December 20th, 2013.
When the Line Between Man and Cloth is Crossed, a Nightmare is Born
Well, things certainly ended on a tense note last episode – Ryuuko faced with someone who claims to be her father’s killer, Satsuki pitted against her mother and relying on Ryuko, and Nudist Beach watching from the sidelines. Let’s see what happens to this mixture of incendiary elements.
Shorter Asides – Visuals:
- Yes, take note Kyoukai no Kanata, after ending last episode the way they did, they couldn’t start this one immediately with Ryuuko slashing at Nui, it’d feel wrong, structurally, so they have to start with how last episode ended.
- “You look pretty even when you’re mad, Ryuuko,” – Really? I’d say she looks the best when she’s mad.Such a great face.
- That fight between Nui and Ryuuko’s father, really not what I expected, and makes me think of Samurai Jack. Talk about a spry old man.
- With that blood-spurt, now I know what I’m thinking of – a modern classic story of revenge – Kill Bill. With how stylized this is, with how the songs are incorporated, thinking of Tarantino isn’t that surprising. Losing the eye as well.
- Yes, it’s a meme by now, still funny – “People die when they’re killed (by blood loss)!”
- A good, serious, Mako face. Me likey.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Liminality – Between Man and Beast, Between Man and Cloth:
- “Your father crossed a line man wasn’t supposed to cross, he committed a taboo.” – Holy shit, not just Hegel and Orwell, but Claude Levi-Strauss as well (and Turner)? This is about taboos, and taboos are often about crossing a line, blurring the boundaries. For instance, werewolves, incest, or Mary Douglas’s claim that the Jewish prohibition from eating pigs is because their organs blur the lines between an animal’s and man’s… so yeah, crossing a line is exactly what a taboo is. I wonder if it’s about blurring the lines between human and clothes, of master and slave, as a way to return to Hegel.
- Ryuuko had never been one for self-control, always being full-steam ahead, even telling us two episodes ago – “Make a crazy attack crazier, and it’ll work out!” – funny that the lecherous blood-sucking cloth is arguing for restraint. The obvious thought is that he’ll “lose control” and be lecherous, but considering how Nudist Beach and Satsuki spoke of his evolution, it might be more dire than that.
- Behold The Beast! Unleashed from all restraints. Yes, this art-style also makes me think of Samurai Jack somewhat.
- Erm, uh… wow. I might have nightmares after seeing this. Now this is some liminality, see how I mentioned werewolves before? We now have a cloth-human hybrid, neither cloth nor human, whose dignity does it have? Who’s being worn? Which is the face and which is the succulent meat underneath? This is 50% Ryuko, 50% Senketsu, and 100% the stuff of nightmares.
- This stuff is hella nightmarish.
- What was nightmarish is now demonic, eyes glowing and rising out of hell. If I were to find another movie reference, then we’re talking about Star Wars episode 3, she’s becoming Darth Vader. Where is Obi-Wan to defeat her?
2) Man Versus Beast – Snap out of it, Matoi Ryuuko! Satsuki and Ryuuko:
- Feels like Satsuki’s theme when she transformed this time was ever so slightly altered. Interesting and (un?)surprising to see her order for the students’ safety – she believes in culling the weak to create strength, but not needless sacrifices. Furthermore, she doesn’t believe in abusing the weak, as her memory with Gamagoori shows.
- Satsuki versus Ryuko, and notice her lines, notice the colours. The misshapen red and black Ryuuko as the monstrous villain, and Satsuki the fair, in blues and whites, standing on the side of the light, to taken down this monster.
- Satsuki the Paladin, one could fall for her. Everyone has such great battle faces in this show.
- Nice, Mako talking to Ryuko is reminding them of the past events twice over – both of how Senketsu said Mako can calm Ryuuko, and Mako actually bringing up the Fight Club episode. Just like the ridiculous 4th episode was actually brought up by Gamagoori later – there isn’t anything in this show that’s “forgotten”, it’s all part of the continuity.
- As Senketsu whips back into shape, and Ryuko slowly regains painful control, they had been playing a very slow and subtle variation of “Don’t lose your way,” Ryuko’s theme. Very subtle, very “memory-esque”. At least it sounded very similar to me.
3)The Future – We Still Need Her:
- Interesting, that Inuzuma says “This isn’t good, she’s going to die soon” about Ryuuko, you’d think she’s their enemy. Then again, they weren’t really about killing, and in a way, it’s all been a game within the system, Satsuki’s system, thus far. Now it’s getting real.
- Post ED Content – Hm, just like I said last week, we had Satsuki use Ryuuko and the situation she created and could control to test and perfect the suits, better than a real situation where she won’t have time to act on knowledge gained and the situation can be harmful.Note, she still wants/needs Ryuuko, otherwise she wouldn’t tell her “I have the answers you seek”, and Ryuuko would just go elsewhere, after Nui. Why does she want her? What does she need her for? That remains to be seen. Also, what will Ryuuko do when her school fights to subjugate other schools? It’s also Mako’s school… that’s actually something I’m curious for their answers about.
Post Episode Thoughts:
Well, this was certainly an episode. Good fights, friendship saves the day, a human who wears clothes as opposed to a cloth that wears humans once more as a theme. Would a king who’s only a king because he wears a crown a man who employs the honour of a cloth, or a cloth which basically commandeers a man in order to be ambulatory? Where does the symbol end and the man begin?
Not a lot of actual answers or themes this episode, except that the clothes are transgressive, they break the boundaries, they create taboos, and are taboos.
And the next episode’s preview gave us a glimpse at mother Kiryuuin, a mastermind, who truly wears her clothes, or do they truly wear her?