About Jun/ko: the author can’t give the choice to kill them in Book 4 because if we choose NOT to, the story of the next books would be DRASTICALLY different. And he won’t force us to kill them. I mean, of course he COULD, but seriously? This is all about the player making CHOICES. Forcing us to kill a major character that many of us adore would be a baaaad move.
To be fair no one said kill. It would also be bad to drag a plot thread on longer than needed, when we only have 6 or seven books planned.
Devon has indicated they wanted book 3 to build up for the confrontation. So many signs point to the big showdown for Junko in book 4. Also we can see we always don’t get choices we want, just ask our poor beheaded student…
Perhaps. But I view that as a necessary situation for our Ronin’s development. Jun/ko, on the other hand, seems to be a different matter. I have an inkling that Devon will give us a choice in regards to their fate. But overall, all we can do is speculate.
Perhaps book 4’s climax will be a showdown with Jun/ko but before things could go either way it will be interrupted. We could still make the choice of if we wanted to kill them but can’t really act on it till later.
This was a reply I had typed up but forgot to send a couple weeks ago. Sorry about the delay, but hopefully I can still ease concerns some may have over the feminimity of MC:
While the idea of the ronin turning into a moe popstar is hilarious, dresses and make-up are by no means what I’m going for in Book 4. I am far more interested in the psychological aspects MC will have to deal with when Jun forces MC to confront his/her feminine or (in Junko’s case) the masculine.
There are positive and negative aspects to each, and only by struggling with and accepting all aspects of himself/herself will MC grow as a person. Before I go on I have to reiterate that there will be no forced romances. That said, we often develop/learn and grow from our passions. ‘Desire’ is a fundamental and primal urge to build from.
For female MC, she has to confront what it means to “surrender yourself to your passion” in order to realize what it is to “surrender yourself to your responsibility”. A woman who has surrendered herself to her responsibility–be it a craft, a profession or children–is almighty.
To willing bear all the weight of the world adds all the richness of the world to her life. This is the mother with three kids who has to chaffeur them to school and clubs and work part-time and have dinner ready and run a hundred other errands just to keep the house in one piece! This is so much weight that she accepts and it adds a level of fulfillment and richness to her life that turns me into this:
And similarly, for male MC, he has to confront what it means to “take what you want” in order to realize what it is to “take on ultimate responsibility”. A man who has willingly taken on ultimate responsibility heaves the globe of Atlas and cross of Jesus and marches forward like the father who only gets to see his kids once a month and so on and so on and I think you get my point!
Country song lyrics aside, there is an absolute ton of potential character growth here and I look forward to it!
I am glad to see that you are actually looking into the psychological aspects. I really don’t know why the first thing that comes to mind for some people in regards to feminimity was wearing dresses and makeup. I also glad that there is also equivalent aspects for the men.
I am very much looking forward to see my Ronin continue to grow on the future books.
I’m not sure if I understood your message right, since English is not my fist language. But are you saying the female MC’s will have to learn to “surrender” and male MC’s to be the man that “takes” what is needed?
Probably I have get it totally wrong, otherwise I would be terrible disappointed
If we get past the negative view on surrendering and taking, surrendering doesn’t always mean you are not strong enough but choosing your battle wisely. Taking doesn’t always mean ovepowering, it might also mean taking the step to change the world for the better even though society think it is not worth the effort to do so.
It is negative is surrender applies only to females, and taking only to men. It seems extremely sexist for me. Why, if I play a F!Ronin, have to embrace surrendering? Why can’t I embrace “taking”? Why can’t M!Ronin embrace surrendering?
What pissed me off is that I got the impression that surrendering (submitting) will be forced into female ronins. But I don’t know, maybe I misunderstood the original message.
I think I’m too queer to not cringe at all that women have to accept this, men have to accept that talk… eh, maybe my brain just can’t process that stuff. I will just cling to
and hope the best for now ¯_(ツ)_/ ¯ can’t do anything else until I read how it actually ends up.
We don’t seem to have a good context in what he meant, and we may not until the book is out. So I am going to withhold any type of Comment that may reflect negatively on something I’ve enjoyed for three books until after I’ve had a chance to actually play it myself to understand what he is getting at.
He’s done nothing to lose my faith as of now, so I will remain optimistic for Book 4.
(All we can really do is make speculations as to what he actually means, and I’m not for that myself, especially when it has the chance to reflect negatively upon something based on our own views and opinions.)
Idk, I read it as it not dealing exclusively with the Ronin’s gender but also with Jun/ko’s. Jun makes the Ronin embrace their feminine side while Junko make them embrace their masculine side.
Please note that this is my opinion only based from my life experiences so far.
Masculinity values pride and egocentricity. They tend to take the good things they wanted. But when mistakes comes to play, they tend not take responsibility for their actions.
Femininity, on the hand, takes thing too emotional. We try to shoulder everything, not asking for help because we think we can do this all but in the end, we have to embrace what we can and cannot do.
I, for one, do not know how Devon will manage their developments. I love his works so far and I can say that I have faith that he could deliver what he plans to do and hope he will able to satisfy almost all the SoH fandom. I said “almost all” but not “all” because like us, the author is human and has their own ways of thinking as well. Remember that Harry Potter,although love by most has their share of disgruntled fans . SoH is no different.
And in terms of learning to take and surrender it could also expand to “learning when to surrender and when not to surrender,” which I think isn’t a bad thing to learn no matter what the gender.
The no matter the gender part is good but it’s not how it is pitched in this case.
In this case it’s pictured as a gendered problem, a problem inherent to one gender, while basing that assumption on nothing else as sexist gender roles. Basically what this tells me is - if it’s meant seriously - that I can expect exactly what I fear: that gender non-conformity will not get treated as an healthy option, but that instead a limiting, reductive view on gender, femininity and masculinity will be used as base for the MC’s development.
Especially this part irritates me. Because it may seems to be an ideal for the author, but for many, many women and female aligned folks it couldn’t be more far away from how they see themselves.
Sorry but this answer now really makes me wary of what to expect for the MC, their development and the player’s agency in it.
Like I said I will have to wait and see how it turns out in the end…but I won’t wait reassured in any way.
I understand you are being wary about this. I mean, the word surrendering or submitting is not something easy to swallow especially if coupled with femininity.
We could only hope for the best. =D Your post has always insightful so I hope you will still consider playing the next book.
Oh I do consider it, just to see how it really will play out. But how it plays out will certainly influence if I will be interested in reading the last two books or not.
I want to be optimistic, and I think it’s admirable that the author wants to try and tackle this topic. It’s a complex and sensitive one, and understandably so, and I also think trying to address it in a CYOA game could be interesting, especially in a game like SOH with an MC we’ve gotten to really know over 3 games.
I’m personally hoping that the MC will get to face their feminine or masculine side and in the end still choose “yeah, that’s not for me.” That a female MC can learn about “surrendering” but in the end still choose to reject it. I, personally, would like to see my MC embrace her femininity, but I completely understand not everyone does. I see my Ronin as a woman who was born into a hard life and had to be hard to survive, and Id like to see her embrace her feelings more. Some players won’t what that for their character and if the option to reject or accept it I think will go a long way.
But we can never really know until the game comes out and, like I said, I want to be optimistic.
As long as we get the option to start healing Junko and rekindling that relationship into a more healthy one, I don’t really care what he ends up doing, but I’m very laid back about certain things.
I already have a feeling my hard ass Ronin is going to freaking disintegrate emotionally in regards to Junko once we start tackling that whole beast.
In the context that I was using it, ‘to surrender’ and ‘to take’ are both ways ‘to accept’ the burdens and responsibility that lead to a fulfilling life. I definitely should have clarified about surrender, as the most common definition is ‘to lose/give up’. Just like a marine surrenders himself to his duty, or a CEO surrenders herself for her company, to surrender as I intend it is like a full, self-sacrificial embrace. It’s definitely not about losing.
But if I had to pick a word that has the undeservedly worst connotation, it would have to be ‘submissive’. It doesn’t mean dumb and docile and powerless. There is absolutely nothing wrong about being submissive, and neither is there anything good. It is a neutral term just as ‘dominant’ should be, and I can’t get over how it seems in modern times we’ve demonized it into a kink at best. I really think this distorted perception of the submissive and dominant dynamic (in both hetero and homo relationships) is a tremendous source of misery!
I used the mother example because it’s the most relatable–we all have mothers, and if we are lucky we’ve experienced that self-sacrificial love she gave us as she surrendered to her responsibility (us). A good mom puts her kids ahead of herself and doesn’t resent them for it, but accepts and gains meaning from it.
Thank you very much for those supportive words. A lesson I’ve learned is that an author must be absolutely fearless, because to write scared is to stare at a blank page for hours on end. I haven’t lived under a rock for the past ten years–I know gender dynamics are a hot button issue and to firmly take any stance is to set somebody at odds with you. But you can’t write without your feet on the ground.
The target audience for Samurai of Hyuga consists of only one person, and he is constantly blown away at how many diverse people have embraced his creation as well. I’m going to continue to write based on my truth and perceptions because it’s the only way I can. I’d say it’s done me well thus far!