My journey to falling in love for the leader of HHW's dumb trio
alternately titled: A badly disguised Kokoro appreciation post
(Maybe she is the real Phantom Thief)
(This turned out longer than I meant it to, please forgive me. Kinda makes me wish this were the good old LiveJournal/Dreamwidth or tumblr where you could just hide part of the posts. I hope the images work, too.)
So, I actually have no idea why I feel this constant urge to mention it, but I figured that if there's any place to do so, it would be here. (That, and I don't see myself doing anything other than rambling in my own activities.) I also have actually no idea how (un)popular anyone is, and to be frank I don't care about it either, but an easy way to enjoy a character in a new light is to learn the reasons why someone likes them, at least for me. Therefore, like it or not, here we go.
In all truth, when I started with the global release of Bandori, Kokoro didn't do much for me. I liked her design - she's a damn cute girl - and I absolutely loved the whole "let's make people happy through music" thing, because I have a history with being saved through music in real life and if there is anything I can get behind and firmly believe in, it is the power of music.
I liked Orchestra of Smiles well enough in how it was arranged, but didn't really like her voice. However, the title and something else I actually can not quite name reminded me of Mucc's Ame no Orchestra, in a roundabout way that had nothing to do with the themes or even the moods of the songs, and that was enough for me to enjoy the song from the start, even if the band's antics as a whole gave me headaches. Literally. As someone who is usually referred to as a "mind over heart" person, the question of "how would the dumb trio even function if this were not a game" actually bothered me enough to get distracted all the time.
It certainly didn't help that what I read in the band story usually focused on how dumb they were. But I also think that Kokoro's VA does a real good job at making her sound like she's smiling while singing in all the songs (this occured to me first in Silhouette), which is something I can get behind on as well. It's hard to stay your broody old self when listening to Orchestra or Goka Gokai... So I took what I could get from HHW - the cute designs of Kokoro and Kaoru as well as the POWER OF HAPPINESS - and focused on the other bands for anything else.
This changed when I scouted Invincible Hero Kokoro. I'm not going to lie, when she did appear, I was disappointed - before that I had only gotten three other 3* cards, two of which were Hagumi (the only HHW member I still can't warm up to), and HHW was still the lowest in my list at that point. When you pine for your best girl or at least a member of her band, there's bound to be a bit of sadness when your least favorite band seems to stalk you. However, I was soothed by the fact that it was the HHW character I liked most for her looks, and that she was my first not-event Scorer. Then I trained her, and absolutely fell in love with her trained art. There's just something about the shading that I really, really like. It somehow reminds me of colored pencil, especially in her hair. Don't ask me why.
So at this point, I wasn't exactly sad about scouting Kokoro anymore. If there is beauty around you, you damn better appreciate it.
But what made me care, actually, was the initial card episode. I make it a habit to at least skim them instead of outright skipping, and this one caught me completely off-guard. At that point, I was so stuck on the "moron" image they cultivate with the dumb trio, that witnessing Kokoro pinpointing the inner workings of her band members out of left field was like a slap in the face:
In all honesty, it felt like a fake mirror shattering and suddenly you realize there was something else behind it. Not only did this conversation make me appreciate Kokoro as a character much more in a couple heartbeats, it also made me aware that I hadn't tried to understand the other HHW members before, either. While most of them I still do not particularly care about, this card episode gave me some much needed easier access to them. Kaoru in particular.
In a more dramatically put sense, it also served as a reminder that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I thought I'm not so bad at that, but Bandori gave me reason to re-evaluate that habit again, and it is another reason why I love the game in general and Kokoro in particular. She's still a bit too crazy for me in some regards, especially when combined with the other 2/3 of the trio, but she's also much smarter in an emotional sense than I gave her credit for. It's totally cool if people do not agree with that, but I guess I get a bit tired of her getting reduced to Moron Mode sometimes for the memes.
Anyway, she climbed the Favorites list at high speed since then and is now very comfortable at the top together with Aya. Certainly didn't expect that when I started playing.
This rambling ends now, have a good day (or night) and maybe go look for something that makes you smile before it ends.
We have male Bandoris on the way! Male Bandoris! I don't know what to expect, but I'm excited for Argonavis. I wonder how they will fit in with the pre-existing all-girl bands? I hope they interact with one another, that'd be a blast.
Edit: Kidani has already broken my dreams. Good thing fanon exists, right? Oh well. As long as quality is consistent, I'm sure this will be a fun venture.
I should say beforehand that if you don't like Chisato, you're perfectly obligated not to, but I hope that after reading this you'll (if you didn't before) be able to separate a likable character from a well written one.
The main gripes people have with Chisato are her callousness and the air she gives off (couldn't really phrase this one correctly but I'll elaborate on it later).
Chisato's ruthlessness and tendencies to borderline backstab are traits that have been developed from showbiz. From a very young age, she's been exposed to the lack of authenticity of Hollywood, and as a result, she's conditioned herself to be able to make decisions that will push foward her career. If you are compassionate, people will step over you. Morality, at least human morality, is not what lands you a singing label, or a starring role in a movie.
Chisato is not a bad person at heart. But she's also not naive, and she knows that she should be putting her time and effort into something that will garner profits. Chisato didn't put her whole into being a part of Pastel*Palettes because in her (more experienced) perspective, she understands that the members are passionate, but they also may not have what it takes to succeed, especially after their performance failure. (the failure would also damage Chisato's reputation and would result in her losing more opportunities to advance her career)
What Chisato tells Aya that makes her cry is that "hard work does not guarantee success." This phrase in particular hits Aya especially hard because Aya had been working fruitlessly for years to get into the position she is currently in, and at that plot point the band was doing terribly. Although Chisato didn't realize it at the moment, she respects people with strong work ethics (although if done pointlessly annoys her), which is why she gives Aya this piece of advice, albeit bluntly.
Did she set out to purposely antagonize Aya? No.
I would also like to bring to attention a significantly more popular character that has said something very similar, but was almost completely ignored:
The context of this quote is from Mari Ohara, after she rejects Aqours' first promotional video. This is another character who understands the mechanism behind business well, and similarly to Chisato, both of them put up a persona or a facade that hides some aspects of their personality.
One of the reasons why Mari saying this was so easily overlooked was because of the characters on the receiving end.
Chika, the leader of Aqours, is a genki-esque type of character, which means she is hardheaded and strives to stay positive. Chika is the type of person to take Mari's criticism in stead at best, or ignore it at worst.
Aya contrasts from Chika in this manner. As seen here:
Aya takes what people think about her much more personally. She will go out of her way to see what other people think of her, or the band. Aya is portrayed as a sensitive character and she tends to fall under her insecurities at times.
If Chika was more prone to needing self-validation, and if she had expressed being upset after what Mari had said to her, would people dislike Mari for giving her honest input?
My last point: the stark differences between the masks Mari and Chisato hide behind is a determining factor in the way the main audience perceives them.
Mari plays up her cheerfulness. Chisato acts polite and distant.
Mari has friends she is mostly honest with, but occasionally, they will be able to tell when her carefree facade slips, usually when she is feeling sad. Because the story does not revolve around her, no one knows exactly what goes on in Mari's head besides the other characters (meaning the viewers only get to see her likable side). A lot of Mari's development stems around her dynamic between the other third years, and she does not get any major developments and changes to her character. Overall, people warm up to her because she is portrayed 99% of the time at her best, which is why some of her comments are brushed over.
PP's story does not revolve around making friends, and Chisato is a very closed off person by nature. Arguably, PP's band story is more realistic than Aqours in terms of the corruption and competitiveness of the idol industry. As a result, people don't consider Chisato's need to distance herself from the band to protect her career, and overlook the character development she undergoes (from wanting to withdraw from the band, to opening up to her bandmates to succeed as PP, even if it means risking failure). If you delve deeper to read her card stories, you'll find that her struggle to be honest with her friends is what makes her so much more realistic and driven because of her origins.
TL;DR: Chisato is being judged too harshly for being human.
(Please take the time to read her main and memorial stories! Honestly most of the points I made are conclusions you can draw on your own.)
Hi! I'm Anya and im pretty new to Bandori!
I've only started playing recently but I love it alot! My best girl is Ran Mitake (Tsugu is a close second though). My favourite Band is Afterglow as I really love the dynamics between the members. I'd like to watch the anime but crunchyroll isnt available in my area and gogoanime/kissanime aren't loading rip