08 April 2011 @ 11:23 am
Taking a Third Option  
Those of you who've been paying attention to the Weiss Kreuz fandom as of late may have noticed that it's become embroiled in a fight to the death (or at least to the extreme irritation) to prove, once and for all, who really is Weiss's leader. Omi's supporters point to his rapport with Manx and easy link to Persia, his reporting on his teammates' actions, his devotion and loyalty to Weiss, and the fact he's very clearly the one who does all the work. Aya's point to his cool sword, brooding bad-boy attitude and The Meeting.

I have recently come to think, however, that there is a third, most compelling alternative that neither side in this debate has addressed. It is that alternative that I propose to set out today.

I have, as many of you know, come down firmly on the Omi side of the fence for many, many years. Put simply, I used to think that it was logical that the person who did all the work and actually had an easy way to talk to the next link up in the chain of command was the one in charge. I believed that Omi had to be the team's leader on the grounds that having to ambush your line manager in a car park every time you wanted to talk to him was a frankly inefficient use of time. I simply didn't realize that ambushing your line manager and threatening him was a wonderful way for a leader to show his drive and initiative. And quitting Weiss on two separate occasions in pursuit of his goals? This obviously proves that Aya is such a fantastic leader he doesn't even need to be backed up by a team to get the job done.

Clearly brooding, unstable bad-boys who won't listen to reason make the best leaders.

It becomes obvious, however, that by Gluhen Aya has lost all the drive and passion that made him the truly effective leader of men he once was. He's inclined to the calm and contemplative, his decision-making is for the most part reasoned, and he's clearly been trusted by Kritiker with watching over the other members of Weiss and making sure that they all keep in line.

Which is why I now believe that the person in charge - at least in Gluhen, and maybe even earlier - is not Aya but Ken.

Think about it. Come Gluhen, is Aya challenging authority, forejudging situations, and driven by the desire to see his enemies dead at his feet? No, he isn't. He's sat in the kitchen talking calmly to Sena about the realities of life as an assassin. He's the steady anchor, the even keel that Omi provided in Kapitel. With his own objectives realized, he lacks the fire and determination that made him such a devoted, driven leader in the past. Clearly, realizing this, he has stepped aside and given up his leadership responsibilities to take on the role of team-builder and Kritiker liaison that Omi once held. Aya is no longer the true leader of Weiss, but he's become their solid leader in the sense of being the one who shoulders the burden of responsibility for the day-to-day running of the team, leaving the duties related to commanding their operations to another.

The team's true leader at this point is Ken. Ken is the one who's showing himself to be passionate and dedicated, willing to go the extra mile to get the job done. Throughout their operations in Gluhen he's by far the most focused of the team, thinking of nothing but their missions and what must be done to successfully complete them. While the rest of Weiss attend classes or mark time with pretty young women, Ken's the one on active duty, keeping his mind firmly on the task at hand: achieving their objectives and eliminating the targets. He shadows their targets and their associates, he monitors their actions, and he's at the forefront in the field. Even while undercover Ken is thinking of nothing but the mission, showing the same clear-headed and whole-hearted dedication to his own responsibilities as Weiss's leader that Aya did before.

Ken is forceful, goal-oriented, determined and, most importantly of all, ruthless in the field. He steps up and takes charge in combat, driven by his desire to see the mission finished and the targets killed. And, like Aya in Kapitel, he isn't afraid to stand up against authority figures and assert his own opinions.

In Kapitel Aya's status as leader was made plain by the domineering attitude he took to his teammates where Omi, the teambuilder and nurturer, used conciliation and attempted to find consensus. In Gluhen it's Aya who conciliates, showing that he has taken Omi's position as mediator. It's Ken - the new leader - who asserts his authority over the team as a whole by taking the same commanding and authoritarian tone that Aya did before. As leader Ken takes a firm hand with Sena, hoping to curb his recklessness and keep him safe by ensuring that he stays in line; he even makes it plain when Aya's suggestions are entirely unnecessary, just as Aya was sometimes called upon to do with Omi when he was the one in charge.

Just as Weiss in Kapitel is led by dominant, aggressive Aya with Omi, the thoughtful teambuilder, taking a more passive role, so the team in Gluhen falls into the same pattern. As Aya - now the thoughtful teambuilder - steps back to take on Omi's responsibilities so Ken steps up and takes on Aya's, becoming leader in his turn. It's a beautiful expression of character growth, and so obvious I can't believe I didn't see it before.

All it took was realizing the truth: you can't ask for more in a leader than a brooding, unstable bad-boy.

To Anybody Who Took This Post Seriously: Dictionary.com's definition of the word 'Parody'. Thank you.
Current Music: velvet underworld (gluhen version) - weiss
Current Mood: over-enthusiastic
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[identity profile] caseyvalhalla.livejournal.com on April 8th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
Brilliant, yet again.
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[identity profile] pichi.livejournal.com on April 8th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
A+, would LOL again
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[identity profile] akarui-sekai.livejournal.com on April 8th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
Well played. ^_^
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witless[personal profile] witless on November 16th, 2011 03:53 am (UTC)
I just wanted to leave a comment because I was explaining to a friend about Weiss Kreuz (a fandom I had been in early on in 2000) and happened to accidentally googled a line about my teenage fandom being about florist assassins--which brought up this entry.

A fantastic but accidental choice. I love your response and I think I'm going to have to take a look to see with Weiss Fandom is doing now.
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gemais: Omi overshoulder[personal profile] gemais on December 29th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
Yes, Persia purposely formed the new team out of impressionable young men so they wouldn't go off in their own direction again. Then he put the self-interested loose cannon in charge instead of his blindly devoted heir. It's only logical. I don't know whether to laugh or feel sick.
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laila: ken - i'm in a box[personal profile] sevendials on December 29th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
Honestly, the whole thing's such a mess that at this point I'd say 'go with what you like'. I don't personally think it makes much sense in context for Aya to be the leader in Kapitel, but if people want to work with canon as laid out in The Meeting that's their choice. I may not personally understand it, but - now that I know there is some canon support for it - I won't claim it's Dead Wrong any more.

I will, on the other hand, shout even louder about how this canon is not only on crack, it's made of it. It seems a good enough compromise to me.
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gemais: ken brightfaded[personal profile] gemais on December 29th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
Hmm...I think I'll stick with White Shaman and Kapital. Hell, the manga is the best part of the series anyway. It's so disappointing for new canon to show up only to find it's some terribly mediocre ficlet.

Maybe Aya really does make a great leader though. If you want a flashy decoy to draw attention to himself. Let some fool think he's going after the head of the snake while he's really got the tail. XD
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