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Thought on Frozen Butterfly


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#1 OFFLINE   Hex

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 05:48 AM

What happens to Mio during the fade to black is a little ambiguous.  Whatever it was, it's left her immobile and lifeless, but aware enough to shed a tear.  Was she catatonic, strangled or beheaded as discussed in the past?

 

Or did Mayu steal Mio's soul like the Azami doll did with Akane?  Granted, it's something unique to spirits possessing dolls, but isn't that what Mayu's been reduced to by Sae?  

 

I just had had the thought while thinking of different endings, one where Mio refuses to see the faults in her sister and becomes like Akane, applying make up to Mayu's doll-like features who also sheds a tear, whether in guilt or horror at what she's done to Mio being left open to interpretation...



#2 OFFLINE   AnimalLover47999

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 04:42 PM

I see it as her strangling her into a coma like state.  She's still alive in the moment that we see her so she's aware of her surroundings and she cries because no matter what she did she was unable to prove to Mayu that her trust issues and personal fears were unfounded.

 

I personally interpreted it as when Mio was younger she thought she was at fault for Mayu's accident but over the years came to realize that it was Mayu's own fears and insecurities that caused it.  But in an act of love she resolves to help guide and assure Mayu that her fears are unfounded and that Mio would never leave her behind and live a life without her there by her side.  She shows her love and patience for her actions rather than anger and judgement which is what makes 2's story and characters so amazing for me.

 

I do not think she's beheaded because you can see the edge of her shoulder as well as the strap connecting her shirt to her body when Mayu lifts her head upwards.  I also don't see any reason why she would have beheaded her as nothing in Sae or Mayu's history with their sisters would imply they'd want to behead them.  Mayu was able to carry Mio up to the Great Hall from the Abyss without beheading her so I don't think she'd really feel the need to do so now.

 

Now I want to replay the games again.  Been like two years since I touched the old ones so I might get onto that soon...


Edited by AnimalLover47999, 09 June 2017 - 04:44 PM.


#3 OFFLINE   midwinter

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 06:22 PM

I like the soul-stealing theory! That would be interesting. We do also know that when Akane's soul was in the process of being stolen, she could still move around and talk to some extent, which might explain how Mayu managed to get her out of the Abyss and back up to Kurosawa House.

 

I think the theory I've come round to personally is that Mayu did kill Mio by strangling her, but in doing that (and also in keeping the body instead of offering it to the Hellish Abyss), she really messed up the natural order of things even by post-Repentance standards, so although Mio's spirit is still unable to move on, she can't become a ghost either, so she's basically a ghost trapped in a dead body. Like a butterfly unable to emerge from the cocoon, if we want to be poetic. Same deal with all the ghosts/corpses apparently becoming a long-term fixture in the Great Hall, rather than a temporary manifestation.


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#4 OFFLINE   Hex

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 06:35 PM

To be clear, I don't think Mayu actually gobbled Mio's soul like a goblin.  Just an idea I thought would be cool to discuss.   :P

 

Edit: duuude, that trapped cocoon theory rocks (a frozen butterfly?  ho ho).  Another headcanon added to the list!   :D

 

Honestly, I don't think there's enough to indicate Mio knew how Mayu felt for her to actively try to change her mind.  I thought the point of the flashback was to show it's something of a repressed memory, a side of her sister Mio has actively ignored because it frightens her, until it bubbles over completely in the ending.  The story's built on the divide between them; if Mio had resolved her feelings over the accident and consciously knew the truth before even the opening cutscene, the story loses a lot of weight.  Why would Mio hesitate in their conversation if she wants to show forgiveness and positivity instead of approaching a topic she's uneasy and unsure about?



#5 OFFLINE   AnimalLover47999

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 07:58 PM

I think she wants Mayu to be the one to start to bridge the gap between them.  She knows that her sister is unstable so instead of confronting her directly and being mean about what she did she tries to kill her with kindness.  Mayu herself seems to have at least some feelings of regret for what she did because of the fact that in the opening of the game and at the midway part of the 4th chapter she tries to bring up something with Mio but then quickly shuts down because she's scared of how Mio would take it if she acknowledged how she's been acting.

 

The guidebook mentions that Mio knows Mayu fell on purpose in one of the DCB ending summaries which with every other little touch in the game I've taken to mean that over the years she came to realize that it's not her fault that Mayu fell because Mayu fell as a result of her own mental instabilities.  She subconsciously repressed that memory (You can even see her start to pass out after seeing it) because of how it did terrify her, but she still hopes to save her sister through love and patience rather than being angry about how she's been treating her.  I can't see it ending well had Mio become hostile towards Mayu for what she did and her general demeanor throughout the game is one of love and caring.


Edited by AnimalLover47999, 09 June 2017 - 07:59 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   Hex

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 08:40 PM

I think it's pretty clear Mio's been struggling with guilt ever since the accident which fuels her overprotective behaviour.  There's nothing to indicate she's treating Mayu with informed kindness as a way of showing forgiveness, or that Mayu is too unstable to discuss it prior to entering the village. 

 

I've said it before, but I think you've seen these characters through rose coloured glasses for so long that you project qualities onto them that aren't there.


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#7 OFFLINE   AnimalLover47999

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 10:24 PM

Nothing in the game explicitly implies the things she does are because she feels guilty.  Nothing says she isn't smart enough to realize that she did nothing wrong, and her actions throughout the game don't come across as not one of concern and forgiveness for one she loves and knows has issues.  She could very well just be remembering the events of the past rather than still constantly be beating herself up over it.  Her actions in the game don't come across as being driven by guilt and self loathing but instead by love and forgiveness. I wouldn't have saw those qualities in them if there wasn't anything in the game or supplemental material to suggest that as being the case.

 

Even when I first played the game and didn't know all of the intricacies of the narrative and the depths of the characters I still saw Mio as being a combination of both.  Even after realizing the darker sides to the characters and becoming more knowledgeable on what a character's actions can or can't mean and symbolize that impression of her still holds strong.  Her theme song has such a feeling of hope to it despite the pain combined with her general demeanor and actions which gives that off the impression of someone who is trying to help guide someone they love down the right path.

 

Her theme song has such a feeling of hope to it despite the pain combined with her general demeanor and which gives that off as the impression of someone who is trying to help guide someone else who has issues down the right path.  Yes, there was guilt there at one point as you can see by her apologizing for Mayu falling, but her actions in the present day don't come across as those of someone who feels like it's their fault anymore.  Instead it comes across as someone who's already come to terms with their own feelings and is now trying to help the other person out of their own issues but isn't sure how to go about it other than to be sweet and loving to them.

 

Maybe we just see it differently but it's not rose tinted vision and I don't think my interpretation's incorrect.


Edited by AnimalLover47999, 09 June 2017 - 10:32 PM.


#8 OFFLINE   Hex

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 12:12 AM

Nothing in the game explicitly implies the things she does are because she feels guilty.

 

The story is framed by her guilt.  It starts with her reminiscing about the accident years later, particularly saying the words "I'm sorry", and ends with her remorse over the ceremony.  She's clearly wracked with it whenever she has to leave Mayu, especially during the cell scene.  Her guilt is what largely defines her, and is part of her connection to Yae.  

 

If you disregard the flashbacks as insights into Mio's mindset and Mayu's psychological hold over her, which she wouldn't have if Mio was truly free of guilt and aware, then sure.  You won't see Mio's concern over Mayu's leg, the desperation to reunite and stay together or constantly reaffirming their promise as anything but a loving, healthy relationship.  But doing so doesn't give the story the credit it deserves, in my opinion.

 

She could very well just be remembering the events of the past rather than still constantly be beating herself up over it.

 

Would you say the same about Rei when she remembers the accident?  The game isn't trying to show you how she feels?

 

I don't think you can say Mio's actions are a sign of showing forgiveness without any indication that she consciously knows the truth for her to form opinions about it.  Wouldn't FB play out a lot differently if she did?  Wouldn't she try reaching out to her instead of reacting in paralysed fear?  Ironically, Mayu is the one to show forgiveness ("no matter what happens"), not Mio.  Unless there's an example I'm missing?

 

Why do these topics always derail when you're around, AL?   :P


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#9 OFFLINE   midwinter

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 12:34 PM

Nothing in the game explicitly implies the things she does are because she feels guilty.

 

Dude. Once you reach the point where you're arguing there's no implication that Mio is motivated by guilt, you've wandered way off into the tall grass IMO. It's the second line of her character section in the booklet, and the third sentence of her character summary in the guidebook glossary. There are two entire endings where the dramatic moment is Mio catching Mayu before she can fall. The whole setup of the accident mirrors what happened with Yae and Sae, and it's why Yae's spirit is attracted to Mio just like Sae's is attracted to Mayu. Mayu knows that's the button to push when she wants Mio to stand guard indefinitely outside a locked cell instead of leaving for five minutes to get the key and Mio actually hesitates - that's not love and forgiveness for a sister she knows can't think clearly, that's a special kind of crazy that these two have been reinforcing between them for years. It's fundamental. Mio doesn't need to be doing a running monologue of her feelings for it to be explicitly implied.

 

Nothing says she isn't smart enough to realize that she did nothing wrong

 

It's not about how smart Mio is, it's about the break in understanding between Mio and Mayu that fuels the whole game. Mio knows Mayu fell on purpose, but she doesn't know why, and since they can't talk about it, she accepts the blame. She says, "If only I'd been there, holding your hand." She says, "I wish we'd both fallen together," and then, "This time, we fall together." I don't think it could be much clearer that she doesn't think Mayu's at fault for falling, she thinks she's at fault for not being there. She doesn't think Mayu needs forgiveness for doing it, she thinks she needs to atone for letting it happen. Her main concern is closing the rift between them, not making Mayu a better person, whatever that means.

 

Her actions in the game don't come across as being driven by guilt and self loathing but instead by love and forgiveness. I wouldn't have saw those qualities in them if there wasn't anything in the game or supplemental material to suggest that as being the case.

 

Well, I'm pretty curious to know what you think her actions would have looked like if they'd been driven by guilt. And I'd like to hear what specifically gave you the impression that forgiving Mayu is on Mio's radar, or that she thinks Mayu needs forgiveness. Just because Mayu's behaviour seems creepy and manipulative to us doesn't mean Mio has to see it that way.

 

I have to agree with Hex here, it really seems like you're ignoring and twisting a lot of stuff just to build a new idealised headcanon around one line from the guidebook, which doesn't say any of the things you're getting out of it. I get that you love their relationship and want it to be perfect, but you used to argue just as vehemently against the idea that Mayu had fallen on purpose or that she wanted to do the ritual. Now you've accepted that Mayu has issues, but it feels like you've just transferred that burden of perfection onto Mio. If Mayu can be messed up, irrational and selfish, then Mio has to be proportionately accepting, self-aware and pure of heart. (Not even getting into whether "Saint Mio spends the whole game forgiving her terrible sister" would actually be a positive thing...)

 

Like Hex says, I'd take Frozen Butterfly as a strong sign that although Mio might be vaguely aware of this stuff, she's been suppressing it rather than facing up to it, which kind of precludes any kind of acceptance. Mio learning to understand Mayu properly is a huge part of her arc and the main turning point of the endings - the worst ending is the one where she doesn't even try, and Frozen Butterfly is the second worst, because in that one she understands what Mayu wants and rejects it. Even though what Mayu wants is something dark. The story doesn't operate on a simple right/wrong axis, so acting like Mio's only options re: Mayu are forgiveness or anger doesn't work.

 

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That was totally on-topic, there was a whole paragraph about Frozen Butterfly. How bout that symbolic headless doll?


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