Tsugami Shoichi or Godai Yusuke

MaraJade

Fear the glasses!!
Shougs, I totally get what you mean. Thanks.

Agreed. Man Iga, you totally nailed it. And I hear you on the part you left unspoiled for Sage. That was totally a moment where Shouichi was SO not his normal self/or conversely, perhaps he was the MOST Shouichi he could get. Either way, if I ever wished while watching this stuff, that I could jump into the screen and affect the events unfolding before me - it was then. And the way he comes back...yeah.

Maybe for Godai, his transition into Kuuga and his later forms was the contrasting step towards darkness (for lack of better words). They did hint numerous times whether Kuuga really was a 'good' or 'bad' thing, but now that I think about it, that could work on so many layers. As you mentioned, the episode where he beats the snot out of the Grongi-we're reminded the line between fighting for whatever's right - with the spirit of justice and all that, and fighting for personal feelings/emotions (like rage or vengeance even if it's born out of a spirit of a sense of right-doing and justice) - like Kuuga did at that time is razor thin and perhaps we waver back and forth teetering on the edge. Especially at the end, it was hard to say - both who won and also if there really was any distinction between the two sides. I guess it's a sort of 'does the end justify the means' question as well.

As for Shouchi, his amnesia ploy made it easy to seemingly separate the two entities - Agito and Shouichi, and they definitely played that up in the beginning. But you're right. As time went on, and not surprisingly as Shouichi's character develops, his personality becomes quite multi-layered. If there was anything that would deeply shake Shouichi's belief and faith in himself, humanity, etc. it was finding out the secrets about those closest to him - but he recovers; no, I'd say he acknowledges and accepts that and moves on from there.

The other thing is Shouichi felt complete in and of himself, both as Agito and himself - that may have been a result of writing, but Godai felt dependent on say, the other characters around him and interestingly enough, the Grongi. As they developed, it seemed that Godai was developing or perhaps - undeveloping as the series went on. I always felt that Godai was good, but he was missing something, whereas Shouichi felt very complete and self-sufficient.
 

MattComix

Super Moderator
:laugh:

Anyway, those who haven't seen Kuuga and don't want to know the end might want to skip the rest of this, although for Sage's sake I hid the big Agito spoiler.

I think Godai was a really nice guy, but it often felt like that was really it to him- he was awesome, he could basically do no wrong, which is why towards the end of the series when he's in danger of becoming Ultimate Form, it's such a big deal. That this seemingly wonderful guy, who is moved to tears by the violent nature of having to beat the **** out of the baddest bad guy of all, could actually become something that bad (or worse)...it's really heavy stuff. But what I mean is, Godai felt like he was so good, he was basically infallible, and when he does something like flip out and beat the snot out of the Porcupine Grongi, it's because he's Kuuga, not because he's Godai. I'll get back to this later.

I'm not saying Godai was perfect exactly, but he always came off to me as being about as pure-hearted a hero as humanly possible, and I think in the end, the kind of heroism the show really tries to get across is that Godai did more important things simply as a human being than even what he did as Kuuga. Crazy as that sounds, consider this: If you look at being Kuuga as being a burden which is taken away from him at the end, he's still the same old Godai after that. There are so many great things he did for people that didn't involve him being Kuuga. Compare this to some other Riders, who don't become heroes or even good people until they became Riders.

Although early on it felt like Shouichi and Agito were two seperate people, and humble, bumbling Shouichi would change into kickass warrior Agito, I think that started to change near the end, whereas in Kuuga it was almost the reverse: as the show goes on, it felt to me less like Godai and Kuuga are the same person. Like, as I mentioned earlier, when Kuuga defeats Go Jyaraji Da, which in turn leads to the whole Ultimate Form plotline starting up, I think that's where you really start to see the two almost becoming seperate sides of the same person. The second-to-last episode is where it all sort of clicks. Godai becomes Ultimate Form, and even though he's still good, he's almost the same as Daguba, and so powerful he can set things on fire with a wave of his hand...which is in stark contrast to peaceful Godai. And that spills over into the fight after when Godai and Daguba turn back to humans, and are basically beating each other to death. And it causes Godai to start crying. Because it's so horrible, so violent, I think he kind of has a revealation then. It struck me as a "What have I turned into?" sort of thing. Because after that? When he's back to normal? He doesn't seem to mind that he's not Kuuga anymore, and nobody else does either. They remember him best because he was Godai.

I think it was the second-to-last episodes that's titled "Kuuga", although written with the Kanji meaning "Sky/Void/Emptiness" and "Oneself". I've always thought there's some other meaning to that, in that as Kuuga, Godai always felt kind of empty- sure he said he wanted to "fight for the smiles" and all that before, but I think as the show goes on, being Kuuga becomes less of the legendary mantle it was at the start, and more of this responsibility that comes with its own catches. So when Godai stops being Kuuga at the end, he's finally "free".

It's close, but I would have to say I personally like Shouichi more because I felt the character was much deeper because of this whole approach to being a Rider. The more we learn about him and travel with him in his story, by the end, we see that he is a flawed character, even if he still tries to do his best. He's a good guy; a weird, funny guy, but he's still a flawed guy:

[HIDE]I mean, near the end of the series, he basically gives up being Agito (briefly)...on the one hand there's so much wrong with that, but I think it's also such a powerful moment for the character. He was so willing to put his neck on the line for...pretty much everybody, beforehand. Not unlike Godai. And it becomes clear fairly early down the line that being Agito is not all great either. Again, similar situation to Godai.

But, here's the kicker: he willingly tries to get it back. And he's pretty much stuck as Agito from there on out. He can't just not be Agito like Godai could stop being Kuuga. But that's okay with him, he accepts it. Even if he basically rejected what he was before, and nearly let everything go to hell (because basically, that's what was happening) he decided that he'd still keep on trying, even if he screwed up once.

That really struck a chord with me, because he's basically in the situation of the old Riders, where you can't just stop being what you are, and he chose willingly to stick with it. I know Godai didn't exactly have a choice, but like I said, it didn't seem to bug him for the reasons I already stated. He could continue on with his life without being Kuuga, whereas Shouichi realized he needed to keep being Agito, even if it wasn't what he thought he might have wanted. [/HIDE]

So even though I'd say Godai may be the better person overall, I still like Shouichi more. I like my heroes to have flaws, to have that little darker side. Not walking angst-buckets, but I feel the best heroes have that dent in their armor somewhere. Probably why Tsukuba Hiroshi (Skyrider) is my favorite Rider human alias- he's a genuinely good guy who can kick much ass, but he still screws up, he still doesn't come out on top at the end every day (I'm not talking about in the fights, but as far as the character's personal victories- I can name quite a few) I can just relate to that so much.

However, I do have to add that I think even Shouichi had to be like Godai and be little overly good at times since you have a characters like Ashihara and Kino, who are even more flawed and complex, but at the same time two of the most interesting characters in the series. It's also sort of necessary since Shouichi's really the "heart" of the Riders in Agito, and I think I might have had a different opinion about this if Godai had encountered other Riders in his show.


Hey Igadevil, excellent post! :thumbs:

You actually brought up alot of things about both characters that I had not considered before. I think you may have even touched on something that's defined for me a gut feeling about Kuuga that I've never quite been able to before.

I love the series but there's something about the first half that I think on some level I liked more than the second half. While I liked the angle of the Kuuga power being dangerous, even potentially corruptive; I'm not sure I was ever that comfortable with the Kuuga power kinda being viewed as such a wholly negative thing and needing to in a sense, seperate Godai from it. (Although it's good that his battle does finally end and he can go on with life). But at the same time I understand what they were going for and appreciate it enough that it doesn't ruin the series for me.

I don't know. Maybe it's point-of-view. But I prefer the idea that it is not the power that corrupts but the choices we make with power that if (metaphorically speaking) we are Grongi or Godai rather than just power by itself corrupts absolutely because it's power. As for Godai needing the other characters, I always read as more a testament to how just one life or act of kindness can affect so many others. Kind of a ripple effect.

As well your post was enlightening in regards to Shouichi. I did find myself finally starting to warm up to him at the very end of the series and I think I now have a better idea now as to why. I think most of my issues with him are not because he's too good or perfect but more that there's something about him that's just too...ugh. I can't think of a better term for it other than "housewifey", which I know sounds stupid. :redface2:

That probably sounds more alot more demeaning and dismissive than what I'm intending. I'm merely trying to express what about the character doesn't work for me personally as a viewer and a fan.

People on both sides of the fence seem to have a common issue with either of the two characters. That they are somehow too perfect or too good. This is intresting to me because I've encountered this alot in regards to Superman where people would say the same thing and it always struck me there as kinda odd. It's like, aliens, heat vision and flying you'll believe but the idea that someone can be unwaveringly good and compassionate is just too far out?
 
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