Ravages of Time-A more realistic depiction of SGYY?

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Re: Ravages of Time-A more realistic depiction of SGYY?

Unread postby Xiahou Ren » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:12 am

Apollo Kenobi wrote:Since he is a high profile guy, he moves around with body doubles. Remember the Luoyang arc? with multiple Lu Bu's? or later when he takes Xu province from Liu Bei? he fools Zhang Fei into thinking that he was shot by an arrow at the gates in an ambush, but it turns out to be a body double and he was inside the palace all along...

'm gonna respectfully agree, kind Sir.
First, all of Lu Bu's body double looks nothing like him. The one died in Chang An was a straight up clone. He even has an identical facial hair. Second, you can not just randomly use some old, non-related plot device on a completely different scene without any tie-ins, subtle hints. Foreshadowing doesn't work that way. Just because Lu Bu had a body double doesn't mean he can put them everywhere. In fact, Chan Mou made no foreshadowing/hints that shows Lu Bu had been aware of Jia Xu's plan all along. He (Lu Bu) had no suspicion, no planning, no subtle nor implied planning at all. Chan Mou made it clear that Jia Xu caught Lu Bu unprepared, yet somehow the latter -being 100% unprepared- still had the time to put a body double and escaped Chang An undetected, eventhough Chang An was being surrounded by gazillion soldiers.

Another good analogy is Naruto's random changing into stuff jutsu. I hate how Kishimoto always use this to get out of sticky situation. Everybody has this one eyed guy immobilized, all of his limbs are restrained, this guys is facing a certain death, the final blow is coming!!! Then... Random change into stuff jutsu! *facepalm

What's the limitation of this skill? What's the limitation of Lu Bu's body double? If it's that practical, why can't they use it all the time? Is there any limitation to this skill/body double plan? How come they could only use it on certain occasions but not on certain others? That's not foreshadowing. That's deus-ex-machina again. A lazy deus-ex-machina.

Maybe you men could read it better, I don't know.
It just looks lazy in my eyes.
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Re: Ravages of Time-A more realistic depiction of SGYY?

Unread postby Apollo Kenobi » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:45 pm

Xiahou Ren wrote:'m gonna respectfully agree, kind Sir.


Lol.. Pretty weird being called a sir... Anyway, I'll talk about a couple of things here...

Xiahou Ren wrote:First, all of Lu Bu's body double looks nothing like him. The one died in Chang An was a straight up clone. He even has an identical facial hair. Second, you can not just randomly use some old, non-related plot device on a completely different scene without any tie-ins, subtle hints. Foreshadowing doesn't work that way. Just because Lu Bu had a body double doesn't mean he can put them everywhere. In fact, Chan Mou made no foreshadowing/hints that shows Lu Bu had been aware of Jia Xu's plan all along. He (Lu Bu) had no suspicion, no planning, no subtle nor implied planning at all. Chan Mou made it clear that Jia Xu caught Lu Bu unprepared, yet somehow the latter -being 100% unprepared- still had the time to put a body double and escaped Chang An undetected, eventhough Chang An was being surrounded by gazillion soldiers.


Talking about body doubles, it does not necessarily have to be one's doppelganger to get the job done... The several Lu Bu's in the Luoyang arc, did not of course look like the real Lu Bu... But that was not their intent either... Lu Bu was just capitalising on the terror and awe his name would inspire among troops, his allies morale would increase while the enemies would cower.... And since he had just risen among ranks, not many knew what he looked like either...

The body doubles in Chang'an and Xuzhou were admittedly clones, as you put it... But having body doubles who look like you isn't that rare a thing... Let's look at some in-Universe examples shall we?

Exhibit A: Luoyang Arc; when Yuan Shao's head is presented to Dong Zhou
http://mangafox.me/manga/the_ravages_of_time/v05/c035/18.html

Exhibit B: Cao Cao baiting Lu Bu in the Puyang arc
http://mangafox.me/manga/the_ravages_of_time/v14/c110/5.html

TRoT has many more examples but I don't think I need to post everything here...

Body doubles were widely used in history... To give examples: Stalin had body doubles, and some years back one of them wrote a book on his experiences... During World War II an actor named Clifton James impersonated a General to gather intel...Going further back in history: In 10th century Japan Taira-no-Masakado was said to have seven body doubles, which made it extremely difficult for the Govt. in Kyoto to capture him when he rebelled.... Qin Shi Huang was also supposed to have several body doubles and decoys when he went abroad or travelled.. This was cause he was legitimately afraid of assassination after the failed one by the Yan prince... There's even a story where Zhang Liang, one of the three heroes of early Han dynasty paid an assassin to kill the emperor but ended up killing a decoy...

As for Lu Bu planting a decoy and escaping from Chang'an is a no brainer... He of course would have body doubles with him, and also an escape route in case of emergencies would already be prepared... He is shown as a meticulous brute, an escape plan would be an obvious calculation anywhere he goes...

I don't rightly understand what you mean or understand by foreshadowing... Yes, Chen Mou uses the trope of Chekov's Gun/Gunman to put in the literary technique of foreshadowing everywhere... Because that way, we are constantly being reminded of the future events... Lu Bu getting outsmarted by Jia Xu and foreshadowing... I'm a bit confused by what you mean there...

Xiahou Ren wrote:What's the limitation of this skill? What's the limitation of Lu Bu's body double? If it's that practical, why can't they use it all the time? Is there any limitation to this skill/body double plan? How come they could only use it on certain occasions but not on certain others? That's not foreshadowing. That's deus-ex-machina again. A lazy deus-ex-machina.


That is obvious... Having body doubles would mean needing men who can stand up in your stead... And during the 3K period humans were one dwindling resource... And being a body double would obviously mean to satisfy some criteria... Like height, weight, build, facial structure etc...

Also, Lu Bu's supporters are with him not out of loyalty but of sheer greed.. In the Puyang arc his soldiers leave him when he gets stabbed in the leg... In the Xiapi arc, tons of them leave to join Cao Cao... If he can't cultivate loyalty or inspire confidence in his men how can he be expected to have someone who takes up a high risk job of like a human decoy??
He obviously runs out of them later on...

Again, I'm a bit confused by what you mean by foreshadowing here...

And there's NO dues-ex-machina in this manhua that I've encountered... Dues-ex-machina as a trope can only work if there's no recognizable human hand in the proceedings... In TRoT everything that happens or does not happen is due to human schemes....
Lu Bu's escape is due to his own guile... To simply walk in a walled city without trying to find out other means of escape would be the heights of stupidity... Especially if you are a warlord, and have offed the city master's boss...

Xiahou Ren wrote:Maybe you men could read it better, I don't know.
It just looks lazy in my eyes.


Lol... I'm pretty sure I don't enjoy it because of my gender, or read it better... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ravages of Time-A more realistic depiction of SGYY?

Unread postby Xiahou Ren » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:03 pm

Well, if you say so...
If you think that way, who am I to judge.
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Re: Ravages of Time-A more realistic depiction of SGYY?

Unread postby Han » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:07 am

This manga(manhua) is a masterpiece. Straight up. The amount of historical and literary reference blows my mind again and again.

Begun reading this since 4 years back and everytime I reread it, I would discover something new.

Also, alot of characters get painted in a better light in comparison to their historical and SGYY figures.

Lü Bu and Zhang Fei are shown to be capable strategists and talented tacticians comparable to the intellectual masterminds of the era. Zhang Fei is also shown to be a painter and someone who use painting as a form of reconnaissance. The eventual tripartite of China has been alluded since the very beginning not only by Zhuge Liang but also by the likes of Lü Bu, Chen Gong, Pang Tong, Zhou Yu, Sima Hui. Yuan Shu is also portrayed as a man out of touch with the geopolitical scene of the era but yet a man of honesty at least in comparison to the other shady warlords like Liu Bei, Cao Cao and Yuan Shao. Liu Bei and Cao Cao are frequently compared to Han Gaozu and Qin Shi Huangdi. Lü Bu of course was compared to Xiang Yu due to the martial prowess thingy while Dong Zhuo received comparisons to Qin Er Shi due to indulgence and immorality.

Also, Lü Bu is frequently shown to be the golden standard in terms of martial prowess with the 'younger generation' like Zhao Yun, Gao Shun, Yan Liang, Wen Chou, Sun Ce, Taishi Ci, Ling Tong, Gan Ning, Cao Chun, Cao Ren, Xu Huang and Zhang Liao on track to equal or even surpass him.

For Cao Wei, Cao Chun is a heavily tattoed man with unmatched skill in cavalry commanding the 'Tiger and Leopard Cavalry' comparable to Gao Shun the legendary 'Formation Breaker'. Cao Ren has his suicidal Berserk Nanjun charge. Zhang Liao was Lü Bu protege and his left hand man having numerous feats in assassination and dueling. Xu Huang played a vital role helping Cao Cao secure Emperor Xian and capturing Lü Bu. Zhang He is shown to be a master of geography and going head to head with Zhang Liao in a duel. Dian Wei was also an assassin and bodyguard who have the ability to not feel pain and managed to damaged Lü Bu and kill hundreds to thousands of Zhang Xiu men using just his fists and broken weapons. Xu Chu was a bodyguard who protected Cao Cao while smacking pretty much everybody that isnt Lü Bu or the sworn brothers. Xiahou Yuan and Xiahou Dun are known as descendants of a 'famous general' aka Xiahou Ying. Xiahou Yuan faced off against Guan Yu and Zhang Liao and survived while Xiahou Dun is shown to be popular with children, a master of argriculture who worked with his men, and Cao Cao's right hand in military, domestic and clan affairs. Yu Jin is shown to be a man of patience and cautiousness, Yue Jin, Li Dian and Han Hao all have their own moments where they shine too.

For Shu Han, Guan Yu is of course frequently alluded to be the 'Warrior Saint' in comparison to Lü Bu the ' God of War', with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei going so far as to predict Guan Yu eventual deification. Zhang Fei is of course known as the man who can take a [general] head among an army like 'taking things out of a bag'. Something SGYY mentioned IIRC. Liu Bei frequently praises his sworn brothers martial prowess as a one man army also known as the 'As Strong As Ten Thousand Men' thingy. Ma Chao is known as 'Lü Bu of Xiliang' while Huang Zhong is an old man with unmatched skill with a bow giving Guan Yu great difficulty. Wei Yan was shown to be able to match up head to head with Zhang Fei in terms of generalship and duel. Zhao Yun has his famous Changban bullshit along with assasination feats. Liu Feng played a vital role as a spy in Jing as Liu Bei foster son. Chen Dao has his 'White feather unit' and is shown to be a master with the 'Zhuge crossbow' and a whip. Yes. A whip. Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Ma Chao are also portrayed as elite cavalrymen due to their roots in Northern and Western China.

For Wu, Sun Ce is a master duelist, capable of using a halberd like Lü Bu though not as strong and a master archer like Huang Zhong though without the same endurance and having many body doubles. His shown to be fearless, reckless and very headstrong yet at the same time possessing great charisma, forgiveness, leadership and intelligence. Taishi Ci singlehandedly solos Sun Ce and also Zhou Tai and Xiahou Dun. Gan Ning has the honour of killing Sun Jian and Ling Cao as an archer and dueling against Zhang Liao and Zhao Yun. Ling Tong is shown to be a master of sieges even though he was very young and a man vulnerable to his emotions. Cheng Pu is known to be a master of killing. Huang Gai is shown to be a sentimental man who treats Sun Ce and Sun Quan like his sons. Ling Cao is known as a Sun Loyalist willing to die for their cause as a first rate warrior. Lü Meng is shown to be a crude man who speak explicity with words of vulgarity who eventually grow to be a man of intelligence and thoughtfulness thanks to Sun Ce and Sun Quan support and Zhou Yu assistance. Zhou Tai is a man with great bravary and courage

Lü Bu is of course the 'greatest among men'. With his unmatched horse red hare and halberd, he posses the greatest feats in terms of dueling. He also possess many body doubles like Sun Ce. Gao Shun is his right hand man and unmatched warrior responsible for the elite cavalry 'Formation breaker'. Hua Xiong is known as Dong Zhuo second greatest and left hand.

Yan Liang, Wen Chou, Ji Ling who are cannon fodder in the SGYY are all shown to be man of serious skill and talents. With the former two dueling against Lü Bu, Hua Xiong, Zhang Liao and Guan Yu and the latter fighting against Guan Yu and Zhang Fei.

As strategists, Yuan Fang, a completely fictional character and Yuan Shao illegitimate son has the ambition and skill to win against Guo Jia in a field battle with most of his generals dead and being outnumbered by at least a dozen. He also managed to lure, manipulate and trap most of the Guandong alliance. Xun Yu is a Han Loyalist noted for his domestic talents and assisting Cao Cao in recruiting men of talent. He also serves as the link between the Cao/Xiahou clan and the Han court. As a diplomat, he managed to manipulate the two Yuans plus Lü Bu. Guo Jia is known to be a master of strategems. He is also a man of 'darkness' who frequently advises Cao Cao to choose the cruel option, being the one who suggested the Xu province massacres and ordering the Cao generals to murder more innocents. He also layed the groundwork in preparation for Cao Cao eventual Jing province campaign and form many contigency plans in prediction of Cao Cao eventual defeat knowing his death was near. Jia Xu is known as a master of formations and assisted Dong Zhuo in consolidating his reign, helped Zhang Xiu to balance Liu Biao and Cao Cao and maneuverd behind the scenes to assist Cao Cao. Guo Jia and Jia Xu have a strong belief in using 'dark strategems' that is cruel strategies in contrast to Xun Yu who preferred benevolent policies. Guo Jia and Jia Xu believe that Cao Cao can only ensure stability of China only after the conquest is achieved and using bloody methods to prevent rebellions and revolutions is a justifiable method,
deception, assassination, sacrificial gambits etc. Zhou Yu the gentleman is known to be an exceptional strategist and warrior and is unmatched in the battlefield of water. That is rivers and lakes of the south. He assists his sworn brother in the unification of Wuyue. 'Fledgling Phoenix‘ Pang Tong has a tattoed face, is exceptionally talented in calculations, possesses persuasion skills and identifies himself as an 'utilitarian’ upholder of Imperial Han, serving also as a tutor of strategy and philosophy in his spare time. Crouching Dragon Zhuge Liang is shown to be exceptionally talented in debates, internal management, predictions, secret collusion via planted agents, small tricks with long-term impact, seizing opportunities, a master of predicting the weather, astronomy, long term strategical planning, a great judge of character and someone who takes advantage of those that overestimate or underestimate his abilities or impact. Xun Yu and Zhuge Liang identify themselves as Han Loyalist with a slight difference. Xun Yu is willing to work with the Cao clan while at the same time tries to maintain the lord vassal relations of the Liu and Cao clans. Zhuge Liang is more than happy to disacard Emperor Xian if it means an easier and more convenient path to victory. Zhuge Liang and Xun Yu uses legalist methods and sayings to justify their policies but lean towards traditional Confucianism when it comes to people to people relationships and the need to prioritise benevolence and justice in contrast to Yuan Fang, Guo Jia and Jia Xu. Pang Tong and Zhou Yu views on morality is a lot more murkey with Zhou Yu placing an emphasis on his relationship with the Sun clan.

Sima Yi is shown to be a talented businessman and scholar and predicting the Guandu campaign way before 200. Possessing a 'wolfneck', he patiently waits for the moment where he can strike and replace Cao Cao. Xun You is portrayed as a fine strategist and military commander, playing an important role throughout Cao Cao's numerous campaign. Zhong Yao is a man of greatest charisma and a capable teacher and orator who inspires people. Lu Xun though young has shown the ability to predict long term strategies and personally adapt on the battlefield. Liu Ye serves both as a diplomat and advisor. Jia Kui attaches himself to the Sima family. Zhang Zhao is a master of internal affairs.

Among the warlords, Dong Zhuo is a man of inmorality but also a great strategist and a man of GuanZhong. He pins the blame of the decline of Imperial Han on treacherous eunuchs, and incapable ministers who all sought to increase their influence and wealth instead of focusing on their job of governance. Yuan Shao is an individual who wishes to be remembered as a Han loyalist but at the same time secretly pave the way for the usurption of Liu and rise of the Yuan through his illegitimate son. Yuan Shu is a man of honesty who resorts to diplomacy and underhand tactics to play off his neighbours against one another. He is shown as a man of arrogance, willing to do whatever it takes to create a new and greater era of imperial rule through Zhongjia. Liu Biao is shown to be an indecisive leader in the center of Jing political intrigues largely out of his control, having complicated relationships with his clansmen Liu Bei and Liu Zhang.

Cao Cao - starts of as an 'Anti hero and capable minister' who remarks on the sorry state of Imperial Han comparing the illustrous dynasty to a house on brink of collapse. He strives to create a more peaceful realm for the people of China to live in, promoting argricultural policies among others. A man attracted [to] and attracts talents, he is shown as a capable leader of man who knows how to use and put his surbodinates in a position where they can strive for exellence. A capable general, leader, strategist and administrator.

Liu Bei - two sides to this guy. A complicated man vulnerable and ravaged by the harsh era that is the decline of Imperial Han. He starts of as a goofy man with a twoface personality backed and supported by his sworn brothers. In the beginning, he pillaged a city which was on the path inbetween Dong Zhuo and the Guandong alliance and then gave the pillaged treasures and money to another impoverish city. By doing so, he spared the former city from suffering under the coalition pillages while at the same time gaining popularity with the commoners of the latter city. Throughout his life, he would encounter numerous setbacks in part orchestrated by Zhang Fei. When first being a warlord, he was shown unwilling to backstab Lü Bu even after Mi Zhu and Guan Yu urge him to do so. Choosing instead to help Lü Bu against Yuan Shu. By the end of the Guandu campaign, his outlook became more sinister. Among others, he managed to persuade Cao Cao to kill Lü Bu and took part in the political infighting of Jing angering much of Liu Biao surbodinate core. Liu Bei like Cao Cao and Dong Zhuo, remarks on the downfall of the Imperial Han, pointing out that ambitious and corrupt gentries was what led to the rise of villians like Dong Zhuo. Unlike Cao Cao, he is more confident in Emperor Xian's of Han ability to rule as an Emperor arguing that most Emperors throughout history only wants the best for their people and that its his duty as a servant of the Han to assist the Emperor in enforcing peace and prosperity throughout the realm.

Sun Quan - the youngest of the big 3. He starts out as a young lad capable of domestic affairs, managing talents and a master of internal policies. Leaning on his strategists like Zhou Yu, generals like Huang Gai and administrators like Zhang Zhao, he was able to consolidate his province after the sudden and tragic death of his brother, putting a great fight against Cao Cao in Chibi. Overtime, he would blossom into a talented leader delivering an execellent speech to earn the hearts of his surbodinates.

Religion, mystical elements and medicine plays an important role especially in the beginning. Zuo Ci is an assistant of the Yuan clan who personally grooms Yuan Fang. Hua Tuo is a travelling doctor who gives medical aid to all sides of the conflict. People like Zhang Lu and Gan Ji and events the like the Yellow Turban Rebellion are frequently shown in a depressing light.

This manga also does a great job tackling the philosophical narrative of the era. Confucianism like loyalty to clan vs loyalty to Emperor vs loyalty to ideal vs loyalty to Dynasty. The issue of morality is also frequently brought up. Does the end justify the means? Is massacring cities and villages to ensure that there would be no rebellions justifiable? Is it ok to serve a ruler thats not talented but of high moral integrity? How important is the concept of loyalty. The history of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States. The concept of hegemon lords and establishing peace and prosperity. Stuff like that.

And finally the manga does an excellent job with its strategems. Every strategy is well thought out and calculated borrowing from historical and mythical sources. The manga also does an amazing job blending historical sources and myths(SGYY) together to tell a wonderful and engaging story.
Liu Bei did nothing wrong.
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