December 20th, 2013.
Families are Cycles Without End, And That’s A-Ok.
The siblings are together, the parents are together but are taking the backstage exit so their children will have a chance to shine. Myoue and Koto are together, just as a different couple known as “Myoue and Koto” had been together in the beginning, and it is time to create worlds, and to preserve worlds, to preserve family and home. Families after all, are cycles without end.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Father and Daughter, Final Shot of The Past:
- Just a talk between father and daughter, with three planes hanging over-head, nothing special. I wonder, didn’t they say he never told her he’s her father? Well, if this is actually a memory, then she did know. Unless of course one of them interpreted it in the adoptive sense.
- I wonder what Koto is holding, is it the 13th plane, which is to say Mirror Kyoto, another plane, Arata the Hammer? Of course, it can be all of these things.
2) Father and Mother Have Disagreements, but They Still Love One Another / Inari Reveals His Heart:
- The mother and child act continues – the mother slaps the willful child who will not apologize, then she slaps him again. More seriously though, she’s hurt, and what he’s saying is that this is his nature, this is his role, and he’s not going to apologize for that. She slaps him again, because it still hurts, and because he’s acting like a spoiled brat, so what if he’s god?
- Not the expression you want to see on the face of someone to whom you just said you love them, your wife and love. She reacts as if she’s looking at a monster. If you think about my write-up from last week, he loves others because he loves himself, his love of others is somewhat narcissistic. He even says “My whole world, I love them all.” – Some would say he loves them and thus they make up his world, but it’s possible he loves everyone because everyone is his creation, and thus is an act of self-love. But it’s a muddled topic, where does loving others for themselves ends and loving them as part of loving yourself begins.
- The story of the son who isn’t sure of himself, Inari and Myoue truly are mirrors – they are left in charge, though they hadn’t asked for it, and have no idea what they are supposed to do, who they are supposed to be. It truly feels as if this episode is hammering home the concept of “Inari the son” and “Inari and Myoue as reflections of one another” which some people missed last episode, which is the core of the show’s story, and the focus of my entry last week, and thus the show isn’t taking chances with people missing it last week.Poor Inari, he was given powers, and he doesn’t know what to do with them, their mere existence seems contradictory – everything must obey its role, this is the dharma he disobeyed which I’ve discussed in the 8th episode write-up. Furthermore, Inari here is talking about the concept of the indifferent God – both his father and himself. His father just gave him his role and left, as an indifferent God. Inari gives and takes life away, but he must not interfere, he’s given powers, which make up his role, but told using them is a betrayal of his role – he’s told to observe others’ suffering and joy, without being a part of it. Perhaps that is why The Shrine resented the family – for Myoue finally took part, got involved, allowed his emotions to show.Look at this smile, so hurt inside. “What does my father want of me?” – The way this episode reminds us of Neon Genesis Evangelion, with Inari as Shinji who asks the same question is remarkable.
- “I may be a god, but even I need the Buddha’s compassion!” – That’s another part of being an observer, of being apart from others, not just the lack of warmth and compassion, but not being allowed to show your weakness, your vulnerability. Koto’s shock and disgust when Inari told her he loves her was the kind you expect to see accompanied by the words “I don’t even know you!” – but how can one know one who’s supposed to be alone? And yet, she did know him, thus her giving her role to her daughter, which now can be transferred – she asked Koto to take care of Myoue, but she’ll end up taking care of Myoue the younger, instead of the father.
- Finally, his statement speaks again to another note I made before, he’s a helpless child, just looking for a parent, to him Lady Koto might be more of a mother figure than an equal. He wishes others to have the power, to be free of responsibilities and expectations. And of course, a moment later, Lady Koto says as much, she’s spent centuries observing, being with, and thinking of this god-man-child, how could she not understand him?
3) Being a father, husband and god doesn’t mean you understand people:
- And then she says she doesn’t understand him at all, hee hee. You understand him, my dear Koto.Hm, interesting, Lady Koto says Inari gave his heart to Koto, but we know he had given it to Myoue, but Myoue had given it to Koto (the pomegranate, remember?), but the sword, is the sword also his heart, and by stabbing Koto he had given it to her? More simply, I think the sword is indeed a key, and he unlockedhis heart within Koto, the one Myoue had given to her, which he had received from Inari all these centuries ago. The similarities to Mawaru Penguindrum continue.Hm, so Arata the Hammer, that is Inari’s secret, and the other half of his heart? So he did give his heart to his kids. Amusing, if you think about it, how Inari’s heart had given Koto the ability to find her family, but also the ability to destroy her home, how very fitting for Inari’s heart to do that.
- “But, they wouldn’t want to hear that from me, would they?” – Silly parents, they need assurances as well, they’re just people too, even when they’re gods and buddhas. Your children wished so much for your return, yet you were so busy thinking they wouldn’t listen to you that you retorted to manipulate them instead of just meeting with them. Talk about overthinking things ;-)Such a ridiculous father – not that it can’t happen, but to think it did. Koto laughs, what else can one do? And yeah, take that all of you who thought Yakushimaru hated Inari, that so completely missed the point. Families are complex, and Yakushimaru’s hate was directed toward himself, and he sometimes vented it at Inari. No, he very much did not hate him, which I replied to someone privately while discussing the 8th episode. Koto really does understand him, didn’t doubt it for a moment.
- See, this is to all of you who thought Inari was cruel. He’s not cruel, he’s capricious, which to us who suffer the vagaries of fate could seem a meaningless distinction. What’s worse than an uncaring god? One that cares and meddles. But don’t worry, he’s giving you a chance to do it your way, but he’ll step in in the end. So what if it hurts? Well, lacking empathy might make him seem more than a tad cruel, after all, and it’s hard to understand others when you’re so self-centered.
4) It’s Time for the Children to Step on Up – Hi Grandpa!:
- The beads are the chains of the DNA, they are what bind us all together. Is this Inari’s heart being united within Koto and Myoue? Doesn’t matter, things are being restored, but for once, it’s done in order to facilitate forward-movement rather than stasis.
- You guys remember The Matrix? In the opening sequence, Neo is told to follow the white rabbit, Morpheus asks him whether he wants to see how deep the rabbit hole goes. And now, we meet The Architect behind Kyousougiga, The Creator (unless he’ll tell us of his father). Less Alice in Wonderland, and more a work that corresponds with other works that correspond with Alice in Wonderland.
- “You are going to take my children’s place and become the next God!” – Koto “Ok, got it!” – I couldn’t help but laugh. How quintessentially Koto.LOL, this makes me think of Humanity Has Declined, Neon Genesis Evangelion. The way the grand-daughter and grandfather talk to one another, and “Huh, really?” and “Wait, what?” on both sides is precious.“I’ve had it, I’ll go and ask him!” – Koto, the avatar of action. Koto, whose role is to cut through all would-be Gordian-knots. Koto, who was about to destroy all the planes by acting before thinking, but that doesn’t mean she’ll change and stop doing so once more, when family is on the line. Koto, our hero.
- Heh, the ED music, mid-way into the episode – don’t you like it when finales do that? Time to put an end to this, time for a new beginning. Time to break out of this cycle of replacing our parents.
- “I’ll finish you off whenever you want, so let’s stay together a little longer.” – Koto says the sweetest things.“You might not want to live, and it’s just me being selfish but it’d make me really happy.” – Koto, you’re the sweetest little sister a deity could ask for.
- Koto and Myoue traveled along their past. Koto is breaking time, Koto is destroying their past, so they could have a present, and start anew.
5) The Family Reunited, Silly Father, Silly Children. All Together Now:
- “Doing things together (being together for all the small moments), that’s what love is.” And love is also smacking your father silly when he doesn’t realize that, when your father is so in love with his idea of being in-love that he misses the point, and doesn’t even try to be together with you.
- “What’s wrong with just being here?” – This finale is really hitting with great stand-alone messages. You could unpack them, and people have, over hundreds of books, but sometimes, just the message is enough.
- “I can’t take your place, but I can stay by you like I always have.” – You can have more than one form of cycles which do not end, either by replacing your parents, or spending more time with them around, I guess. One has you replacing them, one has you repeating your childhood.
Post Episode Notes:
This episode was the same as all the other episodes, and I mean that on two layers: First, it was great. Second, it dealt with all the issues and themes of the show – family, taking after your parents, leaving your role to your children, having a role, living in the now (which must be contrasted with the fact parents always bring you back to your post, and that families in their essence always summon the past).
Such a hearty meal. No new themes, but when the themes and show are so great, that’s hardly a criticism.
10/10 – Great job, anime.
Took 21 screenshots this time, here’s a link to the album.