In Defense of Sodia (Tales of Vesperia)
Warning: There be spoilers ahead!
(Picture source: x)
First of all, let me say that Sodia’s a character I love dearly, despite the hate she gets from the fandom. She’s not a perfect person by any means, and she faces punishment for her faults. She grows, though most of it is off-screen. I’ll elaborate more as I go on, but she definitely doesn’t get the credit she deserves.
Now! To address the points made in the post.
Too diligent: Are you really going to accuse Sodia of being too diligent - without saying Flynn is? Flynn’s well loved by the fandom, yet no one says a word about this trait of his. Why? Because it’s a good thing. You can’t say it’s bad in one character and good in another.
Sodia really wants to do the right thing. Flynn’s really influenced her with that, I think; seeing his determination has helped her want to aspire to his level. So perhaps she’s more head-strong about her job as a knight than others - but if she is, it’s due to Flynn’s influence.
Annoying: Sodia’s annoying, is she? Tell me, is it because of her aforementioned determination to do what is right under any circumstances? Is it because she tries desperately to see the world in black and white, because if a right is not wholly right or a wrong is not wholly wrong, she will feel conflicted about making a decision regarding it? Or is it because she’s attached to Flynn and views him as more than just her superior?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, then you need to explain how those are annoying. Because those just expand her character. Are you annoyed by her because she’s deeper than you make her out to be? Because that’s not a legitimate reason. That’s your own refusal to see her as a fully-developed character.
Obsessed with arresting Yuri: Whoa, there. “Obsessed” is a bit of a strong word for it. She’s intent on making sure Yuri pays up for his crimes. That’s not an obsession. That’s her trying to do what’s right.
We don’t see much of Sodia outside of her scenes with Flynn and Yuri, but I’m willing to bet that off-screen, she’s not chasing after Yuri every moment she gets. (If she was, we’d see a lot more of her.) No, she’s got her brigade to think about, she’s got other orders to fulfill, and she’s got other criminals to take care of.
But when she sees Yuri? Well, she knows he’s a criminal. That’s why she instantly jumps on him. She doesn’t like that Flynn is so easy on Yuri for his crimes. Which leads me to…
Tries to decide what’s best for Flynn on her own: Flynn is hanging out with a criminal. A criminal. To Sodia, who before this had devoutly believed that Flynn was a flawless example of unbiased justice—yeah, it’s going to be a bit of a shock. She can’t make heads or tails of Flynn’s friendship with him.
So what is her immediate reaction? “I need to get Flynn away from him.”
This isn’t because she absolutely loathes Yuri, or anything of the sort. No, it’s because if the Flynn she idolized is tarnished by being buddy-buddy with a criminal, she has no one to look up to. It erases everything she thought she knew about her captain. For Sodia, that’s too much. It would mean that the Flynn who influenced her did so hypocritically.
Let’s say you idolize a celebrity who often speaks out against the corruption of the political system in your country. Now you discover that celebrity is a main proponent of it. It would be pretty heart-breaking, to say the least.
Stabbed Yuri: Yeah, she did stab Yuri. But let’s look at the circumstances of this.
At this point in the game, Flynn still hadn’t relinquished all ties with Yuri—in fact, he was willing to team up with him multiple times in order to further justice. So Sodia’s become a bit desperate. Yuri’s a stain on Flynn’s flawless record. If he can’t be removed, Flynn will never be as perfect as she once saw him to be.
So what does she do the first moment she sees an opportunity to remove Yuri, for good? Well, she reaches for it. Out of instinct. She doesn’t stop to think, she just does it.
Admittedly, this is hypocritical of her. After everything she’s believed in and followed up to this point, to take a page out of Yuri’s book - well, hypocritical is putting it mildly.
But Sodia regrets it. She does. You can tell it from the look on her face immediately after she stabs Yuri. And even if you somehow missed that animation of her shaking her head and backing away, her actions later in the game speak for that as well. While she never outright apologizes to Yuri for it, she almost always becomes quiet around him, and she rarely makes eye contact. She’ll flee his presence whenever possible.
Some people say that this is because she’s a coward. Maybe she is. She’s not perfect, after all. But if she is a coward, she’s also brave; because no coward would stab a man like Yuri Lowell.
She feels guilt for what she did. I wouldn’t be surprised if, towards the end of the game, she turned herself in to Flynn for it.
It’s through her guilt that Sodia learns that Flynn’s association with a man like Yuri does not tarnish the man that he is. In fact, it’s because Flynn is able to be friends with Yuri that makes him such a great proponent of justice. If he wasn’t able to view a situation from multiple viewpoints, he’d be a worse leader than he is.
I think Sodia’s learned that by the end. She’s learned her lesson, so though she never apologizes, I’m sure she wishes that she has the courage to do so.
This defense was submitted by sophiebobophie.