luxken27: (Default)
LuxKen27 ([personal profile] luxken27) wrote2008-05-23 08:00 pm

Criminal

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Pairing: Kikyo/Inuyasha
Rating: T
Song inspiration:  "Criminal" (C) 1997 Fiona Apple
Based upon:  Episodes 147-148, "The Tragic Love Song of Destiny"

This is the oneshot I'm most proud of; it is a psychological portrait of Kikyo at the moment of her (first) death, and an exploration of why she was eventually reincarnated as Kagome.

I really feel Kikyo's character was assassinated by the anime.  The more I read of the manga, the more I see how her complex, interesting character was turned into a one-note villain by the show.  She is one of those rare anti-heroines; upon her resurrection, she wanders the earth thirsting for revenge against those who caused her death.  She is stuck at the point of dying, and her growth over the series finds her battling with her love for Inuyasha and her hate for Naraku, as well as her jealousy of Kagome.

"Criminal" by Fiona Apple has been similarly analyzed by psychologists.  It was the first single released by the singer, who was only 20 at the time.  The video for the song was highly sexualized; along with the lyrics of the song, they paint a portrait of exploited, underage girls used as prostitutes.  I was reading about the controversy surrounding the song (because I *am* that nerdy), and when I turned back to Inuyasha musings, I thought of Kikyo.

Perhaps one of the most despised "specials" for the anime, the two-part retelling of Kikyo's and Inuyasha's past is belittled as filler and non-canon.  There isn't much of their past before their deaths in the manga, so some fans would rather speculate.  Considering the way Kikyo was treated in the anime, I don't blame them.  It's hard to see how or why Inuyasha could love such a cold-hearted bitch, especially when he has someone like Kagome at his side.

The manga tells a different story.  The emotions of love, hate, anger, jealousy are all there, but are portrayed differently.  It's too much to go into here, but it all made me wonder exactly why did Kikyo and Inuyasha find and cling to each other?  Kikyo isn't my favorite character, but in trying to put myself in her shoes, I came up with this piece.

Kikyo goes into limbo after shooting Inuyasha and putting him under a sealing spell.  In death, she realizes that she's made a mistake, and now she has to rectify it.  It was challenging to write this for a few reasons.  First, I can't really relate to Kikyo's reasoning.  It seems a bit selfish and petty, not to mention desperate.  Secondly, Kikyo didn't know about Naraku's ministrations in her death, or her spell on Inuyasha.

So how does she reconcile her actions with her supposed love for the one she kills?

I think I did a much better job incorporating the lyrics of the song into this piece.  It helps that the lyrics are first-person to begin with; but also, this song was a great fit to Kikyo's conflicted personality.  I think she felt guilt more than anything else, especially as the manga progressed and she learns the whole story of that tragic day.  She got the resolution her spirit was seeking, and had a peaceful goodbye with the man she once shot with an arrow of hatred.

I'm most proud of this piece, of all my one shots.  I wish it was getting more hits and more thoughtful commentary, but that doesn't diminish my love for it in the least.  I haven't found too many definitive pieces on Kikyo's character.  It's really a shame she's so despised by fans, because she is so very interesting.