Between Α and Ω

My name is Dasrik and if you disagree, you are wrong.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Friendship > Destiny?

Friend: A person other than a family member, spouse or lover whose company one enjoys and towards whom one feels affection.

Destiny: That to which any person or thing is destined; a predetermined state; a condition foreordained by the Divine or by human will; fate; lot; doom.

Ever since the "Yu-Gi-Oh!" franchise started focusing on Duel Monsters and the card game that ensued, it seems to have an overlying message that the power of friendship can overcome destiny; this was especially prominent in GX's "Society of Light" arc and 5D's recent "Dark Signers" lot.

What the hell, Japanese guys?

Destiny is, by definition, predetermined, and the outcome of a card game cannot be altered by feelings. I could excuse it in Takahashi's manga and in the Duel Monsters anime because Atem actually had a power to influence fate via his title as the King of Games, but lately it's getting ridiculous, and is giving a lot of kids the wrong idea.

I understand that the feelings of bonds between friends are strong and that we want to protect those bonds anyway we can, but fighting is not the way to do it. "Yu-Gi-Oh!" goes to silly lengths to avoid showing excessive bloodshed, but this message is much more insidious in stuff like "Naruto" and "Bleach" where people actually fight with the intent to kill over these bonds.

Look, real life doesn't work that way. I know I might be expecting too much from a cartoon (and don't get mad, guys, that's what it is), but these things do influence children's behavior, and if you disagree, you obviously have forgotten what it's like to be a kid. Now, I know it's very romantic to believe you're fighting to protect a bond. But you are seriously risking so much more than you stand to gain. You fight, you die, and at best (if you believe in an afterlife) those bonds may not be broken, but they endure a harsh test. At worst (as many people no longer believe in the immortality of the soul), the bond is broken irretrievably, and the pain is far worse.

My fanfic "Yu-Gi-Oh! Negative Zero" is trying to explore this faulty message and use the medium to try to get to the truth. The truth is difficult to find these days, and while philosophical meanderings don't always get you there, they can get you closer. That, combined with my very real beliefs, will hopefully create something that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

That's it for my pundit impression. And I am out! </crack_stuntman>


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