alias_sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
People have responded really well to my SB fic which makes me feel less self conscious about opining on the thoughts that went behind it (of course it probably helps that for the sake of my recipient I just wrote f/m instead of the f/f/m my heart wanted)

Anyway! While writing The Life and Death of Setsuka Heel I realised that (a)I wanted Ren and Kyoko to actually talk honestly about their feelings and (b)I couldn't figure out what that looked like since they pretty much never do it. This prompted a reread of much of the manga and some thoughts which I couldn't talk about because of anonymity...UNTIL NOW.

So, a nice thing about rereading is that I could skip or at least skim any sections I remembered hating. Which is good because there are some parts of SB I really hate. But I was also reminded how much of it I like, and why I ship Ren and Kyoko pretty hard despite Ren being WEIRD AND CREEPY recently in his role as Cain and reversions to Kuon.

The things I like: hilarious acting shenanigans. Kyoko being a basically sweet, caring and polite girl who still draws a line in the sand and refuses to take people's crap. The fact that she's allowed to be really intensely angry and hurt and messed up and this is taken seriously. Her friendship with Kanae and Kanae also being a genuinely difficult but still likeable person. All the other times Kyoko encounters a difficult person and either helps them or cuts them out of her life (or tries to :/). People falling in love with how awesome Kyoko is and doing their best to make her happy and her being SO SUPRISED AND OVERJOYED that anyone cares. Kyoko starts out motivated by revenge but eventually really genuinely loves acting and we see her hard work and dedication pay off. The way Ren and Kyoko love working together and helping each other grow both as damaged people and as actors. ...also, sexy acting shenanigans let's be honest here.

Things I don't like: gender essentialism. Creepy consent issues and power imbalances being totally ignored for ~love~, especially by Lory (omg the Cain Siblings thing was such a bad idea, if Ren had decided to hit on Kyoko how trapped would she have been? How trapped WAS she when he got physically dangerous AS HE WAS LIKELY TO DO??) People (Ren included) blaming Kyoko for not successfully cutting stalkery or sleazy guys out of her life. ALL THE STALKERY AND SLEAZY GUYS, it's like the mangaka wants to make Ren look nicer by making every other guy who expresses interest creepy. Too much emphasis on man pain, I have some interest in seeing Ren work through his issues but I am primarily here for Kyoko, not him, and I am certainly not here for what's-his-face the ex-yankee actor. NOT ENOUGH KANAE IN RECENT CHAPTERS. Also, the art is patchy.

Urrrgh like it is kind of interesting the way Ren is this deeply screwed up violent Japanese American guy who decided to reinvent himself as a kind, polite, calm, successful Japanese guy, and I realise he needs to work through his stuff but I just don't like adult!Kuon very much, and the more I'm reminded how much of him there is in Ren the less I like Ren, which is unfortunate because recent chapters have been ALL REN ALL THE TIME. And not him being sweet and thoughtful and utterly smitten by Kyoko's awesome as he should be at all times :/

Also, man, how many shoujo/josei LIs are mixed race blondes? There's Ren, Tamaki, Kuranosuke...ok that's all that comes to mind, but that's quite a few given that I'm pretty sure they're a tiny proportion of the Japanese population.

As for the acting...I've done acting and that's not how it works but I just imagine the manga is set in some alternate reality where certain people have IMPROV METHOD ACTING SUPERPOWERS. (I can't stand improv myself, I would hate to act with either of them. But that has been an issue for me with actual acting too, and is one reason I didn't stick with it)

Anyway. I hope we get less Cain/Kuon angst and manly posturing (...but maybe some more pseudo incestuous shippy moments I AM A BAD PERSON I KNOW) and then the Heel siblings arc can finally end. Then maybe we can see more of Kyoko getting to actually act instead of being Ren's babysitter and MAYBE SOME MORE KANAE.

Also I hope Reino falls down a cliff off screen and we never see him again, and Sho is eventually forced to concede that Kyoko is queen of everything and goes off in a corner to cry and his manager moves on because she can do better and also wtf dude he is 17 that's creepy.
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