- Mar 11, 2020
- Favourite title
- Shenmue II
- Currently playing
- PSO 2, Final Fantasy III (J)
Yeah, that's pretty much the definition of an opinion right there. Another example that might help you see this: Butterbean would beat Muhammad Ali. The question is how well you could support that opinion. If you told me that Megumi is actually Pan from DBGT, then I think you might be right. If you told me that Megumi is just a normal little girl, I'd think you might be mistaken, but I couldn't say absolutely that you're wrong. That's where investigative methods of proving a hypothesis in math and science come in.So if I claimed that Megumi would beat Lan Di in a fight... you would validate that statement as an opinion?
By investment, I don't mean time invested, per se. I'm talking about emotional investment. It's the same sort of investment one might have in a character with minimal character development, such as a macot character of the 80s and 90s. I will say that, in terms of time investment, I feel that if one periodically checks in with Shilin throughout Niaowu, in the same way one might talk with Nozomi regularly, the conversations provide similar characterization, and lend to the characters in similar ways. Possibly even more than their respective story cutscenes.I should preface this by saying I generally enjoy reading your posts but your defence and comparison that Shiling and Nozomi are comparable in terms of pure characterization and impact on story is bizarre to say the least.
So let me be clear no matter how much time player attempts to invest by talking to a Shiling, outside a meagre sidequest, there is no meaningful interaction. Yet with Nozomi there’s hidden cutscenes, a fight sequence, a ton of hidden dialogue that provide little details on Ryo’s life prior to his fathers death. It’s not even a fair comparison!
Better yet there’s a clear story arc of her character and she’s used as a foil to express Ryo’s tunnel vision for revenge and how that has eroded his relationship with his family and friends. Tell me what was Shiling arc? From your initial meeting with her, what progress did her character go through before deciding to join Ryo and gang to go to the Old Castle? I’ll wait for an answer, because the truth is the characterization is paper thin for most characters in Shenmue 3.
Now I’m not saying you have to like Nozomi as a character. You think her as a love interest is melodramatic. The truth is it completely is (didn’t you get inference from sappy love song after Ryo rescues her from harbour?). I mean after all we are talking about romance between two high schoolers. Of course it’s going to be silly, full of missteps, infatuation and unrequited feelings. However her character served a purpose, drove the story and had a clear arc. The same can’t be said for Shiling.
Without more specifics, I don't really agree that Nozomi has a clear arc. Like I mentioned, she starts off worrying about Ryo, and she basically ends worrying about Ryo, the only difference is that she maybe (miraculously) comes to some form of resolution about it on her own. I don't find it very believable that she should just suddenly come to terms with her place in Ryo's life, considering the aforementioned trajectory in her story sequence. So if a character has an arc, but it's not really believable, what would it add to the character? How would it matter that a character has an arc, if said arc doesn't really do anything for her, or her place in the story? Along those lines, how important is having an arc to a character, really? At the current point in the story, Shenhua doesn't really have an arc to speak of, but certainly has much more development, meaningful interaction with Ryo, and even a better rapport, than Nozomi. If Nozomi has an arc, even if it's functionally unimportant, would that be something that makes her a better character than Shenhua, in your mind? I'm genuinely asking your thoughts.
For me, it's not about the romance being 'messy,' or characterized by their youth, it's about how truly superfluous it is. It's abundantly clear to me that Ryo is not romantically interested in Nozomi, potentially even under the best of circumstances. Aside from possibly filling her with false hope by asking her not to leave for Canada without saying something, and dashing out to the harbor after she was kidnapped, it's presented as completely one-sided. There's no indication that her feelings have any real meaning to Ryo, until retroactively with a phone call in Shenmue III that likely wouldn't have been there if the game hadn't been kickstarted by fans. So it has an appearance of an even more selfish and vapid story thread. Do you not see that as problematic for two people who have supposedly been somewhat close for approximately six years? Then there's the point where, considering who Ryo is, would it have been uncharacteristic for him to respond the same way if it had been almost any other character who was kidnapped? Mai? Hisaka-nee? Chen? Tom? Mayumi? Fukuhara? Ine? Miki? Hell, Bob? Sure, some of those would be more head-scratchers than others, but my point is that Nozomi isn't that significant to Ryo's response. The bike ride might not have the same level of romance associated with it, but that's another issue I have: That scene is incongruous with the general resolution of their relationship in just remaining friends. I'm not saying Nozomi doesn't get placed into the narrative at various points, I'm saying it's tacked on, and not meaningful to the narrative. At the very least, it doesn't add significantly to what is already established by other characters around him.
I hate to beat a dead horse about this, but again, what do you actually learn about Nozomi? What do you know about her character--particularly from a minimal interaction standpoint, where you just see her in the main story? I don't see how a character could be "fleshed out" if you really don't know anything about her outside of a couple vague details, and a clue or two about how she responds to romantic situations.
I did basically expect this kind of response, though. I think people are more likely to enjoy Nozomi, than be critical of her. The really subjective part is her importance, though, and I feel she's almost completely unimportant. You may say that her relationship with Ryo establishes a part of his character as it relates to female characters he encounters throughout the series, but either way Nozomi is ultimately a footnote. I feel this is relatively common for the characters in the first game. Collectively, they contribute to the narrative well, but individually, they don't establish a great deal of their personalities, other than superficially. I think it's similar in Shenmue 3 (potentially overall worse), but with fewer 'influential' characters (without considering Shenhua or Ren).
The thing is, 20 years is a lot of time to build up the importance of a character to one's self, even if not particularly warranted by the material. I'll leave it at that, but if you wanted to continue the discussion in private messages, I'd be happy to oblige.
Yeah, it was not my intention to derail the thread. I feel I've acquitted myself fairly well at this point. Whether or not you want to hear any of it is another matter. I'm not sure where my arguments were "shot down" other than primarily with unconvincing platitudes of, 'Nozomi is clearly better written,' which does nothing to support the statement, no matter how commonly held a belief it is. I apologize if I've caused you some distress in being challenged on your beliefs about this.Broom Girl is not even anywhere near as well-written a character as Nozomi. Every argument in favor of Broom Girl has been shot down. Why are we even having this discussion, derailing an entire thread like this? This is weird.