February 2nd, 2014.
Gods aren’t bound by morality.
Well, last episode’s ending certainly introduced more ominous undertones – Yato the cold killer, the girl with all the names upon her whom Yato had given a name to, and Yato telling Hiyori he took her to Kofuku and her regalia so if something were to happen to him, she’d seek refuge there. Well, maybe we’re actually going to meet the plot this episode!
Shorter Notes / Asides:
- A child two parents fight over, giving an air saying “I don’t care.” :)
- “Wait, this is supposed to be an actual choice? Are you kidding me?” – Great face.
- “Keikaku dori!” – I actually thought she was sad before we saw her eyes, to counter Yukine saying she has it all so easy.
- Yato, still like a cat, still no self-dignity. That mocking god!
- Yukine in the bath has the standard “What’s my purpose in life?” monologue. Should he go back to Yato? What will happen if he doesn’t? Does he care? It’s actually interesting to think about – Yato gave life to Yukine, but Yukine has no real obligation to Yato. Hm.
- A lion-riding valkyrie, a goddess of death, who dispatches several large phantoms one after the other, and appeared in the OP. Yes, more characters are being introduced, but you can at least feel things are picking up, and action!
- The eyeballs with that voice, really makes me think of Aku no Hana. That was a creepy show, atmosphere wise. Creeps up on you.
- See, in 20 seconds, with one creepy “Onii-chan!” this show is way creepier than anything Pupa had been up to now.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) That phantom is so adorable :3 But more to the point, notice how they talk of “borderlines”. Hiyori had been told that she should be careful, lest she cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed, for pleasure (episode 2). And Yato lives in the crack that is the borderline between the world of the living and the world of the dead. This show is all about borders.
Which borders? Between you and the other. Telling someone that they’re not like you is an attack, and also a shield. Makes sense. And since the phantoms try to control you, and try to affect your wishes, that indeed seems like the perfect answer.
2) A borderline, the series showing us the distance between a human, and a spirit. A difference in outlook, a difference in morality. They’re so close, but a world apart.
2) Morality, Also a Form of a Borderline:
Well, that was actually very interesting. The deities don’t decide or “know” what is right and wrong, it’s not the western monotheistic tradition. The gods are taught by way of aversion therapy what is right and wrong, and what is moral. The regalia have the souls and histories of humans, so they have base desires, and when they give in to them, the god gets a jolt, associated with the action, and so learns right from wrong. Not very different from teaching animals or kids, by scolding them or hitting them slightly each time they do something that isn’t right.
But of course, the context is something the deities have to figure out for themselves. Sometimes an act is “not right” only in context.
And here’s the final important thought on the matter – The gods aren’t hit by the action being immoral, but the perception the Regalia has of it, which is what I noted above. So if a god has a regalia who can’t tell right from wrong, they can grow immoral as well.
Of course, Yato drives the point home seconds later, with one of the show’s beautiful shots. Morality is a matter for humans, gods aren’t beholden, even if they know what humans think.
Post Episode Thoughts:
Well, seems next episode will actually be a plot-episode, with Yato against another god(dess), and conflict, and then things moving forward.
The theme of the border, of liminality, is the main theme this show had been stressing up until now. In case it needs to be pointed out clearly, morality marks the difference between a human (and an ex-human, such as a Regalia), and a spirit such as a God or a phantom. Morality is a borderline, and Yato had warned Hiyori not to cross that border, because she’s, as part of her current existence, prone to breaking the boundaries.
But once a boundary is breached, once the milk is spilled, so to speak, you cannot undo the damage. Once you give in, it’s all over for you.