More Buso Renkin. Yay! Spoilers all up in your grill after the jump.
Okay, so before the series even starts (I’d guess seven or eight years earlier), a school is the site of a massacre by a homunculus disguised as a student. Captain Bravo, the mentor of protagonist Kazuki, and his team respond, but are too late. The only survivor is a little girl, whom we know as Tokiko. Bravo and crew manage to capture the homunculus, and bring it back to their base (smart, right?). The homunculus manages to escape its jail cell and then it hunts down Tokiko, who winds up killing it with the kakugane, the special alchemic weapon she was supposed to be using to heal faster. Tokiko gets a scar on her face and becomes determined to be an alchemist warrior.
Now from my description, you’d probably think that Tokiko is the most affected by these events. And she is, by and large. The school massacre is her main motivation for being a warrior, for she strives to protect people from similar fates. So while it does empower her, it also hinders her. She does not trust anyone for fear that they are her enemy. I’ve been trying to figure out whether she has Post Tramautic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and I think she does have some of the symptoms. She does have flashbacks to the massacre and she constantly feels on edge. But I attribute her “on edge” feeling more to being a warrior than PTSD. So I’m not sure she actually has PTSD, although it would make sense. However, by the end of the series Tokiko seemingly has gotten over a large number of these symptoms by spending time with Kazuki. And while I’m not an expert, I don’t think PTSD disappears overnight because of a single person like that.
Captain Bravo, on the other hand, definitely does. I don’t know if he has flashbacks, but he does feel extreme guilt. He’s so guilty that he no longer goes by his real name; he adopted the name Captain Bravo because he no longer felt worthy of his old name after allowing the massacre. And he has an obsession with protecting others, more specifically children, since his failure. This extreme guilt I believe shows that Bravo has PTSD.
I don’t know, I think it’s somewhat strange that PTSD is more apparent in someone who was more of an observer than someone who was actually the victim. It is possible that age had something to do with it; Tokiko was only six or seven when she and her classmates were attacked. Bravo was fourteen or fifteen, and that might have been enough to make a difference.
What do you guys think? I have no personal experience with PTSD, so I wouldn’t consider myself an expert. I understand that PTSD manifests itself differently in different people, but do Tokiko and Bravo exhibit PTSD symptoms in your opinion? Let me know in the comments!