Thursday, February 12, 2015

28 Day Bubblegum Crisis Challenge, Day 11: Least Favorite Secondary or One-Shot Character

Okay, so remember Irene, the woman I referenced back on Least Favorite Main Character? Well, Irene was such a close friend of Linna's that Linna didn't know that Irene was related to a very popular singer, Vision, pictured below.
Via JapPop
I'll be clear here: I really, really like "Double Vision" as an episode, even though I have ragged on it a little bit in the past few challenge days. It's definitely in my Top 5 BGC episodes, but that doesn't mean that I agree with portions of it.

Now, for those of you who didn't know - and let's face it, not a lot of people know this because they don't obsess over now-relatively-unknown anime series from the 80s - Vision/Reika Chang was supposed to replace Priss because the character's voice actress, Oomori Kinuko, might not have returned due to contract issues. Look at the similarities: they are both singers, albeit one is an international star, and they both wear mecha suits to battle corrupt corporations! Because of fan outcry and a new contract, Priss stayed, and Reika left Bubblegum Crisis, ostensibly continuing on her musical career unscathed.

Which is one of my problems with the character. I have a hard time believing that no one made the connection between her and the mecha attacks, which always coincided with her tour dates. Even if she wasn't responsible - which she was - you would think that police would have connected the dots and at least attempted to question her. Perhaps someone on her crew had wanted to claim vengeance against Genom and its subsidiary and contract companies, like Gulf & Bradley. Genom is a global company - and evil - so it's even more difficult to believe that their internal security wouldn't have noticed something was amiss. Even pop stars that are known publicly as one thing are well-documented, at least to governments, by their legal names. Everyone knows Beyonce is really Beyonce Knowles-Carter, and though she is called Madonna, she still files her taxes as Madonna Ciccone. So you mean to tell me that Leon figured out that the mecha that was operated by Reika/Vision was manufactured by the Chang Corporation but didn't link that the singer's family owned the company that built the thing? I mean, it's Leon, sure, but still. And then, even with all of her help with getting McLaren arrested, she was still responsible for killing people in Tokyo. You're telling me that she helped bust a dude for being a skeeze but was let off multiple charges of first-degree murder? I guess celebrities really aren't like us.

Another big issue that I have with Reika is that I do not believe for one second that Hou Bang, her family's secret criminal organization, would accept her as their new leader, not because she is a woman but because 1) she showed no interest in following her father's footsteps until her sister's death, 2) her father's death occurred fifteen years prior and someone has undoubtedly stepped into this supposed "power vacuum" since then, 3) she is reported directly to the person in that position* as unable to follow through on her promise of revenge, and 4) she's a pop singer. At the least, she would endanger their "secretness" by being such a well-known figure, and at the worst, she would completely undo the entire setup, either out of incompetence and/or compassion or willfully bringing it to the ground.

That kind of brings me back to Reika replacing Priss in the Knight Saber line-up. Priss was the lead singer of a band, sure, but the Replicants seem to be more of a popular underground band. I mean, they play frequently at a sleazy-looking bar, Hot Legs. Sylia is a power player, but she runs a lingerie company, something that no one would take seriously (no matter how lucrative) in a high-tech business world like BGC's; she deals with everyone under the table, through an intermediary like Fargo, or in her hardsuit**. Nene is a low-level officer within the ADP department, so of course, no one would suspect her of being involved with the Knight Sabers, and Linna is literally a nobody. So it makes no sense that Sylia would have allowed someone like Reika to get involved with them.

The character of Reika is fine, I guess. She seems sad all the time - which, to be fair, she is completely alone in the world now in terms of biological family - and she can't quite dedicate herself to one way of life - which, again to be fair, to go from being a ridiculously popular singer to taking the mantle of Don (or whatever Chinese titles are - my knowledge of mafia-style anything comes from The Godfather) would be a rather confusing change. But the exterior parts of the story related to her just don't add up. I know that this is fiction, but I still expect a certain amount of believability. I can only suspend myself so far, and BGC just kind of failed Reika for me.

Oh, well, at least I have Daley.

* Kou, her bodyguard and copilot of the crab mecha thing, says that she is "too soft."
** One of my favorite scenes from "Tinsel City" is when Sylia and Nene show up at the defense department wearing their hardsuits, and they're all surprised that women's voices are coming out of the helmets.
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