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Children of Bushidō

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Slightly concerned that Sotorii is just such an ******* that it is impossible not to hate him. If, as many assume, this is leading up to a civil war, then there should be something more to Sotorii beside being the oldest heir, some hint that he can become a good Emperor once he matures. Something so that the Emperor has a good reason to pass him over for succession, but might be wrong about him in the end.

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Well, it does seem that Daisetsu isn't going to really be a traditional Emperor, which can certainly cause a Traditionalist/Progressive rift.

It isn't really about who's more likable or which one is the "good guy." This is more of an Order/Chaos fight, not a Good/Evil fight.

Sotorii is a jerkwad, but he's far more likely to preserve Bushido and the traditions of the Empire.

Daisetsu is friendly, but kinda wants to upset and overturn everything he doesn't like, which is going to put quite a lot of disarray into the Empire.

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3 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Sotorii is a jerkwad, but he's far more likely to preserve Bushido and the traditions of the Empire.

Considering how he is treating the sacred sword of the Hantei like a toy and how he is subverting the Bushido, I would say that he is more into driving the whole Empire right into the ground than not!Daigotsu, probably Steel Chrysanthemum style. Also, here note that literally every character who meets Sotorii comes to the conclusion that he is a dishonorable ****, we have yet to meet a single character who has something positive to say about him (Satsume came close, but now we know that he wasn't honest there). 

On the other hand, not!Daigotsu might have eccentric ideas, but he is not exactly a person who just throws those ideas around... in fact, he is pretty darn good at selling them and have people just kinda fly with it or totally buy it. He is also a character who learns and develops his ideas depending on what he experiences, so even if he has this progressive angle now, it can definitely change with the right influence in place (Toturi? Shoju?). 

 

By the way, not!Daigotsu thinking about a horse analogy was cute at the end. We obviously can't have a story with not!Daigotsu and without Shaisetsu. 

Edited by AtoMaki

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I'm a little disappointed with Daisetsu in this story.

He should have just allowed Sotorii to play the game, given him some crazy obscure reference Sotorii would have to look up and then just swap in a Black Scroll for Sotorii to open up....

Daisetsu: "You doubt me brother?  Here, see for yourself.  It's towards the end"

Sotorii: unknowingly opens 1st Black Scroll

Daisetsu: "Suckaaaaa"

Sotorii: a confused expresion on his face, turns to Daisetsu 

Dairu: snickering "Oni sez what"

Sotorii: turns back to Dairu, "what?"

Daisetsu and Dairu: rofl

Seriously though, another great story.  Can't wait to read more!

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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I was disappointed that Daisetsu didn't realize that his brother being angry would always fall on those around him harder than on himself. 

 

But the Daisetsu we have seen later in the Timeline is more careful with his words and planning, so I assume he has matured a lot in six months in the wake of this disaster. 

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Well, that clinches it; Sotorii is a donkey's rear. Honestly, unless Shaisetsu start dabbling in romantic Maho, I can't see a single scenario where people wouldn't support Daisetsu over his brother as heir.

So, what do you think Part 2 of the story will be? Something that's affected by a story choice later on, or just a predetermined "Daisetsu takes Dairu's place, wins the duel, and the reason Sotorii can't wield the sword from Imperial Gifts is because Daisetsu hacked him in the wrist"?

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37 minutes ago, Mangod said:

I can't see a single scenario where people wouldn't support Daisetsu over his brother as heir.

Depends on how well known Daisetsu's opinions are. He actually embodies the virtues of bushido very well, but he's very critical of the letter, where as Sotorii pays the appropriate amount of lip service - I could see traditionalist or conservative elements like a lot of the Lion leadership approving of Sotorii over Daisetsu. But they might do that anyway because Daisetsu seems like he's getting in pretty tight with the Scorpion and the Unicorn. 

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13 minutes ago, UnitOmega said:

Depends on how well known Daisetsu's opinions are. He actually embodies the virtues of bushido very well, but he's very critical of the letter, where as Sotorii pays the appropriate amount of lip service - I could see traditionalist or conservative elements like a lot of the Lion leadership approving of Sotorii over Daisetsu. But they might do that anyway because Daisetsu seems like he's getting in pretty tight with the Scorpion and the Unicorn. 

I dunno, so far Sotorii has shown a shocking lack of Compassion, Courtesy and Sincerity, and I doubt he's any different when off-screen.

I will admit I misspoke, though; there is one group of people I can see "support" him; people who think they can manipulate him for their own benefit. Of course, those would be villains by default as well, so we'd still end up with a simple "Evil Older Brother VS Good Younger Brother"-conflict.

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Let's not forget that we as readers know is a knobhead but for the whole empire, he is sacred and a distant figure at worst, ignoring of his rash behaviour and lack of talent. 

People will follow him because he is a Hantei and so a focus of power, political and military. 

Imagine what could a destitute heir promise an upstart minor clan to help him conquer his legitimate birthright? 

What if he commandeered in some way of land promises the support of the pragmatic Crab Clan? 

What if, in one of their Kharmic Twist, Dragon were actually there to protect and support Sotorii, as part of Togashi's plan for the big day? 

What if the Crane preferred Sotorii, easier to influence and cajole than Daisetsu? 

Too much Clans may have invested in Sotorii since his birth too let go that easily. 

 

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12 minutes ago, Nitenman said:

Let's not forget that we as readers know is a knobhead but for the whole empire, he is sacred and a distant figure at worst, ignoring of his rash behaviour and lack of talent. 

So far, pretty much every character who came in contact with Sotorii quickly came to the conclusion that the boy has to go and stay go, if possible. Satsume was the only exception but he... uh... had plans

Essentially, everything Sotorii can do, not!Daigetsu can do better. And he either did it already, has plans to do it at the first given chance, or has a counter-plan in case his brother tries to do it. For example, I'm fairly certain that the jade Kisada is receiving through the Mantis is not popping out from Yoritomo's good graces, so to speak. 

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Is it just me or does Satorii remind anyone else of the bad guy from 13 Assassins?

Also I have a suspicion that Satorii is going to have his father killed before the edict can be announced.  It will look like natural causes, or an accident, but, Toturi won't be able to just sit on the edict and let it slide, which will leave Toturi alone, holding the bag, when he announces that Satorii wasn't meant to be emperor, because Shoju knows how to play the game better. 

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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6 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Is it just me or does Satorii remind anyone else of the bad guy from 13 Assassins?

Also I have a suspicion that Satorii is going to have his father killed before the edict can be announced.  It will look like natural causes, or an accident, but, Toturi won't be able to just sit on the edict and let it slide, which will leave Toturi alone, holding the bag, when he announces that Satorii wasn't meant to be emperor, because Shoju knows how to play the game better. 

It is not just you.

Personally, I expect it to go down with Hantei XXXVIII telling his son privately, to try to get Sotorii to not embarrass himself publicly. And then Sotorii kills the old man in a fit of rage, blames Shoju publicly, and then everything just goes pear-shaped.

Edited by sndwurks

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4 hours ago, Jhiriit said:

Slightly concerned that Sotorii is just such an ******* that it is impossible not to hate him. If, as many assume, this is leading up to a civil war, then there should be something more to Sotorii beside being the oldest heir, some hint that he can become a good Emperor once he matures. Something so that the Emperor has a good reason to pass him over for succession, but might be wrong about him in the end.

Hard disagree. The essential point of someone like Sotorii is that there really is nothing that should remotely make you think they should be in charge of anything, yet they will be given nigh-unlimited power. It’s the core flaw in primogeniture. 

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1 minute ago, Doji Hyōkin said:

Hard disagree. The essential point of someone like Sotorii is that there really is nothing that should remotely make you think they should be in charge of anything, yet they will be given nigh-unlimited power. It’s the core flaw in primogeniture. 

Shoju, Kisada, Hotaru, Altansarnai and Toturi were all born into their station. The last three particularly have depth and complexity, uncertainty about their station yet seem to be well suited for the role they were born for after all.

Sotorii so far comes across as Veruca Salt in search of their comeuppance. I do have faith though that there will be issues of blasphemy that even Daisetsu acknowledges and that Daisetsu himself will be revealed as a bit naive and vulnerable as opposed to the clear good guy he seems to be shown as at the moment. Shoju's internal monologue seems to show him taking it all in stride. I perhaps thought he would be a bit more conflicted after his discussion of ambition with Kachiko.

We shall see. :) 

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Not a great deal of new ground here- more of a doubling down on what a complete waste of flesh Sotorii is- but I enjoyed the character notes.

Although as has been noted, at this point Daisetsu would have to engage in public acts of insane cruelty to lose the popular vote.

 

If I have a criticism, it's of the wider story decision to make Sotorii so awful- because at this point, he's less of a character than a "Hantei Joffrey, everybody throw rotten fruit this way" sort of guy. He's completely indefensible, and even if the next two fictions devote themselves to exploring his character and adding some nuance, the damage is long since done. Is there anything he does well? I ask, because at this point, all he has going for him is an appeal to tradition- and while that may work in Rokugan on a word of god level, for modern readers it's... less than compelling. Not saying we need some sort of "oh, but he loves his dog, feel bad for him" tale, but... he's so relentlessly one-note awful at this point that he might as well remain an offstage presence for the rest of his existence.

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59 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Not a great deal of new ground here- more of a doubling down on what a complete waste of flesh Sotorii is- but I enjoyed the character notes.

Although as has been noted, at this point Daisetsu would have to engage in public acts of insane cruelty to lose the popular vote.

 

If I have a criticism, it's of the wider story decision to make Sotorii so awful- because at this point, he's less of a character than a "Hantei Joffrey, everybody throw rotten fruit this way" sort of guy. He's completely indefensible, and even if the next two fictions devote themselves to exploring his character and adding some nuance, the damage is long since done. Is there anything he does well? I ask, because at this point, all he has going for him is an appeal to tradition- and while that may work in Rokugan on a word of god level, for modern readers it's... less than compelling. Not saying we need some sort of "oh, but he loves his dog, feel bad for him" tale, but... he's so relentlessly one-note awful at this point that he might as well remain an offstage presence for the rest of his existence.

And yet, in Old5R Matsu Tsuko stands for actually possessed by Fu Leng Sotorii. Or, given ‘Hantei Joffrey’ the quote from Stannis

Good men and true will fight for Joffrey, wrongly believing him the true king”

Sotorii’s nature is a whetstone for Bushido. We see that in every interaction anyone has with him. And the depth of his character will only get plumbed when the one thing he uses to define himself gets taken away by his father. 

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17 minutes ago, Doji Hyōkin said:

Sotorii’s nature is a whetstone for Bushido. We see that in every interaction anyone has with him. And the depth of his character will only get plumbed when the one thing he uses to define himself gets taken away by his father. 

By then it will be far too late to salvage him as even remotely interesting.

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23 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

By then it will be far too late to salvage him as even remotely interesting.

Not every character needs to be interesting, unique or a tragic soul. Sotorii seems to be set up as a catalyst rather than an antagonist. Sometimes you just need a simple evil character to make a mess of things so you can focus on the protagonists trying to fix things.

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3 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Not a great deal of new ground here- more of a doubling down on what a complete waste of flesh Sotorii is- but I enjoyed the character notes.

Although as has been noted, at this point Daisetsu would have to engage in public acts of insane cruelty to lose the popular vote.

 

If I have a criticism, it's of the wider story decision to make Sotorii so awful- because at this point, he's less of a character than a "Hantei Joffrey, everybody throw rotten fruit this way" sort of guy. He's completely indefensible, and even if the next two fictions devote themselves to exploring his character and adding some nuance, the damage is long since done. Is there anything he does well? I ask, because at this point, all he has going for him is an appeal to tradition- and while that may work in Rokugan on a word of god level, for modern readers it's... less than compelling. Not saying we need some sort of "oh, but he loves his dog, feel bad for him" tale, but... he's so relentlessly one-note awful at this point that he might as well remain an offstage presence for the rest of his existence.

I think at this point the way forward would be to show why someone would wish to stand against Shoju and Toturi. It can be done but, boy, will it be hard work considering Sotorii's utter lack of redeeming qualities.

I think the Dragon and the Phoenix can be used as spanners in the works.

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