Was he really that likeable?

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Darien_Shields
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Was he really that likeable?

Post by Darien_Shields » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:29 am

Was Tendou really that likeable a character? This is something that I've had trouble with in Kabuto from the start...

Watching the first episode, I thought Kagami was the main character. I guess... I was supposed to? When he runs by Tendou and Tendou's just some guy with weird tofu catching powers, I thought he (Tendou) was kinda cool. "Oh, he's the suave, aloof mentor type. I can't wait to see what he has to teach Kagami!" And then... turns out Kagami isn't Kabuto afterall, but Tendou. Tendou then proceeds to walk all over Kagami- and Kagami's life- with no signs of remorse.

Now, Kagami's not "teh bestest dood evar" or anything, and I'll admit it was awesome the way they wound up developing his character. But for the first ten episodes the guy can't seem to catch a break, and I felt much more sympathetic to him than Tendou. Here's a guy who's working hard to protect people and do his best, but apparently his best isn't good enough. Tendou just shows up to look cool and screw Kagami over. He doesn't even seem to be motivated by charity or anything at this point. He's just showing everyone that he's "walking the path of heaven, more awesome than you." He takes Kagami's food, his job, it looks like he's almost stealing the guy's girlfriend for a minute, and to me it always felt like he stole Kagami's role as Kamen Rider.

As the series goes on... to me it never felt like Tendou developed. People just pretended he did. He's screw them over repeatedly, and eventually they would go "Ohhh! By screwing me over you were trying to teach me a valuable life lesson, weren't you?" And... he would just stare off into the distance being too cool for school, and they'd take that for a yes. He doesn't even show much remorse when he goes around stealing everyone's henshin devices to plug into his new toy.

I loved a few things in Kabuto- Kagami, Tsurugi, a lot of the rider designs, the music... but never Kabuto himself. But I always felt like I was in the minority. Does everyone else love him?

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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by takenoko » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:43 am

I'm not sure what the point of this thread is. It just seems like a Kagami/Tendou, which is your favorite Rider thread, which is purely subjective, right?

But I'll bite. I thought he was a really cool character. He screwed around with Kagami and the others, but so what, that's part of why people thought he was an untouchable badass.

And over the series, he does kind of loosen up and trust Kagami more. I definitely don't feel like end Tendou is the same as beginning Tendou. I like him. I also like Kagami.

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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by yumenotenshi07 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:35 pm

Ooookay. Bear in mind I've watched Kabuto about five times through, and every time my opinion of Tendou changes a little. About 90% of the first time through, I hated Tendou. His arrogance and high-'n-mighty attitude really irritated me. Eventually, though, he grew on me.

Also bear in mind that Kagami is my favorite character. XD

If you want my opinion, I don't think Tendou had a whole lot to do with Kagami's perpetual misfortune. The impression I got is that Kagami is just this good-natured, well-meaning guy who also has the worst luck. I can sum it up in an exchange with a friend I had the first time we sat through Kabuto. She observed that it was "Shit on Kagami day," to which I quickly replied, "Every day is shit on Kagami day!"

So, yeah, Kagami gets shafted on the Rider side of things early on, and he has to put up with Tendou, but I don't feel like Tendou "stole" his rights as a rider. He just wasn't Kabuto's chosen one, and Tendou was. And while it's true that Tendou is a huge prick to Kagami, I've started getting the feeling that he just finds it funny to give Kagami crap. Who can blame him there? Kagami is hilarious when he's worked up. I'd tease him and steal his food, too. I don't think it's necessarily done in a mean-spirited way at all.

As far as Tendou's actual character goes, I agree with Take-senpai. Beginning Tendou is definitely not the same as Tendou at the end, and his relationship with Kagami is enough to prove that much. In my opinion, though, I think that Tendou is a lot more complex of a character than he's presented. What Tendou says and what Tendou thinks don't always seem to add up, and it's pretty obvious that he's got the slightest insane edge to him. Just look at the way he reacts to danger toward Hiyori. When Kagami discovers she's not really dead, he totally loses his cool, flips out, and threatens to kill Kagami. Does that seem like something someone walking the path of heaven would do?

I don't know. I think arrogant, flawless, path-of-heaven Tendou is the front that Tendou wants to present. He wants to seem strong and unflappable, probably because he feels like he has to be the flawless hero for everyone. This is why he doesn't allow himself to doubt his motives, or think he's in the wrong. More than a change in character over the course of the series, I feel like there is a peeling back of the layers to reveal the real Tendou, even if it's only in small ways.

Granted, this is all conjecture. XD I may just be over-analyzing things because I have been trained to do this in countless literary analysis classes. I think there are plenty of moments to back it up, though. I'd cite episodes, but I'm way too lazy for that. One could write a pretty convincing paper on the topic of Tendou's character alone, though.

So yeah. Tendou may not necessarily be likeable, but I don't think he's a bad character, either, and he's grown on me. Every time I watch he becomes more interesting and less two dimensional. It all really comes down to how you look at it and personal preference, though. Some people like his type, and some people don't. I'm sure you're not the only person who doesn't like Tendou.

I'll shut up now that I've solidified myself as an epic nerd. ^_^
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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by takenoko » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:41 pm

I like that analysis. He puts up a perfect facade because he's that much more insecure inside. Classic!

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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by KamenRiderIon » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:50 pm

Nothing to see here.
Last edited by KamenRiderIon on Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by yumenotenshi07 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:56 pm

That's an interesting thought. Tendou may also feel like he has to live up to the expectations his grandmother laid out.

I forgot to mention it before, but I think that the way Tendou interacts with Juka is a big hint that how he behaves normally is a front. At home, he's more playful and he's very gentle and understanding with Juka (this surfaces later with Hiyori, too). Even when Kagami is around at the house, Tendou isn't quite as stoic and severe as he normally is, just because his sister is around. I think this shows that he's very family-oriented, and even if he's still egotistical, he's actually warm and caring on the inside no matter the cold, impassive face that he shows the public.
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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by Tendou_Sora » Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:10 pm

People have different spec, who ever can pick different feeling about the same character.

However, Tendou is still only a human. He has good point and bad point, no human is stay perfect as always. To say.... I like all your analysis.

Whatever Tendou is, I still love him. Didn't my appear name say it all? :lol:
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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by Darien_Shields » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:30 am

Hmmm, that is a rather fascinating analysis. It does make me warm a bit more to him, conceptually. I just wish the layers had been peeled back a bit more in the actual show, I suppose. By comparison, I'd say that Ren in Ryuki has a similar aloof, standofish character, but I grew to like him more for a couple of reasons.
SpoilerShow
Not least of all, I found it really touching when Ren cries for Shinji.
If Tendou could do the same in the series, I think I'd have liked him a lot more.

I was thinking a while back of how Kamen Rider protagonists seem to be easily divided into "novices" as Ion puts it, and... is stoic the right word? Characters more along the lines of Tendou. I think Decade falls into this category. I guess I have a hard time rooting for stoics over novices... It's just so much more rewarding (personally) to see the novice really man up and achieve his potential (ala Gatack).

Anyway, thanks for the enlightening analysis. Sorry if I got on peoples nerves by starting this thread.

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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by KamenRiderIon » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:56 am

Nothing to see here.
Last edited by KamenRiderIon on Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by yumenotenshi07 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:42 pm

If we're referring to my use of the word stoic, I meant it more in a philosophical sense, which is a lack of emotion. XD I don't necessarily mean it as a character classification. I'm not sure what you'd call Tendou. The experienced protagonist? He's the opposite of characters like Kagami or Ryoutarou from Den-O, where we see their path to bettering themselves. Tendou had been training his entire life (apparently), so all of his heroic development took place off screen.
Darien_Shields wrote:Anyway, thanks for the enlightening analysis. Sorry if I got on peoples nerves by starting this thread.
I don't know about anyone else, but it certainly didn't get on my nerves at all. I live for these kinds of conversations. XD I'm a nerd like that.
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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by takenoko » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:46 pm

Darien_Shields wrote:Sorry if I got on peoples nerves by starting this thread.
I wasn't annoyed, but I do think that logical and emotional reasoning are separate things. Like if I like a character or show, I very much doubt any amount of rhetoric will convince me otherwise. That's just not how I see the world working

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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by m4rc0 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:18 pm

I don't like Tendou. The reason is simple. I can't sympathize with a character that isn't real. How can I believe in a character that is the best at EVERYTHING? He is better than professionals in a great variety of things. And the show makes it worse, because everything goes well for Tendou and he is always on top. Unless the plot needs him not to, but that are the exceptions.

That is also a problem in the action scenes because he is so strong that though cool, the action has no drama, since there is no feeling of "danger".

They could have made him a strong and capable person without resorting to that impossible "awesomeness" Tendou has. Always the best, and the situations are always on his favor.

That is why Kagami seems so useless in comparison. And with poor Kagami it was quite the oposite. The situations would normally be bad for him in the first place.

There are other unreal characters, such as Daisuke and TsuRUgi, but the thread is about Tendou.

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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by Darien_Shields » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:30 am

KamenRiderIon wrote:I always enjoy character analysis regardless of whether or not you like the character or not. An open discussion is better than a love/hate fest where fanboys argue who is totally cooler.

Tendou on the interior is more stoic than his jerk facade but he isn't what I'd classify as a stoic. Stoic heroes don't flaunt their skills, they don't fight unless provoked. They also tend to be pretty selfless. Perfect examples of the stoic hero are Son Goku and Kenshiro from Dragon Ball Z and Fist of the North Star respectively. Tendou is a jerk with a Heart of Gold.
Could we also put Ren and Tsukasa into the "Jerk with a Heart of Gold" category? I'd say the proportion of jerk-to-gold varies from character to character but they all have a bit of a mix.
m4rc0 wrote:That is also a problem in the action scenes because he is so strong that though cool, the action has no drama, since there is no feeling of "danger".
I completely agree here- I never got a feeling of jeapordy for Tendou. It sort of ties up with the monsters seeming very non-threatening in Kabuto as well. There's never a super strong monster that actually takes Kabuto down a peg, is there? (is there? It's been a while since I watched it...) The last guy is kinda tough, but still not really up there. And he always seemed to have one up on all the other riders. Sasword and Gatack are both treated as equal when they show up before sort of bowing out to him (whereas evil riders like Ouja, Kaixa, Dark Kiva, etc. seemed to actually be stronger than the main rider when they show up, and genuinely threatening).

It's a shame, since the other characters did seem to struggle. Although I guess Tendou's struggling more with his own internal issues and has a struggle to make friends. Monster fights are just more fun to watch, though ^_^;

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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by KamenRiderIon » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:36 am

Nothing to see here.
Last edited by KamenRiderIon on Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Was he really that likeable?

Post by yumenotenshi07 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:57 pm

takenoko wrote:I wasn't annoyed, but I do think that logical and emotional reasoning are separate things. Like if I like a character or show, I very much doubt any amount of rhetoric will convince me otherwise. That's just not how I see the world working
This is understandable, and I think many people are this way. I know that no matter how much people offer evidence that Tendou is a jerk, I won't like him any less. Nor would any arguments that he is awesome convince me to like him should I feel otherwise. I still think it's cool to take part in discourse and get different points of view, though.

As far as Tendou not being in jeopardy... I don't know. It may have to do with me being a female, or maybe my brain just works differently, but I find the character development and interaction in Kabuto far more appealing than the fight scenes. I don't know why, because this isn't the case in other shows, but for Kabuto, that's just how it was. Therefore, the fighting doesn't have a whole lot of bearing on my feelings for the characters, especially Tendou, who's much more interesting outside of combat.

I did like the way Tendou fought in comparison to Kagami. It was funny. Every time they fought side-by-side, Tendou would be his usual cool, composed, all-business self, and Kagami would be whacking things like crazy and yelling. I think they're a good pair hero-wise because they complete each other in a way; wherever one has shortcomings, the other makes up for it, and by this point I don't really think one is more than main character than the other. They're like Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Or Orlando and Roland! Or other literary references no one cares about, yay!

I think I've gone off on a tangent... I just got back from the dentist and I'm on painkillers, so my mind is functioning a bit wonky. XD Sorry if none of that made sense at all.
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