Souboutei Kowasu Beshi

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Vol. 9 Ch. 81 - Kaerikuro's Tough Battle
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@MisterSteak
I suppose it might be the case of faulty statistics. Souboutei does not lure into the paintings everyone who enters. It might be choosing among its victims trying to attack the most susceptible first. But Takoha successfully overcoming it is a narratively unique event and it turns out to be such a deal-breaker, that it seems, someone would have known if something like this had happened before. Like, no wise monk or elderly phylosopher ever happened to come there, leave and advise people to make peace with themselves before they come near Souboutei. And it doesn't even take that much spiritual awareness if a young starving artist can do it.

Dying afterwards is what posessed people do. Or the ones breaking out forcefully like Zanka. For now, Takoha's way seems to be the only safe one.
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@RayS

I mean, consider that Souboutei gives you like maybe 30 seconds if you're lucky, to completely accept your deepest insecurities. Other than escaping through sheer willpower like Zanka and Deido (who both had extenuating circumstances allowing them to do so), pretty much your only chance of survival is if you *already* accepted your fears before you set foot inside Souboutei. So the question really is, do you think the majority of people have accepted their deepest insecurities?

edit: Plus, who's to say nobody's ever survived the paintings before? It seems likely to me that a person could easily die anyway after escaping.
Last edited 1 mo ago by MisterSteak.
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@fennec
I see what you mean. Mostly I just find it strange that nearly every person who comes into Souboutei - not just the paranormal squad, I mean every soldier or civilian throughout the years - falls victim to it. It just seems statistically impossible for everyone around to have psychological trauma that aliens can use and for only one man ever to overcome it with accepting.

Takoha's better than many shounen heroes, I agree)
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@RayS I won't deny he DOES sprout inspirational lines, but they're way more organic than the usual examples I see. He doesn't radiate confidence, he's almost thinking aloud and just says what he's thinking. It's half reaction, half just really hoping what he says will get through to them.

As for the trauma part, part of it is just that everyone else has some really severe trauma compared to him, and they never tried to cope with it properly. The sisters continue to laugh and smile because it was their old coping mechanism, and Kurenai's powerful drive to protect Rokurou is because of her guilt over almost killing him as an infant. From what we've seen the people who fall victim to the paintings either try to avoid thinking about the trauma or just incorporate it deep into their psyche. He's the only one who has come to accept that his trauma was part of his past and move on with his life.

On a related note, I think Zanka is a good example of this point. After seeing Deido kill his older sister as kids he went into shock (as any kid would), and by the time he recovered the Sakamaki family had left. Unlike everyone else he didn't go out of his way to avoid it or have that experience become a defining feature of his personality, he simply never had an actual chance to confront it properly. He managed to break free specifically because he WANTED to confront Deido about it. He's the only other person we've seen who wanted to face his trauma directly and get closure.

Overall there are some very interesting psychological themes going on here.
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@RayS
I mean, yes. From a meta perspective Takoha has a ton of plot armor.

From a plot perspective though its not insane that he's around. The sample group of people who've gone into Souboutei isn't perfectly random. It's mainly military people and intense psychics. So the very fact that Takoha is normal *is* special
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@Kendama
You forget 2/3 of psychic triplets. That makes the harem of his emotionally distressed damsels nearly twice as large.
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@fennec
But... Takoha IS sprouting inspirational lines, and he is miraculously more adept at being at peace with his trauma than literally everyone else in all the history of Souboutei. If this is the power of normality, then normality is a superpower which he is a master of.
He would be a balanced normal guy if what he said didn't always work. Bet he'll fix Kaerikuro's ugliness ideas too.
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I personally find it fun to see Takoha save the day because he's not like other shonen protagonists spouting inspirational lines and sprouting perfect psychic powers for the situation. He's literally the only normal guy there, and I think that's part of WHY he's so much more capable to fight against Souboutei's control than the actual psychics. All of the other people have some serious trauma linked to their backgrounds, while he's just an artist with comparatively minor and normal issues he learned to cope with well before coming to Souboutei. Even when he dives into paintings and talks people into overcoming their trauma, it doesn't ever feel like he's giving big, inspirational speeches. He just says whatever comes to mind and hopes to hell it does *something*.

Seriously, probably one of the more fun protagonists I've seen. He falls into a few generic tropes (like the insistence that everyone should try to survive), but he doesn't feel particularly special. He feels like an actual, normal guy who got pulled into an insane situation and is just trying to do his best to help everyone.
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@dancingoncrocodiles
My main gripe with this chapter (which is not one of my favorites) isn't really that, but rather how Kaerikuro jumps from determination to accepting death in the span of like 3 pages. I'm also not a big fan of the "alien hallway of death" method of attack. I mean it's unfair and its supposed to be unfair, but it still feels... unfair! lol
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Fucking invincibility frames, nerf Takoha.
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Well, he's saved, so far, three people: Kurenai, Flor and now Kaerikuro. Several people have saved themselves, and there have been other rescuers, like Kurenai saving Rokurou from committing suicide the previous chapter.

People have said this author normally kills his characters like flies. Now I think he's having fun making this bumbling wannabe illustrator save the strongest characters when they're about to die. But fundamentally, I think Souboutei is being slowly defeated by teamwork, and I find that very cool.
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takoha always rescuing everyone is getting annoying
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GIGACHAD HAS ARRIVED!!!
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"During the Sengoku Period, Higo was a major center for Christianity in Japan, and it is also the location where Miyamoto Musashi stayed at the Hosokawa daimyล's invitation while completing his The Book of Five Rings."
And he was pretty famous for using a two sword style.
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Yeah, now that I look at her hair techniques like this, she really seems like she would've inherited the brother's Grandpa-water power or something.
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He will have a future as a quarterback.
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Gotta collect them all!
Last edited 1 mo ago by Waswaas.
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our harem protagonist has appeared