What makes a character 2-dimensional? A character who is 2D is lacking depth of characterization. In other words, he or she scored low in character development. So what is character development? An article from [url]www.utarpa.org/anime101/[/url] tapped into my definition of character development: [i]"Most anime series are designed to be watched in order, and tell one big story instead of a bunch of small ones. The characters are allowed to develop along with the story. Within a series, viewers can watch the characters unfold emotionally and psychologically. It then becomes possible to relate to the characters as they suffer through life's trials and tribulations."[/i]
People grow and change all the time and so does certain anime characters. These characters are known to possess depth and sometimes human-like personalities that the viewers can relate to. Kumashiro Sakuya is one of these anime characters. A lot of people have argued that she's simply 2D. That there wasn't a single aspect of her character that grew throughout the Shin Tenchi Muyo series. She's overly cheerful and ditzy and that's all that there is to her. Why have these people penned her that way? Have they actually paid attention to the whole series? Watched it without harboring any bias towards the character?
In the very beginning of the series, we see Sakuya as an outgoing, positive, cheerful, and forward type of girl. It was established that she was the most popular girl in school. The moment she sees Tenchi, she began to like him. This was due to some sort of pre-ordained feelings that Yugi instilled in her when she was created. A sort of attraction, something that made her want to get to know Tenchi. And that's what she did. Sakuya was assertive, she immediately went out of her way to spend time with Tenchi. Asking him if she could eat lunch with him and his friends, asking him if she could walk him home and etc. She wanted Tenchi's love right away. Wanted him to confess it to her during the Love-Knot goddess episode. And yet in the end of that ep, instead of happily seeing Tenchi being forced to commit to her, she changes her mind and decides that she herself wasn't ready for such a commitment. From then on, I saw her grow up emotionally. She began to loosen up more and not constantly push her feelings on Tenchi. It was during Ryoko's date episode where Sakuya releases her full-blown emotion towards Tenchi, humbly stating her faults and how maybe he wasn't the guy for her. Since then both characters were left to re-examine their feelings.
Tenchi later on tells her that he's not sure of what he feels and he'll let her know when he is. It was painful for her but she accepts the situation and decides to be just friends with Tenchi. In the later episodes, Sakuya's maturity can be observed. Such emotional growth can be seen from her feeling left out and jealous of the girls during the Tenchi anniversary to her understanding their importance to Tenchi during the Carnival episode. How she recognized their bond and how she can forgive them for the actions they've done because of it.
Also, here's a quote from an editorial on Sakuya from vader2000 that exemplifies her growth: [i]"I also recall an instance when Tenchi asked her to come in and have some tea at his house after she dropped off some food, after which she promptly turned him down. This clearly illustrates her true feelings for him. She cared enough about him to know when not to intrude in on his personal time."[/i] Instead of wanting to be with Tenchi whenever she can, she has learned that giving him space is in important.
The emotions that she expressed were definitely human-like. How she didn't want Tenchi to leave her when Washu came and told him about what happened in Okayama. She was selfish. I can relate to her in that way. Even when you want your love one to be happy, sometimes doubts and insecurities can cloud your decisions. Yes, she pushed her needs and I can understood why she did it. This was during the time she was discovering that she can't recall her past. Scared to be alone, Tenchi was the only one that she can hold on to that would reassure her reality.
In the end, the ultimate proof of her emotional and psychological growth was when she accepted the purpose of her existence. And when she finally lets Tenchi go, knowing that his happiness is hers as well. And her sacrifice was a sign that Yugi didn't plan for her to fall inlove with Tenchi. She was simply there for Tenchi to fall inlove with. And yet she did [b]really[/b] fall inlove with him which was an advantage at first for Yugi but eventually brought about her demise.
It is because of character development that makes an anime series such an experience to watch. And Sakuya displayed her growth in Shin Tenchi Muyo which is one of the reasons why I liked this series.
For more of my opinions and about Sakuya, you can check out my site at [url]http://www.geocities.com/sweetsakuyadreams/[/url]