Gen’ei wo Kakeru Taiyou – 02
「血塗られた未来」 (Chinura Reta Mirai)
“The Blood-Soaked Future”
This is a magical girl show not about what it’s like to risk death, but what it’s like to kill.
Away From Home, On To School
Last week, some commenters mentioned that the episode seemed awfully fast, but it didn’t bother me that much. This week, I saw what they meant. The episode progressed quickly from Akari waking up after being unconscious to her being in class at her new school. Bwuh? It was a bit dizzying. But what really got me was the fact that she wasn’t given any training in how to fight. From a storytelling perspective, I understand why they did that, especially in light of what happens later on – they wanted to save that until the end. Still, what the hell? It seems like they could have come up with a better reason than “We like to learn about fighting during battle.” That’s a good way to end up a corpse.
To Kill, Each And Every Time
Speaking of a corpse, I was almost ready to lower my opinion of Gen’ei, but the end brought it back. First of all, this show really is the most evocative when they’re in the mirror world – that’s where those character designs and all the visual flair work the best. They don’t hinder the story when it’s in the real world or anything, they just don’t sing like they do when they’re fighting.
Past that though, the battle brought up brought up an interesting philosophical question that I hope this series is going to fully tackle. In a lot of fiction, killing is done pretty freely. I could point out some anime examples, but anime really isn’t the problem here. Exhibit A: modern “realistic” triple A FPS video games. Exhibit B: Hollywood blockbusters. Exhibit C: Refer to Exhibits A & B again. There’s enough killing done that those of us who consume this media have largely stopped actually thinking about the moral conundrums it should entail – we can wade through rivers of blood in a video game, and only when it gets to ridiculous levels ala God of War do we start to go hey, guys, this shit is getting excessive. Maybe. That’s a pretty big maybe.
From the looks of it, Gen’ei is going to take us back to the root of it by having our magical girls be not victims, but murderers. The emotional weight that comes with killing someone on each and every time mission… And not only kill them, but erase them completely, making it as if they never even existed at all. Dark stuff, and an interesting philosophical and moral question that isn’t tackled as often as it probably ought to be.
Hard to say where exactly this will go, save that I hope they delve into the moral quandary I talked about above. I’m going to give this one more episode before I decide whether I’m going to pick it up for the season or not, so we’ll see if they can tackle some of their pacing problems while continuing to deliver interesting episodes that take a new spin on the “magical girls in pain” genre. Is that even a genre? Screw it, I’m calling it, it is now.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – This is a magical girl show not about what it’s like to risk death, but what it’s like to kill #geneitaiyou
- I had hilarious random thoughts for you, but I didn’t save the file I was writing them on, and then my computer crashed. Twice. Always save your files, my friends! And don’t use Notepad. Stupid lack of auto-save…
- Something something lesbians something. Seriously, two crashes!? DAMN YOU COMPUTER GODS *shakes fist*
For more from yours truly, check out my blog on writing, art, and the book I’m working on at stiltsoutloud.com.