December 8th, 2013.
The Village Gives Up and Withdraws, The Children Reach Out.
Well, last episode certainly ended ominously, both for the village and the surface, and for Hikari and Manaka, let us see where this episode takes us.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) The Village – Giving up, Withdrawing:
- “It’s not like we can hibernate!” – Makes you think how fluid the definition of “humans” is, or rather, what the core facet of it is.
- “The people of the surface don’t have Ena, we owe them nothing.” – They’re your relatives. Everyone on the surface came from the sea, Tsumugu’s grandfather came from the sea, Tsumugu’s grandfather and Akari have Ena to boot. It’s more “Those without Ena, we can’t help anyway, so telling them won’t help, and the real issue which applies to them all is – they had turned from us, and from the Sea God, so let them fend for themselves.” – That’s quite cold, aren’t they all humans? Wouldn’t they perhaps turn back to the Sea God and thus turn away the calamity, or find something to do with the aid of science? And how will the Sea God suddenly grow in strength? Well, the last bit is mythic-logic, so it’s alright.
- Also, the most interesting part to me is – the calamity will only arrive in 50-100 years, but why do they go to sleep now? So people won’t go to the surface, they need to maintain the believers they have. They want them to come back when there’ll be nowhere to run off to. Hm.
- Look at this simple image, which tells us so much – there are three mills, but only one is in good repair (and needed?). The village used to be bigger, which is also what Uroko-sama had been saying. People can leave the sea and go to the surface, but they can’t come back. The village used to be bigger, but it’s shrinking, getting smaller and smaller.
- Old man, go home, you’re drunk, you’re scaring Manaka. This is very Adam and Eve, or even Dr. Strangelove – the world will be de-populated, so squirt out kids! Also, that whole “Doesn’t matter whose seed it is”, together with how the old guys treated Akari, and the whole “You’re stealing our women” thing at the joint meeting? Very off-putting. When cultures clash, people often paint things in terms of the “national womb”, and how women’s “purity” is a marker of lines – and “soiling women” as a way to scare of the other group.
2) The Children’s Energy – Love Burns Within Them:
- And the kids? They only think of one another, rather than the mythical-history they are being told of, which I suspect is part of a rite of passage normally, so only the adults know this tale.
- The end of the world pales in comparison to a troubled teenager’s heart, especially when the end of the world literally means separation from one whom the teenager loves. Silly adults, not understanding.
- I doubt the Ofunehiki at this one village will be sufficient (I really wonder about the rest of the world), but I have to agree. Hikari’s “solution” is simplistic, but why is no one even trying to turn the tide around, and make things right? It should be obvious. I think it’s tied to the state of the village’s disrepair, they’ve given up already, the adults, thus seeking refuge in drink.
- Uroko-sama, how cruel, “Wouldn’t it be better for you if the sea and the surface drew apart? Being in love sure is a difficult situation.” – But I don’t think he truly tries to manipulate Hikari into his darker urges this way, to push him into jealousy. He’s just an old entity who finds fun by prodding people, and if anything, he wants Hikari to grow by being confronted with his feelings. And he enjoys making the kids suffer – you have to find a way to entertain yourself through the long centuries, after all.
- Well, Kaname finally makes his move. See, that’s the thing with shows such as these – things go along, with a conflict now and then, but then they up the ante and everything happens concurrently – school conflict, cultural conflict, the world is ending – but all of these are just scenery, so the emotional struggle actually matters. All of the rest exists just to give a “push”, to force the characters into action and a changing situation.
3) The Sea-God and the Apocalypse – You Say Mythical, I Say Human:
- This feels like the story of Amaterasu – God withdrew from the world, and the world turned cold. Here though, it’s either saltflake-snow or a post-apocalyptic winter.
- “Without prayers, the Sea God loses his power.” – A symbiotic relationship, the God needs the mortals to have powers, and the mortals need the God and his powers in order to live. But, if the world is not one that humans can inhabit without God’s continuous intervention, then perhaps it’s not fit to live in anyway :3
- How human – “But if it’ll happen after we die, does it really matter?” – I think this is a great way to explore climate change discussions, first it’s shock that things are so bad. I remember the first time I heard “In 50 years, most of the population won’t have drinking water.” but then you go “Eh, it’s so far away,” which is how we get to this situation, or just shows how people care about themselves, and let others, including our children, fend for themselves. First there’s utter shock and disbelief, but it quickly dissipates into the murky waters of the future.
- Yeah, they talk of how the Sea God protected humans from the climate change up until now, but perhaps this is just a lie to paint him in a better light? He can’t stop it, or do anything about it, so the people just go to sleep when it comes, and when it goes away – naturally – supposedly he regained his strength and brought change to the weather. And if the two are tied, who’s to say the climate change isn’t weakening the Sea God, rather than the Sea God’s weakness bringing forth the change? And as grandfather said, the saltflake snow might be a natural part of the cycle, which is needed every so often.
Post Episode Notes:
Well, the paragraph above sort of summed much of it up – things are moving. All the pieces had been put in place, and now we begin tossing down the dominoes – not one at a time, but multiple crash courses, concurrently. Things are happening, and they seem inevitable, and the clock is ticking – sure, some people have 50-100 years, but we have this week. The characters are experiencing the pains of first love, which they must admit, for the world is coming to an end. Time to see tears, time to see struggle. Actually, that we’re only at episode 10 makes me wonder how they’ll resolve this, or how they’ll keep things going.
The only solution I see right now, fueled by the ED, is that they’ll join the shore-people while everyone else is asleep, and while they’ll long for home now and then, they’ll get a more “normal” school experience. Well, we’ll see!