the case.
Either way, after making sure he had everything and had covered every inch of his body part in black, he went out, slamming the door on his way out.
You count. You count the seconds. 10, 11, 12, 13.....
There’s no noise outside, he’s really gone.
And the silence that greets you is nothing like the one you’ve experienced these past few weeks, with him just breathing down your neck for some reaction.
Its strangely uplifting, even though you know he’s going to be back in a matter of minutes (or you at least assume that) you’re filled with a breath of fresh air.
But it hits you again of how you can’t escape...
That is until you spot it.
A whiskey glass just around a little distance from you on the center table of the room.
and your limbs tied up burn inside. If you could just move the chair enough to break the glass.
And you did. The ropes cut through your skin slowly and even though you couldn’t look at your wrists, you were pretty sure they’d be a pretty shade of purple and red now.
But you didn’t stop, trying to move the chair, inch by inch.
Your freedom was just a push away.
And as you mustered all the strength in you and pushed the table enough to bang it whole down, a large clinking noise shook the whole house.
Of both the table and the glass.
For a moment, you sat frozen, heart pounding with fear, even though you believed he was gone, it was hard to believe it.
But since no one barged into the room with a maniacal smile on their face which reflected of how glad they were that you messed up, you continued your process.
The next step was to spot the suitable size of the shards, to help you cut the rope.
And you brace yourself for impact as you divert all the pressure of your body downwards, making the chair fall behind and the blood rush to your face.
And your hands cut through the shards, and you find that it won’t be easy getting the one you wanted so you settle for something that fits in your wrist and is similar enough.
There are small bruises on your palm that you know will pain the next time you wash your hands but you’d take a thousand bruises for your freedom. Anything, actually.
And thus begins the process of you trying to tear apart the tight rope. Fear kept a hand on you, and you were startled by every small noise because you knew what would happen if he found you like this. Disobeying his first, foremost and main rule.
And you’d actually prefer death over it, but trying not to think of getting caught, you try your best to cut off the ropes without slashing yourself.
And you can feel your wrists being a little free slowly and painstakingly and with another rub of the glass against the rope, you’re free.
It settles like some powder in water, slowly but surely.
And you get up from the chair, but as soon as you do, you hear the voice of the lock.
The car, locking.
No, no, this can’t happen. You’re so close to actually escaping!
To being free, to make choices of your own, to see your family.
And you decide in the moment that you’ll fight him. You can’t back down from this.
So you take the rope from the familiar drawer you’d seen agust getting it from, and hide.
Fear still ensnares you but you try to not pay attention to it.
Its suddenly come to your attention that the house is as still as stone and hence why you can hear agust’s boots against the stairs, fueling your anxiety greatly.
And as he opens the door, a part of you wants to slam him in forehead with something, but unfortunately predicting something like this to happen, agust had eliminated his house of stuff like that. And another part of you wanted to bawl out loud and apologise to him, take the punishment, be like a bird in a golden cage your entire life; you suppressed that part greatly.
He looked around slowly, not spotting you sends him in a frenzy, but he also knows that the house was locked from the outside, so there’s no way you’ve actually escaped.
And his feet thump slowly against the floor, you can almost hear his soles make a squeaking sound and the keys of his car jingle slowly.
You’re hiding behind a sofa, which is at the opposite end of the room from the chair you were tied up on, and knowing agust, he knows this is the only place you could hide in, so you set your face up, bracing yourself to attack.
And you see the white ceiling, LED lights shine from it, dim but illuminating enough.
And then a shadow falls upon you, the grin that you despise with your whole being.
“found you,” he says almost nonchalantly. As if he wasn’t just about to have a breakdown of how almost everyone in his life just leaves.
But you’re fast and you gather all your hate, all your anger for him and land a straight punch on his jaw, breaking his smile.
And you hear a large thud. Similar to the table falling on the floor but less violent.
And you expect him to get back up and this time chain you up or something; but he doesn’t.
You don't even hear him getting up.
So you convince yourself to get up and check.
And he’s put cold on the floor, you take a good look at your fist and to him; to your fist and to him and squeal out loud.
What in the actual heaven-
And you move his body up on the chair, tying him up just like he didto you, your tears blurring your vision, and a grin, just like his, plastered on your face.
After you’ve made sure he’s tied up, you take a last look and run.
Run like you never did in the physical education class, like you never did in that one marathon your friend dragged you to.
while you were zoned out reminiscing about what your life used to be while being a shell of your former self, agust was....bored.
He was losing his patience. He was nothing if not a sucker for emotions.
Emotions he could play with, reactions he could muster from you.
He loved you and all but everybody needs a kick in life, don’t they?
He kept on thinking, thinking how he could absolutely crush you into pieces and join them himself.
And he found the perfect thing.
He knew you’d try to escape the first chance you got so he set up his toys just in order for him to be ready to play.
And it was a little painful, but he enjoyed it. He enjoyed knowing you could put up such a fight.
And alas, even after making sure he was tied up, you forgot the glass pieces right there and agust just blinked awake.
I agree that the Lalo concrete theory is too hokey and campy for the show. But at the same time if it was done in a gruesome way it might be a deserved end for him. What do you want to happen to him? Like Gus said about Hector "a bullet in the head is too humane".
I mean...he is my favorite character so I'm not rooting for an especially gruesome end for him!
I think that things can get a little thorny if we look at deaths in this universe as the characters getting what they "deserve," because I don't think that's how the writers think. Characters get the deaths that fit them, that complete their story and leave us with something to think about:
I'm on record as loving Nacho's death, but I definitely wouldn't say he deserved it. I say that he deserved a second chance. Instead, his death was fitting. It completed his arc - going from a selfish criminal to someone who would make the ultimate sacrifice for love. I didn't want him to die, but his story moved me so deeply that I wouldn't have it any other way
Chuck's death also wasn't "deserved." No matter what Chuck did, he didn't deserve to plunge into a suicidal despair so awful that he saw burning to death as a better option. But his death fit him, and I also found it moving in a strange way. It made me feel closer to him when I finally felt the full weight of his mental illness, and how even though I was so angry at him for how he treated Jimmy, I understood the darkness that was eating him from the inside out and how horrible and isolating that was for him, and I felt compassion and sorrow even though I seriously hated him for much of that season
Gus's death is closer to a character getting what he "deserved" in that he was a villain...but I don't think of his death as his character being punished. It was simply the natural consquence of his destructive quest for revenge. It fit his story, and him straightening his tie with half a face? Iconic - the kind of character death that people talk about for years.
So I want Lalo to have a death that completes his story. It will most likely be violent, because he's a violent man and the natural consequence of living a life of violence is that it will catch up with you eventually. I want it to make me sad, but also make me excited because it fit him so perfectly, and now I have his whole story. Fortunately, I feel like this universe has a good track record of that!
Varian and PTSD
Alright folks, this analysis took a lot longer than normal. Here is another Varian analysis (before you say, yeah he has PTSD in Be Very Afraid, he had the symptoms, what is there to analyze.)
@drummergirl231-2 made an analyis with Della Duck and PTSD and @nblenasabrewing Lena has PTSD.
Read more analysis posts
DISCLAMER: I am NOT a professional. I do not have a degree in anything related to psychology or a mental health expert. Dissecting a fictional character in a post is one thing, but you are far too complex and important to self-diagnose and leave it here. If you feel you have any of the following criteria/exaples please see a professional for a real diagonosis. This isn't really something that can be self-diagnosed, a professional would get you more opprotunities for you to deal with PTSD.
Now, I'm gonna be using the criteria according to according to DSM-5, in order for a person to be diagnosed with PTSD they must have a certian number of symptoms from 8 categories, critieria A through H.
For a diagnosis of PTSD, someone needs...
to meet at least 1 symptom from Criterion A
to have at least 1 symptom from Criterion B
to have at least 1 symptom from Criterion C
to have at least 2 symptoms from Criterion D
to have at least 2 Symptoms from Criterion E
to meet Criteria F, G, and H
Criterion A: Traumatic Event
A person must be exposed to one or more events involving threatened or actual death, threatened or actual serious injury, or threatened or actual sexual violation in one of the following ways:
Witnessing the event happen to someone else
Hearing about it from a loved one
Repeatedly hearing details about traumatic events, such as police officers repeatedly hearing stories of abuse
Varian definitely was (in)directly involved in a life-threatening situations especially in Queen for a Day. The amber was from his own chemical solution, fighting the unjust/overly harsh punishments that where ordered by the king and forcing and threatening lives just to make his voice be heard.
He was also falsely accused of crimes he did not commit such as being dangerous or attacking the princess. He had no moral support and felt betrayed in addition to that, he was in chased out of his house by the king who wanted to silence him simply because he knew too much in the episode The Quest for Varian.
Now, it's hard to tell how long he was alone with what was essentially his father's corpse but, according to Chris season 1 takes place over the course of 6 months (Queen for a Day is the half way point) meaning this child was left alone with no help for 3 months. Varian absolutes meets criteria A.
Criterion B: Intrusive Symtoms
Expected or unexpected reoccurring, involuntary, and intrusive upsetting memories
Repeated nightmares related to the traumatic event
Some form of dissociation, such as flashbacks, where the individual feels the traumatic event is happening again
Strong emotional distress when exposed to internal or external triggered associated with the traumatic event
Strong bodily reactions (such as rapid heart rate) when exposed to reminders of the traumatic event
Now remember, Varian just needs to have ONE of these to be categorized￼ as a person with PTSD but Varian has 4 of the 5 of these.
In Be Very Afraid he has nightmares about the events of season 1. Now originally, it was gonna be this scene here. Nightmare scene, but it got replaced with this scene.
Now, we don't know if this is the only he has had nightmares about being encased in amber (however we can safely assume it is not the first time)
He is afraid that the same thing will happen again, his dad getting hurt from his own design. There is nothing that can reassure him that an accident like this will not reoccur in the future.
We also don’t get to see his fathers reaction to all the bad stuff he did in season 1. I kinda wish we would have since there was a strain in the relationship at the beginning and having everything out would have improved their relationship significantly in season 3.
Criterion C: Avoidance
An individual with PTSD will frequently avoid reminders of the traumatic event in one of the following ways...
Avoiding thoughts, feelings, or physical sensations that trigger memories of the traumatic event
Avoiding people, places, conversations, activities, objects or situations that bring up memories of the traumatic event
Again Varian has to fit only ONE of the criteria.
Varian reveals the solution he has in BVA is the same chemical solution he had to encase his father in amber. On top of that in Once A Handmaiden, Varian creates an amber gun and Zhan Tiri re-traumatizes Varian by pulling the trigger and have Cassandra be encased in amber as well.
Feldspar in BVA is hostile towards Varian and to be honest, I kinda like how in that episode it shows the reality of his situation. Like even though Rapunzel and her friends forgave Varian he hadn’t had any reassurance from the others that the citizens/castle staff will forgive him too.
I mean it’s the same reaction to both instances and I bet Varian blames himself for Cassandra being invaded because it was his invention (but like I said Zhan Tiri pulled the trigger) not Varian.
Varian pressures himself to be the best version of himself and wants to restore his reputation in Rapunzel’s Return. He also probably was gonna use the memory formula on himself as well so he can forget all the terrible stuff he did in season 1.
No matter which way you look at it Varian definitely meets Criteria C.
Criterion D: Negative Changes In Thoughts or Mood
The inability to remember important details of the traumatic event
Persistent and elevated negative thoughts on oneself, others, or the world
Exaggerated self-blame or blame of others for the cause or consequences of the traumatic event
Pervasive negative emotional state (anger, fear, shame etc.)
Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
Feeling isolated or detached from others
Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
Varian especially in season 1 has feelings like this. He blames Rapunzel/the royal family for abandoning him for 3 months and ignoring his cry for help.
Look at how far he takes it. Kidnapping, genetic mutation, feeling isolated. Varian definitely has a negative emotional state of all the emotions I just listed. Anger/fear in season 1 and shame and guilt in season 3.
As far as the symptom of exaggerated blame goes, I hesitate to say it’s something he struggles with because we don’t know for sure yet if his self-blame is exaggerated or not. It is, however, likely something he struggles.
Criterion E: Alterations in Reactivity That Started or Worsened After The Traumatic Event
Irritability or aggressive behavior
Impulsive or self-destructive behavior
Hyper-vigilance (feeling constantly on-guard, or like saber is learning around every corner)
Heightened startle reaction
Problems/difficulty with concentrating
Sleep disturbances such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless sleep
Varian’s personality in the second half of season 1 was mostly that of the sarcastic, snarky teenager who wanted to be heard. Under that, he was an abused teen sighting an unjust/overly harsh justice system.
As far as sleeping goes, again we don’t know how often he has nightmares or if it was caused by the red rocks fear power.
Many people with PTSD hate entering a space without making sure they’ll be able to leave quickly. They may attend a recital for example and, upon entering the auditorium or theater, scan for every emergency exit before sitting in an aisle seat near a door.
In BVA he lies to himself and Rapunzel stating “just trying not to set off the 3,000 traps down here!” Varian is purposefully trying to get out of the tunnels and saying that the red rock power is too much for him. He obviously doesn’t wanna be near anything that would remind him of the darkest time in his life when he stole the flower.
Criterion F: The Symptoms Above Must Last For More Than One Month
Again time is relative and it's hard to tell how long he was alone but, according to Chris season 1 takes place over the course of 6 months (Queen for a Day is the half way point) meaning he was left alone with for 3 months. He feels betrayed and desperate to get help but is ignored.
It’s hard to know if Varian’s symptoms all started at the same time or not, but he’ll need all the ones we’ve identified so far to be going on for a month or more to meet Criterion F. It’s possible he’ll meet this criterion sometime in around The Quest for Varian but we can’t know for sure yet.
It’s important to note PTSD can either develop immediately after a traumatic event, or later on... even years later.
Criterion G: Distress From Symptoms Significantly Impairs The Individual’s Ability to Function in Multiple areas of Life (Social, Occupational, etc.)
While we haven’t seen much of Varian’s daily life, we do know a few things based off of context clues - he has very little to no friends other than Rapunzel and the others, he initially refuses to take responsibility for the amber feeding off of his own negative feelings, and continues to project all his anger onto Rapunzel and the others.
In Rapunzel’s Return we see that the the others aren’t trusting him, Varian tries to go out of the cell but bumps into lance instead where we get the hilarious scene in which, Lance rubs off his goatee where he immediately gets embarrassed by. He is so worried about trying to earn trust. Varian has improved to day to day life, he does struggle now and again. He more or able to function in day to day life. He does struggle now and then, but he isn’t having significant trouble yet.
In the situations where fear seems to overtake him, they’re typically situations where anybody would be terrified (Cass attacking the kingdom in Once A Handmaiden, and the mind trap in Plus Est En Vous.)
Criterion H: The Symptoms Are Not Due to Substance Abuse, Medication Side-Effects, or Another Condition
I’m sure we can safely rule out substance abuse or medication, since he’s underage however, he was also locked in a cell with Andrew who took advantage of his mental state and used Varian for his own personal gain so that also plays a factor.
Varian has enough for a diagnosis, as long has his symptoms last longer than 1 month and most of what we see of Varian’s symptoms are due to his own ambition and desperation to free his father.
Varian is a complicated character with a lot of different factors playing into who he is, but there’s little doubt that after a year of emotional/mental abuse Varian has some serious trauma. While a lot of it is from his own chemical solution, it’s also worth mentioning that the royal family is also to blame as well. He spends most of BVA hesitating and avoiding the situation terrified to confront the situation. While he has an amazing big hero moment near the end of the episode, I am sure that post-series he is still struggling with his fears and trauma.
Trauma doesn’t just go away, it’s not something that you can just get over with like fear, it takes months if not years till it you can finally confront it and even then it can have long lasting effects on your daily life. I’m not saying it’s impossible to deal with but it’s harder than what a fictional cartoon character in a franchise can over come within the course of one episode.
What is your overall opinion on the Harry Potter book series? TBH I feel like the series was random and unnecessary cruel at times, Snape was a better written part of the series, probably because he was based of a real person
I understand what you mean by random. It was originally conceived as generic children media, in fact reminds me a lot of 90s made-to-television movies, like 1998 Madeline, or 1996 Clubhouse detectives, none of them supposed to be taken too seriously, so neither author or editors concerned with creating a diegesis that actually made sense, what for?
It was only later that they decided to try and sell it as a more serious saga, but the tone was already set and several details just didn't add up. It's clear that little historical research was made and the series has quite a few anachronisms.
I totally agree it was unnecessarily cruel often times. Plot-wise, and character development-wise, is very lazy that Harry has to stay with the Dursleys and that they never get better. I suspect that Rowling thought it had to be that way because in classics like Matilda or A little princess, the kids don't get away from their abusive environments until the very end, and I mean, the Dursleys are just a Wormwoods ripoff.
The house elves! 😡 Slavery apologism! I always hated it. People have acused me of making that up, that "of course I didn't care that much as a kid". I did. I don't kniwnehat kind ofnchildren these were but I actually was taught that slavery was evil. I also didn't like pokemon by the way, with pokemon existing just to serve humans and them unrenorsefully habing them get hurt. I prefered digimon frontier, with the kids transforming and battling by themselves, thank you vert much.
Hagrid attacking Dudley to punish Vernon, Harry's violent attack to Malfoy in Prisoner of azkaban, Harry constantly ditching Neville and literally being embarrassed to even be seen around him (thought of course that is regular teenage behavior), "Moody" abusing Malfoy... It's as if being one of the good guys™ grantes you right to be nasty and it was magically funny when bad guys™ were tretaed unjustly. Unjustly, I reiterate because I don't oppose Malfoy, Dudley or Vernon getting consequences for what they did, but random low blows isn't that. I wouls feel different if it had been sone isolated incident, but it's actually a pattern.
Dumbledore's clear favoritism to Gryffindor/"subtle" despise for the other houses (especially slytherin). Dumbledore going from affectionate to completely withdrowing, leaving Harry needy, confused and thinkig he had done something, was emotional abuse. I personally think he might have been similar with Hagrid, who admires him in a way I find borderline unhealthy. Quite the father figure, Dumbledore.
Having said that (and I honestly have more to say about it) I fell in love with the series when I was little and it was HUGE oart of my life and my family. I din't k iw if I'll ever outgrew it, even as I find more and more details that irk me 🤷🏻♀️
Snape is in fact my favorite characater (and was so since Philisopher's stone). More than being based on actual person -after all, all characters must have some thing or abither from real people and even Rowling herself, as much as we fight it, we really can't create from nothing; every mask is a self portrait, and I think every writing has the author's desires, fears and memories weved in the characters, settings and thenes, even if the authir is not aware.-- the reasonI think Snape is well written is that he wasn't created neither a good guy™ nor a bad guy™, so with him more than anyone else did jkr allowed herself to create a human . She possibly didn't even get there on purpose! I've read that Tolstoi started Anna Karenina intending to mock feminist ideas, but inadvertly got himself convinced but his own character's arguments, when he had created her what he believed to be stubborn and clueless fron the real world. By not trying to make Snape perfect and not trying to make him perfeclty evil, she managed to dive in a complex story that she maybe sisn't plan, of a victim of abuse released to the world, eager to go from abused to abuser, but who ultimately got to know the better oarts of humanity, like friendship and compassion.
Let's Talk About NatsuMikan: Natsume (pt. 12)
Oof, the long-awaited Christmas Ball arc has finally arrived! Let's get into it!
What does it look like to see Natsume at his most selfish? One needs only to look at Chapter Fifty.
The Christmas Ball is finally here!
Natsume has to begin the ball just like he has to begin the festival, sitting on stage with the other Principal students, as if he’s some kind of representative. When he catches Mikan looking at him, he sticks his tongue out at her, and she’s taken aback and offended, but he’s trying to be cute. When Natsume is around Mikan, they always bicker and argue. She’s someone he can argue with, something he can’t do with most people. He can’t argue with the people in the DA class because he’ll get punished. He can’t argue with Ruka because he already causes him enough stress. With Mikan, none of the arguments are deep. She forgives and forgets easily, and he can act freely act like a little kid. In the last chapter, even, he smiles at her when they’re in the midst of an argument, because just the freedom of being able to bicker makes him happy.
He's trying to be cute, so go easy on him, Mikan.
He sticks his tongue out at her, acting silly and childish, because she’s special and he can act silly and childish around her.
For most of the ball, Natsume is content to sit in the tree, minding his own business and keeping away from the commotion. He does notice Mikan, though, because he always does, when she acts as Trash Santa to help Youichi play with Mr. Bear. He doesn’t say anything, and he’s only present for a couple panels, but it’s obvious she stands out to him.
Natsume is eating a good piece of cake when he meets with Ruka, who is overcome with guilt for kissing Mikan on the cheek a few minutes ago. Ruka knows that Natsume likes Mikan too, but he doesn’t understand that Natsume has jumped that ship before it could even leave the dock. Natsume gets that Ruka is conflicted about something, so he playfully squeezes Ruka’s nose to assure him in his own way. Natsume’s love language is physical touch even if it is awkward, whether it’s ruffling Ruka’s hair or squeezing his nose. That’s how he comforts people, particularly Ruka.
It apparently does make Ruka feel better, because when he next sees Mikan, he doesn’t freak out like she does. He’s calmed down a bit, isn’t quite as guilty. So he does his own version of what Natsume did for him at the alice festival closing dance. He gets Mikan to dance with Natsume. It’s his way of evening the score, giving Natsume the same chance he got. Either he doesn’t understand that Natsume isn’t playing the game at all, or he’s trying to convince him to start.
He walks away and Natsume and Mikan are left standing there without their masks. There’s a moment of awkwardness, where they stand around and don’t say anything, but Natsume has a moment of resolve. He takes her hand and pulls her close. It starts off proper and gentle, like a dance is supposed to be. They dance and Natsume notices that Mikan is not happy to be with him at all. She’s quiet and frowning. He’s seen her smile while dancing before, because she always catches his eye, so he knows she’s capable of it. She’s danced with Ruka, Tsubasa, Narumi, and all sorts of people, and she’s had a big grin on her face for all of it. For some reason, that smile is absent when her partner is Natsume.
Natsume got upset and hurt when Mikan said she would never want to dance the last dance with him. He’s hurt now that she seems so reluctant to dance with him in a zero-stakes dance at the Christmas Ball. He will be hurt in the future too, because he has a low self esteem. This girl that he likes may see him as a friend, but she gets so uneasy around him, and only him. Natsume thinks he cares so much more about her than she does about him, and it’s moments like these where he gets the feeling more than ever, and it hurts. He thinks it’s a given. He’s helped make it happen on purpose. But he still wishes deep down that it wasn’t that way.
He's doing everything right and she's still upset to dance with him! What's her deal? (heheheh)
And so he argues with her. Why isn’t she smiling with him, huh? He’s doing it all right, the way he’s supposed to. He’s dancing normally and she seems to hate it. He turns to insults because it’s his most reliable technique, and suddenly Mikan is energetic.
To avoid making a scene, they bicker and insult each other under their breaths, dancing just the same as they had before, but with a new aura around them. He twirls her and she’s smiling now. And his eyes get soft, because that’s all he wanted. One moment of selfishness for him to keep in his memories, where they danced and she actually liked it.
The moment ends when they get shoved and fall over, Mikan landing with her teeth on Natsume’s lip.
They’re both tense and uncomfortable with what just happened in front of so many people. Natsume hates that he tripped in front of everybody, so his mood has suddenly soured. If this had been a proper kiss, he wouldn’t have gotten so angry, and he won’t, spoiler alert. He was actually having a nice time, only for the moment to be so abruptly stolen from him. He fell down and now his lip is bleeding. Her teeth hitting his mouth also could be the closest he’ll ever get to a kiss with Mikan, and she looks horrified. Being under so many watchful eyes, all nervous about what’s about to happen. He has very few options, really. He can walk away, or he can cause upset. Natsume isn’t in the mood to run away, since he’s already embarrassed himself by tripping, so he tells her that she’s bad at dancing and kissing, even though he obviously very much likes dancing with her.
He is a problem child.
Mikan is enraged that he had the audacity to call what happened a kiss. There’s also the trouble of Ruka, who had been nice and arranged for them to dance in the first place, only for this to happen.
Now it’s Natsume’s turn to feel guilty. It was an accident, of course, but Natsume already messed up by calling it a kiss, so now Ruka is upset. The only thing he can say to comfort his friend is to downplay it, acting as if everyone is making a big deal over nothing.
Don't worry about it, man. It's a whatever situation.
Natsume’s admirers take that as some sort of confirmation that he’s the man, probably going around kissing all the time. This really meant nothing, because it’s just one kiss of many. It’s far from the truth: Natsume has never kissed anybody before. This kiss doesn’t mean anything only because it was an accident.
Natsume escapes. He feels horrible for hurting Ruka, and probably let down that the teeth-kiss is the closest he’ll ever get to the real thing, least of all with Mikan. He stays in his tree, safe and isolated, alone with his thoughts. He has no intention of returning to the party.
In fact, it’s Mikan who finds him, when she climbs up the tree to find someone to comfort her. She’s looking for Tsubasa or Hotaru or Ruka or Iinchou. Not him. She admits that she’s just settling for him (or at least that’s the way it comes off in the TokyoPop version), and not being one of the people she can count on is something that he sadly resigns himself to.
Still, even if she’s only venting to him because there’s nobody else around, he listens to her whole story.
Just like with the Christmas Ball prep, he insults her and it somehow works. The worry leaves her face and she grins.
Forgive me. These scans leave much to be desired. Apologies.
Natsume is a bit preoccupied. He’s had some time to think and he has a lot on his mind, so he reminds her that she was angry at him just a bit ago, reviving her rage. It’s short-lived, though, because then he asks what happened between her and Ruka. Mikan shuts down, then tries to change the subject, mentioning all the gossip about his many kisses, suggesting Natsume talk about himself before demanding to know other people’s business, which leads him to the conclusion that she’d kissed Ruka.
They argue a bit more, but then she insists that the accident before didn’t count as a kiss, so he decides to fix that.
Natsume’s selfish acts are still in the single-digits, but this belongs on the shortest list in the world. Keep in mind that Natsume is convinced that Mikan and Ruka kissed already. They did, but that was a cheek kiss, and not on the same level. He has no idea. They’re arguing, so it won’t seem romantic or mushy at all, especially when compared to whatever Ruka surely did (though he did not do anything at all, in fact) and she won’t get the wrong (right) idea. It seems like a low-consequence move, like something he could do, so that he could have it for the rest of his life and then die with it. He doesn’t dare assume it’ll mean something to her.
He pulls her into a kiss, in any case.
She pushes him away, gasping for breath.
He explains that he did it because she said it wasn’t real before. An easy excuse. Then he muses, “So that’s what kissing is like…” and essentially answers her question from earlier, about all the rumors that he has plenty of experience kissing. He says it’s no big deal and then jumps from the tree.
"Wow! That sucked! Let's do more of this next year!"
To him, it is a big deal.
He says things aren’t a big deal when he wishes he could do them, like competing in the alice festival and now with kissing. Things are a big fuss over nothing when he can’t do them but wants to. Just like the alice festival, this is something he can’t look forward to. This is done, and it’ll probably--definitely--never happen again. Being selfish once is one thing. He wouldn’t do that to Ruka.
Downplaying it is supposed to comfort her. It’s no big deal after all, so she can just move on and keep kissing Ruka, which she probably prefers anyway. It obviously meant a lot to him, since in about a year he’d ask for more and more kisses, but for now, he’s content with one. It’s all he can ask for, and all he needs. Just one kiss, to know what it’s like to kiss the girl he loves. And now he’s done.
His post-kiss behavior is all for her sake, acting casual and blase about it so that she doesn’t catch on that it meant something more to him. “Huh, whatever,” is an easier kiss to get over than a romantic and sappy one, in his mind.
Besides, she’s not like him. It’s not like she’s never kissed somebody before.
It’s post-Christmas cleaning day in Class B and the kids are gathering in a circle to tell scary stories on their lunch break. Koko calls Natsume over to make a demon fire for the atmosphere. Ruka and Natsume catch Mikan’s gaze and she runs to avoid them both.
She’s an anxious mess because of the Christmas Ball, unable to look either of them in the eye.
Natsume and Ruka both join the group anyway, and once Mikan is thoroughly spooked, Natsume scares her even more with Yo-chan’s help. It’s not that he wants her to suffer, but he wants to seem as unaffected as possible. See, he’s right back to normal, so there’s nothing to worry about. She doesn’t need to freak out about what happened, because ultimately, nothing happened. It was no big deal, a big fuss over nothing.
Jinno then separates the class into smaller cleaning groups, and Mikan is stuck with Natsume and Ruka. She’s awkward and anxious, Ruka’s embarrassed and doesn’t know what to say, and Natsume’s not the type to talk much anyway.
He isn’t really the kind of person who fixes things, but it’s on him now, because the other two sure as hell won’t. So first he teases Mikan by scaring her. She gets a little upset, so he tells her to quit ignoring Ruka. He makes it about Ruka, because he’s okay being the one ignored. Again, he’s never considered himself in the running for Mikan’s affections. He’s Team Ruka, all the way.
Ruka is touched, and there’s obviously no hard feelings about the accidental kiss at the ball. That doesn’t mean that they’re talking much, or that there’s no tension. They both know that something happened with the other in regards to Mikan, and broaching that topic is uncomfortable. They’ve been letting it sit for so long untouched--months even, since the very start of it all--and it’s only gotten bigger and bigger.
Before they can have an actual conversation, though, the lights go out.
They’re all sitting against the wall, Ruka and Natsume on either side of Mikan.
They’re both aware that Mikan is easily scared and that she’s particularly afraid of the dark, and so they both independently decide to hold her hand in an attempt to comfort her. Natsume remembers how afraid she’d been when they were trapped together in the haunted house, and how all she’d wanted at the time was to hold his hand, because if they’re touching, they’ll be warm and less scared.
Don't overthink it, Mikan. You might figure him out.
For now, it’s not about being selfish, just being helpful, because he wants to reassure her and comfort her. He’s learning ways that he can be comforting to Mikan, that don’t necessarily involve insults and getting her mad.
But then he looks up and he and Ruka notice each other, see what the other is doing, and after all this built-up tension and awkwardness and lack of conversation, it only makes sense that…
They start laughing. They start talking, suddenly so honest, because the hardest part is over. They got to skip over the confrontation and now they can just talk about it with each other. They’ve known the truth about each other all along, but now they don’t have to pretend to hide it anymore.
And Ruka feels free to tease Natsume, and Natsume can tease Ruka, and that’s amazing too. Even before Mikan came to the academy, Natsume and Ruka had a lot left unsaid. They didn’t communicate well, and their talks never involved bickering or friendly teasing. It’s like all the tension that had accrued between them for years has suddenly lifted, and they can laugh about it now.
There's so much honesty here now.
Natsume can tease that Ruka has terrible taste in women, Ruka can shoot back that that means Natsume does too, and Natsume can scold him for putting himself on his level.
If anything, this was good for their relationship. They’re in a place now where they can communicate about their feelings somewhat. Natsume is never really that emotionally open, even at his most communicative, and he’ll continue to keep his secrets, but the wall that has built between them has been more or less knocked down.
This moment doesn’t seem romantic at all to Mikan, but romance is intrinsic to their conversation. Ruka swears he won’t lose, and Natsume scoffs that he’d never intended to win in the first place.
And just like that, without even including Mikan in their conversation, everything is back to normal, or even better than normal. The Christmas Ball tensions have officially been eliminated. The feelings may still be there, but the problems are gone.
But it’s still dark and scary, and now it seems that a ghost has joined them in the hall, wielding scissors--so Ruka and Mikan run away. Natsume is not so easily spooked, so he sticks around long enough to see that the ghost in question is Nobara.
Natsume starts his conversation with Nobara by reminding her of an off-screen (off-page?) conversation, where he told her to stay away from Mikan. Nobara explains that she came to see him, because she was watching Mikan for the entire Christmas party and has something to tell him. Though it’s a bit creepy, the lengths Nobara went to in order to watch Mikan (including special opera glasses that catch sound), she says she saw something strange.
At first, Natsume thinks she’s going to mention the kiss, and he’s uncomfortable that Nobara probably knows about it. First, she’s still just as untrustworthy to him as before, because she’s loyal to Persona. That their kiss might get back to Persona could be potentially quite dangerous, and he might face serious punishment as a result. Secondly, he’s also capable of getting embarrassed, and the idea that this girl was watching when he had no idea at all, especially during such a vulnerable moment, is a little off-putting.
But Nobara isn’t talking about the kiss. She’s talking about the fact that the person who danced with Mikan and upset her by making her mask fall was probably the ESP. She tells Natsume because she’s seen the way he looks at her and she knows that he cares about her. She can even tell that Natsume forbidding her from talking to Mikan is his way of protecting her, even though she must not be a fan of such a rule. She’s a middle-schooler, and not as close to Mikan, but Natsume is in her class. He’s her partner and he cares about her, so he is the best person to have protecting her. Because he will, no questions asked.
Natsume remembers the warning he’s been given, that he should continue isolating himself or bad things will happen to his loved ones, so we can tell that he finds himself somewhat responsible for the ESP upsetting Mikan. More than that, he’s understandably concerned that this is merely the first move of many, and that the ESP will continue to antagonize her and even put her in danger, and that it would all be his fault.
In any case, Natsume is kind of stuck regarding his options.
He can go back to trying to avoid her. He was never that great at it in the first place, but it’s bound to be even harder now. But he also has to protect her, and that will be harder to do from a distance. Besides, the damage seems to have already been done. Whatever happens, he’s willing to take all the punishment in her stead, as long as she’s safe.
Natsume has done all he intends to do: he got a kiss from Mikan and now he'll more or less step aside. Or will he? The plot thickens! But in any case, he's up to face some serious repercussions for his actions so far, and his punishment will be any day now...
Also, sorry, I couldn't find full scans for Chapter Fifty-Two, so there's no pics. It's okay, I wouldn't have done much for it anyway, because Natsume's only around for a few pages.
Hope y'all are having a nice day! Thank you so much for reading this far!
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His scenes are basically unwatchable at this point. They are bizarre, the writing is insufferable the acting is after school special level and if genuinely don't understand what they are doing with any of this. It's actually misery porn and twitter seems to agree.
I didn’t think the acting was bad in today’s episode so much, or maybe Danny’s ‘over it’ style works for this because Aaron just looks done in and exhausted during that whole fight with Liv, which fits the situation. And I do feel bad for him. His life is literally awful right now.
He’s stuck in a house with his alcoholic little sister who hates him. He’s got no friends. He’s got a boyfriend who his mother seems more into than he does and all she does is gush about him and push them together. Not to mention said boyfriend is currently lying to him for unknown reasons. He’s also cut himself off from the Robert situation out of fear and stubbornness. He’s so isolated right now and it’s just sad.
And you wonder if there’s a purpose to all of it or if the writing is just that bad. Certainly with the Ben stuff. Will this “relationship” ever make sense or will it just coast along until…who knows what. Will the drunk man story actually be interesting? Who knows.
But also the Liv stuff. What is their end goal there? Do they have one or will this just be another story that drags on until it’s just over and everything resets with no lasting consequences?
I was thinking about Aaron’s post Jackson guilt and self destruction and the unhealthy relationship he had with Hazel afterwards. Whatever way you feel about Jackson or the assisted suicide story, certainly the whole aftermath is significantly better storytelling than this Paul aftermath stuff. I mean I didn’t watch it in real time so I don’t know how I would have felt with it dragging on or whatever but I feel like there were enough different stages of it that it didn’t feel totally repetitive. There was the murder trial and then Aaron wanting to be punished and being reckless and then the exhaustion part of it and then we got to the cutting. And even after that you had Hazel putting all her focus on him and trying to get him to go traveling with her.
I think the difference also is that I felt bad for everyone involved. For Jackson it was tragic, for Aaron I was heartbroken for him and for Hazel too. Whether you like Jackson or not, he was very much a loss in their lives. That was Hazel’s son and Aaron’s first love. Plus, even though Jackson wanted that, Aaron still gave him the drink. It was a purposeful thing. He did end his life for him. And Hazel had to deal with the fact that she couldn’t do it.
With Paul, I was happy he was dead, in part because I just hated the character and the story was awful but also because he was a terrible person. Even though I understand there are complicated feelings there, Vinny was self aware enough for long enough that I couldn’t deal with his denial or guilt over it all so I just didn’t care. And same goes for Liv. She wasn’t going to be able to get him out. He’d literally just been attacking her. If she didn’t leave when she did, she would have died too. So even though I understand what they’re doing, I don’t connect with her guilt in the same way. So on top of all of that indifference, we have to endure this alcohol story which, in some ways I’m glad they’re revisiting because they did a terrible job the first time, but also it’s just so cyclical this time around, I’m tired of it. She already reached rock bottom and apologized and was going to try and get sober. And sure she might struggle with that, but instead they just set her back to square one by having Mandy come around and yell at her and having Aaron ignore her for Robert problems. And now it’s like “what is the new rock bottom? Where do we go from here?”
With post Jackson Aaron, it was a new way for Aaron to deal with his pain vs the retread for Liv. And so we got to see the basics of the cutting being discovered and Chas trying to understand it and him eventually going to counseling and getting healthier. But even so with Hazel still around, he couldn’t fully move on so he had to ask her to go traveling without him and they eventually parted ways knowing that they were both never going to be able to move on from their grief if they stayed together.
So I just wonder what the end point is for Aaron and Liv because we’ve been here before, almost exactly with that prison visit fight and Liv talking about the break up. And now here we are again with her calling him self centered and hating him and they just have this terribly unhealthy dynamic where they’re too on top of each other and in each other’s pockets. Liv can’t handle it when Aaron’s depressed and Aaron can’t handle it when Liv is like this. They don’t know how to help each other without it just consuming them and ruining them. And even when things are okay, Liv is pushy with him and he’s too overprotective with her. It’s bad. So to me the logical endpoint of this is them taking the space they both need.
But yeah, I don’t know where Ben fits into all of that or where one of them would go if they moved out or how the Vinny and Mandy of it all wraps up either. I just need there to be a point to all of it and not for things to just end and reset.
This is very long and rambly I apologize. Basically, I agree that it’s misery porn but so was the Aaron stuff after Jackson but that managed to be well written and go somewhere and if all of this current Aaron/Ben/Liv stuff going borrow a fraction of that quality and actually go somewhere, I would be grateful.
But…you know….extremely low expectations.
Also….for the love of god get Aaron a friend so he can talk to someone other than Ben and Chas.
A conversation I saw on Reddit about Billy Hargrove and his psychopathic tendencies.
Names are made up for obvious reasons
Billy checks the signs of being more than a victim of abuse who expresses themselves with violence. He never shows regrets about what he did. He also shows no empathy for his victims, doesn't seem to know when to stop, is manipulative, narcissistic, targets a minority group, etc. THESE ARE SIGNS OF PSYCHOPATHY!
He's not a clueless bully, he's a borderline psychopath. A violent, racist and misogynistic one at that. He committed a hate crime toward a black kid. He also almost killed a classmate and abused his younger stepsister. He targets children! We're not talking about a teen who punches walls and secretly longs to better themselves
So yeah, he deserves the hate. That's the damn point of his character. He's just not a cartoonish one-dimensional villain. Hurray!
thats the point im making he's not a cartoonish one dimensional villian. he's a fucked up a-hole who violence is rooted in the abuse he recives from his father. would billy be a bully if he father was loving and kind? some abuse victims overcome thier abuse, some abuse victims because the thing the hate, an abuser. im not excusing billy's behavior, the causality for it is abuse. he father was violent to him then he goes and tries to beat the crap out of steve, why? because he cant beat up his father. he was racist about lucas, why? is his father racist too?
thats the point im making. its not black and white.
But my point is that he's not a regular abused victim who uses violence as a coping mechanism. He's a psychopath. And sure, we can say that it's the results of his environment. But then look at El.
El was an abused victim who was severely punished when she misbehaved. Yet even when she lived with Brenner, she still showed morals and empathy. For example, when she refused to perform acts of cruelty like killing that cat. She also later showed regrets, understood the consequences of her actions, feared for her friends, etc. The way she was raised should have turned her into some emotionless monster, but it didn't.
This show has multiple characters who are abuse victims or survivors and none of them but Billy turned into racist and violent psychopaths who hurt innocents. Billy's abusive and bigoted father made things worse, for sure, but I personally don't buy that Billy would have been a decent person if he had been raised with kindness instead.
some abuse victims turn out fine. some abuse victims become abusers themselves. do you not get that?
billy is a violent abuser because his father is a violent abuser. you cant just throw around the word psychopath just because you don't like a tv character.
Well, you can read "Runaway Max", the book is about Max POV of the events of season 2 with a lot of insight into her home life in Hawkins and back in California and her relationship with Billy. Billy is shown as a full fledged psychopath: burns dead animals, almost ripped out an arm of Max's friend back in California, isolated her by scaring off all her other friends, and all sorts of delightful things and mistreatments that paint him as an indivdual that didn't have the opportunity to kill someone... yet. To the point that the first person Max saw trying to put a limit to him was Steve.
Bottom line is that no amount of nurture or psycho analysis can change a psychopath, it'll only make them more functional to society but their actions will always show their lack of remorse or compassion.
So, in this case it doesn't matter the abuse he received, it only made him a dangerous psychopath instead of the charming one we saw with Karen, or when he feeds off the attention of women.
Being an abused victim is not mutually exclusive with being a terrible person. Sometimes, terrible things happen to terrible people. An abused person can be a bad person. They don't deserve to be abused, absolutely, but that doesn't mean that they are a decent person. What's not clicking?
I threw around the word "psychopath" because Billy shows well-known signs of it. The lack of remorse: you don't see him regretting his bad actions. The manipulation and lying: that scene with Mrs Wheeler. The lack of limits: when he fought with Steve and wanted to run over the kids, he had to be physically stopped. The narcissism: he sure loves himself and loves to be admired. The pleasure to see others suffering: he takes pleasure in tormenting Max. Etc.
That was who Billy was in season 2. If he was a real person, I would probably be more careful with my words, but it's a fictional character so I don't care. His behavior is concerning at best.
So I think it's bs to use the "well, he's abused and his dad!" excuse when we talk about the fact that he, for example, committed a damn hate crime against a child. He didn't punch someone who pissed him off. He premeditately hunted down an innocent black kid (how the hell did he even know Lucas' last name and where he lived?) and assaulted him in front of his stepsister to mess up with her. That's not just an abused person who becomes abuser imo. That goes beyond that.
Agree! I don't understand this either. What they showed of him in season 2 is enough to see the type of human Billy is. Add to that a whole book showing how f***ed up he was in the past. I suppose is because people find Dacre's features attractive and they dont want Billy to be the bad guy to feel less guilty for thinking he´s hot? Reminds me of that situation with that other Netflix show with the guy from Gossip Girl where the people had a hard time understanding his character was a dangerous creep.
Yep. I feel like he wouldn't have that much sympathy if he wasn't good looking.
And lol that show. Even the actor himself was like "hmm... No. My character is genuinely awful. Please stop" when people defended him on Twitter.
i repeat my previous statement
his violent tendencies come from his violent father.
also even tho in this case were talking about a fictional character this statement "Being an abused victim is not mutually exclusive with being a terrible person" is not something you should say out loud.
his violent tendencies come from his violent father.
Yes I know. And? The rest is Billy. Taking his anger and using that violence on innocent kids is him. Tormenting his stepsister is him. Targetting and hunting down a child to beat him up is him! The lack of remorse or care for others is him! At what point does that guy, who shows concerning behavior at best, get accountable for his actions?
Also, tragic things can happen to bad people. Do they deserve it? No. Should they get help? Sure. But that doesn't make them worthy of redemption. Just like being blessed with a fantastic life doesn't mean you're a good person who "deserves" it. That's a reality. Life's a bitch.
We'll just agree to disagree.
Yeah, ask any psychiatrist/psychologist about a person lacking remorse and empathy. I think the person you're replying to is blindly defending a favorite character or is relating to this character because of someone in real life. How we act is always a choice, the consequences our responsibility. We cannot blame anyone else for our actions.
Billy is always blaming Max for his predicament. Not only that, but he takes it out on her.
Right. We can't blame his abusive father or the fact that he doesn't know any better for everything. He's an 18-year-old guy, not a toddler. He should be capable of at least thinking "maybe I should not" or "wow I really shouldn't have", especially when it comes to committing violent acts against children. Since he can't, that's concerning.
We'll see what S3 has in store for him but as for S2, yikes...