"I talk about the gods, I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth."

--Ursula K. Leguin

November 2009

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Please note, all my fic posts here are summaries with links to my archive site. To search for fic most easily, you will want to visit my fic archive itself which has all the series/arc/pairing/character indexes and tags. *tips hat*

Posts Tagged: 'anime-manga:+yuugi-ou'

Oct. 9th, 2008

Bakura and Ryou switching

Major Spoilers in this entry.

For the next installment of my contemplations on Bakura and Ryou, I must note that, all during the second half of the Duelist Kingdom arc, they switch back and forth fast and often, with only a single bobble in continuity: the moment right after Ryou re-dons the Ring and doesn’t remember Bakura assisting the pharaoh with a distraction against the maze brothers.  After that there are only  three moments when we see Bakura manifest as himself, but there are quite a few moments when Ryou says or does things that are slightly out of character: telling the pharaoh to kill Pegasus or offering to come skulking downstairs with Honda or knowing what a shadow game is.  At the same time, the moments of Ryou’s apparent control follow very quickly on Bakura’s and Ryou does not seem to be at all confused about suddenly being down in the dungeon helping Honda rescue Mokuba. If we assume that Bakura is pretending to be Ryou more assiduously than usual, that works, but then that also suggests that it’s actually Bakura who offers his heart to guard the pharaoh against Pegasus’ mind reading, which I find dubious.

What seems more likely to me is that Bakura is allowing Ryou to stay aware and in “front”, but is watching over his shoulder close enough to switch seamlessly or to influence what Ryou is saying and thinking.  The moments when he clearly takes control are one instance of his style chicanery (in the maze), two of violence (the guard and Pegasus) and one of gloating over Shadi’s portrait. Those, it seems equally likely, Ryou is not aware for; at least he doesn’t seem to realize that Bakura has killed Pegasus and stolen the Eye.  The rest of the time, however, Bakura behaves pretty benignly toward his host, and we can, perhaps, understand why Ryou thought that it was all right to wear the Ring again.

Oct. 7th, 2008

Filling in the Blanks

I’ve been going back to read the Yuugi-ou manga, now it’s all out domestically and I can see it in one go. And I find myself instantly caught up in the Problem of Ryou.

The problem, of course, being that Takahashi really didn’t put much thought into his character, being clearly more interested in Bakura.

Now, Bakura is interesting, no doubt about it.  Reading over again, it makes a good deal of sense that Bakura himself is, in a way, two people at once: Bakura and Zorc.  *pauses to roll her eyes over that name once again*  They want the same thing (the Items) but for different reasons. Bakura strikes me as the one who is insanely competitive, more than a little unbalanced, and frankly a bit of a spazz. Zorc, early on, is pretty much in the background, but as time goes on I think his influence manifests more in the moments of colder arrogance.  Bakura is arrogant, right enough, but he burns hot.  This is the person who thinks nothing of injuring the body that he is still actively inhabiting in order to make things go his way, and then cackling about it. He’s also the person who likes close games, wants to win but seems to enjoy both the edge of uncertainty and crushing his opponents’ hopes at the eleventh hour.

The best hints we get of how Ryou fits into all this come early. During that first RPG, there’s a lot of soul manipulation going on, that being the Ring’s specialty, and Ryou takes active part in that.  Indeed, he does it well enough to win, making fast moves to control his body when opportunity presents, moving by stealth or open defiance whichever will shake Bakura more, shifting himself to the Wizard, and to the dice, giving himself a fall-back.  He is presented as someone who has always loved RPGs, so I doubt this was by chance; rather, Ryou is a good strategist, good enough to win against Bakura, and determined enough to take a long chance to save his new friends.

The result of his defiance is also interesting. He insists that he will not allow Bakura to hurt his friends anymore.  And, after this incident, to the best of my recollection, Bakura doesn’t. He manipulates, as with the soul fragment in the puzzle. He puts them aside, as with the sleep spell on Yuugi’s grandfather.  But he never acts directly/terminally against them again, outside the usual scope of duels.

This suggests to me that Bakura is a good deal more influenced by Ryou than anyone suspects.  It is even possible, given what we know, that Ryou is in direct conflict with Zorc himself for influence over Bakura’s actions, which would make a nice reversal of the obvious dynamic.

And the reason all this is possible is that Takahashi neglected to actually give us any firm idea of what’s going on with Ryou.  *sighs*  Well, I suppose we fic-writers can count that as a bonus of a sort.

Mar. 25th, 2008

Canon amelioration: YGO

Canon amelioration is kind of a fic hobby of mine. When canon kills off or otherwise gets rid of a character I want to write more with, I try to find some way of bringing them back. I like to make it at least marginally plausible.

The ending of the Yuugi-ou manga makes this harder than usual. Not only is everything wrapped up, but it’s wrapped up in such a way that to change it will reverse some wonderful and necessary character development, which is anathema to me.

But I think I may have found a way. )