(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but 0-2 episodes per week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)
So, the mask is partly off, Ryuko knows Satsuki plans on conquering everyone and had used her to advance her goals, Satsuki knows her mother knows of her schemes, and we know Satsuki is actually not as antagonistic and uninterested in Ryuko’s well-being as it might appear on the very superficial surface. Let us see where they take it from here – I mean, aside from on a school trip ;-)
Thoughts and Notes:
1) The School Goes to War:
2) “There is no shame in your defeat, it is merely a rite of passage.” – Ah, this is almost Newspeak and Doublethink – you might be ousted for defeat, or it is only something to make you stronger, all according to the whims of the supreme ruler. As she says, now she is looking forward to their maturation as commanders, but just now we’ve covered that maturation requires defeat, but will you tolerate defeat, Satsuki? And as always, defeat is only worthwhile if you come out of it tempered, not if you are so brittle as to be shattered by it.
3) More military, the leader surveying the troops, with a proper march at the background.
2) On Facing Yourself, On Truth:
1) “I’m not suspicious” – Very trustworthy, punk.
2) Gloomy reflective Ryuko, she has so many nice faces.
3) More pensive Ryuko, such a great face. Also, of course there’s freedom of speech in school, you just have to be strong enough to gain the right to speak your mind. And yes, I’m acutely aware of the contradictions in that statement.
4) “You’re the revolutionary of Honnouji Academy! I can fight too, if only you lead the way!” – Three things I have to say here:
- Hadn’t you read my previous episode notes, dude? She’s working within Satsuki’s system, not truly against it.
- You’re now suggesting another form of leader and followers, again, keeping to the same structure as Satsuki.
- “Revolutionary”, not an abolishment of the system, but just replacing who is at the top. That’s what revolutions are about, and that’s what I also pointed out in the above 2 points. So nope.
3) Clothes Are Original Sin – A Light to Blind, And Covers to Bind:
1) “What are clothes? Clothes are man’s original sin!” – Oh man, oh man. This is sort of a mixed cause and effect, you know. Man’s original sin is eating from the fruit of knowledge, growing ashamed of his nakedness, and seeking to cover himself. Some might say it’s knowledge that is the original sin, but most would say it’s disobeying God – likewise for Pandora. It is the act of curiosity that sets man as a creator, as a controller of his fate, as the shaper of his world. Curiosity begets everything.But, let us still consider it within the show. In the first episode Satsuki had called the students “Pigs in human clothings,” and as such, it is clothes that make us human. To be human is sinful, and we can’t escape it. To be human, to be clothed, is to be prideful. Furthermore, it is clothes that create the distinction between man, and those who only seek to be man. But, if we look at the most recent episode and use Mary Douglas as well (Mary Douglas discussed taboos and uncleanliness in religions, specifically Judaism as things which blur the line between man and non-man, such as pigs’ internal organs, or animals with a digestive system similar to that of humans) – then look at Ryuko and Senketsu, on one hand the clothes and their makers are playing with being gods, and surpassing the current limits of “man”, and on the other, Senketsu and Ryuko combined, clothes are more than human, but also less, and so are their wearers.
2) Fuck, clothes are sin, Revocs supplies 90% of the world’s clothes, and what does Mama-Kiryuin look like in this shot? Why, like a snake, a feathered, rainbow snake, a creator-deity as the rainbow serpent, and the feathered-snake is Quetzalcoatl. Regardless, she looks like a snake, and one cannot trust her – for she is also the snake of the Old Testament. Also, on a slightly more superficial level, clothes are sin, and she loves her clothes, we’re into hedonism here :3
3) Yes, hedonism, we don’t make clothes to merely hide us, we create clothes which celebrate clothes! And clothes are sin, so our clothes are succulent sin. Look at her eyes, aren’t snakes hypnotic?
4) REVOCS > COVERS – A new line of clothes, unless, it’s the true guise of REVOCS. Clothes are covers, clothes hide us, and in so doing bind us. Clothes bring down the heavens, and mankind, and engulfs all, hiding all, hiding the truth. And now we circle back to 1984 – hide the truth, clothes do, and clothes have a will of their own, which is to hide, to obfuscate, to bind. We’ve spoken of clothes as having a will of their own, of being more than human, we’ve seen Ragyou speak to her clothes – so perhaps unlike the students who bend clothes to their own ends, she sees herself as a messenger of clothes, as their prophet, one who will redeem humanity, free it, by binding it fully to the control of clothes.
5) “As long as you remains a child of COVERS, the world will remain your ally.” – Hm. Is betrayal of mother Kiryuin fine, so long as Satsuki obeys the clothes, of whom her mother is the prophet? Is this about obeying COVERS, which is obeying her mother, which rules the company? After all, Satsuki in Nonon’s flashback had already spoken of how she will take on the adults, on how she will be more than their equal. But, of course, look at how her mother is also threatening her – do not be a child of COVERS, and the world will not be your ally.But, is Satsuki fully a child of COVERS (note also the “child”)? She does not give clothes to all, she takes them from those she deems unworthy, and as noted before, while her mother seems hedonistic, she remains pure-white, spartan, an ascetic almost. She does not cover with clothes, but with her own force of will, and she deems clothes to obfuscate, but mocks those who would rely on clothes to hide their true nature. No, I do not think Satsuki is a loyal “Child of COVERS”, however you choose to interpret that.
6) We’ve spoken before of how Satsuki is the sun within Honnouji academy, but also how she has much to learn from her mother, right? Well, her mother is the beacon in the lighthouse, shining the light of clothes upon the world, a light to blind, and hide the truth.
4) Taking Responsibility, and Disappointments – Frenemies:
1) Words to live by – “We’re all responsible for our own actions.” – Senketsu can’t promise Ryuko he’ll do everything for her, she has to accept responsibility and put in some effort herself. He’s not going to cover her, to hide her personality, he’s only reflecting her, magnifying what is already there. Take that, “COVERS”.
2) Being afraid of yourself, trying to cover it with a cloth, with rage, and to try and act as if it’s not you, but Ryuko knows the truth now. Ryuko knows herself, but she will not cover herself, she admits herself as she is, and that is why she is holding back. Some would think that holding her rage within is the act of covering, but they are wrong, it’s a decision borne out of control, out of seeing herself as she truly is.
4) Some might say she looks bored, I’d say she looks pissed. Don’t mess with Satsuki. Boy am I glad to hear Satsuki’s theme right now, I’m actually tearing up. The gallant paladin rides once more for the aid of her true ally, her mirror-image!Yeah, you don’t want to get on her bad side!You don’t want to disappoint Satsuki, oh no. And what game is she playing? Well, didn’t we discuss this early on? This is a rite of passage. Show us your worth, without your cloth, Matoi Ryuko. Show us.
Post Episode Notes:
Wow, that ending, right? Well, we’ve discussed how Gamagoori and Sanageyama are true-bred shounen heroes, hadn’t we? And their defeats didn’t counter that, but it enhanced that feeling a thousand-fold. Shounen heroes meet defeats and come back stronger, shounen heroes show their true strength lies within. Now it’s Ryuko’s turn to do the same.
The Kiryuin plans, so interesting, and the real game is not between them and the world, it’s between mother and daughter, and Ryuko is an important piece in the game. I can’t wait to see what’s behind all this.