Hey! The poor guy isn't so bad!

Refutations/Examinations
Or
Why Nakago Isn't So Bad After All

Ever since I opened the anti-shrine, I've been deluged (well, I exagerate. Drizzled.) with e-mail refuting what I've said. Since this is exactly what I've been hoping for (ARIGATO, MINA!) here's what I've got.

Oh, and before I start, here's the URL of the Nakago fanclub...it's a very good site for info on Nakago, and has a LOT of good stuff: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Garden/8332/nakago_fanclub.html

Now, here goes:


Seimei

Seimei-san wrote me a very good (and long) e-mail on Nakago...so I've chopped it up a bit. Her direct opinions are here, and I've separated out the Watase Yuu Interview and manga translation bits and a few other things and given them a place of their own in the shrine. Domo arigato gozaimasu, Seimei-san.

Well, Nakago is my favorite character, and if Hori-sama got jipped in the series then I don't even know where to begin on Nakago. Most sites present him as cruel, heartless, and evil and point out how contrary that is to his seishi symbol. *heavy sigh* I'll just give my spiel here and hope someone understands. To begin with, inside Nakago is a very vulnerable person. In the flashback scene with his mother you see him looking up at her with sad eyes and asking why everyone hates them (the answer being that they are Hin and nothing more). He's extremely sensitive to hate despite his seemingly cold exterior. And he has the capacity for great loyalty, protectiveness, and sacrifice. When his people were being wiped out and the soldiers came to his home and raped his mother she told him to run, but he stayed.

Unfortunately he was just a small child and didn't know anything about his seishi powers or how to control them, so when in his fear and rage for his mother they went off, he not only destroyed all of the soldiers in the immediate area, but everyone there, including his mother. The remaining soldiers, who had just finished killing off the last of his tribe, recognized the symbol on him and because of that he was spared and taken to the emperor. (ooooooo... don't get me started on that perverted scumbag!)

The emperor was a sick sick SICK man. Nakago was a very beautiful little boy - just like a beautiful little girl is how the emperor put it - and he took him as a kind of plaything. *shudder* So you have a little boy who has never known love or acceptance except from one person, his mother, who is now dead and he inadvertantly was the one who killed her. He has no one left. He's scared and sensitive and this scumbag emperor (the man who killed his entire race) takes him in in the palace and abuses him in every sick way possible AND expects him to serve him.

Nakago is smart though, and intead of lashing out in rage at those around him, he stays silent and learns to control the seishi abilities he was born with and, like Hotohori, hopes for the day when the Seiryuu no Miko will come and he can end the hell he lives in. After all that happened to him, and the continual ridicule and rejection he experienced from people around him even after becoming shogun, Nakago is not heartless. When he sees Soi, no more than a child, being used by some men he steps in and kills them. She did turn out to be a seishi, but he didn't know that when he saved her. He has a soft-spot for women and is protective towards them when he sees them being abused. That's how he found Seiryuu no Miko - when he rescued her from men trying to rape her. He may have suspected she could be Seiryuu no Miko, but he didn't know she was. I believe he saved her, and Soi, because of his memory of what happened to his mother. It's almost a kind of penance. He couldn't help his mother, so he saves other women instead. His cool outside is a facade he hides behind to push other away from him - to protect himself. He refuses to allow himself any attatchment to other people after what's happened.

He devotes his life and existence to vengeance for his people against the world that did this to them. All he wants is peace from himself and the memory of them. He also displays incredible loyalty to Seiryuu no Miko (Yui) even after he no longer has to, sending his chi to protect her from a falling building. She was one of the few people in his life, other than Soi who he loved, that he had respect for. My argument is that Nakago does what he does because he's a man at the end. He has no where else to go. Even if he were to take over Kutou and simply kill the emperor etc, he would still be living in a world that despises him - fears and obeys him - but hates him. It would be a lot of extra work and pain for the rest of his existence. He has one hope and nothing left so he drives through and does whatever is necessary to get at that one thing. When Tamahome's family is killed by Suboshi, it was at Nakago's subtle hint (he knew that was one of the things that would force the others in the 'game' to move the direction he needed them to go in) but you don't see him rushing off to do it himself. I don't think he could have done it. He felt it needed to be done, but had he confronted Tamahome's family himself, they would not have been killed. Nakago doesn't kill children. Period. And for information on what I think about the whole Miaka issue with whether or not he would have raped her, I say "absolutely not". Watase Yuu herself said the whole thing was Tomo's idea, and Nakago was never really all that keen on the idea.

PONDERINGS: (from Seimei) this is a quote from a new book im reading. its by my favorite author (well one of them) - Chaim Potok. tell me if this passage doesnt describe someone we know???

------ quote:Pg 26-27 from The Gates of November-----
What goes into the making of a revolutionary, a man or woman who breaks with the legal systems and protocols of his or her world, renounces past ties of friendship and blood, becomes contemptous of the society in which he or she lives, showing it no mercy and expecting no mercy from it in return, and sets out to intensify the suffering of people by any means available so as to accelerate the coming of revolution? Surely one begins by being partial to revolution, accepting of its consequences, perhaps because of a deep initial disillusionment with the codes of one's own people or class. Appalled by social injustice. A growing awareness of the illusory nature of genteel surface appearances; certainty that beneath the civilized facade lay the real world of power, money, and greed. Rage at the insurmountable obstacles put in the path of on's career and dreams by the entrenched laws of hte powers-that-be. Years of recurrent anger and hate, which finally begin to burn with a steady flame. One becomes obsessed by a single goal: Redeem the despicable past with blood; cleanse away its evils; create the world anew. No more theorizing, no more observing as a bystander. The weak talked, dreamed, idealized. The strong accepted the bitter realities of life, and acted.
my apologies for any mispellings. ironically, this book is the true story of a jewish family in russia during the revolution. its fascinating. when i got to that one passage my eyes got REALLY big. 0.0 it sounds so... familiar. Chaim Potok unwittingly gives the clearest description of Nakago and what makes him tick i have yet to see. -.-;; and i bet hes never even heard of fy. *grin*


Kitty Kat

These are actual refutations of my current reasons (I'll be adding actual serious ones during Christmas break. This time around, I was going for the comedic angle.)

15) He sees people only as objects to be used to gain power. When their usefulness is at an end, he casts them aside. (See the example of Ashitare)
Nakago was raised in a totaly cold environment where he recieved no love, only hatred. I cannot venture to say for certain, but if you were raised as only a 'toy' for an emperor, would you not be inclined to behave in the same manner? Many psychiatrists have explored the influence that one's environment has on the mental development of a child, Freud being one of the most notable. The two most opposite positions being that 1. - You are a blank slate at birth and your environment shapes you to it. 2. - Your genes dictate a certain amount of instinct, and all else is developed around it. Who can say for certain, but I am inclined to believe that Nakago's harsh childhood shaped him to be the cool and manipulative person he is. After all, everyone around him tried to use and manipulate him, so would not a child mimic the actions of his elders?

14) He is shamelessly maniuplative.
As I just babbled about (Need to keep these to a short paragraph..) the emperor of Kutou (may he rest in Tartarus) constantly used his power and authority to manipulate those around him - including the child Nakago. As a child growing up in that sort of place, it is my belief that Nakago picked up a lot of the mannerisms of the emperor.

13) (extension of the above) He lies. Constantly.
Correction. Nakago never once lied. He allowed Yui to believe that she had been raped, while /never once/ actually saying it. What he does is to say nothing, and let the person's own mind believe what looks most likely. In a way, this is /like/ lying, yet not actually lying in itself. It could be looked upon as something a lawyer does in a courtroom. He tells nothing but the truth- leaving out certain important details.

12) He has poor taste in armor, second only to Hotohori.
The first set of armor wasn't too bad. The one with the spikes.. ick. But then, the 'bucket hats' in the manga are /far/ worse.

11) He has WAY too much power for one person. Come on...it takes more than even Chichiri to hold him off. No person should have that much power. It's wrong.
May I point you to: http://members.tripod.com/~Shijin/Seiryuu/index.html This is a webpage which belongs to a friend of mine who is fluent in both the Japanese and Chinese languages. If you look at the small table, you will see the names of the seishi and translations of those names. The other seishi (Suzaku, Byakko, Genbu) are also there. It seems, quite simply, that Ms. Watase Yuu was basing her characters much around what their names meant. Nakago's simply means 'Ultimate Fighter' and that is what she made him. Invincible. He is defeated in the end, for the cause of good, and that is one of the things which made the story of Fushigi Yuugi so good. If the main villian was a pansy, it would not grip us in emotion as well. Think about it, sometimes, when you just wanted to kill Nakago for killing Hotohori, or Tamahome's family, would the story have been as powerful if these things had not occured?

10) His obsession with raping Miaka is just SICK! Come ON! If you wanna get rid of her, just kill her!
In the manga, Watase Yuu reveals that it was never Nakago's idea to rape Miaka in the first place. It was Tomo's. You see this later when he decides to rape her himself. Nakago was willing to go through with the plan for the purpose of achieving his goals, BUT when asked at a recent anime convention, Watase Yuu told fans that Nakago would not have raped Miaka, even if the red barrier had not appeared.

9) He's the one that gave Suboshi the idea of killing poor Tama-chan's family.
Nakago told Suboshi to kill Tamahome's family for the purpose of making Tamahome and Miaka angry, so that they would fight against Yui, and as a result, Yui would go through with calling Seiryuu. Nakago wanted the power from Seiryuu, and therefore was willing to do nearly anything to gain that power.

8) HE KISSED YUI! HE KISSED MIAKA! Doesn't he have any taste??? I mean, GEEZE, he's got Soi for crying out loud, and then he does something downright tasteless like THAT? Him and his head games. *shudder*
He kissed Yui for the purpose of building her faith in him. Miaka, I believe, was simply to frighten her. Everything he does is carefully calculated to fit into his master plan.

7) He's cruel. He plays with people, and takes amusement from their suffering. Remember the fight between Tamahome and Tasuki? Remember how he killed that poor canary?

The canary has been the subject of many debates. Some believe that he viewed himself as the canary, and was putting himself out of his misery. The fight between Tamahome and Tasuki was planned as to rid himself of two of the Suzaku Seishi.

6) Sex for the purpose of raising chi. I think that's just yucky... right on par with casual "let's shack up!" kind of stuff.
Watase Yuu based this on actual Chinese myths. There really was the belief that boshuu magic existed and the legend was frequently put into practice. It is an old feudal legend for the purpose of gaining power. Indeed, Amiboshi uses a form of this magic to heal Miaka when he is under the name of Kaika.

5) He basically spurns poor Soi right up until the end, when she's too dead to care.
She knew. When Nakago died in the manga, he saw Soi and his mother waiting for him. He could allow no weakness in himself, yet when Soi died, it was a terrible blow to him. It has been speculated that this is when he started loosing the will to fight.

4) He can't stay dead! He came back in the first OVA! NOOOOOO!
The first OAV is a bunch of .... It is not a part of the manga, which is the original story. It is just something senseless that the anime people made up. It just doesn't make sense period. Trust in the manga, it's the original story anyway.

3) He's very nasty to the Suzaku Seishi. Just because they're enemy's doesn't mean he has to get mean.
They are in the way of his plan. To Nakago, that is enough reason to want them out of his way. Everything Nakago ever did was carefully planned for maximum effect.

2) He sang "Blue Eyes Blue." 'Nuff said.
May I give you a url? http://www.nidlink.com/~kitty/kitara/nak_drunk.gif This is a picture my friend drew after listening to Blue Eyes Blue. She said Nakago sounded like he was on his third round of sake. (Japanese alcohol)

1) HE KISSED TAMAHOME! Doesn't he KNOW where that mouth has been??? Then again, he's kissed Miaka and Yui as well. Poor Tamahome.
Ohhhh I loved that scene. Kick Tamahome in the... *smirk* And again, this had the desired effect of pissing off Tamahome. Nakago, I believe, saw Tamahome as his closest rival. Thus, he took the most pleasure from annoying Tamahome.


Angela Wiles

Before starting this, I'd like to say that Angela herself did not send this to me. It's another something out of Seimei-san's e-mail to me, but I felt that I should post it here, because it does have quite a few good points. It comes from the Nakago ML, I believe.

QUESTION: (As asked on the NMLS) Are those of us who love Nakago just a teensy bit afraid to admit that - yes, he DID do some EVIL stuff, and - YES, we still LOVE HIM?!?!?

PONDERINGS/ANSWERS: (from angela johnson) okay, i dealt with this tangentially when i did a directed study in the gothic novel last semester. i kept calling on nak as the primeexample of a well realized gothic villain. what qualifies nak? a) he is evil. yuu watase is brilliant. she builds, builds, builds nak as this heinous villain who manipulates everyone close to him, including the one woman he loves. we are given scenes of nak whipping ashitare and orchestrating the brutal murder of tamahome's entire family, seducing yui and sacrificing soi's love LONG before we're given any indication of nakago's "good side." yeah, he doesn't rape miaka, and i, like tomo, doubt it was miaka's innate suzaku no miko power that kept him from it. yeah, he did love soi and suffered horribly from her death. yeah, it's even possible he loved yui like a seishi should. and of course, in the last episode, we find out WHY. nak is not simply ambitious, sadistic, or elementally evil. but we never really know that until the last episode, or in any case, the last ten. yet, speaking only for myself, i loved nakago from his first appearance. i also genuinely like each of the suzaku seishi, so it wasn't a reaction against an ill drawn cast of heroes. one possible reason for this is, like the gothic villain, nakago represents power. power without outwardly imposed constraints. power that comes at tremendous price in human terms. we can envy him, be awed by him, hate him, love him, pity him in one go. also, like the gothic villain, he's GOOD at this stuff. in a story like fy, in which the heroine is trying to find herself, become self actualized, nakago is the antithesis of the fumbling, disordered actions of the hero. his power is a huge part of his charm. he may be evil, but he's ideal evil. i know it sounds silly, but nakago is like an idealised deviant, being "other" as a viable alternative. it's trait he shares with the best of villains from every genre. i don't mean to offend anyone. the reasons you love nak are your own. maybe you somehow knew his personal tragedy before you watched the show. the could make a considerable difference. or maybe you picked up on cues that i didn't. the picture on the seiryuu counterattack cd depicts nak and soi in i think the most beautiful pic of nakago i've ever seen... (well, maybe the shot in white robes with blue flowers. nice. ahem.) and he looks all hero. it's arguable, with the depth of characterization provided nak, amiboshi, suboshi, and soi, that there are no real villains in fy. i think the pacing of the storytelling ultimately defies that in nak's case, or at best makes him a byronic hero, the slightly nicer cousin of the gothic villain. i don't think it's contradiction to love nak, in spite of everything. i think it's healthier even than simple adoration for, say, hotohori. (of course, i'm guilty there too. :))


Ayame

if nak was reaally so crule and in-humane ect why would he carry around Sois dead body?? he did that.. ((in my opinion)) be cause he really did care. its hard for him to show this becaue he has knowniothing but hate and pain his while life so how would you expecat him to act? sure hes done soem wrong things but thats gonna happen.. i mean no ones perfect.. and hey he couldnt even reape miaka, and if maiak hadnt had that barrier on herself i dont thin khe could have. I mean he saw his mother get raped when he was a little boy and knew it was wrong, i dont think he could have gone through with it. He isnt one of my favorite charicters, and i dont really liek him all that much but people are only human and arent perfect.


Jane

I think Nakago is actually a very talented person. I have finished watching the manga therefore, I understand why Nakago is the person that he is. He had to witness his mother being rape by groons. He was malested by the King when he was little. And he was an outsider who was being chase after by other races. This hatred that was brought to him in his childhood, has brought him to who he is. I pity him greatly. And I think he is really brilliant at planning all the strategy against Miaka and her seishi. This is my opinion of it, therefore, of course you don't have to agree with me. I just wanted to give out my opinion.


Ix

Anything I going to say might be repeats of waht other people have said, but this is how I feel about Nakago, so bare with me please.

15) He sees people only as objects to be used to gain power. When their usefulness is at an end, he casts them aside. (See the example of Ashitare)
14) He is shamelessly maniuplative.
13) (extension of the above) He lies. Constantly.

I think there's more than enough said about why and how Nakago became the way it is, so I won't bore you with this part.

12) He has poor taste in armor, second only to Hotohori.
The armor armor is actually pretty acurate to ancient chinese armor, except for the cape/scarf/whatever that thing is. Personally, I liked Nakago in his armor, better than when he's not wearing them. (when he's in the tent with Miaka) Also, Nakago's armor is the result of Watase-sama's drawing, and I want to say that she have good taste. ^.^

11) He has WAY too much power for one person. Come on...it takes more than even Chichiri to hold him off. No person should have that much power. It's wrong.
I think that he's the seishi who discovered his power the earliest, thus have more time to develop them. Also, he channeled all his hate into developing his seishi power in order to archieve what he had dreamed to all those years. And, chichiri did hold him off earlier in the series, several times too (in the Seiryuu Hall). Later in the series... well, I guess soi showed up (nuf said).

10) His obsession with raping Miaka is just SICK! Come ON! If you wanna get rid of her, just kill her!
Seimei had a wonderful page made up solely for this discussing. Might want to check it out. It's part of the Nakago Fan Club. Personally, I think it was all Tomo's idea. Since Nakago's mother was raped and that was the reason why he couldn't control his power and killed her, he would despise all rapist. Remember, he did save soi when she was forced to go to the brothal. I think killing her will ruin his master plan, so he can't kill her. Yui might give up summoning Seiryuu, and Nakago might not be able to kill the evil nasty Koutou emperor.

9) He's the one that gave Suboshi the idea of killing poor Tama-chan's family.
8) HE KISSED YUI! HE KISSED MIAKA! Doesn't he have any taste??? I mean, GEEZE, he's got Soi for crying out loud, and then he does something downright tasteless like THAT? Him and his head games. *shudder*
7) He's cruel. He plays with people, and takes amusement from their suffering. Remember the fight between Tamahome and Tasuki? Remember how he killed that poor canary?

He did all these things to manipulate people into doing exactly what he wanted. And it's true, he is cruel and mean at times. But think about what Seimei said about why he bacame that way. (I have no idea what was up with the canary, it kinda reminded me of V when Diana ate her little canary... waaaaaayyyyyy off topic)

6) Sex for the purpose of raising chi. I think that's just yucky...right on par with casual "let's shack up!" kind of stuff.
5) He basically spurns poor Soi right up until the end, when she's too dead to care.

That's one of Soi's special powers. She loves him and I believe he loved her (he might have known it til she was dead, but he still loved her), and using that power to help raised the chi of another could be juestified by love. I mean, she didn't do it for the other seishi.

4) He can't stay dead! He came back in the first OVA! NOOOOOO!
No comment about the first OVA... doesn't make sense at all.

3) He's very nasty to the Suzaku Seishi. Just because they're enemies mean.
To Nakago, this is war. During war, there's no being nice or mean. You just have to find a way to win. I don't think he have anything particular against any specific person. I guess you might say he like to pick on Tamahome, but I just think that he this Tama is foolish to be so in love with Miaka, since Nakago never felt love (until Soi died he had a realization....)

2) He sang "Blue Eyes Blue." 'Nuff said.
His singing is the fault of the producers and not Nakago. ^_~

1) HE KISSED TAMAHOME! Doesn't he KNOW where that mouth has been??? Then again, he's kissed Miaka and Yui as well. Poor Tamahome.
Yeah, I think that's kind of gross too. But anything that would aggravate Tama, Nak will do it. Why? Just for fun.


Bellis

He's quite a poor thing already and he lost his mother very young and was subjected to cruelty (i think there's a part where he was sort of become a plaything for the emperor --- a male sex-machine)and i guess we can't really blame him of what he has done. i mean, he was being raised up in such a bad childhood and being a young child at that time, he couldn't help it but to absorb the bad influence that he have been given around him. After losing his mother, he was just only bent on taking revenge. he didn't feel the warmest around him. people aren't born just bad, they are being shaped out by their surroundings and circumstances. I believe if he was adopted or brought up by a good moral family, he will turn out good. I know that we can't pardon the wrong doings that he has done to hurt others, however he's now dead forever (probably sentenced to eternal hell) and can't hurt people anymore. please leave him alone.
sometimes, we do have to look at different perpectives of a person's character. we must ask ourselves: why is he like that? is he beyond our likings? I think before he died in manga 12, he does feel a sense of remorse (though he doesn't show it openly). but i do feel in each and every one of us (human beings), we will defintely have a conscience in our some part of our life, no matter how bad we are. Maybe that's why Soi still loves him until the end when she dies. maybe she does know of a good nature or side of Nakago, that is not shown.


Haluka

I have to admit that yeah, he's a minipulative, power hungry/ trippin', cute, blonde, cute, tall, handsome, cute..(snapping out of it) Bastard! But, if I were a boy toy for eleven years to something THAT ugly, I'd be a little scewed up, too. Also on individuals with weak senses of being, environment plays a key role in development. Or not. Personally, I kinda like him! He was the first character on the show that I saw, so...
Gomen nasai!


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