October 25th, 2015.
This episode is interesting to think of in terms of what I outlined in my write-up last week, how each episode makes use of its specific supernatural to explore a specific issue, or question. But that feels like only half of what is going on in this episode, seeing as much of what we’re seeing here is the bigger question the show had been tackling up to this point, of the greyness of the world, of how there is no clear-cut distinction between good and evil, and then again, this is something else the show is showing via this week’s supernatural entities, the “Kaiju”, or the great monsters that attack Japan, a-la Godzilla.
And in direct correspondence to last week’s episode, we have a discussion on the nature of Kaiju, and on the nature of “True Evil”. If something is always Evil, and not “sometimes good and sometimes bad,” is it true evil? Or is true evil only when you have a choice to be evil, and you make that choice, when you don’t have to? They discuss Kaiju as evil, but then they liken them to earthquakes and typhoons, and I don’t think we’d ascribe the word “evil” to them. The translation chose to translate “Kaiju” as “Beasts”, and beasts are neither good nor evil, but they just obey their own nature. We may put them down, but there’s no cause to hate them.
Likewise, see how superhumans are framed this episode, as if they are antibodies, who form up to face off against humanity’s enemies. Antibodies, just like sickness, are neither good nor evil. They just perform a role. And here we get to the really interesting question, is the Bureau good, or is it evil? The Bureau introduces typhoons and earthquakes, metaphorically, for the sake of its own ends, and that sure sounds as evil, but if superhumans are antibodies, and introducing kaijus could be seen as a measure of inoculation, then perhaps it’s actually good? Yes, we also get that perhaps the Bureau’s leaders are actually beings that should be excised, as Grosse Augen was, and that they’re doing all of this without letting people know, but here we get to morally grey territory.
It’s really deceit that plays a big part here. Jiro wears his heart on his sleeve, and constantly has to be reminded not to exceed his mandate, but we all know he doesn’t actually obey the Bureau’s orders. Did he save the human Grosse Augen saved because it was the humane thing to do, or because he wanted to keep him as an anti-Kaiju warrior? So perhaps he’s not all good either. Emi lied to a person and manipulated him to create more Kaijus, which her beloved hates, so he and her will be more accepted, but at what cost, to the Kaiju, and to the people?
The Kaiju are as they appear, forces of nature, created by humanity. Are they the manifestation of the idea of the atomic bomb, humanity’s creation mixed with nature that seeks to restore balance? Mindless flailing against the unjustness of the world? And if they’re created and controlled by humanity, then are they as simple as they appear? But here’s the question GaGon’s constant variations poses, are Kaijus then not nature, harnessed by humanity, abused by humanity? And if they’re evil, is it because they’re harmful to humanity by nature of their original ancestor, or as mini-GaGon had shown us, because they were manipulated to be this way?
The Bureau is keeping superhumans secret, because they are misunderstood and feared, but it is keeping them secret that keeps them misunderstood and feared. And just so are the Kaijus. The Kaiju, are if anything, Jiro’s siblings, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more than merely metaphorically – they aren’t kept secret, but pushed outward with a certain face, so they are “understood”, but not as they are.
Are lies evil? Is truth good? And if each superhuman is here to fight their own evil, then what about what we learned last episode, that there are many forms of “justice”? Is it necessarily “good” that more superhumans will come forth? Oh well. We can only do what we have to, which is live.
Note: Shinka Calendar seems to correspond to the Showa Calendar. Year 1 = 1925, final year = 1989, year 19 = 1944, or World War 2.
- October 14 – Jiro’s father meets GaGon in the Pacific Isles, loses “Maria”, a native shapeshifter? A month after World War 2 broke out. Episode 4.
- August 17 – GaGon faces off against American Superhumans in the Pacific Ocean. 9 months after Pearl Harbor.
- Year 19 – A war of some sort (World War 2’s equivalent). Referenced in episode 3.
- November 29 – Invisible Kaiju appears, Emi chooses to appear as an adult, Jiro’s father finds him naked and unconscious. Episode 4.
- January 34 – Flashback sequence, robot-GiGantor defeated, baby GaGon meets his adoptive brother. Episode 4.
- January 41 – 6 months before Kikko joins. Grosse Augen first appears as a Kaiju vanquisher. Call for “more magic” instead of science within the Bureau is made. Episode 4.
- July 41 – Kikko joins the organization, Jirou goes against orders and saves Grosse Augen. Episode 1.
- Between July and August 41 – A month after Kikko joins, just before Fuurota joins. More Kaijus appear, various superhumans fight them off. We meet Earth-Chan and Kaiju-using robbers. Grosse-Augen “replacement” takes up the burden. Episode 4.
- August 41 – Fuurota joins the organization, kills the bug species. Kikko with the organization for one month.Episode 2.
- November 41 – 3 months after Fuurota joins, humans confirmed as creating Kaijus. Mini-GaGon and Kaiju-lovers introduced as Fuurota’s friends. Episode 4.
- February 42 – Bombing incident with android detective. Episode 3.
- Year 42 – Master Ultima returns from Mars, Bureau leaders revealed non-humans, expose their own Kaiju-creating ring. Jiro unleashes his arm. Episode 4.
- April 46 – Jiro is an enemy, ex-Grosse Augen helps him, Kikko declares love. Episode 1.
- February 47 – Male android returns. Android detective now fugitive. Episode 3.
- August 48 – Bug lady comes back for Fuurota, he learns what he’s done, gets saved and comforted by Jirou.Episode 2.