The Bitter End Syndrome

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The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby toushin » Sun May 24, 2015 11:22 am

The bitter end syndrome is what I call when authors depict the problems in Akane’s and Ranma’s relationship as entirely his fault. That all Ranma needs to do is get rid of his fiancées and stop insulting Akane and everything will magically fix itself. This does not mean that the fic is bad take Relentless and Heart of Ice. In the former after Akane masters the bakusai tenketsu she is suddenly strong enough to defeat Shampoo and when they go save Ranma he is moved to tears as he finally realizes how much he as held her back. While in Heart of Ice the entirety of Akane’s training revolves around her learning to ignore Ranma’s insults.

My question why are there so many of these fics. the reason I call it Bitter End syndrome is that fic basically deconstructed this idea. Ranma suddenly stop insulting Akane won’t do anything in fact it most likely would make her more suspicious (which is has). It just seems like a convenient excuse to force the relationship instead of allowing them to grow as a couple
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby Spica75 » Sun May 24, 2015 4:02 pm

My question why are there so many of these fics.


Simple way to get "forward"? And while it´s often done far too easily, there´s at least some degree of realism in it.

and everything will magically fix itself.


More like, given a chance to fix itself.
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby slickrcbd » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:27 am

I'm not sure if I should be necroing it, but I think it is the same mentality as the people who tell bullying victims "If you would just ignore them, they would stop and leave you alone. They are only trying to get a rise out of you. By reacting to them, you're giving them what they want. Ignore them and they will stop".

Of course, in reality ignoring them causes escalation and then you get punished for the incident. It also allows the school staff, who are usually the ones preaching "just ignore them" to blame the victim for not ignoring them. Also the "you must be doing something to provoke them or encourage them or otherwise make yourself a target. If you'd just figure out why they target you and change it, the problems will stop".

Same deal, if Ranma would just stop insulting Akane, the problems would stop.

I don't buy it either, but it is the exact same mindset. Some people seem to truly believe that and put all the blame on one party, so they put the onus on that party and let the other party get away with anything. I saw little difference with Akane, who the fathers always backed regardless of circumstances.
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby Spica75 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:07 am

Same deal, if Ranma would just stop insulting Akane, the problems would stop.


A BIG chunk of the problems WOULD stop, as Ranma is effectively the one bullying Akane and she responds to it exactly by not ignoring him. Even if it´s probably more reflexive and unintentional from his side, that doesn´t make it less nasty to the recipient.

~"Oh my i cannot simply hit a girl, that would be beneath me." expressed by someone who spends a quarter of his time as a girl? Uh, that could pretty much get anyone to want to kill him for being such an arrogant prick. And Akane has him FORCED upon her? Not to mention how she was one of the best around in martial arts before he arrived, and then continually gets mocked for being weak. Yeah, perfect storm in the making.


Of course it´s not entirely his fault, but he´s definitely a primary reason why things go as they do.


Because really, do tell, how often does Akane actually initiate trouble between them?
She REACTS. Overreacts a lot, but that´s a different matter.
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby Crescent Pulsar S » Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:49 pm

I think "bullying" is incorrectly -- and too loosely -- being used to explain Ranma's behavior, either in whole or in part. It gets close enough at times for it to seem like it, but it isn't, because -- despite how bad their relationship seems -- they do have a special rapport going on, and there are two very apparent clues that dispel any notion of Ranma being a bully toward Akane.

The first is that their interactions are usually give and take, because they're close enough -- and accepting enough -- of the other to relate to each other on equal grounds. It might not appear that way, because Akane's reactions are justified in some sense and degree often enough, but -- being that she tends to respond physically -- she wouldn't have the satisfaction, and thus a positive take in the deal, if Ranma didn't allow her to get her piece in. He could easily escape retaliation if all he wanted to do was to be hurtful, and there are plenty of instances where he clearly stays put and lets her get him back (one instance, that comes to mind, is during the martial arts tea ceremony story, for example).

The second thing is that, underneath it all (even beyond the teasing, insults and physical abuses), they care for each other. If their relationship had been bully and bullied, for instance, Akane wouldn't have expressed her concern and then hugged Ranma when he returned from his fight with Herb, and the Valentine story would have had a very different ending. Their relationship may not be normal, healthy or even be good by most people's standards, but it's not unusual for a couple of people to have a unique or strange aspect to their relationship, that makes their connection distinct among other individuals that they're close enough to.

Beyond that, and the fact that Ranma is often blunt and/or tactless when stating facts (which may or may not be the case), whenever he's not deliberately trying to get a rise out of Akane, stopping all that isn't going to improve their relationship, or anything else -- related or otherwise. It'll just end up making Akane the bad guy if she doesn't change in turn, if, say, Ranma tried to use his criticism constructively. Akane simply doesn't respond well to any perceived faults being directed at her, at least as far as Ranma is concerned. On top of that, also where Ranma is concerned, she is distrustful, quick to blame and jumping to conclusions, and has been shown to have selective hearing, all of which are highly counterproductive to whatever positive efforts Ranma may attempt. Such a thing may even destabilize the relationship that they have, as abnormal as it is. Considering the kind of people that they are, what we perceive as bad/wrong may just be the kind of thing that works for them, at this stage of their lives, relationship and/or situation.

Also, Akane initiates the verbal barbs often enough (which isn't surprising, considering all of the silly, shameless and/or disreputable things Ranma does), whether she gets a reaction out of Ranma or not, though he's sometimes either far enough away to not hear her, or distracted by the current matter at hand.
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby PCHeintz72 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:12 pm

Akane: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
- viewtopic.php?t=33
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby Spica75 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:46 pm

I think "bullying" is incorrectly -- and too loosely -- being used to explain Ranma's behavior, either in whole or in part.


That´s why i wrote that he´s "effectively" doing it rather than that he IS doing it. He´s just being his often obnoxious, arrogant and foot in mouth self. He´s almost never trying to be outright nasty to her, quite the opposite a lot of the time even, he just manages it unintentionally.

despite how bad their relationship seems -- they do have a special rapport going on


Yes, they do, and they also have a very high level of "awareness" of each other, which is what makes it worse when they do say something stupid.

He could easily escape retaliation if all he wanted to do was to be hurtful, and there are plenty of instances where he clearly stays put and lets her get him back (one instance, that comes to mind, is during the martial arts tea ceremony story, for example).


Yeah, even though he´s pisspoor at seeing that something is a really bad thing to say, before he says it, once he figures out he DID say something bad...

Beyond that, and the fact that Ranma is often blunt and/or tactless when stating facts (which may or may not be the case)


Or often twisted by prejudice and stupidity stacked on him by Genma, so that even if something might be essentially true, when he says it, it might as well be complete fabrication as it can sound like something utterly different from intended.

It'll just end up making Akane the bad guy if she doesn't change in turn, if, say, Ranma tried to use his criticism constructively. Akane simply doesn't respond well to any perceived faults being directed at her, at least as far as Ranma is concerned.


No, but as long as he throws them at her as insults while treating her as if she was inferior, well duh, of course she will have problem listening seriously to it.
If he DID manage constructive critique, without throwing in arrogance or whatever along with it at the same time, chances are at the very least drastically better that Akane would be able to take it seriously.

Also, Akane initiates the verbal barbs often enough


From "zero"? AFAIK, that´s VERY rare to the point where i can´t even think of such an occasion right now.
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby Crescent Pulsar S » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:59 pm

Spica75 wrote:That´s why i wrote that he´s "effectively" doing it rather than that he IS doing it.

Oh, sorry for the confusion; I wasn't referring to what you said, specifically. I was just responding to the notion even being brought up, since I don't recall anything that ever made me think of bullying being a thing between Ranma and Akane. They can certainly be spiteful, though.

From "zero"? AFAIK, that´s VERY rare to the point where i can´t even think of such an occasion right now.

No specific occasion comes to mind right now, either, honestly, but I'm pretty sure they're there. She's often by his side, or nearby, when he does or says something (not to her, or even applying to her) that inspires a comment or action worthy of a negative reaction (if he catches it, or isn't otherwise concerned about something else). Hmmmm... Kind of like when Akane caught Ranma in a bunnygirl outfit while trying to out-sell Tsubasa, but the insult was implied.

There was something similar that came to mind, in part because it wasn't verbal in nature. It was when Akane asked Ranma to lose to Mousse on purpose, and he simply stated that he would rather be stuck with Shampoo than lose a fight. In response, she coerces him with neko-Shampoo, and continues to try and enforce her one-sided desire later when Ranma initially doesn't try to go along with it.
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby Spica75 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:26 am

No specific occasion comes to mind right now, either, honestly, but I'm pretty sure they're there. She's often by his side, or nearby, when he does or says something (not to her, or even applying to her) that inspires a comment or action worthy of a negative reaction (if he catches it, or isn't otherwise concerned about something else).


That was my point, as that´s still reacting, not initiating.

They can certainly be spiteful, though.


You can say that again!
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby Crescent Pulsar S » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:01 am

Spica75 wrote:That was my point, as that´s still reacting, not initiating.

When put like that, though, "zero" applies to much of what Ranma does, too. There's little to no difference between the two since neither do much that's absolutely from an unaffected standpoint; there's usually something that inspires their actions.
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby Spica75 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:44 pm

Crescent Pulsar S wrote:When put like that, though, "zero" applies to much of what Ranma does, too. There's little to no difference between the two since neither do much that's absolutely from an unaffected standpoint; there's usually something that inspires their actions.


But it´s usually something Ranma does that actually triggers "bad stuff".
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby slickrcbd » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:28 pm

It has been ten to fifteen years since I've seen/read the source material, so I might be mixing up the anime and manga or even fannon fanfics. At the time, it was fan translations as Viz had just stared releasing the manga in the U.S.
I recall that often it was an external influence that Akane would react to with a nasty comment based on mistrust that Ranma would react to by insulting her back. Something that Ranma had no control over.

OK, now I'm going to have to reread the manga and track down the anime. I'm not sure I've read the manga since 2002. I hope the CD I burned it to still works.
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby Crescent Pulsar S » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:08 am

The ringside or peanut gallery comments are certainly true of Akane, since it's a common (not necessarily comedic) element in the series. Even Kasumi does it, and not all of what she says is nice.

Spica75 wrote:But it´s usually something Ranma does that actually triggers "bad stuff".

I could be getting the wrong impression from you, but it sounds like you're ignoring justification and reasonableness, which really skews things; your initiative versus reaction take on it doesn't logically determine a guilty party. I believe the point concerned responding in kind; i.e. meanness for meanness, not meanness for whatever, which is like guilt-by-being (although Akane looks at things that way, sometimes; guy-to-girl curse = pervert, for instance). For example, when Akane coerced Ranma with the aforementioned application of neko-Shampoo to his face, and proceeded to enforce what she wanted out of him, that treatment was neither a justified or reasonable response to what he had said. Ranma hadn't said anything mean to -- or about -- her; any insult or unkindness would have been indirect and personalized. I simply can't see how that could be construed as Ranma's fault, or him being mean, and thus deserving of the response that he got, since he hadn't initialized that kind of behavior himself. Ranma wasn't doing anything wrong to Akane during his duel with Tsubasa, either: that was a yet another problem stemming from within Akane herself, so her reaction to Ranma was her taking the initiative in being the wrongdoer in the given scenario. And this is a fairly common theme with Akane, because she tends to assume things of Ranma in a negative way, projects her fears, suspicions and prejudices onto him, or interprets the situation as she wants to believe it to be, before seeking or establishing the truth of things.

Basically, if Akane was practicing in the dojo and was generally being ungraceful, I wouldn't place the blame on her (for "taking the initiative," as it were) if Ranma responded to that by comparing her movements to that of a fish on land. Neither would I blame Ranma if Akane called him a pervert simply for being able to transform into a girl.
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby Spica75 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:24 pm

Neither would I blame Ranma if Akane called him a pervert simply for being able to transform into a girl.


Neither would i. However, Ranma´s response to that is usually drastically worse and basically what initiates things getting out of hand. Akane initiating is often something like shouting pervert at him... If his reply was just "no i´m not" or something equally "flat" then what? Then that situation would die out.

And it´s hard to blame Akane for that kind of reaction due to circumstances, seriously, any girl who was attacked every day by a large portion of her school´s males for the reason of trying to FORCE her to date them? No matter what she says? Ehm, it´s amazing Akane isn´t even MUCH worse.

So, is it her fault that Kuno and the boys at school has warped her sense of "boys"? Hardly. That´s blaming a victim.

I think you overlook those two parts too much.

And maybe read too much into what i´m trying to say.

If you could cut out Akane´s "bad conditioning", skewed perceptions and all, sure you could cut down their fights by a sizeable bit, but if instead you could get Ranma to drop the combination of arrogance, prejudice and foot in mouth etc, then how much of their fights would ever happen at all? Very very few.

That´s what i´m pointing at. Akane isn´t blameless, but that it´s usually Ranma that is the reason for situations getting out of hand or explosive.

I believe the point concerned responding in kind; i.e. meanness for meanness, not meanness for whatever


That´s the thing, if Ranma stayed on Akane´s level, well, he almost never does. Part of that is of course Akane´s skewed perception, but it´s also Ranma´s skewed perception (prejudice from Genma, his own arrogance, being too casual with using insults as part of ANY fighting etc etc)...
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Re: The Bitter End Syndrome

Postby Crescent Pulsar S » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:08 pm

...Your reasoning is worse than I thought. You're basically making illogical excuses to hinge most of the blame on Ranma, especially in regard to things that aren't relevant to the part he plays in the situations that he gets involved in. Now, rather than it being a matter of who starts it or why, if the retaliating party escalates things and/or contributes the most to the ensuing mess, they end up with the lion's share of the blame, if not all of it; it doesn't even matter if the person that started it has enough experience to know what kind of reaction to expect, and -- at the very least -- share responsibility for what happens. Then there's the double standard where it's excusable for Akane to initiate or react to things because of a personal problem, but it's not excusable for Ranma if his own personal problem is involved.

There are no excuses for any of their behavior, even if it's due to a personality trait; especially if they have enough tolerance/sense to stop themselves from saying or doing anything wrong at any point. They make their choice, thus their bed, and they should lie in it. Either way, though, the catalyst is usually where most of the blame can be attributed, since -- without that -- there is no reaction, much less a situation worthy of applying blame for wrongdoing. Often enough they both know better than to do or say what they do to each other, whether to begin with or in response, and they both do it too often for a simple majority to absolve either one of them of guilt by any degree, so it doesn't make sense -- to me -- to blame one of them more than the other, unless someone can account for every related detail of every instance where they antagonize each other so the comparison can speak for itself.

Anyway, if you disagree with me, we should probably just agree to disagree and leave it at that. I can't see myself seeing it your way (unless I'm wrong on what your way is, in which case I'd be happy to get clarification/be corrected on that), and I'd rather save us both the time and effort arguing over something that won't change anything.
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