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Brief Almost Non-Discussion

 Fai- as in Yuui, I mean.

Who is he?

Kurogane I've always found... I don't want to say easy to relate to, but I honestly think he'd take it as a compliment.  You know, what you see is what you get and all that.

Yuui though- what is it that Kurogane loves about him?  Hates about him?  What makes Yuui unable to live without people and what would make it possible for him to be alone, if anything?

We just finished Mice and Men in school, so I am in a serious mood for some character analysis.  So yeah.  Random tangent on the most misunderstood character in Tsubasa seemed like a good idea.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 5th, 2009 04:58 am (UTC)
Hah, weirdly enough, I've always found Fai easier to relate to, like I could get into his head easier (as a result, every fic I wrote revolved around him) Then I realised this, decided to 'work' on getting into Kuro-tan's head, and now he's the one I can relate to the most, and it's Fai I have to work with, a bit.

I think what Kurogane hates (hated, it's hardly an issue anymore) most about Fai is him giving up (as an exceptional drabble I read mentions, the waste) and the lies. Not necessarily fibbing or the hiding of his name or his past (Kurogane's taken on another name, and even if he doesn't run from it neither does he talk about his past left and right; he also stated quite clearly that he doesn't care about Fai's past in particular), but the fact that he's not true to himself (and others, but mostly himself, I think), wrecking himself in the process. And heh, since all of these issues seem to be out of the way now, it seems there's nothing Kurogane hates about Fai anymore (except, you know, the superficial annoyance about the ribbing and the teasing, but I think he actually sort of enjoys it - it could be fun, if Fai tones it down a bit, plays it well, and it's also a sort of sign of the mending of their connection (not to say relationship, cause that word might be misunderstood ^^))

I can't really put my finger on what Kurogane likes about him, exactly (I've been trying to get into Kurogane's head so well that the things he might gloss over in his mind are glossed over in mine *fails*), but I think it has everything to do with the incredible potential that Fai has, which shines through.

No matter what angst-fics might have lead us to believe, Fai's an exceptionally strong person - he must be, otherwise he would never have overcome the losses and betrayals he's gone through (the first betrayal in Valeria, at an incredibly young age; you could say the first loss was also in Valeria, when he lost his parents (one of them even going mad); and he was still very young when R!Fai died) and be able to function at all, considering the incredible guilt he's had to live with (as far as he's always known, just being alive has lead to the deaths of ALL his people in Valeria, incidentally the madness and death of his parents (should I mention the wonderful sight of his maddened uncle killing himself in front of him?), and what does Fai (Yuui) do in the valley at first, before his uncle kills himself? Does he sit in a corner and weep? Nope, or at least not only that, he tries to get out of there, he's determined, he wants to go to Another Place and take his brother with him, so he must know at some level that what's been done to them is wrong (and yet, YET, when he thinks that something's wrong in Valeria he STILL WANTS TO GO GET HELP FOR THE COUNTRY), and he's rational and reliable enough to want to save and take care of his brother; he's a most-likely-8-year-old piling around dead bodies (that DON'T rot, this has to be remembered) to climb over a wall - that could be seen as a sign of madness/something negative, but considering the way he 'treats' the bodies (I can't actually explain it, but it's a feeling I get when he kneels next to the dead mother and his infant; there's also a different feeling I get when he kneels next to the dying soldier. Furthermore, it's like at first, before he realises that something is wrong with his country, all bodies are the same to him, and in a way deserve to be there, like props, to be uncouth (it was the valley of sinners and convicted criminals; they'd been sentenced to die for the incredibly awful crimes they'd committed; what the hell); but once he sees the mother the bodies take on a whole new meaning. Or maybe not. Maybe I'm seeing to much in things ^^;;) If he does 'break' and stops trying to get out of there, it's after 'proof' of his (their, actually, they're still BOTH to blame right now) guilt for everything that's happened is rammed home through the death of his uncle, the last person in Valeria (the letter the soldier carries only suprs him on to climb the wall, even if it accuses them again; it's the death that gets him the most).
May. 6th, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
Why Kurogane likes/loves Fai: I actually remember tackling this question in that short thingy I wrote 'Like and Hate.' But anyway, I always assumed that it was because despite the fact that in a way they are nothing alike, they also have allot in common. Fai will not stand for injustice done to the innocent and he is essentially good without being ignorant or innocent and without truly believing in definite good and evil (by the end, anyway). Fai also would do anything to insure that no one he loves will ever die again, and of course there are just really so many similarities when you look at their pasts. I don't want to say Kurogane sees himself in Fai, because I don't think that's it, but he does see someone who he understands and who understands him- not specifically what he's gone through, even though he kind of does, but how he sees the world now because of that.
Also, it's that all famous CLAMP 'someone to protect' thing.
Like- when Kurogane said 'let him rest' I think it was, after R!Fai had 'shattered,' I mean, we all know it was a direct reference to what Tomoyo had done for him after his mother had died. And I mean, by the end, Kurogane kind of sees that this entire thing was a lengthy, silent version of the scream and the concentration of insanity and grief Kurogane had experienced when he lost his parents.
Ugh. I'm interpreting Kurogane again. It's because he's almost easy. I always end up on him when I try to concentrate on Fai.
May. 6th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
Yup, there's that too, of course. On so many levels they have the same unthought-of but built in principles, like the will to protect their loved ones and being the 'good guys'... more or less.

this entire thing was a lengthy, silent version of the scream and the concentration of insanity and grief Kurogane had experienced when he lost his parents. - I never actually thought about it as clearly as that but yes, you're perfectly right. Also, that scene got me in so many ways you would not believe.
May. 7th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)
God, I know. With Kurogane and Fai, I always end up either cracking up or as a puddle on the floor broken down by my own excessive tears.
May. 7th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
*pat pat* There there, we suffer alongside you ^^
May. 5th, 2009 04:58 am (UTC)
And he really breaks once his brother dies, and just imagine what thinking that HE CALLED OUT FAI'S NAME TO BE KILLED would have done to his poor, already guilt-ridden psyche)

After that comes the second betrayal, in Celes, (about which he's ANGRY as well as hurt) and the second bout of guilt when he's told that Ashura's madness came about because of him (madness that lead to killings by the hand of the king; who wouldn't make the connections?)

And after all these things, after everything, he's still able to paste on a smile, which, considering everything, is commendable. Another person would stop functioning at all, but Fai keeps going the only way he knows how to, following the only thing he knows - smiling heals the hurt, it's the only thing he can do to help them instead of using magic to help, because he can't heal. And Ashura kept smiling at everything and everyone while Fai was growing up, so there you go, role-model! (I also think that the smiling facade isn't only a facade; he really does feel some part of the cheer when he plays that note, because when he smiles without having the energy/desire to do it you can see it break. He's just very good at compartmentalising his life and feelings, covering the bad memories and guilt with thoughts about something else and constant, energy-consuming cheer; it's a strategy, it's the way he copes, and he doesn't even have to think about it anymore. Furthermore, we have to remember that, again, contrary to what the fics have lead us to believe, he wasn't ALL smiles even before Tokyo, there were several situations in which he was alert or pondering or clearly putting up a stone wall in his talks to Kurogane, or even feeling sorry (for himself or others); all the emotions are there)

SO. THE POINT WAS that Fai went through all that and IS STILL SANE, so he must be a very strong, determined individual. These are things to admire, these are things that shine through. This is something that, I think, Kurogane likes. There would also be the goodness and kindness in him (though Kurogane would never admit to that in a million years). And Fai has a very strong personality, something you naturally tend to gravitate towards. He's also (or was also) something of a puzzle, which definitely sparked Kurogane's interest. Overall, I think the things Kurogane likes about him accumulated so very slowly and subtly that he wouldn't know what he likes about Fai, if asked; he just does, somehow, at some level.

Fai can't live without people because he's never had them near; he craves human contact and acceptance because he's never had them. He clings to the people he grows close to (Ashura and the group) because he's never had anyone else to love and hold close to his heart - it's a basic human need, to love (yes, even this, especially this, it's very important) and be loved, to connect. He's been alone for a very long time, whether because he's been imprisoned by others or because at some level he's always kept himself aloof, either because he was afraid his very closeness might do people harm (and if he learned and accepted this at a young age then the aloofness is automatic, he doesn't even have to think about doing it, or why he does it) or because he doesn't know HOW to get close. Probably both.

At the place he's at right now, he has very few chances of being alone, except if everybody dies and he has a rebound, somehow (though I'd like to think that he's learned his lesson, and in honour of everyone else he'll go on living and connect to people, however bittersweet and tentative it might be). Before, he could have ended up alone by self-imposing it; he would get to the point where he thinks that all human contact is bad for people because of him, and he doesn't deserve it either, and quite frankly he's also tired of getting hurt hurt HURT when people he's close to end up badly just because he was there, so it's better for them, and in a way for him, if he's alone. Safer too. And even if it hurts, he knows it would hurt less than losing someone else again. (Again, I really like to think that he wouldn't think like this anymore)
May. 6th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
Can't live without people reasons- I TOTALLY agree. Though to a point- I believe he has been healed to a point that he can actually love again (not that it's in his control, clearly, otherwise I believe he would have been indifferent towards them all) but if they were to all die and leave him behind, this would be, in a sense, something of a final straw. He would live, but I believe that he would see them as his last chance. Perhaps he would care about others again, but he would never be anything close to the same and he probably wouldn't be all there. Fai is really one of the strongest fictional characters I've ever read about, but no one's that strong and CLAMP knows that.
The smile, however, I view more as a defense mechanism then a strength. You're right, he smiled for real almost without seeming to realize it many times, though allot of the time his grin seemed either like one of those painted faces on creepy dolls or like some kind of animal backing up and barring it's teeth. Fai is, you're right, an incredibly strong person. Like, I thought once of...
random present time!
"There are times when I think that really, on some level, some twisted being up there who controls fate or hitsuzen or whatever it's called has an alterior motive to destroy me from the inside.
Almost in the same moment I realized something.
I have lived through the death of two worlds and two most loved ones. I have seen my mother end her own life because of my brother and I and my father waste away from illness. I have seen my uncle go mad and I have seen thousands die, have sat by a pregnant woman whose baby died after her heart stopped beating. I have piled the bodies of children, women and men alike to climb out of a pit meant for dead sinners, I have lived for decades without a bite to eat or a drop of water to drink. My human contact was to scream my brother's name and listen for any murmur or whisper that could be my name back.
Yuui. That's my name, isn't it?
I have lived believing I had killed my brother.
I have stabbed a child I swore to protect because of a curse, and I have attacked a man I love because of a promise. And because of yet another curse laid upon my back, I have tried to use everything I can to at the very least save the last people I love in any world who aren't dead.
I have imprisoned a man who adopted me and betrayed me; I've sealed him in a vat of water and traveled worlds and worlds, I have lied and I have let my mask crumble.
So if god or hitsuzen or whatever the hell's up there wants to try to destroy me, they can go ahead and try.
I will never allow anyone else to be destroyed, myself included."
May. 6th, 2009 04:31 am (UTC)
Definitely, smiling is a defense mechanism, that's what I meant. The sort-of strength in there would come from the fact that he can actually be bothered to apply it. Also, after years and years of smiling it must come easy drag one up, but in the beginning it must have been difficult and strange (what the hell, he didn't even do it at ALL). You could say that he had no practice at it al all, and it's not all that easy to smile when you're down; and he was REALLY down.

Also, whoa. The... the random present time pretty much made me want to start weeping for Fai all over again. Or for the first time, actually. Cheers for the determination at the end, of course *roots for Fai*
May. 7th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
*sigh* it would be so very baddass if Fai did say something like that. Though he probably won't. I mean, he's Fai. That was something Kurogane would have wanted him to say, but sadly, it will probably never happen. Though I have no doubt he can feel exactly that determination. He just won't voice it.
May. 7th, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
Well, it can show in his eyes, it can, I say! *roots for Fai again* And Kurogane's a good people-reader, so he might be satisfied with even that ^^
May. 5th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC)
And oh sweet Jesus, this has been a long series of comments. Would probably have been better to mail you, but this was all spur of the moment, I had no idea it would get this long, and I also really have to skip off to work now. (I also hope it makes sense at least a little, considering my penchant to use brackets by the billion ^^;;)

So, um, bye~ *huggles*
May. 5th, 2009 06:20 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, since thinking about Fai made me go on a random small-fst-making tangent, listen to Kamelot's "The Black Halo" (the song, not the album) and tell me if you think it goes well with Fai during his return to Celes, when he stands up and fights against Ashura (the betrayer the song mentions being FWR rather than Ashura), especially the first stanza, but the others could be made to fit too.


I've also realised, after too many years of writing in English to count, that's I've been spelling the past participle of "to lead" wrong *hits herself over the head* And it's not like I didn't know that spelling it that way (along with the pronunciation) makes it refer to the metal - I just had this vague feeling that "lead" as opposed to "led" was the British spelling... riiiiiight... *hits herself over the head again*

*is done spamming your inbox*
May. 6th, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Huh. Spelling mistakes realized years too late do suck sometimes. I personally have an issue with the 'then/than' use. Every. Single. Time.
It's like I'm too old to learn obvious things. Which is weird.

Hm. It does fit as long as I ignore the comment about FWR- I don't think 'traitor' when I think of him because there was no real trust. There was necessity, and it turned out to be false- almost like being picked up by a hitch hiker and ending by with him trying to fool around with you. He's not a traitor, he's a creep and you didn't realize he was a creep. Ashura however I can clearly see as a traitor- there was real trust and it ended up with him just using Y!Fai.
May. 6th, 2009 04:51 am (UTC)
I am thoroughly ashamed XD

I thought of Ashura the first time I heard that section of the song and related it to TRC, but since it's part of a concept album that follows the story of 'Faust', (whoops, forgot to mention that) and the song has Faustus accuse the devil of not 'taking him higher', that being the betrayal, I veered more towards FWR; since Ashura betrays feelings, a connection, and FWR betrays a deal (well. not like he'd actually promised to bring R!Fai back to life; if I remember things well, he just mentioned, in an offhand way, that he could be brought back to life... yeah...)

Anyway, what gets me about the song, every single time, is in fact the first verse - "Come wind, come snow, come winterland", it just paints a very strong image for me, and I grinned manically when I made the connection with Fai.
May. 7th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Lol, well, it's always fun to find songs like that. Traveling into a completely different genre of music, the Barenaked Ladies song One Week has a chorus like this:

How can I help it if I think you're funny when you're mad?
Tryin' hard not to smile though I feel bad
I'm the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral
Can't understand what I mean?
Well, you soon will.

I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve.

I have a habit of takin' off my shirt...

Lol. That song makes me laugh. Hehe, we should compile a small list of songs that remind us of Tsubasa just to prove yet again how obsessed we all are. *evil grin*
May. 7th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
Mwahahah, I know (and laugh my ass off at) that song, and that section's perfect!

And I'll have you know I have a quite respectful list of songs that remind me of Tsubasa - I just never started to write them down till now XD. For eg, my current oh-my-god-it-works! obsession for Kurogane is "Fragile" by Sting - to me, the song manages to express everything he's learned/had to learn/witnessed/been through (for example, the verse "how fragile we are" would also express what the group has been through), even if the mellowness of it is not something that people might associate with him (though I do; it's the "calm after learning the meaning of true strength" sort of thing; the calm in his mind at some level that has to do with knowing his purpose etc etc.) Aaaaand I've started to babble again ^^;;

A-and as for Fai vs R!Fai, there is a PERFECT song for that, with just the right melody and just the right tone and amount of metaphors (well, to me) but I can't share it so easily cause it's in my language *sigh* I could provide a link and translation, though XD
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