November 13, 2010

Kuragehime Ep4: These Things We Feel and The Things We Want

Posted in Kuragehime tagged , , , , at 2:27 pm by meotwister5

Kuronosuke sure is a looker (as a male), and as a man it is something I am proud to admit.  Born rich into a powerful political clan with anything and everything at his disposal, sometimes there’s nothing more that one would want.  Even then, he’s cross-dressing on his off time, evading his family and poking into affairs he doesn’t really have to.  His altruism is a bit suspect because he seems to have his own agendas.

Then we have Tsukimi. Barely getting by as a otaku slob with her fellow escapees now being called the Amars, she is perfectly content with her life for reasons all her own.  Now we know her mother has died, yet she strives tolive on with a promise never to cry.  Jellyfish obviously has a deep connection with her mother both as a source of her joy and her sadness.

And yet as I had said before,their lives aren’t all that different at a first glance.

Clara states the obvious.

The episode confirms that her mother really has died, leaving a deep psychological and emotional trauma that has influenced her life ever since.  A promise of strength on the deathbed makes her want to live and breath strong, without crying or show any signs of weakness.  There is an irony in this for someone who wishes to be strong in memory of her mother, yet at the same time running away from the difficult things that face her.  She does not run from everything, but her desire to be passive and get away from them is evident.  There are still questions as to how her mother’s death has affected her self-esteem issues and her self-identity, but I can presume to believe it is rooted on her mother being her emotional backbone, the very person who helps maintain her identity as a person.  She was not ugly as a kid, but perhaps her mother was the one who kept her believing that she was a good and beautiful person, no matter what the world says.

With her mother having passed, she must have lost that emotional and mental backbone that kept her upright and believing.  With no one to help relieve the social pressures that diluted her world and self-image, she confines herself to her shell, only being okay to open up to others like her and no one else.  A classic defensive mechanism.

Clara did say it best:  her problem is that she over exaggerates any criticism, even the criticism she creates for herself.  This is one of the things that really puts her down, and one of the things that she must overcome to come out of her shell.

The jealous eye.

If the parallelisms between her and jellyfish hasn’t been clear before, it sure as hell is clear now.  They possess a pure aesthetic beauty that is marred and overrun by the idea that they are the stone faced killaz of the oceans.  There is truth to that as the neurotoxins of sea jellies like the Box Jelly is one of the most potent toxins on the planet, and with that fear and rejection dominates the persona people see of these delicately beautiful creatures.  As the princess of Jellies, Tsukimi has adopted the persona the public has of them, as those of feared and undesired entities no one wants nor cares about.  She has then fulfilled the vicious cycle of society’s dictated negative self-identity, a jellyfish who believes what the other creatures of the sea say about them.

You're in love, baby.

Seeing Kuranosuke be jealous was adorable and all, but you must ask “why now?” when he sees Shu hugging her.  It was only now that he probably realized he’s not just doing things for his own gain, as a challenge to his own beautification skills, but as he implied in the previous episode he sees a deeper quality within her that he cannot find in the shallow lives of others.  Perhaps the attraction implied previously, but only now does it come to the surface.  He finds some sort of beauty in the physical ugliness that Tsukimi automatically presents for her own reasons, as opposed to the physical beauty that others show which disgusts him.

I could therefore conclude that in reality, Kuranosuke searches for a beauty far beyond the one that people in his life showed.  These were the beautiful people who fought and dragged each other down to get to him, in the process bringing out the ugliness within them that completely overpowers whatever physical beauty they had in the first place.  This inner ugliness disgusts him, and so he wished to find if it is indeed possible for people to be beautiful inside and out.  For him, he thinks Tsukimi is this person.  Tsukimi’s obviously not like those other girls who giggle and drool over him and this is one of the things that probably caught his eye, as is the rest of the Amars.

This is the Prime Minister of Japan.

I wanted to ask myself why he’s doing this.  Clearly it’s not only because of the ugliness he’s seen within the hearts of others, but I think it’s also related to his own mother.  We haven’t seen too much of his own memories so far, but his mommy complex (not yet, and I hope never will be, Oedipal) is also at the root of his own motivations and desires.  He found his mother to be an ephemeral beauty, and I’m safe to assume not only physically but inside as well.  As he had come to live in the household ten years ago, thus indicating that he might really be a bastard child, his memories of his mother have become few and far between.  I surmise that his search for the complete beauty is also a search for his mother as well: a person who was beautiful both inside and out.

The world of emotional stress.

The possibilities of a love triangle are here, but I get the feeling that it’s going to be subtle and subdued compered to everything else,at least to the insanity of the Amars household.  I never would have guessed that this would be an romance, but since love tends to be at the center of most interpersonal conflicts it was only a matter of time I guess.

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3 Comments »

  1. Michael said,

    I’m glad they’re shifting the focus away from the Amars. I don’t like them.

  2. vendredi said,

    Oh, I like how you expand on the jellyfish metaphor here – now that you mention it, Tsukimi does really live up to the title in more ways than one – much like you note here, she’s also sort of caught up in the currents caused by other people: she’s unable to make her own way forward. Not too unlike Kuranosuke, in fact; the title of the show might fit them both.

  3. meme said,

    this anime is amazing i love the story and everything about it excpet the amars


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