Well hey, I was expecting a lot more hate for Yui but it’s pretty subdued, huh
Let’s get things off the table first and foremost. Yes, Yui is annoying. @Bizkitdoh may even have a point in that the reason she was ostracized was because she was annoying. I can definitely understand people disliking her. Heck, I myself irrationally dislike disrespectful characters (aka bitches) even though they are valuable characters in the story.
When I ask myself whether a character is good or not, I like to think of two questions first:
a) Does the existence of the character bring significant value to the story?
b) Would this value have been degraded if the character had a different personality?
And when I ask myself this, I think Yui passes both questions, in my opinion. Her existence brought significant value, and even if this value was not for her own progression (rather, Hinata’s and Otonashi’s development), I believe this value would not have made Angel Beats the same. Her existence helped achieve the realization that disappearing in this world is a good thing, one that makes the people happy.
To counter that value, we can ask: Could this have been achieved by other people? Now, since we know barely anything about the others’ regrets, we can’t say for sure that it could have been achieved by other characters. But I still think Yui was a good enough character in this regard. Yui was very needy, in that her problem was she needed to be accepted by others for her own values. This desire to need someone else was what brought Hinata and Otonashi to value her disappearance even more. If her problem was more on the lines of self-acceptance, then that sort of impact would not have been effective in making Hinata and Otonashi realize just how important they are in helping instrument the happiness of others.
Like, the feeling that they may have had after Yui disappearing was along the lines of “This person achieving happiness could not have happened without my involvement. Therefore, I want others to achieve happiness through my involvement”.
I kind of put this on the pairings topic some time ago, but the reason I think Hinata and Yui match so well is because Hinata is the guy that has to be needed whereas Yui is the girl that needs somebody. As I said before:
Her existence is a very complementary existence in that it could not have worked without Hinata in there to make it valuable. Perhaps other people are like that, and they could have sufficed, but I feel that Yui is a strong enough example with regards to this point.
Now then, onto the second question: Would this value have been degraded if the character had a different personality? I say yes. Part of the effect of “needing” someone was heightened by her dislikeable personality, even among SSS members. If she was more likeable kind of “genki” such as Haruka from LB was, this effect wouldn’t have been as strong. More people would be willing to get along with her, and her feeling of “needing” someone would have been more easily achieved, thus degrading the value of her story.
Similarly, if her personality was not dislikeable but more despiseable, then it would imply a closed-off personality that does not want to accept help. Similar to Naoi, who also needed help, but refused to think of himself as somebody who needs it. If Yui were like that, then they may not have even gone through the trouble of helping her.
And thus ends my thesis of why Yui is valuable in the world of Angel Beats. I definitely can’t argue for people to like her or dislike her, as that all falls down to personal preference. But she is definitely a valuable character in the cast, much as practically everybody else in the cast is.
Now, to use this info to answer other people~
I both agree and disagree with this. Hinata’s sudden “I WILL MARRY YOU”, I believe, needs to stay. It provides a stark contrast between Otonashi’s hesitance to say it (which Yui does not need), and Hinata’s willingness to come completely out of nowhere and say it (which Yui does need). If, say, Hinata was the one that helped her achieve it and he said yes when she asked, it would definitely cheapen the acceptance because she would feel that “he is only saying he wants to marry me because he wants to help me achieve my goals for some reason”.
HOWEVER, what we do need to see is more of a reason as to why Hinata would go forward and say this, unlike the constant bickering we saw in the anime. We need to see some form of chemistry between them other than constant headlocks, which I am confident that the VN will provide, as we see scenes of Otonashi wrestling her, instead of Hinata.
The reason why her case is different is because she does not want to push herself to be accepted. Noda, as we all know, is very pushy, and no matter how obnoxious people feel he is, he will push himself, pointing his halberd in front of you, for you to accept him. Yui, on the other hand, has this immense insecurity in her that wishes for her to be accepted “as is” without her pushing for you to accept her. Thus, she does not push for people to accept her as that would not be true acceptance.
I don’t think it’s something that she wants to hide, rather she wants to be her own person and be accepted for being that own person. Perhaps, because of watching TV all the time, that is the sort of personality she thought to be “cool”, despite it being totally wrong.
I guess that’s all I’m gonna say about Yui for now and I won’t back down on this one YUI X HINATA DABESSSSS