sevendials: (ken - but it's funny)
laila ([personal profile] sevendials) wrote on April 8th, 2011 at 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.
 
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