Opposite Yet Not so Different – The Moral Code of the Katsura Sisters


“Good” Hinagiku and “Bad” Yukiji

It is sometimes quite hard to understand why siblings, who live under the same roof for so much of their lives, could be so different.

Hinagiku, the younger of the Katsura sisters, has long been perceived as the little Miss Perfect. She is “Hakuou Academy’s very best student”. She studies very hard and very well. She has a very healthy hobby in Kendo. She can and would help with housework. She is popular among her schoolmates, and is generally known for her kindness. These all suggest that Hinagiku is a good person.

And Hinagiku is more than merely a “good” person, as she has been depicted as “the ally of justice”. She has declared herself as one in Ch. 61, as she entered the Tiger’s Den of Butlers. She has taken up the role of Silver Red, the local hero, when the original actor was hurt. She has been chosen by Shirosakura, the “ultimate weapon of justice”, as its rightful owner. To top all these, there is the official statement by Hata himself.

Different lifestyles and personalities.

Different lifestyles and personalities.

Yukiji, the elder of the Katsura sisters, has been a completely different story. She is (in)famous for her love of alcohol and money. She is not respected enough by her students – although, admittedly, they seem to like her. Hayate thinks that she is a “hopeless person”, while Hinagiku is always mad at her. Even Kaoru, her biggest fan, would find it difficult to argue that she is not a “bad” person.

Not only that she has not done enough “good” things, she has actually done quite a lot of “bad” things, hence justifying her reputation as a “bad” person. She is willing to use any means necessary to earn money, including to lend her body to an evil spirit in exchange of a million yen. She is shameless enough to ask anyone in sight to buy her meals, including Hayate. She would gamble in casinos, threaten robbers and battle gangsters for money. Indeed, as Hayate compared Yukiji to Himuro and Sonia – hardly the people you would consider “good” – you know how “bad” Yukiji was thought to be.

“Good” Yukiji and “Bad” Hinagiku

To top all...

To top all…

If Yukiji is indeed a “bad” person, however, there are certain incidents that make no sense at all. She lectured the robber on his motive of robbing for his sister’s medication. She flew all the way from Italy to Greece to counsel Hinagiku when her heart was broken by Hayate. She willingly returned the 50K yen to Maria (which was left in Hayate’s coat pocket), the 100M yen to Wataru (after it was being stolen), and offered a jewel to Kaoru as compensation to his (sunk) car. She placed the safety of Maria and Hinagik above money, and when money “rained” from the sky, she did not even bother picking up a bank note, despite Hinagiku’s reminder than she could. It is very easy to brand these incidents as Yukiji’s “cool” moments, but then we would be missing something: why does the “bad” Yukiji do “good”?

On the other hand, there are quite a few incidents which suggest that Hinagiku might not be the “perfect model student” who adheres to all the rules. In fact, she has been breaking school rules since her first appearance – she skipped class and invited Hayate into the Clock Tower, presumably somewhere he shouldn’t have been to. She went into the old school campus to find Hayate, again a place students are forbidden to go into. She was in possession of weapons – katanas they might be, but Wooden Masamune and Shirosakura are both definitely “dangerous weapons”. She fought people and monsters with possibly fatal consequences: the monsters she had slain in Athens are very likely killed, and Shidou could have been cut into halves should he fled a little too slowly. She is not even a person who stands by her own moral codes: moments after she labelled Hayate’s request (of borrowing her school uniform) as “perverted”, she complied. Again, we might have to ask: why does the “good” Hinagiku do “bad”?

When the opposites come together...

When the opposites come together…

So, we have the Katsura sisters: one who is usually “bad” but would occasionally do “good”, and one who is usually “good” but would occasionally do “bad”. We also have a question: is there any rationale behind their choices, or are these merely random cases which do not speak any volume of their morality?

Curiously, as we examine how the moralities of Yukiji and Hinagiku work, we would find that there is one common element which drive the Katsura sisters to do what they do, and which would make them proud as siblings.

Yukiji: Care Not, and Care

Yukiji is well-known for her love of money. We might reasonably suggest, although without evidence, that such love has stemmed from her need to repay her parents’ debt. In order to clear the debt as soon as possible, she had to constantly look for money – the more and the sooner she could get it, the better.

Of course, she contributed to it...

Of course, she contributed to it…

Meanwhile, her life has been ruined. When abandoned by her parents, Yukiji was only 18. Although legally adult, 18-year-olds are still – strictly speaking – teenagers. While her friends were admitted into universities, Yukiji had already begun constantly looking for money, taking care of her younger sister, while giving up her dream of becoming a musician. Indeed, she has had a very hard time.

As such, it is no wonder that Yukiji could go to any lows just to get more money. The ability to search and grab money has already become an instinct to Yukiji, such that consciously or unconsciously, the first thing in her mind would be money. Usually some restrictions and controls could be applied to such a mind, but there appears to be no reason for Yukiji to control herself: her life is already ruined, so what? There is not much to fight for any more in her life, so what is the point of behaving herself?

Wataru: "That's mine..."

Wataru: “That’s mine…”

Sometimes, points don’t become clear until they are presented clearly. Unfortunately, when such clear presentation is given, it also spells trouble (some sort of “death flag”, huh?). Indeed, when troubles come, Yukiji is able to pick herself up and do the right thing, and given her abilities (mostly physical) she is able to do a damn good job.

When Yukiji does “good”, she is helping someone out. This might seem plain and obvious – if nobody is in need of help then there is nobody to help – but this is a critical point which motivates Yukiji to offer her helping hand. She saw the robber was troubled by the illness of his younger sister. She knew that Hinagiku was troubled through her voice in the call. She saw that Wataru was looking for the 100M yen. She knew that she had lost Kaoru his car. She knew that Maria and Hinagiku were in danger… What Yukiji saw in all these moments might not have been justice, but troubled people.

Perhaps Yukiji does not want other people to suffer like she and Hinagiku did. Perhaps Yukiji thinks that even if her life has become hopeless, other people’s are not. In any case, when Yukiji steps up to do “good”, she probably sees somebody is in need of her help.

Hinagiku: Following Yukiji’s Example

Same thing.

Same thing.

Hinagiku is (secretly) a huge admirer of her elder sister, and there are surely a few things on which she is following Yukiji’s footsteps. Her line “You’ll have a boring life if you wear such a boring face” was strikingly similar to Yukiji’s line (“If your expression is so dull… your life is going to be dull”). Hinagiku is perceived by many as “cool”, and the thing she likes most about her sister is that she was “cool”. She remembered Yukiji’s teaching that there is something more important than money, and was “disappointed” when Yukiji failed at her own words. Whether she is aware or not, Hinagiku sees Yukiji as her example.

This may help us explain why Hinagiku so often breaks rules, doing all the “bad” things mentioned above. On the whole, Hinagiku is a girl with very high standards of morality – honesty, honour and decency – but she knows that the needs of people in trouble are more important. As Hinagiku steps up to help people, she is willing to give everything she can, even if it means that she has to break rules. In fact, when she is helping others, she no longer takes rules into consideration.

You can't say they are not dead...

You can’t say they are not dead…

She would go to high places despite her fear if this is the only way she could help. She would give up her personal grudge on Hayate just to save him. She would read manga even if she is not interested in it (I still don’t think that she enjoys reading manga). She would pick up swords to fight bad guys and monsters. She would lend her uniform to Hayate even if she thinks that it is “perverted”. She would take off her clothes in public to reveal her swimsuits for a beach volleyball game… All these, of course, are done to save people from troubles.

Perhaps Hinagiku knows too well that rules are established to maintain relationships and respect between people. If and when rules become an obstacle for her to help people, Hinagiku would choose to kick out the rules and do whatever she thinks is right. She might not be always right, but at least she is true to herself.

Conclusion

At first sight, Yukiji and Hinagiku are direct opposites. But they are both driven by the same passion to help people, and when they are to help people, their similarity becomes apparent. Such a similarity is expressed by sharp turns in their behavioural pattern: the “bad” Yukiji would do “good”, and the “good” Hinagiku would do “bad”.

Perhaps there has never been “good” or “bad” in the first place. Both Yukiji and Hinagiku are not always aware whether they are doing “good” or “bad”. Yukiji never bragged about her “good deeds”, while Hinagiku is never worried that she has become a “bad girl”. Their moral code – if any – has always simply been that they find people in need of help, and they think that they have to do something.

Somehow, “codes” don’t really apply to them.

6 comments on “Opposite Yet Not so Different – The Moral Code of the Katsura Sisters

  1. I always thought of Yukiji as someone who’s just trying to get by in life…. which made her a badass character XD. She sort of has an Anti-Hero character since she is a “bad” person who does “good”. Yukiji’s strongest point in her character is that she is very human… emotionally, of course. The same goes for Hinagiku who despite being perceived as “perfect”, still has her flaws which are all natural as a person. Having flaws is important for a character.

    Breaking the rules to do the right thing is actually a very common Shonen concept. Neither Hinagiku or Yukiji would have been liked by the readers if they constantly obey the rules or do nothing at all if they were really selfish. They are both strong and it’d be a waste if they don’t use their strengths to help others.

    A great article, Gunso! I never expected that you’d make one about the Katsura sisters. If I had a suggestion on which character you should use as the main topic of your next article, I think Wataru would be a good idea.

    • It was Hinagiku’s birthday, and I guess everyone’s fed up with her romantic issues, so I put this one up instead. XD

      Wataru huh… I need to think about it.

    • I’m sure his story would make a good article. Heck, he’s one of the known characters who has had story arcs focused entirely on him i.e. confronting his mother, choosing between the two loves of his life, his struggles to make his own mark in the world and the slow and scary path known as puberty… okay, you can ignore that last part but everything else is awesome. Heck, the kid himself is slowly forming a Harem that could rival Hayate! Take your time though cause most of us like surprises XD.

      If you could pull off an article about a certain normal hamster, then Wataru should be possible.

    • Well, what I now need is an outstanding main theme which links up all the chosen materials (you are very helpful in drawing up a list). I’ll see if I can make a good argument on Wataru.

      And, do not look down on “normal”. 😛

  2. Oh dear… I forgot to comment, didn’t I? 😛

    Just about to go to bed, so I’ll give you a simple yet very honest: “Very nice write-up, Gunso-san!” 😉
    Good night!

  3. Yukiji and Hinagiku are both opposite and yet similar that it is really not hard to tell their sisters. Yukiji may act that way but she is still a good sister and at the same time a alcoholic, gambler, crazy and tempestuous person. Even though Yukiji is somewhat crazy, Hina still loves her because she is her hero and she admires her with all her heart.
    “opposites, attract” – Sir Isaac Newton

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