There is something called a “self-fulfilling prophecy”. In the simplest terms, it is “a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come true”. Now, there are good prophecies and bad prophecies. For good prophecies we usually categorise them as “motivation” or “ambition”. For bad prophecies, we might as well say that you have “cursed” yourself into becoming someone worse.
Most people do not try to do bad things to themselves, but some people do. In an article I made a point that Segawa Izumi is capable of trolling herself, and “the most spectacular” example I gave was that Izumi (more or less) calling herself a masochist. Before this bombshell in Ch. 70, Izumi was pretty much simply “one of those three girls”, while Miki was in fact the one who got trolled by Hinagiku in the Freedom Marathon race. After this bombshell, we began to see Izumi being picked out for trolling more and more often. The impression that Izumi is a masochist has been a double-edged sword for her: on the one hand, she has received a popularity boost, pushing her into the Top 10 in every popularity poll, and she is “rewarded” a romance sub-plot with Hayate; on the other hand, Izumi is almost “nailed” as a masochist, and she gets trolled on a more and more regular basis.
It is clear that Izumi herself sees more the bad side of the double-edged sword. She makes numerous protests about the fact that she is trolled, and very often comments that she does not want the readers to think of her in some particular ways. As today is Izumi’s 26th birthday, why don’t we offer her a birthday present by trying to help her to remove the tag of “masochist”?
What has helped us to “confirm” that Izumi is a masochist, anyway? Most probably, it is the fact that she has never been able to stop people around her from trolling her. No matter how hard she protests or even cries, in the end she always gets trolled, and she even plays her part in her own trolling. The most recent example is the strip poker game between Hinagiku and Miki: although Izumi protested that she had to strip whenever Miki loses, in the end she willingly took off her clothes, starting with her underwear. By contributing to her own trolling, Izumi makes us believe that she actually enjoys being trolled, and that defines her as a masochist.
The thing is, Izumi’s inability to stop herself from being trolled may not be the result of her enjoying the trolling, but she in fact lacks the ability to defend herself. I think the reason is that Izumi has never learned to protect herself, and that in turn is because that she has never had to.
Izumi is the daughter of a very rich family. She has a father who cannot spoil her enough, and a twin brother as her personal butler since… well, never mind. She studies at a prestigious school because of her family wealth, and although her results have been poor, she still stays at the school and gets promoted every year. At school, she has a class teacher, two very close friends since childhood, a Student Council President who takes care of her, and recently is assigned a classmate to help with her studies.
It means that Izumi has someone to look after her wherever she is. When she has a problem, help is never far away and she is not shy to ask for help. So, it is not really surprising that Izumi naturally asked her father for favours, or threw her Student Council duties to Hinagiku with only a short note of “I am leaving this to you”. She knows that these people care for her, and she believes that in the end, they would help her.
It makes Izumi very dependent on her protectors, and her only answer to problems is to call – or even worse, wait – for help. This explains why Izumi told Hayate that she would tell Hinagiku if he did not obey her: it is not that Izumi knew Hayate was afraid of Hinagiku’s wrath, but that Izumi didn’t know any other way to tackle the problem.
Izumi relies on other people so much that they have come to accept it as a part of her character. Hinagiku did not find the cat-spirit-possessed Izumi acting particularly out of character as she/it went all over her, as she at first thought Izumi was only acting like a spoiled child – yes, Izumi can be, and indeed has been, considered a spoiled child.
The problem for Izumi is that her protectors are not always around or in the right state of mind. Izumi spends a lot of time at school, where she is away from her father. Kotetsu is always after trains or Hayate (incidentally, the namesake of a train) so he is not entirely useful. Hinagiku and Hayate… we will come to them later. On the other hand, Izumi is constantly in danger of being trolled, simply because she is with Miki and Risa all the time. The major difference between the SC Rangers is that Izumi lacks the instincts for mischief of Miki and Risa, so she can be considered the anomaly. In a social circle of trolls, the anomaly will of course be trolled.
Hinagiku can save Izumi when she is around, just as she did early on in HIAPOE. Yet, there are times when even Hinagiku loses her mind: for example, Hinagiku was so provoked by Miki to entering the strip poker game that she failed to see that she was literally stripping Izumi off. Hayate, on the other hand, takes the SC Rangers as three of a kind, and he is mostly disinterested in what they are doing anyway: when he sees Izumi being trolled, he takes it as “just another stupid thing those three idiots do”, and doesn’t see Izumi in particular need of his help. At times like this Izumi is very much on her own to tackle the trollings from Miki and Risa, but what can she do? She knows nothing that she could do, so she does nothing other than making protests or even crying.
The other weakness of Izumi is that she is exceptionally sweet and kind. While it makes Izumi a very lovely girl, her character does nothing to protect her from being trolled. Izumi’s protests and tears are as threatening as a kitten’s meowing. It takes a particularly timid bully (a paradox in itself, but then we have “glass swords”) to be scares off by a kitten’s meowing. Unfortunately for Izumi, Miki and Risa are way too far away from being timid.
Izumi is an extremely adorable spoiled child. While some spoiled children are arrogant and anti-social, Izumi is very friendly to other people. Yet Izumi faces her own consequences of being spoiled: she is incapable of standing on her own feet, and she needs constant protection if she is to survive. Unfortunately, constant protection is not available: not even Hayate is always around for Nagi, so what can Izumi expect?
The only good news for Izumi is that, so far, the trollings mainly come from her closest friends, and in most cases they are harmless. Embarrassing videos of Izumi remain restricted, and most can only be accessed in the Video Research Club. Izumi was only asked to strip in the Student Council Room, where only the closest of friends are allowed entry, and nobody other than Izumi herself was serious about the stripping. When compared to trolling in real life that could actually drive the victims to commit suicide, Izumi should consider herself a very lucky girl.
Maybe this is why Izumi doesn’t find the need to toughen up despite the constant trolling: she is sure that despite being made fun of from time to time, people still love her; with love, everything will be fine in the very end. This would of course be another proof that Izumi is indeed being spoiled by literally everyone, but if it really is the truth, then there might not be anything wrong for being a spoiled child.
In that case, so be it.