November 25th, 2013
So we’re done with introducing the cast, and Myoue finally found his resolve, and he resolved that he wishes to die… welp, let’s see where they go from here!
Thoughts and Notes:
Myoue the Elder is a Child:
- “You said you liked children! I’m going to make him our son!” – Myoue the Elder is like a child. His response is like a child’s would be, bringing home strays, running to fetch things for his love without thinking of the results, not thinking of the future with the Bodhisattva to enjoy the moment, just leaving his children behind… not to mention his imagination creates worlds. A child who’s a father of immortals. Then again, if you’re immortal yourself, keeping a child-like outlook might be in order.
- By the way, I call it childish, but some would say the decision to have a child as an adult, and then more, is handled in the exact same manner.
- Of course, the creation of Yase and Kurama follows the same pattern, he has a child, so now he needs siblings to play with :3
The Pomegranate of Life:
Wow, just wow. Myoue, Myoue and the pomegranate. A single minute, with so much for us to discuss!
- The pomegranate definitely is a heart, you see it beat.
- Myoue the elder gave Yakushimaru half of his pomegranate, you can see him retaining the other half. That is why Yakushimaru must be Myoue – for he already has his life within him, and his name had given him life.
- Perhaps we should say “His name”, he wrote “Myoue” with his blood before giving the heart-pomegranate that spawned to his new child. Using a name to animate the inanimate is what happened with the Golem of Prague, and in general makes one think of another name, YHVH (Which some pronounce as “Yahweh”), and Myoue is after all the God of Mirror-Kyoto, so must there always be a Myoue in mirror-Kyoto, for the place to maintain itself?
- The similarities to Greek Mythology rise once more – not just with the pomegranate, Hades and Persephone, but as I’ve touched on before, with Pandora, with the warning to Koto to not swallow any of the seeds, to me that sort of warning was very Pandora-esque, though mythologies are filled with such admonitions – such as in the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice in Greek Mythology, or Lot’s wife after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament.
- And how could I fail to mention the similarity to Mawaru Penguindrum? We’ve seen Myoue relinquish his life, and we’ve seen him offer it to Koto the younger. We’ve seen her eat the pomegranate, and I’ve told you all that she is eating his heart, consuming his life, did I not?
The Psychological Toll on Myoue the Younger:
- The episode begins in the past, which makes sense. For those who don’t know, “terribly beautiful” is an oxymoron, like “terrific”, the root is “terror” – in Hebrew, the only thing you should call “terribly beautiful” is fire.
- Hm, this is new information, and the reveal… what does it change? Nothing, yet – the reveal that his family had died violent deaths at the hands of other people, there’s been fighting, not just a random fire.
- Oh yeah, Myoue answering the kid’s questions, that’s gonna leave some serious psychological scars. Oh my. Killing yourself is going to leave more mental scars, seeing you can’t die and aren’t entirely human is going to be rough as well. A string of psychic assaults. I keep thinking of Shinji Ikari now.
- “Pretty soon you’ll be glad you’re alive; Koto’s cooking is delicious.” – Just like pomegranate, food is the life-giving, the giver of life’s flavour, just as we’ve seen last week in Log Horizon as well ;-)
- But his request to Koto, the desire to stop living – he laughed and had fun, but in the end, he never truly stopped desiring to die, unless the purgatory he had found himself within sapped the will he had. – That’s what the montage told us, that he died, and wishes to return to that state.
The Council of Three:
- The three children, and the animals that represent each. You know, this small montage was very beautiful. Well done.
- “I’ve always called my dad “sensei”, that’s a habit that’s hard to break.” – Now I really wonder. Did she know she was his daughter from the get-go and called him Sensei? Is he her father, to her, like Myoue the elder is Myoue the younger’s – for being raised by him she called him dad? Or did she figure out on her own he’s her father? Well, idle musings. In this show, family is for the choosing, someone made a choice, but the others accept it as well. I find that to be very thematically powerful. Important even. It’s a family drama, but the family is one we choose to accept.
- The music each time the triumvirate meet in the hall under the earth, where the fake stars shine and twinkle, as they scheme. The fake stars who remind one of a mobile above a baby’s crib, as they play amidst the giants’ bricks and pillars – they play adults, amidst the wreckage of childhood.
- Three witches swirling the cauldron of fate. I absolutely love that music, and I absolutely love their discussions, the mad-cap chase of metaphors and allusions, and the little endless family drama and squabbles.
- And that music makes me want to weep. I’m not sure why. The track is unsurprisingly called “The Council of Three“. I think it’s not the music that makes me want to weep, but the meetings, which I then attached to the music, connotation wise. That track from around the 50 seconds is just so wondrous.
- Talk of magnetic poles – remember the dog? Kurama likes speaking of metaphors, of people. Myoue and Myoue are the same, so perhaps their father cannot return while the child is there? Or perhaps Myoue the younger who is an avatar of stasis, and Koto the younger who’s an avatar of change, attract each other so strongly?
Sibling Rivalry – Change is Upon Us:
- Koto going, “Huh, wha, where?!” as she was “abducted” to the Council of Three’s chamber? Very reminiscent of the Mawaru Penguindrum “auditions” with the Princess of the Crystal. Gif comparison will probably be better.
- Oh my fucking god. Myoue breaking out the badass-beads, with a soundtrack to match. “You want to see mama too, don’t you, Oedipus?” – and I’ve commented on how his girlfriend looks like their mother last week as well, and his desire to be re-united with mother, as well as Yase, is a big part of the plot, and Oedipus, and as Oedipus, did he not already take half of his father’s life, did he not take his place and name?
- And yup, Kurama says, they’ve been betrayed by adults, they are still children, forever children, in this land where time does not budge.
- “It’s just a big sibling rivalry” – Same point as I make weekly in Nagi no Asukara. In the end, all the “big stories”, they’re moved by people, singular people, making decisions based on what would affect them. Such decisions change the world.
I, I am not even going to try and explain what happened when the robot swallowed Koto, and Mom appeared. That’s some serious mythic imagery, and we don’t know nearly enough about how this fishing works. I’ll just nod along.
Post Episode Notes:
Kyousougiga, you’ve been missed, the week you’ve been gone. I might miss you once your run ends as well.
This was wonderful. We get a story in a manner that makes sense, because it’s not tidbits of memory, or a narrator that is playing with us, but a human sharing their story with another human. The thematic threads and symbolism hit harder and more consistently, even as we keep throwing more and more such balls into the air.
I’ve said before, the first five episodes were much of a setup, and now we’re forging ahead? Wow is forging ahead an understatement. This is the frenetic pace of episode 0, the mad energy of the zany bits of the last 5 episodes.
This is a fantastic tale of the fantastic, and yet, it is rooted in the smallest of moments, the basest of emotions – fear of abandonment, loneliness, yearning.
I think this is a great show.