If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying. – Mark Grace
The critical moment in the 8th episode of C³-bu comes when the protagonist of the series, Yura, reacts to being struck by a stray shot from a member of the Meisei team by continuing to fight and winning the battle and tournament for her team. The nature of the victory represents a pivotal moment in the development of her character going forward, but how does it reflect human nature in this circumstance? Additionally, what can we learn about Yura as a character in figuring out why she acted the way she did?
One of the things I like to look at when someone is involved in destructive behavior is what was the incentive in doing so. Doping scandals are numerous in sport and the reason why is quite clear. Success by whatever means possible brings reputation, money and fame that far surpass any consequences of getting caught doing so. The fear of failing at one’s dream, trying to earn that next contract or endorsement, staying in good faith with coaches and simply wanting to win are all reasons that can be cited for cheating. Another example I like to cite is the financial crisis where the instruments that brought down the economy can in many instances be traced back to individuals negotiating deals that brought them tons of money even if they would destroy the banks they worked for and lose their jobs.
With that in mind, I’m going to attempt to construct Yura’s incentives in that moment after she was struck by the pellet and before shooting at her rival Rin.
- Desire to defeat Rin
- Desire to win
- Desire to avenge Sonora
By acting on these three desires and continuing to shoot, Yura can potentially still accomplish these goals. What are the potential consequences?
- Rin continues to rule over her mentally
- Her team probably loses
- Sonora will be disappointed at losing to Meisei
Ultimately, it’s a championship match and being disqualified would lead to the same results as accepting that she was hit. The fact is that Yura shooting at Rin is what would give her the greatest satisfaction at that moment. She would definitely not be the first person to put short-term positives ahead of long-term negatives.
In the immediate aftermath of the battle, Rin says Yura has become just like her in doing anything to win. In this case, I think Rin mischaracterizes herself. It’s easy to point out that if she did want to win, then she would be appealing to the officials at the event arguing that Yura was hit and that the C³-bu should be disqualified as a result. In almost any situation where someone really wants to win, they will push the rules and argue with those that make them. It doesn’t matter if it is something like diving to win a penalty or bribing government officials, there will be a few people who will exploit systems to try to gain something. They may end up in prison and/or have their reputation in tatters, but tried to cheat to win by convincing the right people to act in their favor.
Yura’s reaction after the victory is one of someone who realized they had done something terribly wrong. Her tendency to get caught in the moment now lurks in her conscious. In her desire to get back at Rin for all that she is perceived to have done to Sonora and herself, Yura has turned the rest of the club from a group of girls who had cakes and tea and played survival games for fun into a joyless tactical unit because it suited that purpose. Unfortunately, feelings linger far after the games are over.