Author Topic: Anime Safu vs. novel Safu  (Read 687 times)


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Anime Safu vs. novel Safu
« on: May 21, 2014, 09:20:36 pm »
The best change the anime made to the story (in my opinion) was giving Safu a bigger role and more room for character development. The question is, is that development consistent with her character in the novel?

The difference between the two, in my mind, is that anime Safu actually learned something from her trip to No. 5, whereas novel Safu didn't have a chance to show what she had learned, if anything. And by "learned" I'm referring to her social skills and her creativity. I think that Safu had a big potential for creativity, due to her emotional side and her romantic heart (shown in the novel in the scene where she insists on going after Shion even though it's dangerous). In the anime, of course, she gets into poetry.

A side note: if people want to start analyzing the poem, I am totally down for that. And I've got a link to my own transcription from a subbed anime, if you have a direct translation or a better transcription feel free to share (

Anyway, I guess that any discussion of her development and how in character it is depends on how you interpret her in the novel. It certainly seems to me as though she's trying very hard to suppress her emotions and creativity in order to seem more cool-headed and scientific. (She mentions that she tries to keep a brave face about bad things when she talks to Shion over the phone-thing after he turns her down).

What do you all think? Is anime Safu more novel-canon than anime Shion? What other facets of Safu do you think come out in the anime?

Gotta build dis girl some character.~

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Re: Anime Safu vs. novel Safu
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 08:37:34 am »
Hm, I’m not that good in analyzing characters, but I think she’s closer to her novel-self than Shion to his novel-self. In the end she doesn’t have that many appearances; and we don’t learn that much about Anime-Safu’s emotional life, apart from the fact that she loves Shion.

I watched the anime first and read the mangas and novels afterwards, so I was really confused when Shion’s birthday scene was missing and Safu’s experiences concerning No. 5 as well. Geez, it was a bit disappointing, because I wanted to read about that. I always liked her and wanted to see more of her character. So I always had the feeling that the anime shows more. But in the end it's just her "normal" life... the novels show more of her thoughts. Way more.

(Btw… The poem is like a premonition of what was to come. )

Well. I don’t think she suppressed her creativity or her emotions. She’s indeed a very rational character and I think she’s strong-minded enough to do what she wants to do. Like going abroad, her urge to search Shion even though Karan begs her not to go, she’s even telling Karan about her feelings towards Shion in tears... and of course her love declaration. She’s very straightforward and probably a very uncommon inhabitant of No. 6.

Have you ever heard about “tatemae” and “honne?” Those words describe the contrast between a person’s true feelings and desires (that’s honne) and the opinions and behaviors they display in public, called tatemae… It’s what is expected by society and required according to one’s position and circumstances. It’s something typical Japanese and even if it’s not exactly like that in No. 6, I can see similarities. I guess normal No. 6 people, especially those who live in Chronos, are raised like that. Beyond that, they live a secure life and don’t have too many things they have to worry about. (Even the dead ones smile peacefully.)
They live in a monotonous rut and I wouldn’t even be surprise me when a lot of them doesn’t know the feeling of true love and they have arranged marriage and stuff like that, especially concerning the elite.

I think it’s essential for survival to keep their façade.
For example Yamase. He was pretty scared when Shion said that the department of health messed with the report and yelled at him that he just can’t say whatever he wants.
But ok, it’s probably very obvious; even though it’s the first time in the series you get the impression that people fear the government of No. 6, that they fear to speak their minds…
They also don’t dare to be sad, and the slightest rant about the city is enough and the Security Bureau becomes aware of it immediately, just like it happened when two young women ranted that they were forced to go to the Holy Day celebration.
I guess some people don’t know it, but everyone who has lost a relative or friend is pretty cautious concerning his opinion or his feelings.
And it seems to happen once in a while that people die mystically, people like Suifu or that they disappear like Yoming’s wife and child. That’s why Yoming rescued Karan who was about to bear her heart to the old (spy) lady, who just came because Karan seemed to be sad.

Well, Safu’s just a teenage girl, and she doesn’t badmouth the city when she’s just in love, but they’re still raised to be “happy” and that it’s not good to show emotion. And some of them don’t even know that they actually have something like emotions, just like Shion. ^^°
I think Safu’s way more aware of her emotions than Shion, even if she fails to show them properly at first and confronts Shion with the most embarrassing conversation he probably ever had. Of course she tried it on a scientific basis at first, because old habits die hard… or something like that. But she’s getting better and better. XD First the sperm question… then she desired sex and when they talked on the phone she told him that she loves him.

"Safu, really, um― take care of yourself. When we meet in two years―"
"I love you, Shion. More than anyone else."
The line died without waiting for his answer. He could hear the pitter-patter of rain. He thought he saw something move in a corner of the room.

Volume 1, chapter 2

Boah, Shion! ^^° This is so horrible… she tells him that she loves him and he doesn’t even think about it, but wonders if Nezumi’s in the room. In contrast to Safu he’s not at least a tiny bit aware that he’s totally in love. (Or better to say obsessed…^^°)

She’s very honest. Honest to everyone and also honest to herself. You said that she tries to put up a strong face… yes she does it, but just for Shion.

"Also my first time seeing you stumble over yourself trying to explain things. That's alright if you have a girlfriend. I don't mind if you've already got someone on your mind. ―No, that was a lie. Look at me, I always try to put up a strong face in any situation. It's a bad habit of mine."

Vol. 1, ch. 2

Especially in the CF scene, when she guides both boys outside and she’s alone afterwards you know that it was just a strong face. But in the end she wants Shion to be safe and happy.

Safu tilted her head in uncertainty. She put a hand to her chest. Tears sprang unexpectedly into her eyes.
I want to raise my voice and cry.
Shion―Shion, you're gone.
You came all the way here for me. I thought that would be enough, but what am I feeling? What is this rush of emotion?
Shion, Shion, why is he the one beside you? Why isn't it me? Why did fate not allow me to live alongside you? If he wasn't here, would you have loved me instead?
You may not have been able to live together, but you could have died together.
Safu lifted her face, and clasped her hands together at her breast.
Safu, you did not wish for that?
In truth, in truth, had I wished... that you would die with me, that you would expire here with me... Shion?
She shook her head. She did not wish for that. Even now, she did not wish for it a tiny bit. She wanted him to be alive. She wanted him to live, and change this world. She wanted him to create a world in which no one was forced to die such an unfair death.
Shion, live. Live out your life. Please.

Vol 8, ch 1

What I wanted to say is that I don’t think she wants to be cool or scientific… It’s more like that she wants to protect Shion (and probably herself)…

And about her creativity… I guess she had other problems when she came back from No. 5.
Btw. I don’t think she wants to search Shion because of her romantic heart. It’s more that she’s extremely desperate. Her grandma died and Shion’s is her only close friend. She doesn’t want to find him because it’s romantic… and I dare to say that it has nothing to do with that at all. She’d also try to find him even when she’s not in love, because he’s the only person left who’s dear/close to her. And she’s smart enough to know that it’s dangerous and a kamikaze operation to go and find him in the West Block. But she has nothing to lose. Or better to say she has nothing to lose apart from him – and he’s unfortunately lost. But he’s not dead, so he’s still her anchor…

Ok, I’m totally off topic since it’s Anime-Safu vs. Novel-Safu… and I mostly talked about Safu in general. In the end, I don’t think her character is that much different from her novel-self. The differences are things like… that she’s able to hear Elyurias as well… although she has nothing to do with her when she’s in No. 5… and that she’s more violently in the anime. I’m not sure about it, but I think she didn’t beat her classmates up when they disturbed her lecture…she just told them to stop it… and you don’t learn enough concerning her thoughts so that you can’t compare it to the novel properly. In the anime she seems to be way more obsessed with Shion… she just wants to meet him and she loves him (and this is all she thinks about him ^^°), but you don’t learn how she really thinks about him like in the novels. That he’s an idiot and that he should grow up a bit…
Or something like that:

"What are you looking at? Who are you looking for? Don't let your eyes wander so far away. Look at me. I'm right in front of you.”

Volume 2, Chapter 4

But it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t think like that in the anime as well. We just don’t know it. o_o 11 episodes aren't enough to characterize everyone properly. They should think more, just like in the novels.

Ok, I start to go round in circles. XD I should stop now.