「責任とってくださいよ」 (Sekinin Totte Kudasai yo)
“Please Take Responsibility”
Remember Kaze Tachinu? The Wind Rises? It was Miyazaki’s swan song and attracted controversy from every side of politics. Basically, nobody seemed very pleased with how it portrayed the WWII, or how it didn’t portray WWII. But that WWII wasn’t really the point, was it? It was set during the War, but it wasn’t about the War. It was about a guy who liked aeroplanes. And I think that’s sort of how it is with Hisone to Masotan as well. The Wind Rises was almost autobiographical, exploring a paradox within Miyazaki himself. Miyazaki had a fascination with war machines, especially aircraft. Castle in the Sky Laputa featured steampunk airships. Porco Rosso was all about biplanes. Heck, Studio Ghibli was named, in part, after an Italian warplane. At the same time, though, Miyazaki is a pacifist. I can understand that. Wars are terrible wastes of human life. If total war breaks out, lazy nerds like me won’t last a week. But at the same time, the machines we create for war are really cool. The elegance in design, the marriage of form and function, and the expressions of human ingenuity are incredible. Perhaps it’s impossible to separate the purpose of these machines from the beauty of their engineering, but boys love their toys. I think that’s partially what Hisone to Masotan is doing, celebrating the joy of flight made possible by our incredibly advanced flying machines while sidestepping the implications of their existence as much as possible. Fighter jets are made to kill and destroy, but they’re also awesome. Take the pilots stationed at the Gifu base. They’re soldiers, and not at all charming people. But in the end they’re all a bunch of aeroplane nerds. HisoMaso, with its plainly absurd dragon-jets, attempts to push cynical reality aside and unite us all in just gazing at the sky in wonder.
What else is HisoMaso going to be about, in terms of plot? Frankly, I can’t really tell. The dragon-jets, while silly, are evidently not just silly for silliness’ sake. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have an episode like this, bringing in past pilots and showing us what they’re like and what they do. Why do the dragon need to be piloted at all? Why do they swallow people as a sign of acceptance? You may be familiar with tales of dragons kidnapping maidens, or demanding them in sacrifice. Even Japan has one, in the myth of the Yamata no Orochi. Or perhaps Masotan draws from a wider range of mythology. In this mythology we have Hisone as a jealous lover and perhaps Masotan is, too. Her predecessors were both allegedly in love with some man, and perhaps they got the order of events backwards; they fell in love with another, and it was then that Masotan no longer accepted them. Or perhaps Masotan is as the mythical unicorn, and only accepts virgin maids; Moriyama has both hubbie and child now, so we can do the maths there.
I don’t know why any of these details will be important, let alone whether they’re correct. I mean, it’s an anime about dragon-jets, it can do whatever. There’s only so much fruit to be had from speculation, and I’m sure HisoMaso will reveal itself to us when it’s ready. The pace has been fairly lackadaisical so far (episode 03 and the cast is still to be fully assembled), but we can also call that ‘methodical’. I’m fine with HisoMaso taking its time exploring the novelty of its own premise. I means, it’s just the story of a girl and her pet dragon. I’m not expecting much else, but if it’s planning to give me more, I’m willing to wait and see what that is.