[identity profile] crazedninja.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] ship_manifesto
Title: The King and Queen of Beauty
Fandom: Disgaea
Author: Sam ([livejournal.com profile] crazedninja)
Words: 2250
Pairing: Vyers x Etna
Spoilers: A good chunk of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, including Etna Mode from the PSP version. Also: Minor spoilers from Disgaea 2 and the anime series.

Introduction
I've loved this pairing from the moment I started to really get into the Disgaea fandom. It's my OTP, and it makes me sad how little support it gets. To me it seems like such an obvious pairing, yet I've literally only met one other person who supports it. I have seen no fanfiction, no fanart, nothing other than my own works. Hopefully, this essay will change that.
Please note that I am not trying to force this pairing on anyone, I am only trying to raise awareness of it.

What is Disgaea?

Disgaea is a series of Strategy RPGs, created by Nippon Ichi Software. From what I understand, it's quite popular in Japan, but has achieved little mainstream success internationally, and is widely considered to be a cult series. Currently, the series consists of two games on the PlayStation 2, and a third one on the PlayStation 3, which is currently in Japan only. There is also a port of the first game on the PlayStation Portable. The first game in the series, Hour of Darkness, pretty much defines the series, as that's where the bulk of its story comes from. The plot of the first game revolves around Laharl, the Prince of the Netherworld, who had been asleep for two years before the start of the game. When he wakes up, he finds out that his father, King Krichevskoy, has died. Upon hearing this news, Laharl immediately sets out to claim the throne for himself. But I won't go any further into the story than that, since Laharl has very little to do with this essay.

Dark Adonis Vyers/King Krichevskoy

Vyers is actually King Krichevskoy, the supposedly deceased father of Prince Laharl, in disguise. After fending off an invasion from an alternate Netherworld, Krichevskoy died from his battle wounds. After his death, he was resurrected by Lamington, the Angelic Seraph, for assistance in a plan to unite Celestia (Disgaea's equivelant to Heaven) and the Netherworld. Krichevskoy, also a firm believer in equality between angels and demons, returned to the Netherworld, disguised as an aristocrat by the name of Vyers, to watch over Laharl and help Lamington with his plan.
Vyers has a passion for strength and beauty, and acts very eccentric and narcissistic, but it is just that: An act. He is serious when it is necessary for him to be, and is in truth, a very kind and emotional man. He challenges Laharl many times throughout the first game of the series, claiming himself to be Laharl's rival, but he is really only making sure that Laharl is strong enough to overcome the tasks that lie ahead of him.
Vyers also appears as an optional boss in Disgaea 2, though he is only referred to as "Mid-Boss," a nickname given to him by Laharl in the first game.

Beauty Queen Etna

Etna was once a commoner, working in the Overlord's Castle. She was looked down upon by the nobles, until King Krichevskoy took her under his wing. Since then, she has been very loyal to Krichevskoy.
Etna is a very violent woman, and is prone to outbursts over very minor things. (Example: In Disgaea 2, she punches one of her vassals into space because she was called flat-chested.) She has a sharp tongue as well, often making subtle jabs at people whenever she sees the chance. But, when it comes to things she cares deeply about, she tends to be much calmer and more rational, and even sneaky if she needs to be.
Etna joins the player's party in both Disgaea games, though in Disgaea 2, she first appears as a very difficult boss, whom the player must lose to in order to advance the story. (should the player defeat her, the game ends.)
In the PSP port of the first game, a bonus what-if story where Etna kills Laharl and sets out to claim the throne in his place, can be unlocked.

The Beginning
When Etna was a commoner, her only friend was her pet dog. One day, the nobles killed her dog because he had tried to break into the food storage. Etna was heartbroken, and that was when Krichevskoy himself reached his hand out to her. He helped her bury her dog, and explained his ideals to her. His concern over the discrimination between angels and demons, as well as nobles and commoners. Etna found these ideals strange at first, but soon developed a great respect for Krichevskoy, and became very devoted to him.
Soon, a human woman came to the Netherworld, whom Krichevskoy quickly fell in love with. Etna soon grew to despise this woman, envious of the attention that she received from Krichevskoy. Eventually, Krichevskoy married this woman, and as a result, Laharl was born. However, only a few years later, Laharl contracted a rare illness, and the queen sacrificed her life to cure him. Etna's feelings of hatred toward the queen began to fade after that.

The Promise
One day, over a thousand years after the queen's death, Krichevskoy called Etna into his room to speak privately with her. He expressed concerns over what would become of the Netherworld if he were to be defeated by another demon. And so he requested that Etna promise to raise Laharl to be a great Overlord should anything happen to Krichevskoy.
Surely enough, demons from an alternate Netherworld invaded soon after that day. Krichevskoy successfully stopped the invasion by sealing away Baal, the Lord of Terror, but was gravely injured in the process. Etna tried to sacrifice her life to save Krichevskoy, just as the queen had done for Laharl over a millennium ago, but Krichevskoy refused to let her.

After Krichevskoy's Death
Even after Krichevskoy's supposed death, Etna's devotion to him remained. Shortly after the incident, Etna's memories were stolen by Maderas, a former noble who had been banished from the castle long ago. Even with her memories stolen, thinking about Krichevskoy caused Etna's heart to ache. She asserts that Krichevskoy was vastly superior to Laharl as both an Overlord and a person overall. In the PSP version's Etna Mode, she even goes as far as to say that if Laharl were anything like his father, she wouldn't have killed him. After she recovers her memories, she regrets breaking her promise to Krichevskoy and worries about what he would think of her now if he were alive, despite knowing that it was totally out of her control. In Etna Mode, she even breaks down into tears upon recovering her memories.

The Clues
Aside from their direct interaction in the storyline, there are several other hints toward this pairing throughout the games. Whether they're intentional or unintentional on NIS' part, they're there. Here are just a few of the hints.
-The contents of Etna's diary in the first game make it quite obvious that she was attracted to Krichevskoy.
-Etna seems to act a bit more like Vyers in Disgaea 2. The similarities are subtle, but they're definitely there. Particularly her title of Beauty Queen (which is eerily similar to Beauty Baron, Vyers' title in the Japanese version) and her quote after defeating the player's party at the end of the third chapter, "That wasn't even a warm-up. That was just to show you how strong and beautiful I am." as well as her making up excuses for her shortcomings, much like Vyers does whenever Laharl defeats him. (though, to be fair, Etna's excuses are a lot more believable than Vyers'.) We can assume by this personality change that Etna may have gotten closer to Vyers between the two games, and subsequently picked up bits and pieces of his personality.
-In Etna Mode, after Vyers saves Etna from Maderas, Flonne, an angel from Celestia who is obsessed with love, suggests that Vyers' actions were because of love. While Flonne pretty much associates anything and everything with love, such a sudden exclamation could easily be taken as foreshadowing.
-While the anime series based on the game most likely isn't canon to the series, it does feature a very interesting episode. The episode where Etna gets her memories back from Maderas. In this episode, Maderas claims that the memories he stole were of "Etna's unrequited love." This pretty much confirms my first point, (that Etna was attracted to Krichevskoy) but that's not all. At the end of the episode, when these memories are released in the form of a gaseous cloud, Vyers is seen huffing this gas and crying tears of joy, saying things such as "These are the memories that make me cry!" and "That's amazing!" Not only does this make it 99% certain that Etna was attracted to Krichevskoy, but it also makes it very possible that he has feelings for Etna as well. But again, the anime probably isn't canon, so this is simply speculation, but it is something to think about.

Why would they make a good pairing?

Because it's extremely adorable, heartwarming, sexy, and believable all at once, and because it makes more canon sense than many other pairings in Disgaea, while at the same time being a very flexible pairing, easily applicable to all sorts of kinks, such as BDSM (taking Etna's violent nature and Vyers' knack for getting hurt, or Vyers' status and Etna's loyalty, into account) or ageplay, (considering the large gap between their physical ages) and due to their dynamic personalities, either one of them could "wear the pants" in a relationship, or just be equal partners.

But what about...
While I only know one other person who supports this pairing, I haven't heard of anyone explicitly AGAINST it either. But I can think of a few reasons why people would object to it, and a counter-argument for each one.
"Etna's a child, and Vyers is old enough to be her father! That's gross and creepy!"
It isn't uncommon for a man of king-like status, such as Vyers, to feel isolated from others at his age, and seek younger women instead. While I do admit that someone as young as Etna might have been a stretch, seeing how she REALLY looked like a child when Krichevskoy first took her in, the issue here isn't the age gap between them. It's whether or not he wanted her.
And it's obvious that, in one way or another, he did. He took her under his wing when all the other nobles shunned her. Whether it was because of his kind and caring nature, a physical or romantic attraction, or just plain pity, there had to have been SOME reason why he chose her specifically to serve directly under him. And whatever the reason, as Etna grew, so did Krichevskoy's feelings.
Lastly, as if the age argument even matters at this point, I don't think Etna is quite as young as she looks. Many people assume that 100 years for the demons in Disgaea is equivelant to one year for humans, which would make Etna's present age equivelant to 14 going on 15. However, this would make her a toddler in the flashbacks of her and Krichevskoy, which she clearly isn't. A young child, yes, but definitely not a toddler. So, for all we know, she could presently be a young adult by demon standards. It would certainly explain why she's so sensitive about her figure.
"Just because the queen is dead, it doesn't mean Vyers can't still be with her instead of Etna! Look at the good ending!"
I'm quite positive the queen is long gone. She was reincarnated in the middle of the first game. Just because Vyers disappeared with the queen's spirit in the ending, it doesn't mean he became a spirit too, nor that he was reincarnated with her. Vyers is still alive and kicking in Disgaea 2. I'm pretty sure he was only accompanying the queen's spirit during her departure, as a last farewell.
"But the only way Vyers and Etna could get together is if Vyers reveals himself as Krichevskoy. That will never happen!"
Never say never, my friend. Krichevskoy has already trusted Etna with information he hid from the public on two other occasions. The first being that he wanted Etna to raise Laharl in his place if he died. That was a promise between the two of them only. The second was that the real cause of his death was his battle with Baal. It was publically reported that he died from choking on a pretzel. No matter what the reason, the fact remains that he didn't want the real information of his demise to be known too widely. He trusted Etna with both of these secrets, so one more isn't out of the realm of possibility.

Closing Statement
I say again, I am sad at how few people realize the possibilities of this pairing. I do admit, nearly all of my evidence is conjecture, but there isn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind that the pairing is very possible. In fact, I for one believe it is more feasible than VyersxLamington or LaharlxEtna, which seem to be the most popular pairings involving Vyers and Etna respectively.

Fanart, Fanfiction, The Works
As said at the beginning of this essay, there is virtually no fanart or fanfiction about this pairing. My own works are all I know of. I am sorry if this seems like an advertisement, but I find it necessary to include in this essay.
Fanfiction: The Return of the King (Rated NC-17)
Fanart: A Very Disgaea Christmas, Ye Olde Shipping Meme

Date: 2008-02-08 07:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lil-bunnyrabbit.livejournal.com
*standing ovation* I really really liked this manifesto, it points out so many true points and factors about them that I saw too. For me (though I'm an Etna/Vyers shipper) I think it's blatantly obvious that Etna deeply loved Krichevskoy (the biggest evidence was that she hated his mate). XD But some might not see it as quickly. I didn't really notice that she acted like him in D2, but now that you point it out its painfully obvious and lol-worthy. <3 I love it!

Date: 2008-04-02 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scribblex2.livejournal.com
Omg, I want to start shipping VyersxEtna now. :D I love both characters (especially Vyers, wooo), and the dynamics between Etna and Krichevskoy are really interesting. You really have an eye for detail when you noted all this stuff. Awesome job!

Here are your internets, good sir, use them wisely.

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