Author Topic: Rikiga- what are you doing, man?  (Read 301 times)

Weisel

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Re: Rikiga- what are you doing, man?
« on: May 14, 2014, 04:19:36 pm »
I'm always interested in why people have certain vices, so I'm going to talk about Rikiga's alcoholism.

I think I can understand why he's constantly drunk. I mean, how many times is he actually sober compared to being drunk in the novels? Anyway, it's definitely an escape. He's clearly not happy with his life, but I can imagine he's not willing to change his ways based on the thought "but what else is going to reliably bring me enough income?" He's good with business, that's for sure, and the most profitable businesses in the West Block are generally the least savory. So with his business mindset, he'd of course keep doing that kind of work as long as it's profitable. He doesn't want to give up that stability of knowing he'll be living comfortably the next day, week, month, year... But he knows what he's doing is incredibly immoral. And I think he knows he should stop, but he also knows he's too much of a coward to give up his own stability for the sake of following ideals, especially when no one else around him is doing that. So he keeps playing the game he hates so much despite himself. He's intelligent enough to look at his own life and see exactly that this is all happening, but doesn't have the courage to change it. And so he drinks to cope.

It seems like a ridiculous thing to do from an outside perspective, but it's not something a person just immediately decides to do. It's not a matter of "I think I'm going to get completely plastered every single day," but rather a habit that starts out small. "I'll have a drink after I get this awful task done." "Today's been rough, so I'll have a drink." "I'm stressed out, but a drink should help me relax." "I'm unhappy right now so I'll just have a few drinks to cheer up a little." So those little thoughts apply themselves more and more until it goes from being an occasional activity to a daily habit.

Writing this out, I can just imagine Rikiga falling into this cycle. He probably drank socially when he was a lot younger, like a fair amount of people do. And then as things started changing in No.6 in worrying ways, he probably had some tricky and even risky reports to make while getting around the city's new policies. I can see Rikiga treating himself to a few drinks once he's gotten through some of those jobs. And with the newspaper he worked for going out of business, that probably brought on more drinking. It likely took some time to decline into failure and I imagine Rikiga tried his best not to let it happen considering that his job was at stake. Fighting to keep your job in a hopeless fight is pretty stressful, but a few drinks would take the edge off of it, right?

...I think you all can see where this is going. By the time he started doing business on his own, alcohol was maybe even a part of his daily life. He probably continued using it as a crutch while he got himself established, and once he was making a sound living for himself, he definitely had to be drinking every day. Not only did he have the means to support the habit, but he had the reason to keep the habit. He's not an evil person. He could see how wrong it was to be making a profit the way he was. But drinking helps with the unhappiness, so... Yeah. He's gotten to the point of having a glass of booze to wash down his breakfast every morning.

And the whole deal with Karan? My theory on it is that he sees Karan as the epitome of a "good" person. It likely started as a sort of crush when they were younger, but grew into something more when everything else around Rikiga got uglier and uglier. Karan remained in his memories as a good person, and that stood out from the horrible things and people around him. So to him, this woman he had a thing for before has become the last good thing in his life, even if he hasn't seen her for years and years, and he probably doesn't want to think of her as any less than that. So with everything said before about the alcoholism and the realization of his own wrongdoings, I think Rikiga hates himself to some level. But if Karan would accept him, if someone purely good could love him, it'd mean he wasn't actually a bad person, right? Having Karan love him would be his delusional salvation.

As for Shion, it's definitely all because of Karan at first. But I think over time, Shion has just sort of made his way into Rikiga's heart a little just like he has for Inukashi (and a lot for Nezumi) simply because of his nature.

Well, that's my thoughts on it all for now. Maybe I'll think of more later.