Man, you know, I say 'Sakubo' up there, but it's going to be 90% Saku, I'll say that up front, because a lot of stuff registers to her that doesn't register to Bo, hands down.
...other disclaimer: They are 11 years old irl. Obviously, this affects a certain number of things both positively and negatively, like sexual awareness etc. sdfj;. BUT YES.
...actually I should just call this the Saku Essay, but there are points of the above I do need to set up (or want to set up) first. Half out of contrast. OKAY. okaaaaaaaaaaaay. uh.
Don't expect much coherence here.
For Bo, gender identification isn't a huge deal. He's cisgendered, but not terribly attached to it -- it comes across as the child thing of not noticing the 'appropriate' way to behave, but that can't be the truth, because one of the few things we know about his homelife is that his mother is constantly hung up on 'appropriate' ways to behave but gets angry when he doesn't fit them. Still, Bo doesn't identify masculine even if he identifies male -- he talks about liking flowers despite being a boy, liking to draw, how he dislikes sports, etc. His side of their avatar, despite being the blue-colored 'boy' side is the defensive version; he cries out "stay back!" and sends out bubbles to slow you down and doesn't attack, and physically, that part of the avatar is shaped in a clam or lily shape (traditionally associated with the feminine). Bo definitely is male and identifies male, but there's masculine identification involved in that.
Saku, on the other hand, has a far more confusing and interesting gender identification issue going on. Because, see, on the one hand, it 'doesn't come up in game.' She doesn't talk about having any issue with her gender identity. But, you know, she identifies female hella strong and
...and I keep getting stuck on this essay when I try to formalize it, but I can go just fine when TALKING WITH PEOPLE adfsj; so you know what? Instead of waiting weeks as I pick at it mentally, I'm c&ping a conversation I had with hikikomoaning, and if you want expansion of any point, feel free to throw questions at me in the comments and I will happy essay back at you on those mini-points there. HOW'S THAT.
YES. I AM BUCKING THE ESSAY FORM. WATCH ME FLY FREE FROM IT, BABY.
Lolol look at this guys
me: When thinking over that thing we're not doing and the things that aren't being said in it and stuff, I came to a "oh like duuuuh" breakthrough re Saku's antagonism towards Haseo
me: It's not just the "HE'S STEALING THE GUY I LIKE" thing, it's... man. She's tried for SOME TIME to get it across to him that she needs him. That she'd do anything, etc etc, that she wants his attention, etc. Haseo comes in, mutters a "no, I'm not taking any gaff, it's not that nobody needs you, I need... er, your help" and suddenly Endrance is head over heels in love with him. It's not just jealousy, it's embarrassment/shame, and kind of despair on her ability to make an impact, all wrapped up with a big bow of dislike. She's like "S'UP ENDRANCE I GOT WAYS OF ELIMINATING YOUR COMPETITION-- ...if you won't let me do anything for you how can I do anything to get your attention ._." And in comparison, Haseo shows up and blows Endrance away. Which is FAIR but she haaaaates it.
Katy: yeah no that makes sense. It's this sense of Pure and Total Ineffectiveness. ANd the whole "my best will never be good enough for you, even when it's way better than anything Haseo will offer. ... I hate Haseo. >|"
me: the best she has to offer is easily blown off, while what looks like something mediocre from Haseo goes right to heart.
Katy: I'M SORRY YOU FELL FOR SOMEONE LIKE ENDRANCE
me: HAHAHA. SADLY... SHE'S NOT.
Katy: o saku :( IT IS SO TRAGIC :(
me: and on hand #1 I keep going "...she's 11 lolol@ 'first love'" and on hand #2 I go "...but it's .hack and lolol look at how Elk ended up"
Katy: HAHAHAH YEAH like see the thing is I think Endrance isn't... INCREDIBLY self-aware but I think he sort of realizes that Saku just needs to find her... Haseo. ... lol?? because he is more like her Mia. And look how that ended up. :|
me: SOB. hahaha
me: man, the more I think about it the more Saku's typical "fangirl obsession" thing actually plays into her issues.
Katy: HAHA yeah?
me: Like, I was thinking about her whole "Master En CAN'T be gay!!1" thing, right. Because for most Obsessive Fangirls, that's "That's the one thing I could Never Give Him, so he can't be 'cause then I can't win them over!" ...only... she you know. Has a male body
Katy: ... yeah.
me: Except she doesn't identify with it. That's "Bo", not "Saku"
Katy: so she isn't a boy, regardless.
me: so instead of being the "it's a physical impossibility for us to Get Together!" fangirlism... It ties totally into, yeah, her sense of identity and how 'easy' it is to overwrite/ignore her. Like, literally, at no point in the games do we ever get the inkling that she identifies with their physical body in the slightest. I think it's clear that she's used/taken it over before (helping Bo out with crafts because she's got better talent with her hands than he does, eating snacks 'on the way home from school'), but it's seen as something totally separate from her 'self'.
Katy: Yeah. Which is a fascinating thing to think about, honestly.
me: It is. I mentioned before she'd pretty much break down/regret it after things happen in Asylumverse ((EDIT: a Endrance-Haseo-Sakubo IRL-based fic series I'm writing)), and I was having trouble putting my finger on all the details of WHY. But I think that's a huge chunk of it. Because there's always going to be a huge question of how much of something... that's really intimate, that she really wants I think it's safe to say ... had to do with her, and how much had to do with something that she cannot possibly identify herself with. ...man it's such a bind in her head too. I don't think that she ever expected it possible for any relationship of hers to even have the CHANCE of getting physical, because if master En were straight she figured she had a chance getting him to fall in love with her, but physically no. And if he was gay, he couldn't fall for her, so the physical aspect would be null to begin with.
Katy: yeah. makes sense. It's. Oh wow. The worst thing may be that Endrance probably doesn't even think about sexuality or gender or anything. XDDD And so Saku's inner crisis really means nothing to him. He loved Mia. And now he loves Haseo. Whatev.
me: HAHA Ilu Endrance
me: MY MIND IS WHIRLING IN CIRCLES HERE because I already knew she didn't want to, like, 'act' on Bo's rl body in ways that would be harmful or embarrassing to him (and in comparison totally spends the PC's money or whatever without asking XD) but... Actually, in camp, it came up to Kuhn of all people, that she's just... really happy to have a properly physical body of her own, even if they're still sharing it. So she doesn't want to leave, but she knows she will, and she's trying to accept that.
Katy: ... oh Saku, you poor thing. :(
me: He was like "We gotta try to leave soon" and she was like "....yeah :/"
me: he said he didn't wanna go too much because he'd made friends here, and she said she didn't want to go because HI, I HAVE A BODY. But. Bo wants to go. And Haseo probably wants to go, and Master En will follow Haseo.
me: So she'll join the others when trying to hack the barrier with their avatars. "Yeah, yeah, you can still count on me." (And then she said she'd just have to take advantage of having a body while she still did and he went "uhhh" and she called him a pervert. A++.)
Katy: HAHAHA s-sob even though it was totally what she was thinking :\
me: It's one thing to think it, it's another for some guy to say it okay!!!
Katy: XDDDD that makes it more real. :|
me: TOO EMBARRASSING. KUHN'S A PERVERT. END OF STORY. ...it's kind of ironic, too, since Saku's way more of a physical person than Bo.
Katy: That she's the one without the body she feels comfortable in. O Saku.
me: Yep. Sob I need to essay on Saku, body issues, and sexuality. Whyyyy. Why I do this. She's my youngest character.
Katy: HAHAHAHA because she tries very hard to be older than who she is.
me: SOB. it's really true. lolol@ the younger self being the older sister
What about all this do you want me to ramble at you about?!