Thursday, April 26, 2018

Hayate Reflections: Stop Scientifically Analzying Fiction!

So, one problem that I’ve noticed – and not just in Hayate The Combat Butler, but in almost any work of fiction, especially in the broad spectrum of the otaku fandom, is that people have this tendency to apply “realistic” expectations upon works of fiction.  Yup, you heard that right. I said “realistic” and not “unrealistic.”

Allow me to explain:  I’ve found that this is a common phenomenon all across the anime community at large. People have this tendency to apply real world standards in anime/manga – and this almost always ends up in bitter disappointment. So the point is this: stop applying your scientific theories and Occam’s Razor or whatever to works of fiction –you’re just setting yourself up for a fall.

For example, one youtube video I’ve seen recently talks about how Goku and even Krilyn from DBS/DBZ can definitely beat up Saitama from One Punch Man. The content maker did some legitimate research even quoting several mathematical equations in relation to the feats of each character in order to show how Goku is so far above Saitama in terms of power levels. Now based on scientific facts and what we know about how each of their universes operates, the conclusion that Goku and Krilyn can easily defeat Saitama – which would seem to make sense… HOWEVER, this reasoning handwaves the author’s design for each of the characters. There is no need for an author to explicitly state something for any literature major worth his/her title to realize that Saitama CAN defeat Goku with a single punch… assuming that Goku is a part of the One Punch Man universe. There’s no need for deep research or scientific theories to come to this conclusion. All one needs to do is to watch the series and make an inference as to Saitama’s basic design. Saitama is simply a main character who is leagues stronger than anyone he faces and can in fact defeat them with a single punch. In other words, Saitama could punch out the universe if the author wanted him to do it – and it doesn’t matter how. He just can. That is the logic behind One Punch Man.

Of course, this applies all too often in Hayate as well. For example, a lot of people took to counting the King’s Jewels and speculating about what a huge role they would play by the finale. You could even find checklists in certain imageboards charting which King’s Jewel belong to whom. If Hayate were popular enough, there would no doubt be “Kings Jewels Specialists” on Youtube who could easily identify the location of all known King’s Jewels and perhaps even some theories as to the meaning of the symbols inside each one and how they relate to the story – perhaps even some shipping theories fueled by King’s Jewel and Royal Garden lore (most likely in favor of Athena).  So, to the King’s Jewels and Royal Garden plot experts out there – how did that work out for you?

In fact, the main critics of my ship often cite real-world standards, logic, science, and personal experiences as their main argument as to why Hayate x Nagi should not have happened or some outright deniers (yes, they still exist) who still claim, “It’s all platonic.”

Well, it’s all well and good if you’re doing it just for fun, but please don’t delude yourself into thinking that this is a legitimate way to predict the ending of any fictional story. Take note, I said FICTIONAL story.

The problem with made-up fan theories like this is that it totally ignores the author’s intent – and without the author, there is no story in the first place. Of course, no matter how you attempt to question the authority of the author, the reality is that it is the intent of the original creator of the piece that should prevail. Now in the case of Kenjiro Hata, an examination of his public image, such as the time when he actually asked his own fans to point out any plotholes in his story, as well as the “chill” nature of his blog posts would lead one to reasonably surmise that he really doesn’t care that much about the Royal Garden backstory. Of course, this was actually confirmed in his blog post for chapter 566 wherein he blatantly states in his blog that the Royal Garden was actually created at the start of the story just so Hayate (referred to as “the boy” 少年) could make his final choice that Nagi (referred to as “the girl” 少女) would be the one he would actually give up his life for.

Therefore, at the end of the day, while fan theories and fan canon are all nice if they help to add discussion to the fandom, let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that our perceptions and interpretations of the story could ever be superior to that of the original author.

This is Hayate Reflections and I’m lordcloudx. See you next week~

Fanart Corner

Just one new piece today. I actually have several unfinished colored pencil works which I'll call... "anatomy practice." They're a bit risque (but I like em), so I might post them next week. This one was actually a gift painting that I made for my mother. She gave it away to a student of hers as a personalized birthday present.

Acrylic on Canvas

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