“Memories From The Day of Snow”
This week, we received some insight on Ryogi’s humble origins, cluing us in on his fervent loyalty to the Byakuya Gang. From the child’s perspective, his parents died before his very eyes, apparently murdered by someone who objected to the Byakuya Gang’s practices. I can understand how this event influenced him to join the Byakuya Gang, but something doesn’t add up here.
I don’t trust Gekko one bit, and reckon he played a hand in causing the death of Ryogi’s parents. Are you telling me that a gang of merry men couldn’t fend off a single interloper? My bet would be hedged on Gekko wanting to consolidate all power within the organisation, thus arranging the death of Ryogi’s parents. As for Ryogi, he must have been left alive for his ice kekkei genkai, and so that the boy could be manipulated to do the Byakuya Gang’s bidding. After all, Gekko gave that whole speech about how easy it was to manipulate people, using the negative emotions in their hearts. He’s practically a self-confessed demagogue. And judging by the flashback, he successfully convinced Ryogi with choice words, and a seemingly selective retelling of the incident. But you have to start asking the question, what exactly is his objective? I doubt that it would be money, since he gave a good portion of the wealth back to villagers. Whatever he’s done would suggest a long con, and I’m curious to see what the Crest of Night strategy entails.
A Song of Ice
It seems ironic that Ryogi brought a lamp to his rendez-vous with Shikadai, in the hopes of furthering their genuine friendship, by extending the time they could spend together. Instead, the lamp served as a ca(pi)talyst for bringing it all down. Shikadai uses the lamp to play a clever trick on Ryogi, causing him to inadvertently reveal his affiliation with the Byakuya Gang.
I loved the artistic direction of their clash, and the beauty of their confrontation stems from the fact that neither are wrong per se. Ryogi wants to change a failing system, but his methods are questionable. Meanwhile, Shikadai states that stealing is wrong, yet thinks that they are too powerless to change the system. Practically speaking, how are a bunch of kids going to fix the flaws of a capitalist system? But I don’t think there’s any harm or shame in trying. Capitalism possesses distinct shortcomings, and outside of third parties like the Byakuya Gang, little is being done to address any failings.
Having forcefully parted ways, are these friends fated to fight each other on the battlefield? Somehow, I doubt that Shikadai is a person who gets himself tangled up in these messes. However, now is the time where I expect him to go all out, attempting to make Ryogi see reason.
Though the Kaminarimon corporation hold a positive record, having helped out the struggling game designer from earlier on, I couldn’t help but feel skeptical when Denki’s father claimed ‘We haven’t done anything wrong’. I don’t buy into the mantra that mega corporations of a significant size can be completely free of moral culpability. It becomes impossible to oversee every single aspect of how its run, making it impossible to catch out every potential infraction against vulnerable workers. That said, it’s wholly possible that they’re receiving unfair criticism, as a result of the Byakuya Gang fanning the flames.
From a certain standpoint, I’m absolutely intrigued by Gekko’s notion that his manipulation counts as a powerful ninjutsu in its own right. While it’s been implied that he might be able to manipulate people, through using tattoos he places upon others, I’m actually referring to how his words can prey upon the discontent. In fact, I would draw comparisons with Kaguya’s Infinite Tsukiyomi, and it even succeeds where she falls flat. Being far less intrusive, while mobilising the masses onto your side, I’d say there’s greater potential. How are Naruto and Co meant to deal with the enemy, when they’re actually up against disillusioned civilians? Ironically, I’d coin this as being a larger scale and more malicious variant of Talk no Jutsu – frequently attributed by fans as Naruto’s ultimate technique. For me, this would lend credence to the idea that ninjutsu is slowly losing its relevance in a modernising world. Science, technology, and now advanced politics are slowly surpassing what a ninja might be capable of, and going by recent records, the shinobi are both complacent and unprepared for such a transition.