Star of Heaven (star_of_heaven) wrote in ship_manifesto,
Star of Heaven

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Guilt and Cherry Blossoms - Schuldig/Sakura Tomoe

Title: Guilt and Cherry Blossoms
Author: Star of Heaven
Pairing: Schuldig/Sakura
Fandom: Weiß Kreuz
Spoilers: Quite a few. Proceed with caution.
Notes: All quotes are from the Japanese version (because it was so much easier to pause and then copy down the subtitles), the screencaps were taken by me using InterVideo WinDVD 4, and names are in the "given name family name" order.

Well, onto the pairing!

The Characters:

Name: Sakura Tomoe
Name meaning: sakura - cherry blossom
Age: 15
Nationality: Japanese
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Pink
Japanese V.A: Hiroko Kasahara
English V.A: Katie Adams

"You would do anything for Aya, right?"
-Schuldig, Episode 23

Sakura Tomoe was probably the happiest girl in the world before the series began. She first appears in Episode 6, after one of her kidneys is stolen by some organ traders on the black market. When Weiß receives the order to assassinate the man behind the organ thefts, Aya Fujimiya becomes drawn to Sakura because she reminds him of his comatose sister.

Later, Sakura is kidnapped again so that her heart can be stolen, but Aya rescues her, although she doesn't know that it was him. She soon falls in love with him, but he rejects her. She starts to feel insecure, and thus easy prey for manipulation. However, she still holds on to some of her strength. She realizes that Aya doesn't return her feelings, but she still wants to see him happy. When Aya-chan is kidnapped, Sakura tries to do everything she can to make sure that Aya can see his sister again. She is a loyal friend, and will do anything for those she cares about.

Not much is revealed about Sakura's past. Like I said earlier, she probably used to be a very cheerful girl. She is in high school, and part of the track team. She is a very fast runner, but the loss of her kidney does affect her skill somewhat. Even so, she tries to not let that bother her and always does her best.

Name: Schuldig
Name meaning: guilty
Age: 22
Nationality: German
Hair: Orange
Eyes: Blue
Japanese V.A: Hikaru Midorikawa
English V.A: Jeff Swarthout

"Playing with people's hearts comes easy to you?"
-Essett woman, Episode 24

Schuldig first appears in Episode 8, although he doesn't really play a major role until a few episodes later. He is a member of Schwarz, and thus a major enemy of Weiß. He becomes more known when he begins to torment Omi Tsukiyono and Ouka Sakaki about their relationship. He uses Ouka to get closer to Omi and the rest of Weiß, and it really does not end well.

Schuldig's relationship with the rest of Schwarz is pretty good for a team like theirs. He and Farfarello seem to work well on missions together, and with Brad Crawford his sadistic tendencies really show. When it comes to Nagi Naoe, Schuldig more or less ignores him. Schuldig does taunt Nagi for his affection toward Tot of Schreient (a female assassin group; enemy of Weiß and somewhat allied with Schwarz) a few times, but that's about it.

Like with Sakura, very little is revealed about Schuldig's past. He is a telepath, and he enjoys using that "gift" to toy with others' emotions. However, being a telepath isn't always a pleasure. As he says to Farfarello once, "It's not always fun. Other people's minds are intruding on mine. Sometimes I can't tell their thoughts from my own." From what I can gather from the Drama CDs, he used to be part of Rosenkreuz, which is an organization for "gifted" people such as himself. He met Crawford there, and later they joined Essett, and then formed Schwarz along with Nagi and Farfarello.

As for his name, it may or may not be his real name. There's no evidence to suggest either. However, there is a better chance that "Schuldig" isn't his real name. Germany does have rules on what you're allowed to name your child. First, it has to represent your child's gender. Second, it cannot harm their well-being. I really don't think a name that means guilty qualifies as "harmless." But I could just be reading way too much into Schuldig's name.

The Pairing:

Now that we know the characters, let's discuss the actual pairing. Here is an example of their interaction:

(Of the seventeen pictures I have of the two of them, I had to choose that one.) Actually, I choose that picture for a reason, but that will be explained as we go along. Now, let's talk about how Schuldig and Sakura interact with each other.

They first meet in Episode 23. At the beginning of the episode, Schuldig is driving with Farfarello. When they are going pass the flower shop where Weiß works, Schuldig notices Sakura. But when Farfarello asks, "What's the matter?" Schuldig replies, "Nothing." A few minutes later, when Farfarello suggests that they kill Weiß right that second, Schuldig says, "Wait, I have an idea. That girl, we can use her."

Afterwards, when Sakura is more worried about Aya, Schuldig comes up behind her and says that he can help. He claims that he is a friend of Aya, and although Sakura doesn't trust him, she decides to hear what he has to say. At the café, Schuldig says that Sakura can see Aya-chan if she comes with him. She accepts his offer, and so he takes her to the place where Aya-chan is. There, Schuldig explains to Sakura that Aya is part of an assassin group called Weiß and then asks for her help.

What Schuldig wants Sakura to do is to shoot Aya. This is what he tells her: "Don't worry, it's easy. You'll just give him a little scare… Then he might come around. It's hard for me, too. But that's friendship. You understand that, don't you?" At this point, Sakura loses all trust in Schuldig, but she doesn't have much of a choice anymore.

Sakura does confront Aya, but she can't shoot him. So Schuldig, with this telepathic ability, takes control of her body and forces her to pull the trigger. However, her aim is bad and the bullet only grazes Aya's arm. Schuldig orders Sakura to shoot him again, but she refuses. She is able to resist his control long enough for Yoji Kudou to get the gun out of her hands with his wire. But, even considering that failure, Schuldig still sees some use in Sakura, so he kidnaps her.

Despite whatever uses Sakura may have, Schuldig does get angry with her a few times. After the failed shooting, when Sakura is wondering how she is going to let Aya know about his sister, Schuldig grabs her wrist and tries to twist her arm, and then tells her not to get any ideas.

Later, Sakura stuffs Aya-chan into a locker when the building that they're in is being abandoned. She knows that Weiß will be coming soon, so she hopes that they'll discover Aya-chan. When Schuldig finds out about this stunt, he beats her. He then pulls her hair and reads her mind to figure out what she was thinking. He replies, "You can't see him, so you wanted his sister to see him, huh? You make me cry."

I've been into Schuldig/Sakura ever since I first watched Weiß Kreuz (which was around the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003). I don't consider it to be my "favorite pairing," but I still find it interesting. But as an OTCP (One True Crack Pairing), it's definitely my favorite. Now, whether or not it would be "romantic" is up for debate. Schuldig did first notice Sakura rather suddenly. (And let's face it - Sakura may be pretty cute, but she's definitely not what most people would consider "beautiful." Still, she is only fifteen. She might mature in a few years.) It could have been her thoughts that attracted him, but why didn't he tell Farfarello right then that they could use her?

If Schuldig were in love with Sakura, it would probably be a sick and twisted sort of love. It's obvious that he enjoys playing with her emotions. He is rather sadistic. His idea of "fun" with Sakura would probably consist of seducing her with his "charms."

As for Sakura, there's only two possible ways she would ever fall in love with Schuldig: a) he seduces her like there's no tomorrow, or b) she finds it in her heart to forgive him. Both of those are likely. Since Schuldig can read minds, he would know exactly how to make Sakura feel good. Also, Sakura is a nice girl. She doesn't seem like the type who would want to hold a grudge against anybody. Plus, Schuldig can take advantage of that kindness when seducing her.

Now seems like a good time to clarify something. By "seduce," I don't mean rape. While Schuldig is sadistic, it's more like he prefers causing emotional pain rather than physical pain, and he probably has more self-restraint than that. He would more likely favor screwing with Sakura's mind over actually screwing her. I don't think that it's too out of character for Schuldig to consider raping Sakura, but that's not the point here.

Of course, Schuldig/Sakura does not need to be romantic at all. Sometimes when I write this pairing, Schuldig just wants Sakura. He doesn't care about her love whatsoever. He may just desire to taste her sweet thoughts. The problem with this situation is that any relationship based solely on desire can't be happy. It usually ends up sad.

Another way I write this pairing is to already have Schuldig in love with Sakura. He acts sweet and charming toward her without actually changing who he is. He is still a twisted and cunning telepath; the only difference is that he is in love with a girl seven years younger than he is. With this scenario, it's interesting to see how Sakura feels about being loved by Schuldig, and sometimes to see her emotions when she is beginning to return his love.

Schuldig/Sakura could happen, but it would need a lot of work. They would have to change for the other. Schuldig'd have to stop being an assassin, and Sakura'd have to forgive him completely and learn to understand his unique ability. Obviously, this would not happen overnight, but over the course of a few years. An easier way (although not so pleasant way) is that Schuldig could corrupt and break Sakura to make her exactly like him.

What I find most interesting about Schuldig/Sakura is their interaction. It's not always pleasant, and sometimes it's downright cruel. And then there are their personalities. Sakura is sweet, nice, and innocent. Schuldig is sadistic, malicious, and guilty. They're close to being complete opposites of each other. Schuldig may be attracted toward Sakura because she's so different from him. He might also want to be able to taste her sweet thoughts whenever he wants. He's definitely not the nicest guy around, but he does have some positive traits. For the most part, he is rather levelheaded and he does smile often (even if that smile is usually a smirk). Sakura may be drawn toward those qualities in Schuldig. She could convince herself that he isn't really a bad person, and that he's just a tortured soul wearing a mask of cruelty.

I wondered how they would work as a couple. How would Schuldig react to having feelings for Sakura? Would he deny them? Or if he accepted those feelings, how would he go about expressing them? Would he win Sakura over with his charms? Would he try to force her to be his? And what of Sakura? How would she react to the idea of a man who she might possibly hate being in love with her? Would she forgive him for playing with her emotions? What would she do if she discovered that she was falling in love with him? And if they did become a couple, how would they carry out their relationship? It wouldn't be a "traditional" happy relationship. It might even be abusive in some ways. And considering how different they are from each other, would they even be happy together, despite however strongly they love each other?

The Fandom:

(Fan fictions by me:)
Love's Burden - My first Schuldig/Sakura fic. Takes place during Episode 24 after Sakura is kidnapped by Schwarz. [PG-13]
Ich Werde Dir Immer Verzeihen - Eight chapters. Although the main pairing is Schuldig/Sakura, Aya is in love with Sakura and Crawford has some feelings for Schuldig. [PG-13]
Ich Will Dich Nicht Lieben - A prequel to Ich Werde Dir Immer Verzeihen. Schuldig's POV. [PG]
Kommen Sie Mit Mir - A rather melancholy story that was inspired by "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway. [PG-13]
All Lies Looking Inside - Drabble. The title was taken from the song "Fly To Me" by Aleph. [PG-13]
Feel like Sin - Drabble. Contains a cringe-worthy comparison from Paradise Lost by John Milton. Try to figure out who I'm comparing Schuldig and Sakura to. [PG-13]

(Fan fiction by misura:)
Three's a crowd - Birthday fic for me. It doesn't end up as Schuldig/Sakura, but it's still a good fic. [PG]

(Fan fiction by daegaer:)
The Company of Wolves - Set of three drabbles. Schuldig is training Sakura to be an assassin. [PG-13]
Tutorials - Another set of three drabbles. Follows The Company of Wolves. [PG-13]
Continual Assessment - Another set of three drabbles. Follows Tutorials. [PG-13]

There are some more drabbles from wk_100 that focus on Schuldig and Sakura, but I'm way too lazy to find them again. If you're still interested, just look through the calendar. You'll probably find them eventually.

I also have a Schuldig/Sakura music video up on AnimeMusicVideos.Org. (Unfortunately, you need to have an account there to view it. But luckily, they're free. Still, don't get it unless you're actually going to use it every once in a while.) The song used is "Fly To Me" by Aleph. (Bonus points if you have heard of that song.) Lyrics can be found at AnimeLyrics.Com.

When I first starting writing Schuldig/Sakura, there wasn't a whole lot of it around. (Although I have no doubt a doujinshi with that pairing exists.) Actually, I believe my fan fiction "Love's Burden" may have been the first Schuldig/Sakura story written. (I'm pretty sure it was the first one on FanFiction.Net, at least.) I did corrupt a few other people into liking the pairing, and later I met one other person who I didn't have to corrupt that also liked Schuldig/Sakura. But lately, I've been seeing much more interest in Schuldig/Sakura. I'm not saying it's a bad thing (actually, I quite like the idea of other people writing Schuldig/Sakura; it gets rather boring when only one person is writing a certain pairing). I find this sudden interest intriguing; in the beginning, I didn't expect Schuldig/Sakura to be all that accepted by the fandom. I'm actually wondering why I was never flamed for writing the pairing (not that I'm complaining or anything…). But, I guess this old fandom still has a few surprises left.

And that concludes my essay on Schuldig/Sakura. It's not easy to explain why I like a pairing (especially when it's a bit unusual), but I thought it was fun. Well, I hope it actually made some sense and that you enjoyed it.
Tags: #anime/animation, weiß kreuz

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