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[Mai-Otome] TomoAri to the rescue~! (a.k.a. why this random crackship made it into my top favourite pairings)

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[Mai-Otome] TomoAri to the rescue~! (a.k.a. why this random crackship made it into my top favourite pairings)

Post by Zweifel Marguerite on Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:34 pm

*rolls in*
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeey! It's been a long time since I've posted something here, and in all honesty, I think it's about time to talk about a pairing I wanted to talk a long while ago, I just never got around to actually make a discussion thread for it. And today's pair of discussion is TomoAri (Tomoe Marguerite x Arika Yumemiya), which I adore very much and I would be happy to share my thoughts on why exactly do they mix up very well.
Now, when you watch (or re-watch) Mai-Otome, that is not a pair you could instantly notice or like, and many don't even see a single chance when this could work. Again, my assumptions are quite hypothetical and written from my perspective mostly.

1) The most commonly said argument is ''But Tomoe hates Arika!'', and while I can't completely disagree with that, my opinion stays - there is hardly anyone Tomoe doesn't hate or dislike. Plus, I can see where the dislike for Arika originates from - she doesn't want any more students who are actually capable of reaching the next level of studies (becoming Pearls). And that is partly the fault of Tomoe's selfishness - even if Arika was persistent, Tomoe was one of the top students in class, so she safely had a guaranteed position, and it required some work on Arika's part. If Arika presented herself not as a complete failure, but not as a possible threat as well, it could have worked, because Arika would show that she has no interest in competing with her and rather would like to be friends. During her everyday life, she has her attention directed mostly at Nina, Erstin or Meisters, but almost never Tomoe, and it could have worked if Arika actually tried to be at least friends with Tomoe. While Tomoe is slow to open up, Arika is very persistent AND she cares about others around her, so she wouldn't allow Tomoe to be sad/depressed/angry when around her.
2) If there is a single person in Mai-Otome who desperately needs love and understanding, it's Tomoe. If there is a single person in Mai-Otome capable to accept anyone, anything and love people despite their flaws, it is Arika. She has a heart of gold I rarely see in any fictional characters anymore, and if there is a person who is capable of making Tomoe accept herself and feel like she deserves attention and TRUE love, it is Arika, because she is also a person that can't tolerate anyone being hurt. Despite her annoyingness, Arika is a true pillar of support for anyone, because she loves people despite anything bad they say about themselves. See where I am going with this? Yes, Arika is silly or even stupid at times, but she certainly isn't dumb. Relationship with Arika is healthy, and it could teach Tomoe a lot of things if she actually allowed herself to be ''tamed'' by Arika and see her side that desperately needs love (and that would happen if Arika had an interest, because she is stubborn and persistent).
3) This is a relationship I can picture Arika being seme (say what?). We all can see how cheerful, optimistic and positive-minded she is, yet we sometimes don't notice how deadly serious about her intents she is. As I said, she can be stupid at times, get confused a lot or do silly things, but she is not dumb, and even though some of her intentions seem childish or naive, when she is committed to something, there is no going back, and if she believes in Tomoe, she will do that until the end. So, if you portray Tomoe as only one being serious or taking this relationship seriously, you are wrong - Arika is just as mature as she is. And, especially when it comes to relationships, I can see Arika as the brave one making the right moves.
4) Now, even though Arika is all happy-go-lucky, she is also a girl who could snap your neck with a single hit. And, coincidentally or not, she doesn't like seeing anyone hurt, especially her loved ones, and I am sure she will get pretty pissed off if somebody tried to hurt her love interest. So it's safe to assume Tomoe would be very protected from most of the pain she could receive otherwise.
5) And, if Tomoe actually loves somebody, she cares about them as well (as seen in example of Viola). So, I assume Arika is under protection as well.
6) In addition, they balance each other out. Even though Arika is more serious than usually seen, more calmer and serious Tomoe can help develop a better, more mature personality while keeping her good traits. Arika is sometimes over-ambitious and naive, so having a realistically thinking Tomoe would help her grow into ambitious and mature woman, and turn her naiveness into a type of good humour (or plainly realistic optimism). She could probably become similar to Lena - good-hearted, yet reallistically thinking and supportive. And on the other hand as well - Arika can teach Tomoe how to be more accepting and realise that not everything should be taken seriously (could help transforming her negativity into sarcasm). Arika has a secret talent in making people feel better. Also, she is very caring and could probably show Tomoe that having a shy and a silly side can be a good thing as well.

In conclusion, I think it's very hard to imagine this couple starting somewhere because the possibility of them interacting in a decent enough way was never explored, so, when it comes to imagining a decent reason of getting them together, I have to rely almost 100% on their character traits and my wild imagination. It's one of those couples where you can't imagine it working at all at first, but, the more you think, the more it actually makes sense, and not just the fun type of sense, but that type of sense you actually consider them a very good pair.
I don't even know what my main argument is, aside from ''they match very well'', and I mean it - they do balance each other nicely. When I think of TomoAri, I see a relationship that can start in late teens years and, when they reach the age of young women, we get good ol' Tomoe and Arika, just more mature, happier and in a healthy relationship. Where Tomoe is still rational-minded, but melts into a soft ball of shyness and fluff when her Arika takes the lead and gives all of the love possible. Where Tomoe thinks it's fine to drop the angst and serious play to have a silly pillow fight. Where Arika realizes there are not only goals, but responsibilities, and she doesn't mind taking on those responsibilities. Where she has someone to give all her dedication and love to, because her partner is someone who needs that the most (not to mention people around Arika don't share her joy as much as she would like to) and where she can be a seme all she wants, because she is brave and loves Tomoe enough to show her that it's more than a silly sympathy - it's a dedication and love interest. Where they both can acknowledge their bad character traits and turn them into something better eventually. Obviously, there could still be problems, but the thing is that I can actually see them overcoming any problems or obstacles...together. That is the definition of a healthy relationship to me.

My rant is over. So sorry it turned this long, but I have wanted to talk about this pair for a while. So, a million dollar question now: what do you guys think? Can it work? Why/why not? How you portray them when you hear the name of this pair? Would you like to see it as canon? Is there anything else to add for/against this couple?
Basically, I want your opinions, and a lot of them. As you all can see, I have this pair on my signature, so it means a lot to me, so I am very curious to hear opinions (even ones that differ from mine).

Anyway...I hope that you enjoyed reading it as much as I liked writing this little opinion essay! :) I can't promise exact dates or anything, but I have more crack/possible pairing threads in mind for this section. See you around!

*Angry Fat Milk Cans-Bird rolls out*

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Re: [Mai-Otome] TomoAri to the rescue~! (a.k.a. why this random crackship made it into my top favourite pairings)

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:03 pm

Very impression defense of Tomoe and the crack-shipping, Zwei-chan. Honestly, TomoeAri would be exciting to watch. I'm a huge Arshiro shipper (Arika and Mashiro are such married wives in Zwei!), but Arika and Tomoe could of worked under different circumstances. The only thing that gets in the way of the shipping, taking the canon anime into consideration is Shizuru Viola. Arika was always an unintentional foil to Tomoe's early advances on Meister Viola. Whenever she has a moment to speak with Shizuru, Arika pops out of nowhere to steal the attention away. When Arika spotted Tomoe again in Zwei, they didn't seem to be any sign of disdain. XD More like confusion; but definietly not disdain. Arika is such an optimist, she'd never allow her to hate someone. But Arika did do something to Tomoe that could use an array of opinion. You'll see that thread soon in the Mai-Otome section.

So could a relationship work under different circumstances? Absolutely! Again, Arika's willingness to stand by her friends is the major key player. As well as Tomoe's inner desire to fall in love and seek a good friend who could understand her. Arika is very good at breaking down defense barriers, stripping away the clay until the truth is revealed...like a sculptor. She brought out the best in Erstin, Nina and Queen Mashiro to name a few. Even Miss Maria...remember this?

Arika: When I become a proper Otome, I won't allow any wars.

Maria: How wonderful that would be if it were possible.

And look what happened. I'd like to think we'd all love to date someone who is optimistic and always tells the truth. Because Tomoe was so secretive, Arika never got a chance to get to know her. Give Tomoe the opportunity to welcome her into her private life; I'm confident Arika can get her to open up. Would I like to see this happen? If written correctly with Arika moving on from Mashiro in a way that makes sense to the overall story and what these characters have become as people post-Zwei, then yes. Mashiro is Arika's first love after all (Sergay was a mistake...), there are no guarantees. But it would require a lot of Tomoe's part too, Zwei-Bird. I feel sorry for Tomoe that she is lonely and had to resort to pretending to be Ishigamin's woman just to rule Aries. Underneath all that is a girl still hurt that Shizuru lead her on in favor of protecting Natsuki.

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Re: [Mai-Otome] TomoAri to the rescue~! (a.k.a. why this random crackship made it into my top favourite pairings)

Post by Break String SpinElf on Sat May 14, 2016 7:00 pm

Great post Zwei-sama! From a personal perspective, it would've been interesting to have had the chance to see the girls as Pearls, with TomoAri almost certainly forming two thirds of the Trias with Nina.

One of my few regrets about the series was the increasingly narrow portrayal of Tomoe as a hateful villain, to the extent where it's almost played for laughs during her megalomaniacal bid for power in Aries. Obviously, she's very effective in this role and secondary characters such as her by definition only have a limited presence, though it does look like a missed opportunity to have Arika work her magic and discover the girl behind the angst.

Anyway, I shall endeavour to address a few of the points you made: -

1) This is an excellent assessment of Tomoe's motives. During her first appearance in episode 2, Miya suggests to her that, should Nina be expelled for her part in the events of episode 1, Tomoe would become the number 1 Coral, which certainly implies that this is an explicit objective of Tomoe's. Her identification of Arika as a threat is also prophetic, given that Arika eventually overhauls her to take a berth beside Nina in the abortive graduation butou, having already made startling progress up the ranks (thanks in no small part to her heroics during the endurance exercise). However, given that the evidence suggests that around half of Corals go on to become Pearls, I'm not sure that's the whole story. Tomoe, using Miya as her amenuensis, singles out Arika for special treatment using her underhand tactics, almost certainly due to Tomoe witnessing (your unbeloved mad) Shizuru garner attention upon Arika.
2) This is spot on. Conversely, though, Tomoe is the object of Arika's most significant morally ambiguous moment as Luu-sama notes in his response (and is explored further here) - although it's fair to say Arika has more pressing matters to attend to at the time: her famous steely determination disallows her from avoiding the eventual outcome, to Arika's regret, as she's resolved to take out the Anti-Founder Lena.

One could suggest that Arika regrets that she was unable to save Tomoe from herself. I think it's a testament to Arika's character that she would even offer an apology to a girl who has made no bones about targeting her.
3) An interesting perspective - and one I could agree with. Perhaps the ur-example of Arika taking the lead in trying to redeem Nina during their Harmonium-induced space fight. Nina (like Miss Maria in the example cited by Luu-sama) scoffs at Arika's idealism, only for Arika to respond with love and kindness, bringing Nina back from the brink before the Harmonium threw her back over.

Suffice to say, TomoAri definitely warrants further investigation.

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Re: [Mai-Otome] TomoAri to the rescue~! (a.k.a. why this random crackship made it into my top favourite pairings)

Post by Zweifel Marguerite on Sun May 15, 2016 6:20 am

Break String SpinElf wrote:Great post Zwei-sama! From a personal perspective, it would've been interesting to have had the chance to see the girls as Pearls, with TomoAri almost certainly forming two thirds of the Trias with Nina.
And now I want to see actual artwork of this, because this is amazing. *_* Somebody, make it happen!

Break String SpinElf wrote:One of my few regrets about the series was the increasingly narrow portrayal of Tomoe as a hateful villain, to the extent where it's almost played for laughs during her megalomaniacal bid for power in Aries. Obviously, she's very effective in this role and secondary characters such as her by definition only have a limited presence, though it does look like a missed opportunity to have Arika work her magic and discover the girl behind the angst.
And THIS is why I adore manga. Tomoe isn't a villain in that, she is constantly her calm anime self. Granted, the manga still doesn't give us much in terms of TomoAri, but there are bits of their interaction, and they get along well.
Just... healthy Tomoe portrayals make me extremely happy.


Break String SpinElf wrote:2) This is spot on. Conversely, though, Tomoe is the object of Arika's most significant morally ambiguous moment as Luu-sama notes in his response (and is explored further here) - although it's fair to say Arika has more pressing matters to attend to at the time: her famous steely determination disallows her from avoiding the eventual outcome, to Arika's regret, as she's resolved to take out the Anti-Founder Lena.
Yes, this moment has been brought up several times. I don't believe that Arika would have willingly let Tomoe die. It just happens that at that moment, she had a choice between taking out the Anti-Founder, or waste precious seconds saving Tomoe, and she made the choice that would lead to lesser damage done overall. As you note, Arika saved Harmonium Nina from her madness, and I continue to believe that she would have gotten through to Tomoe if presented with a decent chance. She clearly regrets the fact that she must let Tomoe fall to her death, even if that death was deserved.

Break String SpinElf wrote:Suffice to say, TomoAri definitely warrants further investigation.
:33333 yes, yes... come and investigate... join the sinful pit of TomoAri~~

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Re: [Mai-Otome] TomoAri to the rescue~! (a.k.a. why this random crackship made it into my top favourite pairings)

Post by Break String SpinElf on Sun May 15, 2016 1:51 pm

Zweifel Marguerite wrote:Yes, this moment has been brought up several times. I don't believe that Arika would have willingly let Tomoe die. It just happens that at that moment, she had a choice between taking out the Anti-Founder, or waste precious seconds saving Tomoe, and she made the choice that would lead to lesser damage done overall. As you note, Arika saved Harmonium Nina from her madness, and I continue to believe that she would have gotten through to Tomoe if presented with a decent chance. She clearly regrets the fact that she must let Tomoe fall to her death, even if that death was deserved.

I can definitely imagine what would happen if Arika & Tomoe met up after the events of Zwei. Arika expressing relief that Tomoe made it out alive, before a profound apology for not having been a better classmate, followed by lots of delightfully-voiced-by-Rie-Tanaka fulmination & vituperation from Tomoe, followed by Arika persisting, persisting & persisting some more before finally breaking through the wall of hatred. And, hey, if hatred is a reason to automatically discount a particular ship, why would NatNao be such a popular alternative?

It'd also be interesting to see a full backstory for Tomoe: in Sifr, which in some part functions almost as a canonisation mecahnism for the Power Trio's parentage, I understand that the Shion expy's "official" name is Zion Marguerite (please correct me if I'm mistaken), which suggests that Tomoe's family is among the elite, with connections both to the Earl Church & the previous court at Wind Bloom. Given such a background, it's not too much of a stretch to see where her somewhat entitled outlook comes from, though I'd like to find out more about why she's so insecure and manipulative.

Thanks Zwei-sama. I now seem to be developing a bit of a Tomoe fixation!! tomoe2

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Re: [Mai-Otome] TomoAri to the rescue~! (a.k.a. why this random crackship made it into my top favourite pairings)

Post by Zweifel Marguerite on Sun May 15, 2016 7:02 pm

I can definitely imagine what would happen if Arika & Tomoe met up after the events of Zwei. Arika expressing relief that Tomoe made it out alive, before a profound apology for not having been a better classmate, followed by lots of delightfully-voiced-by-Rie-Tanaka fulmination & vituperation from Tomoe, followed by Arika persisting, persisting & persisting some more before finally breaking through the wall of hatred.
!!!
Words cannot express how much I need this in my life.

It'd also be interesting to see a full backstory for Tomoe: in Sifr, which in some part functions almost as a canonisation mecahnism for the Power Trio's parentage, I understand that the Shion expy's "official" name is Zion Marguerite (please correct me if I'm mistaken), which suggests that Tomoe's family is among the elite, with connections both to the Earl Church & the previous court at Wind Bloom. Given such a background, it's not too much of a stretch to see where her somewhat entitled outlook comes from, though I'd like to find out more about why she's so insecure and manipulative.
I never noticed them sharing a surname! Now that certainly opens up a whole world of possibilities.
Being entitled for a priviliged person is nothing new. If Tomoe really has influential ancestry, that's quite serious. She obviously wants to seem powerful, considering that Otome studies is very much a luxury.

As for her insecurities... I, of course, can only speculate, but if I analyze it from a literary analysis perspective, there are usually 2 types of conflict that arise from someone having an influential background: the wish vs tradition (simply put, a character wishes to act or do certain things, but is unable to because of who they are/are duty-bound to follow tradition) and the perfection vs flawed nature (a character experiences an identity crisis (essentially), because they realize their personal flaws, which are contrasted to the general need of an influential family of being perceived as flawless). I doubt, in Tomoe's case, that it would be the first one. There is also the possibility that Tomoe was raised to be opportunistic. When Nina is at risk of being kicked out, Tomoe perceives that as her chance to climb up the ranks. Manipulation and selfishness don't appear from thin air, characters with such traits usually have certain background influences, like events or family, that make them appear. Think people in the Hunger Games story - the situation molds them to be manipulative, even the heroes. If she is indeed influential, Tomoe certainly has the right bckground to be raised opportunistic or even manipulative from the very start (or maybe it morphed into maipulatism later on, but the background still stays). In any case, this is something I wish was adressed.

Thanks Zwei-sama. I now seem to be developing a bit of a Tomoe fixation!!
*rubs hands* yes, yes, perfect... more young minds to corrupt... :3333
I am glad you find this topic engaging! I have always believed Tomoe to be a victim that molded into a villain due to unfortunate circumstances, and I am enjoying this discussion.

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Re: [Mai-Otome] TomoAri to the rescue~! (a.k.a. why this random crackship made it into my top favourite pairings)

Post by Break String SpinElf on Mon May 16, 2016 1:45 pm

Zweifel Marguerite wrote:As for her insecurities... I, of course, can only speculate, but if I analyze it from a literary analysis perspective, there are usually 2 types of conflict that arise from someone having an influential background: the wish vs tradition (simply put, a character wishes to act or do certain things, but is unable to because of who they are/are duty-bound to follow tradition) and the perfection vs flawed nature (a character experiences an identity crisis (essentially), because they realize their personal flaws, which are contrasted to the general need of an influential family of being perceived as flawless).

Zwei-sama, this is simply awesome! I am finding it very useful in thinking about different characters' traits & motivations.

Zweifel Marguerite wrote:I doubt, in Tomoe's case, that it would be the first one.
Agreed. For example, if Tomoe felt herself to be bound by tradition, there's no way she'd by barging down the door to sign up for Altai & Shwartz' "new, improved" Valkyrie system.

One of the characters who came to mind when reading this was Fiar Grosse. Though she doesn't comply with this "Type A" fully, she does provide an example of an Otome within the tradition, carrying out the will of her Master in the attack on the Aswad to steal the REM data despite her own misgivings, to the point where she had counselled Argos - sadly for her correctly - against riling the Aswad.

With regards to Tomoe fitting into "Type B," what we see of her does definitely seem to comply with this pattern. She's a high achiever from an elite background who suddenly finds herself as number 2. Now, being second out of a group as select as a Garderobe intake is no mean feat, though, from the few interactions we see between Tomoe & Nina, there seems to be no love lost.

Then, of course, Arika comes along. This interloper, however useless she first appears to be, has something about her - something threatening to Tomoe. During the as-expected pounding she takes at the hands of Nina in episode 3, Arika shows her grit when she manages to fend off Nina's most powerful attack, prompting a rather telling cut to this little sequence of frames: -

At first, Tomoe is wearing a satisfied, almost Tomoe-standard smug, smile, reassured that the potentially-dangerous stranger is defeated, before this: -

Slightly concerned? Clearly, Arika has a bit of class about her - and Tomoe's worry is only exacerbated by the favourable remarks about Arika being "amazing" and the like which follow.

Zweifel Marguerite wrote:There is also the possibility that Tomoe was raised to be opportunistic. When Nina is at risk of being kicked out, Tomoe perceives that as her chance to climb up the ranks. Manipulation and selfishness don't appear from thin air, characters with such traits usually have certain background influences, like events or family, that make them appear. Think people in the Hunger Games story - the situation molds them to be manipulative, even the heroes. If she is indeed influential, Tomoe certainly has the right bckground to be raised opportunistic or even manipulative from the very start (or maybe it morphed into maipulatism later on, but the background still stays). In any case, this is something I wish was adressed.

Great point. Looking for an example, I suspect that opportunism is behind her manipulation of Miya: in all probability, she discovered details of Miya's extra-curricular association with that blond wannabe thug and used the knowledge against her, promising not to disclose it in return for favours, all the while keeping her knowledge of the relationship hanging over Miya like the Sword of Damocles.

It's also quite striking that, when she becomes a Valkyrie, it's Tomoe, rather than the older Chie, who acts as the corps' de facto leader. It's clear that she has a native charisma, most probably borne of her assurance in her own ability, as the other three Valkyries most definitely appear to be Tomoe's creatures.

Speaking of the Valkyries, on their first sortie, Tomoe revealing herself is met by disbelief by Arika. Of course, she's somehow managed to have Miya take the full blame for the earlier campaign against Arika, even though it continued afterwards, but this affords Tomoe arguably her best moment: Arika just never saw it coming.


It's possible to make a case that Tomoe represents Arika's one major failure, and that's mainly due to Tomoe's skill at wearing a mask of charm which hides the hatred which she had increasingly come to fix upon Arika.

Just one more thing...

Zweifel Marguerite wrote:And THIS is why I adore manga. Tomoe isn't a villain in that, she is constantly her calm anime self. Granted, the manga still doesn't give us much in terms of TomoAri, but there are bits of their interaction, and they get along well.
Just... healthy Tomoe portrayals make me extremely happy.

... at the third attempt, I shall acknowledge Manga!Tomoe - only to say that I badly need to re-read the manga (it's been quite a while since my last flick through). I do remember Tomoe being in it, but seem to recall her as a helpful behind-the-scenes character. Sorry I don't have anything decent to add here right now! Sad

Zweifel Marguerite wrote:I am glad you find this topic engaging! I have always believed Tomoe to be a victim that molded into a villain due to unfortunate circumstances, and I am enjoying this discussion.

Me too. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this thread as it's really given me a chance to explore Tomoe's character in more depth than I had done before. It's been fun & very rewarding! Happy

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Re: [Mai-Otome] TomoAri to the rescue~! (a.k.a. why this random crackship made it into my top favourite pairings)

Post by Zweifel Marguerite on Wed May 18, 2016 6:09 pm

Zwei-sama, this is simply awesome! I am finding it very useful in thinking about different characters' traits & motivations.
Finally, my philolgy studies are paying off! I can speculate about characters all I want. :3333
Agreed. For example, if Tomoe felt herself to be bound by tradition, there's no way she'd by barging down the door to sign up for Altai & Shwartz' "new, improved" Valkyrie system.
Not necessarily. When a family or a privileged group feels unrewarded, they might switch to the side that grants them more benefits. Being loyal isn't always a thing because someone has moral values they are loyal to. It is fairly common to pledge loyalty to something else after the previous loyalty is not useful anymore. So it isn't a given, but I can do nothing but speculate.
Assuming Tomoe truly is of the same family as Zion, though, I fail to imagine a situation where they would choose to switch to Nagi's side. Fran knew Zion personally, and I doubt the Queen would not favour Zion and her descendants after everything they endured together. There is no reason or benefit for betrayal. Joining Nagi is too risky, even if they somehow believed his cause (which I believe even Tomoe didn't considering she only wanted a position of leadership she would never achieve in Garderobe). There is no guarantee for winning, and Nagi may not keep his promises. It's too risky and unpredictable, and overall not worth it.

With regards to Tomoe fitting into "Type B," what we see of her does definitely seem to comply with this pattern. She's a high achiever from an elite background who suddenly finds herself as number 2. Now, being second out of a group as select as a Garderobe intake is no mean feat, though, from the few interactions we see between Tomoe & Nina, there seems to be no love lost.
Tomoe indeed fits type B rather nicely. She obviously wants to be the best of the best (possibly because it would place her in Shizuru's favour, or so she thinks). She joins Nagi not because she agrees with him, but that gives her so much power. She can lead and be above everyone, even her own oneesama, Chie.
It's possible to make a case that Tomoe represents Arika's one major failure, and that's mainly due to Tomoe's skill at wearing a mask of charm which hides the hatred which she had increasingly come to fix upon Arika.
Indeed. Tomoe is the one character Arika never managed to save, or even attempt to save, and I have to admit, that is largely because of Tomoe's deceptive nature. We as viewers notice certain things very easily, either because we're perceptive, or they were intended to be noticed in the first place. But Arika as a character in a story doesn't notice Tomoe doing shady things, so all of this comes out of nowhere.
[quote...] at the third attempt, I shall acknowledge Manga!Tomoe - only to say that I badly need to re-read the manga (it's been quite a while since my last flick through). I do remember Tomoe being in it, but seem to recall her as a helpful behind-the-scenes character. Sorry I don't have anything decent to add here right now![/quote]
Do yourself a favour and read the manga properly. Even if you end up not liking it much, it is beautiful, and you will have beautiful Otome images at your disposal. :33 I absolutely love it, and Arashi is one of my favourite people ever created. It's really bizzare, but it's great fun, and I am impressed by Sergay being a villain.
Me too. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this thread as it's really given me a chance to explore Tomoe's character in more depth than I had done before. It's been fun & very rewarding!
Thank you for being so interested. I cannot express enough gratitude for that. While I certainly do not blame people for liking what they like, I sometimes feel utterly alone in my opinions or portrayals, and it's fun and comforting to properly discuss things with others.
booze Cheers to a solid friendship building here!

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Re: [Mai-Otome] TomoAri to the rescue~! (a.k.a. why this random crackship made it into my top favourite pairings)

Post by Break String SpinElf on Thu May 19, 2016 9:19 am

Zweifel Marguerite wrote:[color=#006600]Not necessarily. When a family or a privileged group feels unrewarded, they might switch to the side that grants them more benefits. Being loyal isn't always a thing because someone has moral values they are loyal to. It is fairly common to pledge loyalty to something else after the previous loyalty is not useful anymore. So it isn't a given, but I can do nothing but speculate.

Thanks for the clarification. My idea was based on the seemingly indecent haste with which Tomoe joined Nagi's cause. My reasoning was that a "Type A" character might be expected to display at least some measure of soul searching which isn't apparent in Tomoe's case.

Zweifel Marguerite wrote:Assuming Tomoe truly is of the same family as Zion, though, I fail to imagine a situation where they would choose to switch to Nagi's side. Fran knew Zion personally, and I doubt the Queen would not favour Zion and her descendants after everything they endured together. There is no reason or benefit for betrayal. Joining Nagi is too risky, even if they somehow believed his cause (which I believe even Tomoe didn't considering she only wanted a position of leadership she would never achieve in Garderobe). There is no guarantee for winning, and Nagi may not keep his promises. It's too risky and unpredictable, and overall not worth it.

Interesting. Just a couple of comments: I'd suspect that Tomoe is dancing to her own tune rather than carrying out her family's wishes (in stark contrast to poor Erstin) and it's not clear whether or not Zion's association with Sifr & Bruce would've counted for anything after their deaths. After all, until Mashiro's coronation, Wind Bloom was effectively under the control of the home secretary and his allies and we don't find anything much out about him or his connections. It's extremely unlikely that he would've been a relative of Tomoe in any case as his motives would be diametrically opposed to Zion's.

Also, Tomoe is apparently party to some information about Nagi's strategic thinking around the Valkyries. She's aware of the limitations placed on their actions vis-à-vis their orders, which Chie only discovers through trial and error and is aware that the Valkyrie system has been developed to replace the Otome system, stating that, given her justified doubts about Chie's loyalty to the program, she was deliberately kept out of the loop (which raises another intriguing question: given that Tomoe intends to do away with Laula & Rosalie, her ostensible allies, what was Nagi planning to do with Nina?). It's more likely, though, to my mind, that Nagi, as a master manipulator, sees the arrogant Tomoe as a "useful idiot" to make use of in his plans to eliminate the Otome, but he would be more reluctant to have her around on a long-term basis: given her own somewhat megalomaniacal streak (as demonstrated in Aries), she'd probably have had to be got rid of shortly afterwards to avoid her becoming a threat to his monopoly on power.

Sorry to go OT - my brain operates according to its own catlike logi... ooh! A ball of wool! black cat

Zweifel Marguerite wrote:Do yourself a favour and read the manga properly. Even if you end up not liking it much, it is beautiful, and you will have beautiful Otome images at your disposal. :33 I absolutely love it, and Arashi is one of my favourite people ever created. It's really bizzare, but it's great fun, and I am impressed by Sergay being a villain.

I shall indeed! I did enjoy it when I've read it previously and I'm certainly not a member of the "hate it" brigade. If I'm honest I could live without a lot of the fanservice but it did have a charm of its own and, to me, it represents another worthwhile part of the Mai-Multiverse. Arashi is a nice character and it was nice to see a "FemiNagi" to go with Manshiro.

Zweifel Marguerite wrote:Thank you for being so interested. I cannot express enough gratitude for that. While I certainly do not blame people for liking what they like, I sometimes feel utterly alone in my opinions or portrayals, and it's fun and comforting to properly discuss things with others.
booze Cheers to a solid friendship building here!

That's my pleasure! :) I do admire you for advocating less popular & more unusual pairings and promoting alternative views such as your take on Tomoe. Kudos to you for doing so!

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Re: [Mai-Otome] TomoAri to the rescue~! (a.k.a. why this random crackship made it into my top favourite pairings)

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