October 17th, 2013.
So the two already fought, and soon there will be a rematch. The preview was exciting, we’ll get to see Satsuki’s Kamui, and in case you hadn’t noticed – it has all the threads, it’s all powered up – because in this show, more clothing = more power and dignity. Satsuki is all about the dignified poise, while Ryuko is the gutter-rat, fighting without “honor”, but she’s fighting to win.
- “Purity” fits the white cloth, as “Fresh blood” fits the red-black one. Also fits the demeanour of the two ladies.
- Very interesting to have Satsuki narrate – when she’s not speechifying, she sounds much calmer and collected. How much of it is a persona she adopts to maintain control?
- This music, when Satsuki talks to the head butler who would defy her. I love this music. I need this music. Again when Satsuki appears in the Kamui before Ryoko. Ok, it’s Satsuki’s theme, and it’s bloody awesome.
- “I’m surrounded by these loafers and deadbeats, so I’ll be glad to have you around.” – better a determined vagabond than unmotivated layabouts?
- “You’ll pass out in five minutes.” – “Is this all you talk about?” – another joke at NGE’s expense, that it’s always the same message? ;)
Thoughts and Notes:
1) That teacher, with his goofy harmless act, heh. Walking with ruffled hair and slumped shoulders? We know you’refabulous, dude.
WOW, it just hit me – this show is about clothing being power, and dignity through more clothes – the teacher took his clothes off and gained more dignity, well, maybe not dignity, but became more self-assured, more himself. He shed the mask. He’s bucking the theme of the show, thus far.
2) “It’s just like dead leaves in the forest.” – Is this an idiom? Is it that dead leaves are the bed of leaves from which new life grows, such as mushrooms? Or is it that they hide what lays beneath, lying dormant, such as seeds? Or maybe simply that having not received its life-giving “water”, Senketsu was dry and empty?
3) “This blood is the eternal vow between us, the red mark of our covenant.” – this is so fitting, the word in Hebrew for covenant, which is where the term comes from (originally, the covenant between Abraham and God) is “brit”, brit comes from the word “btarim” (the covenant was called “Brit bein ha’btarim” (the covenant between the “cuttings”) – the word brit comes from “Cutting”, it was made in blood, signed in blood. In case you wonder, the circumcision which is a symbol of the covenant between God and the Jewish people is called “brit” in Hebrew as well, and obviously contains, well, cutting.
4) “Ask not the sparrow how the eagle soars!” – how can lowly servants know what the leader must go through? Even though they spend all their time next to her, they cannot understand the burden, the responsibility, the power. Also, Sunketsu and Junketsu aren’t the same, though they both have 100% Life Fiber, Satsuki’s Junketsu has a lot more than the thread-missing Sunketsu.
“No one on this earth can do something before Satsuki Kiryuin!” – she is a proud woman. The little speech in the beginning, ending with “And to think someone managed to do it before me.” – she wasn’t calm at all about it. She must reclaim her position as the first, as the peerless Satsuki Kiryuin.
5) Dat transformation sequence O.O – ok, it no longer seems accidental, for how much Satsuki spoke of “Even a Kamui is a mere cloth” and “clothes are meant to be worn” – the Kamui transformation sequence has our girls basically being consumed by their clothes. The clothes as taking over, the clothes as shutting away the human within, the clothes as demonic possessions. (I need to run a Sorcerer RPG campaign with this setting.)
Connected with the blood-theme, it truly is about a demonic pact.
6) “Ah, wonderful, this is the power of the Kamui, you have all this power at your disposal and this is all you can do?” – the power isn’t Ryuko’s, she’s just wearing it, loaned power. Whose power?
“If that’s so, then you’re nothing but a mindless lump of flesh squeezed into that Kamui” – so there is an acceptance of the symbiosis, of the wearer having some say, some importance in this. And yet, when all the scenes with the sewing club are involved, we basically have the wearer treated as unimportant, in the face of the cloth – this is why Satsuki looks down on this people, they aren’t people, they’re just ambulatory cloth-racks. They lost their dignity, and whatever dignity they have now is only an outgrowth of what they wear – but if they had any dignity to begin with… ah, that’d be glorious, wouldn’t it?
7) This is tied to the above point, but also to points #4 and #9 – Satsuki is the one who sets the tone, rather than one who listens to others’ dictates. She is sure of her way, she has her dignity, she has her goals, and she will make the whole world bow if necessary. Shame? Shame is what you have when you have no dignity. When you have no dignity, you are naked. Satsuki, regardless of the clothes she actually wears, always has her dignity, and thus is never naked, is never a pig’s in a human’s clothes/skin – the clothes she wears enhance her nature, rather than obscure it.
8) “I don’t have anything to say to someone as devoid of aspirations as you!” – this gets us back to what I discussed last week (point 3). Satsuki at the same time puts down others and doesn’t let them express themselves, but also ridicules them because they don’t stand up to her, don’t have aspirations – aspirations of the sort she crushes. Well, she does allow aspirations, see all the people who are her underlings – aspirations under her.
But that’s the other shoe, what she allows and what she respects are not the same thing.
9) Ryuko’s vow, to crush all Satsuki’s ambitions and aspirations – that means to crush Satsuki, which will require to crush her cloth, which means it will crush her as a person, rob her of dignity, both in terms of the lines she spouts to the masses, and to the ideals she holds herself.
Next episode preview seems whack. Is Trigger trolling us to bring back memories of Gurren Lagann’s infamous 4th episode? :)
Post Episode Thoughts:
The clothes are everything, clothes and willpower. Satsuki has both, so does Ryuko. Some would say they are mirror images of one another, which could be true – but they definitely aren’t negative images of one another. They are spiritual sisters.
This episode is very much about pride, about one’s sense of self, and what one will do to defend it.