Something that's been on my mind (spoilers)

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yumenotenshi07
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Something that's been on my mind (spoilers)

Post by yumenotenshi07 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:07 pm

This probably isn't a new trend by any means, but it's something I've noticed increasingly over the past couple of weeks, especially in light of the Mary Sue discussion in the Off Topic forum. There's been a lot of talk of Tendou as an example, and I have a hard time with this concept. It's about as absurd to me as the thought that Tendou had absolutely no character development throughout the series.

Not for the first time, I find myself wondering: did I watch a different show or something?

I'm certain I've made this argument before in some way, shape or form. Heck, I may be starting to look like Tendou Souji's personal advocate (a hilarious concept, since for the first half of the series I harbored a passionate loathing for his character). I have, though, tried to keep my opinion to myself for the most part. I just feel baffled and somewhat amazed that I can have such a different impression of Tendou than the majority of people who've watched Kabuto.

It can easily be argued that Tendou is over-powered, especially toward the beginning of the series. For all the writers tell us, the man is a god in human flesh, capable of doing anything and everything. He's a good fighter, a good brother, a good cook; you name it, Tendou can do it.

The only arguable flaw I can come up with for that part of the series is actually the one that made me hate him. His arrogance. But in a way, it works with the story. So even though he doesn't show up until at least halfway through the first episode, the instant he parades onto the screen like the god-moding center of the universe, you know. This is the main character, so you'd just better sit back and get used to him.

Here's where my confusion comes in.

I think that the events that unfold, especially after the revelation regarding Hiyori, support that everything we know about Tendou is a bit of a front. Tendou isn't perfect. Tendou may think he has to be perfect. He may even believe that he's perfect, but that doesn't make him perfect. All it means is that Tendou, for some reason, has determined he will be flawless. That he has to be flawless.

We know the man has to have issues. I mean, he watched his parents die when he was what, four?

Tendou's development over the series is the steady chipping away of that god-like front. It doesn't happen at all at once, and it's not always immediately visible in plot points. But by the time he's faking Hiyori's death, it's pretty obvious Tendou is not all there. That front dissolves completely, and Tendou screams a murder threat at Kagami. Kagami. Tendou has known Kagami long enough by that point to know he has no reason to think that may be necessary. Every time I see that scene, I can't believe how psychotic Tendou's little breakdown actually is.

Tendou even gets shown up in the one thing I never expected: cooking. He gets completely owned by the dark-knife chef guy, and with the human garbage disposal as a judge. Yeah, it was a silly arc, but still an important one for Tendou, in my opinion. He was forced to re-evaluate his skills and admit that he did not in fact know everything, not even about something he loved so much.

When Hiyori ends up on the edge of time/space, he comes up with the brilliant plan to die so Dark Kabuto will reveal how to get to her. The only reason he came to his senses was because Kagami gave him a much-needed pep talk. And let's not forget the random plothole with the red shoes. I may be wrong, but I think Mary Sues are impervious to berzerk switches.

In the episode where Tendou finally brings Hiyori back, he actually acquiesces to needing another person to win in battle.

Kagami beats him and "kills" him, albeit with unwanted assistance. And while Tendou survives, I don't know if that's so much god-moding as it was a crowbar plot device to create one last good cliffhanger. And maybe solidify in the viewers' minds that Tendou is far and beyond the most awesome guy. This was probably unnecessary, but I don't like to blame characters for what I consider a weak part of the writing.

I'm not a big fan of the hyper zecter, because in my opinion it was definitely over the top when it came to god-moding... but even that wasn't effective against every worm.

At the end, of course, we get the enormous admission that Tendou considers Kagami a friend.

It may not seem like a lot of development, but as someone who's watched Kabuto 7 or 8 (million) times, it always astounds me how different Tendou is at the beginning from how he is at the end. It amazes me how many subtle things Mizushima did to suggest there was something going on beneath Tendou's polished surface.

If anyone actually read all that, I probably owe you some cookies or something. XD I don't expect to change minds or for everyone to agree with me. It's just something that's been on my mind now and again reading posts. And I felt like I wanted to get it out. ^^; I feel better now.
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Re: Something that's been on my mind (spoilers)

Post by Kogashi » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:23 pm

... ... You know, somehow this drew me away from MAL long enough to realize I've gone through at least 95 pages of the motivational posters page... So thank you for that interesting insight into another member's mind, you can save the cookies for someone who deserves them ^^;
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Re: Something that's been on my mind (spoilers)

Post by takenoko » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:39 pm

I agree, I think talking about any series usually results in people kind of glossing over the details for the points that make their arguments seem more relevant. Ah well, typical Internet

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Re: Something that's been on my mind (spoilers)

Post by Kogashi » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:42 pm

... I thought typical internet meant porn... but that's just me I guess...

As for the actual subject on hand, it's very easy to miss Tendou's character development because, at least personality wise, it's one of the least obvious changes I've watched yet. I feel it becomes clear in the dialog, in his actions, and the actual progression of the plot, but, again, that's me.
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Re: Something that's been on my mind (spoilers)

Post by monritche » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:35 am

yumenotenshi07 wrote: Tendou's development over the series is the steady chipping away of that god-like front. It doesn't happen at all at once, and it's not always immediately visible in plot points. But by the time he's faking Hiyori's death, it's pretty obvious Tendou is not all there. That front dissolves completely, and Tendou screams a murder threat at Kagami. Kagami. Tendou has known Kagami long enough by that point to know he has no reason to think that may be necessary. Every time I see that scene, I can't believe how psychotic Tendou's little breakdown actually is.
I agree with you, I've seen Tendou's development in this perspective as well. For some reason, I didn't even find Tendou's arrogance annoying. It even drove people's real personality outside of their shells.
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yumenotenshi07
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Re: Something that's been on my mind (spoilers)

Post by yumenotenshi07 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:59 pm

Well that's definitely not the reaction I expected... I had myself all prepared for "stfu n00b." XD

If I don't make any sense... I'm still a bit hung over, haha.
takenoko wrote:I agree, I think talking about any series usually results in people kind of glossing over the details for the points that make their arguments seem more relevant. Ah well, typical Internet
Yeah. Typical internet... sometimes typical debate in general. I don't mind it when someone says something that is different from how I think, as long as they support it. But there's been a lot of groundless "Tendou is a mary sue with no character development blah blah" being thrown around, and it made me a littel sad. XD I find it insulting to the writers, and to the actor as well, when I can see they all did put effort into giving his character some depth.
Kogashi wrote:... I thought typical internet meant porn... but that's just me I guess...

As for the actual subject on hand, it's very easy to miss Tendou's character development because, at least personality wise, it's one of the least obvious changes I've watched yet. I feel it becomes clear in the dialog, in his actions, and the actual progression of the plot, but, again, that's me.
LOL.

And I agree with you. It may not be something you can see if you're not looking for it. Like I said, I've watched this show way too many times. The more times I watch it, the more things I notice. XD My opinion of Tendou has changed unbelievably since the first time through... and it's started happening with other characters as well. You just have to be looking for the subtle things in the dialogue, acting, plot, what have you.
monritche wrote:For some reason, I didn't even find Tendou's arrogance annoying. It even drove people's real personality outside of their shells.
I never actually thought about that, but it's very true. Tendou was very much a catalyst for several characters. I think he had a pretty tremendous effect on Hiyori, and on Kagami, too.
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