KHR 388: The Gritty Feels Essay
TSUNA AND REBORN’S RELATIONSHIP, I WILL NEVER STOP TYPING WOOOOOOORDS
Okay. Okay, so it’s safe to say this is about as hopeless a situation as Tsuna has ever faced, if only because Reborn, the one person he’s always relied on to have faith in him even in his own worst moments of doubt, basically told him to his face that this is a fight they can’t win, and that he, Reborn, is giving up, and he wants Tsuna to give up on him too. Tsuna is being asked to sit back and watch his mentor pull an Obi-Wan and just surrender to fate.
And of course he can’t accept that. Tsuna has never been the kind of person who can accept an outcome like that; he’s the one who always succeeds despite the overbearing odds and finds a way out where everyone survives, even in situations where it’s totally improbably and frankly illogical as well. Situations like that are where Tsuna thrives, in fact. It’s when things are the most hopeless that he really shines and gets his act together, REJECTS YOUR REALITY, and REPLACES IT WITH HIS OWN.
Only in every other situation prior to this, he had Reborn backing him up. He has literally been in situations where he was about to die or even seemed like he was dead already, and everyone else was like D8 but Reborn was just standing there all, “JUST WAIT.” As all of the characters surrounding the two have frequently pointed out over the last couple dozen chapters (because Amano really goes the extra mile to make sure the audience Gets It), this whole time, Reborn has been the one pushing Tsuna and teaching him how to pick himself back up when he gets knocked down, and saying exactly the right motivating things from the sidelines so that Tsuna will have the breakthroughs he needs in order to fight on and win.
And now what Reborn is saying to him is, there’s no use fighting anymore. We can’t win this, and you need to accept that and let me do what I have to do because you can’t win this and I don’t want you to die. And how the fuck is he supposed to accept that?
"It’s weird when you say I can’t win!"
Reborn has always had faith in Tsuna. Until now. But he also just admitted he has a blind spot when it comes to his own mortality.
Of course the guy who was expecting to die like this from the start can’t see any hope of things turning out otherwise. And you can’t blame him, really. Reborn is universally acknowledged as the strongest Arcobaleno, the strongest of the strongest. And Checkerface is the man that cursed him, the man that took him down. How can he expect even someone with potential as wildly explosive and unpredictable as Tsuna’s to be able to defeat him, let alone do so in a way that will allow Reborn and the other Arcobaleno to survive, and without dooming a whole new generation to suffer the same fate that they did? And if Reborn believes he’s doomed no matter what, what’s the point in letting Tsuna get himself killed for nothing?
But my guess is we’re finally about to find out just how effective Reborn’s training of Tsuna has really been. Because like I said, this is Sawada fucking Tsunayoshi, and he always, always, always finds a way. And if this time Reborn is telling him to give up, that it’s no good? Well then I think it’s about time for us to have our first ever instance of Tsuna turning right the fuck back around to tell his tutor that he’s wrong.
And who exactly said anything about dying, Reborn? Where’s it written that just because you said so, this is really an enemy that Tsuna can’t defeat? Every single time Tsuna’s come up against an enemy he wasn’t strong enough to beat, he just took a deep breath and powered the fuck up, because THIS IS FUCKING SHOUNEN. And when their loved ones’ lives are on the line, that’s what shounens do.
Didn’t you know, Reborn? When I say ‘loved ones’… you kinda fall into that category. At some point while you were busy teaching him stuff and kicking his ass a little and being a good pseudo father-figure, TSUNA ADOPTED YOU. WHEN YOU WEREN’T LOOKING. CONGRATS.
Now please sit back and shut up and watch as the boy you raised to do the impossible does just that.
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- rikudera said: Every single word you wrote makes me love both Tsuna and his relationship with Reborn even more than ever <3
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