Remember that time Quatre survived his plane being shot down, then crossed the desert by himself, then proceeded to see a battle and run across god only knows how many dunes to get to the battle, get Sandrock and without resting, tear shit up?
Don’t tell me he’s a delicate fragile little flower. Not buying it. Nope. Not one bit.
Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz: Glory of Losers
Chapter 22: Humiliation at Baikal (courtesy of Zeonic Scanlations)
…so from what song are those lyrics?
Blinding by Florence + The Machine. Go listen to it, it’s so…Relena, particularly mature/Endless Waltz Relena. If you know a little bit of Frozen Teardrop, I think the verse with ‘Snow White’ and ‘circuit boards’ will crack you up. ;)
My Gundam Wing OTPs? 1xR and 4xD. Because of reasons. And naysayers gonna naysay. :))
PS: Thanks for the reblogs!
“Girls like her turn into women with eyes like bullet holes and mouths made of knives. They are always restless. They are always hungry. They are bad news. They will drink you down like a shot of whisky. Falling in love with them is like falling down a flight of stairs. What no one told me, with all those warnings, is that even after you’ve fallen, even after you know how painful it is, you’d still get in line to do it again.”
-Black Heart (Holly Black)
The Rematch. Chapter 54, Isis CW’s Revelations:
“Maybe it is selfish,” he whispered hoarsely into her ear. “Maybe it is easier to be the one who dies than the one that grieves. I don’t know,” he admitted to her, knowing that in her own life it was her father that had lost his life trying to protect his little girl.
She still couldn’t help but feel abandoned by the ones that had left her behind. And he couldn’t blame her for that.
“But it’s more than just my family,” he continued. “I have friends that I care about more than my life. And there isn’t one who wouldn’t be fighting the same battle that I was. There isn’t one that wouldn’t fight. If it has to be one of us, I’ll take the chance on it being me. Not because I’m selfish…because I believe in the lives that they could live if given the chance…I believe in the survivors,” he quietly confessed to her.
Closing his eyes, he released his hold on the stick at her neck and let it fall to the floor. He also let go of the other and hers as well, dropping his arms to his sides. With a very light touch, he nudged at her to turn around. And without complaint, she slowly slid around into his embrace…
“You’re no exception,” he added, his heart on his throat.
There was a small snort from her. “You die on me and I’ll kill you,” she mockingly threatened.
-Chapter 41, Revelations (Isis CW)
Loads of magazine work to finish, deadline tomorrow, and here I am rereading fanfiction and messing with Photoshop. Ah, priorities. :p
Shades of Gray. When I was a kid, I always root for the good guys in TV shows and storybooks. Who doesn’t? Distinguishing white from black, siding with the goodies and going against the baddies…it’s one of the few lessons the earliest media we’ve been exposed to and our parents fed us. So when I watched Gundam Wing for the first time, I was intrigued.
With all the promo materials I’ve seen, I readily tagged the five pilots and Relena as the heroes before I even watched the series. But when I sat down for a GW marathon, I found myself asking—just like how some of the characters found themselves asking—who are the real enemies? Zechs Merquise? Treize Khushrenada? The Alliance? The Romafeller Foundation? White Fang? And who exactly are the good guys? The Japanese boy, who always opts to do the supposedly “right” thing (in consonance with his missions) instead of doing the obviously “kind” thing? The braided one, who believes he’s some kind of a god of death? The green-eyed soldier, who follows the example of guys who think life is cheap? The blond kid, who blasted a whole colony into smithereens? The Chinese guy, who once commented something to the effect that women’s place is right next to bleeding hearts?
For me, the lack of central antagonist (or the cookie-cutter goody heroes) is one of the beautiful intricacies of Gundam Wing. No one’s pure black or pure white: everyone is made up of several shades of gray. The personality of each character is labyrinthine, and trying to find the easiest way out of it requires a lot of work and thinking. That’s why I love how the fans are drawing their own maps of the characters’ identities through analyses and fan fiction. Actually, just watching the show then trying to figure out the team you’re going to cheer for already explains how you view the characters! It’s only expected that the five pilots would get lots of love, but even the folks who would normally be placed at the ‘evilest’ end in a clichéd story’s good guy-bad guy scale also get sizable love-chunks from the fandom.
I love Gundam Wing up to now because it is the first fictional work that taught me to appreciate the characters because they’re more like humans—complex, flawed, a mixture of good and bad, capable of growth—instead of because they’re obviously portrayed as the good protagonists. :)
PUNCTURING MY GW THOUGHT BALLOONS: On Catherine and Dorothy
(In which I blather about how these two girls prove that, unless you’re some guy with an eerie kind of ESP called Space Heart, your level of I-feel-you-ness with someone is never going to be precise)
Comparative analyses between Catherine Bloom and Dorothy Catalonia are seldom because (1) they never interacted in the show, (2) it’s more fun to compare Dorothy to Relena, and (3) what’s the point? Venn-diagramming their personalities is just a waste of time, because everybody seems to know that nothing will meet in the center.
I was originally typing up a post about how Catherine is more than just a chipper, overprotective knife-thrower (it’s for fuckyeahcatherinebloom, a blog I started a week ago), but halfway through I couldn’t stop thinking about Dorothy. I stumbled upon an interesting similarity between them that is only a similarity if we talk about their seemingly striking difference: their attitudes toward war.
The pilots were not the only ones exposed to death at an early age. These girls also lost their loved ones to war when they’re still young. Cathy was about five when her parents got killed in an air raid, and Dorothy was 12 or 13 when former OZ General Chilias Catalonia, her father, died (I believe it’s in AC 193, when Treize officially took over OZ). The way they responded to these events is the interesting part. We’ve seen what they’re like in the show, and the common impressions among viewers consist of Cathy being a mother stereotype and Dorothy being as crazy as a peach-orchard boar. If only we try to zero in on the meager information about their semi-identical pasts, it’s easy to notice how they can prove us that hate and hurt are like fingerprints—that no two people feel exactly the same way about the same thing.
Cathy’s “hatred” is straighter and clearer. After surviving the attack that killed her parents and separated her from her little brother Triton/Trowa, she outwardly expresses how much she despises warfare. She seems to have sworn to herself that once she finds people she can consider her second family, she will do all her best not to lose them again.
I think the fandom should refrain from thinking that the creators only included Catherine on the show just to be a motherly female counterpart for Trowa. Or a potential key to pilot 03’s enigmatic past. She’s more than that. Just because she’s the only major GW gal that doesn’t engage in any kind of political or physical combat doesn’t mean she’s not fighting her own war! Call it over-analysis if you want, but I think the creators put her there to make us see that even civilians have their own battles too—and what’s more dangerous to fight than a war you’re waging inside your head and heart? She’s a symbol that says, “we’re all involved; we’re all victims.” In my mind, Catherine tries to survive being the survivor. This is not emphasized, but think about it. The legwork is left to us after we’ve glimpsed her past in a handful of panels in Trowa’s Episode Zero. In the series, we’ve witnessed how she reacts when a loved one’s in peril. The bigger part of her life happened off-screen, but it doesn’t take so much to bridge the gap.
There’s a big possibility that the ghost of trauma haunts her. But instead of letting herself be crushed under its weight, she fights it. She tries to exorcise it by rebuilding and protecting what has been previously destroyed in her life.
Dorothy’s “hatred” is more twisted and complicated. Up to now, many GW fans still misunderstand her “love” for warfare. I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again: the AC era teems with all kinds of politicians, soldiers, and pacifists, but if I were to choose a favorite character that genuinely wishes to wipe all kinds of war, I’m going to pick Dorothy. And then I hear you: “Are you kidding? That batsh*t crazy girl who pirouettes and shouts at the fighter planes to hurry up and start a war like she’s in some kind of a warped After Colony Disney movie—she wants peace?” Well, YES. DESPERATELY SO.
“You can’t do away with wars by just taking weapons away from the people,” she reasons. “You first have to change the hearts of all mankind.”
Her unconventional albeit spine-tingling suggestion is an evolved version of Treize’s philosophy: to stage a war so gruesome, so horrible, that after everyone witnesses it, they would never want to have wars ever again. For her, subscribing to utopian fantasies is not the best course of action. So she opts to take the extreme path. She opts for bloodshed. She opts for death.
It’s implied that her father’s untimely demise contributed a lot to this belief. I have no inkling as to how much she loves him, but I can guess. After all, only an extreme amount of love can trigger an extreme amount of hate. She must have been so pained by his death and was shocked to find the world still continuing to make a chaotic inferno of itself, despite all the fatalities and casualties that heap up every day. She must have thought, “Why do you keep on doing this? You’ve seen it, you’ve known how it felt! Isn’t this enough? Why are you acting as if you don’t know how it hurts? Oh…maybe you don’t. Well, let me show you. Or better yet, let you show you.”
This is why I believe Catherine is much stronger than her when dealing with grief. The whole thing’s quite similar to the usual Relena-Quatre analogy. Cathy’s response is of true strength, of rising up from the rubble, like Relena’s when her father died (although the latter’s is initially tinged with revenge). Dorothy’s is more akin to Quatre’s after Mr. Winner’s death, although his is overly vindictive (Pre-ZERO: “I’ll never forget this, and I’ll make sure you people don’t forget this day, either.” During ZERO: “What the colony really needs is a war!”). So if you’re still baffled why Quatre thinks she’s kinder than him, remember her confession at the end that makes her cry—“If I don’t [help to change mankind’s hearts by staging the worst war], humanity will perish just like my father!” Twisted? Perhaps, but Quatre recognizes no trace of an eye-for-an-eye mentality there. In her own distorted way, Dorothy is still trying her best to salvage humanity.
In a nutshell, Dorothy wants to end wars by using them as a lesson for the most intelligent ‘animals’ that refuse to learn—human beings. She believes this is the only possible way to strip the people of their drive to fight each other. She wants the worst war to happen because the small ones won’t be enough to teach mankind. She can’t do it single-handedly, so she switches sides, manipulates, and provokes people. A warped kind of love and desperation fuel her, and in truth, she’s just as lost as her namesake in L. Frank Baum’s storybooks. I love Quatre’s little speech, but I think what Dorothy needed to hear are just the few words Trowa tells her in the end: “Maybe what you are attempting is correct, but it still won’t bring true peace.” Trowa is referring to the overall space mishap that’s happened during that time, but it coincides with what she’s wanting all along.
I could babble more about Dorothy and her other oddities…but I’ll save that for another post.
Catherine fights. Dorothy wishes for peace. This is why I love Gundam Wing, you know? The characters are layered; there’s more to them than meets the eye. It’s been a long while since I last watched the show as a whole, but I’ll definitely sit down one night for a non-stop GW marathon. I know I’ll discover something new in every rewatch, especially now that I’m older. ;p
OOC: More amazing stuff from CinderellaInCombatBoots! A great insight into two often misrepresented characters.
Also raises a lot for me to think about. I really do need to commit to rewatching the series, and possibly liveblogging so I can keep notes for myself.
Whenever I see someone say, “Dorothy desperately wants peace,” it troubles me. I always sense the implication that she’s just not so bad, that really she’s altruistic, like Treize. I don’t see that in her. She has too much passion for battle, I can’t believe that everything she ever said about the beauty of conflict was for show. She’s genuinely proud of her father and grandfather and the way they died. I don’t think that’s because she sees them as sacrifices to The Ultimate Cause (ending all wars forever). She admires humanity’s resiliency and determination, and she admires their willingness to see their causes through, even unto death.
Dorothy may want peace, but she doesn’t want a Utopian world of sunshine and daisies, either. It would bore her, for one.
As for Catherine, I never saw her as a mother-figure. I reserve that spot for Sally, who offers acceptance, kindness and guidance, but allows her young heroes to still run free and make their own mistakes. I think one reason for this is that I always saw Sally as more mature than Catherine, who is very impetuous. Cinderella’s right, people need to stop writing her off. Catherine IS the civilian survivor, and we mustn’t overlook her.
Ah! I’m not following either of the Gundam Wing-RP tumblelogs here, but I think you’re an amazing Dorothy RPer. You’ve got a good grasp of her character. I agree. I didn’t include it here because it’s not directly connected to her grief. Most of the time, Dorothy is like a scientist that loves to watch gerbils as she sets up little changes in their environment—but not without forgetting she is one of the gerbils, too. More layers! I believe Dorothy admires human’s more animalistic nature, which explains her belief that kindness is deterrent to survival. Ironically, for someone who loves to see the ‘beast’ in all humans, she is so…human. Flawed, emotional, and intricate, with the architecture of her psyche that is so hard to figure out.
She may not have an altruistic streak, but I don’t think she’s selfish, either. Isn’t boredom such a little thing to sacrifice if it means not having war victims anymore? If it means there won’t be any bereft twelve-year-old Dorothys anymore? She’ll be willing to pay that price. Anyway, I believe she can always celebrate the greatness of humans striving for survival through something else, not only through big wars—even if it doesn’t bring her the same excitement. She does love the idea of heroes dying in battle (her father and grandfather included); she even mentions once that she wants to die like them too. I may be reading too much into her, but I think she believes the peace that awaits them will be more beautiful and glorious if it’s hard-won, if it leaves a colorful history in its wake, and especially if she’s involved in achieving it. After all, Dots always likes a good once-upon-a-time. ;)
I think her grief contributes to her being a character that is not all black, not all white, but all different shades of gray. I admit, I’m not really engrossed with her character until the moments aboard Battleship Libra (Relena is my favorite until that episode). I just can’t get over what she said about the world vanishing like her father. It’s that one-liner, and the tears that punctuate it, that open a crack in her personality where an old Dorothy can be glimpsed. Sadly, we weren’t able to pry further into this because the show ended an episode later. But at the end we see the lesson she’s learned, when she’s visiting Treize’s grave for the last time: “I’m tired of living in the past.” At that point, she won’t let the ghost of her yesterday’s grief affect her today. :)
Why am I so talkative in this fandom lately? I should just go back to making graphics and gifs lol