December 14th, 2013.
Following Your Father’s Footsteps, Even When He is God
Well, we have a goal set in front of us, we know what we want to do, and we know who we are. We are Koto, and Koto’s family. Let’s see how they go about it, and whether we learn more of our characters or all that occurs this episode stems from the nature we’ve already come to know:
Thoughts and Notes:
1) The Shrine and God – Metaphysics of Existence:
- Now here’s a question, of little relevant to the story – the Shrine acts on behalf of God. Is this the Hindu “God” which is at once one, but all 3, and also all the gods? Just as the Hindu goddess is all the goddesses, and thus the term “The Goddess” can refer both to the oneness of her but also to each of her facets, which can also be treated as disparate entities, or are we speaking of the Judeo-Christian God here? With how Inari is a deity but must obey his dharma, I suspect it’s the former.
- Koto really has a point here – “If God truly doesn’t want it to exist, and it’s really so bad, then how could it exist this long, how come it’s only become a problem now?” – Oh man, so much metaphysical discussion here.
- First, everything that exists can exists. It seems silly, but it’s really not. The necessary conditions for anything existing have been met. When discussing metaphysics, it’s a big point, because if you prove something is a necessary condition for something that exists, then you can assume it also exists.
- Here we’re met with the issue of God, if God truly didn’t wish for something to exist, then howcan it exist? This assumes God is omniscient, and that even if omniscient, will intervene to stop things he doesn’t wish to happen.
- Here we have several points – God was there in the beginning, as they said, but if it’s the God who is one and many, then he often slumbers, that’s the point of creation, and everyone is a part of God. So he knows what we all do, but as his aspects, he’s liable to forgetfulness, fits of jealousy, and in general, isn’t quite as all-powerful as one would have us believe.
- Furthermore, as the Head Priest said, God must not be allowed to intervene. He had set everyone their tasks, and stepped back. Now it’s up to others to carry out their roles. That something breaks the laws of reality doesn’t mean it can’t exist, in this case, but that it shouldn’t.
- As for why it wasn’t a problem up until now? Well, someone else will have to answer this. But I believe the issue is one of reverberation, the problem is that a plane is crashing and also causing the others to cascade into oblivion, not merely that it existed. You did this, Koto.
- “If it’s wrong, why is it possible?” – This sums up how she feels. But it being possible, doesn’t mean it’s good, or intended, just that it’s possible, and that the prerequisite conditions are also possible. Nothing more, nothing less.
2) Koto On Being True to Oneself:
- “I don’t want to renounce the world I see. I want to know the truth about myself, and the world I’ve found.” – Koto being Koto, admitting the world, accepting it, and living so very vividly within it. And the priest just stands there and listens, impassively, to her imploring declarations. It is also very fitting how Myoue’s eyes sparkle on the verge of tearing up here, because his wish to die is exactly a wish that renounces the world. Well, he accepts it so much that he wishes to accept it no more.
- Yes, this is really important, “If I’m not true to myself here, I won’t be able to see anything anymore.” – She means that if she’s not true to herself now, when it really matters, then she’ll lose sight of the truth, of her family, which she had sought so much. She also means that she will be as blind to the world from here on out, losing her light. Finally, and this is the really important bit – look what I keep saying – Koto being Koto, Koto being true to herself. Koto is following her dharmic path, by being Koto. Inari betrayed his role and set the world into ruin, so Koto will set things right by being true to her role.
3) Inari the Lazy, Narcissistic God, Following His Father:
- Hm. Hmmmm. Um. I’m not sure what to even say. So Inari is God, not just a god. Well, he’s been created by The Creator, and is obeying his mandates. Head Priest is in charge of the planes, and God is in charge of the life on them. Nope, not an omnipotent God. Everyone has their role to play. Also, neither of them is omniscient or omnipotent, things happen that they did not do – not just things humans do, which is why they can’t really keep track of things now, but creations. Their lazy father (and look how I mentioned “God” above is wont to fall asleep!) might not be as lazy, or is keeping things entertaining for his own sake.
- Heh, Inari’s disgust at life coming from him, or rather, life originating from him coming from another body disgusting him is very hilarious. First, he doesn’t like himself, how fitting then that Myoue who has his genes also doesn’t like himself? They truly are birds of a feather, those two. Furthermore, it makes sense in a sci-fi sense – if you’re used to life being born clinically, as you snap your fingers, seeming it come out of your body could be quite a shock. I’ve read sci-fi stories where natural birth disgusted those who were used to cultures where babies were born in external tubes. BUT, even though he detests the birth, notice how proud he is of Koto – it’s all been worth it now. But still, the God in charge of creating life being disgusted by life being created? Amusing. Well, even though he’s been here since before humanity, he’s just doing what his own dad had told him. Except when he doesn’t feel like it ;-)
- “Someone so close to me, yet not part of me.” – He says he doesn’t really love himself, but throughout his whole monologue, he’s coming off as a narcissist. Koto, his child, and how splendid she is? It just shows how awesome he is, as her father. Koto to him is just an extension of him. Shigofumi also made this point, that of course narcissists love their children, they’re an extension, a creation, of theirs. Well, very fitting for God.
- Oh, wow. The Akira music is super fitting here. Koto told us when she answered Inari, that she entered with her hammer, just as he does with his sword. In other words, his sword is a key, and he just opened Koto. He wanted another him so he could use them to get answers. Yup, very narcissistic, very inhuman. Also, he said he wishes to destroy the planes. Why? Because he wants to be The Creator. He wants to truly be God.
- He did say, “Everything happens according to the wishes of God” and winked – he is God, but if we look at it literally, especially since we know things happened which our true deities, of life and the planes didn’t account for, then God is The Creator, and everything happens as He wishes it to. But here we also get to the question of why he wishes Inari to “rebel” – and we’re going to leave it there, there are more than enough discussions of that with regards to the Rebellion in Heaven that one can find, dealing with Free Will, etc. Not that they necessarily apply here, for as we said, God is lazy, and not truly omniscient, except between creations when all is One.
4) Myoue Breaking Away from His Father. Myoue Reprising His Father’s Role:
- I wonder how the beads can be “used”, but that’s not the point, here we have Myoue finally breaking away. Just as Inari had broken away from his father’s wishes when he decided to do as he wanted to. So now Myoue says that he rejects his father’s desires. Inari here is like his father, he just wanders off and forgets his children, off to do something interesting.
- But then the beads come back, we can never truly escape our parents. Myoue took his father’s place as priest, Inari took his father’s place as God and now wants to usurp him completely. The pomegranate had told us to pay attention to Greek Mythology, and then Yase flat-out called Myoue “Oedipus” – you know what’s a common theme in Greek Mythology? Patricide, killing one’s father, especially for the leader of the pantheon. Zeus had killed Cronus, his father, who had killed Uranus, the sky, his own father.
- “I’m sick of your whims ruling my life!” – This is about family, of being forced to retrace your father’s steps. This is the same thing Inari had felt when he grew bored. But more than that, since Myoue’s father is God, he’s also crying out about the whims and vagaries of fate (ergo, God’s desires) ruling his fate – he wants to decide for himself.
- “The rest is up to you, Myoue!” and here Inari again retraces the footsteps of his father, and condemns his son to retrace his steps – he’s destroying the old world, and Myoue will be in charge of the new world. How many times had this cycle gone on?
5) It’s Family Time:
- Family! And when it brought you down, it also brings you up. Kurama slapping Myoue and giving him “How long are you going to sit there and sulk” – He’s his big brother and he won’t take this nonsense from him, and the “Rely on yourself!” message, just as he had done for Koto, and as I said back then, that was Myoue the big brother speaking, so now we have Kurama the big brother speaking, reminding Myoue he has a family.
- Haha! I was right, when I said the “skies” above the Council of Three’s chamber were like a play mobile above a crib, and that it was filled with toys for a giant. The show now flat out says it – Kurama and Yase are Myoue’s playmates, and this had been his cradle. This is a crib fit for a giant, and the giant is Myoue, if only he were to accept it. Why did Yase and Kurama treat Myoue such then? Well, plenty of reasons – he wasn’t ready so needed to be poked, he wasn’t ready so they took responsibility for him (again, the lazy god who leaves the work to others), and finally, they’re his older brothers, so they were just giving him a rough time.
- What a lovely message. No matter how dark it is, no matter how terrible, it’s better to go and do, to trust in the future, than long for the dead past. No matter if the world is about to end, it’s better than hiding in a hole, hiding from the world, hiding from yourself. Better to go outside, than be a frog in a well (Uchouten Kazoku reference, another story about family).
- “I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds” – Koto and Aratama, surveying their work.
- You don’t need a lot of money to make shots look great – execution doesn’t matter as much as design does – just a couple, talking of times gone by, as the worlds fall apart.
- “Why are you here?” – The million dollar question. I believe we actually got some answers here. Myoue is the god of Mirror Kyoto. Myoue didn’t want Mirror Kyoto to go away, or the people inside it, which is perhaps why nothing in it ever broke. We kept talking about Yase as clinging to her past, but while we discussed how Myoue keeps longing for his past, it just might be his wishing for the past, for the lovely time in Mirror Kyoto, and to keep it going until his parents returned, that stopped it from ever changing. As Kurama said, until you change yourself, neither will your world change. Myoue didn’t change, and as the god of this realm, it reflected him, and didn’t permit change either.
- This is also why Yase didn’t mind Yakushimaru being Myoue – her father would’ve brought the end, but her brother kept the place she loved, where she enjoyed being, around. Time with family, seemingly without end.
Post Episode Notes:
WOW, what an episode! It was all about family, even if we actually had to think and apply our brains and see how it applies to Inari. Greek God families at their best.
This episode had told us how much of it is truly Myoue’s story, which I think was sort of obvious, but even if it’s Myoue’s story, it’s still also the story of Yase and Kurama, they’re all one family, after all.
Next episode? The creation of a new world, letting go of the past, realizing your family is what you make of it. But even so, ever-retracing the steps of your forebears, but, of your own volition. Family and time without end, here, in Mirror-Kyoto.