November 10th, 2013.
One more sibling to go, the human one, the adopted child, the one who is the most rooted in the present.
Also, it just hit me – Myoue the elder and Koto basically “chose” all three of their children, one was adopted and the other two had been created.
Thoughts and Notes:
“The Natural Order” – Very interesting, but who decides which role you’ll get? Talk about social stratification. Poor Myoue, who’s a priest because his father told him to fill his place. Poor Myoue, who’s Myoue because his father told him to fill his place. Does it also mean being the father to his older siblings? Does seem like it means being a father to (his sister?) young Koto.
Note, the line “I don’t expect salvation in the afterlife” is voiced by the voice actor of Myoue the elder, but the line “I’m just trying to live this life the only way I know how” is voiced by Yakushimaru, AKA Myoue the younger, he’s very much a free-spirit bachelor, but when life doesn’t matter, and daily life doesn’t matter, as things always go back to the status quo, and that this isn’t the real life, and Kurama, the eldest brother decides everything as it is, it’s probably hard to get motivated into caring about things.
Ah, the pomegranate. I saw someone comment on the story of Persephone, very interesting. So he gained a life back, but then he has to spend most of it in hell, the mirror-capital? Also, another similarity to Mawaru Penguindrum, with the life-giving fruit.
This show has very few tracks in its OST, but I just like them all, and I can’t even explain why, except to say they’re slightly whimsical, slightly nostalgic, and slightly sorrowful.
“Oh, they haven’t returned yet. Much like how we can’t return to those days.” ;_; You guys, that line by Kurama just filled me with sorrow. Their parents hadn’t returned, so they can’t return to their childhood, it’s sort of a Freudian thing, where they don’t want their parents to return as much as they want to return to when they were children and taken care of.
But, here’s the thing that filled me with sorrow – even if their parents would “return”, because they are no longer children, and can’t return to being children, then it’s not that their parents would “return”, it would be their parents “coming again”, and none of them would be the same person – their parents can literally never “return”. This is wishing for the impossible, but even if you know it’s impossible, it doesn’t mean you can stop the yearning.
I wonder why Yase’s questions, whether the dog could bark and such were relevant, maybe asking if he still had all of his faculties, if he weren’t “broken” in some way? But he was broken – broken-hearted.
Also, in case it isn’t clear, they’re talking about Myoue in the end – what if Myoue wants to wait forever, to live without anyone telling him what to do, who to be, if he wishes the freedom of his parents being gone, of being a tragic character in his own very tragic story?
“Do you think something good will come out of screwing around every day?” – Let me reply with something you said in the beginning of this episode, Myoue, “I’m just trying to live this life the only way I know how”, which for you means being a free-loader who gets drunk, sleeps late, and does nothing much. He’s venting his frustrations, including with himself, at Koto – because there is nothing that he can do, doesn’t mean he likes it – unless Kurama is right, and he secretly cherishes being a free-loader himself.
“It’s been a while since he’s been really angry. It feels like he’s given up.” – To be truly angry, one needs to care. Koto’s talk with the shrine-girl, it mirrored his wishes, he reminded him of hopes that had never been truly forgotten, of wounds that never truly healed, or he wouldn’t wait by the train station every year. His anger means he still has hope for his parents’ return. For his exit to the real world, though they’ve been told to stay.
That’s the other side of Kurama’s story. The parents told the children to stay until their return, and Myoue will stay, but Kurama said before that he doesn’t plan to just stay but wishes to find a way out, and Yase’s answer to the parable intimated the same.
Talking of Freud, Myoue’s girlfriend really looks like Koto the elder in moments such as this one, heh. And of course, due to Myoue’s magic, he looks like him.
The bead-chain has no beginning and end, the helix of DNA seems to be a closed loop as well, and Myoue the younger’s robe has another helix-like shape on it. Beginning and end, from one who deals with circular things? Will they be the same thing, or even possible at all?
The “non-people” at the train station are something else that makes me thing of Mawaru Penguindrum. Also, this train station is really interesting – what else is there in this world aside from this city and the temple overlooking it?
People put their “trash”, things they don’t need on the train. Amidst everything else we also saw an elderly woman :3
I titled this screenshot “Goodbye life” – does the pomegranate spend 6 months here and 6 months elsewhere? Is this a symbol of life going away, of life coming back? Or is it just a symbol of something full of life existing amidst all the lifeless clutter – but having been plucked, it’s already dead as well.
Hm, if the train enables you to go back, and Kurama wishes to go back, why doesn’t he go on the train? I think it’s possible he wants to pull his parents to this world, or destroy it completely, because like it or not he has to obey his parents’ requests as long as he is able, or until their return.
“A-Un are waiting for me, I promised I’d pick them up.” – To which Myoue can only reply by looking forlorn, like an abandoned dog.
“A-Un are the beginning and the end.” – Koto just looks so adorable after uttering these words so innocently. If Koto is his mother, then it’s a parent coming back with the beginning and the end. If Myoue elder sent Koto to the mirror-capital, then he sent over the beginning and the end, but didn’t he say he’ll come himself? But if Koto is his child, doesn’t she also carry a piece of himself? Is he allowed to escape? Also, great moment. And then Koto breaks it off, because she’s just a kid, not for her are these moments full of things that have nothing to do with her. Silly Myoue.
When Myoue came upon Fushimi on the ground, it feels as if Fushimi himself is the pomegranate.
“Once you’ve found Mother, kill me.” – And so, him giving her his pomegranate is again, so incredibly Penguindrum, he gives her his life.
Post Episode Notes:
Next week is 5.5, an OVA of the real setting. No, I don’t have a clue what will happen in the anime once it returns.
What do I think of this episode? It filled me with sorrow, it was full of Myoue’s character being explained to us, being shown to us, with very little actually being said. The ending was a mystery wrapped up in a riddle hidden within a puzzle, but it can be no other way.
Damn, but I can’t really summarize this show, and I’m not really interested in doing so, to try and summarize this show right now would be like trying to find the beginning and the end, when all we’ve got is an unbroken circle – the story in the now revolves around the past, the past revolves around the future where we are, building it up. There’s not always room to wedge your fingers into.
Adding a couple of extra notes:
Beads: The beads from Myoue the elder to the younger are DNA making them alike, turning them into one person, or truly family. Myoue the younger’s blood makes his beads, his blood, his blood-relation keeps him tied in one place.
Pomegranate: There are 4 scenes in which the pomegranate plays a part, let’s go over them:
- This time, Myoue holds it next to his heart and it beats. The pomegranate is Myoue’s life, his heart. This is also tied to the beads above, it’s the heart-blood he’s been given by Myoue the elder.
- I referred to it above, “Goodbye life” , people put on the train things they don’t need anymore, don’t want anymore. Myoue doesn’t want his heart, and/or his life, any longer.
- Myoue gives his life to Koto, he gives her his will to live, and this makes sense – he’ll replace his life’s quest with his, and then she’ll take his life. This gif? It’s Koto eating Myoue’s heart, consuming his life.
- This is more figurative, Myoue to me looks like the pomegranate in the first screenshot. He’s spent, he’s quashed, and all of his juices are leaking out.