I totally loved these songs, personally, but I felt the need to spark a discussion on the storyline, because admittedly it didn't sit straight with me.
It was a beautiful story, but I have issue to raise with the fact that Rin needed to look like Len for Miku to realise she loved her. I really wished that Rin was Rin for much more of this song. For my part, once 'Len' came into the picture it felt too lust-based, from Miku's side anyway, while Rin's feelings felt genuine... there are just implications floating around that I don't like. It says that their love is forbidden because they're a human and an angel, but when Rin kissed Miku initially, she was pushed quite harshly away, and then suddenly Miku comes crawling back to guy Rin.
After listening to White Vow I was a little more sympathetic towards Miku; but even then, there was no mention of Rin in the first part of the song, just a person smiling sadly. I was rather disappointed, I totally love Rin the way she is!
What are your thoughts?9/22/2011 . Edited 9/22/2011 #1
|I Am The Raptor
Yeah, I totally agree with you, there. Miku should just shut up, stop being so picky, AND KISS RIN ALREADY, GOD DANGIT!
I do find it kind of said that Rin had to make herself a guy just to get Miku to love her. Miku, why must you ruin everything?10/23/2011 #2
|Kero The Frog
I know! she already had to give up being an angel. Why did she have to give up being a girl to? It's not very fair.10/1/2013 #3
Disclaimer: I haven't read the novel version and don't know how it changes things. Maybe Rin did not have a choice in what her body looked like. I'm also assuming the story's setting does have homophobia.
Anyway, I got the feeling that being an angel was only the meat of the problem, but that homophobia might have also factored into Miku and Rin's actions. At a certain point, Miku's internalized shame might have outweighed her feelings, and she rejected Rin because she felt it was a line she couldn't cross, like maybe if she stopped now she could repent for her sin. It's clear that Miku regretted this almost immediately, judging by her expressions before Len begins singing. She loved Rin and wanted to express it, but something had stopped her. I think it might have been shame and fear.
Rin gave up everything but her own life just to become a human, so she had to be sure to be Miku's "perfect" love, especially since she was still going to ask her to abandon her fiance and any social standing she had. Rin might not get a third chance if this failed. Maybe she overestimated how her gender played into it and wanted to match Miku's fiance. Maybe her intention was to run away with Miku to another country where no one knew them, so that they could openly be a couple without being plagued by homophobia.
As for why Miku so easily runs off with human Rin... Without much context, there are many possibilities, and several cast doubt on how consensual the entire relationship is. The most generous thing I can think of was that a third party was influencing Miku without Rin's knowledge. I want to believe that, but it's based in a lot of fanon because, from the song alone, it's not clear exactly what kinds of forces are in play throughout the story.
If Rin did know that Miku would be magically enchanted or even did it herself, it's an abusive gesture rather than a romantic one, as it takes away Miku's free will. Even without magic, if Rin had put Miku right on the spot in front of other people (and we know at least one person saw Miku running away, though not if that person was there from the beginning), that would be manipulative. Even if she rejected Rin, the confrontation alone would make people rightfully suspect that Miku was having an affair outside her engagement, and that scandal would be enough to destroy her. So she might as well go the whole way and run off with Rin, right?
Shoot, I came here trying to defend Miku x Rin in this song, and now I'm not too sure what to think of Rin's arrival as a human. :/ I really like this song, so I can only hope there are some really good explanations for this.11/10/2013 #4
Hm... Sorry for bringing this back up, but I did actually find a few explanations, in the form of this (in-progress) fan translation of the novel: http://renna-translations.tumblr.com/himitsu
The short version: As far as Miku knew, she was meeting two different people, with two different attitudes, while she herself was in two different emotional states. There was very little chance of her reacting the same way to them both.
To elaborate: In one of those meetings, Miku was comforting Rin, a terrified angel, fresh out of training, who had suffered grave wounds in a fight with a demon. Miku herself hid deep loneliness inside her heart, but at the time she was very good at convincing even herself that she was content with living solely for the happiness of others. She sheltered Rin in her mansion as she recovered and kept in contact with her even afterwards, caring for her as if she was a younger sister.
As time went on, her discussions with Rin grew more and more serious, bringing Miku's insecurities out into the open. It reached its peak during the party where Miku announced her engagement. Rin reluctantly attended, but dressed in a masculine manner. Other women were convinced she was a young nobleman, and a very handsome one at that. In this disguise, Rin shared a dance with Miku, who was suddenly starting to feel attracted to her thanks to her appearance. But when Rin kissed her after the party, she ran away, embarrassed and confused; when they met again a month later, Miku cut off Rin's apology by insising that it must have been a platonic gesture of friendship in the angels' culture.
After this, Rin made her contract to become a human male. She had to sacrifice something of equal value to her as the wish she wanted granted, and though she was not told what it was until she pulled the trigger, it turned out to be all of Miku's memories of her. Miku would be left with the emptiness of feeling like she forgot something important, and later, nostalgia towards a person she was certain she had never met before. I think this explains a lot about Alluring Secret White Vow.
A month passed, and Miku's wedding day arrived. While she was initially grateful to see the smiling faces of other people, as she thought about whether or not she herself was happy, she was overwhelmed with sorrow. It was in this state of distress that she met Len, posing as a nobleman, offering her comforting words and a shoulder to cry on. Though his* original plan was to let Miku get married, stay in contact with her, and pine for her from afar, it was derailed when they, exchanging few words, decided to run away together to another country.
(* On that note, I now refer to Len with his own pronouns because he rejects his past as Rin and even lost some of his own memories of his time as an angel. However, I'm not sure if this also means he doesn't share Rin's gender identity as a woman. I'll save my final judgment on this for when the translation is complete.)
I'm still a bit wary at how Len does not reveal his forgotten past with Miku for at least a year (again, two chapters left in the main story, so there's still time for Len to say something). He even calls it deceitful. I get that it would be very difficult to bring it all up to someone who can only recall the vaguest feelings of nostalgia, but you'd think he'd at least start dropping hints after the first few months and work it through from there. Something like "perhaps we met in a previous life and I was reborn to meet you again". Or "Lily talks about meeting a blonde noblewoman in your mansion; do you remember what she was like?".
The one good reason for maintaining the lie that I can think of is that maybe Len fears that an angel could be listening for a whisper of Rin's name; the military leaders in Heaven know she has gone missing and suspect that she may have defected to the devil's side, so if Len is discovered, they will execute him on sight.
On a final note, I was wrong. Again. (I already assumed this same issue happened in a Haku x Miku song, but the novel showed it was just miscommunication and rotten luck.) The setting of the story does not seem to have any obvious signs of homophobia; Rin does question if Miku's rejection of her was because they were both women, but then decides it could have also been because they were of different worlds. In fact, Miku's servant Lily actually seems quite cheerful with the idea that Rin is in love with Miku. What really pushes Rin over the edge is that her love of Miku is a deep betrayal to everything an angel stands for, and if she is exposed she will have her memories forcibly wiped, so in the end it was almost entirely the standards they were held to - Rin as an angel, Miku as a noble heiress - that nurtured their conflict. That encounter in the party might explain why Rin chose a male identity, though.12/13/2013 . Edited 12/13/2013 #5
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