Determining Determination: C^3

Yachiyo Hinata

I was reading the internet and someone made a comment about Stella Jogakuin C^3-bu and how it talks about having determination. The end of episode 2 featured our timid girl stiffening up and joining the club of weirdos, fearing that she wouldn’t fit in. Well, the easiest place to fit in is in the midst of weird people, right? To the extent that you can tolerate them–and I think Yurayura will be just fine.

But on the other side, when is airsoft this serious? Or an airsoft club? Are they going to Koshien too? Are you kidding? It’s fun to play and roleplay but this is not some kind of identity crisis as far as a plot device goes. Rather, C^3-bu is calling on the oft-played, timid-girl cliche where it takes a considerable amount of determination to overcome that barrier–comfort zone or whatever you call it–so she can make some friends.

I wonder how much I can twist and turn this little device and squeeze it in thematically. After all, airsoft is not quite like paintball. It probably hurts less if you are properly dressed. I mean you probably want to play either sports wearing as much covering as you can comfortably put on, plus the goggles and headwear. Do real hardcore otaku dock points when Sonora jumps out of the shower naked but without any “badges of honor”?

Did you? Because like, this is cartoons, so we are going to not take this so seriously? Are you kidding?

Aside: There’s an another show that is largely about determination this season. It has a line like “Show you guts cool say what” or some such. In that story determination is framed as an adult quality, that some grown-ups do not have.

To take it to the next step, homework would be compare and contrast with Girls und Panzer.

PS. Maybe I should write about moe English. Maybe by Thursday.

8 Responses to “Determining Determination: C^3”

  • Author

    I hear that #garupan is far superior from evey quarter, but since I do not have the determination to look past the ridiculous tanks, I have to contend with Stella.

    • omo

      I’m not so much concerned about the quality or the comparative values of the two shows. I want to see how both shows work.

      In some ways Girls und Panzer is this successful because it approaches the tanks like a master flower arranger. It is simply showing you how things would like when they’re laid in the best arrangement. It doesn’t go out of the way and make something out of nothing.

      It’s in that sense which I see how C3 is being constructed. We’re given the parts, and already the character-driven contrivances is rearing its head. Girls und Panzer may not fare much better in this category but it’s worth thinking about as it uses certain tricks C3 uses from what I can see so far.

  • Cytrus

    Garupan is lemons/lemonade more than determination. And one of the rare shows where characters value their safety over glory. (gasp!)

    Show your guts say cool has a very cautious approach to determination, seeing as it’s only worth anything if you have your priorities straight first.

    So both are partial subversions as far as determination is concerned. No idea about C^3 as I didn’t follow after the first episode.

    • omo

      I think determination is a main drive for Hana’s story as well as during the really tough times for Miho. Didn’t think it was that off the beaten path.

    • Cytrus

      But Hana’s story is ultimately one of compromise, isn’t it? And Miho’s way continuously refuses do or die solutions. Determination in fiction often tends to get “the more, the better” treatment, but GuP is very careful about it. It makes sense, too, since the tanks won’t gain more power from determination speeches, unlike your typical shounen hero.

    • omo

      Not sure how Hana’s story is really a compromise… perhaps one of reconciliation?

      You might be right about “very careful.” As for “won’t gain more power from determination” I’m going to just agree to disagree here. There are a few things that probably wouldn’t possibly happen other than because the story written it the way it was.

  • praestlin

    GuP wins in nearly quarter IMO, but it’s a lot like C3 so far, except with a more ensemble angle and less social anxiety. GuP’s a straight-up plucky underdogs team sports cinderella story. In C3 they’re already 2nd best, and it’s all about Yurara “manning up” so to speak.

    Actualy social anxiety and being determined to make friends seems to be a big thematic driver for summer. Watamote, C3, Tsubasa Tiger, GenshikenS2, even Symphogear have it going.

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