Monday, May 27, 2013

Is Saki Batshit Crazy?

When Valvrave first started out, Saki seemed to be the opposite of Shoko. Cynical, serious, and mature where Shoko was optimistic, naïve, and childish. Saki was the straight man in a show overflowing with cheese and ham.

Then episode six came along, Saki’s Comeback. In the span of a single episode Saki does the following:
  • Gives up her humanity with a smile on her face
  • Gleefully takes her Valvrave out for a joyride
  • Takes over Haruto’s body for fun and profit
  • Claims she is only interested in fame and doesn't care about Haruto
  • Freezes up on her first battle and has to be motivated by streaming her fight over the internet.

Quite the shocker really.

After the fact, Hazard heard plenty of people come out and say Saki is a crazy bitch. I figure I should at least put her actions in perspective.

Why yes, I realize Valvrave is something you watch with your brain off, but I find a degree of fun in doing this.

Saki is a Teenager

Let’s be honest here, just who is Saki’s example for how good/bad piloting a Valvrave is?


Immortal, regenerating, million facebook friends, hero Haruto. I mean yeah, he’s had one freak out vampire accident in plain sight of her, but that’s quite little when compared to everything else. Even now, I can see people on forums saying Haruto is just making a too big deal out of the vampire thing.

In light of that, isn't being a Vampire Robot Pilot kind of awesome? 

And I am Robot Moon!

Saki takes her chance for power and does what many people would do. Have a blast! The first thing Spider-Man did was not go out and save people. He became a badass wrestler to make lots of money.

Saki is riding her fifteen minutes of fame. She’s buying into the image of invincibility and yeah that ends up with reality biting her in the ass. She discovers real combat is dangerous. She wants to help Haruto but finds herself paralyzed with fear.

Was it immature of Saki to do all this? Hell yeah. She dived in without considering the consequences of her actions.

Of course, that also describes like every teenager ever.

A Traumatic Past

Adolescence, source of drama all over the world, is not the only factor influencing Saki’s actions. Early in the episode, Saki talks about her past before biting Haruto. It seems like it was just a way to get him to lower his guard until we reach the flashbacks. Turns out, Saki was abused by her parents. She was fired from being an idol. Her life was far from sunshine and roses. It explains a lot of her cynicism.

She can gleefully give up her humanity because she has reached the conclusion that humanity royally sucks. Amusingly, it is that same cynicism that made her appear mature earlier on.

Her need for spotlight and fame is likewise rooted in her childhood. Now, this goes slightly into theory mode but hear Hazard out. 

You have abused child Saki. Then, somehow, abused child Saki is now famous idol Saki. People are nice to her now. No parents are going to hit her. Not with an agency keeping her safe so long as she sells.

Fame becomes a shield of sorts for Saki. Fame is what stops her from going back to being that abused child. It is also the reason why she is able to act once her battle is streamed. Fame is a safe zone. By turning the entire battle into a stage (safe zone) she is able to overcome her fear. 

Saki and Haruto

Freudian excuses aside that still leaves the fact that Saki took over Haruto’s body, used it to promote herself with his Space Facebook account and for petty (and hilarious) revenge.

It was a thoughtless act on her part, likely tied up to her riding the emotional high of just becoming vampire/giant robot pilot. Still, no a nice thing to do. If you really need to point out a moment where Saki was a bitch, this would be it.

Of course, one event does not automatically make you evil or crazy. Saki as seen in earlier episodes is not what one would call a bad person. For example, she was willing to stand up for Shoko previously despite not liking her all that much.

Thankfully, Haruto is a nice guy and not particularly willing to hold grudges, which brings me to my next point.

Anyone that actually bought Saki saying she did not care about Haruto really needs some glasses.

Saki only says that once Haruto and Shoko have started their romantic comedy skit and shut her out of the conversation (not the first or the last time this happens). Saki is not really a tsundere, but this can be called a tsundere reaction.

Basically, she is saying she does not want something to save face, because she realizes she is not going to get it (Haruto). The relationship with Shoko is too strong for anyone to get in between the two right now. However, Hazard’s view on the matter is that Saki definitely cares for Haruto (which was further confirmed by the recent episode). Saki saying she did not want Haruto was a way of protecting herself, not a way of declaring she was only after him for fame.

Final thoughts,

Saki is definitely not perfect, and she is definitely not the straight man of the show. She is another member of the cast, another teenager with issues, who sometimes makes mistakes and sometimes gets in over her head.

Does that mean she is psycho bitch?

Not at all.

Final thing, I tried to get 5 posts done last week but time won. Annoying but it happens. I will try to update this at least 5 times per week in the future.

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