Tytania: Who Delegates, Wins


Part of the fun in watching Tytania is in picking apart the choices taken by Tytania’s Dukes, and my favourite example of this is the chain of decisions surrounding Lydia, ‘the Moe Princess‘. Tytania doesn’t fit Lydia, though I imagine she would say it’s the other way round. Her sense of honour-driven politics is naïve, but increasingly attractive when juxtaposed with, say, Idris’s serpentine plotting, or even Zalisch’s more honest belligerence.

In fact, Lydia’s naïveté seems to have confused Tytania into behaving decently. She was also just lucky, because she became the responsibility of Jouslain, the Duke who’s capable of thinking outside the Tytanian box (a box which is probably made of diamonds and irritatingly justifiable arrogance). I love the conclusion to the ninth episode, when Jouslain visits Ajman to put Lydia’s case. Ajman has to remain an enigma, because another part of the fun in watching Tytania is attempting to predict who might be the next Clan Lord, and if we should learn too much about him we’ll lose the pleasure of that particular parlour game. Nevertheless, I think I detect a sense for mischief in his decision to agree to Jouslain’s proposal while obliging him to look after Lydia.


Amusingly (and, judging by my – admittedly limited – experience in the workplace, realistically), however, the problem gets passed down the hierarchy – in this case to the unfortunate Bal’Ami.

One of the (few) advantages of nepotism is its tendency to provide leaders with known quantities for subordinates:  your nephew might not be the best man for the job, but you probably know much more about his capabilities and his probable behaviour than you would about an elected stranger. When Bal was introduced he appeared to be a fairly standard Tytanian: we saw him, factious and hungry for advancement, urging his father to plan a coup. Perhaps Jouslain has the measure of Bal, and thinks that looking after after Lydia will be more character-building for him than going out on Tytania’s regular excursions to crush minor nations, which seem to be the only kind of career development opportunity the clan offers.

Being lucky enough to live in a drab democracy, I find fictional or historical regimes which combine family and government very characterful, though not necessarily very attractive. The fact that Bal can be asked to gather information for Jouslain one moment and to compose Lydia’s letters for her the next is somehow exciting. In these moments of delegation Tytania actually makes the administration of an interstellar empire sound interesting, which is a very memorable feat if you stop and consider it.


11 responses to “Tytania: Who Delegates, Wins

  1. “Being lucky enough to live in a drab democracy, I find fictional or historical regimes which combine family and government very characterful, though not necessarily very attractive. ”

    Well, you know it is often said that Democracy is the reign of mediocrity, and it’s true in some sense. The ones who hold power most of the time are obscure civil servants and horse traders with a knack for demagogy. The weirdest thing is that it works more or less.

    Monarchy or other forms of autocracy are depended on the ability of one man to secure power and then hold it. You’re bound to find strong personalities, and since there’s no checks and balances , their excesses have few limits. By definition, they are more “fun”.

  2. I’d rather my government be boring. Fun is something to keep in one’s personal life, not one’s tax collection.

  3. I don’t have much to add in a comment, but I liked the observation how the little princess is shaking up Tytania. I think Ajman appointing Jouslain as her caretaker brings out the intangible qualities he has that the other Dukes don’t… Though I certainly do laugh thinking about what would happen if Zarlish was taking care of Lydia.

  4. I was wondering about Lydia’s place in the story for ages, since she seemed to hang around her gardgen and be informed about what was going on. She’s an intelligent lass but her child’s outlook exhibits, ironically, a lot of clarity and common sense that the supposedly more astute adults overlook. A bit like the precocious Murasaki in Kurenai I guess. alongside Jouslain and Dr Lee she’s one of my favourite supporting characters.

    Tytania is hierarchical as hell so the little plots and verbal sparring in this dysfunctional little family are endlessly entertaining for me. It’s a bit like a primetime TV soap, except it’s set in space and doesn’t suck.

  5. I am not a big fan of having Lydia around, as I find her presence disruptive of the whole ‘feel’ of the show. Perhaps I’m being unjust in that we’re marathoning LoGH (about 40 episodes in) and the comparisons don’t necessarily match.

    That said, Kaioshin pointed out to me (as Yamcha above does so indirectly) the significance of Lydia being the “small wind” that does disrupt the usual business of governing a galactic empire and the procedure of succession. This thematic(?)/stylistic(??) disruption as well as the disruption within the storyline can be read and appreciated to go hand in hand.

  6. I do believe that Lydia is the turning point, or rather, has been since we saw the first poster of Tytania around. She will probably be the next Clan lord if this goes on lol. She has the ability to be, as you said, the kind of difference that, placed side by side with Tytania’s rigidity, the change that Ajman probably hopes to see in Tytania. Jouslain may be the catalyst, but Lydia is the one that will probably get it done.

    That being said I am interested to see how Fan will now take action. Episode 12’s ending was a complete surprise, I was expecting something else. Also how does one survive losing part of his head? -_-

  7. I still have to do a catch up post on Tytania, but overall I agree with the sentiment that Lydia has not been useless in any sense of the word. I can see one other reason for Bal’ami to be saddled with day care duties, it limits his chance to misbehave. Up until now Bal’ami has had time to scheme, with Lydia he’s got a real job as a nanny now, and if he fucks ups, well Tytania has it’s ways of dealing with failures.

    With Lydia at least you see a less menacing face of the Tytania that has issues with hurting children. Now if only Idriss and Zalisch (perhaps Alses as well) were forced to deal with Lydia…

    At least so far Lydia has been better used than Lira. Oddly enough I was finding the Tytania side of things to be more interesting than Fan being a vagrant, though that looks to change a bit.

  8. Oh, Lydia. That little rascal. Sometimes she’s a child; sometimes she’s not a child. Sometimes she’s making insightful observations; sometimes she’s eating ice cream and getting tentacle raped. I don’t quite know what to make of her.

    I’ll be surprised if this comment doesn’t get spam filtered for all the links.

  9. Agree with Crusader. Lydia has been better used than Lira, especially since I don’t think Lydia’s time to be used has come up. But I don’t think that she has changed Tytania as much as others do, She has mearly show that Tytania, Ajman especially, are not the typical evil empire. Yes he could have had her killed when she entered the palace, but what purpose would that have served? While keeping her alive seemingly serves no purpose so far, her courage and tenacity could be useful in the future.

  10. I’m an ardent and heartfelt monarchist, and it’s always struck me just how effective democracy is at actually preserving monarchy. The king can do no wrong, because – truthfully – it’s the vapid anonymous nonentity in a suit, who could be replaced by any one of dozens of other contemptible identikit politicians, who’s screwed eveything up. Even throughout much of the Civil War, none of the Parliamentarian leaders would openly criticise King Charles – he was merely misled by his “evil counsel”.

    Anyway, musings on political theory aside, this is the first time that I’ve heard of Tytania – palace dramas aren’t all that common, and ones which treat nobles as real people and not obnoxious caricatures are rarer still. It’s definitely piqued my interest. Has there been any news of it getting a western license?

  11. Hmm. Constitutional monarchy has neatly institutionalised the ‘evil counsel’ bit, at least.

    I’d say the chances of Tytania getting a license for a DVD release in the US or in Europe are pretty slim. It hasn’t really got a big audience in Japan, and it doesn’t have the qualities that mark out anime for licensing.


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