Kyon: Big Damn Hero:
edited 22nd Dec '12 2:48:13 PM by Filraen
Re. Memento Mori I just read the story and I would like to comment a few things, but after taking notice of the timestamps of the posts in previous page of the thread I realized that maybe I took too much time before doing it. Anyone still interested?
Random thought. If Kyon kisses Sasaki, would Kyouko feel it just like it happened to Koizumi in TL-1? I'm not very sure whether Kyon knows about it or not, so I'm predicting a hilarious yet very awkward moment for everyone involved if the above ends happening.
edited 23rd Dec '12 8:00:42 AM by MarqFJA
Are you sure about reading this? Fine, go ahead.
Setting aside for the moment whether you agree with Kyon's decision, I would like to point out something about Nagato. Kyon once berated himself for taking her for granted (which is something I wholeheartedly seconded), but until now I never noticed how reliant she could be on the peculiarities of their relationship. It's like a Deconstruction of the Power of Trust. Just like Kyon thought he could "shut down his brain" as long as Nagato is there to handle things, I got the impression she thinks she can avoid making hard decisions as long as Kyon is there to make them for her. In the particular case of MM, if I were in her shoes I would have healed Kyon without telling him a word about it even if, or rather because it goes against his moral compass. As the story points it out, Kyon never really took advantage of his friends' powers and it was obvious (IMHO, at least) that he would act as he did in this story*. By the time Nagato presented a solution to Kyon, it was too late for him to change his mind. About Kyon's decision, I'm in two minds about that (actually "X minds", with X > 4, but that would mean a very long post*). On one hand, he's right. Making such a concession today could mean Jumping Off the Slippery Slope tomorrow and if he really wants to live as a normal person, he should be prepared to die like one. Getting the genie is out of the bottle, especially when he are talking about Reality Warping, involves such everlasting consequences that one life is simply not worth the risk. Probably the whole reason why Kyon found himself in such influential position in the first place is because he's the kind of person who would walk down that path if it comes down to it. On the other hand, he's making everybody else pay the price for his decisions. As cliché as it may sound, his life doesn't belong just to him. Depending on your personal take on this, Kyon refusing to "cheat" with his own life on the line may very well be considered some sort of fate-assisted suicide. After all, what's so wrong about that? Each functional entity must likely have some kind of relative advantage above the rest. It's just natural. Some are stronger, some are smarter or more resilient or prolific or work well in a collective or perhaps they just find themselves in the right place at the right time. In a way, the universe is fair in its unfairness and Kyon, by declining to make use of the "unfair" resources at his disposal, is setting himself apart from the rest just like he said he shouldn't. Put it in this way: would be Kyon able to defend his decision from any person who is still fighting against a potentially fatal disease? Or in his words, if that's the hand he was dealt, why he's ignoring the wildcards just there? On the gripping hand, it's just stupid. Kyon has no way to know for sure that his death would not turn things From Bad to Worse. Even a time traveller could be lying for his sake by telling him otherwise. Just think about what would happened if Haruhi does not get knocked up at the end of the story* . IMO, it's pretty clear that Kyon's actions still shaped Haruhi's life in spite of his words. Her choice of career and her lack of love life to speak of (as far as her daughter can tell) hint that much. It's not just Haruhi, for instance Mikuru seems to have blamed herself all her life up to the point she tried to pull off a "Chrono Gambit" to save his life. And all that's the good outcome, You Do NOT Want To Know what went through my head when I start to consider other options. On a meta level, Memento Mori is a lot more predictable than Durandall's other stories. When I wondered why, I stumbled on the idea that perhaps it was that way by design. It was a lot easier, at least for me, to read the whole story in one sitting by knowing what to expect and how the character would deal with it. YMMV, but I think the aggressiveness of Kyon's disease was a blessing in disguise, just think of the possibility of a prognosis similar to Alzheimer's disease, with Kyon slowly forgetting about his friends and family, one memory at a time, until the point he will think of them as strangers. To finish my ramblings, I have to say I think it was an exceptional story, well written, thought-provoking and very respectful of the many delicate topics involved. Although, now I must admit I have the somewhat perverse urge to post about MM in the recommendation page just to see how people would react to it.
And now, Something Completely Different.
edited 23rd Dec '12 5:33:07 PM by Silver
Sans couvrir tes yeux, tout regarder.
edited 24th Dec '12 2:42:55 AM by Sinclair
Re. Memento Mori. I don't think I can say a lot more about the story. I mean, I could propose a few points, but it would overlap with many similar discussions about the trope Reed Richards Is Useless.
- Gungnir? Is that you?◊ (Source◊)
- I think now I get why Puyo, the mangaka responsible for The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya Chan and The Vanishing of Nagato Yuki-chan, drew several illustrations of Sasaki some time ago. Spoiler◊ pics◊ of the latter (ch. 39, vol. 5).
- That hardly seems fair...◊* (Full size)
Random thought. In one of those strange moments where weird ideas just pop up in my head, I ran a quick similarities/differences analysis between kbdh!Achakura and Reinforce Zwei from StrikerS. The first thing I noticed was that Achakura surely would look pretty good in Zwei's barrier jacket◊ (Source◊)... but I digress. The second thing I wondered was if Achakura could act as an Unison Device for Kyon, which in tropey-speak means if it would be possible for them to implement a "Power Booster" type of Fusion Dance. Let's say Kyon has to fight a superior enemy without the help of the rest of the Brigade. If he can't win on his own and
edited 28th Dec '12 9:20:39 PM by Silver
edited 28th Dec '12 10:43:17 PM by Grahf
@Marq FJA: It didn't mean to imply a Mental Fusion, I just thought a regular interface would mean low reaction times. Let's see, on the "input" side of the connection, things looks good. We already know for a fact Kyon can see Achakura's Augmented Reality constructs, so perhaps a further level of Electronic Telepathy/Brain–Computer Interface could work around his Psychic Block Defense. Maybe something designed to enhance his senses would be good, perhaps some sort of mechanically-assisted Kung-Fu Clairvoyance or something akin to Hitman Absolution Instinct Mode mechanics, which could provide him with Improbable Aiming Skills, statistical prediction of enemy movement, relevant real-time information à la Detective Mode from Batman: Arkham City, "basic math"◊, etc. The "output" would be a problem without an equivalent of a Psychic Link. A "cybernetic" approach would be as problematic as Kyon trying to learn how to use a prehensile tail and any typical user interface is downright impractical if he has to move his body at the same time (ex. push a sequence of AR-based buttons while launching and redirecting punches). Now I think about it, I wonder how exactly time travelers control their AR interfaces (potential reverse engineering?)... Anyway, it occurs to me that a possible workaround could be the "System Assist" from Sword Art Online. Probably an explanation is in order though. In this series, most of the plot happens inside of MMORPG-styled Computer Worlds where the characters' fighting prowess is determined by RPG mechanics (level, stats, skills, etc.) and how skilled they are at handling the UI in their advantage. You see, when the player sends the right sequence motor signals to the machine (or the right incantation in the case of magic), the system recognize it as a user command and move his or her Digital Avatar accordingly, even if the player doesn't have the required physical aptness for it in real life. In Kyon and Achakura's case, this would mean that Kyon would relinquish partial control of his body to her in exchange of being able to execute difficult tasks (like precise physical manoeuvres coupled with complex weaponry usage) activated by abbreviated neural commands from him. Another way to speed up things could be by dreaming or inducing Kyon into some sort of trance. As the movie Inception suggests, if the brain doesn't have to administrate the body and sort out its sensory input, it could be theoretically possible to devote such processing power to something else, stretching the subjective time available to do it as a side effect.
Dang, I wish I could blame Christmas holiday drinks for these ideas .
edited 29th Dec '12 9:10:40 AM by Specular
edited 30th Dec '12 8:54:37 PM by MadKitsu
edited 30th Dec '12 9:25:18 PM by Eamil