「ミコトとミコト」 (Mikoto to Mikoto)
“Mikoto and Mikoto”

Remember Mikoto’s backstory that they kept shrugging off? Well here’s the flashback that explains it all on this week’s Peach Boy Riverside. It gives you a brief, albeit bastardized version of “The Story of Momotaro”, but with the added inclusion of an ogre child who may or may not grow up to have the torch passed over to him.

It might have seemed like the past episodes have kept saying “you know the rest,” because it operates off the assumption that you knew the legend. But because Momotaro’s legend was semi-told in this episode now it feels more like they assumed you already saw what happened 9 episodes into the future. It makes for some messy storytelling, especially when the episode ends with a fragmented section where Sally picks up an incapacitated Mikoto several years into the future.

But even still, it was nice to get a gist of how exactly the anime depicts “The Story of Momotaro”. Instead of assuming that it went exactly how you might’ve seen it in another story, movie, or TV show, they took the effort to depict Momotaro in a way that would mesh with the Peach Boy Riverside canon. It gives you a nice backstory of how he became the famed ogre-slayer and explains how his values and experiences would cause him to sympathize with Mikoto’s plight.

From the flashback, it’s also easier to see why Mikoto would end up unhinged. With his father becoming an ogre that ate his mom and Momotaro having to mercy-kill him while adopting his son as his own, Mikoto had a difficult life at such a young age. Right when he thought he wanted to kill Momotaro, he ended up being even angrier about ogres coming in to kill Momotaro now that he’s gotten to know him. And because he’s just a kid, it’d be easier to see why he’d be vengeful of those who uprooted his childhood and needed to use his ogre hunt as an outlet to channel all of his rage towards having to grow up and survive on his own for most of his life.

11 Comments

  1. My personal issue here isn’t really so much that it took nine episodes to get the back story of a major character. What I don’t like is how the storytelling is pretty much out of order intentionally like a jigsaw puzzle. So as an audience I have to connect the pieces together like a detective; this should make for an interactive story getting the audience involved with figuring out what’s going on. In Peach Boy Riverside’s case however the non-linear timeline works against the Anime, when a character gets to an outcome or scenario I am not surprised at best a little interested.

    I feel connecting the dots is dulling the impact of the story and adventure of Mikoto and Sally with crew. It’s like a joke that has been told then retold over and over again till it’s something mundane.

    RenaSayers
    1. You are right, I don’t think that the non-linear storytelling is helping, on the contrary.

      Finally we have the explanation from Mikoto’s unhinged tendencies (see, I told you that he wasn’t a psycopath for thd fun of it :P), But I am very sad that the out of order episodes isn’t helping to attract people to this excellent story. :(😞

      It seems that they want for the audience yo wsit until the end, snd then watch the episodes on order. 😞

      Kinai
  2. especially when the episode ends with a fragmented section where Sally picks up an incapacitated Mikoto several years into the future

    That’s not Sally. That’s the nun ex-ogre Mikoto is travelling with.

    Dave k
  3. Didn’t think we would get the backstory here, as in the Manga that was way later and in a different situation that gave Mikoto a “reason” to remember this. The Episode also left out a lot of character moments between the two, some more hate before the bounding, more background on the Oni God and a longer fight between Momotaro and the Oni God.

    1993espada
  4. One clear indication anime isn’t produced for America: it treats an exclusively Chinese/Japanese-known folktale like everyone and their dog has known about it since their childhood years and shrugs most of it off, leaving people in the US to fend for themselves. They tell you the BASICS of it but otherwise it’s just covered in the first 6 minutes. SO I think the biggest relevation this week is that Mikoto was NOT the original Peach Boy, which MAY have been hinted before this week but if it was, I forgot all about it.

    starss
    1. This is true and it’s one of the reasons that I don’t really understand all the hand-wringing and crying over episode order that this show induces, especially among those who claim to be fans of the written work and thus should be able to easily navigate the flow of the story.

      I remember buying Haruhi on DVD (first anime I bought) and discovering that it was re-ordered chronologically. It was years before I bought another show and I still have never actually watched the DVDs (of course, the ugliness of the subtitles didn’t help).

      Personally, at this point, I wish this episode was an OVA or something as I generally dislike lengthy mid-story flashbacks but presumably learning it now has value. I don’t feel that I needed to know it prior to this episode. Enough shows have touched upon this folktale that I ought to try and find a conventional reading of it.

      Mockman
        1. I wasn’t speaking to your comment specifically. It seems to be the main point of discussion though over most of the episodes. FWIW, I thought yours was a reasonable take on the matter.

          Mockman

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