October 20th, 2013.
Thus far I like the main characters a bunch, and I like both the sequences of magical realism and those of slice of life. According to the preview it seems the pendulum will swing back to magical realism this episode, or rather, Gintaro’s slice of life as he goes and meets the other messengers.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Wow, that 1 minute of discussion really opened things up, didn’t it?
“You need to take it easy, you’re taking things too hard. I bet you got attached to the humans.” – Gintaro, as I said in the episode 2 discussion – he’s gruff, he’s like a crotchety old man, but behind that exterior, he does care. But, caring for humans and humanity in general isn’t the same as caring for someone in particular – the human who gave him the orange (don’t cry!), and Makoto. Also, Kinjiro had spent decades if not centuries alongside Gin, that Gin chooses to adopt the mask of a lazy fox just drifting through life doesn’t convince him. Part of that mien is the “Live and let live.” – he wasn’t planning to stop his partner – his friend?
There’s also the fact about confessing being easier when you don’t see the other’s face, which I touched upon last week as well, with the quote, “A shrine is a place to vent.” – it’s much more embarrassing to speak when you see the other’s face, when they see yours. How much easier is it to talk to people online, even if they know you, or over the phone?
Finally, Kinjiro does indeed suffer from too much empathy – he is a messenger, but his lack of ability to aid others is getting him down. This makes you question the nature of their roles, their powers – what can they do, and why are they even here? Where are the deities whose messengers they serve as, supposedly? If they can’t help, then what are they here for? Also, how would it feel for untold generations to beseech you for help with you unable to do anything for them, including the simple act of comforting them? I guess you either deaden yourself or you die inside, and neither sounds like fun – the other option is sort of an elaboration of the second – you don’t die inside and remain dead, but a barb that keeps cutting you endlessly.
2) Such music, I don’t know, it gets me in an emotional-nostalgic mood. ;_; (when the girls spoke of the old shrines)
3) “Funabashi-san has interesting hobbies.” – said the girl who speaks to an invisible, orange-loving fox-deity. Then again, “interesting” here means “different from me,” and when you’ve been practically raised by the aforementioned fox spirit, what can you expect?
And here it’s reinforced with the turtle, “Can’t you even tell a herald from a regular turtle?” – she had spent her whole life around turtles, it’s like Kotoura-san not understanding that hearing others’ thoughts is irregular, or someone who can see ghosts learning to separate the ghosts from the living (you know which movie I’m talking about) – when you spend all your life experiencing something, how can you tell it’s “special”? :3
4) Nice, we actually get some of the rules of this world, of this magical reality. I still wonder where the turtle’s friend is, since they come in pairs, and we saw the other one. Well, I’m sure they’ll tell us.
5) “Man, dates are a pain.” – spoken like a centuries’ old cranky fox who essentially goes on a date with his daughter, or niece – calling it a date basically means he has to be a chaperone and listen to someone be excited over nothing of value. His exchange with the turtle actually made me chuckle _^
6) “It can’t be easy to handle the Sight at this early age.” – and as Gintaro said, “A true successor would be able to see me.” – I guess you only see once you’ve succeeded? Meaning she got the sight as soon as her mother died? Hm. Yup, they actually spell it out a tad later.
7) Talking about the sadness of living for centuries, the two lion-dogs don’t tell you they feel sadness, they say it as someone telling a story, stating a fact – “It is sad.” – they are beyond even that, they blink, and you’re dead.
I think that might also be a part of why Gin said “It was like it was yesterday.” – when you carry a friend within you, it’s like they never left, or alternately, to him, all these years are just a blink of an eye. Of course, most likely it’s just Gin being his usual gruff self.
Man, what a lovely shot to end the episode with :)
Post Episode Thoughts:
I really liked this episode. We got to see another side of the world, and we actually had some of the laws of the cosmology laid out to us as well.
There were multiple moments during the episode where I was about to tear up due to content from past episodes rising in my mind, and many, many moments where I smiled or outright chuckled at the antics of the characters. The cast here plays exceedingly well off of one another, and it’s a joy to watch the characters and actors interact.
I still wonder about the other turtle, but it seems next episode we’ll meet the boy from the OP, who’s apparently another successor. Time for the love story to begin.