Apparently I'm unable to cut and paste properly, so for the DVD commentary ask, I humbly request the last scene of Chapter 9 in A Fox out a Forest.
o ! the last chapter is one scene, so I’ll just Ramble About The Whole Thing!
you know the first but where Ryuji was like ‘we’ll meet here. Wait I should look up the temple. war shrine? Uhhhhh last second meeting point swap’ that’s literally what I did while writing it. I was looking up shrines in Tokyo, went like ‘this looks good’, wrote the scene, then thought: ‘wait, war shrine? Also I want something more isolated.’ Art imitates life. Because I made it that way. I also wanted to show certain ways Ryuji would overthink stuff! Sure, he’s guns-blazing zero impulse control, but he can get fixated on some stuff. The kind of stuff Yusuke would probably spare no second thought for, tbh! Because stuff like ‘atmosphere’ and ‘implications of shrine choice’ would’ve factored into his original considerations. I remember when I asked sine to beta she said she liked how ryuji managed to make one part of his plan work at the cost of forgetting to plan for anything else. I think that’s Very Ryuji.
The reason different ideas of ‘selfishness’ feature so heavily in this scene is because I think Yusuke has an interesting relationship with ‘selfishness’. he’s a character that grew up in this engineered form of poverty as a result of madarame’s efforts to maintain his image; you can see it in his relationship with material possessions and money management. The way he treats money and material possessions is, I’d argue, not /just/ a personality thing related to him being an artist - it’s exacerbated by the perception (and now reality) of financial instability. Then, when you go further and consider what madarame would or wouldn’t have readily provided, as well as the values imparted on him, you get something like ‘no matter how little you have, art and anything related to art must be prioritized for the sake of making more art and furthering artistic development’. hecked up considering Madarame actually had money to “splurge” on art stuff. Also I just have to point out re: Yusuke’s relationship w material objects, he gives protag the most presents out of all the s.links. BUT THAT ASIDE, in this circumstance, something that *could* be construed as ‘material selfishness’ - Yusuke’s unyielding compulsion to obtain art-related stuff - is internalized as an artistic virtue. He doesn’t want it for himself, he wants it for art (which, you could argue is an extension of himself and therefore something he wants *for* himself, but imo during the course of the game he would disagree).
THIS IS GETTING LONG BUT BEAR WITH ME, with this background, emotional support and reciprocal affection is something Yusuke might consider ‘selfish’ because it’s something he’d conceptualize as ‘pure self-interest’. With this mindset, emotional reciprocity serves no ‘purpose’ compared to art supplies or references, it’s something he wants purely for himself (& imo this extends to giving emotional support as well - wanting to be relied on would still be considered a ‘want’). I really wanted to emphasize that what kind of makes this relationship work is that Ryuji normalizes emotional support in an undramatic fashion, which makes Yusuke comfortable enough to both want it & reciprocate it, which sets off this positive feedback loop of ‘hey I want to be good for this guy’ for both of them. Alright this got long, thanks for attending another round of ‘stella meticulously conspiracy-boards extrapolation of characterization’