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Motoko's Strength (Spoilers Added)
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Chesire Cat

Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 27
Location: Wonderland

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to bump this back up, but I really like the discussion.

Her portrayal as an almost invincible combatant and as a practically flawless investigator is indeed a clear contrast to her fragile inner self. Marto's right about that. However, I still can't help but agree with Hopping Fox on some points. Admittedly, even I get the same feelings about the series sometimes. There's nothing flat about Motoko's character, in fact, the contrasts in her personality are clearly evident. What brings up this whole discussion is probably the manner in which the writers/producers decided to go about "showing" this to the viewers at times. I have no problem seeing Motoko flip off buildings, and show off her prowess in combat, and superior judgment, but I think it might have lacked a little balance. The way she can sometimes effortlessly dispatch the bad guys leaves me almost as nonchalant as, well the Major herself. You just don't sense the danger around her too often that you sometimes think "Ok, so what?" instead of having your jaw drop in amazement of whatever it is she just did. It's no wonder that watching a vulnerable Motoko throw away all poise and composure while blasting the F*** out of that armed suit (which almost crushed her to bits btw) was a breath of fresh air. It produced a much more powerful effect than possibly any other action scene in the whole SAC series in my opinion.

Everyone wants to see the protagonists rise above sticky situations in the end, that's a given. But what I believe truly keeps viewers at the edges of their seats is the feeling that their heroes/heroines were actually in any immediate danger to begin with. Else, there wouldn't be as much glory in the triumph, nor a sigh of relief in the end, now would there? It's exactly how I felt watching the first season's ending. At first, the dissolution of section 9, the assassination of the Major, and the capture of the rest of her comrades left me speechless and desperately hoping for a happy ending. But as more light was shed on those events, I find out that the Major was remoting a different body the whole time, the entire thing was a set up, and just another part of Aramaki's "grand scheme of things" if you will. It gave the climax an untimely death, and left me feeling like a dunce for even being anxious in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate the ending, but I felt the wrap-up was a bit too much of a Deus Ex Machina to give justice to the build up. It felt too clean and too convenient, but maybe it's just me.
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Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Posts: 274

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you put your points well and I do agree with your feelings on when the hero has things "too effortlessly" all the time. It is annoying unless you love said character no matter what; a bit too much of "well isn't it just kewlll though!"

I also like the tank scene in the first Oshii film as I felt for the character, I really felt the actions and imagery portrayed the character's desperate struggle for the answers well and it tugged at the heart because it spoke to a primal feeling and yearning we recognise in ourselves; the need to surpass and to strive being all-consuming in the end, even as the body falls to pieces...
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Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 359
Location: The chopper you never saw, behind the gun you never heard, about to fire the shot you never expected

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the reasons I love Motoko's character is because her mind and spirit are the invincible hero and her body is used purely as a tool, same way Arnie or Sly fires a machine gun until the clip runs out or it jams and throws it away, Motoko uses every ounce of her body's strength to the point of destruction, and when it's wrecked, just get's a new one.

The ' Tank' scene in Oshii's first movie and the 'Armed Suit' fight in SAC 1 are both wonderfully created spectacles, where your mortal human side fears death and severing of limbs and rupturing of sinews and muscle, making it actually more disturbing for the viewer than it ever would be to Motoko, who considers her body just a tool/weapon/utility.

On of the interesting contrasts between Motoko and Batau is Batau still doesn't seem to have gotten to terms with his body not being real, whereas Motoko has. Possibly something born out of Motoko's very early age of initial cyberisation.
Beware the Left Eye

In the Major we Trust...
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