「とむらいの声」 (Tomurai no Koe)
“Voices of Condolence”
Just because you can hear them doesn’t mean you can save them. Just because they’re not lost doesn’t mean they don’t have to die.
This School Has A Jail Cell
Akari’s initial qualms about killing were very selfish in a way. She doesn’t want to kill, even though she is one of the few with the power to protect, and even though innocents will die if she does not. She wants a third option (trope!), even though no known third option exists. Without that, all that remains is doing what can be done while working towards another possible solution – which is the option she chooses in the end. I understand her angst, and I’m glad it took place, though longer than this would have been too much. This might have already been too much, in fact.
Also, that jail cell thing? They don’t tell you that kind of thing when you sign up for this school. What a raw deal.
The Moon Loves the Sun
This is not the kind of show that baits yuri shippers, so I was curious as to why Luna was so assertive when it came to Akari. We got a glimpse into that this time. Luna is damaged goods (according to those asshole adults), and the only one who ever thought she was worth anything was her onee-chan, who Akari resembles in personality. I guess I just like the symbolism in the moon loving the sun, and how someone is willing to stand up for Akari, even when she goes off the rails.
More so than just a revelation about Luna, I like how all of the characters – mainly the main four for now, but that may change – have their own unique emotional baggage. Akari’s is well documented, and Luna has her “damaged good” onee-chan thing, but then there is Seira, who (appears to) feel like she has to be right about killing the Daemonia, or else why has she been killing all these innocent people all this time? As for Ginka, I’m unsure on her yet, but calling herself indecisive, talking about the pay…there’s plenty of potential to go into despair-ville for her, I feel. In fact, she one who seems to float effortlessly by might be the one to crack the hardest. Should be interesting to see what her baggage entails.
Speaker For The Daemonia
What interests me about the setup of this show is that it challenges the old absolute of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” (which, if you look at the actions of most major political or religious leaders in history, is not really much of an absolute at all) by exploring when it is not only okay to kill, but when it is right to do so. Last week in the comments I likened this to a soldier killing an enemy combatant, in that the soldier won’t be punished, and it might even be for the better and save lives. (A very American way of thinking, I know.) Perhaps a better parallel would be physician assisted suicide, at least in light of this episode’s events. Food for thought.
Whatever the case, Akari’s decision is rife with potential for anguish. She is setting herself up to be some kind of therapist for the soon-to-be dead, one who will listen to the pain of the humans trapped in the Daemonia and then help them in the only way she can – by sending them to oblivion. She will listen and remember, so that they will not be forgotten, not totally. This smacks of someone who is going to take all of the pain of the world on her own shoulders, and slowly bow under that weight. Admirable perhaps, but ultimately self-destructive. Anyone else getting shades of Sayaka? We’ll see where this goes.
Looking Ahead – A Better Way, or To The Pain
I still wonder what path this show will eventually take, and whether the world will allow the characters to have their way. There are, broadly speaking, two choices: the light path, and the dark. Akari is trying to take the light path, of taking a third option and finding a way to fix the system so they can exterminate the Daemonia before innocent lives are lost, but will the world allow it? She must walk the dark path in the meantime, of slaying the Daemonia and the humans they have taken over. Will she slowly come to accept this as the only path, her idealism slowly crushed by the inexorable reality of the world?
I’m not sure which one is the “right” answer, the one that will make this the best story it can possibly be. I want to find out though. Series picked up. Let’s see where this goes.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Just because you can hear them doesn’t mean they can be saved. Akari has become a therapist for those who are about to die #geneitaiyou
- Why does the soul look like blood cells? Or is the soul in the blood? Hmmm…
For more from yours truly, check out my blog on writing, art, and the book I’m working on at stiltsoutloud.com.
“May those who accept their fate be granted happiness; may those who defy it be granted glory.”
If she has accepted her role as executioner (albeit she talks to the damned, yeah, that’s a load of help, whatever), then there is no saving her. She has become a gear in a clearly screwed system.
Poor Akari. Just like Madoka, her naivety got crushed by the inevitable, terrible truth.
But i’m glad that she could sort out her feelings ands made decision as fast a possible, instead of torturing the viewers with 4++ episode of angst.
Those tarrot cards have cute designs on them. I wonder if they might make merchandise of them :3
Show Spoiler ▼
I want a deck so bad! They remind of Mizuno Junko style.
This definitely feels like another series where no one has all the information. The crow and cat are holding out because they can, and because they don’t really care about anything except whatever their goal is. Prepare for a moment near the middle of end where everyone at the school gets their worlds rocked with some heavy truths to questions they thought they had answers to. Except the triplets. No idea why, but I don’t trust them.
I get the feeling Seira has gone through something like Akari, wanting to save people but being unable to. Now Akari’s innocence just pisses her off, and she may even become an enemy for a few episodes after Akari figures out how to save the possessed because she just can’t accept it. As for Ginka… call me crazy, but that octopus pot doesn’t look like a phone, and if it is, I’ll bet money it isn’t connecting anywhere…
I agree with your thought about everyone not having all the information, but your point about Seira is even more intriguing. It ties in with what I said – she has to be right, otherwise there was something she could have done and she was just killing people instead. She hides it in her “their has to be a more efficient way” talk, but I don’t believe that for a second.
I hate it when they pulled the whole “destiny” card to make Akari feel responsible for exterminating Daemonia… And she just accepts her role with a naive mentality of bearing memories of those she killed and saving everyone including the possessed people. This won’t end well for Akari if she keeps this up.
More so, what will her little counseling do when she’s going to kill them anyway?
Of course, in a utilitarian sense her listening to the daemonia doesn’t matter – they will die anyway, and be expunged from the world, so who cares? But Akari is still human, and she has to operate by her own internal moral compass. Treating humans like monsters is repulsive to her, so she listens so they can be remembered, so they’re not totally gone, and so that they can be treated like humans one last time. And then she kills them, because that’s the best she can do for them right now.
I do hate the destiny card too, though. Screw destiny, blaze your own path! Hopefully the world will allow you your wishes.
Wow, I was impressed with how they incorporated the tarot in this series. They’re personalities are definitely in line with the four elements. Seira wears her emotions like a badge of honor. Ginka is materialistic. Luna is more of the air personality with her reflecting back and thinking about the past and putting them into perspective in the present.
I liked their version of the Hanged Man tarot card. It has a lot of the elements of a traditional card, but also has a lot of interesting deviations that support it’s original meaning. It’s mainly a card of contradictions, by letting go you get what you want, you can win by surrendering, stop forcing things and let things happen naturally. It can also mean you won’t get what you want by force or control.
The Devil card in the preview section is also interesting. If you read meaning they provided about it being about confusion, you can see the there is a pentagram over character’s forehead. Very clever imagery of that confusion.
Stilts, you might find this interesting since you’re into storytelling, I found the Fool’s Journey. It’s basically how the Fool travels through all the major arcana cards in a story. http://www.learntarot.com/journey.htm
Interesting! I’ll have to read that journey when I have some time later on. Thank ya~
It wasn’t brought up yet but the Daemonia true form was the Hangman while Akari was talking to his soul (Does she have the power to illuminate the truth?).
I’m thinking the humans that are transformed into Daemonia are not random but people descendent of the Arcana bloodlines like our girls. The fact that Akari cousin Fuyuna was taken over, the old man Seira remembers for her reason or trauma to fight looked like he was “put down” by her, and this onee-chan Luna is remembering in the past tense could all be family members to the girls.
It might also explain the jail cell in the school and the cryptic talks between Laplace and Etia. (The girls might have the potential to become Daemonia for the family lines reason not just their heart/souls become weak.)
I don’t think all of them are descended from the families (especially since an abnormally high number of people appear to be infected with Daemonia in the area), but the girls definitely have the potential to become Daemonia as well, and powerful ones I suspect. That was bluntly stated by Etia and Ariel early on, on how Akari would have turned into a Daemonia if they hadn’t taken away her memories of Fuyuna for a while.
You must face the truth squarely and without flinching from duty. Our Enemies are mortal no longer. Mercy for such as they is a chimera, self-deception is its only ally. Dedicate this weapon, given unto your hand at the behest of the Emperor, to their destruction. Regard its function as your only duty: you live only to bring cleansing fire. Take up your rod and staff, your armour and psycannon, and go forth.
We are at War with forces too terrible to comprehend. We cannot afford mercy for any of its victims too weak to take the correct course. Mercy destroys us; it weakens us and saps our resolve. Put aside all such thoughts. They are not worthy of Inquisitors in the service of Our Emperor. Praise His name for in our resolve we only reflect his purpose of will.
40k Inquisition quotes are just too much in flavor for this series…
other than that, there is all too much unknown about the whole daemonica thing… Is it accepted voluntary by victims in a kind of “pact with the devil” or rather it is “caught” by those wanting more from their lives? Is there really no way to trace “dormant” daemonica – and maybe cure them? Or, in a worse twist of fate, it would lead to extermiantion of peoples who havent done anything bad yet? (Psycho-pass, anyone?)
Hopefully (hopefully hopefully), if they can find the Daemonia before they start rampaging, they can expel them without harm to the human they inhabit.
…is what I want to say, but that would be a marvelously compelling and terrifically terrible plot twist for our heroes. To go from slaying monsters that contain humans to murdering humans that contain monsters…oh my.
This please 🙂
I would like to see our ‘cold as the icy stars’ Seira butchering some infested humans while the Sun tries to defend them.
It did sound like a few of the teachers would be in favor of killing off the people while the Daemonia was still dormant, so I wouldn’t be all that surprised if such a system was created and the girls were told that that was how they needed to fight from now on instead of waiting. Be interesting to see if even Seira could stomach that, cause Akari and Luna would probably go rouge.
Goddammit! Now I’m tempted to go play a Dark Heresy scenario based on Genei Wo Kakeru Taiyou!
…mmh. After three episodes of this, my impression of this show is rather lukewarm, I’m afraid.
The narrative so far is mostly consistent, yes. However, the writing is also very heavy-handed, feeling rather like the literary equivalent of a giant iron ball – Luna’s flashback was perhaps the most glaring offender in this episode. There is some subtlety in characterization, but certainly not in the storytelling – the cat and bird in this show manage to be even more obviously questionable than even the raven in Vividred, which somewhat cheapens the other hints that this organization is less than what it probably should be. (Why ‘contain’ the ‘infection’ to the arbitrary 0.03% number, for instance? No research into where they’re coming from to attempt to actually stop the problem?) Other than this blunt force approach to writing, though, there isn’t actually anything terribly wrong with the show – it just doesn’t feel like something great. (I’ll admit that I have a reasonably high standard for writing, though.)
It’s also funny that you use the soldier analogy, of all things, here, because Akari’s actions would earn her a court-martial in any military – especially since she’s clearly a disruptive influence that drives other troops into open mutiny. Heh. (As an aside: my personal view of soldiers and killing is that at least some measure of military force is a necessary, and unfortunately very often abused, evil. It’s when glorification happens, and soldiers buy in completely into the dehumanization implied by their training, that problems happen.)
Hah, she would get courtmartialed for sure! Seira is a better example of what I was talking about – she kills and will never be punished for it, and it may even be right. She damn well hopes it is, at least.
The last discussion of the crow and the cat does not bode well. They’ve got an agenda going that the women aren’t part of.
Two other points. One is that I think one of the girls is going to turn. My bet is on Seira, but any one of them may be the one.
Secondly, the third way may be a question of surgery rather than killing. I kept thinking that Akari could have cut the rope that the man was hanging from, just to see what happened. Maybe they can “cut out” the infection before the person is too far gone.
The crow and the cat….
The next reincarnation of the Incubators?
*Seriously, in post-Madoka Magica, it’s hard not to look at the genre in the light that it was before
the crow from Vividred also immediately sprang to my mind…
Hmm… totally forgot about it
I just want to say thanks to the writer for this well written piece. I really enjoyed watching the past 3 episodes. I guess I’m a sucker for this ‘magical girl’ type genre. I hope it turns out to be epic like “puella magi madoka magica”. Anyway, it feels like its own special beast so far and I dig
I’m back from my mancave that one of my best friends forced me into when he gifted me Fallout New Vegas on Steam for my birthday.
My backlog of anime episodes is vomatrocious. I’ve barely watched anything, all I’ve done was download episodes ;/
So I got around to watching this episode and one thing pissed me off, I mean I got real upset because it’s something that is so cliched and bullshit at the same time. It’s the dumbass Sensei who just stood there waiting for the train to hit her and that last little kid. What is it with this retarded thing that writers like to place into their stories?! If I have time to move the hell out of the way, I’m going to move the hell out the way. I’m not going to stand there and crouch in position like whatever is coming my way won’t hit me. The teacher didn’t even try to get the last kid off the tracks, she just stood there holding the kid, i mean wtf is that shit. I hate when a story has moments like this where the “victim” just gives up without doing absolutely everything they can to survive, it’s bullshit, and bad writing /rant
The rest of the episode was fine, I like the little boss fight arenas more than everything that takes place outside of them, because that’s where the animation is superior and keeps me interested in watching. Did the Cat and Bird really just reveal themselves to be the masterminds behind these attacks? When you say things like “They’re guinea pigs”, this makes me think that these daemonia attacks are planned by someone, not just some parasitic thing that infects people who had bad shit happen to them.
not to sound rude or anything, but imagine yourself in the teacher’s position. these little kids who have their whole lives ahead of them, are in danger of having those lives cut short, and that train was coming in pretty fast. however when the train stalled, she did get most of them out, and when the train started moving again, she was probably frozen with fear. i know i’d be freaking out, too. sort of like a deer in headlights. it’s not bad writing, it’s just human nature. /rant