September's art is probably my favorite. I wish there was more of it; I really love the “daily life” type scenes.
Do you know why Cleo is awesome? Because she’s a fully fledged character despite having, like, 20 lines total in Suikoden.
She’s a bad-ass soldier, sure. That’s great but she also doesn’t really like it too much. It’s tiring and depressing work killing people for a living. So when she gives that up and prefers to maintain the McDohl household, you’re not thinking “oh great, another woman character who realises her true destiny is staying home”, you just accept that, yeah, she gets more out of life from her personal relationships than jamming knives in throats.
That’s amazing! It reconciles the glorification of fighting with the neutering of strong female characters in one swoop.
Cleo doesn’t understand why women shouldn’t fight (quite rightly), but she also understands why she doesn’t want to. She’s not stoic, it fucking hurts when Pahn does his thing and when Teo and Gremio die, but it doesn’t debilitate her. She has a protective role, but it’s not an excuse to make her a mother hen. It’s to show why she’s able to continue on as a soldier despite it all.
She’s a veteran of the War of Succession and the Gate Rune War. The confidant of Teo McDohl, your steadfast ally (the only one of the “original entourage” who doesn’t leave you in some fashion, in fact) and a soldier who values the peace she helps bring more than the battles it takes to get there. Cleo is the best, dude.
Images 1-3 by Kawano Junko, image 4 by Miki Sato, Image 5 by Otsuki Beruno, Image 6 by Senno Aki (aka TONKO)