Cephiro

How do we solve a problem like Sierra?

Mokonalord

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How do we solve a problem like Sierra?
« on: September 27, 2015, 03:51:14 PM »
Now, personally, I find it much easier to pretend Sierra never happened. Her appearance in the anime is basically a giant 'WTF?' with giant fingerprints of contrivance all over it.

But, I'll try to set that aside for a moment. So, is it possible to make anything of Sierra?

Ultimately, I feel like what makes her fail as a character is that we can't even begin to comprehend her motivations based on what we're given. So, she decided to pretend to be Presea. Um, why? Even if we try to claim it's out of some misguided sense of 'she didn't want the people involved in her death to feel guilty' there's the fact that she didn't know any of these people beforehand.

Okay, let's unpack that one further. The people involved in her death were the Magic Knights and Ascot. At the time she showed up at the castle, nobody would've considered the Magic Knights returning to Cephiro as anything more than wishful thinking, so that leaves Ascot. Problem is, how would she even know he was involved? Even Presea and the Magic Knights probably don't realize Ascot had anything to do with it. The only people that would know? Ascot, Caldina, and maybe Alcyone. Alcyone wasn't around at the beginning of the second season, I seriously doubt Caldina's telling anybody except for maybe Lafarga, and Ascot, well, while I could see him feeling the need to confess at some point, I don't think he'd be there just yet. (Interesting things they could've done: Had Caldina and Ascot be the only ones who realized something was wrong with 'Presea' showing up at the castle at first, but not saying anything because that would mean Ascot admitting that he'd killed her. Clef not getting suspicious until the Magic Knights showed up and were all, "But you died!") 

Now, maybe some of them mistakenly identified her as Presea before she had a chance to correct them and she just went with it, but then there's the question, 'Why doesn't anybody know her as Sierra?' I mean, she's also a Pharle, presumably she had people that she made weapons for, unless she was Presea's apprentice that was just locked in the basement whenever company came over... Or if she was a Presea con-artist, located in some remote village. Or a Stepford Wife Presea clone. (Other interesting things they could've done: Give Sierra a shady backstory, like make her a thief, and have her pretending to be Presea actually be a way of escaping the authorities)

I ask again, how do we solve a problem like Sierra?
If your headcanon for Ascot's backstory doesn't make me want to cry, I probably won't believe it.

Revolutionaren

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Re: How do we solve a problem like Sierra?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2015, 02:56:32 PM »
In my Altered Universe, Presea is alive and well and she does legit have a twin sister named Sierra who lives in a village somewhere and visits now and again.

But mainly, I also like to pretend Series 2 never happened (the anime, that is. The manga is perfectly fine).
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Somariel

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Re: How do we solve a problem like Sierra?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2015, 01:16:45 PM »
To be honest, I tend to just completely ignore the anime except for the pieces of worldbuilding that I find useful. That said, however, my muse did manage to browbeat me into admitting Sierra into my manga headcanon earlier this year.
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VKiera

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Re: How do we solve a problem like Sierra?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2015, 11:41:14 PM »
Like most everyone else I usually just pretend season 2 of the anime didn't happen. Eagle lives!*cough* From the giant plot hole that was Presea dying, to Nova and Debonair and killing Eagle off. It's like they can't think of a better way to crank up the tension than killing off someone? In BOTH seasons? *grumbles*

To be fair, I don't hate Sierra, her actual story in some ways is very sympathetic, but well they had to shoehorn it in, and yea her motivations are kinda hazy at best. I suppose you could say that Clef asked her to pretend to be Presea and because she loves him she says yes? IDK. Still doesn't explain why no one knew her as Sierra.

Actually, does anyone know if they'd started season two of the manga yet before they finished season one of the anime? I mean because if they had then they have no excuse for buggering up that badly. Did Clamp only help write the scripts for season 2? They must have not had as much say in season one, since I don't see them letting them kill off Presea when she's needed in part 2. Though to be honest, she's only there to fork back over the Magic Knights' weapons when they show back up. Not that I still don't' love her for it.
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Mokonalord

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Re: How do we solve a problem like Sierra?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2015, 02:28:57 AM »
Actually, does anyone know if they'd started season two of the manga yet before they finished season one of the anime? I mean because if they had then they have no excuse for buggering up that badly. Did Clamp only help write the scripts for season 2? They must have not had as much say in season one, since I don't see them letting them kill off Presea when she's needed in part 2. Though to be honest, she's only there to fork back over the Magic Knights' weapons when they show back up. Not that I still don't' love her for it.
Let's see, according to the wiki, the MKR2 manga started appearing in Nakayoshi in March of '95, and season one ended... March of '95. Season two started in April. Don't know at what point CLAMP really got involved.
If your headcanon for Ascot's backstory doesn't make me want to cry, I probably won't believe it.

Down

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Re: How do we solve a problem like Sierra?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2015, 08:59:51 AM »
Like most everyone else I usually just pretend season 2 of the anime didn't happen. Eagle lives!*cough* From the giant plot hole that was Presea dying, to Nova and Debonair and killing Eagle off. It's like they can't think of a better way to crank up the tension than killing off someone? In BOTH seasons? *grumbles*

To be fair, I don't hate Sierra, her actual story in some ways is very sympathetic, but well they had to shoehorn it in, and yea her motivations are kinda hazy at best. I suppose you could say that Clef asked her to pretend to be Presea and because she loves him she says yes? IDK. Still doesn't explain why no one knew her as Sierra.

Actually, does anyone know if they'd started season two of the manga yet before they finished season one of the anime? I mean because if they had then they have no excuse for buggering up that badly. Did Clamp only help write the scripts for season 2? They must have not had as much say in season one, since I don't see them letting them kill off Presea when she's needed in part 2. Though to be honest, she's only there to fork back over the Magic Knights' weapons when they show back up. Not that I still don't' love her for it.

Am on iPod someone poke me to read this thread properly when I'm not running a temperature! But CLAMP- well, Ohkawa, only scripted the second season of the anime. The first one they were following the manga, when they went to start the second the second series of manga was just then starting and they asked Ohkawa to write it for them, and told her about the feedback they'd had which led to things like Nova. Iirc. The translations are all terrible and wonderful in their own way I really wish dark horse had actually retranslated rather than using the second tokyopop and editing a little

Mokonalord

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Re: How do we solve a problem like Sierra?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2016, 06:02:32 PM »
Personal Conclusion: Their biggest mistake with Sierra was having her pretend to be Presea. On top of her motivations for doing so making no sense, it also kept her from actually having a character of her own other than 'Presea-lite' and made it painfully obvious just how shoehorned the concept was.

It's just another example of what I feel to be the biggest flaw of the anime: Wasted potential. Many of the changes they made had the potential to be interesting, but because they didn't actually give them the time and consideration those kind of changes deserved, we're left wishing they'd just have stuck with the original entirely.

Kill off a character that didn't die in the manga? Well, okay, I'll hear you out- Wait, come second season, you're just gonna have her identical sister show up pretending to be her and have almost everybody else basically acting like it didn't happen save for a few short scenes? Sure about that? You've got the person who killed her right there, supposedly reformed now, is her sister really okay with being around him? I mean, it's not like he killed Presea on accident, it was pretty cold-blooded at the time. Really just gonna ignore all that possible development for characters that don't get much actual screen time in the main story? Could throw in stuff like Alcyone trying to convince Sierra to get revenge, Caldina stubbornly refusing to let Sierra anywhere near Ascot once the truth comes out (even if she's just looking for confirmation of what Alcyone told her), Clef having suspected that one of them was responsible but choosing not to delve into it while the country was in shambles, rifts forming at a time they can't afford them to… No?

Such wasted potential… *sighs*
If your headcanon for Ascot's backstory doesn't make me want to cry, I probably won't believe it.