Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water | Wasted Plotential
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Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water | Wasted Plotential

September 14, 2019


Hello and welcome to Wasted Plotential, the
show where we discuss the wasted potential of our favourite plotlines. To avoid bogging down the upcoming A Line
Through Time episode on the franchise, this video will be where I focus on a particularly
uncomfortable subject from Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water. This topic surrounds the parentage
of one of the game’s protagonists, Miu Hinasaki. Her mother is Miku Hinasaki, the main protagonist
of the first game and a supporting character in the third. So, let’s quickly summarise
her previous appearances first. In the first Zero/Project Zero/Fatal Frame,
Mafuyu Hinasaki goes missing in the haunted Himuro Mansion while searching for his missing
mentor. Since their mother had committed suicide a couple years previous, Mafuyu is now the
guardian of his seventeen year old younger sister, Miku, and the two are very close.
Like Claire Redfield before her, Miku heads into the mansion to find her brother herself.
It turns out that the Rope Shrine Maiden, Kirie, who was to take part in a ritual to
keep the souls of the dead at bay, refused to do so following the murder of her lover.
Mafuyu resembles this young man and Kirie has thus taken him as a replacement. Miku
defeats her, but Mafuyu chooses to stay behind with Kirie as a spirit to keep her company
as she works to subdue the darkness. Two years later, in Fatal Frame III: The Tormented,
Miku is now the assistant and housemate of new protagonist, Rei Kurosawa. Those who are
tormented by the death of a loved one are drawn into the Manor of Sleep in their dreams,
which gives them the tattooed curse that will kill them within two months. This includes
Miku, who lost Mafuyu, Rei, whose fiance was killed in a car crash, and even Mio Amakura
from the second game, who lost her twin sister. Miku’s regret over surviving leads to her
following the vision of Mafuyu in the manor, leaving her trapped in an endless dream until
Rei is able to resolve the issue by helping the Tattooed Priestess find peace. This was reportedly intended as the conclusion
to the story of the three leads as Mio meets the other two protagonists, and their supernatural
torment is concluded. But the team behind the fifth game, almost a decade later, felt
the need to continue the story by bringing Miku back. Miu is searching for her mother,
who disappeared when she was three. Now, twenty years since the death of her uncle, Miu finds
her mother and discovers how she came to be. It turns out that, during her coma in FF3,
Miku had an encounter with Mafuyu’s spirit. A sexual encounter. And got pregnant. With her brother’s incest ghost baby. Producing a “Yomi Ko” child significantly
reduces one’s lifespan. As such, three years later, sensing the end approaching, she straight-up
abandoned her daughter to go and take part in the Yuukon ritual – an event in which a
living person is married to a dead person – so that she could be with her brother again.
Why exactly the ghosts would bother performing the ritual for her, or even how she found
out about it in the first place, I’m not entirely sure. Now, let it be noted that I don’t have a problem
with incest being used as a plot device entirely. I can’t really think of any subject that should
be completely off-limits in storytelling, as long as its handled well. However, I do
take issue with its use here. See, the game never specifies when exactly Miku started
to develop romantic feelings towards Mafuyu. They don’t say that it started after his death,
or after the finality of his death really sank in after III. As such, we’re left to
assume that she always felt this way towards him. All throughout her appearances in the
first and third games, Miku wasn’t searching for her brother and mourning his death simply
because he’s her brother and she has no one else. No, it’s because she wanted to fuck
him. Those previous stories are now tainted by this revelation. Any subsequent viewings
of those two stories are done with the knowledge of Miku’s true intentions in the back of the
viewer’s mind. It also makes it hard to root for her, knowing that she will abandon her
three-year-old daughter because she didn’t get quite enough of her brother’s dick last
time. It might not have been quite as bad, had they
made it clear that her feelings developed after the third game; or better, made it clear
that she didn’t have such feelings and only took part in the wedding as a formality to
see her dead brother again. But what really makes this revelation as atrocious
as it is, is that I don’t think it was done because the writers felt this was the natural
progression for this character’s story. Rather, I think it was done for much more cynical
reasons. In between the third and fifth games, the
little sister who wants to fuck her own brother trope was popularised in Oreimo, and then
given a bit of a recent boost in Sword Art Online (though ironically, SAO handles it
a little better than most, and when Reki Kawahara of all people handles a subject better than
you do, it’s time to re-evaluated your fucking life). I cannot see the decision to take the
story in this direction as anything other than a shallow marketing decision to appeal
to the siscon crowd. But let’s just assume for a second that the
writers simply wanted to explore the Yuukon ritual and Yomi Ko with a playable character
from a previous instalment, and Miku seemed like the logical choice to them, for reasons
that only make sense if you happen to be from the moon. Or maybe they just wanted to use
the hero of the first game – their Chris Redfield/Harry Mason – and this was the best way they could
think to include her. Somehow. A character from IV would no doubt have been a better
choice, perhaps leaving I-III as their own story, and letting IV onwards be a new one.
But I have an even better choice than that – a character for whom this scenario honestly
seems like it was written specifically, before they replaced her with the much more recognisable
Miku – Rei Kurosawa. Miku met Rei through her brother’s friend,
Yuu Asou, who was Rei’s fiance. Fiance – as in, the person she was going to marry, before
he was killed in a car crash. Doesn’t the idea of a living person marrying a dead person
feel like it was written with Rei and Yuu in mind, rather than a brother and sister?
V’s main heroine, Yuri, lives with Hisoka Kurosawa, an alleged relative of Rei’s, who
lives near the mountain where the ritual is performed. Imagine that Rei tells Hisoka about
her experiences in the third game, since both have an interest in the paranormal. The subject
of people being separated by death leads to Hisoka telling Rei about the Yuukon ritual.
Rei then travels to the region, under the pretence of visiting her relative, with the
ulterior motive to take part in one of these rituals so that she and Yuu could do what
they had promised to do before his death, intending to get some closure on that chapter
of their lives, so that Yuu can rest in peace and Rei can move on with her life. Naturally,
they consummate the marriage that night. Unbeknownst to them, however, a male spirit’s sperm can
actually impregnate a living woman, resulting in their daughter, who we’ll just call Miu
for the sake of simplicity. Rei then raises this Yomi Ko as a single mother.
She either never speaks about the father, or pretends she got pregnant the day before
Yuu’s death, but it only showed late. Miu doesn’t learn the truth until Rei disappears
when her daughter comes of age. Imagine it’s some kind of price to pay for having been
given the chance to bond with the dead and have a child. The mountain calls her back
and compels her to head towards the shoreline so she can eb reunited with Yuu in the afterlife.
Miu goes after her, eventually having the opportunity to save her before she is spirited
away, just as in the actual game. Only, you know, don’t have the ending be tied into whether
or not the player took a picture of Miu’s mother before approaching her, because that
has to be the most needlessly obscure method to get a different ending I’ve ever heard
of. Sometimes, all it takes to improve a story
in a big way is to replace one or two characters, so that the events fit it in better with the
established personalities and storylines of the characters involved. By swapping Miku
and Mafuyu for Rei and Yuu, for instance, you avoid the utterly damaging incest angle,
and get what feels like a very natural next step in Rei’s storyline that gives her some
final closure, rather than… really not accomplishing anything by using Miku. And by having the
mother’s disappearance be a much more recent thing and outside of her control, rather than
abandoning her infant child for selfish reasons, it allows the two to have a much stronger
connection by the start of the game, which works far better for getting the audience
invested in the daughter’s plight, and as a parallel to the mother’s debut story, and
also doesn’t ruin the character by making her a selfish, unlikable cunt. Even putting aside how naturally Rei fits
into this storyline, Rei is the only one of the original three protagonists to not get
any play outside of her debut. Miku has returned twice, Mio returned and starred in a remake,
and both have made cameoes in other games. But Rei is limited to Fatal Frame III and
having Hisoka’s design in V be based on hers. She feels weirdly obscure, compared to her
fellow heroines. But let’s not discuss the direction they took
the story anymore. Instead, let’s end on a really weird detail I noticed when first playing
#5. Don’t worry, it’s not as messed up as incest ghost babies. Nothing’s as messed up
as incest ghost babies. Every single member of the female cast, at
least once, gets summoned to the mountain in a trance, walking out of Hisoka’s home
towards the mountain. When a character is inside the house, they have their shoes off,
since that’s the custom in Japan, and other countries where the people aren’t savage neanderthals.
When a character is out in the front cafe or outside the building, they have them on.
Even the characters who are being drawn away in a trance. They don’t respond to other people
around them, but they do have the wherewithal to put their shoes on before they go out?
I guess spiritual possession can make a person agree to suicide, but it can’t override one’s
disdain towards getting their feet dirty. If you liked this video, why not like and
subscribe and check the description for more content? If not, then make sure to share it
with your enemies so they can suffer along with you. Also, in my version, Ren actually locks the
doors when women start being spirited away. You know, instead of being retarded.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. This is eerily similar to a conversation I had with a good friend in regards to 5's story about two years back. I never felt the characters should of really gone beyond their respective games, however Miku being in 3 did make sense. but I absolutely detested the fact that they felt the need to go down this route. Mafuyu was the only family Miku had left, and after her mother's end he became a parental figure as well. The fact that she would develop a stronger bond with him as a result is quite apparent, and combined with her natural abilities would explain why she felt an unease when he went away to Himuro Mansion.

    We lose that impact, because the romantic angle really isn't implied or present in 1. It instead crosses over the boundary of the strong bond between the two and instead suggests that any bond in general must be love. Family or not, it's gotta be only one solution. It just feels absent of life experiences. Something that you'd expect a robot or an alien to write after observing people. "Two people interacting with each other on a deeper level? It's gotta be love and there's only one kind of love." Love becomes one dimensional, and only serves one purpose. Which then makes it all the worse since the true ending of FF1 was that Mafuyu decided to stay behind. Guess Miku's feelings weren't mutual then, or ever since she kept chasing after him and his reaction just became more so "Ok, sure. Whatever." It makes the incest angle even more bizarre, as Miku comes across as obsessive and naive. Hooray!

    Now if this was all some build up to finding out that Mafuyu eventually became corrupted (either by being involved in Kirie's ritual, wanting to return to living, pick your poison) and placed a curse on Miku during her time in the Manor of Sleep. Which resulted in said child, and why Miku entirely abandons her child. They could even take the opportunity to go down some really creepy territory, and then proceed to have Mafuyu lure in Miu with the intended desire to conceive another child and continue the process. Something that hearkens back to how families would keep bloodlines pure and continuing, and would set up a story of both Miu trying to fight her way out of being trapped, and of the friend/lover/whomever trying to rescue her. I could buy that, but then again I'm also the only person that would and I will entirely admit it (and how awful that is too, haha).

    Really great video, and definitely turned me onto your Wasted Potential series. Good stuff here!

  2. Man, I need to fucking play these games some time. I've got the first three and Maiden of the Black Water… Stupid backlog being so big.

  3. Wait a second they made a fifth Fatal Frame and they brought up incest…. that just doesn't feel right. Not the fact that they made a fifth Fatal Frame but the whole incest thing.

  4. No that would changed too much. If she has sex with her brother then so be it. Just because something makes you feel uneasy; you can't take it out. That's like every war movie never have rape in it. Ww2 movies I'm looking at you. It's OK to saw death camps but not what Japan did to the Chinese come on

  5. That retcon ruined everything, she was suppose to have moved on after the events of III. That incest was never a thing in the 1st and 3rd game

  6. I love Miku, I genuinely don't mind that she came back. She's the first heroine, a fucking icon. The queen, an empress.

    But, yeah. My only issues with 4 and 5 Is that they were on Nintentrash.

  7. Of course they brought Miku back, They're establishing the lives of all the characters in the series are in one way or another connected…There's a lot of reading I think you missed

    And in terms of Miku's situation It's a little bit different than that, It was more of a mental disruption from the trauma of game 1 and 3 and in the between time of 4 and 5 all that happened, Miku's mind is destroyed and fragmented, meaning she would have done Anything to see her brother again and that means Anything. Rei's story already had its closure, at the end of 3 She accepts Yuu's death and moves on for his sake like he told her to do.

    As much as I want to agree with it was a dumb decision, I know where they were going because the entire theme of V was that of the mental deterioration of the characters since the mountain area was based off of suicide forest. There's a lot you missed but it's not hard to miss

  8. I freaking hate when media transforms great characters into assholes in the sequels for no goddamn reason. It's one of the reasons why I wish Beyond Good and Evil 2 to die in the fire, for example.

    So, loveable MC from FF1 is now a complete cunt who abandons her own daughter. And we are supposed to root for her? WUT? Fuck this, I will never touch this fucking game, it's non-canon fanfic as far as I'm concerned

  9. As much as The Fatal Frame franchise is my favorite games of all time, I most admit that both, Silen Hill and Fatal Frame lost track after their original teams were disbanded,….

  10. Omg Fatal Frame is bad.. Its actually incest.. Thats why Miu looked like Miku because SHE FUCKED HER BROTHER and has the full genes of their face

  11. Wow, the incest alone ruins Fatal Frame 5, 3, and 1? I think incest is gross and all, but to say just that ruins those previous games sounds just unreasonably petty.

  12. Honestly, I thought that half-ghost girl's mother (when i only heard that her mother was a previous fatal frame character and the father was a ghost) was Rei. I mean, that for real made the most sense to me.

  13. Your idea of Miu being Rei and Yuu's daughter instead of Miku and Mafuyu's works so well and they still could've brought Miku back into the fold by making Miku the godmother. It was pretty apparent with the endings of the 3rd game that Miku wasn't going to be moving out of Rei's house anytime soon and if Rei had gotten pregnant in that final meeting with Yuu then Miku would surely have stepped up and helped her raise the child as her friend as they had a whole lot of new trauma to bond over after the events of the Manor of Sleep and the Tattooed Curse.

  14. After learning about it, I just block out the incest because as you pointed out, it taints the earlier games and I'd rather enjoy them for what they were.

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  16. This is why I utterly lack the ability to even comprehend being a weeb I can't imagine the mental state needed to think of a place with as bizzare a culture as Japan as this utopia not bashing the Japanese I love their style of horor but it just seems insane to look at Japan and be like "oh yeah that the cultural Everest we should all aspire to."

  17. Miku's entire role in this game is garbage and non canon. It's impossible to happen and that's fact.

  18. The thing with Miu was that she is a spirit child to say, in Fatal frame 5 Miku " married " her dead brother and that's how Miu came acroding to the game

  19. For me there was no doubt that Miku was in love with her brother since the 1st episode … Clasical in Japan. The baby was nor created with a real sexual relation but with a spiritual relation … it's my point of view.

  20. I just started playing this game (new to fatal frame) and I like it. But my opinion doesn't really matter since I'm not big into the franchise. Just looked like a fun game.

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