Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"One of the Guys" - Ran Kamoike

After hours of dedicated playing, I finally got my first ending in Edelweiss - Ran Kamoike's.

The following post will contain little to no spoilers as to the actual route and won't be able to compare the ending to any others, as I'm stilling working on my second. But I think it'll still be an interesting look into the trope that Ran represents - the "one of the guys" girl.

Ran is interesting in the fact that, between all the heroines, she is probably the only one to have feelings for Kazushi from the beginning. Ran's rather upfront about her affection for Kazushi, often teasing him sexually and acting coy. Kazushi, however, doesn't pick up on it very well. Why? Because Kazushi, in my opinion, just sees Ran as "one of the guys".

I can't recall a single scene where he referred to Ran as even beautiful or attractive. Ran is the one to instigate their relationship - Kazushi just sorta goes along for the ride.

Which brings me to the core of this post - the trope type. Ran isn't a tsundere by any means. She's witty and greedy, but she's not cruel or abusive. In fact, she's a rather sweet girl, if you're willing to pay for kind treatment. What Ran is, however, is easily obtainable. Not to say that her ending is any easier to get than any other ending - I'm talking about the writing. Kazushi could have had Ran from the beginning, so when the two finally pursue each other, Kazushi has to put in very little effort. In fact, most of the story is about Ran and her deep feelings for Kazushi.

What disappointed me the most about this story was the deep lack of feelings I felt on Kazushi's part. It almost made me sad, even though their ending is definitely a happy one. I felt as though Ran was into Kazushi far more than Kazushi was into Ran. Ran is the one who has to make all the sacrifices for the man she loves.

There's one scene that sticks out prominently to me - at one point, Ran says "I love you" to Kazushi and Kazushi literally doesn't know how to react. Even though the two are dating and sexually active at this point in the game, Ran's sweet declaration of love is met by Kazushi simply being shocked and stumbling over words. And never is there a chance for Kazushi to reveal that he has developed deep feelings for Ran.

I definitely get the feeling that Ran and Kazushi are sexually compatible though. The two seem to have pretty amazing sex together, and they do it a lot. Pretty much wherever, whenever they get the chance. I haven't played the other girls' routes yet, but, to be honest, a vast majority of Ran's CGs were H-CGs, leading me to believe that she has more sex scenes than any other girl.

So what do I gather from this relationship? It's sad, but I think, at her core, Ran will always be "one of the guys" to Kazushi. He just never seemed to be very much in love with her, which, in my opinion, is tragic on the part of Ran. And on the part of every other girl who has always felt like she's just "one of the guys".

Ran certainly isn't "true ending" material. Too bad - she's a smart, wild, and sweet girl. I think she needs to move on and find a guy who realizes just how amazing she is.