「慟哭のなかで…」 (Doukoku no Naka de…)
“In Bitter Lament…”
A stupid world full of stupid people acting stupid. At least Rinka x Kyoutarou is still nice.
Thinking of Each Other
As Kyoutarou fell into the sea after exhausting himself, as Rinka wandered in a daze and was captured, and even after Kyoutarou learned the truth about his parents’ demise, they were thinking of each other. Along with Rinka herself, their relationship is one of the best parts about this series. It rings slightly false that they should prioritize each other so much when they lacked all that relationship building time I’m told they had in the manga, but it’s still nice. There’s still something for us to root for in this crappy world.
The Professor Did Everything Wrong
Well, almost everything. Calling in the diplomat was a smart move. It didn’t work out, but it was still smart. Everything else though, was epic-level idiocy. Every single action he took was a misstep, and many were avoidable if he exercised a little appropriate caution. Hell if he had watched one good conspiracy movie, it all might have turned out better. Instead, he did everything wrong.
Let’s go down the line. They went to a dig in a foreign country apparently controlled by a military dictator, and they let him get his hands on their find. Even from an archeological point of view, letting him touch the Ark of the Covenant (an Indiana Jones reference, I’m sure, though I could have done with this general’s face melting) with his bare hands and letting him touch the tablets with his bare hands was stupid. What happened to scientific rigor? And then he dropped one of the tablets, and I groaned out loud.
But maybe those were unavoidable. The Professor’s mistakes really start after that. He got superpowers in a possibly repeatable way, and then he told a military dictator about it. Lie, you idiot! You wouldn’t even have needed the diplomat then. I would have still talked to my home country, and apparently that wouldn’t have ended well, but they might have lived longer, and maybe they wouldn’t have died at all.
Then they all walked right into a trap. Is there any good reason to have a meeting in such a secluded place so late at night? And then when he got back to Japan, he openly accused the government is heinous crimes when they had shown themselves willing to kill their own citizens. Bide your time man, and don’t destroy your credibility with accusations for which you have no evidence save your own testimony. Oh, and approaching the diplomat who tried to have you killed when you can use illusions is pretty dumb too. Obviously.
I know the Professor wasn’t originally supposed to be a criminal mastermind. Some of these mistakes are reasonable. I could even still see them all dying if the government was truly corrupt. But he did so many things wrong that I ended up shaking my head. If he paid more attention during history class or read the newspaper on occasion, he would have known that military dictatorships aren’t to be trusted, especially around new weapons. Instead he did so many things wrong that I just sighed.
Japan is Better Than This
The problem with the “twist” that lead to the deaths of the Professor’s team is that Japan was portrayed as so cartoonishly evil. Nations have in the past—and some continue to this day—done horrible things to their citizens. Japan, as with all mighty nations past and present, has a blighted past. Yet I find it extremely hard to believe that modern Japan would do something like this. What we saw in Outbreak Company? Absolutely. That’s how the foreign policy game is played, and a rogue politician might even try to dispose of a citizen if they get too unruly. But they gave Shinichi a chance to play by their rules, and it was his rejection that escalated things.
But this. Modern first world countries don’t do this to their citizens (almost always—I’m sure one of you will find an exception), so while it makes sense why the Professor would be embittered, it rings false. Glowing fish that grant superpowers coming from a stone tablet, I can accept. A modern Japan that murders its own citizens to keep them quiet because they want a shiny new weapon (when it could have just as easily knocked off a general and escaped with the goods), I cannot.
And that’s the problem—modern Japan. Past Japan? I can believe that. Many people lived (and died) that reality. Future Japan? Take PSYCHO-PASS. It was wise to set that story in a sufficiently different future, because we can imagine some version of Japan today could possibly lead to PSYCHO-PASS’s future. Modern Japan is not a dystopian country, so when you ascribe these sinister motives to it—of which the esper detainment forces and their facilities are another example—I balk.
Perhaps I give Japan too much credit. Perhaps I should suspect evil or them, and of the government of every powerful nation. But I don’t see it, and ascribing this grand evil to the modern Japanese government—even a parallel world thereof—rings false. Especially when you shoehorn it all in one episode in a (failed) attempt to make your villain seem less villainous, all without foreshadowing.
Not much else to say. This didn’t fix Tokyo ESP’s problems, so I’m just waiting for it to get back up to where it was in episode one so I can see if Kyoutarou survives. The rest is so much talk.
Note: I’m going to be on another overseas trip starting midway through next week (I typed this post on a plane!), so I won’t be around to blog episode eleven. Fortunately Cherrie has graciously agreed to cover for me. I’ll be returning the following Saturday, and I’ll try to blog episode twelve as quickly as possible after my jet lag fades. Thank you for your understanding.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A world of stupid people acting stupid. Since it’s modern Japan, it feels fake. Rinka x Kyoutarou is one of the last bright spots #東京ESP 10
- Old guy is walking through the park, and he sees Rinka and tells her to go away? What a fuck. Just keep walking.
- The more I think about it, the more I wish Rinka’s (and Wolverine papa’s) hair didn’t change colors when they used their powers. De-powered Rinka would have worked so much better with that constant reminder.
- And suddenly, Minami is stripping. Unnecessary fanservice in a non-fanservice show is unnecessary. Stop it Xebec.
- Mixing women and men in the same detainment center doesn’t seem smart. Then again, nothing anyone is doing seems smart, so par for the course.
- “This is all the work of god!” Thaaaaat never ends well.
- Let’s be serious, the Professor was missing enough skin from that grenade that he should have died regardless of his wife’s healing powers, especially since proper medical treatment was likely hard to come by in the immediate future.
- “Can you say from the bottom of your heart that revenge is wrong?” I can. It’s wrong. Understandable, but wrong. Right the evil and punish the wrongdoers so they can’t do it again, but don’t do it for self-satisfaction. Revenge tastes like ash in the mouth. It solves nothing. It’s pointless. Kind of like the hack job Xebec is giving this adaptation.
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Vacation, & a taste of what’s to come, Life or death, Just plain fun, and Don’t have enough time.
Full-length images: 08.
To be (kind of) fair, the Professor believes (or believed in the manga) that there’s a conspiracy run by some hidden group who’s influencing or controlling the government, rather than that the government itself was behind everything.
Her clothes were soaked when she rescued Kyoutaro from drowning. That part’s in the manga, so you can’t blame Xebec. Although they do seem to have upgraded her assets.
My analogy may be a little off because they aren’t acitvely working the prisoners to death or trying to kill them, but I tend to think of the “detainment center” as more like a concentration camp, personally. As long as they prisoners don’t use their powers and don’t try to escape, the guards don’t care what they do to each other. The objective of the plan’s advocates was to separate “monsters” from “normal people.” If the “monsters” assaulted, raped, or murdered each other after they were taken away, well that wasn’t the “normal people’s” problem anymore. Or something along those lines.
Or maybe I just tend to feel a bit bitter whenever I think about this part of the story because of the serious ingratitude some of them have towards Rinka after everything she’s done.
Fair enough, though I always say that if the girl is going to start stripping, the guy ought to as well. Not because of sexy times or anything, but his clothing was wet too, right? It would have made it seem less unnecessarily exploitative. If that was the only thing it would be no biggie, it was just abrupt.
You’re right, of course. They don’t seem to care what happens to the “monsters”; trampling all over their rights out of fear showed that. It’s consistent at least.
“As Kyoutarou fell into the sea after exhausting himself, as Rinka wandered in a daze and was captured, and even after Kyoutarou learned the truth about his parents’ demise, they were thinking of each other. Along with Rinka herself, their relationship is one of the best parts about this series. It rings slightly false that they should prioritize each other so much when they lacked all that relationship building time I’m told they had in the manga, but it’s still nice.”
This ^ – particularly the last two sentences. Wrote as much before, but I think it’s worth repeating now that the repercussions of the adaptation’s choice to stray from the source are starting to take effect.
Not much else to say at this point. Two episodes left; let’s see how this turns out. Maybe the anime can end on a positive note. Maybe.
@Stilts: Enjoy your vacation! Have a good local ale or lager for me. 😀
I always drink good ales and lagers. If there’s good beer to be had, I will find it!
Considering where I assume you’re going to, wouldn’t a bad one be more of a rarity to find?
The history concerning the fish is definitely an Indiana Jones reference, although the whole plot surrounding it reminded me more of Gilgamesh than rabid Nazis after the Holy Grail 😛
There are some good ideas here in ESP, ideas that would not have been out of place in a comic book. Sadly though–as repeatedly pointed out–there is just no time given to these ideas to properly flesh them out and make them into something interesting. If ESP can manage to scrape together a half decent conclusion in the remaining two episodes then everything isn’t all bad, but the show is still down there in terms of poor adaptation work.
I didn’t groan when he dropped the tablets, I just laughed out loud. It’s like something out of a Mel Brooks movie, man. “Behold, we found the Ten Commandments! Look upon it and…woopsie! Uh, five commandments! Yes, we oughta rewrite the history books, haha!”
And speaking as an actual archaeologist (well, student, I guess), I could nitpick those scenes to death. But I won’t, because I can’t expect a story about espers to care much about accurate representations of the job – but it’s still sad when freaking Indiana Jones is a thousand times more accurate than this stuff. I will say that these guys are stupid as hell. This is not unavoidable. It’s crazy enough to go work in a military dictatorship with a civil war around the corner, but then you find such an important artifact and you go boast to the military leaders about it? Then what, geniuses? Wait for it to get destroyed or stolen in the war? Used as a political or religious tool by a despot? And let’s not forget the looters it will spawn! Don’t jump the gun in getting word out about your findings, that’s archaeology 101 in normal situations already. Even without the special powers involved, that’s dumb.
For the rest I’m left with a thousand questions I’m not expecting an answer too, as per usual, and the hope that the show just shuts up and gets to the action already. Because I’m tired of these villains – I just don’t care much about them either way – and I want some more Rinka and Kyoutarou action. I still kind of care about them at least, so make me cheer for them. Have them save the day in a satisfying way. Please. I implore you.
“I didn’t groan when he dropped the tablets, I just laughed out loud. It’s like something out of a Mel Brooks movie, man. “Behold, we found the Ten Commandments! Look upon it and…woopsie! Uh, five commandments! Yes, we oughta rewrite the history books, haha!””
maybe you should’ve written for the show instead! I would’ve gotten many more laughs out of it!
I kind of enjoyed the back story we got from that episode. And I enjoy a good conspiracy theory about a government. Perhaps it was the diplomat working with a powerful, corrupt official. Only manga readers know the truth at this point I guess
Yeah it didn’t seem clever for everyone to meet down there. I thought they would flee ASAP. And I wondered why tell the general about the powers as well. Ugh… Naive
Agreed on most problems Stilts pointed out. Personally, I’m willing to let the professor’s actions after returning to Japan slide, since people hardly ever act wise after some sort of traumatic experience. And he was veering way off the road of sanity too, so yeah, not really blaming him for thinking straight.
Other than that, he was pretty stupid. That trap really made me bury my face in my hands.
On a sidenote, it took me some time to figure out what the professor’s wife’s power was. Pointing a glowing finger at some wrinkles wasn’t exactly the best explanation (unless it’s some reference I’m missing).
Yes this Show made many Errors, and they add more up with this Episode. Finding the Ark, telling a General about this. Well they could be some Anti-christ Religion or something, but then telling the General they got Superpowers from this Ark? Men, that was the stupidness they ever could do. Inside the Generals head, i can see the Pictures of his Military conquering the World with Superpower Soldiers. But it seems some bigger Fish caught this Information and got rid of the Diplomat and the General
No Sir, seems like this Anime is tumbling from one Pit of Shit to another Pit one. Even if they try to avoid them
looks like some Old WW2 veteran High tier now, want to have this Power for himself. To lead Japan again to War.. They still use this crap
An Advice to the Writer:
Looks like you pick up the US Story Soul of 1946-50 around. Where Japan was still the Enemy and want still conquer the Asia World.
Get rid, of this Japan/Yakuza want the Ark for Superpower Soldiers for conquer Countries. This is just strong Poison
are you trying to dip this Poison little by little to the Audience Generation that is watching this?
> But this. Modern first world countries don’t do this to their citizens (almost always—I’m sure one of you will find an exception), so while it makes sense why the Professor would be embittered, it rings false
And that’s the reason he was so trusting of both that dictator and Japan’s government – he was brainwashed into thinking exactly like that. But why would the governments suddenly change? As long as they or the people close to them can profit from such activities, only extremely tight citizen control and government transparency can make them abstain from doing such things too openly.
I’ll be honest… I really dislike episodes like this.
“Look, the bad guy has reasons for him being bad… you should sympathise”.
Well, no. If the bad guy attacked government buildings full of government folk… Well, that at least feels like war.
Instead he sends a bunch of murderous nutters into a school.. Yep, thats what people do for revenge… attack unrelated folk.
Also… after watching/reading all the usual series this week…
Show Spoiler ▼
T’was a good episode if you ask me. It may be a disappointing adaptation but it’s still pretty good whenever Rinka & Kyoutarou are on screen. In fact, the main reason why this is a disappointing adaptation in the 1st place is because much of their interactions were cut out.
Anybody else think of Steven Spielberg when that “Old Man” came walking up?
That was my first thought at least.
whoa, that backstory was just fucking ridiculous; it’s one of the most formulaic, exploitative, and contrived things I’ve seen in a loooong time. and holy crap, everyone is stupid. so let’s start with…
this buffoon, who drops the stone tablets of the 10 Commandments…just no.
everyone get powers from the 10 Commandments (which just sounds dumb writing that), and it leads to this massacre. who would’ve thought that would happen?
but somebody thought trusting these assholes was a good idea. I wonder who that was?
this asshole, who stayed with everyone else way too long in the country, but even so, why didn’t you use your goddamn powers? why didn’t anybody!
but you’re so damn dumb, you went back home and tried to explain it to a bunch of idiots and nobodies, again, without using your powers as proof. not that this part of the story doesn’t sound absolutely horrendous (and infuriating).
so your big plan is to find this asshat again, but someone beats you to him and kills him. I also love how he’s wearing the same outfit as when we first saw him. budget cuts!
some random thoughts:
why didn’t his wife heal herself then heal him? sth sth plot purposes I guess.
I didn’t realize the professor had a Behelit!
and lastly, the leader of the good ESPers is now in a goddamn wheelchair. oh gtfo!
the writer really should be ashamed of himself. this was awful. I’d drop this if I weren’t so close to the end. ugh.
Well, it is not the 10 Commandments. If they where so, you would see some kind of Letters. But we see here nothing… But every one that know the Old Bible, know that it is heavy Inspiration. Or the Writer is a Indiana Jones fan. An do not know, what Treasure it is for the Christians in the entire World.
Btw, the Wings of the Angels was turned in this Anime
here is the Indiana Jones original
So you can see, he copied nearly 100% this from the Film, not knowing what importance it have as background (i suppose). Like the Holy Grail
No every one got the Powers fromt he Ark. This Dude here
said he dont saw any Fishes and just saw the others collapsing
my guess? it smells really big Fishy here. Mr. Story Writer. We dont know, if everyone saw the Fishes and got Powers.
But assume, if they got all Powers, why is this Dude lying? Dundundun…
This Picture should show us, that he has fallen to the Deepest Dark Side of the Yedi
His Soul is tainted with deep Hate
Professor Xavier, is taht you?
Yes, Kitty Pryde it is me in Disguise
hmm, Japan passed a states secret law at the end of last year, supposedly some say so people wouldn’t report anything negative about Fukushima (that is strictly a hypothesis, but bear with me), as anything that may harm the national image could be considered a matter of defense. now why would they do that? well, if people were allowed to report on the incompetent mishandling of the disaster by TEPCO, maybe, just maybe, the OIC wouldn’t have given them the summer games for 2020. that’s a lot of money on the line, but you know, I guess they wouldn’t do that to their own citizens. cue TEPCO reports of another mass leakage of water from their plant. I know most of people feel it’s fear mongering or propaganda, but the coincidences are a touch too convenient with all the money on the line.
the downvoter must be a Japanese official!
in case anyone wanted confirmation, and all from fairly respectable sources. But I guess in this day and age, it doesn’t matter to some of you.
“Can you say from the bottom of your heart that revenge is wrong?” I can. It’s wrong.”
why is it you’re so certain it’s wrong? do you have personal experience in this matter? if not, why do you think it’s wrong? if it’s a moral objection, where did it come from? I ask that because it seems that most people think some things are wrong because they’ve been told or taught so, even though the world acts in stark contrast. That’s not to say one is justified over the other, nor am I trying to start an argument, just asking it from a philosophical perspective.
I personally don’t feel it’s a matter of being right or wrong, but I understand that it becomes a vicious destructive cycle. I also don’t feel like it’s my place or right to judge someone else in that regard, particularly if I’ve never experienced that specific wrong against myself. who am I to make that judgement anyway? that’s actually the reason why I don’t feel comfortable serving on a jury. and in the same vein, who am I to question your view towards it?
anyhow, I don’t think the anime meant to be this deep!
I guess some of you ain’t a philosophical or self-reflecting lot.
The Past and the Present done a Weeding
P.s. The Music… is that Music? or some kind of “Please wait, until we reach the Rooftop in our Elevator of Turtles Company” Elevator music? There was Music, yes. But it lacks of Body and Flesh. it was only a Paper thin strong glimpse
Weeding = Wedding