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Scotty

The Justin/Susan Dynamic

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This was sparked by the following theory that appeared in this thread.

4 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

Susan might find herself in love with Justin. They did make out, they've gotten very close to each other. And it would put Susan in the same relationship to Justin as Justin as Justin has to Elliot, or Melissa to Justin: Love that can never work out.

The bond between Justin and Susan is very complex, I don't even think it's on the same level as Elliot and Tedd. So I figure the best way to go about this is to go step by step through the evolution of their relationship.

They're first meeting was during the first Sister arc when Justin came in with Nanase after Susan called her to fight the goo monster. Things don't start off well between them as Susan assumes that Justin is Nanase's fling (Susan did call Nanase a slut over the phone), also Susan's view on men in general was still very much skewed towards the negative there. Later, after the goo fight and everyone's at Tedd's house, Susan is tolerant of Justin, but no really improvement, though I'm sure Justin learned something about Susan here. ;)

Jump ahead a few nights and Ellen, Nanase and Justin go out to rent a movie, they run into Susan, who calls Justin "boy toy", again referring to Justin's association with Nanase, we do see that Justin can be quick to take bribes even from someone who had a moment earlier degraded him. Quick fastforward and Justin comments about the organization of the video store in regards to the Star Trek movies and apparently Susan takes the compliment to heart and sees Justin as someone with very similar interests, and they apparently geek out together while Nanase and Ellen have trouble deciding what to rent, you can tell by the way Susan's looking at Justin that she's warmed up to him. When we get to Susan's house, she apparently had thoughts about the possibility of Justin being more than a friend, but then awkwardly finds out that he's gay and is quite disappointed. So at this point Susan had found a guy that hadn't so far shown signs of being male scum, had very similar interests as her, but the downside was that he's gay. She's also felt quite bad about telling her mom that while thinking she was lying to her, plus she also took her mom's comment about being a lesbian to heart as she asked Ellen to zap her, thinking it would help he be attracted to females not as guilty about outing Justin to her mom.

Jump again to "Painted Black" and we have Susan arriving with Ellen, Justin and Nanase, to get Sarah after Elliot was taken. This is probably a key moment that solidified the fact that Susan and Justin were now friends as she went to visit him at the comic shop. And on the drive to Tedd's she jokes that Justin should hold out for a fully functional Soong android after Justin comments that maybe Tedd could build him a boyfriend. They kinda had a bit of a disagreement in which Jeremy took Susan's side but then she had to make a comment about the Uryuom worker suit looking better on Justin. The fact that Susan let Justin braid her hair while Ellen, Nanase and Grace were off rescuing Elliot and dealing with Damien shows the friendship was still developing nicely.

, On to Grace's Birthday party, while Susan didn't have Ellen's IM name, she did have Nanase's, and easily guessed that Nanase was rping with Justin, so I guess we can assume that Susan exchanged IM info with Nanase and Justin while she was at the comic shop just prior to being called to pick up Ellen in "Painted Black" (it makes sense that they did that then because even though they had the opportunity during "Night Out: Ellen's Crew" Susan would have been able to get Ellen's info then as well, but she didn't so she couldn't have got Nanase's and Justin's info then). We know Susan and Justin arrive separately (Susan with Sarah, Justin with Nanase, presumably because Sarah and Nanase didn't have transportation), but Susan and Justin did collaborate on Grace's present, we can probably assume that Susan and Justin IMed each other about it. At the time of everyone's transformation we have some name calling after Justin learns that Susan had Nanase pick out Ellen's outfit instead of picking it out herself. After Susan transforms and has his arm wrestling match with Nanase, Justin defends Susan by telling Nanase she should have gone easier on him. Next point of interest was during the Karaoke session, after Ellen had done her thing, they went into singing duets and Justin paired up with Susan.

Now we have the big moment, Susan's all upset because the feelings about her father and questioning why she came to hate men so much are getting to her. She makes her way to the basement where she see's Justin who's also dealing with feelings. Susan decides that what she's dealing with can't be worse than Justin's and they get talking, Susan even attempts to use Trek humour to break the ice. Justin reveals that he was in love with Elliot then tells Susan how he was outted as being gay, the fight where Elliot saved him, becoming friends with Nanase, etc, and Susan tries to cheer Justin up by saying he's not alone and such, and then they kiss, and likely more if not for Demonic Duck creating a timely distraction. The thing about this though, is while Susan accepts that it was her choice to act on her attraction to Justin at that moment despite the fact that her male form was likely enhancing that attraction, Justin probably just blamed it on his female form initially. Both of them knew that they couldn't have that kind of relationship without the help of transformation tricks, but it still had a lasting effect on their level of trust for each other.

We don't know if Susan ever told Justin about her father before Susan learned about Diane, but we do know that Susan confided in Justin on numerous occasions but it didn't seem apparent that she told him much when she walked into the comic shop in New and Old Flames to be suddenly bearhugged by Justin, forcing her panicked headbutt and telling him she didn't like being touched. Justin not knowing that because "you know" implies that she hadn't yet told him much of her past. In End of an Era, Justin got wind of the fact that Susan was attracted to Elliot and she assured him that she wasn't going to act on it because she didn't want to betray Sarah, it was interesting that there wasn't any mention of Justin having been in love with Elliot so we can probably assume that Justin wasn't dwelling on that any longer (though his reaction to seeing Elliot's female form later on might suggest there was still some lingering feelings). Anyway, we can probably assume Justin got Susan something for her birthday, but as far as we know, cake and a birthday song was all that happened. Identity had Justin and Susan talking about the feelings she had when she saw Catalina kiss Elliot and commented that she probably shares too much with Justin, so we know that Susan at some point told Justin about Catalina asking her out and how she felt about it, I'm guessing she told him around the time she introduced Catalina to him back in Hammerchlorians, but uncertain. At this point it's also apparent that Susan and Justin RP on occasion just like Justin did with Nanase. Later on she's IMing Justin again about Elliot asking Ashley out, she kinda glosses over the Bad Tom part, but it's uncertain if she goes into full detail about it as she focuses more on Elliot and her deciding to not interfere, she openly compares Elliot to Justin in how she feels about him, which says a lot about how she feels about Justin, she thinks he's attractive, but he's unattainable as far as physical relationships go, still she considers Justin a friend that she trusts greatly, enough to tell him stuff she wouldn't normally tell others. We can say that they love each other, but not romantically, also saying it like friends through thick and thin isn't enough because that can apply to the Main Eight as a whole, and as I said before, there's the love between Elliot and Tedd that Elliot compared with Sam and Frodo, but I don't think that's quite enough either.

Anyway, did I miss anything? Firefox decided to freak out partway through typing this and while thankfully the forums saved what I had written, I feel I might have rushed to finish before it happened again. This also feels like the longest post I've made with the most links, but I wanted to make sure I covered as much as I could think of.

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I think the word you have been trying to use is "philia" or "philos"

Quote

Philia (/ˈfɪljə/ or /ˈfɪliə/; Ancient Greek: φιλία), often translated "brotherly love", is one of the four ancient Greek words for love: philia, storge, agape and eros. In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, philia is usually translated as "friendship" or affection. The complete opposite is called a phobia.

 

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18 hours ago, Scotty said:

They kinda had a bit of a disagreement in which Jeremy took Susan's side but then she had to make a comment about the Uryuom worker suit looking better on Justin. The fact that Susan let Justin braid her hair while Ellen, Nanase and Grace were off rescuing Elliot and dealing with Damien shows the friendship was still developing nicely.

Either jokes like this were part of their friendships or Susan though so after "boy-toy accepting her terms".

18 hours ago, Scotty said:

Both of them knew that they couldn't have that kind of relationship without the help of transformation tricks, but it still had a lasting effect on their level of trust for each other.

Also, unlike Tedd and Grace, they don't enjoyed being transformed to other gender so much. In fact, even Sarah seem to enjoy it more ...

 

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On 4/18/2017 at 9:48 PM, Scotty said:

They're first meeting was during the first Sister arc when Justin came in with Nanase after Susan called her to fight the goo monster. Things don't start off well between them as Susan assumes that Justin is Nanase's fling (Susan did call Nanase a slut over the phone)

Oh, that's something I had overlooked. Nanase had dated a lot of guys before Elliot, and changed guys frequently, which is probably where Susan got the whole "Nanase is a slut" thing from.

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5 hours ago, ijuin said:

Oh, that's something I had overlooked. Nanase had dated a lot of guys before Elliot, and changed guys frequently, which is probably where Susan got the whole "Nanase is a slut" thing from.

The thing is, Susan couldn't have known Nanase's dating habits, I find it difficult to believe that Nanase would have said something about it, It's entirely possible that Susan's opinion of Nanase came entirely from them not getting along well during the trip. Maybe Nanase didn't like the idea of having to babysit Susan and be her personal translator and gave Susan a hard time because of it. Susan also had made a jab that Nanase could be a lesbian...OK maybe Nanase's response to that was that she's dated lots of boys which could give Susan the impression that Nanase was a slut. I still think it was the overall experience with Nanase on that trip that made Susan view her like that.

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7 hours ago, Scotty said:

The thing is, Susan couldn't have known Nanase's dating habits, I find it difficult to believe that Nanase would have said something about it, It's entirely possible that Susan's opinion of Nanase came entirely from them not getting along well during the trip. Maybe Nanase didn't like the idea of having to babysit Susan and be her personal translator and gave Susan a hard time because of it. Susan also had made a jab that Nanase could be a lesbian...OK maybe Nanase's response to that was that she's dated lots of boys which could give Susan the impression that Nanase was a slut. I still think it was the overall experience with Nanase on that trip that made Susan view her like that.

I'm thinking Susan and Nanase still stayed in touch after France.  They shared a pretty intense experience and they would only have each other tot talk to about it.  

From there it's not to hard to think they touched on other matters.  If Nanase talks about who she's dating and it's a different name every time Susan would no doubt pick up on Nanase's dating habits, call her on them and disapprove.

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The only thing I'm really going to call Scotty on is that I don't think Jeremy's opinions had any affect on Susan and Justin's relationship. Possibly Scotty was thinking of someone other than our favorite genetically-altered cat. I really can't come up with anything now that I think's worth adding.

But give me time.

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19 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:

The only thing I'm really going to call Scotty on is that I don't think Jeremy's opinions had any affect on Susan and Justin's relationship. Possibly Scotty was thinking of someone other than our favorite genetically-altered cat. I really can't come up with anything now that I think's worth adding.

I was talking about how Justin called out Susan for not having voiced much reason, to which Jeremy promptly swatted Justin with his spiky tail and glared at him. You can't possibly believe that Jeremy didn't take Susan's side right there.

And I wasn't trying to say that this had a longterm affect on their relationship, just that at this point they were friends, but not yet close friends.

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4 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

If Nanase talks about who she's dating and it's a different name every time Susan would no doubt pick up on Nanase's dating habits, call her on them and disapprove.

I dunno, the original Susan personality might have seen nothing wrong with using boys for sex and then discarding them.  She might have seen it as fitting payback for centuries of men using and discarding women.

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1 hour ago, CritterKeeper said:

I dunno, the original Susan personality might have seen nothing wrong with using boys for sex and then discarding them.  She might have seen it as fitting payback for centuries of men using and discarding women.

Susan did once say she was for female superiority...  :)

I think one constant of Susan's personality is that she is repelled by the thought of males.  These days this is toned down and rephrased as fear and apprehension at getting close, which is a definite step up for her.  In the early days especially Susan was on a total rejection trip, which Elliot rightly called her on at Grace's birthday party. 

I can see Susan disapproving of Nanase less if Nanase had no emotional investment in the boys she dated, but Nanase was looking for someone she could feel attracted to and invest in.  Nanase wasn't dating for the fun of it or with intent to abuse for her own fun. 

Calling Nanase "slutty" seems a way for Susan to keep emotional distance between herself and any heterosexual or romantic urges she might feel while listening to stories of Nanase's dating life and Nanase's frustrations with it.

I just realized something.  Nanase didn't start the comic with many friends.  Meeting Justin helped her out as much as it did Justin.  If she wanted to cry on a shoulder, especially about dating and such, Susan may well have been Nanase's only option.


Gotta wonder, how did Nanase's mom miss her "(at least one) different boy every week" schtick?  I have a hard time thinking she'd be OK with it...

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Mama Kitsune was well aware of Nanase's dating history.  At the time, Nanase thought that wearing the cute/sexy clothes she liked would become a problem with her mother.  Why dating several different boys in rapid succession wasn't perceived as a problem is a bit confusing.

It may be that Mama Kitsune was desperate to get Nanase married and having kids as soon as possible, so she didn't complain when Nanase kept breaking up with the guys, as long as she was dating another quickly.

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1 hour ago, Vorlonagent said:

Gotta wonder, how did Nanase's mom miss her "(at least one) different boy every week" schtick?  I have a hard time thinking she'd be OK with it...

I dunno, I think Mamma Kitsune would be more concerned with whether Nanase went too far with anyone, rather than with how many boys Nanase "tested out" but never went beyond kissing.  Her rather conservative attitudes seem like they would mesh well with teaching her daughter that premarital sex was to be avoided, and a Nanase who couldn't even openly wear clothes she thought her mother disapproved of would see dating and kissing as rebellious enough; she's too strong and self-confident to give in to pressure from a boy to do anything she didn't want to do.  Nanase was looking for the Right Guy and believed when she found him she'd be attracted to him; she could tell she wasn't attracted to any given boy without having to go as far as sleeping with him.

Of course, it's also possible she was desperate enough to convince herself she was attracted to a boy that she would sleep with one or more of them, but I don't really see it happening, or if it did, it wouldn't happen more than once or twice before she'd wise up.

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I think Susan having Nanase phone number is a bit of an oddity, the way their conversation went...it makes sense that two people who'd been through what Susan and Nanase went through in France to want have a way to contact each other in case something else happens...but they way they treat each other initially, I gotta believe there was some reluctance there, best guess is Nanase suggested and Susan only agreed because she was still in shock over killing the vampire. But I don't think they actually kept in touch until that fateful day the goo returned.

2 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

Calling Nanase "slutty" seems a way for Susan to keep emotional distance between herself and any heterosexual or romantic urges she might feel while listening to stories of Nanase's dating life and Nanase's frustrations with it.

Nanase's good deep down, but I think it's possible that Nanase teased Susan a lot during the trip which cause Susan to resent meeting Nanase, I doubt Nanase went into full detail about her dating habits, and while Susan suggesting she was a lesbian to account for her being immune to the vampire's charm magic did provoke a response, that response could have been anything really not just stating she's dated lots of boys, a threatening glare like the one we were shown might have been it. Still, Susan's experience on the trip was a crappy one, and up until the goo, Susan had likely been content to never have to see Nanase again so having to call her wasn't something she looked forward to doing, she tried to be cordial, but Nanase was apparently snarky about Susan introducing herself which made Susan drop the pleasantries entirely and so busted out the insults in return.

2 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

I just realized something.  Nanase didn't start the comic with many friends.  Meeting Justin helped her out as much as it did Justin.  If she wanted to cry on a shoulder, especially about dating and such, Susan may well have been Nanase's only option.

Elliot rescued Justin during freshman year and introduce Justin to Nanase at ASMA class shortly after, the trip to France was the summer after freshman year so Nanase was already friends with Justin and Elliot by the time she met Susan, It's possible Nanase and Elliot were already dating by that point as well or at least started dating shortly after the France trip. So I don't see there being much opportunity for Nanase needing any more shoulders and likely went to Justin first anyway.

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16 minutes ago, Scotty said:

Elliot rescued Justin during freshman year and introduce Justin to Nanase at ASMA class shortly after, the trip to France was the summer after freshman year so Nanase was already friends with Justin and Elliot by the time she met Susan, It's possible Nanase and Elliot were already dating by that point as well or at least started dating shortly after the France trip. So I don't see there being much opportunity for Nanase needing any more shoulders and likely went to Justin first anyway.

Nanase is supposed to have dated most of the eligible boys in the school.  I doubt there was time in less than one year.  I suspect Nanase deciding Elliot was the one to stick with was a combination of how gosh darn nice a person he is, and the physical contact involved in combat practice.  They were the only two students at their level, so they would mostly be sparring with each other.  It can be easy to mistake the physical/sensual stimulation of close contact with sexual arousal, so Nanase may have thought she had felt some degree of the attraction she was looking for and hoped to feel it again.

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6 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

Nanase is supposed to have dated most of the eligible boys in the school.  I doubt there was time in less than one year.  I suspect Nanase deciding Elliot was the one to stick with was a combination of how gosh darn nice a person he is, and the physical contact involved in combat practice.  They were the only two students at their level, so they would mostly be sparring with each other.  It can be easy to mistake the physical/sensual stimulation of close contact with sexual arousal, so Nanase may have thought she had felt some degree of the attraction she was looking for and hoped to feel it again.

I guess something to keep in mind is that, Gerald harrassed Nanase saying that she was "bound to run out of men eventually" and Nanase didn't really help her case by stating that is she was going to list everyone she's dated, they'd be there a while. Realistically though, that's got to be an exaggeration, the school has a couple thousand students and even if there wasn't an even ratio of males to females, there's likely still too many males for Nanase to have dated them all. Trying to calculate exactly how many would be impossible, at the minimum, I could believe 1 a week and that's assuming she asked a guy on a date one Friday, decided he's not the one after, then asked another for the next Friday. But we know from Gerald that she at least went on more than one date with some of them, it's also possible that the extent of a date with someone could have been just walking between classes and having lunch in the cafeteria a couple time which would mean that Nanase could have had 2 separate "boyfriends" in one week on occasion. If she started dating from the start of freshman year, and maybe gone halfway through Sophomore dating different guys before Elliot, that could potentially be anwhere between 30 and 100 which is still a lot in that period of time.

I do agree to why she would have stayed with Elliot the longest, he would have had a lot of qualities that made her really want to make an effort to be physically attracted to and it's those same qualities that Ellen had, the only difference is Ellen has a body that Nanase could be physically attracted to.

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On 4/20/2017 at 6:57 PM, Vorlonagent said:

Gotta wonder, how did Nanase's mom miss her "(at least one) different boy every week" schtick?  I have a hard time thinking she'd be OK with it...

Obviously Nanase's mom didn't know about Gerald or she would have killed him. But come to think of it, it has been kind of a long time since we've seen Gerald alive...

As for the others, dating would seem to fit right in with Mrs. Kitsune's basic life plan for her daughters: 

  1. Get married.
  2. Have children.
  3. Don't desert husband and children by running off to Europe and never visiting.

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4 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

Don't desert husband and children by running off to Europe and never visiting.

So is there some place to which Nanase could run off, without risking her mother's wrath?

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4 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

So is there some place to which Nanase could run off, without risking her mother's wrath?

Other half of the world for one, maybe? Or one of the many alternate realities that she may be able to travel to at some point?

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52 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

So is there some place to which Nanase could run off, without risking her mother's wrath?

If she visits regularly...

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My thread seems to have strayed into the Nanase-and-her-mom dynamic.

Anyway, looking over Shadows After Dark, I took a fresh look at the last page of Justin's dream. Dan went back to comment about this comic, but he talks about Samwise Gamgee and maybe by extension Sean Astin; Samwise wasn't really as big a figure in Tolkien's epic. That's not what I want to talk about.

First, this comic mostly is a recapitulation of Painted Black: The elves--except for Sarah--are the ones that went to rescue Elliot; the hobbits are the ones that stayed behind--again, except for Sarah. Why is Sarah an elf? More important, why isn't Susan an elf? Or, why did Susan stay behind in Painted Black?

Most likely, story reasons. It isn't clear that Susan is able to summon magic weapons until Hammerchlorians unless you count the hammers, and the hammers were only comedy elements until the flashback in Hammerchlorians. So there looks like there was a sound tactical reason why Susan should stay out of it, particularly if Dan hadn't decided Susan was a vampire killer when he was writing Painted Black. However, there isn't any sound reason given why Susan didn't ask to go. Susan was ready to fight the goo, after all.

But why would Susan be a hobbit, even in Justin's dreams? It took me awhile to figure out the dark-haired hobbit chick was supposed to be Susan. Real-world Susan didn't even have her signature bangs at that point in the story. I'd say Susan is the character in the story that's furthest away from hobbit-like behaviors. And Susan was blonde through all of Painted Black and in the dream she had just before Justin's dream. 

Finally, and appropriately in the final panel, Susan is actually touching Justin and saying that we can't compete against that, namely, Sarah the elf. Now this is Justin's dream and it's expressing Justin's feelings of competing with Sarah now. But it's way before we find out Susan is attracted to Elliot.

Foreshadowing? Maybe.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tom Sewell said:

It isn't clear that Susan is able to summon magic weapons until Hammerchlorians unless you count the hammers

First instance of Susan summoning a weapon other than a hammer. Dan also teased about Susan's connection to Nanase and France in the original Sister arc...Huh, interestingly enough, in Sister I, it's suggested that the trip happened before freshman year as panel 2 states "freshman year", but in Hammerchlorians, Susan says the trip was after freshman year. Not sure if Dan retconned it and forgot up correct the Sister I page, or just goofed when writing the dialog in Hammerchlorians.

The reason why Susan didn't go, well for one, she didn't offer, she didn't seem to like the idea of going, though she didn't attempt to persuade them to not go, logically, between Susan, Justin, Ellen, Nanase, Sarah, Grace and Tedd, Ellen and Nanase had the most experience with combat techniques. Justin had martial arts training, but Ellen and Nanase didn't believe he was at their level which seems mean, but when you think about it, Elliot and Nanase probably had a year head start and were probably more dedicated to it. We know Nanase's mom would have wanted Nanase to treat her martial arts like school and practice at home, and Elliot has gym equipment in the basement, Justin probably only trained while in class, and the times we mostly saw him meditating. Susan can summon weapons, and the hammers, but as far as real combat experience, she's killed 1 vampire, but that was from reflex while the vampire was stunned, she would have felt unqualified to join the rescue mission. Grace had no fighting experience either but she had to go. Sarah and Tedd don't have any real fighting skill, well Sarah might have a bit more since she did kick Hedge in the nuts.

As for the last panel, Susan say "in the end, YOU'D still have to compete with that." not "we". In the dream, she's referring to the fact that Justin has a crush on Elliot, but Elliot's not gay and is dating Sarah, so it's not really Sarah that's the competition, it's females, hence why Sarah is also an Elf along with Grace and Ellen...Nanase... I'm not actually sure is she's an elf in the dream, by this point Justin knows that Nanase's gay so he might portray her as another race...actually, now I'm not entirely sure if Ellen is being portrayed as an elf either, her ears don't look pointy enough and look smaller than Grace's and Sarah's.

 

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I said it wasn't clear that Susan could summon magic weapons until Hammerchlorians.  In fact, it wasn't really spelled out that the hammers themselves were magic until then. After all, Nanase can summon clothes, but they're not magical copies. "Summon hammer" could mean "summon my hammer" or "summon a suitable hammer" or whatever. It wasn't spelled out that the hammers didn't cause permanent harm until Hammerchlorians, and the only other thing that Susan summoned before them or talked about summoning was the sword in Sister II--which she never used.

Now Susan can not only summon magical copies of her sword but they're even more effective. And they glow, so at least one person in the upcoming Brawl at the Mall is going to call her a Jedi.

By the way, until the griffins return, Susan is the only person we know of in Moperville who can permanently kill a vampire. Since the spider vampire didn't live to report in, Sirleck could be completely unaware of the threat she represents.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

By the way, until the griffins return, Susan is the only person we know of in Moperville who can permanently kill a vampire. Since the spider vampire didn't live to report in, Sirleck could be completely unaware of the threat she represents.

Sirleck enticed the vampires to come to Moperville to be a distraction for Helena and Demetrius, he's likely well aware that the immortals will find someone to kill them, so he probably doesn't care if they report in or not and if he doesn't hear from them then that's more money he gets to keep.

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Yes, Sirleck probably only cares if the vampires decide to chicken out due to the activity of Slayers. Other than that, they are pretty much cannon fodder to him.

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