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Is There Ever A Valid Reason For A Character Makeover (Ragnarok Manhwa)?

Monday, April 14, 2014
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, fenris fenrir, iris irine
What is the reason why some of the characters in Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa changed their outfits and looks? Is this a valid or pointless reason?

We first see some of the characters of the graphic novel change their outfits in Volume 8.

This seemed to have come from out of the blue and completely without rhyme or reason because we've already spent about 7 volumes getting used to how these characters look.

We're practically in the middle of the series already (especially considering that the manhwa abruptly ends in volume 10), so, if one or some of them was going to change their look, then it should have happened much earlier. What's wrong and what could possibly be the problem with this change in the getup of some of the characters?
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
First of all, upon initially being introduced to a character, readers start getting to know this person. Readers will begin to get used to the character's outfit, looks, hairstyle, weapons and the like, so much so that, when this person shows up, there is no question or doubt as to his or her identity because it's easy to tell right away who this person is.

However, if things abruptly change and seemingly without reason, then this just comes across as extremely unbelievable. Let's take a look at a good example of a believable character makeover.

card captor sakura, cardcaptor, sakura kinomoto, clamp, anime, manga
We can see this in the anime and manga series called Card Captor Sakura by CLAMP.

In the aforementioned series, we see the main character, Sakura Kinomoto, is pretty much always changing her resident outfit though she does have a few regular staples.

But why is this not a problem? Why is it that people wouldn't and shouldn't mind if Sakura wears a different costume every time she goes off to capture the Clow Cards?

This is because we are given a valid and believable reason as to why she has to wear different costumes all the time. Furthermore, this costume change doesn't happen in the middle of the series. We see this occurring even in the early parts of the show, so we've come to expect that this is how it goes in this particular anime.

Moreover, even though Sakura's outfits constantly change, her look remains the same, ensuring that readers of the manga and viewers of the anime will always recognize her. This is especially so since her hairstyle doesn't really change and she pretty much looks the same as always, only with a different outfit in each episode.

In contrast to that, let's take a look at Iris Irine and Fenris Fenrir who both undergo a complete and total makeover. With regards to these 2, there is such a drastic change not just in their choice of clothing, but even in their hair style that it makes it difficult to recognize these 2 at first. With how they look right now, it almost seems as if they're new characters.

The question now is why? Why is it necessary for these 2 to change their outfit and looks? Why do they have to look different? What was wrong with how they used to look? Did they have to change their outfits because their fight with Bijou and her troll caused much damage to their old clothing?

This is possible since we did see how damaged and torn their clothing were. However, what was wrong with getting those clothes fixed instead or even just buying clothes that were similar to the ones they always wear? Why the need to change the way their clothes look?

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, fenris fenrir
And what about their hair style? Why would there be a need to change that as well?

If you look at it in that way, it's hard to see why there's a need for either of these women to undergo such a drastic makeover.

They were already perfectly recognizable before as readers got to know them and how they looked for the past volumes.

But now, thanks to all these changes, there is a need to get used to these characters all over again.

Could this makeover be just an excuse to give existing characters new clothes and new hairstyles for no clear reason? After all, it's not like their new outfits gave them special powers or something.

Perhaps, if the new clothes were actually special, it would make for a very good reason as to why the 2 ladies had to change their outfits. As it is though, this whole makeover just comes across as completely pointless and useless.

Moreover, even if you can somehow attribute Iris and Fenris' makeover as being due to the fact that their former outfits sustained much damage during their fight with Bijou and her troll (though that wouldn't explain the need to change their hair styles), how can anyone possibly explain Skurai's sudden and unexpected makeover?

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, skurai
Skurai was not part of the fight against Bijou and her troll or even against Sara Irine and Himmelmez.

We never see him get his clothes torn or damaged. In fact, it's more likely that he would be the one to destroy other people's outfits as opposed to getting his own destroyed.

So what's the reason for his makeover? Why the sudden need to change his hairstyle and even his clothing?

At the moment, his new look comes across as more than a bit disconcerting, disturbing and even unappealing.

Simply put, he doesn't seem to look right at all. He looks very strange and odd and weird. If there's no real good reason for him to change his hairstyle and his clothes, then why do that? What's the point of his makeover?

What do you think of the 3 aforementioned characters' makeovers? Do you like their new looks and hairstyles? Do you think there's a good reason why they had to do this or was this just an excuse for the characters to look different and sport new clothing and hair styles?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Rusembell (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Image is meant to symbolize the changes in a character's looks and outfits
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

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