Female roles in Suikoden

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Re: Female roles in Suikoden

Postby sticky-runes » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:15 pm

What do you guys think of Annabelle? She doesn't get spoken about much, but she's pretty significant to S2's story.

In some ways, she makes me think of a female Lino En Kuldes because she's taken on the responsibility of keeping these bickering nations in check, and she doesn't dress in typically noble fashion (I'm not sure how a mayoress would typically dress in the Suikoden world, but Theresa's outfit is a bit more refined and feminine, Annabelle looks like she's about to go hiking in the mountains or something)

She also kind of mirrors Odessa because she's a significant figure who dies at an early point in the story and her role pretty much gets taken by the hero of the game. She's also the potential love interest of Viktor (whereas Odessa was the love interest of Flik) only Viktor doesn't spend an entire game and three quarters pining over Annabelle, he just responds to the news of her death briefly and must deal with her loss in his own personal time without letting it get in the way of his mission.

I don't think Annabelle inspires fans as much as Odessa, because Odessa was like this romantic rebel princess that fans look up to and think of as a badass female Robin Hood. Annabelle played the part of peace keeper rather than rebel. She was trying to deal with the threat of war, whilst her allies didn't trust each other and could turn against each other any minute. She was like a mother struggling with lots of big, angry children.

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Re: Female roles in Suikoden

Postby Sasarai10 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:54 pm

Annabelle was just like Odessa for me....basically i believe she's a character inspired by Odessa.

If she wasn't assasinated maybe she'd be suggested to lead the Dunan Army. But i believe she'd suggest Riou instead since he can "attract" people.

And i agree about this Viktor/Annabelle thing. Although Viktor is a different man than Flik. I believe if Flik was actually Annabelle's lover and he came into Annabelle's room instead of Jess then he'd maybe try to lop off Riou's head if someone didn't stop him.

Nice idea though. I wonder how things would be involved if Flik was Annabell's lover and not Viktor.

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Re: Female roles in Suikoden

Postby Rockland » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:04 am

I've been thinking about Hilda lately (Recently played the White Deer Inn section of S2) and it's interesting that she makes her own impact on the story, despite being one of the most unassuming characters in the whole game - she's not a soldier or a sorceress who can help win a battle or slay dozens of monsters by wielding weapons and rune magic, she's a humble innkeeper, playing the part of a loving mother and wife struggling to support her family while her husband chases his dreams of finding treasure so his family can become rich overnight.

She never shouts at Alex, she puts up with his treasure obsession and doesn't complain when he dumps childminding duties on her while he heads off on a treasure hunt. And Hilda ultimately is the treasure that Alex goes off searching for. we go through a whole dungeon, traversing waterway mechanisms and fighting monsters and a giant two headed snake, and instead of finding tons of gold or fancy jewels or a special magical artifact like we might find in another RPG, Alex is given a chance to put his wife first when it seems she's about to die. He got to realize that even if he did become filthy rich, it would have meant nothing without his wife and the mother of his son.

It also seems that Hilda gets treated with the respect she deserves after she recovers. She gets to make the decisions instead of suffering Alex's outbursts. she makes the bold decision to move the family into Riou's castle so they can help with the war effort by providing an inn and shop. And Alex even gets to prove he's become a better man by defeating Killey - not by beating him up, but by gesturing to his wife and son, showing that his family is more valuable than any treasure that he was hoping to dig up in those ruins.

So there ya go, the love of a gentle woman becomes a powerful weapon in the Suikoden world, not by being brutal or domineering, but by being patient and kind and nurturing to those around her.
This Sindar Ruins act is such good writing on the treasures of our lives. I have no doubt its inspired by the writer's real life experience. I believe it's their way of showing and reminding us of what we have.

I would like to add a Quote from the movie "TRON" that relates to this as well.
Sam Flynn: You remember that night when you didn't come home? You said...
Kevin Flynn: I said I'd show you the Grid. Should have seen this place back then. Couldn't wait to show it to you.
Sam Flynn: Must have been something before Clu screwed it up.
Kevin Flynn: No, no, he's... he's me. I screwed it up, chasing after perfection, chasing after what was right in front of me.
[turns to look at Sam]
Kevin Flynn: Right in front of me.
Sam Flynn: Look what you've accomplished. It's incredible.
Kevin Flynn: [puts his hand on Sam's shoulder] Sam... I'd have given it all up for one more day with you.

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Re: Female roles in Suikoden

Postby Rockland » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:19 am

This came back into my mind when we discussed some female characters in another thread…

Some years ago I’ve read an essay about female roles in the Shuihu Zhuan. There are basically 4 different roles of females:
- Good woman or faithful wife (e.g. Lin Chong’s wife)
- Bad woman or adulterous wife (e.g. Wu Song’s sister-in-law, Yang Xiong’s wife)
- Man-woman or amazon (all female SoD)
- Mysterious woman (imperial concubine Li Shishi)

Now, I tried to do something similar for S2. Suikoden has much more complex and a much greater variety of female characters (thankfully!!!). Whenever I mention femininity, I’m talking about personality and behavior etc, not about appearance. This makes sense because artwork designer and novel writer are usually not the same persons, so that’s probably why S1 Kasumi’s artwork and her personality totally contradict. Here we go…
- “Underage adventurer”: Millie, Meg, Wakaba, Yuzu, Tomo, Ayda. Girls who haven’t developed femininity yet.
- “Teengirl in love”: Eilie, Nina. Young women who behave feminine, but haven’t fully discovered the field of sexuality or femininity yet.
- “Engaged woman”: Nanami, Yoshino, Hilda, Tengaar. However feminine they are, it doesn’t matter, because they are bound to a specific character.
- “Amazon”: Hanna, Oulan, Kasumi, Valeria, Lorelai, Lo Wen. Adult woman who don’t behave feminine. You could almost replace them with males by just changing name and artwork, without changing their personality (of course you shouldn’t). Just think of Atalanta in case you’ve watched the Dwayne Johnson Hercules movie. Men don’t touch them for fear of getting beaten up.
- “Heroine”: Anita, Rina, Karen. As strong as amazons, but they don’t hide their femininity. If you want to replace them with males, you would need to change more than just name and artwork.
- “Nerd”: Apple, Barbara, Emilia, Annallee. Similar to the engaged woman, but these are bound to their job, that’s why their femininity doesn’t really matter.
- “Auntie”: Leona, Taki. Since they are superior in life experience, their role is to teach the young.
- “Mystery”: Jeane, Raura, Sierra. Although they are arguably very attractive to men, they seem not to care about sexuality. Maybe they are similar to amazons in a way that men don’t get close to them for fear of a punishment, but even harder than a beating.
I didn’t know where to put Teresa (nerd or auntie) and Viki (underage or mystery).

Maybe this gives you a different perspective on the female characters. Think about your favorite female characters (in terms of personality rather than gameplay or looks) of any Suikoden game, can you identify a specific role you’re really in favor of? (You don’t need to follow my model, maybe you’ll identify other roles.)
Moreover, if you were to create the first female hero of Suikoden, would you have their femininity fully developed or not (underage) and displayed (heroine) or not (amazon)? Will her femininity only be displayed when together with a certain character (engaged) or will she just discover her femininity throughout the story (teengirl)? Or anything else?
I feel Teresa is a heroine like Odessa, she is fearless for herself and is willing to sacrifice herself for the greater good of the people.

I think Odessa is a heroine as well. She dedicated her life to the Liberation army, and sacrificing herself to save a kid is exactly what a heroine would do. As for femininity, she is beautiful and mature, her charisma attracted many to follow her. Flik credited her nurturing ways for making him the man he is today.

Vici to me is like the "Mysterious Women" but her femininity and maturity has yet to be developed.

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