Some analysis of certain aspects in BlazBlue.
- 1 Tragically desperate or just plain selfishness? An analysis of Litchi Faye-Ling.
- 2 Ragna's Beliefs
- 3 Boundary Corruption Counter 101
Tragically desperate or just plain selfishness? An analysis of Litchi Faye-Ling.
Before reading, I would recommend you in finishing the True Story. This will contain a lot of spoilers.
What Litchi did in Continuum Shift was exceptionally shocking. The only genuinely good character who in Calamity Trigger can be described as 'The least person that Ragna needs to worry about' (since she had no interest on his head)... suddenly joined the Obviously Evil NOL in order to pursue her original goal to save Arakune. She may not be very evil, but it is a known fact that her Fatal Flaw is her selfishness. People thought she stood for pure kindness and goodness, but by joining NOL, it may seem that she has abandoned all those. Let's find out why.
Point 1: Myth about Relius capturing Arakune for bargaining chip
There were at first rumors when the BBCS spoilers came that her joining NOL was because Relius Clover captured Arakune, making them think that he did it so Litchi will have no choice but to join, putting her in similar situations as other characters that had their beloved life directly in danger after being captured by a bad guy. Such as Sophitia Alexandra, Leon Magnus and perhaps Eddy Gordo. Common scenario, yes. However, as the actual game came out, it turns out that Relius wasn't even thinking of Litchi at all. He just caught Arakune for no apparent reason, or at least a reason he didn't disclose to the audience. In short, Litchi joined NOL on her own will, without any push, or any Mind Screw courtesy of Hazama (who did that to Tsubaki). This created quite the uproar that Litchi willingly betrayed the trust that the people of Orient Town, Kaka Clan (Taokaka included), Carl and Bang; all who cared for her greatly, then she abandoned them all for her selfish reasons, there were also speculations that all her kindness was just a lie to make her get through the common people more easily. This was enough to create a Broken Base on her.
- Its not exactly true that she joins the NOL just because she could. Relius Clover downright tells Litchi that he can save Arakune, and since it was Terumi who orchestrated Lotte Carmine's deterioration, this is believed as plausible. The price for that is working for the NOL, and staining her hands with evil. Plus adding that Relius captures Arakune provides that he does plan on experimenting on him. Now its unlikely he'll actually do anything, but their current positions allow Litchi to use the NOL's technology to find a way to cure him.
- Except it was Hazama who said that, Relius' only meeting with Litchi was during his attack on Carl and all he mentioned was the connection between her and Kokonoe. Therefore, whatever Relius planned on Arakune, it wasn't on the purpose of coaxing Litchi, and people were pissed that they were blaming the wrong person, even if Relius is an over-the-top sinister Complete Monster. Besides, Litchi had no idea that Terumi was behind the deterioration and there's no telling what she will do if she finds out, she could either end their contract and steal some technology, or just be submissive and work accordingly. Nor did she know about Arakune has been captured. Therefore, the villains did not push her and made it look like she joined because she could, and it was advantageous.
Point 2: How desperate is she
It turns out that Arakune alone wasn't her reason of her desperation. The only people she knew could help; Kokonoe and Tager; refused to help, mostly because Kokonoe was too set on killing Terumi. Worse, Kokonoe even pitted her against Tager just to prove a point. She's probably left alone, and as the alternate ending stated, killing Arakune or not, she pretty much only had 2 to 6 months to live, not a very long time. In between that she only had a short time to live, and Arakune's lifespan is pretty much shorter than hers, nobody she knew wanted to help her, Litchi became extremely desperate that on the sanest line of thinking, her only option is to join NOL and get treated there, prolonging her time to find a cure for Arakune, which may be in NOL as well. So, in that case, regardless if she wanted to save Arakune or not, her body has reached the point that it might not be able to sustain herself. If she decided to be too overly high in morality and didn't wish to dirty her hand by NOL, her only choice was to just lie down doing nothing significant for 2 to 6 months, as her memories start to fade, and she withers and dies. Or the worst case; she becomes the next Arakune and the first victims would be the people of Orient Town. Perhaps Litchi didn't realize it, but at any rate, she would choose to stain her hands for awhile rather than killing the people of Orient Town mindlessly.
- Of course she is desperate, but I highly doubt she'd jump off a bridge if she were told it would help Arakune. The alternate ending takes place months after Litchi would have killed Arakune. Even so, her time to work is limited, and even if her body holds out, she too will begin losing memories.
- The things obsessed people would do to be with their lover does have an article, though. Most people accepted that she is obsessed, for obsessed people, even that 'jump off bridge' or even 'burn a city or two' would become a viable option. So perhaps, the only way to be sure she won't jump off a bridge even if it would help Arakune is to show that she is not obsessed... while facts do say she is obsessed.
Point 3: Abandonment?
So why didn't she tell the townspeople about joining NOL? There were a lot of theories, but haters would chalk it up as 'They were insignificant to her, so she doesn't care or bother to tell.' It might not be true, but another way to look at it is that Litchi isn't as mentally strong as you all thought. She knew her decision would hurt the people of Orient Town, and especially Carl and Bang, who had their grudges against NOL (Carl since his hated father is in there, and Bang because of what they did to Ikaruga), yet she didn't have the strength to tell them, fearing disappointment and their attempt to stop her at all cost, which would mean she will have to fight them, and she's not going to like it. There will be a big burden placed on the people if she told them, so she chose to spare them from that.
- Who cares about minor characters anyway, and the people of Orient, the normals if you will, think that the NOL, despite its rough way of work, is actually keeping the world in order. They don't know what the organizations true motives are.
- From the player point of view, the people of Orient Town ARE insignificant, yes. However, Litchi has considered them dear to her life and they were pretty important people. How important they are IS in question, and should Litchi consider them okay to be killed if it means saving Arakune, the reason why she's in Orient Town in the first place, that would be her crowning moment of obsession, or if you're feeling cynical... Moral Event Horizon.
Point 4: Warnings
Another debate that the haters used against her was that Arakune himself has warned her GREATLY, while he's being himself that Litchi should just forget about him and end his existence. However, it will result her being bedridden, and her sickness is not cured, although Kokonoe is there to help her... but if she didn't kill him, she probably wouldn't be bedridden, therefore not averting Kokonoe's attention from Terumi. On a positive look, however, it could be interpreted that she knows a way and tries telling Arakune to stop being pessimistic and giving up.
- Arakune only warns Litchi in their alternate CS endings, where he finally recalls Litchi.
Point 5: Hostility
The one chink that could draw questions on whether Litchi's true face is someone who cared only for herself or not was shown during Rachel's story, when they fight each other. Rachel did insult Litchi's efforts to save Arakune, causing her to show no kindness at all, only hostility, her eyes are really open wide in anger, while she ranted on how desperate she was. Also take note that the one who struck the first blow was Litchi and this was before Rachel started insulting. If you remember her Arcade Mode in Calamity Trigger, Litchi mistook Rachel as a 'lost child who couldn't find her mommy' and is treating her kindly until she showed some suspicious actions, but that trait seemed gone in Continuum Shift. This could be attributed that what happens in the Arcade Mode didn't get carried over in Calamity Trigger's True End. Other factors may include that Hazama told her to hold off his worst enemy if she wants any progress in getting the cure. She certainly was in a bad mood since she knew what she's doing is wrong and she had to endure, then Rachel nonchalantly pressed her Berserk Button. Who was on the wrong side on this case? Was it Litchi who attacked our protagonist Rachel, who is actually right? Or was it Rachel who didn't take account to Litchi's lower status and acted high and mighty like usual, making it look like the rich trampling on the poor? You'll never know.
Point 6: Would she?
There are easy conclusions that with her suddenly joining NOL on a whim like that, or the encounter with Rachel above, makes her think that everything other than Arakune is insignificant, thus should NOL orders her to burn Orient Town, or kill those she cared about if she wanted information to the cure, she will accept gleefully. Most of her defenders think this is not true, and I will agree... Her kindness as shown to Carl was one of the more genuine things she could show, and what cements her that joining an evil organization doesn't make her heart evil. Thus, if she ever was ordered to do such thing, she will have a lot of hesitations. However, if ordered to attack Kokonoe and Tager, Litchi might have less hesitation. They may be friends, but they, especially Kokonoe, has hurt her feelings and pushed her to join NOL, so there will be a chance that she is angry at them for ignoring her like that. Kokonoe, on the other hand, may probably try to kill her for siding with Terumi. She's become desperate to kill Terumi, and learning that her student hanging around with Terumi may make her lose it, feeling a great betrayal, and responds with disowning her and attempts to kill her. Who knows? It might happen...
- Its implied that the erosion that Arakune went through is similar to Litchi's. Her emotions are erratic at this point and rationality can easily be thrown out the window. Her objective is to save Arakune, anything that gets in her way is met with some hostility, but being someone with patience, it will take a while to press Litchi's patience before she attacks,unless of course you press the Berserk Button.
Point 7: Beyond the Story
However, it is also known that all of Litchi's fighting abilities come by drawing the spirits of the dead from the Boundary. It means that her control over Mantenbou and perhaps her chi manipulation were all thanks to the very same source that is corrupting her inside out. Many would believe that if Bang used the Houyoku Rettenjou on her, it will deprive her of her fighting skills. On the story standpoint, it seems like a good choice that Litchi finally stopped fighting... but on gameplay standpoint, it means we will lose Litchi as a playable character. Perhaps NOL would give her another mean to fight with telekinesis utilizing Mantenbou and chi manipulation without further corrupting her, and so once she was cut off from the Boundary and would leave NOL, she will still be able to be a playable character without heavy changes on her play style. So in short, her joining NOL would be some sort of Fridge Brilliance, it may look shocking, but when you look more into it, you will realize that it would be beneficial if we want to keep Litchi forever in the BlazBlue playable roster.
Point 8: Alignment
Now that we've broken down most of her aspects, there were two alignments that would fit her best:
- Neutral Good: She is overall unaligned to everyone and only joins NOL because something interests her, unlike Tsubaki who was indoctrinated to serve from the start. Her goal is always about the health of Arakune and by default, it shows selflessness, which is Good. Two of the characters mentioned in Point 1 (Sophitia and Eddy) were pegged as Good despite working with evil, so if it can work for them, it can work with Litchi as well. Besides, Word of God also consider her Good.
- True Neutral: While it is unknown to judge by now, with how Litchi acted, it may not come of no surprise that her alignment is 'wherever Arakune is' and thus Litchi is lacking a sense of justice to prevent herself to join evil. And if she really was obsessed, or as it's shown right now... then if told to, she may burn a town or two if that's what it takes. People will praise that as 'romantic and devoted for her lover', however it will drive her away from the status of 'Good'.
Point 9: What will she do?
Now that she has joined NOL, what do you think she will do? If all Hazama wanted was just the Seithr research data, she can easily put them in computer and she's available for many things to prove her will to save Arakune. She can be a cannon fodder for the heroes to handle, and they might not show mercy, and perhaps Litchi would return the favor as well:
- Ragna might have known her during his CT story and understand his plight. However, he's easily riled up and would consider Litchi joining NOL to be a hypocritical act. Taokaka might be disappointed that Boobie Lady chose Black Squiggly, her Arch Enemy, and feel betrayed. Litchi would feel bad on Tao, but on Ragna, in account that he's a dangerous criminal who killed many innocent Punch Clock Villain of NOL, she may not show any mercy.
- Jin was one of the people blocked by her and Tsubaki. Knowing Jin, he will be mightily pissed off. However, there is Jubei who was fond of her by Jin's side, and Jubei was far wiser to think that she's gone insane. However, Litchi has ignored Jubei's warnings so many times that Jubei may think she's a lost cause. While Litchi would view Jin as a traitor of NOL who is perfectly okay to be destroyed, and if she gets near Tsubaki, she will want to bring Jin back to Tsubaki.
- Contrary to what people think, Noel might not know Litchi at all, the CT Gag Reel is probably counted as non-canon. And when Noel gave Carl to her, it was probably because she's 'looking for the nearest doctor'. Like Jin, Litchi would see Noel being a traitor, as well as if she spoke to Tsubaki, side with Tsubaki to eliminate Noel for her sake.
- Rachel has insulted Litchi's goal and pressed her Berserk Button, thus it was easy enough to see why Litchi wouldn't believe Rachel one bit or not doubt in beating her. On the other side, Rachel would've seen Litchi as a lost cause as she ignored her warning. Therefore, Rachel would keep up the hostility rather than stopping people to kill her.
- Hakumen is in the same boat as Jin, with the bonus that Hakumen is much more extreme in his way, and would go out of his way to kill the one who dared block him. If Litchi remembered events of the past, she would recognize him as one who killed Arakune (as in his CT bad ending) and would be completely hostile to Hakumen. The feelings this time is mutual.
- Kokonoe refused to help her in the most crucial timing, and Litchi dared side with Kokonoe's worst enemy Terumi. If they get pissy at each other, the feeling this time is mutual.
There are points that could make her have a Heel Realization, such as Carl or Bang reminding her that she has other people to live with, and especially Bang who has the Phoenix Rettenjou, THE alternative for NOL's cure for Boundary problems. However, while Litchi would view them positively and feel bad on attacking them rather than those mentioned above, they might not return the favor. Carl could be pissed that she dared side with his father and Bang would have to choose between justice or her, the two things he liked. And judging on how he learnt about who the true enemy is and how he was able to choose duty over love (CT Ending), perhaps him attacking Litchi wouldn't be too out-of-place.
Aside of that, she could stay in the backgrounds and just bother with her research. However, this being a fighting game, this will be less than likely as it will put her on the bus.
In conclusion, perhaps her act was quite selfish, but there were some tragic backgrounds behind her actions, also her act would be beneficial for her future as a BlazBlue playable character, so if you're feeling positive, then 'tragically desperate' would fit her best. Do we still have to bash Litchi as a filthy traitor who sold her good heart for her own desire? Personally, I don't think it's necessary, but if you still dislike her, well, I cannot stop you. She may look petty on the outside, but deep down, I think that she does deserve some pity. While she never asked for help, most of her supporters consider her like a mentally Damsel in Distress, as her only choices were either stay, wither and die; or stain her hands for a better future. Perhaps you may still hate her for siding with the antagonist after being a thoroughly good guy beforehand, but Litchi has deeper motives than just a traitor with big boobs.
I'm just human, so I may make errors. If you do find an error, rebute this analysis!
Ragna, the feared Grim Reaper, has contradictory views on the afterlife. He fears ghosts, implying he at least believes there is life after death. But at the same time he denounces the existence of Hell.
- It's called 'Shinto'.
Boundary Corruption Counter 101
So with EXTEND, we found another one who can survive passing through the Boundary: Makoto. With that, we can deduce on how the Boundary corrupts, how fast, and what either completely destroys or slows down the corruption. In Makoto's case, we knew she was completely focused on The Power of Friendship, her bonds with Noel and Tsubaki. And that allowed her to survive intact. Thus, we can conclude that the power of bonds are very important. Next up, Hakumen also survived. Considering he's Jin, it's very probable that he survived 'due to sheer will' AND the bonds between him and Tsubaki AND Ragna (yes, Hakumen is less obsessed, but doesn't mean he no longer respects his brother). And possibly, the rest of Six Heroes except Terumi (he still had high opinion on Jubei at least). Then there's Litchi, whose corruption seemingly slowed down. She focused on saving Arakune with The Power of Love, but at one point, she was distracted by giving care on the people on Orient Town. The focus on saving Arakune was her biggest stalling method for the corruption, but when she slowly forgot her purpose and thought she's better off killing him in CT, the corruption acted up and started picking up the pace. However, at her true end, she probably realized that if she lost focus on Arakune, that's the moment the Boundary will catch up to her. Even then, the bonds she shared with the likes of Carl, Taokaka and Bang were also strong enough, that she still tried to remember them despite signing up with NOL, therefore she probably has more chance to survive the corruption.
And then... Lotte Carmine? How did he fail alone while the rest 'succeeded'? Simple. If you recall his sane self, we already know he's an utterly antisocial, glory-seeking scientist. He believed in making the glory for himself only and completely refused to form a bond with Litchi, even if it's just friendship, he considers her utter annoyance. His quest of glory got mirred with how Kokonoe treated her, hitting on his inferiority complex. Thus, when he tapped into the Boundary, he has no focus (his quest for glory became doubtful and unfocused due to his inferiority complex) nor bonds (Loners Are Freaks) to keep his mind occupied, therefore easily corrupted into Arakune. It was only later after he turned into Arakune that he remembered Litchi, which formed a very small bond for him (no matter how late it is), that it enables him to have a periodic sane moment.
Also, it would seem that whether you are fully human or not affect just how easily corruptible are you. True enough, Hakumen and Makoto were able to survive with sheer willpower and focusing on The Power of Friendship. However, Hakumen is on a Susanoo Unit, not his human body of Jin Kisaragi. Makoto is a beastkin. It is probably noted since they seem to specialize in combating the Black Beast, their body possesses something to hold off the Boundary corruption better than any normal humans, so not being corrupted doesn't seem so utterly special to them (but still awesome). On the other hand, Litchi and Lotte were mere humans. Litchi may be able to stave the corruption by focusing on The Power of Love, but her body of a normal human is failing her, therefore at that point, she was receiving symptoms of corruption, but even that still grows slow. On the other hand, Lotte has nothing to focus so strongly, is a human, therefore, his fall and corruption were swift and fatal. Yes, we know, Humans Are Flawed.
Lesson of the analysis: The Boundary can be slowed down (or if you're lucky, not affecting you) when you have focus on bonds, friendship or love. Having a huge willpower helps greatly too, as shown with Hakumen. Being not 100% human also helps... somewhat.
- Back to BlazBlue
- the keyword being 'made it look like'