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Oikawa Tooru

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Par   •  5 Janvier 2021  •  Étude de cas  •  807 Mots (4 Pages)  •  80 Vues

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When Oikawa makes his first appearance, his portrayal is almost theatrical - he's built up as a smug, flamboyant big shot, complete with exaggerated swagger and 'Mr. Popular' repertoire with girls fawning over him (and, of course, the anime has his jazzy theme playing in the background as he steps in to serve, to further accentuate the 'big shot' factor) - all the hallmarks of the archetypal rival/antagonist figure in the making. This, however, is only a cursory introduction to his character from the lens of the protagonists. As he's explored over the course of the story, he emerges as a character with multiple layers to his persona and with a degree of complexity. A close reading of Oikawa's character - his motivations, strengths, weaknesses, flaws, struggles, and everything in between - reveals how there's a lot more to him than what is initially suggested.

A key characteristic of Oikawa is the disjunct between his outward frivolous personality and his inner psyche. Underneath the winks, smiles, and childish antics, there lies a side to him that's capable of being dead serious when the situation demands it. Such seemingly 'contradictory' attributes define his persona. He can be a brash and petty (and pretty) goofball, but he's also a tremendously passionate person with a fierce dedication to his pursuits - the type to stop on his tracks and pose for silly photos and hum to himself as he goes about the day, and then stay up late at night and watch game footage to chalk out strategies. Most things about Oikawa - his ambitious and competitive spirit, his insecurities, his inferiority complex vis-a-vis those he perceives as being better than him - are like a double-edged sword. They threaten to bring out the worst in him but they also bring out the best in him; they push him to over-exert himself, sometimes to his own detriment, but it's also precisely the drive and raw desperation to chase perfection that has shaped him as a fierce competitor on the court. 'If you're gonna hit it, hit it until it breaks!' - so goes Oikawa's motto, which can be interpreted as 'if you work on an endeavour, see it through to the end'. And this tenacity is actually embodied by his first name 'Tooru' (徹) which means 'to pass through, typically with great intent and effort' or 'to do something thoroughly'.

In terms of his function in the narrative, Oikawa is, at one level, introduced as a foil to the story's deuteragonist Kageyama, and it's his dynamic with Kageyama that forms the crux of his character arc and the primary source of conflict - both external and internal - for the greater part of the pre-Nationals arc of the narrative. A facet of this dynamic is alluded to from Kageyama's perspective early on during the practice match versus Seijoh and then another facet of it is insinuated from Oikawa's, but it's not until the latter part of the first official Seijoh match that their shared history is elaborated on through the flashback to Oikawa's middle school days.

It's with the revelation of his backstory that we see a side to Oikawa that was hitherto concealed underneath his suave demeanour and bravado - he's flawed, he's vulnerable, he has his share of fears and issues that he has to grapple with, he's human. His inability to beat Ushijima


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