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silkycuttle ([personal profile] silkycuttle) wrote in [community profile] snk2014-08-23 05:28 am

WEEKLY META: Hange Zoe

A different character or plot/setting point will be posted each week for meta discussion. This week:

Hange Zoe!

Discussion can be on anything, so long as it's at least tangentially related to the weekly topic. Reply to the first comment to vote on what next week's topic should be.

Spoilers should be warned for, but are allowed. Creating your own posts on whatever meta you wish, your own or reccing someone else's, is still highly encouraged.

(Anonymous) 2014-08-23 03:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Hange. I'll go with female pronouns for her, hope everyone is okay with that.

She's a character I like quite a bit and I think she's a great mentor for Eren. For example, I like how she empathized the positive aspects of their experiment in chapter 53 even when Eren and Levi felt that it was a failure because it became apparent that Eren can't use the crystalizing ability.

I think her backstory is also an interesting one: originally hating titans until she encounters something which awakens her desire to study them and from that point her perspective changes a great deal.

I'm happy that Erwin chose her as his successor, she absolutely deserves it. I think many people portray her as "crazy" or completely out of touch with society, but Hange to seems to have fairly good people skills (or at least miles above Levi's) and has shown great emotional intelligence or quick thinking outside of her research plenty of times.
It's more that she gets overly enthusiastic/ too caught up in her research in more peaceful times, when there's no need to be that serious.

I used to ship her with Levi though I kind of lost interest in that for reasons I still can't quite grasp, though I still enjoy their interactions and how she "interprets" for Levi or exasperates and annoys him only to lead to scenes which show how much respects her and is close to her. A fun odd friendship with quite a bit of depth.

I also mentioned her mentoring Eren. I think she's a positive influence in his life: he has a lot of intellectual curiosity and so does she which is something which allows them to bond. While she intelligent enough to see how bleak things really are, she still has a relatively positive outlook on things and a strong fighting spirit even in terrible circumstances. I think Eren is quite at ease with her and I wish they were closer so that he could confess some of his fears and doubts to her. She strikes me as someone who could help him with that.

Other than that we have only her interactions with Erwin and some sporadic interactions with other characters here and there. Wish she'd interact with the other 104 kids more, I think that would be quite interesting.

Regarding relationships, it also seems like she really got attached to Pastor Nick, since her torture of Sannes and her later treatment of him show a level of anger which seems to be really motivated by a desire fro revenge. I think those scenes also showed her old angry and frightening self resurfacing. (And even Isayama said in a Q&A that she is the scariest SNK character when angered.)

(Anonymous) 2014-08-23 09:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I agree with basically all of this, and particularly with regards to how she's portrayed as consistently unstable or flighty in fandom despite this having little canon evidence. Yes, she says several strange or off-the-wall one-liners, and acts rashly when it comes to her own safety (though I like to think that she's simply much more confident in knowing her own abilities and the risk involved than everyone else, in which case what seems like needlessly jumping into danger may really just be well calculated moves, and relatively risk free). When needs must she puts away the jokes to work with a calm and sensible attitude, e.g. she calls people off attacking Bertolt when the steam gets too much on the wall before Eren is kidnapped. Her behaviour in battle or in important dealings with strangers is very different to when she's around friends.

I really like the scene after torturing Sannes (I think?) when she kicks over the table, then when confronted by Eren calms down immediately, brushes it off with a joke, and gets straight back to business. Anger, but the ability to control it. And her attachment to Pastor Nick was a nice touch of humanity – sure, he was technically the enemy, but she still recognised him as a person and not a tool or chess piece to be manipulated, like Erwin or Levi would, perhaps.

I used to ship her with Levi, but their interactions have basically stopped, what with them being in different places now. I'm also growing to like Hange more and Levi less, tbh, so that definitely plays a part in my falling out of the ship. There definitely is mutual trust, and they tolerate or even play up each other's jokes, e.g. the many toilet jokes.

I like to think of her as a more mature, and more science-bent, Eren. They have the same rage under the surface, they're both intelligent and good with motivating and directing people. They both show kindness and empathy. Eren, I think, is less into the hows and whys, and more riddled with a sense of justice, rights and wrongs ('it's our right to be in the outside world'), and I don't think Hange has shown much interest in the outside world per se. But I definitely think that he is most like Hange, and could do with her as a mentor, than anyone else.

I wonder at Hange's fate. For some reason she pings me as someone who is likely to survive the whole mess, unless there's a sort of twist where 90% of characters die in one foul swoop. But I can easily see her leading the weary and considerably smaller Scouting Legion out of the Civil War and into the freed lands outside.

(Anonymous) 2014-08-24 06:11 pm (UTC)(link)
I also get the impression that she acts so reckless because she knows she can handle it. And as you say, in battle or in important conversations she has it together pretty well. I like that you brought up the post-torture scene. It does indeed show that Hange has a great deal of self-control when she wants to and can switch into a serious, business-like mode very quickly.

I do agree that out of the leaders in the SL, Hange is the most compassionate and empathetic. It's not that Erwin and Levi are incapable of it, but they do kind of close themselves off from these feelings for various reasons.

Well, their last interactions were in 55, so that's not too long ago, but depending on one's investment in a ship, long absence can lower interest. I think me falling out of the ship is probably due to me no longer seeing it for them. I still enjoy their friendship but I guess in some way it has started to feel OOC for them to be romantically involved. Obviously others see this matter differently and I don't begrudge that.

I agree with your take on Hange compared to Eren. That being said, in her character interview she was asked what she'd do if there were no longer any titans and she answered that she'd like to study the plants and animals beyond the wall. So I guess that does indicate some interest? Read the whole thing here: http://dumbfandomrambling.tumblr.com/post/93568727584/hanges-closeup-interview-an-anon-on-4chan

I get the same feeling about her. She also strikes me as one of the safest characters. I suppose there's nothing in her character arc or development which would necessitate or make death all that fitting, so as a result she feels like one of the people who seem to have a high chance of living through it all.

(Anonymous) 2014-08-28 12:01 am (UTC)(link)
DA

The anime portrays her as unstable and flighty, because the anime introduces a lot of gender bullshit that is absent from the manga. A lot of people are anime-only fans.

I agree with you and the other anon that she is a worthy successor to Erwin and a good mentor to/more-mature version of Eren, for all the reasons elaborated. I think, though, that after she tortured Sanes, she was angry at herself, not at Sanes and Ralph. The "cockroach" metaphor she used when joking with Eren was her way of reassuring herself that she did the right thing, no matter how ugly it was. She can definitely be ruthless when she needs to be, but because she has not turned off her emotions as thoroughly as Erwin and Levi have, her conscience hits her harder.

I like Hange, but I almost never feel moved to write about her for some reason. I suspect it's because she is one of the most psychologically healthy characters in canon, and, well, I like this canon for how fucked up everyone is. I've never shipped her with Levi. If I were to ship her with anyone it'd be Moblit; I think they'd balance one another really well.

I agree that she's highly likely to survive.

(Anonymous) 2014-08-31 12:20 am (UTC)(link)
ayrt

The anime portrays her as unstable and flighty

Really? Damn. I don't pay much attention to the anime because they'd changed so much for the worse, imo, but I'm not surprised. I guess it's stupid to blame fans if this is the case, then. Rrrrgh. *shakes fist skyward*

I think you're right about her being angry at herself – though I would say that to me, she is definitely angry at them as well (and that the cockroach metaphor is a bit of a stretch, though not impossible). I think she's angry at a lot of things e.g. the system, that it needs to be destroyed and to be destroyed needs her to torture people.

Yeah, I agree about Hange being psychologically healthy. It probably wasn't the case pre-canon, when she described herself as being angry, but she seems to have healed, as well as being resilient. Can I ask why the Moblit ship? I mean, I don't not ship it, but he hasn't had much characterisation beyond looking concerned and following orders in the background.