The best but not the most talented: Backing Ariabart’s bid for succession

Tytania is shaping up to be a story of a family; the conflicts within it in the context of succession, against the backdrop of maintaining power over the Galaxy and the empire that supposedly rules it. A soap opera in space, about a dynastic ruling clan; it gives us massive fleet battles, of the likes I’ve seen in franchises like Crest of the Stars, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

I’ve watched as many episodes of Legend of the Galactic Heroes as I have of Tytania. Certainly this was not some kind of experiment of comparison, just a matter of coincidence: I had dropped and put on hold several shows I was watching this season, I was impatient to start watching LoGH, and the waifu was willing to watch it with me (the ultimate deciding factor for the feasibility of completing anything 110 episodes long).

She’s willing to watch LoGH with me because she’s enjoying Tytania very much. I am too, but where we differ is with regards to which Duke of Tytania we are backing to succeed the Grand Duke Ajman.

Kaioshin Sama saves me the trouble of presenting the four candidate Dukes:

Ariabart Tytania: We met this dapper fellow last week when he botched the Battle of Cerberus and this review of the battle that calls all of the family to the table is officially him on trial for his “loss” at the battle.  Unofficially it seems to be Ajman’s way of gauging the leadership capabilities of his potential successors and how they conduct themselves at said review.  Ariabart in my opinion portrays himself as earnest, but impulsive and overconfident as was pointed out by Idris in his “hiking trip” comment prior to setting out on his campaign in Euria.  He also shows he is quick to anger when taunted by his fellow Dukes and that also belies a lack of confidence in himself as well if he would let their pettiness get to him.  Not quite the proper material for leadership of the clan.

Jouslain Tytania: Jouslain arguably handles himself the best of all the Tytania’s during the review.  He keeps his goddamn mouth shut when the focus is none of his business, and only speaks up when asks his opinion on the matter AND again keeps to business and belies no attempt to score points against his family nor to curry Ajman’s favour.  Plus he is even able to make the keen observation that Fan Hulic was probably supposed to lose the battle after all.  He also shows humility in claiming that he would have probably suffered the same defeat as Ariabart had he been in command of the Euria Campaign.  Tactical capability, humility, restraint, all of these positive traits that his fellow Dukes seem to lack, yet none of their vices either.  Ajman’s butler seems to think he’s the clear choice, but I think it’s important to note his comment about not being able to determine what Jouslain is thinking at times.  It’s always the people that appear to desire power the least that you want to watch out for.  Plus he’s showing signs of disillusionment with the family as well, claiming they have to much pride and that it amounts to nothing.  Ajman seems to accept that he’s the best candidate, but one has to wonder whether Jouslain would even accept the title.

Salisch Tytania: My first impression of him is that of a man that exudes confidence and seems to draw attention to himself the moment he enters the room as an intimidating figure.  He seems to know his way around warfare, but what of his capabilities as a leader.  He appears more willing to follow and to suck up to authority (in this case Ajman) in his sudden and sharp rebuke of Ariabart for speaking out in front of Ajman and appears almost rigid in how he conducts himself during the review. Not to mention just plain being a yes man during the whole entire sit down.  Not exactly the prime candidate to lead the Tytania family in a new direction and towards greater prosperity, which is what Ajman seems to want in his successor and I’m starting to suspect is the reason he seemed so happy at the prospect of a challenger in Fan Hulic.  Ajman is worried about the stagnation of the Tytania family as it is never challenged to better itself or achieve new milestones in it’s greatness.  Now is that chance, but again….Salisch?

Idris Tytania: Idris is a smooth talker, but is as arguably as slimy as they come.  He stops at nothing to discredit Ariabart, even going so far as to use the example of the second Landless Lord who was known for his intellect and cunning, traits that Idris knows he himself is known for, and ones that Idris then says Ariabart lacks, but does nothing to prove his own worth as a battlefield commander.  I loved how Ajman pointed this out in his evaluation of Idris comments.

I thought of writing my own profiling, but Kaio did a better job for my purposes. See his full post here. Now with that out of the way, here’s why I want Ariabart to win:

It has less to do for what’s best for Tytania, than it has for my soft spot for redemption stories and for characters who aren’t necessarily the most talented at what they do. This comes from some of my earliest memories of watching anime, watching SDF-Macross’s Ichijou Hikaru not lose a single drop of awesomeness even as he was clearly out-aced by Maximilian Jenius who was his subordinate.

Ariabart, thus far does not show the depth and wisdom of Jouslain. Jouslain seems to me the frontrunner, at least in how he’s been presented to us. He has the foresight, the modesty, a piercing grounded loyalty to the Tytania family (as opposed to a face-saving, ego-extending pride for the name), and the political and diplomatic talent that bodes well for a would-be ruler. Albeit after 7 episodes we haven’t seen him lead a battle, I have no problems imagining him superior to Ariabart and the rest.

I think about this, and I see a distorted presentation: Jouslain is portrayed as an underdog because of his modest personality. Otherwise he has no less influence and rank than the others. Ariabart is not portrayed as an underdog, because of the prestige he initially had, and the outward appearance of a proper Tytanian Duke. He is only an underdog because we, the viewers are shown the finer qualities of Jouslain, and that Ariabart does nothing to show he has them in equal quantities.

Actually, we end up liking Ariabart for his acknowledging Jouslain. It seems like they are allied against the Salisch and Idris, but I think the alliances are only impressions we get from the similarities in temperament/outlook the 2 pairs share, give or take a few examples of seconding each others’ suggestions. Ariabart told Jouslain to his face, that he had no wish to compete against him. He does not think he would win.

True enough. Ariabart’s redemption is greatly due to the strategic support Jouslain provided. It was a great victory, a very good account provided by my primary source of Tytania commentary Kaioshin Sama here. Ariabart not only redeems his loss, but also makes a powerful statement that Tytania is smart enough to learn from its mistakes and cheeky enough to use the same tactics used successfully used against them. Jouslain thought all of this up. Ariabart benefited.

I really like how Ariabart, despite his haughty demeanor, is actually quite modest. He graciously accepted the advice and acknowledged talent when he saw it. This is what endears him to me, and I see this as a good quality to have in succeeding Ajman. If you look closely at Ajman, he always considers the contributions of the talent around him. He is open, yet remains decisive. Ariabart gives us the impression he can be this way the most.

I’m not in the habit of prognostication, but I will do so here. Jouslain said that there will be a time when he is called to serve Tytania, but that will be Tytania’s darkest hour. Here’s my call:

Jouslain saves Tytania in the end, but it will be in tatters and in a far weaker state. Jouslain dies. Ariabart lives on and succeeds Ajman, dedicating his rule to the memory and spirit of the great Jouslain.

Who are you backing among the four?

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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7 Responses to The best but not the most talented: Backing Ariabart’s bid for succession

  1. Baka-Raptor says:

    My prediction:

    Ariabart gets picked to succeed Ajman. Idris kills Ariabart and throws Tytania into chaos. Salisch get used by Idris and dies in battle. Jouslain does his best to clean up the mess, but by then Tytania will be in tatters and in a far weaker state.

  2. Mark A says:

    I don’t know if the show has made it clear yet what sort of inheritance laws Tytania recognizes. I still have my doubts as to how deep the series will go into the fine details, but I hope they at least devote time to inheritance law. Should they use some sort of primogeniture (the eldest child inherits the entire estate), then we should see the in-fighting begin even before Daddy bites it.

    Of course, not to say that equal distribution of an estate to progeny results in any better results (King Lear). And one of the worst follies a feudal lord could ever fumble into was to award land titles to his children while he was still alive. Sometimes it’s better to keep them hungry than to simply pique their hunger.

    Interesting scenario: With no clear succession written out, the four Tytanias, seeing that no individual one of them has the military or industrial capacity capable of subjugating the other three, enter into an unstable tetrarchy (as if there’s any other sort). Fan Hulic hears of this and twists it to his advantage.

    Even more interesting scenario: The four Tytanias, seeing that no individual one of them has the military or industrial capacity capable of subjugating the other three, enter into an unstable tetrarchy where each is vying for supremacy though means other than brute military force. They begin using Fan Hulic as a rock on which to batter and shatter their siblings’ fleets while attempting to keep theirs intact. Fan Hulic may or may not be aware of his unwitting role.

    This is all of course barring the possibility of Fan Hulic and co. stumbling over some long lost ostracized bastards and/or slap-happy pretenders to the Tytania line.

  3. schneider says:

    Jouslain for me. For all I’ve seen of him so far, he’s like a humane, tactful Oberstein.

  4. @ Baka-Raptor

    I wouldn’t mind seeing that at all. Though in the aftermath Idris v. Jouslain is not a fair fight, then again, no one among the four have displayed quality to equal Jouslain’s.

    @ Mark A

    The second scenario you gave is very exciting imo, and makes excellent use of the Fan Hulic character!

    Re the succession issue doesn’t seem to be a matter of inheritance, but rather a merit-based process that pretty much leads to a King Lear/Ran kind of assignment/bestowing. The “Crown” Archduke will be in place prior to Ajman’s passing, with Ajman slowly delegating decisions to him.

    @ Schneider

    Jouslain is decidedly the sympathetic and obvious choice. He is less interesting to me because he seems perfect. Perhaps when he does something despicable he’ll be more interesting – while Salisch and Idris in turn do noble things.

    Gosh, I really like this show.

  5. Kitsune says:

    Jouslain will not be chosen because Ajman expressed some reservations about him, but we don’t know yet what is bothering Ajman. On the other hand, it seems Ajman wants Ariabart to improve. Thus, just like Ajman became the next clan lord instead of Estrades, Ariabart will be the successor.

  6. ghostlightning says:

    @ Kitsune

    The symmetry implied by this makes it a probable outcome. Intentional fallacy aside, I do think writers tend to go for symmetry, since it’s a widely accepted attribute for beauty and workability.

  7. Pingback: Iklan Mudah Blog » Blog Archive » Tytania Episode 15 - Singing Loli Fails to Save Ship from Sinking

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