As anon maybe I have to make disclaimers when talking about “domestic abuse” in fictional yaoi drama CDs. Abuse is abuse but Koujaku’s family circumstances were twisted into an even worse, more exaggerated situation. I’m criticizing the inconsistent writing. I label the mom ‘weak’ due to the summary. The stereotypical tactics to get sympathy for his story is poor (Yo mama a cliche, Koujaku). Portraying a parent’s role in abusive situations is ALSO touchy, and this was still not written well.
At first I was really confused as to why you’re even sending me this in the first place, but then I remembered that I’m regarded as the resident Koujaku expert, so I guess it’s to be expected.
I’m sure you meant well, anon, but this kind of struck a nerve for me so prepare for an unnecessary essay.
One of the things that I’ve always admired about Koujaku’s character is how realistic he is. He’s suffered through a great deal in his life, and is understandably damaged by it. Koujaku has built up a number of emotional barriers, putting on a false act around others. When he’s alone with Aoba, those barriers come down, and he turns into a sappy, dorky little mess. He hides this true self; his vulnerable self, away in favor of a smooth, ego-inflated persona to be used in public places. Because of this, he appears to be a genuinely happy person.
Sadly, that’s far from the truth.
Koujaku clearly suffers from depression (yet another thing that’s beautifully expanded upon in the drama cd, as my bae Madelezabeth points out). His struggle with depression is heart-wrenching, because it’s so wonderfully written. It makes you wonder how much of the Koujaku you see in game is a façade, and how much is his true, unfiltered personality. Anyone who has struggled with depression could agree that this is a very realistic interpretation. At times, it can be overwhelmingly difficult to distinguish yourself from your depression, and you can begin to wonder where your depression ends, and where you begin. As a result of his deep set emotional baggage, he romanticizes the one bit of happiness that he remembers from his childhood; Aoba. This is also a very understandable trait, and serves in making his character all the more realistic.
So, with such a complex character, it’s only expected that his mother is just as complex, right?
Abuse is abuse but Koujaku’s family circumstances were twisted into an even worse, more exaggerated situation. I’m criticizing the inconsistent writing.
In Koujaku’s route, it’s established that his father would beat him. I believe it’s also implied that he received some of the scars on his back through domestic abuse. Let me pose one questions to you, anon.
In a household where the father is blatantly abusing a child, is it likely that he then chooses not to abuse his mistress as well?
There are cases of spousal abuse where the child remains unharmed. However, if a parent strikes their child, they will most certainly strike their significant other, let alone a mistress with little to no respect in the household.
Now, that’s all simple enough. We’ve established that Koujaku’s mother was an abuse victim. Let’s move on to her reaction. Or rather, your reaction to her reaction-
She was nothing but an extorted pawn USED AGAINST a kid, weak, and a martyr who still didn’t protect her kid. I imagined she at least made an effort, but that’s not even true.
Okay, I’m going to have to stop you there.
Let me just say, I completely understand your frustration. His mother wasn’t defending herself or her son, which was a very bad reaction to have. The thing that makes this so realistic, however, is the fact that she reacts this way.
I’m very well educated in emotional manipulation, which can be achieved through physical and/or verbal abuse. I’ve seen a lot of it, and I’ve experienced a lot of it.
It’s one of the most disgusting feelings I’ve ever experienced. To know you’re being manipulated, to realize how utterly weak you are, is incredibly frustrating. It’s frustrating to the people around you, but it’s mostly frustrating to yourself. You’re very aware that you should be standing up for yourself or others, but you can’t. The abuser has molded and manipulated you through fear and degradation, and you simply can’t break the mold.
It’s degrading, and you know you’re being manipulated, but you can’t change it. You become convinced that you’re completely worthless, unworthy of helping yourself.
In short: you feel stuck. You’re stuck, and there’s no way out, and it’s infuriating and unfair and holy shit you want to change it so bad, but in the end you’re still just stuck.
She feels ultimately responsible for what’s happening, but can do nothing to fix it. If she stands up for herself, she’ll only receive more punishment. If her son stands up for her, he’ll only receive more punishment. She’s unable to change the situation at hand and all she can do is repeatedly apologize for what her son has to go through because of her. This also ties into her whispering “I’m sorry” over and over before dying in front of Koujaku (ouch). In her eyes, she’s been nothing but a burden for Koujaku. Everything was her fault; the tattoo, the abuse, everything.
She’s convinced herself that she’s useless.
So, yes. Get annoyed at her reaction, because that’s what you’re supposed to feel. Abuse victims rarely react how we would want them to, which is the very reason abuse continues to happen. It’s a cliché story because it’s something that happens every day, all over the world.
And that’s what makes characters like this so very real.