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Submitted on
March 10


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Well the last few pages have definitely opened up a huge amount of commenting and debate in regards to Moyo, Taka, and Sarafina. So I thought I'd put my personal thoughts on the subject in this journal just for funzies.

I'm going to start with Taka's behavior. Yes, Taka did have a point with what he said to Moyo, a point I will talk about a bit later, but Taka's behavior was completely unreasonable. Taka is a Prince of the Pride Lands. He is supposed to represent what the kingdom stands for. After all, your behavior as a child reflects positively or poorly upon the parents that raised you. And if your parents are the King and Queen a Prince should make a point of acting mature and positive to give a positive reflection of the kingdom and the rulers. Ahadi and Uru accepted the East Landers and Moyo into the pride with open arms and grace. And Taka behaving as he is reflects badly upon the rest of the Pride Lands. Had Uru and Ahadi been around, they would have been disgusted with his behavior. Granted, Taka has been manipulated his entire life by the evil Hyena Matriarch, Viccha, but he's allowed himself to be turned into a rude, selfish lion who really cares for no one other than himself. He still has some residual love for his family, but he is a jerk. And I see a lot of arguments that are anti-Moyo that are "Moyo could have run, Moyo could have stopped the murders, if Moyo was really a good guy he would have thought about this stuff before the fact" but no one is equating the same concept to Taka which is "Taka could have changed on his own, and not continued to befriend Viccha and see the error of his ways." I would like to say in this regard, that a lot of you really don't understand the psychology behind characters like Moyo and Taka. Taka, like Moyo, is a weak minded, follower who is easily manipulated to the point that they don't know they are being manipulated, or if they do, as in Moyo's case, they have no understanding of how to get out of the situation. Taka is being manipulated, very similarly to how Moyo was by Kuendesha. The only difference is that Moyo's goodness eventually won out and with the help of the East Lander lionesses he was able to break away and do some good for once. Taka, being significantly emotionally weaker than Moyo, is not able to pull out of it. Every thing that happened in Taka's life really weren't huge problems. He got stuck in the Grave Yard, His brother lied, his parents yelled, his grand father died, his brother was more popular, and the girl he loved turned him down. Those are all problems that every single one of us has faced in some way or another. We have all experienced love, loss, hate, back-stabbing and the works. The only difference is we do not have a manipulative person behind us taking advantage of our pain. But back more to the point. Taka is a jerk. Plain and simple. Yes, he's been made into a jerk, but how he reacted to seeing Sarafina was wrong. She had just escaped a horrible situation, traveled a long distance, and wanted some rest. Taka, being selfish and bitter, just HAD to say something. Just HAD to prove a point. And even if his point is relatively accurate, he didn't say it to be a kind, concerning friend. He said it to hurt her. So I really can't see how anyone is agreeing with Taka's behavior. Even when you are hurt, you do not treat people you supposedly love that way. But, Taka's behavior is what it is because he eventually has to become Scar. I'm just saying, just because he's a lot of people's favorite because Scar as a villain is awesome, Scar as a personality is a very bad character.

Taka's point. The point that Moyo helped kill Sarafina's parents, and how could Sarafina come to love him. This is when we have to dive deep into psychology again. Moyo was abandoned by his biological parents at an age so young that he had no chance of surviving. Kuendesha finds him, saves him, and raises him with Mfuasi and Mnyama. They grow up together like a family. And while these cubs are growing, Kuendesha is feeding them manipulation tactics to turn them into his devoted minions. Kuendesha is very much like Viccha in this sense. He preys on the fact that the cubs are orphans, and need him to survive to manipulate them into following his every order. Moyo, at this point, is like a kidnap victim, or someone brain washed in a cult, going along with his captor because he really doesn't know another way. But, unlike Mnyama and Mfuasi, who do follow Kuendesha blindly, Moyo voices his worry about harming the other pride. He is shot down, and like the emotionally manipulated and abused minion he is he shuts up about it. They take over the Pride, Moyo doesn't take place in the killing, and from that point afterward guilt starts to spread through him. Keeping in mind that Moyo is basically an abused, brain washed minion of Kuendesha, it's amazing that he came to feel guilt at all. So he starts with a very basic act, leaving food. And when Sarafina finds him out Moyo finally has an outlet to change. An outlet that had never been known before. And from that point on, with a purpose of his own, and lionesses who help him to realize his real goodness, Moyo breaks away and helps save the East Land Pride. Moyo didn't break away before for a few reasons. One, he thought that Kuendesha and the others would kill him, or hunt him down and then kill him if he left. Two, he probably wouldn't have survived on his own. And three, he has no idea what life is like outside of the manipulative bubble Kuendesha kept him in. So those who said that he could have left, could have stopped it, could have said no really don't understand the psychology behind the type of behavior being exhibited. In fact, I would say in regards to Moyo and Mfuasi, Moyo is far more good. Mfuasi only didn't turn Akina and Zira in because he is against the murder of cubs. Had Akina and Zira not existed, Mfuasi would have never seen the light, and would have kept going on with Kuendesha and Mnyama. Moyo is the only male in that group of three that actually felt guilt from the beginning. And he changed. The Moyo that broke away and became his own lion is the lion that Sarafina loves. She looked past the entity he was under Kuendesha's dictatorship and fell in love with the lion that broke free. Because Post Kuendesha Moyo is a much different lion considering he was never allowed to explore who he was before he rebelled. This sort of thing happens all the times with cults and dictators. Despite the fact that the man in charge is a fucked up cookie, the masses follow and very few break free or rebel. Moyo was one of the few that did. I also think that Taka has no room to talk about Moyo being a killer when Taka goes on to throw his brother off a cliff then plunges the Pride Lands into a holocaust type situation..

Moyo's behavior towards Taka. Yes, he might have a twinge of jealousy, most people have a secret twinge of dislike when they meet an ex of their significant other, and even more so when they meet someone who is still interested in their significant other, even if their significant other was never interested in that person. Because it means that someone else is pursuing your lady/man and no one likes that. Moyo trusts Sarafina, it's Taka, especially given his attitude, that he has trouble trusting after Sarafina divulged that information. But the jealousy is only slight. It's mostly just the unpleasant information straw that broke the Taka's-a-jerk-camels back. Moyo was very pleasant when Sarafina introduced Moyo to Taka. And Taka turned into an ass. Granted, Taka's jealous and hurt, but still, Taka's behavior was rash and unreasonable. So Moyo's current grumpy mood is mostly towards Taka's over all behavior, not towards Taka having feelings for Sarafina.

Sarafina… What to say about Sarafina. Well, I guess the major thing is that you can't force love. I've seen a few comments about Sarafina that damn her for not having fallen in love with Taka because "He was there through out most of her life and she only knew Moyo for a few weeks." It's true, Taka was there for her as she grew up, and they were very close friends. But Sarafina did not love Taka. She say him as a good friend, and an older brother, but she did not love him. And by the time Taka confessed his love, if she had not already loved him, there was no way she was going to love him. You can't force love. If she had feelings for him, they would have shown already. But there was nothing. The fact that she fell in love with Moyo in such a short time even after the part he took in the plot to take the East Lands is down, simple, to sparks. You need to feel attraction, sparks, that feeling that hits when you know you are very attracted to someone and this person is someone you could love. As stated above, she fell in love with the Moyo that escaped from Kuendesha's manipulation. The Moyo that grew from a brain-washed follower into a strong lion who helped them all escape and kept them safe. So I really have no beef with Sarafina in this regards. I think she might have rushed it with Moyo, but given more time the result would have been the same. She never loved Taka, she never will. And you can't force love. 

Just my thoughts! I'm sure there are plenty of grammatical errors in there that I'm too lazy to find. I wrote this very quickly, sort of like brain-vomit. 

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AutumnsWolves Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
I think you explained this all pretty well.  On the topic of Moyo aiding the murderer of Sarafina's old comrades, I think it is pretty unfair for people to consider Moyo past the point of no return after that event, especially since he wasn't the ringleader behind their deaths, so to speak.  Moyo expressed doubts about his leader's actions from the beginning.  If he hadn't left food and helped with the escape, Sarafina and the others would have been far worse off, or even died/still been trapped.  Sarafina cares for Moyo because she sees that he is a good person and has forgiven him for everything that happened.  Moyo is now far more likely to stand up for Sarafina and the right thing in general, while Taka is steadily becoming the direct opposite.  Taka could learn a thing or two from the love and forgiveness Moyo and Sarafina portray.  Why would someone criticize Moyo for every little thing he's done and yet ignore all of Taka's actions?(ones that often involve direct murder, in contrast to Moyo's simply being a subordinate of a tyrant(that helped the victims escape))  If I were Sarafina, regardless of any romantic feelings or a lack thereof, I would have been grateful for Moyo's help, seen that he had turned from his wrong filled past, and forgiven him.  I am not generally one that wastes time with grudges that don't need to be held anymore.  I find that people have much less incentive to become better if people aren't willing to forgive them and accept their friendship/help.  If anyone still hates Moyo for his past, would you want people to hate you for every tiny thing you've done wrong?  Believe it or not, even for a relatively good person, hurting others isn't as uncommon as one would think, and people often hurt others without realizing it.

On the note of Sarafina not falling for Taka, hating Sarafina for this comes off a little like people hating that their favorite ship didn't happen in the comic.  I don't mind Taka x Sarafina in the right context, but I don't see any reason to dislike Moyo x Sarafina in this story.  Sarafina did nothing wrong when she rejected Taka because entering into a romantic relationship with fake feelings would just be more harmful in the long run.  Taka didn't respond maturely to Sarafina's rejection at all.  The fact that he turned so dangerous over a few life events that many of us have to go through without turning into murderers is pretty sad.  I understand that people respond to things differently, but I doubt anyone in Sarafina's place would actually think that was a good excuse on Taka's part.  

I will contrast Taka with a scenario from my own life:  Not long after I started college, a guy from one of my classes asked to sit with me at lunch.  I didn't know he had any actual interest in me at the time(I'm kinda dense like that), I had just decided at that point that if someone asked to sit with me I'd let them because that seemed to be the easiest way to make friends.  So, we gradually started hanging out more and more often at mealtimes and when it came to working on projects.  Eventually, when it was almost half way through the semester he told me he liked me.  He said it was ok if I didn't feel the same way, he just wanted to get those feelings off his chest.  He even said that as long as we could still be friends at least he'd be alright.  I knew I had to be honest and say that I didn't feel the same way, knowing someone for only half a semester isn't that long to me at all, for starters.  I wasn't interested in romantic relationships at all at that point either.  I could tell he was sad(later he even admitted that he had gone back to his dorm, pacing and thinking he had made a terrible mistake in telling me because he thought I may not want to hang out with him anymore), but he was still very respectful of my feelings and decision and regardless of the fact that I didn't return his feelings at that point, I greatly respected him for the way he handled the situation.  A semester or two after that, I started to like him back, and we plan on dating eventually if things continue to go well for us(we're waiting because we want to know each other better as friends first and to let my parents get to know him better and become comfortable with our relationship) But, even if I hadn't ever returned his feelings, I really value the kind of person that can respond to this kind of situation maturely, and it shows that the person really cares about you when they can respect your decision like that and, rather than avoid you, still be there for you and still consider you a friend(doesn't mean they should feel forced to be around you all the time, I know dealing with rejection is very hard)  Not only did I really come to like this guy, but with the way he handled the situation, I had the reassurance that he was worth liking.

This was his first time confessing these kind of feelings to anyone, and this was the first time anyone had ever confessed to me.  If the guy that likes me had reacted like Taka had, however, I would have probably still wanted to regard him as a friend, but I would have been VERY glad that I had turned him down in terms of romance.  So, the fact that this is the first time Taka had to deal with this isn't an excuse.  I know it's his personality, but that isn't a justification.  That just means he has negative character traits he needs to overcome, just like we all do.

I hope this made sense, I'm kind of tired and this was both long and very rushed, which makes me ramble a lot.
Darkmoony93 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you!
PerpetualTwilight21 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
Thank you for writing this.  Funnily enough, I had initially thought much the same before reading so many other comments on your comics ( I always read a lot of them...they can be quite informative and entertaining ).  All the negativity towards Moyo for the same reasons made me think that maybe I was going too easy on him.

I still don't know how I feel about him, but given his background and personality, his actions in your comic all make sense.  I am willing to give him a chance. :) 
weasel-girl Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for explaining in more detail! :)
I was going to say something else about Moyo on the other page, but I forgot about it until now.
I don't think Moyo was extremely jealous of Taka like many people were saying.  First impressions are everything and Taka made a very bad impression on Moyo by being rude and hurtful towards the lioness that he loves.  If I was Moyo and I met someone who acted exactly like how Taka acted, I wouldn't like that person either.
Winterstream Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
everything you've written here ;)
Aquila7708 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
Here are my two cents, yes Taka is being manipulated from what seems to be the hyena version of Fidel Castro. Yes, he has acted immature, and his problems with his own life are simplistic. His grandfather died, and there was no one there to comfort him, yet I remember seeing a panel of him nuzzled up with his mother. He could have easily gone to Kweli and Hazina for some comfort seeing as he liked to spend time with them. The pride did not shun him, he shun the pride. On the subject of Sarafina...yeah, I can see things through his pov. Granted that we have all been there at a point in our lives. Still no excuse to act like that, he could have remained silent, keep his anger cobbled up, not even give out a hello.
Shippuden23 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014

Yeah, this sums it up pretty nicely.

corruptangel315 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014
You make some very good points, any I have to admit, the relationship is easier for me to understand after reading this. I still don't feel it's right, though. Not completely, anyway. After all, the fact still remains... whether Moyo ever actually agreed with his "family's" cruel actions or not, he is still an accessory to murder; and not just any murder... but the murder of his own mate's parents. For that reason, I just can't fully understand how they can both just so easily forget about that and love each other "normally". Especially Sarafina; if I was her, I wouldn't feel right at all about loving the guy who was an accomplice (unwilling or not) to my parents' murder, and I certainly wouldn't want to bare his child. It just baffles me that she doesn't feel just a bit... strange about all this. :S

Another thing I can't seem to understand is how Moyo was able to get away with not actively participate in the murders. I can't imagine that Kuendesha was simply alright with Moyo just "standing on the sidelines", as I just wouldn't think it would be in Kuendesha's character... he always seemed like the kind of guy who would take Moyo's lack of murderous participation as insubordination and lack of loyalty. Not to mention a show of weakness, and I can't imagine he'd stand for that. So it was always to my understanding that Moyo did get in on the killings, whether he truly wanted to or not, if only to appease his "master" Kuendesha. Now that you've definitely stated that Moyo, in fact, did not physically participate in the actual murders, though, I'm just curious as to how and why he was able to do so (again, for the reasons I stated), if you don't mind explaining. ^^
albinoraven666fanart Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I explained the Sarafina Moyo thing, so I'm not going to go into detail about that. If that explanation isn't enough, I'm not sure what else to say. -shrug-

Kuendesha wanted to kill the males so he was officially king. If the murder was shared, so was the glory. After all, Mnyama was the one who brought out Dumaka's body, but I always imagined Kuendesha as the killer with the other males there as backup. 
corruptangel315 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
I know you explained it already; I wasn't asking for another explanation on that. I was simply stating that, regardless of you explaining it, I still can't fully understand it. Granted, I can somewhat understand it, especially after reading your thoughts on the matter, but not completely. Whether or not "the liberated Moyo" is the lion she loves, and not the weak-filled follower Moyo he was before, the fact still remains: he was an accomplice to her parents' murder, and if I was her, I know I wouldn't be able to simply get over something like that so easily. Moyo would just be a constant reminder. :shrug:

Ah, I see. That makes sense then. Thanks for explaining that. 

BTW, don't get me wrong, I still love the comic! ^^ And I hope you don't think I'm criticizing you... I just can't fully wrap my head around everything, no matter what is explained, but that's more my own fault, and not your own. ^^;
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