Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

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Loeloe95
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Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by Loeloe95 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:25 am

So as the title to this says I am truly confused as to why some people don't get Rin. Now Don't get me wrong she does confuse me occasionally, and some of her art I have a hard time grasping, but for the most part she makes sense to me. She to me at least seems like a dreamy (otherwise known as air headed ^_^), sarcastic, kind and sensitive person. She just has a more round about way of telling people things. I read this one quote that both applies, and yet doesn't to her. "Rin is always serious" Now obviously she isn't, else she would be the most bland person on the planet, but she does take things very seriously. For instance during her festival scene when Hisao brings up whether or not she is actually happy with her work, and expresses a hope that she isn't because it would make him feel bad for her. She seems to take that to heart, and she tries in her own way to say and yet not say she is displeased with her mural. Because she doesn't want him to be hurt, or hurt for her rather.

Anyway sorry for just the wall of text, I suppose in many ways I am like Rin, I am best at describing what I mean in ways some might not grasp (Which is no fault of theirs obviously.) What I really want to talk about is why people don't seem to understand her, I want to understand not understanding her I suppose, and hopefully we can all learn some things ^_^ (God I sound Cheesy...)
Also very sorry if this type of post has already been made, I just couldn't find it when I scrolled through all of the page titles, perhaps I missed it, and I am royally screwing up by putting my question somewhere where it ought to not be. If so please forgive me, And I feel terrible for doing so...

Thanks to anyone and everyone that reads and responds (Or just reads, that's fine as well)
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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by Loonie » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:31 am

Well...quite simply put, the more one's life is akin to the person they are trying to understand, the easier time they have understanding them.

Rin's life consisted of looking at things strictly from her own point of view and never from that of others and not necessarily because she'd want it that way (quite the opposite in fact - she wants to understand other people, but never feels as if she can, including understanding herself in fact). That's actually very rare. Most people feel like they can understand one another (or at least think they can) and thus manage to socialize. So, through osmosis, their points of view adapt and change towards whatever 'standard' is held in their society, thus becoming more and more aligned with each other and leading to them feeling like they understand each other even more as time goes on.

Rin never did that. She never felt she could understand other people, much less herself, and hence never managed to socialize and significantly change her isolatedly evolving point of view. And that ultimately made her the hardest person of all to understand, most notably because in the end she felt like she understood herself the least. If someone has at least a good idea of who they are, they begin to give away a more or less consistent set of signals to other people and that allows them to categorize them (for better or for worse)...and allows them to understand that person.

Rin never felt like she understood herself. So it's unsurprising that most other people (except perhaps someone who deliberately tried to, like Hisao in her path) understood her confusing signals, that only ever offer vague clues as to who she really is, even less. And it's not a stretch to apply this reasoning further outwards to the readership of KS, of course. Most readers feel like they understand who and what they are about (and are often vehement about it) so for them to empathize with and understand a character like Rin (who is never certain of who she is) is exceedingly difficult.

Or, considering Aura (Rin's writer) pretty much said a lot of her was pulled from random 4chan and internet patterns, I could be seriously overthinking this as usual. Either way, this explanation makes sense to me why I both can and can't understand Rin just fine.
Last edited by Loonie on Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by dewelar » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:40 am

Loonie wrote:Or, considering Aura (Rin's writer) pretty much said a lot of her was pulled from random 4chan and internet patterns, I could be seriously overthinking this as usual. Either way, this explanation makes sense to me why I both can and can't understand Rin just fine.
Can you point me to where this was said? I can definitely see where this could make sense, but wouldn't mind more insight.
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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by Loonie » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:32 pm

dewelar wrote:
Loonie wrote:Or, considering Aura (Rin's writer) pretty much said a lot of her was pulled from random 4chan and internet patterns, I could be seriously overthinking this as usual. Either way, this explanation makes sense to me why I both can and can't understand Rin just fine.
Can you point me to where this was said? I can definitely see where this could make sense, but wouldn't mind more insight.
Ugh...so sorry, but I can't right now. I do remember there was a link on 'Ask a question' thread to Aura's blog and I remember reading it there. Anyway, it was about as brief a quote as I had written it here (he didn't elaborate on it much so I doubt you'd get more insight even if I did link it) and I got the impression he moreso prescribed this to how he came up for a lot of her quirky mannerisms. Like...he'd need a non-sequitur to tie the key elements that were happening within a certain scene and he'd draw on the way chat in internet usually flows as inspiration. So basically - I got the feeling he moreso used it for Rin's evasive/dreamy behaviour as opposed to what actually drove her underneath it all.

But that coupled with the fact that, when I once asked him how much of Rin's arc was due to his own experiences, he straight up said that pretty much everything within it was a fabrication of his own mind and wasn't drawn from his life experiences at all, yeah...that's what leads me to my whole 'Maybe I'm overthinking Rin as usual' line of thought. When you're dealing with a character, that is pretty much constructed (even if very well) almost 100% from someone's imagination, you tend to ask yourself on a regular basis just how sane you thinking about this in-depth really is. With a fictional character, that has some basis in RL experiences, I can sorta justify it to myself...but with Rin my moreso rational half keeps asking me why do I put this much effort into figuring her character out, if she has next to no basis on real life events.

Very schizophrenic considering that she's my favorite character, as you can imagine. I guess sometimes there's just a huge gap between how someone thinks of a person and how they feel towards them.
Last edited by Loonie on Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by KeiichiO » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:36 pm

It's because people have a boring outlook on life.

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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by dewelar » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:58 pm

Loonie wrote:
dewelar wrote:
Loonie wrote:Or, considering Aura (Rin's writer) pretty much said a lot of her was pulled from random 4chan and internet patterns, I could be seriously overthinking this as usual. Either way, this explanation makes sense to me why I both can and can't understand Rin just fine.
Can you point me to where this was said? I can definitely see where this could make sense, but wouldn't mind more insight.
Ugh...so sorry, but I can't right now. I do remember there was a link on 'Ask a question' thread to Aura's blog and I remember reading it there. Anyway, it was about as brief a quote as I had written it here (he didn't elaborate on it much so I doubt you'd get more insight even if I did link it) and I got the impression he moreso prescribed this to how he came up for a lot of her quirky mannerisms. Like...he'd need a non-sequitur to tie the key elements that were happening within a certain scene and he'd draw on the way chat in internet usually flows as inspiration. So basically - I got the feeling he moreso used it for Rin's evasive/dreamy behaviour as opposed to what actually drove her underneath it all.
I kind of figured that was what was meant, and it does make sense. When you think about the type of interaction you find on the Internet, and then apply that to real life situations (i.e., having no real connection to the person to whom you're talking, and perhaps not even recognizing the other as a person instead of a collection of electrons - or, in Rin's case, a collection of sensory inputs), I could totally see how Rin would develop the quirky voice she has in the game.
Loonie wrote:But that coupled with the fact that, when I once asked him how much of Rin's arc was due to his own experiences, he straight up said that pretty much everything within it was a fabrication of his own mind and wasn't drawn from his life experiences at all, yeah...that's what leads me to my whole 'Maybe I'm overthinking Rin as usual' line of thought. When you're dealing with a character, that is pretty much constructed (even if very well) almost 100% from someone's imagination, you tend to ask yourself on a regular basis just how sane you thinking about this in-depth really is. With a fictional character, that has some basis in RL experiences, I can sorta justify it to myself...but with Rin my moreso rational half keeps asking me why do I put this much effort into figuring her character out, if she has next to no basis on real life events.

Very schizophrenic considering that she's my favorite character, as you can imagine. I guess sometimes there's just a huge gap between how someone thinks of a person and how they feel towards them.
*nods* Still, in a nutshell, there's a reason "disassociated artist" is a cliche. It's the re-association (or, in Rin's case, straight-up association) that's the hard part, and played pretty well.
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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by wazuzu » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:18 pm

Sometimes my thoughts are nothing but an abominable conglomeration of ever-intersecting instances that can't be described with human language. Sometimes I feel colors, and smell intentions, and hear emotions, and write feelings. I give items characteristics they hever had, and play along with complex sentences in desperate attempts to describe them to someone. I always listen to music that plays inside my head (it's mostly chaotic ambient, trip-hop and funky basslines), but I am never able to record it, since I forget it in the next second. I sometimes feel like Rin in terms of having extreme difficulties communicating with other people. When I have to choose and there is nothing I like, I always choose the most bizarre and ineffective way to do something, and when I fail because of it (think of it as of ineffective MMO character build, in an MMO which doesn't allow resets. And instead of putting your effective points in effective skills, you follow your incomprehensible character build inside your (mine in that context) head. I am also quick to derail my train of thought, so this leads ro hilarious female-logics-like situations, where I think of a girl, then think of her lower body, then think of sex, then think of Emi, then think of lemons, and then I go into grocery store to buy some bananas for (seemingly) no reason. Or when I listen to in-my-head radio, then there goes that slap bass line, then I think about playing it myself, then I think of cutting my finger with E-string (it's impossible, e-string is super thick), then I think about bone fracture, then I think about Dwarf Fortress, then I think about the honey, and then I go to kitchen and brew myself some tea. And then I see a mosquito and think of a giant fried crispy mosquito, and how I eat it.
So, what I was talking about? Rin, right. You know, she makes much more sense than me sometimes. But it suddenly strikes me that Rin in act 1 and Rin in other act bins are different Rins. You know, when you buy disgaea iii or something alike, but get Fallout in the end. That is how I felt.
This post was written in pre-slumber condition, so no inner moderation, enjoy the delirium.

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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by dewelar » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:38 pm

wazuzu wrote:But it suddenly strikes me that Rin in act 1 and Rin in other act bins are different Rins.
Yes. Never forget, Rin is the Sky.
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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by Loonie » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:02 pm

dewelar wrote:Yes. Never forget, Rin is the Sky.
I posed the preceeding 'riddle' to a good (and very smart) friend of mine IRL when she posted a picture of clear blue skies and she immediately fired back: "Ah, that's every individual person."

So yeah, I'd say we're all the sky in the end. :P Now combine this one with Hisao earlier noting that all of our water becomes clouds and go on a wonderful adventure of imagination.

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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by OtakuNinja » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:19 pm

Loeloe95 wrote:So as the title to this says I am truly confused as to why some people don't get Rin.
Because Rin. :P
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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by dewelar » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:20 pm

Loonie wrote:
dewelar wrote:Yes. Never forget, Rin is the Sky.
I posed the preceeding 'riddle' to a good (and very smart) friend of mine IRL when she posted a picture of clear blue skies and she immediately fired back: "Ah, that's every individual person."

So yeah, I'd say we're all the sky in the end. :P
Well, exactly. Rin just understands this part about herself more acutely than most.
Loonie wrote:Now combine this one with Hisao earlier noting that all of our water becomes clouds and go on a wonderful adventure of imagination.
Well played.
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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by Ritter Delorges » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:50 am

Loonie wrote:But that coupled with the fact that, when I once asked him how much of Rin's arc was due to his own experiences, he straight up said that pretty much everything within it was a fabrication of his own mind and wasn't drawn from his life experiences at all, yeah...that's what leads me to my whole 'Maybe I'm overthinking Rin as usual' line of thought. When you're dealing with a character, that is pretty much constructed (even if very well) almost 100% from someone's imagination, you tend to ask yourself on a regular basis just how sane you thinking about this in-depth really is. With a fictional character, that has some basis in RL experiences, I can sorta justify it to myself...but with Rin my moreso rational half keeps asking me why do I put this much effort into figuring her character out, if she has next to no basis on real life events.
But it is debatable how much that really matters. Every nontrivial character takes on a life of its own. Authors make some completely arbitrary choices, they make "mistakes" (relative to what they had planned) and they make choices that have reasons but also have implications beyond those. New patterns and connections emerge. Sometimes it is genuinely difficult to distinguish between the intentional and the unintentional aspects of a character because some authors' "it just felt right" is more deliberate than others'. I think it is not unreasonable to argue that the real Rin is fully defined by whatever made it into the VN, no matter how.

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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by Weird Heather » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:44 am

Ritter Delorges wrote:Every nontrivial character takes on a life of its own. ... I think it is not unreasonable to argue that the real Rin is fully defined by whatever made it into the VN, no matter how.
That is a great point, and it made me think of an essay that I read in a literary theory class I took a few years ago. (I have recently completed a BA in English, and I love theory.) This gets to the question of how much authorial intent matters when one interprets a text. In the mid-20th century, a movement called the New Criticism emphasized close reading of texts and tried to reduce or eliminate any reliance on external evidence. Though that movement has come and gone, this basic idea remains influential, and it provides a reasonable framework for the interpretation of difficult texts. Rin is a very complex character, and it is certainly tempting to consider what the developers had in mind when they created her, but I would argue that this is not necessary. She exists within the text, and one can use internal textual evidence alone to try to understand her. Wimsatt and Beardsley describe this concept in their essay, "The Intentional Fallacy." (Note that they are talking about poems, but their statements should apply equally well to any genre, including visual novels.) "The poem is not the critic's own and not the author's (it is detached from the author at birth and goes about the world beyond his power to intend about it or control it). The poem belongs to the public. It is embodied in language, the peculiar possession of the public, and it is about the human being, an object of public knowledge" (1234). Perhaps a good way (but by no means the only way) to attempt to understand Rin is to look closely at key moments in the text and not worry about the external factors that may have influenced her story while it was being written.

(I wouldn't argue that close reading, ignoring all external factors, is the only legitimate way to interpret a piece of literature. Relying entirely on the methods of the New Critics can be limiting at times. Sometimes, taking into account the external context can result in useful interpretations. As previous posters have noted, in the case of Rin, the external evidence is limited and doesn't provide a wealth of information upon which to base an interpretation, so we are led back to the text.)

Perhaps if we want to try to wrap our heads around Rin, we should bring in a few key quotes from her story and see how they fit together. (Note that this may result in spoilers.)

It is obvious from the story that Rin has difficulty communicating with others. She can be blunt, perplexing, frustrating, or just downright weird. She claims that she doesn't understand herself (and she probably doesn't). I share many of these characteristics with her, although hopefully I'm not as extreme. Perhaps that is why I feel like I can understand her, at least on an emotional level. It is apparent to me that she lives primarily in her head, but that she wishes she could interact better with the external world.

The following scene gives some insight into her character. I haven't noticed other people elsewhere on the forum talking about it a great deal; maybe they have in threads I haven't visited yet. Since it is an easily encountered scene in Act 1, I don't think that quoting it would constitute a serious spoiler. People reading this thread have probably been all through Act 1 anyway.

This is one of my favorites, perhaps because I can see myself doing the same thing (and I have come close more than once). This scene is "Mind Your Step," and I believe it can come up in all paths except those leading to Emi and Shizune. Hisao has gone to the village with Lilly to help with her shopping. After dark, as they are ready to go back to the school, they encounter Rin standing in the middle of the road, looking completely lost. "She looks like a zombie. Or a statue. A statue of a zombie. / But slowly, some symptoms of understanding seem to light in her dark eyes: this is something she must react to. / Rin blinks once. Very thoroughly." At this moment, Rin is deeply lost inside of herself, and when the real world intrudes upon her alternate reality (or alternate nothingness), she is slow to come to terms with it.

When Hisao asks her why she is there, she says, "I was wondering about that myself too. Just now. / Some people asked that just before. I assume they were wondering the same. / I didn't know. They didn't know either. I asked. That's why I'm wondering. So that was pretty much it. It's a murder mystery without a murder." Then, she points out the direction the other people were going, and Hisao thinks to himself, "Rin really does use a lot of words to say things that don't need a lot to be said." Here, she is babbling a bit, trying to work through the situation in her mind as she answers Hisao. It seems that she grasps at the first thought that comes to her, which is perhaps why she points out the direction the other people were going, even though it is entirely irrelevant. This detail, however, shows how observant she can be. Even when she appears completely lost, she is perhaps not as oblivious to her surroundings as she may seem. She is an observant zombie.

When Hisao remarks that she looks lost, rather than try to become un-lost, she says that she should have taken another pose. This is, perhaps, a hint of character development to come. At times, she doesn't want people to bother her. She just wants to be herself, even if she is rather strange. Maybe she should try not to attract so much attention to herself. (Multiple interpretations of this event are certainly possible.)

Rin might have come to the village for some purpose, or she might have just gone for a walk and ended up there. I doubt anyone will ever know for certain, including Rin herself. But she has an idea. "I do have. Some idea. I can't really tell what kind of an idea." There is yet more to this scene, and it is just as crazy, but I think I have gone through enough of it to extract some of her character traits. To summarize, Rin lives in her head, lets her mind wander into strange territories (or possibly just zones out), is rather detached from external reality while at the same time being highly observant. She wants to understand what is going on within and around her, and she wants to communicate her understanding, but she does not possess the language to do so. But she wants the freedom to be herself, even including the freedom to stand in the middle of the road looking like she is completely lost. (I sure felt bad for Lilly in this scene; Rin seems to completely perplex her.)

I intended to post a few short remarks about Rin, but I got interested and ended up posting an essay. Sorry, everyone, for being so long-winded. I may dig up some other quotes later and see if I can come up with further interpretations. If others post some of their favorite quotes, I'll be happy to attempt some close readings. I'll leave this thread for now with a final thought from the scene "Mind Your Step." Hisao explains well the reason that it is so difficult to understand Rin. "Talking with Rin is like playing chess with a supercomputer who does seemingly completely random moves as if to mock everything you know about chess. It's like that, except with human interaction. / And even if I win, it feels like losing." And this is why she is such a wonderful character.

Heather

Work Cited: Wimsatt, William K., Jr., and Monroe C. Beardsley. "The Intentional Fallacy." The Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism. 2nd ed. Ed.: Vincent B. Leitch. New York: Norton, 2010. 1232-46.
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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by Xanatos » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:32 am

I wouldn't say Rin wants freedom. I'd say she already has more freedom than everyone else in the story and probably most people in the real world.
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Re: Why does it seems like no one understands Rin?

Post by YZQ » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:38 am

She has the freedom, but doesn't know what to do with it.
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