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Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

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Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by PostoronnimV on Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:08 pm

After reading some posts on the Forum, I decided to create this topic... But, first of all, I want to say that I do not think that either of these two girls can be considered as a true 'bad guy'... Still it always greatly surprises me... Why, out of the two, it's nearly always Shizuru who is deemed as a 'bad guy'/ monster/ psychopath/ unworthy/ villain/ etc, while Natsuki is deemed as 'good guy'/ naive and innocent angel/ hero/ big ball of fluff/ righteous/ etc... ?... Why do many fans turn a blind eye to Natsuki's crimes and terrible deeds? Why Shizuru got all of the blame?

Imo, it is all very unfair to Shizuru. Personally, I think that Natsuki is the one in the pair who is fundamentally screwed up in the head. And I'm more than sure that Natsuki killed people in cold-blood, without remorse or emotions. There were many indications in the anime and 'Natsuki no Prelude', that confirm this my statement. But first I want to talk about Shizuru and then about Natsuki.



... Shizuru...

Firstly, we all know that love can make people do unimaginable things, good and bad. Secondly, we all have a dark side inside us. Everyone is capable of doing terrible things, if were pushed far enough, or given the right (or wrong) circumstances. Shizuru had been pushed/driven over the edge. She snapped under unimaginably extreme pressure and circumstances.

Spoiler:
1. Shizuru fell in love with not an ordinary, simple girl. Since Natsuki is anything, but simple and ordinary. Plus, Natsuki is emotionally closed off, secretive and reticent. Natsuki kept Shizuru at arm's length, not letting Shizuru in completely. I do not think that it was easy for Shizuru. Still Shizuru was nothing, but a great/caring friend to Natsuki...

2. I believe that somewhere in the depths of her heart, Shizuru cherished the hope that one day Natsuki will reciprocate her feelings, but then Nagi told her what fate awaits the HiME, and Shizuru understood that she had no time to wait for that 'one day', their time is oh so very limited... According to the terms of the Carnival, should remain only one HiME, otherwise the whole world will end, and they both will die with it... And Shizuru can not let Natsuki (or any other HiME, for that matter) defeat Kiyohime, because Natsuki will die... And Shizuru can not defeat Duran, because Natsuki's most important person will die, and I doubt that Shizuru was capable of inflicting such pain on Natsuki, since she truly loves Natsuki... Shizuru was driven into a corner, there was no way out of it, the situation was hopeless... How to cope with the realization that because of you and your feelings your most important person is doomed? And how to cope with the realization that even though you want to protect your most important person more than anything, it is impossible task to do?

3. Shizuru had to hide/suppress for a long time her romantic love for Natsuki, because of the fear of being rejected. And then Shizuru's feelings were exposed by Peeping Tom Yukino in the worst possible way! And what's worse, Natsuki overheard it... And then Natsuki's reaction to her touch (I can not call it a 'rejection' on Natsuki's part, but in Shizuru's state of mind it was perceived as a rejection)... Shizuru's biggest fear materialized before her eyes... She had lost all hope... I do not blame Natsuki for her reaction, since, in my opinion, it was reflex/involuntary reaction, I mean, Natsuki was dealing with the emotional trauma of learning the truth about her mother and the physical trauma of falling off her bike at full speed, thanks to Nao. It's a lot to take in, and then she overheard that Shizuru might have done something of sexual nature to her, while she was asleep. Natsuki received yet another shock. So yeah... But I blame Natsuki that she had been her usual secretive self, and she did not tell Shizuru anything about her revenge and what had happened... since if she would have told, then I doubt that for Obsidian Lord, it would be easy to manipulate Shizuru's feelings to sic her on the First District, because Shizuru would have knew that the revenge against the First District was no longer Natsuki's goal, after she learned the truth that her mother sold her as a research subject...

4. Shizuru prepared herself that for Natsuki's sake, she would have to fight and defeat other HiME. But it's one thing to think that you're prepared to kill someone... and it's absolutely another thing to actually kill someone.  And when Shizuru defeated Diana, thereby killed Yukino's most important person, Haruka... I think that it was the last straw that pushed Shizuru over the edge, when she realized that she for the first time took the person's life...  


5. Many people forget that Shizuru was just a teenager, she was only 17 years old girl. Not every adult would be able to withstand what Shizuru went through.

If to combine it all together, it is no wonder that Shizuru fell apart.

Spoiler:
On a side note: While I typed all of this, it made me realize that while Natsuki had seen Shizuru's dark side, she had seen Shizuru at her worst ... but Shizuru had never seen Natsuki's ruthless and cold-blooded side.



... Natsuki...

Was Natsuki a naive? Definitely no, she wasn't. Was Natsuki an innocent and righteous? Again definitely no, she wasn't. Was Natsuki a hero type of character? I'd say Natsuki's more of a dark, cynical, morally questionable anti-hero type of character. Because Natsuki certainly wasn't someone who played nice and fairly, she often resorted to illegal methods and dirty tactics. Natsuki operated by the principle 'end justifies the means', because she didn't care how much damage she causes or who she double-crosses on her way to achieving her revenge. And about her revenge... Natsuki did not want to destroy the First District for the greater good, her intentions were completely selfish. And, as I already said, I do believe that Natsuki killed people in cold-blood...

To avoid to be unfounded, I will give a few examples...

1. Natsuki began her revenge much before she awakened as a HiME...

Excerpt from "Natsuki no Prelude":
Spoiler:
Ever since the night her mother died, there was nothing in Natsuki's heart but a thirst for revenge against those responsible for taking her mother from her. From that day on she forged herself, following every trail, hunting down any organization that could be linked to her mother.

2. Excerpt from "Natsuki no Prelude" about how Yamada described Natsuki (takes place even before Natsuki awakened as a HiME):
Spoiler:
"She was a young girl to be reckoned with, and who might just be dangerous...."

3. Another excerpt and the image from "Natsuki no Prelude", chapter 7, when Yamada and Natsuki were waiting for the car in which Mikoto was a passenger:

Spoiler:
Natsuki materialized her Element, and aimed for the car's tires.

The more she fought, the more the gun started to feel like just another part of her body, making her able to hit a target with extreme accuracy, even while riding her motorcycle at full speed.

---- What's going to happen... this is quite the gamble....

As the car passed, Natsuki pulled the trigger.

The bullet hit perfectly, catching one of the tires, making the car flip sideways and skid, coming to a rest on its side.

Natsuki stood on her bike, turning to look at the vehicle.

After awhile the sound of the engine of the wrecked car came to a halt and died, suspending all activity of the car.


Judging by the state of the car, the driver more than likely is dead (it was, probably, the agent of the First District, since Mikoto's family had a long history with the First District), so Natsuki more than likely killed the driver... And she did not feel any regret over her actions, she did so without hesitation. And these are not the actions of a person who never killed before. These are the actions of a person who actually killed people before.

4. Mikoto ended up in such a state, thanks to Natsuki... Mikoto would have drowned, if the crew of the ship would not have saved her...


5. Natsuki did not care how much damage she will cause, and who may get injured or even die in the process...  Mai could have died or someone of the ship's crew, or passengers... but Natsuki didn't really care about any of that, apparently.


6. Natsuki shot Mai to test whether she was a HiME or not. There was a high probability that Mai would not dodge a bullet, but Natsuki still pulled the trigger unhesitatingly... Once again these are not the actions of a person who never killed before... too easily Natsuki fired a bullet at a living, breathing girl.


7. Natsuki left Mai and Mikoto to drown without caring if they die or not... and given the fact that Natsuki knew that Mai still was not awakened HiME and with unconscious Mikoto (who was once again knocked unconscious by Natsuki) on her hands, Mai and Mikoto had a small chance to survive...


8. After all that had happened, Natsuki felt no remorse, she did not even apologize to Mai, the only response, that Mai has received from Natsuki, was a cold and cynical "So you didn't drown after all"... though Natsuki took her out on her bike to come to Takumi's rescue in time. So it can be counted as a sort of apology, even though Natsuki did it not in order to help Mai, but in order so they did not waste anymore time...


9. Episode 9, Natsuki wanted to kill a policeman, but Mai didn't let her...


10. Episode 12, Natsuki shouted to Mai to kill Alyssa... yeah, a "good guy" and "warm-hearted" Natsuki, without feeling any mercy, in the writ tone commanded Mai to incinerate a kid! And when Natsuki saw that Mai wasn't able to do it, she decided to take matters into her own hands, but Alyssa and Miyu managed to escape.


11. Episode 13, Natsuki sneaked into Iwasaka Pharmaceuticals laboratory that guarded by agents of the First District. I believe that she could secretly sneak into the lab undetected, but how she was able to escape undetected with emotionally unstable Akane on her hands?... So it is very likely that Natsuki had eliminated several agents to leave no witnesses and to get out of the lab uncaught.



Moreover, Natsuki helped Akane not simply out of good intentions, Natsuki wanted to get information out of her ...


And only after the information had been obtained, Akane was transferred to a normal hospital...


12. Episode 15, Mikoto asked Natsuki: "Everyone's still alive. You don't want to finish them off?"... and Natsuki wasn't even a bit astonished, she had perceived the question, as if Mikoto asked the most normal question in the world... and calmly answered: "just leave them". Though it showed that Natsuki won't kill indiscriminately or for the sake of killing, or for fun.


13. Episode 16, Natsuki quite unemotionally and coldly said that the Searrs wiped out their troops... Natsuki did not seem to care that so many people were killed...


14. Natsuki is pretty sharp-witted. For example, in "Natsuki no Prelude", Natsuki was able to detect that there was something between the lines of Sakomizu's speech about stray dogs and it took place even before she awakened as a HiME. And Natsuki noticed that Tate was in love with Mai, she even asked him that question in the episode 23... But even being sharp-witted, Natsuki seemed not to notice Shizuru's feelings, but the excerpt from "Natsuki no Prelude", when Natsuki reflected on the past, made me believe otherwise:
Spoiler:
Midori Sugiura99's translation:

"The "her" of the past knew nothing, didn't want to know anything.
Didn't want to know anything about Shizuru's feelings, about the HiME and, most of all, about herself."

apollyon-0's translation:

"The 'her' of that time had known nothing. Had not wanted to know anything.
Nothing about Shizuru's feelings. Nothing about Hime. And most of all, nothing about herself."

Imo, this excerpt indicates that it's not that Natsuki didn't notice Shizuru's feelings... it's that she just did not want to notice her feelings, she subconsciously or maybe consciously ignored all signals from Shizuru. Because it would have distracted her from her main focus, her revenge... She was too goal-driven with the type of focus and determination that was way too above the norm.

So yeah, all this combined together made me believe that Natsuki did kill quite a few people in cold-blood. While, yes, had not been shown how Natsuki killed anyone, only hints. But the same can be said about Shizuru. All that we have seen were the unconscious agents of the First District on the floor... there was no blood or severed limbs, and given the fact that Shizuru had a slashing type of weapon, it's quite strange that there was no blood or wounds at all... Did Shizuru really kill anyone from the First District with her own hands? Or did she just destroy the place? Personally, I believe that Shizuru did kill and, for the same reasons, I believe that Natsuki did kill, too. Because there are a lot of hints pointing to it.

But the big difference is that Natsuki did everything with the self-awareness, she knew exactly what she was doing... While Shizuru, on the other hand, was pushed over the edge, there was no self-awareness, Shizuru was not in the right state of mind at that time, she didn't think clearly and rationally. And Shizuru didn't plan any of her actions during the HiME-Carnival, she didn't plan to defeat Nao and Yukino (they themselves have provoked Shizuru, so they brought their fates upon themselves), she didn't plan to destroy the First District (OL took advantage of her feelings and sicced her on the First District), all of these were rash, emotional and impulsive decisions. And after Shizuru was resurrected, she sincerely regretted her actions during the HiME-Carnival.





So what do you think? Why, out of the two, Shizuru is nearly always a 'bad guy' and Natsuki is a 'good gay'?

My take on the matter...

Spoiler:
Because Shizuru's deeds have been shown more explicitly, while Natsuki's could easily be lost in the background of what was happening in the foreground...  And Shizuru's feelings were more explicit, more raw! While Natsuki's feelings were ambiguous... Natsuki never lost herself to her rage/anger, like Nao, Shizuru, Shiho or Mai... Natsuki also never broke down in tears, like Mai, Shizuru, Nao, Mikoto and ect... Natsuki did cry a bit, but it was very reserved/restrained. It seems that the stronger feelings Natsuki felt, the more she shut them off. For example, episode 18, when Natsuki was telling Mai about why she wanted to destroy the First District, Natsuki was emotionally reticent, and has chosen emotionally cool and rational words, while describing very painful memories... Or when she learned the truth about her mother, she didn't break down in tears or become hysterical, she didn't start blaming her mother, and she didn't get angry at her mother... instead, she suppressed almost all of her feelings in herself, and closed them off deep in her heart... and became nearly emotionless and empty shell. Then, after a short time, Natsuki finds out via third party, Yukino, that Shizuru did something (whatever it was) to her, while she was asleep. And again, Natsuki did not cry, she did not run away from Shizuru, she didn't start screaming at Shizuru, she didn't start blaming Shizuru (for example like "How can you do that to me? I trusted you")... she didn't get angry, she didn't become hysterical... instead, Natsuki stayed at Shizuru's side and even tried to stop her, and then Shizuru just left her there to deal with everything that happened... and again Natsuki closed her feelings off in herself, there was no tears, no hysterics... and Natsuki rather quickly recovered after everything that happened, and was back in game. Or another example, her anger towards the First District wasn't hot or hasty... her anger was cold and restrained...  

I have long noticed one distinctive character trait of Natsuki... That, in unserious or comic situations, Natsuki may be a rather reckless and quick-tempered (quickly lose temper, but also calm down as quickly)...  Examples, Episode 4 "Mischief of the Wind" and Episode 10 "Cake Wars"... But in serious situations, one can only envy her self-control and patience, she controls her emotions exceptionally well, she was able to act cool-headedly, calculatingly and rationally in extremely stressful situations. For instance, episode 15, Natsuki teamed up with the First District to stop the Searrs and she actually was the first one who agreed to help the First District. I mean, if she wasn't good at controlling her feelings/emotions or if she really was a reckless, I highly doubt that she would have been able to team up with the organization that she wanted to destroy more than anything. Heck, if she indeed was a reckless, she would not have even survived till that moment. Another example, Natsuki killed Shizuru, her most important person, and herself. And it wasn't an emotional, spur–of–the–moment decision... it was a deliberate decision... Natsuki even said to Mai: "I won't be able to survive through this. I'm leaving everything up to you. I'm sorry.", Natsuki's words were purely factual, without much of emotions behind them, as if she talked about the weather forecast and not about her life and the life of her MIP. And she actually was able to go through with her plan. How she was able to do it, I can not fathom... It's inhuman, monstrous even. How Natsuki was able to keep a self-control and cool head, it is beyond my understanding. Though I doubt that inside she was as calm as she was outwardly. I mean, she killed her most important person...

Now that I think about it, I wonder what could make Natsuki lose herself to her rage/anger or snap. A sadist in me (or maybe a masochist, since Natsuki is my favorite character) really wants to know what can push her over the edge. She went through a lot, but didn't snap:

1. She and her mother were involved in a fatal accident that resulted in her mother's death and in her hospitalization.


2. Her father abandoned her, and replaced his presence in her life with money.


Excerpt from Natsuki no Prelude:
Spoiler:
Since she hated her father.
After her mother's death, he had put her, seriously injured, in the hospital and just left her there. There were also things she only understood later ---- like that her parents worked all the time and fought often, not getting along well. But they always put up a facade of harmony in front of her.
....
Now her father was living overseas with another woman. It was never made official, but the relationship with that woman had been going on even when Natsuki's mother was still alive.

3. She missed a year of school due to serious injuries from an accident. And she had to go through a period of rehabilitation therapy without any support, since her father left her. She was just seven years old. Add to this that no one listened to her desperate appeals that her mother was killed and it wasn't an accident.

4. She was living alone after her mother's death. And living only for revenge, she was patiently hunting down the organization that killed her mother.

5. The whole Hime mess.

6. She learned that her mother sold her as a research subject. And what's worse, she will never know the truth why her mother did what she did, since the only one who knows the answer is already dead.

7. She learned that her best friend did something (whatever it was) to her, while she was asleep. And then she became witness how her best friend fell apart right before her eyes and because of her.

8. She had to kill her most important person, because there was no other way out.

Well, I think, if Shizuru would leave or betray her, it can push Natsuki over the edge... But this is a subject for discussion for another topic ... I've already typed too much.


Last edited by PostoronnimV on Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:40 am; edited 6 times in total (Reason for editing : ... typos and grammatical errors...)

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by ATHENAx514 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:42 am

So true! I completely agree with you on this Shizuru does get the bad guy label when its really Natsuki with the dark deeds.
I believe Shizurus bad deeds can be labeled as a crime of passion. Love and fear of rejection is what drove her mad for that brief period of time. My opinion as to why Natsuki is portrayed in a better light is first her background and secondly Shizurus sexual orientation.
Natsuki lost her mom and that led to her long time revenge so finding out after that her mom may have been involved with the district makes you feel for her but I cant get past her ruthless attitude. Those innocent people she almost or did hurt or kill had nothing to do with her mom (aside from the district)
Now lets face it, Shizurus affection for Natsuki was overplayed. In my opinion she was seen as the crazy lesbian who has a crush on the (secretly gay) straight girl. She went from secretly liking her to feeling her up while she was passed out. Then Shizuru goes out and kills people to protect her dream woman who she feels rejected her.
This is just my opinion. Ironically I loved Shizurus crazed side  but she changed so quickly to me. I love both characters but to me Natsukis the eviler of the two

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by PostoronnimV on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:19 am

ATHENAx514 wrote:My opinion as to why Natsuki is portrayed in a better light is first her background and secondly Shizurus sexual orientation.
I agree... These are a very strong arguments, which also really can be the answer to the question 'why?'...

Indeed, if I would not have known Natsuki's background and what made her who she is, I, probably, would have disliked her character a lot...

And Shizuru's sexual orientation also could play a major role for disliking her by some fans...  no matter how sad it is to recognize.

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by Icemera on Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:30 pm

PostoronnimV wrote:Why, out of the two, Shizuru is nearly always a 'bad guy' and Natsuki is a 'good gay'?
Huge NEW thread.

See how you pointed out that it was due to Shizuru's bad deeds were portrayed explicitly, while Natsuki's was in the background. From cinematic point of view, Shizuru wasn't a main character, so naturally the series would have to emphasize her strongest traits in that little screen time in order to get the point across to the audiences. For example, Sunrise gave Natsuki 50 chances to kill, yet it was vague, while Shizuru destroyed everything in her path in that few minutes she had. Also, Natsuki claimed that she needed to *stop* Shizuru. By that, she established herself as the righteous one, and the other party the evil one. So, I don't think it was purely the fans' wishful thinking that has made Shizuru often portrayed so in fanfics. With a master whose child was a snake, and the other a dog, it's pretty symbolic in itself.

Shizuru: In reality, there've been numerous crimes committed in the name of love. Nothing romantic. I don't see how Shizuru could just shove everything under the carpet and call it a moment of unstable mind. She violated Natsuki even before she lost her 'cool' with Yukino. Her love was theatrical and tragic (though it works on literary level). IMHO, it was only Natsuki's forgiveness that redeemed her, and made her character likable.

Natsuki: Hmm. Given her mother's death, her being at such a young age while going through the physical pains from the accident, then being abandoned by her father, that'd make anyone bitter and emotionally detached. That would make her a dangerous type, be it hero or villain. Though it was tested through time, and Natsuki came out with a result, which I see differently from your interpretation.

Mikoto/Mai encounter: I was under the impression that Natsuki only wanted to scare them away, but things got out of hand(????) I don't think Natsuki was heartless, trying to kill Mai/Mikoto, but she was just careless in her actions. It seems natural that a teenager with superpower would be reckless with how they use their abilities.

One thing I always question is that any show tends to blow things up to get dramatic effects. I'm not sure if it's realistic to look too much into it.

Breaking Akane out: It's possible that Natsuki killed or injured some agents, but it doesn't mean she's evil. She did what was necessary. And it was totally ok to do something for a reward; in this case, she wanted info from Akane. At least, she considered breaking a fellow Hime free. IMHO, even if Shizuru knew of Akane's situation, I'm not sure if she'd bother to do anything about it. I think that's what separated Natsuki from the rest.

PostoronnimV wrote:But the big difference is that Natsuki did everything with the self-awareness, she knew exactly what she was doing... While Shizuru, on the other hand, was pushed over the edge, there was no self-awareness, Shizuru was not in the right state of mind at that time, she didn't think clearly and rationally.
I believe that, in crisis, people show their true colors.

The end of the world was near, but all Shizuru thought about was to make Natsuki hers. Shizuru didn't seem to have any plan. In other words, her own happiness mattered most. But Natsuki was willing to sacrifice herself and her MIP for the greater good. No other Hime was able to sacrifice like she did. Natsuki came out like a Captain, who sacrificed his life to save his crews. She was like the murky cop who killed the links that couldn't be legally brought to court, but it doesn't mean that she was evil. I see her as one to commit dirty deeds to bring impossible justice to the world. Not a villain. More like a dark hero.

Anyway, every story needs a hero and a villain, and most writers would have to choose one over the other. It's nothing personal. IMHO, Shizuru just fits the villain bill more than Natsuki.

On a lighter note, the Hime-related series are like AU versions to each other anyway. Saeko

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by PostoronnimV on Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:34 am

Icemera wrote:Huge NEW thread.
Lol, yeah... sorry about that =)

Icemera wrote: Also, Natsuki claimed that she needed to *stop* Shizuru. By that, she established herself as the righteous one, and the other party the evil one. So, I don't think it was purely the fans' wishful thinking that has made Shizuru often portrayed so in fanfics.
Well, Natsuki's actions can be interpreted in different ways... My interpretation on the matter:

Firstly, she did it for Shizuru, but not in the sense "You're bad, I need to stop you"... Because Natsuki couldn't care less about people from the First District, but she did care about Shizuru a great deal...
Secondly, she did it, because she understood that, if she and Shizuru will remain the last two HiME, they'll reach an impasse, all the same... Shizuru is her MIP, she is Shizuru's MIP... one of them dies, the other will follow by a chain reaction... or they will die along with the world... in any case, they have no chance to survive.

So I don't think that she did it just for the greater good... I believe that, if there was a chance to save Shizuru, she would have took it, even if she had had to betray/kill Mai or do something terrible...  because in this respect, she does not differ from Shizuru at all, Natsuki did terrible deeds in the name of love for her mother, after all...

Icemera wrote:Mikoto/Mai encounter: I was under the impression that Natsuki only wanted to scare them away, but things got out of hand(????) I don't think Natsuki was heartless, trying to kill Mai/Mikoto, but she was just careless in her actions. It seems natural that a teenager with superpower would be reckless with how they use their abilities.
I would have agreed with you, if Natsuki was, indeed, just unthinking and feckless teenager. But she wasn't... Natsuki isn't stupid... she did understand the consequences of her actions, but, as I said, she just did not care how much damage she will cause, and who may get injured or even die in the process. And she left Mai and unconscious Mikoto to die, after all... it was pretty heartless action to me... I doubt that Natsuki was able to predict the future and foresee that Mai and Mikoto will be saved by Kagutsuchi...

And if to return why Mikoto ended up in such a state:


Natsuki and Yamada set up the trap for the car in which Mikoto was a passenger... But the thing is that Natsuki didn't know for sure that Mikoto was even a HiME, at that time... it only was her conjecture, based on her guesswork... so she understood that if her conjecture is wrong, then she, with her actions, will seriously injure (or even kill) driver and innocent child, who have no relation to HiME... but she still did go through with her plan. And because of what? Because of her obsession to avenge her mother... Was it any better than what the First District had done to her and her mother?


And she could kill Mai when she tested whether Mai was a HiME or not... and, again, Natsuki isn't stupid to not understand it, but she didn't care if Mai will die... Mai would have been just another casualty for her, it seems...

Icemera wrote:Breaking Akane out: It's possible that Natsuki killed or injured some agents, but it doesn't mean she's evil. She did what was necessary. And it was totally ok to do something for a reward; in this case, she wanted info from Akane. At least, she considered breaking a fellow Hime free. IMHO, even if Shizuru knew of Akane's situation, I'm not sure if she'd bother to do anything about it. I think that's what separated Natsuki from the rest.
But she helped Akane not out of good intentions, her obsession was the main motivator... Even when Natsuki's 'clandestine' doctor asked her, what is she going to do with Akane... she said: "I don't know. I only want to know the truth."


The question is would Natsuki help Akane if, for example, she knew for sure that Akane can not provide useful information to her?... Judging by how easily she left Mai and Mikoto to die, there is a good chance that she wouldn't have helped Akane, if that was the case...

Icemera wrote: I believe that, in crisis, people show their true colors.
It's actually a very interesting point...

Personally, I don't think any truer colors are revealed in crisis. It can reveal one of the many constituents of human character, but not in its entirety. Plus, we all mature with age and experience. Would Shizuru act the same if the same situation will happen again? Would her past experience change something/ change her enough to not repeat the same mistakes? Personally, I doubt that Shizuru will repeat her past mistakes... I like to believe, she, like Natsuki, has learned an important lesson...
And I think that Natsuki was able to act rationally and coolly in times of crisis partly because she from an early age had been moving from one crisis to another, from one stressful/dangerous situation to another... and Natsuki had become tempered and trained by her life experience...

Icemera wrote:The end of the world was near, but all Shizuru thought about was to make Natsuki hers. Shizuru didn't seem to have any plan. In other words, her own happiness mattered most.
As you said, Shizuru committed many crimes in the name of love. But was Natsuki any different? Natsuki committed many crimes and terrible deeds for the sake of her obsession, her revenge... She also many times sacrificed Shizuru's feelings for her revenge... They both are very selfish characters...

And, as I said, everyone has their limits and the boiling point...  and Shizuru has just been pushed past hers.

A cornered animal is most dangerous, a cornered human is twice as dangerous. It is obvious, Shizuru hasn't been thinking clearly at that time, she was not in her best condition of mind, to put it mildly... these were a desperate and ill-considered actions of the cornered human... I see Shizuru of that time as a person who had lost all hope...

Icemera wrote:But Natsuki was willing to sacrifice herself and her MIP for the greater good. No other Hime was able to sacrifice like she did. Natsuki came out like a Captain, who sacrificed his life to save his crews. She was like the murky cop who killed the links that couldn't be legally brought to court, but it doesn't mean that she was evil. I see her as one to commit dirty deeds to bring impossible justice to the world.
Well, in this matter our opinions differ, again... =) Natsuki did not do anything for the sake of justice... even her revenge against the First District wasn't for the greater good... her intentions were completely selfish, after all... And, as I said above, I think if there was another way out of the situation, even if Natsuki had had to sacrifice everyone else in order to save Shizuru, she would have took it...

Icemera wrote:Anyway, every story needs a hero and a villain, and most writers would have to choose one over the other. It's nothing personal. IMHO, Shizuru just fits the villain bill more than Natsuki.
Actually, I don't see either of them as the villain. =))) But I admit, Natsuki would be more boring villain than Shizuru, imo =))

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by Icemera on Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:30 pm

Mm'kay. This thread makes me think, my head hurts. LOL.

PostoronnimV wrote:Firstly, she did it for Shizuru, but not in the sense "You're bad, I need to stop you"... Because Natsuki couldn't care less about people from the First District, but she did care about Shizuru a great deal...
Yeah, Natsuki did it for Shizuru. But that is Natsuki's POV.

I was referring to this as how Sunrise chose Natsuki to be the one saying it. (What Natsuki said in ep 25) I didn't think that Natsuki cared about FD people, but her tone came off as if Shizuru did something 'wrong'. Considering this, it might explain why Natsuki was never shown killing anyone. I think the series showed Shizuru stalking old, defenseless people in the ruined building for a reason.

PostoronnimV wrote:Secondly, she did it, because she understood that, if she and Shizuru will remain the last two HiME, they'll reach an impasse, all the same...
I agree with this, but only a part of the whole reason.

PostoronnimV wrote:So I don't think that she did it just for the greater good... I believe that, if there was a chance to save Shizuru, she would have took it, even if she had had to betray/kill Mai or do something terrible...  because in this respect, she does not differ from Shizuru at all, Natsuki did terrible deeds in the name of love for her mother, after all...
It's a dead end for Natsuki and Shizuru, but her sacrifice shouldn't be brushed aside as something that had to happen. She didn't have to die for anyone or anything to happen. Yet, she gave Mai the chance to fight, all with hope, too.

Nah. I wholeheartedly believe that Natsuki would never kill Mai to save Shizuru. She was cold at first, but changed towards the end of the series. She was no longer the friendless, ice princess, and she truly cared for her friends. She would never pull Shizuru's stunt on Haruka on Mai.

Maybe I'm lost in these walls of text. What terrible things Natsuki did in the name of love? I thought she was collecting information and stalking agents.

PostoronnimV wrote:I would have agreed with you, if Natsuki was, indeed, just unthinking and feckless teenager. But she wasn't... Natsuki isn't stupid... she did understand the consequences of her actions, but, as I said, she just did not care how much damage she will cause, and who may get injured or even die in the process. And she left Mai and unconscious Mikoto to die, after all... it was pretty heartless action to me... I doubt that Natsuki was able to predict the future and foresee that Mai and Mikoto will be saved by Kagutsuchi...
Reckless is careless for consequences. Stupid is not intelligent. OMG. I had to google these definitions. And I still stand by what I said. Natsuki was reckless in that encounter with Mai/Mikoto. I never said she was stupid. E.g., even when Nao captured Natsuki and baited Shizuru out, the action was stupid, knowing that Shizuru was much stronger, but I never considered Nao a stupid person.

But, this is somewhat like a nitpick though. At the first viewing, I was under the impression that Natsuki was the baddie, sent to hunt down the heroines. Anyway, we learned quickly that Natsuki was one of the main leads. Then I thought Sunrise did an excellent job in getting the audiences' attention with that fight scene. So, if you insisted on taking the Natsuki shooting Mai/Mikoto seriously, then the same thing could be said with how Natsuki barged into student council room on her bike. The tables were knocked over, and at the worst, could have hit Shizuru's head. LOL. The same thing could be said about how Natsuki shot right at Shizuru afterwards. How Kiyohime raged, tearing the building down. I'm pretty sure that Natsuki didn't mean to put holes in Shizuru's face before they even got to properly talk. And I'm pretty sure that Shizuru wasn't trying to bury Natsuki under the debris before she could make Natsuki hers. Like I said, something are for dramatic effects.

PostoronnimV wrote:Personally, I don't think any truer colors are revealed in crisis. It can reveal one of the many elements of human character, but not in its entirety.
I agree that it isn't all you can be, but what shows prominently during crisis defines who you are, because it is when your decision matters most--what you need most, what your life depends on. Well, that's how I see it, so I guess we have different worldviews.

PostoronnimV wrote:Plus, we all mature with age and experience. Would Shizuru act the same if the same situation will happen again? Would her past experience change something/ change her enough to not repeat the same mistakes? Personally, I doubt that Shizuru will repeat her mistakes... I like to believe, she, like Natsuki, has learned an important lesson...
And you were saying that Natsuki would kill Mai to save Shizuru. I'm a bit lost here.

Well, I don't think Shizuru would want to repeat the mistakes. But then again, there is no reset button in real life, and she didn't know that she would be resurrected when she committed her crimes. However, if Natsuki is threatened again, she probably goes batshit crazy again. Didn't she carry that creepy trait to Otome world as well, although not as clearly.

PostoronnimV wrote:And I think that Natsuki was able to act rationally and coolly in times of crisis partly because she from an early age had been moving from one crisis to another, from one stressful/dangerous situation to another... and Natsuki had become tempered and trained by her life experience...
Solid point. She can sort out her shits anytime. She has a more stable mind than her girlfriend XD

PostoronnimV wrote:As you said, Shizuru committed many crimes in the name of love. But was Natsuki any different? Natsuki committed many crimes and terrible deeds for the sake of her obsession, her revenge... She also many times sacrificed Shizuru's feelings for her revenge... They both are very selfish characters... And, as I said, everyone has their limits and the boiling point...  and Shizuru has just been pushed past hers.
Maybe Natsuki killed some agents in the past, but she killed the guys, who killed her mother. =_=' (And here I wonder why she wanted to stop Shizuru from killing those guys, if she really had killed some of them before). Also, I don't think Natsuki sacrificed Shizuru's feelings for her goals; she didn't even know how Shizuru felt. Natsuki was just a friend to Shizuru, and it was okay to ask for favors.

Again, from storytelling POV, Shizuru was chosen to be the one pushed past her limit, not Natsuki. With this, maybe Sunrise already answered the question to the topic. Akira Okuzaki 

PostoronnimV wrote:Well, in this matter our opinions differ... =) Natsuki did not do anything for the sake of justice... even her revenge against the First District wasn't for the greater good... her intentions were completely selfish, after all... And, as I said above, I think if there was another way out of the situation, even if Natsuki had had to sacrifice everyone else in order to save Shizuru, she would have took it...
Ah, I meant that everyone has a hidden agenda. E.g., the Captain, the cop, etc.

Still, Natsuki was probably the only one with a clear mind at the end. I don't see how Natsuki would sacrifice anyone to save Shizuru. She tried to stop Shizuru from killing Haruka, First District ppl, and Nao. She would take her own life to *save* Shizuru, not taking other people's lives to make it happen. I don't think I imagined it in Ep. 25.

PostoronnimV wrote:Actually, I don't see either of them as the villain. =))) But I admit, Natsuki would be more boring villain than Shizuru, imo =))
Oh, making someone a villain is not that hard. Both have potentials. That's what fanfiction is for. You just gotta pick one and have fun Mikoto Minagi

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by depression76 on Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:55 pm

Omg, my head's starting to hurt too from reading all of you guys' discussion xD
Well, I can't really pick at the details (since it's been a long while since I last watch Hime properly) but I'll say my piece. Just ignore it though, it's not as interesting as to what other people has to say xDD

In my opinion, if I have to label them-- I think Natsuki is more of a bad guy than Shizuru is. I dunno how to explain this properly but I agree with PostoronnimV about

the big difference is that Natsuki did everything with the self-awareness, she knew exactly what she was doing... While Shizuru, on the other hand, was pushed over the edge, there was no self-awareness, Shizuru was not in the right state of mind at that time, she didn't think clearly and rationally.
In this case, I think someone who goes through with a bad deed even after knowing the consequences pretty much weighs more on the 'bad guy' scale than the one that did it during her brief slip to insanity.

Coz like, even though if it's a good cause, Natsuki had probably done a lot of not-so-nice things in her quest in vengeance. Though yea, the lives she had to take, the people she had to hurt throughout of it were pretty much just necessity to get things done-- it's not like she did it coz she like hurting people.

Shizuru on the other hand went insane because she just snapped. That didn't make her better than Natsuki-- but at least she didn't plan any of it. If Natsuki and her are left alone, she's pretty much harmless to people. The first time she took a life was to protect Natsuki but the rest felt like it was out of her control, you can really see that she went bye bye during the Haruka/Yukino confrontation. She's steadily inching down the slippery slope-- and then decided to jump down at the end of it. Like, she already killed Nao's mom, and then Haruka-- the world's gonna end anyway so what's another 50?

...well, that's what I think. I apologize if I'm not making any sense orz
Butbut Natsuki > Shiz imo, dats it.

...Ugh, this is why insanity defense cases are some of the hardest ones to solve....

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by PostoronnimV on Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:40 pm

Icemera wrote:I think the series showed Shizuru stalking old, defenseless people in the ruined building for a reason.
Well, these old people actually were the main bosses/the Elders of the First District. So I think that was the main reason=))

Icemera wrote:It's a dead end for Natsuki and Shizuru, but her sacrifice shouldn't be brushed aside as something that had to happen. She didn't have to die for anyone or anything to happen. Yet, she gave Mai the chance to fight, all with hope, too.
That's true, but, in any case, Natsuki had a very few alternatives, and each of them led to their death, all the same... And, yeah, Natsuki chose the best alternative out of all possible...

Icemera wrote:Nah. I wholeheartedly believe that Natsuki would never kill Mai to save Shizuru. She was cold at first, but changed towards the end of the series. She was no longer the friendless, ice princess, and she truly cared for her friends. She would never pull Shizuru's stunt on Haruka on Mai.
Well, in my turn, I truly believe that Natsuki would kill Mai to save Shizuru. Why? Because even though she truly cared for Mai, but she truly loved Shizuru, Shizuru was her main priority... And if she had to choose between Shizuru's life and Mai's life... she will choose 'to save Shizuru and to sacrifice Mai', of that I'm sure... Natsuki is such an individual, who is capable of taking severe and ruthless decisions/actions without hesitation, when it is needed...

Icemera wrote: What terrible things Natsuki did in the name of love? I thought she was collecting information and stalking agents.
Natsuki clearly stated that she wanted to destroy the First District, no matter what it takes....

: "I'll destroy District 1. Their organization, their plot... everything. That's why I'm fighting. I'll do whatever it takes to bring them down." (Natsuki,  Episode 9)

And it would be okay if it was between just her and the First District, but innocent people were involved in her revenge...

1. Natsuki deliberately provoked the accident of Mikoto's car... Even though she didn't know for sure was Mikoto a HiME or not... she just took a gamble, even with the understanding that she may be wrong in her assumption of Mikoto being HiME... and she did know that it was a crime, she just didn't care...
Excerpt from Natsuki no Prelude:
Spoiler:
"... That's the car...?"

Standing on the large bridge that connected the area with the mainland, Natsuki, wearing her biker suit, was watching this car that was her target.

"Yes, the number's the same too. No doubt about it."

Beside her, Yamada answered, looking through binoculars.

"You're really going to do it? No matter how you look at this, it’s a crime."

"---- Who cares. Keep going, as planned." Natsuki's answer was curt.

"Roger.... you're such a dreadful soul."

2. She caused a lot of damaged on the ship... okay, it's partly for dramatic effect, I agree with you... but she still saw that nearby there was an innocent person, Mai, who could die from Duran's onslaughts... but Natsuki did not really care by what means she will accomplish her mission. I have already said that, imo, Natsuki operated by a principle "end justifies the means".


And about Mikoto... it was no longer 'to scare Mikoto away', Natsuki got serious, and she certainly was aiming for the kill...

3. Natsuki left Mai and Mikoto to die... would the good guy or dark hero leave someone to drown? I doubt it. And what's worse, Natsuki felt no remorse after all that happened...

4. Natsuki wanted to kill a policeman...
Spoiler:
: What are you going to do with that?!
Natsuki: We can't get caught!
Mai: Still!
Natsuki: We're up agains District 1! You've seen their work! Who's to say that's even a real cop?!
Mai: I know! But what if he is a real cop?!

5. Natsuki commanded Mai to incinerate Alyssa...

6. And, and... I repeat myself too often, sorry about that...

Icemera wrote:Reckless is careless for consequences. Stupid is not intelligent. OMG. I had to google these definitions. And I still stand by what I said. Natsuki was reckless in that encounter with Mai/Mikoto. I never said she was stupid.
There is a big difference between 'do not know the consequences' and 'do know the consequences, but simply do not care about them'... I believe that Natsuki knew the consequences of her actions, but did not care about them... Was her actions careless? Yes, it was... though more accurate to say - Natsuki just did not care enough to be careful... that's more correct.

Icemera wrote:The tables were knocked over, and at the worst, could have hit Shizuru's head. LOL. The same thing could be said about how Natsuki shot right at Shizuru afterwards.
Well, Shizuru summoned naginata and pounced on Natsuki, Natsuki's shot at Shizuru was feedback =)) But yeah, it was partly for dramatic effect...
It reminded me of this moment in ep. 25: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2geT-d1BoI&feature=player_detailpage#t=107
Shizuru just stood motionless and Natsuki shot everywhere, but not at Shizuru =))) We know that Natsuki is sharpshooter, but she just didn't want to hurt Shizuru... And if Shizuru truly wanted to kill Natsuki, then, well, Natsuki would be dead... =))

Icemera wrote:And you were saying that Natsuki would kill Mai to save Shizuru. I'm a bit lost here.
I meant in terms that Natsuki will not be so hardhearted and ruthless like she was before in her actions, especially when innocent could be affected by her actions... and will be less emotionally closed off with Shizuru and her friends... But, the big but... it does not mean, that Natsuki wouldn't be able to kill Mai in order to save Shizuru... because Shizuru is her MIP, and not Mai... I very much doubt that Natsuki'll choose Mai's life (or the life of any other human being) over Shizuru's life... I just refuse to believe otherwise =)))

Icemera wrote: However, if Natsuki is threatened again, she probably goes batshit crazy again.
Maybe, but only if Natsuki will repeat her mistakes and will keep Shizuru at arm's length, not letting Shizuru in completely. With Natsuki's support, I very much doubt that Shizuru will go batshit crazy again.

And also Shizuru didn't kill/try to kill Nao, when she rescued Natsuki from Nao the first time...

Icemera wrote: (And here I wonder why she wanted to stop Shizuru from killing those guys, if she really had killed some of them before).
In my opinion, she wanted to stop Shizuru, because she didn't want Shizuru to suffer and take more sins on her soul and blood on her hands... after all, Natsuki had seen what Haruka's death did to Shizuru, after Shizuru realized that she for the first time took the person's life...

Icemera wrote: Also, I don't think Natsuki sacrificed Shizuru's feelings for her goals; she didn't even know how Shizuru felt. Natsuki was just a friend to Shizuru, and it was okay to ask for favors.
Well, she did hurt Shizuru's feelings by keeping her at arm's length... And I never believed that Natsuki is dense person... for example, she noticed that Tate was in love with Mai, after their brief conversation in ep. 23 and even though, at that time, her mind was a mess after all that has happened... and I gave the example from Natsuki no Prelude, that indicates that, imo, she just did not want to notice Shizuru's feelings and even her own feelings... Plus, Nao in ep. 21 said to Shizuru : "The rumors are true. If anyone needs counseling, it's you!"... which implies that there were rumors about Shizuru's homosexuality... And it's interesting that Natsuki completely ignored those rumors, but she didn't ignore rumors about Mai and Reito (ep. 9)... And given the fact, how Shizuru, in her words and actions, was affectionate with Natsuki, Natsuki could have guessed about Shizuru's feelings... but Natsuki chose to ignore it all, cuz it would have distracted her from her main focus... so, yeah... but it's only my opinion, after all...

Icemera wrote:Oh, making someone a villain is not that hard. Both have potentials. That's what fanfiction is for. You just gotta pick one and have fun Mikoto Minagi
=)))



depression76, I absolutely agree with you =))

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by Icemera on Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:31 am

I'll try to make this as short as I can. Long text is long.

depression76 wrote:In this case, I think someone who goes through with a bad deed even after knowing the consequences pretty much weighs more on the 'bad guy' scale than the one that did it during her brief slip to insanity.

Coz like, even though if it's a good cause, Natsuki had probably done a lot of not-so-nice things in her quest in vengeance. Though yea, the lives she had to take, the people she had to hurt throughout of it were pretty much just necessity to get things done-- it's not like she did it coz she like hurting people.
Oh, great point. As you described, one fictional character came to my mind is James Bond. He kills a lot of people, but I don't see anyone associating him with 'evil'. He kills baddies to save the world. (Now, I don't think Natsuki is Bond yet, but she could get there. Natsuki Kruger2)

@PostoronnimV

RE: Main boss. What a thing to do to your already defeated enemies. Natsuki wanted to kill the cop, so they wouldn't get caught later. But Shizuru wanted to kill them, because she wanted to and because she could. Just like how she violated Natsuki's body. Like how she fought at the church to win her physically. Not only that, she didn't kill the First District ppl swiftly like Natsuki would shoot at her enemies; she took her time, watching her preys running away from her. I believe that the difference in their way to kill suggested their personalities.

RE: Natsuki would kill Mai for Shizuru. I still strongly disagree though. Mai Tokiha 

PostoronnimV wrote:Natsuki clearly stated that she wanted to destroy the First District, no matter what it takes....
Oh, she did? I must have forgotten it. Thanks for the info. But anyway, all through the years, she still didn't destroy them.

PostoronnimV wrote:Natsuki deliberately provoked the accident of Mikoto's car...
What with the amused hint from Yamada, I'd say she was just being reckless. I could be wrong, but we're talking about who's being evil here, not whether Natsuki was being a badass chick. OH! Another thought just popped up in my head. This reminds me of how Nao ambushed Natsuki. That bike crash could have seriously injured Natsuki or killed her instantly. But it happened in anime, and Natsuki survived, beautiful and sexy, and got well again within days without proper medical treatments. On a side note, Natsuki is right that she and Nao are similar.

PostoronnimV wrote:Natsuki wanted to kill a policeman...
Thanks for this screenshot. I almost forgot about it. And I don't really see it as cold, but another reckless moment of Nat-chan. Weird. The examples you brought up only convince me more than before that she's rather rash (compared to Mai in this scenario). I personally don't ever see her as dumb, but she has her adorable flaws.

PostoronnimV wrote:And also Shizuru didn't kill/try to kill Nao, when she rescued Natsuki from Nao the first time...
Shizuru tried to kill Nao the second time. This just emphasizes how ruthless Shizuru is. Nao and Haruka are her schoolmates, yet Shizuru didn't even hesitate. IMO, it's one thing to kill people you don't know personally (Natsuki+First District), but it's something else to kill people you know. Personally, I love Shizuru as a character, but not so much as a person.

PostoronnimV wrote:Well, she did hurt Shizuru's feelings by keeping her at arm's length... And I never believed that Natsuki is dense person... for example, she noticed that Tate was in love with Mai
Natsuki didn't have to be responsible for not returning Shizuru's love. She owed Shizuru nothing in this regard.

I agree that Natsuki might have gotten hints here and there. But, she might have considered that it was impossible for a popular girl like Shizuru to be a lesbian, especially in their high school years. Also, I'm not sure how Japanese view lesbianism there. The attitude might have effected how Sunrise played this thing out.

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by PostoronnimV on Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:27 pm

Icemera wrote:But Shizuru wanted to kill them, because she wanted to and because she could.
But did Shizuru really want to kill them? Shizuru already slipped into complete mental breakdown... and Reito(OL) took advantage of it and manipulated Shizuru at her weakest and most vulnerable moment... there was no self-awareness in her actions, at that time... and, in the first place, it was Natsuki's obsession with revenge that made it possible for OL to sic Shizuru on the First District. And what's worse, Natsuki had been her secretive self and hadn't told Shizuru, that revenge on the First District was no longer her goal after she learned the truth about her mother...

Icemera wrote:Just like how she violated Natsuki's body.
We do not know exactly what happened that night.

Icemera wrote:Like how she fought at the church to win her physically.
And what did Shizuru do when she freed Natsuki out of the bell? Shizuru tenderly hugged Natsuki... and it speaks volumes, imo...


Icemera wrote:Oh, she did? I must have forgotten it. Thanks for the info. But anyway, all through the years, she still didn't destroy them.
Well, I'm guessing that Natsuki just did not know where Headquarters(HQ) of the First District was...

And it was Nagi (under OL's order) who told Shizuru where location of the First District's HQ was...
: "Go and tell Shizuru where to find Natsuki's enemy. And the reason why District 1 is called District 1." (OL, ep. 23)

Icemera wrote:What with the amused hint from Yamada, I'd say she was just being reckless. I could be wrong, but we're talking about who's being evil here, not whether Natsuki was being a badass chick.
Well, we look at that situation differently, I guess =))

Icemera wrote: This reminds me of how Nao ambushed Natsuki. That bike crash could have seriously injured Natsuki or killed her instantly.
I do believe that Nao in fact tried to kill Natsuki...

Icemera wrote:On a side note, Natsuki is right that she and Nao are similar.
In my opinion, Natsuki and Nao have fundamentally different personalities... their past has made them untrusting, bitter and angry... but even these their similarities they expressed differently... Natsuki's anger/bitterness was cold, suppressed and controlled... while Nao's anger/bitterness was hot, self-abandoned and rash... but better for me to stop before I will write another wall of text =)))

Icemera wrote: And I don't really see it as cold, but another reckless moment of Nat-chan. Weird. The examples you brought up only convince me more than before that she's rather rash (compared to Mai in this scenario).
=))) I actually see Mai as the reckless one in this situation... because if that cop indeed was the agent of the First District, then they would be in big trouble... And Natsuki's readiness to kill a person in this situation... I actually would not call it just 'another reckless moment'... because we're talking about the taking of a human life/murder... it rather shows how ruthless/hardhearted Natsuki is/can be...

And, yeah, I guess, we just see Natsuki's character rather differently =))) I don't think she is reckless... In serious situations, Natsuki was rather calculative, collected, and sober-blooded... and, really, if she indeed was a reckless, she would have been dead a long time ago or something worse, since the First District wasn't enemy to be joked with...

Icemera wrote:Nao and Haruka are her schoolmates, yet Shizuru didn't even hesitate.
But Shizuru did hesitate, she didn't want to fight Yukino, she just wanted Yukino and Haruka to go back to school and leave her and Natsuki alone... but Yukino started to blackmail Shizuru, further provoking her... plus, Shizuru didn't directly kill Haruka... only when Haruka disappeared in green-sparkles, the reality of what she had done settled in for Shizuru... and it was the last straw, Shizuru completely snapped...
and like I said, she did hesitate, when she rescued Natsuki from Nao the first time. But the second time, Shizuru already was not in her best condition of mind... Plus, when Natsuki took a stand on protecting Nao from being killed by Shizuru, Shizuru just stopped and did not continue any attempts to kill Nao...

And, in my opinion, Natsuki is more of a 'bad guy' than Shizuru is... In terms that Natsuki knew perfectly well what she was doing and the consequences of her actions... while Shizuru hasn't been thinking clearly at that time, like I said, she was not in her best condition of mind...

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by Icemera on Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:17 am

PostoronnimV wrote:And, yeah, I guess, we just see Natsuki's character rather differently =)))
This is golden.

Seriously, with work, I've had a hard time trying to reply at midnight. LOL! I'm glad we can agree to disagree. giggity I'm here just to state my opinions, not trying to change anyone's mind, so I'll leave it at this.

It's nice that the forumers can tolerate differences in opinions. Like all through the years in the fandom, occasionally there have been assholes who step in and try to force their opinions upon me. As if their interpretation is the only one true correct opinion. Baaaah. They were so childish and pathetic. Anyway, I'm glad, in this forum, we could have normal discussion like adults :D

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by PostoronnimV on Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:58 am

Icemera wrote:Seriously, with work, I've had a hard time trying to reply at midnight. LOL!
Sowie, sowie =)) ...  And thank you for stopping me, since I know that I often get carried away especially while discussing Mai-HiME, more particularly Natsuki and Shizuru... =))

And thank you for our discussion, I enjoyed it =)))

Icemera wrote:I'm glad we can agree to disagree. giggity
high five

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by zeitgeistx on Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:59 am

Omigad. This discussion is intense :shock:

I must admit I didn't read the posts above in detail, and my memory of the anime and the prologue is (very) fuzzy, but here are my five cents worth of thoughts...

I think that, answering this query starts with how one defines a "bad guy". Do you mean a person who acted with a malicious intention, or someone who has knowingly done things that hurt other people (regardless of whether the intention is malicious or otherwise)? If the definition is the latter, then I would think that both Shizuru and Natsuki are bad guys, and probably also a whole load of the other Himes.

But let's go with the first definition. I would think that whether Natsuki or Shizuru would be considered a baddie would depend on whether you think that their actions were justifiable.

For Natsuki, for instance, it is possible to either attribute her actions to her terrible childhood, or just see her as a selfish and/or reckless person. I think that at the beginning of the anime she was portrayed as cold person who was bent on revenge and would do anything to get what she wants. As the show went on, however, we would see another side of her, such as when she intervened to save Nao and decided to put her own life on the line to stop Shizuru. Based on my impression of the show, the writer of the show, at least, meant for Natsuki to be an positive character overall (even if she's far from perfect), and I would think that through the Carnival she grew as a person, becoming more mature and less selfish (and of course, discovering who her MIP really is… giggity )

As for Shizuru. Hmm. I think it's a difficult one, isn't it, given that she wasn't given a whole load of screen time. There is really not much explanation for her actions, or her relationship with Natsuki. So on one hand, you can say that she's a crazed woman who's totally infatuated with Natsuki and would watch the whole world burn for her love, but on the other hand you can also say that there has to be some rationale/reasons for her actions.

Personally, and on the assumption that Shizuru is not a one-dimensional character, I would think that she's not a clear cut baddie / villain, but that her actions resulted from a combination of long years of repression, self-hate and manipulation from the Obsidian Lord. But before I jump into my oh-so-wonderful theory of why I think so, I should probably set out my views on some of the contentious scenes.

1. Whether Shizuru sexually assaulted Natsuki. Some viewers might think it's quite obvious she did, but I don't think so. At the end of the day, what viewers were shown is what Haruka saw through the screen. We didn't actually see what happened. And therefore, it's really debatable what she was doing or not doing. In fact, I would think that showing us the scene through the screen instead of in the house itself suggests that the writer of the show intended the thing to be a misunderstanding.

2. Whether Shizuru killed people in First District. Again, we don't really know, because all I remember was seeing a scene of fire everywhere (to put it simply, lol). But on the basis that Shizuru by this time seems to be emotionally and/or mentally unhinged, my guess is that she did do a lot of damage to the First District, and probably killed people.  

So, as for whether Shizuru is the big bad wolf. Eh… I don't think she had malicious intentions, in that her motivation was to protect Natsuki and not because she liked killing people. That said, I think it's obvious that what she did wasn't right, in the sense that she shouldn't have gone on a rampage or been so trigger happy for the sake of one person.

At the end of the day, there's no clarity on why Shizuru did what she did. We don't even know her family background. But I would think that if Shizuru is not a one-dimensional character, her actions were a result of a hell of a backstory between her and Natsuki that has not been explained. The Prologue has touched a little on it, but not that much, really. Still, I would assume that pining over your (hot and cold) best friend for years is obviously not going to do well for your emotional well-being, especially if your feelings are so intense. Add to that having to hide the fact that you're a Hime, the Obsidian Lord (goodness knows what he did), and that your worst nightmare (of being cruelly rejected) has come true? Boom!

I have read an excellent fanfic in the past which sought to fill in the gaps and explain how Shizuru fell deeper and deeper into the abyss of despair despite her best intentions. To me, that fanfic was a great example of what may have happened between the two, and explains a great deal of the seemingly erratic and unjustifiable things that Shizuru has done in the name of love. Therefore, on the basis that she is not psychotic per se, and on the balance of probabilities, I would say that Shizuru's eventual outburst and breakdown were something that built up over the years.

Can such a backstory justify Shizuru's actions? Yes and no. It can be argued that another person in Shizuru's position would not have gone berserk, but it can also be argued that she deserves some sympathy for being in such a position. Again, given how the anime ended in a la-la-la way, I would think that the writer of the show didn't mean for Shizuru to be a bad person (even though I thought the ending was awwwfulll).  

Thus, to cut the long story short – was she wrong? Yes. But was she a bad person? Maybe, maybe not, because it really depends on what on earth happened before that.

p/s: oh gad, how did I end up contributing to the wall of text... sweatdrop


Whoops. I just realized that after much rambling I didn't actually respond to the question! In my view it's difficult to compare the two because we don't know enough about Shizuru, but if we're just going to take the anime at face value, I would think that Shizuru is the "badder" person during the later half of the Carnival.  

As for whether Natsuki killed anyone at all - err, I can't seem to remember! But based on what PostoronnimV has quoted, my guess would be yes.


Last edited by depression76 on Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : mod edit deppy - " edited for double posting :D ")

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by CaptainVonCookie on Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:45 am

Wow, very nice discussion. I will give my two cents as well. And ignore the weird symbols, my keyboard messed them up and I can-t restart it now.

From my point of view, I believe the fandom vilifies these two far too much just for having the most graphic scenes of the whole cast. These two were as well as all the others were in a context of war, and where it-s kill or be killed. Not only by your classmates, friends and figures of authority but as well by professional organizations. They had to adopt survival characteristics at a very young age, let-s not forget that they are kids!
And still they for me were the sane ones. Because unless you were trying to kill them or going after their MIP they would leave you be. They would warn you even!!!
But yeah, Natsuki probably killed someone in the whole mess. But so did everyone else probably, the Childs had a huge amount of power, people were probably caught in the collateral damage.

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by Magus Phantalus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:51 am

PostoronnimV wrote:
Icemera wrote:Huge NEW thread.
Lol, yeah... sorry about that =)

Icemera wrote: Also, Natsuki claimed that she needed to *stop* Shizuru. By that, she established herself as the righteous one, and the other party the evil one. So, I don't think it was purely the fans' wishful thinking that has made Shizuru often portrayed so in fanfics.
Well, Natsuki's actions can be interpreted in different ways... My interpretation on the matter:

Firstly, she did it for Shizuru, but not in the sense "You're bad, I need to stop you"... Because Natsuki couldn't care less about people from the First District, but she did care about Shizuru a great deal...
Secondly, she did it, because she understood that, if she and Shizuru will remain the last two HiME, they'll reach an impasse, all the same... Shizuru is her MIP, she is Shizuru's MIP... one of them dies, the other will follow by a chain reaction... or they will die along with the world... in any case, they have no chance to survive.

So I don't think that she did it just for the greater good... I believe that, if there was a chance to save Shizuru, she would have took it, even if she had had to betray/kill Mai or do something terrible...  because in this respect, she does not differ from Shizuru at all, Natsuki did terrible deeds in the name of love for her mother, after all...

Icemera wrote:Mikoto/Mai encounter: I was under the impression that Natsuki only wanted to scare them away, but things got out of hand(????) I don't think Natsuki was heartless, trying to kill Mai/Mikoto, but she was just careless in her actions. It seems natural that a teenager with superpower would be reckless with how they use their abilities.
I would have agreed with you, if Natsuki was, indeed, just unthinking and feckless teenager. But she wasn't... Natsuki isn't stupid... she did understand the consequences of her actions, but, as I said, she just did not care how much damage she will cause, and who may get injured or even die in the process. And she left Mai and unconscious Mikoto to die, after all... it was pretty heartless action to me... I doubt that Natsuki was able to predict the future and foresee that Mai and Mikoto will be saved by Kagutsuchi...

And if to return why Mikoto ended up in such a state:


Natsuki and Yamada set up the trap for the car in which Mikoto was a passenger... But the thing is that Natsuki didn't know for sure that Mikoto was even a HiME, at that time... it only was her conjecture, based on her guesswork... so she understood that if her conjecture is wrong, then she, with her actions, will seriously injure (or even kill) driver and innocent child, who have no relation to HiME... but she still did go through with her plan. And because of what? Because of her obsession to avenge her mother... Was it any better than what the First District had done to her and her mother?


And she could kill Mai when she tested whether Mai was a HiME or not... and, again, Natsuki isn't stupid to not understand it, but she didn't care if Mai will die... Mai would have been just another casualty for her, it seems...

Icemera wrote:Breaking Akane out: It's possible that Natsuki killed or injured some agents, but it doesn't mean she's evil. She did what was necessary. And it was totally ok to do something for a reward; in this case, she wanted info from Akane. At least, she considered breaking a fellow Hime free. IMHO, even if Shizuru knew of Akane's situation, I'm not sure if she'd bother to do anything about it. I think that's what separated Natsuki from the rest.
But she helped Akane not out of good intentions, her obsession was the main motivator... Even when Natsuki's 'clandestine' doctor asked her, what is she going to do with Akane... she said: "I don't know. I only want to know the truth."


The question is would Natsuki help Akane if, for example, she knew for sure that Akane can not provide useful information to her?... Judging by how easily she left Mai and Mikoto to die, there is a good chance that she wouldn't have helped Akane, if that was the case...

Icemera wrote: I believe that, in crisis, people show their true colors.
It's actually a very interesting point...

Personally, I don't think any truer colors are revealed in crisis. It can reveal one of the many constituents of human character, but not in its entirety. Plus, we all mature with age and experience. Would Shizuru act the same if the same situation will happen again? Would her past experience change something/ change her enough to not repeat the same mistakes? Personally, I doubt that Shizuru will repeat her past mistakes... I like to believe, she, like Natsuki, has learned an important lesson...
And I think that Natsuki was able to act rationally and coolly in times of crisis partly because she from an early age had been moving from one crisis to another, from one stressful/dangerous situation to another... and Natsuki had become tempered and trained by her life experience...

Icemera wrote:The end of the world was near, but all Shizuru thought about was to make Natsuki hers. Shizuru didn't seem to have any plan. In other words, her own happiness mattered most.
As you said, Shizuru committed many crimes in the name of love. But was Natsuki any different? Natsuki committed many crimes and terrible deeds for the sake of her obsession, her revenge... She also many times sacrificed Shizuru's feelings for her revenge... They both are very selfish characters...

And, as I said, everyone has their limits and the boiling point...  and Shizuru has just been pushed past hers.

A cornered animal is most dangerous, a cornered human is twice as dangerous. It is obvious, Shizuru hasn't been thinking clearly at that time, she was not in her best condition of mind, to put it mildly... these were a desperate and ill-considered actions of the cornered human... I see Shizuru of that time as a person who had lost all hope...

Icemera wrote:But Natsuki was willing to sacrifice herself and her MIP for the greater good. No other Hime was able to sacrifice like she did. Natsuki came out like a Captain, who sacrificed his life to save his crews. She was like the murky cop who killed the links that couldn't be legally brought to court, but it doesn't mean that she was evil. I see her as one to commit dirty deeds to bring impossible justice to the world.
Well, in this matter our opinions differ, again... =) Natsuki did not do anything for the sake of justice... even her revenge against the First District wasn't for the greater good... her intentions were completely selfish, after all... And, as I said above, I think if there was another way out of the situation, even if Natsuki had had to sacrifice everyone else in order to save Shizuru, she would have took it...

Icemera wrote:Anyway, every story needs a hero and a villain, and most writers would have to choose one over the other. It's nothing personal. IMHO, Shizuru just fits the villain bill more than Natsuki.
Actually, I don't see either of them as the villain. =))) But I admit, Natsuki would be more boring villain than Shizuru, imo =))

So silly unrelated question as I have been gone for quite some time what is the deal with that Mikoto vs Natsuki pic? As it doesn't seem familiar to me.

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by San. on Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:35 pm

I love this topic and am surprised on the many ideas and opinions arrised from it.
I didn't read everything (won't lie) specially because this topic can spread to other topics and open so many folds that besides proving that these two characters are complex it could and did develop to non-mai-hime related topics and examples.

I wish to share some of my ideas and will try not to repeat anyone, only add to the story.

With that said, I'd like to remind everyone that the terms "good" and "bad" are dangerous and interesting for so vague they are. It's obvious, but we are attracted to them for the same reasons and will use them again and again.
They're symbols, powerfull manichean social symbols. With them we validate the righteousness of one or deny it, in our judgement.
Natsuki and Shizuru are very human characters (in terms of personification, which is not that common) and like us they share parts of good and bad.


That's what Mai-Hime is all about, the good and bad of humanity within us, as individuals. The old story of chosing which wolf* to feed and breaking moral on hard times.





Natsuki's good is the undeniable "warm heart" nurtured through the serie. She is presented as the cold hearted distant and dangerous girl and evolves (from what she already had) to a kind and caring friend that sometimes kicks some ass. Yes, in the show there must have been deaths by her hand, direct or indirectly, but don't take Sunrise's choice to "hide" them lightly. If we had seen, say, 10 death by Natsuki in the first episodes, how shoking would be the MOP's deaths? No need for cheap blood. And the same goes for feelings, violence, sexuality. Enhance the importance of the festival and the star's effects. Mai-Hime is all about hide-and-seek. Kazuya's death was a punch in my guts as the "first death". 

Labelling Natsuki good or bad for her actions is a failure in justice. I'm not a supporter of "end justifies the means" but we can't be simple and say "she killed people out of selfish revenge and that's bad". How many of your favourite shows depict the "good guy" killing the "bad guy" and you were fine with it? Now you don't judge the same, not entirelly because she did it out of selfishness but because it was hidden. That's very real. We don't see the bad-guys "secret actions", and we see all the good-guys actions. So, since we don't see Natsuki killing, therefore, she's bad. Adding that those deaths showed no victory for the good guys.

Now that I think of it, saying "the end justifies the means" applyes to selfish acts, but not to "the greater good"? Isn't that the same? And I wouldn't say destroying the first disctrict because they killed your mother is a selfish act. You're a kid, you lost your mother, your father abandoned you and you have to grow fast. You grow dangerous to protect yourself because the world showed its ugly face. You find who destroyed your life and bow to do the same. Eye for an eye. We could judge her morals by our morals, but that's not justice. It has to be closed, judge her morals by her morals, or, if possible, with no moral judment at all. A clean trial per se. So, to my thinking, not regarding mine or her morals, is that the goodness of a person can be found by noticing who they are, in continuous. A bad person that cleans her bad deeds is a good one. Or better saying, good is to evolve to become better.

Natsuki's morals are questionable but not the good in her. She commited the final sacrifice by facing her MOP and ending each other, and that was for the greater good. Why not kill the other Himes, gain the power and destroy first district, her father and whoever else? She has selfishness in her but not enough to be labelled, by me, a bad person. She was a human who made her mistakes. She killed and she will kill again, if she has to. Like some of us. She has, simply put, the old timed morals of a countryless midlle-ages knight.
As a quick conclusion, in the beggining Natsuki could be judged as bad, killing to reach her revenge, without regret, hidden and secretly. In the end she can be judged as good, learning how to care, have friends and not killing for self glory.

As a proof, the feelings Shizuru had she "chose to ignore" were noticed, accepted, even cared. They were feeling she felt she had to answer. It was a change. A good one.
Finally, Natsuki's greatest and sometimes ingnored act was to forgive Shizuru for all she did to others and specially herself, something most of us could not, and that, my friends, is the greatest act of good.
It's a rare quality, some would even say divine one.
Considering her, I rest my case.





Now, Shizuru. She was judged somewhat quickly and better on this topic, probably because the only time we got information to judge her for it was clear and visible. That's a good point for her.
She killed more than anyone else on the show, but since it was visible and confirmed was easier to use for judgement and even positive (which confirms my theory).

Her motives (since we use them a lot in this topic) were the protection of Natsuki. Some could say so at first sight but pay closer attention. Natsuki killed others before, she wasn't completly defenseless. And protect/defend are terms of defensive stance and attacking the first district was not a act of direct defense. 

I believe Shizuru killed them because they were Natsuki's enemy and a threat. Her actions against the first district were as justified as Natsuki's, the diference beying the first succeeded and the later's mother was already dead.



She was, on that fase and in my judgement, nor good nor bad, a pawn of feelings and a passionate criminal. She wouldn't be absolved, only get a reduced sentence.
Instead of judging her "official" motives, I wish to interpret the immediate previous occurance. She did "something" to Natsuki. I won't develop on that subject, but was judged by the other character's as bad. She received a big (gigantic) denial from Natsuki, which i will also not develop upon, since there was simply the word "no". Could mean a lot. She was confused and maybe even scared. 

Most of all, with that scream came the confirmation that she hurt Natsuki, herself who swore to protect her above everything. So she tried her best to protect her again, for Shizuru's own sake. Because by protecting something you confirm your ownership. That was her only way of having Natsuki.
This is all I can say because Shizuru wasn't a main character but a main interferer. No offence. We rarely knew what she did, so little of her backstory and past, her thoughts and version of the story, simply put, we have no Shizuru no Prelude (you hear me Sunrise??) So we don't know if she minds things like honor, greater good and morals.

What we do know is that she loved Natsuki, honest and truly loved her. Without knowing more of Shizuru (officially speaking, because what we believe she is is different from the true character) we can not judge her actions fairly. We also now little of the future, we can only guess by her patterns. She probably suffered from her grave actions (Sunrise failed on this one with that cheap "Kanin na") and had a hard time cleaning her "sins". She must have stayed with Natsuki, with or without a romantic relationship. She would perish under the pain of "almost at reach yet so far" but would stay, to protect her. I have deep sympathy for her and can only judge goodness in her out of faith and kindness but not from greater morals.
That said, Shizuru's goodness depends on your imagination and is not as simple as Natsuki's case. Most likely the reason almost any judgement can be correct and validated. We just don't know how she felt.



She was a good person who wished no harm, only Natsuki's protection. The last wish ruled above all others and she killed for that. And like Natsuki, she will kill again, if she has to.
She is a good person, on the inside, but with a big and hungry bad wolf* within that can turn her into a demon. Isn't the race of the last runner to leave the start-line the hardest and moraly grander?

P.S. A cookie if you read everything  cookie .


*The "wolf" I refer is from a native-american folk story http://yogionamission.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/20121121-192917.jpg

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by Saido on Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:22 pm

Because I learned this last year... I think Shizuru is somewhat like a tragic hero.

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:53 pm

Saido wrote:Because I learned this last year... I think Shizuru is somewhat like a tragic hero.

Agreed. Anti-heroes like Shizuru are fascinating enough for me to root for them. She's still a HiME, there must be some positive investment in her on the part of the audience, imo.

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

Post by Saido on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:45 pm

Oh yeah. If you want to know someone who won't give up on their dreams, go to Shizuru.

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Re: Natsuki or Shizuru... Who was more of a 'bad guy'? and Did Natsuki kill anyone?

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