Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Forum reserved for discussing specific points of the story—mostly from the manga. Be warned, these discussions will be current with the manga and will spoil many plot lines for anime-centric fans.
Chekhov MacGuffin
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Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby Chekhov MacGuffin » April 20th, 2014, 4:54 pm

PSA: I intend this topic to be more general than what I post in the first post. Feel free to hijack it for whatever current Amuro-related topics you wish.

...Anyway, I see a strong push towards theories where Bourbon is undercover PSIA or related, and that maybe he is really a good guy who is deep undercover. Bourbon is definitely not a good guy! Gosho likes his good guys nearly squeaky clean. Remember when Ran was portrayed as a hero in Detective's Nocturne for interfering with Masumi's plan to get the hostage taker shot and end the standoff (which provoked a strong moment of values dissonance with tons of people in the forum)? Even Kir was portrayed as hesitating and regretting the assassination plot she was compelled to be in during FBI vs. Org. Amuro has no such inhibitions.

Amuro might a goodish bad guy sort of like how Vermouth is, but we can't forget the bad things Bourbon has done of his own volition. Let's recap:
• Amuro appeared in public as Scar Akai which drew out Black Organization snipers who head their guns trained on average civilians. (Thirteen Red Shirts)
• Amuro doesn't intervene when a suspect he knows to be innocent is half a step from destroying his exonerating evidence because he was testing Kogoro. (Amuro's intro case)
• Amuro noticed that Conan was alone with a murderer and considered that Conan might have been kidnapped, yet said nothing about it until others realized Conan and the murder suspect were gone. (Detctives' Nocturne)
• Amuro willingly turned over Shiho Miyano's location to the Organization when he could have pretended he never saw it and didn't have to. (Cabin Trap) And once on the train, Amuro was going to violently assault "Shiho" in order to drag her out of the luggage car. (Mystery Train)
• Amuro was going to run over an elementary school teacher with his car in order to hospitalize her because it was a convenient strategy to lure out some FBI agents. He could very well have killed the woman who's only crime was being a friend of Jodie's. Keep in mind it wasn't Vermouth's idea because Vermouth didn't know the plan until Amuro explained it later. (Jodie's friend case)

I can support theories that Bourbon was a former good kid who became corrupted as he was raised in the Black Organization, but these deep undercover theories don't fit with how Gosho usually does protagonists.

TLDR: The good things Amuro does sometimes do not negate his contemptible acts.



As a counterpoint, the good things Amuro has done. It is uncertain how Vermouth's promise plays into certain ones of these.
• Helps solve various cases, mostly as an assistant to another detective like Conan or Kogoro, but sometimes solo.
• Rescues Conan from being killed by shooting a hostage taker (Teito bank heist)
• Returns a phone he probably stole in the first place. (Beika Department Store bomb threat)
• Brings the Mouri family sandwiches he paid for (Detectives' Nocturne)
• Rescues Conan from a hostage taker by crashing his car. (Detectives' Nocturne)
• Leaves a toothpick at Date's grave on his death anniversary (Takagi Kidnapping)
• Doctors Conan after he gets nailed in the head by a tennis racket (Tennis case)
• Rescues Conan and the Detective Boys when they are trapped in a truck (Cat in truck case)
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PhantomWriter
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby PhantomWriter » April 20th, 2014, 5:25 pm

The last one, I'm skeptical of. There are simpler ways of dealing with the teacher that leave less evidence than hitting her with a car. There's the issue of witnesses, bloodstains, possible dents in the vehicle... Conan says the reason why he thought Amuro was going to hit her with a car was because Amuro was driving by when he saw her on the pavement. Even not discussing Conan's perspective on things and how that's a pretty big leap, that would be stupid on Amuro's part, again because of the evidence left behind with such an act.

He's still pretty messed up, but I'm curious about how the perspective would change, considering what it takes to become a codenamed member. Rena and Akai, in order to secure their positions in the Organization as codenamed members and maintain their covers, would have to do similar contemptable acts. We just don't see them doing that on-page, while we see Amuro's actions on-page. I'm not saying he's good. I'm just pointing out that, if we'd seen Akai several years ago in the series timeline as Rye instead of now, people would probably have been baying for his blood before the reveal that he was a double agent. And, while I'm playing devil's advocate, Amuro could have learned from Rena's and Akai's mistakes and realized he needed to act more like an Organization member than them.

There's also the chance that, assuming he's a double agent, his act became reality and how he's aligned with the Organization. That's a danger with undercover work, that you lose yourself in the part you are playing and you become that.
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby Kudo Shinchi » April 20th, 2014, 6:03 pm

PhantomWriter wrote:The last one, I'm skeptical of. There are simpler ways of dealing with the teacher that leave less evidence than hitting her with a car. There's the issue of witnesses, bloodstains, possible dents in the vehicle... Conan says the reason why he thought Amuro was going to hit her with a car was because Amuro was driving by when he saw her on the pavement. Even not discussing Conan's perspective on things and how that's a pretty big leap, that would be stupid on Amuro's part, again because of the evidence left behind with such an act.

He's still pretty messed up, but I'm curious about how the perspective would change, considering what it takes to become a codenamed member. Rena and Akai, in order to secure their positions in the Organization as codenamed members and maintain their covers, would have to do similar contemptable acts. We just don't see them doing that on-page, while we see Amuro's actions on-page. I'm not saying he's good. I'm just pointing out that, if we'd seen Akai several years ago in the series timeline as Rye instead of now, people would probably have been baying for his blood before the reveal that he was a double agent. And, while I'm playing devil's advocate, Amuro could have learned from Rena's and Akai's mistakes and realized he needed to act more like an Organization member than them.

There's also the chance that, assuming he's a double agent, his act became reality and how he's aligned with the Organization. That's a danger with undercover work, that you lose yourself in the part you are playing and you become that.


I think it's mostly that Amuro seems to take genuine glee in what he does. When Chianti was about to snipe him as Scar Akai(and therefore put all the innocents around him in danger) his only reaction was to smile at her mockingly, as if he's amused, which only upset her and made the situation worse. Amuro seemed genuinely excited when he discovered Shiho's location as well and the like. Basically, if he's acting, he's waaay too into it. You suggested that's a possibility, but I don't think that's the angle Gosho is going for here. His desire to find Akai is also really strong and he's pursuing it with an unnecessary rigor and putting lives at danger by doing so, even though he doesn't have to. It was never his mission to find Akai, it's something he's doing for himself,and is very enthusiastic about too. Not the actions of someone undercover, IMO.

I'm sure that Akai and Rena have done contemptible things as well, but I don't think they were happy to when they did.
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby PhantomWriter » April 20th, 2014, 6:19 pm

I suppose the reason why I keep defending Bourbon, aside from the need for a devil's advocate, is because I'm also taking glee in this whole situation, because there need to be lasting consequences to this whole mess. If there aren't, then what's the point of us continuing to read? Then we know everything is going to end well no matter what twists and turns there are. We know that Gosho's not going to kill off Shinichi or Ran. But I want to see what happens and when it's ambiguous, when it can end multiple ways, then it's exciting. It's fun. (Which is also why I'm annoyed that he even said that about the end.) Keeping things ambiguous makes it interesting. Saying anything about the end before it happens ruins part of the end, so I don't care what happens to Shinichi now. I know he'll make it out fine because the author said so.

And, if I recall, that was a character flaw Kudou has initially, that he wasn't focused on helping people, that he saw detective work as an adrenaline rush. Bourbon's taking glee in it as well, but with finding Akai and having trapped Conan and Akai in this situation.

Irony is that Bourbon and Kudou both have very similar traits, yet we're supposed to support Kudou and not Bourbon. I suppose I just find Conan has become so arrogant and complacent that I am kind of hoping Bourbon messes everything up, even if I like Akai a lot.
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby Kor » April 20th, 2014, 6:25 pm

PhantomWriter wrote:Rena and Akai, in order to secure their positions in the Organization as codenamed members and maintain their covers, would have to do similar contemptable acts. We just don't see them doing that on-page, while we see Amuro's actions on-page.


Exactly because we didn't see those actions on page (or referred to afaik), what you're suggesting can't be determined for sure, especially because we still don't know that well the hierarchy of the B.O.
The stuff we see Bourbon doing is a likely implication that he is indeed a bad guy (as opposed to Rena and Akai who evidently aren't bad guys).

I'm just pointing out that, if we'd seen Akai several years ago in the series timeline as Rye instead of now, people would probably have been baying for his blood before the reveal that he was a double agent.


First, the scenario you're describing didn't happen, so that's not really an argument. Second, you're assuming Rye was just as bad as Bourbon, even though we don't know that for sure.

Basically, just because there's the possibility that Akai or Rena did something bad, it's not what you're supposed to focus on, because we know who they are and we know their motivations. With Amuro on the other hand, we do see him do something bad, so it's probably not something we're meant to just skim over.

PhantomWriter wrote:And, while I'm playing devil's advocate, Amuro could have learned from Rena's and Akai's mistakes and realized he needed to act more like an Organization member than them.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but Akai didn't make any mistakes. It was Camel who ruined the whole thing.
Rena, while being suspected, hasn't been exposed as of yet as a CIA agent, so how would Amuro learn from her mistakes?

--------------

Regardless, I actually hope Bourbon is in fact a bad guy, because we already have Akai and Rena who infiltrated the B.O. Having yet another bad-but-not-really-he's-actually-good character in the B.O. is not only repetitive, but also underwhelming, considering this is an organization that needs to be feared, yet every other introduced member seems to be not all that bad.

You get to infiltrate the B.O! He gets to infiltrate the B.O! Everyone gets to infiltrate the B.O!
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby k11chi » April 20th, 2014, 6:49 pm

PhantomWriter wrote:I suppose the reason why I keep defending Bourbon, aside from the need for a devil's advocate, is because I'm also taking glee in this whole situation, because there need to be lasting consequences to this whole mess. If there aren't, then what's the point of us continuing to read? Then we know everything is going to end well no matter what twists and turns there are. We know that Gosho's not going to kill off Shinichi or Ran. But I want to see what happens and when it's ambiguous, when it can end multiple ways, then it's exciting. It's fun. (Which is also why I'm annoyed that he even said that about the end.) Keeping things ambiguous makes it interesting. Saying anything about the end before it happens ruins part of the end, so I don't care what happens to Shinichi now. I know he'll make it out fine because the author said so.

And, if I recall, that was a character flaw Kudou has initially, that he wasn't focused on helping people, that he saw detective work as an adrenaline rush. Bourbon's taking glee in it as well, but with finding Akai and having trapped Conan and Akai in this situation.

Irony is that Bourbon and Kudou both have very similar traits, yet we're supposed to support Kudou and not Bourbon. I suppose I just find Conan has become so arrogant and complacent that I am kind of hoping Bourbon messes everything up, even if I like Akai a lot.

Well what kind of drama you want exactly? There is pretty much nothing Amuro can give in terms of long lasting "consequences" other than killing off Agasa or something, and as we already know from those dozens of other long running series that kill off people that it's pretty much nothing than a really weak plot device.

Also Conan is smarter than Amuro, Akai is most likely smarter than Amuro and Yusaku is smarter than those 3 together so I wonder if this turns out completely differently.
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby Kudo Shinchi » April 20th, 2014, 6:59 pm

Regardless, I actually hope Bourbon is in fact a bad guy, because we already have Akai and Rena who infiltrated the B.O. Having yet another bad-but-not-really-he's-actually-good character in the B.O. is not only repetitive, but also underwhelming, considering this is an organization that needs to be feared, yet every other introduced member seems to be not all that bad.

You get to infiltrate the B.O! He gets to infiltrate the B.O! Everyone gets to infiltrate the B.O!


Well, in Gosho's defense, it's nice that the BO aren't all a bunch of bland bad guys who like to kill people. Having a whole group of Gins (who isn't bland, of course) would probably get old fast.

What I really like about Amuro so far is that he's clearly capable of very villainous acts while simultaneously having a disposition that can be genuinely compassionate and kind, and is still very loyal to the Organization despite all that. It makes for a very interesting character, to say the least.

I suppose the reason why I keep defending Bourbon, aside from the need for a devil's advocate, is because I'm also taking glee in this whole situation, because there need to be lasting consequences to this whole mess. If there aren't, then what's the point of us continuing to read? Then we know everything is going to end well no matter what twists and turns there are. We know that Gosho's not going to kill off Shinichi or Ran. But I want to see what happens and when it's ambiguous, when it can end multiple ways, then it's exciting. It's fun.


Yes, I agree with this. The situation we have at hand right now is incredibly exciting and is the best the story has been in a while. There's a lot of genuine suspense about how this turns out, so I'm hoping it's done well. Since we had a seven-year-arc (and still counting) arc centered around Bourbon, I hope its conclusion blows us away and changes the playing field of the manga.

@K11chi I think Amuro is about equal to Conan, and that he's better than Akai. Think about it this way: if Akai and Conan have really asked Yuusaku for help, then they didn't trust themselves enough to handle Amuro on their own. If Amuro manages to see through Akai, Conan, and possibly Yuusaku's plan, as I expect he will, then our protagonists will really have a problem on their hands, which could lead to a lot of fun possibilities.
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby AICHAN » April 20th, 2014, 7:08 pm

I really think Amuro is a bad guy,not a spy.He puts so many efforts to find Akai that I would be disappointed if he was a spy.
And as you said it would be repetitive.But apparently Gosho likes to use the same tricks several times(using deguises is just becoming repetitive and almost ridiculous).
So I'm wondering if Amuro could turn into an other Vermouth.I mean he hates Akai for a good reason(he may have killed someone he loved,a family member...).But maybe if Amuro discovers that Akai isn't responsible of his misery,or that the BO manipulated him/lied to him,I guess it's possible for amuro to swich sides and join Conan's team.
I don't know,I just think Gosho insisted too much on the good,human sides of Amuro(the relationship with Date,Amuro helping the DB in the delivery case,and Amuro's flashbackwhen he was a kid).I can't imagine Gosho doing that without having an idea in mind.even for Vermouth Gosho didn't insisted that much on her good sides.
I personally would be happy to see Amuro hurting Akai,Conan and co,and then realize in the last moment that his enemy isn't who he thinks,that he was tricked by the BO from the begining.
I guess if Amuro reports that Akai isn't dead,Kir will be kicked out from the BO.I think that would be good to have Amuro replacing her in a more active way.
But I really hope Amuro won't be killed,that would be too easy,and sad for such a good character.
So for now Amuro is from the bad guys for sure,but I think something might trigger his memory or make him change his mind,forcing him to switch sides.
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby Paix672 » April 20th, 2014, 9:43 pm

Personally, I'd like Amuro to ultimately be a bad guy. His character is refreshing in that regard and brings a dynamic that series needed really badly. I wouldn't want him to switch sides in the end either because that would be just as lame. That being said, I wonder what direction the story could take from here in that case. With the all the things he's figured out, there's really no way for the status quo to be maintained anymore; unless Conan and Co. manage to capture him and is held captive until the climax of the series. Or him ending up being killed/shipped off somewhere else.
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby Jd- » April 20th, 2014, 10:23 pm

Chekhov MacGuffin wrote:• Amuro was going to run over an elementary school teacher with his car in order to hospitalize her because it was a convenient strategy to lure out some FBI agents.

That moment was the only thing in Conan that, while reading the series, has made me laugh in a long, long time. Conan said this with such gleeful acceptance and was so certain as to this being what would happen. However, my take is his goal there wouldn't be to kill her no matter what his plan was (and I don't really believe he was going to run a woman over with a car) so I can see how he'd justify that even as a good-bad guy. As PhantomWriter said, there would be a lot of evidence left behind by such an act that could definitely be achieved by other, much less risky means.

All told, unlike with Rena now, we don't have insight as to who Amuro is just yet. Depending on who he is really working for, whether he's actually some double agent, etc. is all to be revealed. Rena looked to be fairly inclined to some "evil tendencies" to achieve a greater goal as well, willing to assist in killing an innocent politician just to keep her cover in the Organization and such; if Conan hadn't been there, she would have gone along with it and that would have been that. You can usually find a way to justify just about anything for a greater goal if your philosophy and allegiance are deeply-ingrained enough. The fact that this one act of complacency would have taken place without Conan's interference and it's far worse than anything Amuro has done so far is pretty telling of Amuro's character, if you ask me (in a meta sense).

Beyond all that, we don't really know what Bourbon's objectives were in all of his "bad" instances. He could have been willing to do the right thing as soon as the chance arose but was keeping up appearances for the time being. We'll have to possibly wait for File 900 for that kind of information. It's possible that during the Mystery Train that he was going to help Shiho escape or fake her death as soon as he got her into his own custody/etc. I wouldn't put that out of the realm of possibility. I think, in general, he'd be plenty willing to kill a fellow Organization member such as a wayward traitor that had done bad things, but I'm not convinced he actually would have killed Sherry or sent her to her death there.

On the topic of the Mystery Train specifically, there's actually something I'm curious about here. Amuro, Vermouth, and Gin all seem to have differing ideas as to how to handle this situation. I dunno if this was discussed in depth before, as I had so much trouble taking the last file of this seriously that I didn't really dig into it back then.

Basically, it seems that Gin, Bourbon, and Vermouth all had differing plans on how to handle the train fiasco despite it supposed to be a coordinated affair. Who was it that came up with the original plan? Gin seems to think the plan is for the train to come to the station and blow up with everyone on board dying, including Sherry, but he doesn't know how Vermouth and Bourbon intend to escape? Bourbon's plan (which may have been one that Vermouth led him to believe she would go along with and one they concocted together) was to take Sherry back alive after loading her into a helicopter filled with his "colleagues", except... this wasn't in any way part of the Organization's plan (though Vermouth may have known about it). Vermouth's plan, of which neither Gin and Amuro were aware, was to blow up the entire carriage that Sherry would be in to ensure she died as a result of extra C4 of which no one else was aware.

It seems like neither side was operating in a coherent way on that train. Yet, in this specific instance, we can already see that Bourbon's goal was entirely at odds with that of the general Organization and, naturally, in accordance with him acting on his own (a trait Gin alluded to a few times, and one that leaves a lot of room for him to be a "good-bad guy"). Gin and Vermouth's express interests here were to kill Sherry, and yet Bourbon had prepared a helicopter to whisk her away from the car he was about to detach and do so with her "alive"--something the Organization (everyone but Bourbon and possibly Vermouth) were not at all interested in. It is clear that, at that point, Bourbon would have full control over Sherry and would be able to help her fake her death or take control of the situation in any way he wished. As for the conversation with "her" (actually being Kid, urgh), he had no way of knowing when Vermouth may appear back there with him nor could he have known whether it was bugged, so it seemed to reason that he should get as much information from her as possible while also keeping up his cover. Soon, it would be only him, Sherry, and his "colleagues" as Vermouth would still be on the train.

Of course, there's also the question of why Vermouth and Bourbon wanted this sort of thing to begin with. If either really just wanted Shiho to die, they only had to go along with the Organization's plan. Yet, one of them decided it'd be better to deviate from the plan for whatever reason. Ultimately, their deviation forced the train to stop at a different station than the one where the big explosion would take place and dozens if not hundreds would die. Could it be Vermouth's conscience, or Bourbon's? Vermouth was attuned to this part of the plan, at least, and likely played Bourbon into using explosives to detach the last car one way or the other in order to avoid (both this explosion detaching this car and the explosion destroying the entire car would both cause the train to stop at the nearest station). Vermouth has done a great many bad things, but if she is a double agent for some competing interest or organization in deep-deep cover as has been suggested, she maybe wouldn't want to go along with killing so many innocents for no reason.

My guess is that if this was the case, neither Vermouth nor Bourbon would be honest about their intentions regarding saving innocents as a byproduct of their new plan. They have no reason to outright trust one another, so no matter which of them suggested it, they both would go along with it realizing it would be a lot less messy, for one, and would not end up with innocents being killed left and right.

It's been years since I've dug into any of this, so it's all just off-the-cuff based on a really quick glance at the file. In essence, I'm suggesting Bourbon is a good-bad guy who, despite red herrings to the contrary, isn't willing to go along with the Organization on killing innocents as opposed to Gin and Vodka being willing to do so quite casually.
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby Jd- » April 20th, 2014, 10:43 pm

I figured I'd throw this into a second post since it's not entirely related to my stream of consciousness above.

Chekhov MacGuffin wrote:Gosho likes his good guys nearly squeaky clean. Remember when Ran was portrayed as a hero in Detective's Nocturne for interfering with Masumi's plan to get the hostage taker shot and end the standoff (which provoked a strong moment of values dissonance with tons of people in the forum)? Even Kir was portrayed as hesitating and regretting the assassination plot she was compelled to be in during FBI vs. Org. Amuro has no such inhibitions.

Amuro, as far as we've seen, really hasn't been that much worse than Akai (apart from the very recent instance of potentially running a woman over in his car, which I really find hilarious in so many ways, still, and am not convinced was his real intention due to it being pretty braindead). We had Akai nearly torture Calvados by basically handicapping him and forcing him into suicide (something that Akai actually did twice if you count Rikumichi). I don't think Gosho ever intended to make Amuro squeaky-clean just like he never intended for Akai to be squeaky-clean. We've seen Akai shoot people, hurt people, and generally not really care whether his enemies live or die. He's a hero, but definitely not in the same way as Ran was in the cited example, so I would compare Amuro much more to Akai than I would Ran (which makes the thematic elements a lot stronger in a storytelling sense, to me, because it opens up a situation where Amuro can be in the right despite being represented as "the bad guy" with regards to Akai, who may have done something in the past that made him appear to be "the bad guy"--that dichotomy and looming showdown between two people who both try to be good but have done bad is a lot more interesting than than just Amuro=bad, Akai=good).

All in all, we don't really know what Amuro's true objectives are--all we know is that they aren't in accordance with that of the general Organization. We know he's not quite as bad as them, clearly, due to everything he's uncovered that he hasn't shared with any of them and all of the things he's done that point to him being good in a way none of the rest of them are.

Personally, I will be really proud of Gosho if Amuro turns out to be a true villain. I don't see that happening, but it would be really unprecedented for him. He would have spent a lot of time glorifying a villain--something he's never done--and humanizing him to a great extent, so if Amuro--as you suggest--turns out to be a bad guy who is just doing bad things because he's bad, that will be a major departure for Gosho. I don't see it happening, but it would be quite interesting nonetheless. My personal guess is Amuro will seem bad until the last moment and it turns out he's only a good guy who's done some bad for understandable reasons that we can sympathize with, but all of his good will outweigh the bad, etc. What I can pretty assuredly state is that, in all possible likelihood, in the end, we are meant to sympathize with Amuro and not see him as "a bad guy". How that plays out is in Gosho's hand, but all indications point to it going in that exact direction.

(If I could also make a suggestion, I would say that including Amuro's "acts of kindness" would also make it a bit more comprehensive and give a better outlook at the prospects of where the character could go from here.)
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby PhantomWriter » April 20th, 2014, 11:03 pm

k11chi wrote:Well what kind of drama you want exactly? There is pretty much nothing Amuro can give in terms of long lasting "consequences" other than killing off Agasa or something, and as we already know from those dozens of other long running series that kill off people that it's pretty much nothing than a really weak plot device.

Also Conan is smarter than Amuro, Akai is most likely smarter than Amuro and Yusaku is smarter than those 3 together so I wonder if this turns out completely differently.


I want Conan to actually get seriously harmed. I loved when stuff like him getting shot and him hyperventilating in the locker happened. Because there was weight to it. The Black Organization is supposed to be a serious threat and I have a harder and harder time taking them seriously when they're consistently beaten by a teenager. Shuichi makes some sense: he is older, is supposed to be hypercompetent, and James notes that he's the FBI trump card when dealing with the Organization due to his experience with them and his skill set. Conan, it makes little sense. He may have the advantage of nobody expecting him because of his appearance, but that only gets him so far. Early in, he has a natural reaction to dealing with the Organization: they scare him and he knows just how dangerous they are. Now, he's beaten them so much that they're starting to seem like a less serious threat than they should be. For the most part, the wins have been in favor of Conan's side.

Conan is not necessarily smarter than Amuro. In terms of deduction, perhaps, as illustrated by the Red Shirt case (though it may be due to lack of access to the information about the mountain case). But in terms of acting and other skills associated with other forms of intelligence, he's not. He is much more prone to panicking than Amuro and he's much more cocky and complacent than Amuro. Amuro also keeps using psychological ploys that Conan only realizes after the fact, not in the middle of the situation. They are using somewhat different types of intelligence and have different practical and abstract uses.

Again, it depends with Akai and Amuro. We can't say for sure about them because Akai kept the feigned death from people who weren't directly involved in the plan, for damage control. Amuro had no way of knowing about Conan until he'd gotten to the area and seen him in action. He assumed the FBI were involved with the plan, thus why he was trying to use that psychological trickery on them. It would make sense for Shuichi to trust the FBI instead of someone else, after all. Each of the characters are dealing with different types of fields overall. Amuro's whole motif seems to be psychology and tricks related to that, while Conan's is deduction and Shuichi's is practicalities learned from undercover work with the Organization. Those result in different knowledge bases as a whole and different ways they tackle problems.

I'll agree that Yuusaku's smarter than them, though again they have slightly different spheres of operation, but I also argue that he doesn't usually get involved and instead spends his time writing stories.

I also have to agree with Jd- about how Amuro's much more like Akai overall and that Amuro ending up being evil would be interesting due to how humanized he is compared to other Organization members that aren't traitors. Bear in mind that Haibara also has a pretty bad record when it's said and done, refining a poison that usually kills its victims and that poison taken many lives aside from her's, Conan's, and maybe Sera's mystery relative...

Hell, Conan's not clean either. He basically hung KID out to dry during the Mystery Train mess and that nearly got KID killed if it weren't for sheer luck of KID putting his hang glider there and Shuichi detaching the train car to avoid Amuro from doing something to KID. He almost blew KID up during the end of the Midair Walk when KID was driving on the motorcycle and he was still injured due to that. But we're supposed to side with him because he's a main protagonist. Still doesn't make his actions less reprehensible. Yes, KID is annoying, but he's not evil and he doesn't actually harm people aside from knocking them out and stealing their things. He doesn't deserve getting killed for that. Which then gets really messed up when Conan deliberately tries to prevent murderer's suicides, yet leaves KID to be harmed like that.

Meanwhile, we're supposed to side against Sera for thinking "perhaps we should just let the sniper deal with the hostage taker..."

The morality system in this series is really based on what position they are in the story, which is troubling when one thinks about it. Oh, main protagonist? Doesn't matter, it was done with the best of intentions (even though that's what the road to hell is supposed to be paved with; either that or adverbs, depending on who you ask). Ambiguous characters? Depends on their main allegiance they're associated with. If associated with good (Akai), they're justified. If associated with evil (Sera during her time as a Bourbon suspect and possibly Amuro), they're not justified. Outright antagonist? Well, if they do good, it's to avoid problems or because of promises and their word is their bond (Vermouth).
"Data! Data! Data! I cannot make bricks without clay." -Sherlock Holmes
The_evilbit
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby The_evilbit » April 20th, 2014, 11:11 pm

I agree with what has been said about Amuro. He has been humanized so much over this Arc that we as the readers/viewing audience can not truly see him as a pure villain/antagonist at this point unless Gosho has him step on several hundred kittens in the next several files.

I would love for Gosho to do something unexpected with him, in my view he would be a great antagonist for everyone and not just Akai (I say this because he has enough information currently to confirm Conan is a threat worthy of BO intervention, but continues his waltz with Kudo and only has eyes for Akai at the moment). Gosho loves to mirror characters with Gundam references but also pulls from elements of the mystery classics he ties into his manga. Amuro indirectly (At least in the English translations) has already echoed similar sayings as that of Moriarty from the original Holmes novels (Minus the criminal mastermind mentality). Amuro has been set up to be the main antagonist of Akai and I wonder if a similar duel will transpire between them at the climax of this arc?

The biggest let down for me is if Amuro turns out to be another spook from an American or Japanese intelligence organization and turns completely good, or if the main storyline or any of the protagonists after the arc come out unaffected permanently from this ordeal and everything goes back to the status quo for another 7 years... :-\
Chekhov MacGuffin
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby Chekhov MacGuffin » April 20th, 2014, 11:34 pm

Jd- wrote:(If I could also make a suggestion, I would say that including Amuro's "acts of kindness" would also make it a bit more comprehensive and give a better outlook at the prospects of where the character could go from here.)


As a counterpoint, the good things Amuro has done. It is uncertain how Vermouth's promise plays into certain ones of these.
• Helps solve various cases, mostly as an assistant to another detective like Conan or Kogoro, but sometimes solo.
• Rescues Conan from being killed by shooting a hostage taker (Teito bank heist)
• Returns a phone he probably stole in the first place. (Beika Department Store bomb threat)
• Brings the Mouri family sandwiches and gives Kogoro a prime Yoko concert ticket which BO cash probably paid for (Detectives' Nocturne) [Edit's per User 4869]
• Rescues Conan from a hostage taker by crashing his car. (Detectives' Nocturne)
• Leaves a toothpick at Date's grave on his death anniversary (Takagi Kidnapping)
• Doctors Conan after he gets nailed in the head by a tennis racket (Tennis case)
• Rescues Conan and the Detective Boys when they are trapped in a truck (Cat in truck case)

It's a shorter list that I thought it would be. If all the rescuing of Conan (4 times! He's become Conan's personal guardian angel.) turns out to be based on a promise he made with Vermouth, then it becomes much shorter. While case solving counts in his favor, I don't necessarily feel that it is as strong an indicator compared to other chars because I don't feel that he is in it for the justice versus acting his role or personal enjoyment (except for the times where Conan needs rescuing.)



Now that Bourbon is sure that Conan is helping Akai, and that Vermouth is prioritizing protecting Conan above outing Shuuichi and probably not going to help him (removing the incentive to keep her promise), we will see his real feelings for the kid and the Mouris.

I somehow have the feeling that Vermouth could be Amuro's plot reaper...
Last edited by Chekhov MacGuffin on April 21st, 2014, 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kudo Shinchi
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Re: Bourbon / Amuro Tohru's personality, history, and true allegiance

Postby Kudo Shinchi » April 20th, 2014, 11:50 pm

I don't think Gosho ever intended to make Amuro squeaky-clean just like he never intended for Akai to be squeaky-clean. We've seen Akai shoot people, hurt people, and generally not really care whether his enemies live or die. He's a hero, but definitely not in the same way as Ran was in the cited example, so I would compare Amuro much more to Akai than I would Ran (which makes the thematic elements a lot stronger in a storytelling sense, to me, because it opens up a situation where Amuro can be in the right despite being represented as "the bad guy" with regards to Akai, who may have done something in the past that made him appear to be "the bad guy"--that dichotomy and looming showdown between two people who both try to be good but have done bad is a lot more interesting than than just Amuro=bad, Akai=good).


You know, I really like this. A lot. I'm a sucker for this kind of thing in storytelling, and if this is the angle Gosho is going for, I'm good. Makes the Amuro/Akai confrontation more compelling than it already is. I've never really thought too hard about the morality of Akai's actions before, but stepping back and looking at it, he really has done some questionable things, even as an FBI agent. We learned in Clash of Red and Black that his sole motivation for going after the Organization now is just revenge for Akemi, not really any strong sense of justice and the like, so it's interesting.

Amuro gets more and more confusing the more I think about it. Looking at Checkhov's list above, though, and it becomes clear that Amuro hasn't done all that too many good things. It's pretty clear he's only saved Conan so many times because of his promise with Vermouth. Of all those things, I'd probably say the most telling indicator of Amuro's human side is his visiting Date's grave and leaving a toothpick there. That on its own sums up Amuro's compassionate side and keeps me from calling him an outright villain. On the other hand, I can't stop feeling that Amuro's enthusiasm in his quest to hunt down Akai and his reckless actions actions as Scar Akai wipe out any possibility of him being a double agent of any sort and make it clear that he's dangerous.

@PhantomWriter About the KID thing: I never interpreted Conan's actions as hostile in the Midair Walk case, as in it never seemed to me that Conan ignited the fire intentionally. He was skidding out of control on the street, how could he have done that? In the case of MT, I'm pretty sure that Conan knew Akai would be watching over the situation to make sure it went smoothly and so trusted that no harm would befall KID.

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