March 22nd, 2014.
Conquer the World, not Yourself!
Last episode was…. Wow. It’d be false to say last episode had come out of nowhere, because they had slowly building things up, and everything makes sense in retrospect, but last episode had definitely been unexpected.
Full-out war, sacrificing yourself for friends and family. Losing your home, losing your family as it’s betrayed from within. This show is all about symbolism, and all about family, so to lose one’s home? And then, they are all loyal followers of Venera, so what do you do when Venera loses it? And your enemies risk their lives to save you as your father is going to have you killed and then pin it on your adoptive family? When your prior enemies risk their lives to save you?
You run away. Now we need to see how the world-conquering will happen, since as Kate had said, what she seeks to do is liberate people, to help them unlock the potential within them. Free them, not from the yoke of others, but from the yoke they had placed themselves under. People can do anything, and don’t need to bow to others.
Well, time to find out.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) The Past is Kate’s Source of Power:
1) “The day I’ve decided to conquer the world, my body had stopped growing.” In case you hadn’t noticed, as Kate had passed the procession of her former allies who had turned to dust, the building in the background had continuously been worn down by the passage of ages. Kate is the last leader of the Ancient Udo Civilization. Why the last leader? Because she hadn’t died, so no one had to replace her. Of course she knows all the secrets, for she hails from this hoary culture.
Kate seems to have been a priestess-empress. Who it is they worship? The stars? Her? Hm.
2) Kate is 6 years old, but she had been six for a long time. The old man from the onsen? He might have been inducted into Zvezda by Kate, as a young man. But here is an interesting question, had she truly been at this for so long, why hadn’t she succeeded yet, and what will make a difference now? Ah, but of course, her new family, and Asuta, the normal boy who is abnormal in his normality.
3) Hm, talk of symbolism. Why does Kate operate out of West Udogawa? Because that’s her ancient seat of power. To annex it into Tokyo, to change its name would be to erase her culture, to erase her past. Everyone in Zvezda is separated from their past, everyone but Kate, who is their anchor. Kate had already lost her doll, and now she loses the symbol as well.
2) The Present is Asuta and Renge’s Joy:
1) This show… speaking of what is normal or abnormal. Renge and Asuta are on the run, they had to sleep in a broken-down building. But this scene of “home” is not “perfectly normal”, but is abnormally normal. Now that I think about it, that’s exactly what I said back when Asuta first joined Zvezda. We move in cycles, as we welcome Renge to the fold. Family and home-life is of paramount importance.
A whole week had passed, hm.
2) Gara and Couta have seen better days. When you see such costumes, do you fear pedophiles, mass murderers, homeless people? I wonder. And that KuruKuru which is a veritable bag of holding.
3) White Light Reject Their Past – They Are Self-Outcasts:
1) Yasu, still a useless dork. But these are his 30 silver shekels (reference to Judas Iscariot, who supposedly betrayed Jesus for 30 silver coins).
2) “We don’t care if we won’t get your technology, so long no one else will either.”
3) “My age is unimportant.” – This is from both Kaorin and Miki. In that sense, they are like Kate, where their age doesn’t matter. Unlike her though, they do it to separate themselves from their past, they are “Ready-made adults,” without families, without roots. Kate is the opposite. While age doesn’t matter, one’s past and experiences do.
4) “Traitors never get to relax.” – He betrayed someone once, so now he will have to constantly prove himself. Not just that he doesn’t harbour his old allegiances, but that he’s not ready to betray his new owners. Yes. owners.
4) On Power’s Nature to Crush or Create the Future:
1) Maid-lady magical girl, the one which Kate loves, and which had been played by White Falcon, now she is fighting against the forces of Zvezda and Kate’s likeness. I wonder if this is a reference to how during War World 2 Superman would fight against the Nazis, and how those in power use the power of propaganda for their sake.
2) “Most of Japan is now Tokyo.” – Makes sense, since he did indeed seem to be the country’s leader, and they did go outside of town. “You are now citizens, whether you like it or not.” – That’s how it goes, doubly so in dictatorships. Citizens have obligations, but also rights. A web one entangles itself in.
I do wonder about the rest of the world.
3) There had been some interesting comments here. “I don’t care if you think of me as evil (or hate me), it’s my job to be hated.” to which Kate replied with “Not necessarily.” – She thinks the ruler, or at least the conqueror’s job isn’t to keep people under yoke, but to liberate them. World conquest through liberation. There’s a conqueror within every single one of us (a paraphrase on Napoleon?).
The governor went on to say that Zvezda have clowns, for they had gone beyond good and evil. Or perhaps because they are clowns, they are beyond good and evil. The governor believes in power through fear and control, which Kate had rejected in the third episode. The governor believes in sides, where, and this is the whole point, Kate believes unity is possible.
4) Hmmmm. The way Asuta explains his father. “The more power you have, the more people that rely on you, the less room for “you” that is left, until only the position remains.” – So perhaps what his father meant was that he’s willing to be hated, because someone needs to. And that is what Kate rejected. Kate who is personal with all of her followers, who follow her as a person. Kate who, even as she wears a mask, is much more of a person, much more revealing, than the man who is revealing face that had hardened into a mask of power.
5) Fucking finally, just in case the symbolism of world-conquest from the last couple of episodes had been missed, the final closing of the thematic lead. Kate could conquer everything, whether it was physical or not. Each of us has the power to free themselves and conquer the world. That is to say, we are the masters of our own destiny. We can choose our fate. Nothing can stop us. Natasha had overcome her fear of the past. Everyone had overcome their loneliness. Yes, sometimes you need help, and that’s what families, that’s what Zvezda is for.
6) Asuta, you’re a cheater; your wish is to achieve all your wishes? :P Well, your wish is to spread that knowledge around, to be a life-coach? I think you could do better ;)
Shorter Notes / Asides:
- Hm, both as they made their landing with KuruKuru and now as they observed the television, they had been observed by smokers. Smokers.
- Ooooh, dimensional disturbance. So, the ancient West Udogawa culture, is it in the past, or from another reality? And note, on the left, in one of the caves? That’s a devil. Perhaps an NGE reference.
- If Itsuka had been a middle or high school student when Itsuka was but a baby, then she’s not 19 as the magical-maid’s actress was thought to be, eh?
- “We have increased our territory by over 9,000%!” – Oh you.
- Natasha’s tears become KuruKurus?! Talk about weaponization. Even as Kate stands against the silly governor of Japan who thinks he could fight against her, in territory which she had conquered!
- Fuck, doing the Zvezda symbol with my left hand really hurt in the base of my palm ;_; I did do it fine with my right hand though.
- Breathing smoke out, the Governor is a dragon!
Wait, his eyes shone and he didn’t reject her accusation he is no longer human. Welp. Next episode gotta be interesting.
Post Episode Thoughts:
This episode had spelled out the other thematic core of the show. The first, that of family, had been something that had been with us from the get-go. Now, now we had why conquest matters, and why there’s a conqueror within every single one of us.
This episode had been called “The Remains of the Conqueror’s Dreams” – Do you think it speaks of Kate, and the remnants of Zvezda? I don’t think so. It speaks about the Governor. As Kate had told the soldiers last episode, they should throw away their shackles and realize they are in control of their lives. What did Asuta say of his father? That he’s caught in his role. Asuta’s father is slaving away because he feels it is his duty.
We’re all conquerors, but when we lose our dreams and let the so-called reality defeat us, that is the end. It’s the death of the dream. The death of the governor’s dream. As he was consumed by his work, he let go of family, whereas Kate and Asuta know that to conquer, one might need help, one might need family.
Will they wake up the governor? Will we awaken as well? Asuta is going to where his adoptive mother-sister and his biological father face off, and we’re coming to the real question of the show – “What does Asuta want?” He had told us, that he wants to tell people they can follow their dreams. Well, it’s time he showed us as well.