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working out plot questions (spoilers!)

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Unknown
Post #8211
Member

1:36 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts:


Quote from monkey-boy
As to how Sakaki became a child-beater, see p118: "Every time I saw her beautiful skin and frail little body, I just felt sick." Her children, then, provoke her in the same way (the fact that they're also twins does I think mean that to us they are to serve as proxies for Arie in this case).

The fact that her children are twins shouldn't have anything to do with her beating them. Since she never knew that Arie and Suzuki where related to begin with not even twins.
But yeah, after that incident she just lost all love for children... including hers apparently.
--------------
And about Arie hearing her mothers voice. For me it looked like the same phenomenon that was happening with her brother. Him meeting himself and talking to his other differently-aged self. He even guided himself somehow.
So if Arie hears her mother voice that guide her. It doesn't necessarily mean she isn't her mother (to at least some extent).

candyloop
Post #8213
Member

3:18 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts: 154


Quote from monkey-boy
Quote from bukuwawa
This actually raises something else cool about Inio's style here that i was talking about with Stephen. Did you notice that througout the story, almost none of the supporting cast gets detailed faces? The nurse when they find Arie has woken up, Mr. Suzuki, Mrs. Suzuki, the doctor that talks about Komatsuzaki's case, we never see their faces wholly rendered. That's not true for 100% of everyone though, some of the kids get faces rendered. Something makes me think he didn't leave them out because he's lazy =)


Yeah, totally ... or rather, there's two things in what you're saying that I would separate.

On the one hand, faces of supporting cast are often deliberately partial: the living (as opposed to all-but-dead) Mr. Suzuki gets the mandibles-only weeping shot, Mrs. Suzuki just has braids and apron strings, Mrs. Takahama is only seen at extreme angles or with a shot of her braces (kind of a cruel touch on Asano's part, I thought at the time) and hardly anything else identifiable ... so they're detailed, actually, but deliberately stripped of the status of fully living breathing characters. And I've kind of taken this as evidence that Asano has known expertly how to slice out the things we don't need to be thinking about too much, *by the same token* suggesting that we don't take for granted, or as unintentional (i.e. a matter of artistic indifference), whatever has been left in.


Not only that or perhaps not that at all; when he erase the supporting character in such way he basically emphasize on the microcosm that the story evolves in, makes it somewhat claustrophobic. To me itís not that the supporting characters are not important (not worth to think about), it's that the main characters are self-centered and leaving everything else out just makes it more obvious.


monkey-boy
Post #8217 - Reply to (#8211) by Unknown
Member

3:39 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts: 18


Quote from Stealth
The fact that her children are twins shouldn't have anything to do with her beating them. Since she never knew that Arie and Suzuki where related to begin with not even twins.


That's not what I mean to say, actually --- I'm saying that "to us," i.e. to the readers, Sakaki's twins are clearly a thematic reprise of the Kimura twins (the Hatori/Sakaki family pose along the street over the field is a deliberate echo of the Kimura family picture of the same, etc.). What I mean to say then is that we've got a precedent or a justification for seeing parallels there. (Another example of this principle in operation would be in the very question of whether or not the Kimura children are twins ... it's never said that they are twins, right? So are we justified in extrapolating from the fact that there's a pair of newborns on p002, and the fact that they're always seen to be about the same age and height, that they really are twins? Well, the revelation of the name Twin Field, and the juxtaposition of Twin Field with the scenes of them together as children and again as young adults, is a pretty substantial justification, I think, although it's apparent only to us as readers.)

Quote from Stealth
But yeah, after that incident she just lost all love for children... including hers apparently.


No, I don't think I can agree with that, at any rate that's not what I mean; she obviously has real affection for Suzuki, for example, and that's after the incident in question. So it's not a question of losing love, or of a problem related to all children. It's very specifically a feeling of revulsion she gets from the vision of a little girl with "beautiful skin and (a) frail little body." Like her daughters.

Quote from Stealth
And about Arie hearing her mothers voice. For me it looked like the same phenomenon that was happening with her brother. Him meeting himself and talking to his other differently-aged self. He even guided himself somehow.
So if Arie hears her mother voice that guide her. It doesn't necessarily mean she isn't her mother (to at least some extent).


Yeah, that's a great point about the same thing happening with Suzuki (and note that Suzuki Amahiko the old guy turns into a butterfly at the end)! I reread the end this morning after I woke up again and I'm thinking now that you're on to something here. More later.

Quote from candyloop
when he erase the supporting character in such way he basically emphasize on the microcosm that the story evolves in, makes it somewhat claustrophobic.

I'd agree with this, that claustrophobia is a good part of what gives Arakawa and Komatsuzaki's escape such a strong feeling of escape.

Speaking of which, bukuwawa, I realized that when Arakawa goes to collect the pendant from K, she hears him say some very weird (possessed) things and sees the butterfly come out of his mouth ... I think she's got every reason to have clued in on the nature of the butterflies, apart from whatever she learned from looking into Arie's eyes. (I agree that she did learn something there ... the fact that she even went to see K that morning must have been prompted by whatever she saw ... more on that later.)

Do you think it's possible that Arakawa is not just remarking that K has spent the day looking out the window, but actually telling him that he mustn't, that he must hide away from the butterflies?

Last edited by blakraven66 at 10:20 am, Jan 2

Unknown
Post #8224
Member

4:01 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts:


I don't see where you found the real affection she has for suzuki?
All she did was act her part as a teacher. Doesn't mean she really cared. Or I may have missed something...

But you might be right, her hatred was probably more directed against little girls.
She also said, that she couldn't find it in her to care about her students anymore. I don't think she was talking about Arie in particular. Although it's true that she probably enjoyed deep down seeing Arie getting bullied. (While she didn't care about the fat kid even if she knew, and she probably did)
Anyway, what I meant is that she (probably) didn't care about children anymore. But she might have a lingering hatred toward frail little girls as you said.

As for the twins case, I agree that they might have a link to the kimura twins in some way, if only just symbolic. But I still can't understand how you link that with her beating them confused

monkey-boy
Post #8227 - Reply to (#8224) by Unknown
Member

4:26 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts: 18


Quote from Stealth
I don't see where you found the real affection she has for suzuki?
All she did was act her part as a teacher. Doesn't mean she really cared. Or I may have missed something...


She certainly goes out of her way to make sure he's not feeling suicidal. And we know that she didn't act her part as teacher for Arie, at least, so she's done something special for him in that sense.

But to be fair, by the time she's devolved into beating her daughters, she's obviously pretty far gone in paranoia ... remembering her students, she thinks "some of them must have hated me," which seems completely unconnected to reality. And that's evidently something that's spread to her thoughts about all her students.

I suspect that the distinction you're making between not being able to care about, on the one hand, and actively feeling revulsion for, on the other, is the right one to make; and the latter is specifically brought out by a very specific kind of girl (not all girls, I wouldn't say that either; I'd stick closely to Sakaki's own formulation of "beautiful skin and (a) frail little body." (HiguBro recognizes Arie as meeting this description, but thinks Arakawa is a totally different species, so I think it's fair to say the distinction is objectively meaningful.))

Quote from Stealth
As for the twins case, I agree that they might have a link to the kimura twins in some way, if only just symbolic. But I still can't understand how you link that with her beating them confused


Yeah, again, I really only mean that it's a confirmatory sign for us readers, looking in from outside the story. It has nothing to do with Sakaki's motives for beating her children. Just as you say, that wouldn't make any sense.


bukuwawa
Post #8229 - Reply to (#8196) by monkey-boy
Member

4:36 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts: 13


Quote from monkey-boy
Should I go back to that first post and clean it up a little bit? Don't want to make this thread unreadable by sheer force of unbroken word count.

If you'll double check that I actually quoted all your questions in the second post (I think I did), you could probably change the first post to a little message explaining that the second post is both of them combined. The second post will still be enormous, though.

Quote from monkey-boy
p026: I understand the context of the children's game, but what is the literal meaning of "Hana Ichi Monme?" One 'monme' of flowers ... ? could you ask Stephen?



Sure, I'll ask next time I see him active.

Quote from monkey-boy
p038: while I'm at it, I vote for ms. "Oh you boys!! would you stop that?" as the overly-serious class rep biggrin Seriously though.

I can support that.

Quote from monkey-boy
p078: on close inspection, it looks like Higure and her brother *share* a room. Check it out; there are two desks, and a bunk bed. So the Nintendo is in there because it's her brother's room, but the Diary is on the desk with the stuffed animals on it --- her desk, by the look of it (and the wide shot identifies the desk she's sitting at as the one with the Diary; it has the pincushion bear and pencil jar on it). So we were both right on that.

That had to be a pleasant living situation.

Quote from monkey-boy
Edit: ugh, when we get to p100 we learn that the whole class was in on pushing Arie down the well, and there's a picture with 17 kids standing around it. Again, Arakawa, Hayato, and Hayato's flunky with the cap are identifiable. No bookbags, though.

I don't think I mentioned this anywhere in the thread, but I always (well, before we started this thread) assumed that Arie and Amahiko both fell at essentially the same moment. I do think that Amahiko jumped, and wasn't pushed, so I don't know if that first panel is showing her or him, but I sort of assume it's her still, since everyone is crowding around someone (with white skin) facing the other way.


Last edited by blakraven66 at 10:21 am, Jan 2

monkey-boy
Post #8232 - Reply to (#8227) by monkey-boy
Member

4:59 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts: 18


Quote from monkey-boy
(HiguBro recognizes Arie as meeting this description, but thinks Arakawa is a totally different species, so I think it's fair to say the distinction is objectively meaningful.)


Oy ... just realized that this lends a completely sinister cast to HiguBro's observation that Sakaki's twins are "pretty cute." We know what he likes.

Noteworthy, now I come to think of it, that Sakaki didn't recognize HiguBro at all. Not impossible or even implausible, but notable.

Quote from bukuwawa
If you'll double check that I actually quoted all your questions in the second post (I think I did), you could probably change the first post to a little message explaining that the second post is both of them combined. The second post will still be enormous, though.


I'll look at doing this this weekend. Would like to make things more digestible ...

Last edited by blakraven66 at 10:23 am, Jan 2

bukuwawa
Post #8235
Member

5:21 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts: 13


Regarding Sakaki, I'm pretty sure that if she'd had a single ugly boy, she would have beaten him. I feel pretty strongly that even if beauty was a factor, it more helplessness that she tied her rage to, and nothing is more helpless (and needy) than a child. In her interactions with Suzuki, remember that he was pretty stand offish, even with her. I think part of her behavior towards him was the result of the fact that she suspected he tried to commit suicide, a compulsion I imagine she had a more than passing interest in even at that point. Perhaps she wanted to see him succeed (in life, not in committing suicide) so she would know it was possible.

Edit: I don't deny that the fact that her daughters were cute probably didn't help.

Quote from monkey-boy
Speaking of which, bukuwawa, I realized that when Arakawa goes to collect the pendant from K, she hears him say some very weird (possessed) things and sees the butterfly come out of his mouth ... I think she's got every reason to have clued in on the nature of the butterflies, apart from whatever she learned from looking into Arie's eyes. (I agree that she did learn something there ... the fact that she even went to see K that morning must have been prompted by whatever she saw ... more on that later.)

Do you think it's possible that Arakawa is not just remarking that K has spent the day looking out the window, but actually telling him that he mustn't, that he must hide away from the butterflies?


I wonder if looking into Arie's eyes doesn't just give you a clear view of yourself.

I don't think she's hiding him from the butterflies, per se, or she would have to hide from them too. I think she just moved with him to the big city to avoid the cops.



Last edited by blakraven66 at 10:24 am, Jan 2

monkey-boy
Post #8236 - Reply to (#8235) by bukuwawa
Member

5:32 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts: 18


Quote from bukuwawa
I don't think she's hiding him from the butterflies, per se, or she would have to hide from them too. I think she just moved with him to the big city to avoid the cops.


But that wouldn't explain why he wouldn't be able to leave that place as long as he lives.

Edit: not saying that that proves she's hiding him from the butterflies. But there's more going on here than ordinary running from the law, even if you account for K's unstable state, I think.

bukuwawa
Post #8239 - Reply to (#8236) by monkey-boy
Member

5:59 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts: 13


Quote from monkey-boy
But that wouldn't explain why he wouldn't be able to leave that place as long as he lives.

Edit: not saying that that proves she's hiding him from the butterflies. But there's more going on here than ordinary running from the law, even if you account for K's unstable state, I think.

Well, I imagine part of it is that she's a little possessive of him at this point.

I'm not ruling out that her behavior has some sort of supernatural motivation, but I think the monster is done with them.


monkey-boy
Post #8241 - Reply to (#8239) by bukuwawa
Member

6:43 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts: 18


Quote from bukuwawa
Well, I imagine part of it is that she's a little possessive of him at this point.

I'm not ruling out that her behavior has some sort of supernatural motivation, but I think the monster is done with them.

Agreed that she's possessive, at any rate, and that that accounts for some of what she's doing.

I also agree that the monster is done with them, but I'm suggesting that this is about Arakawa's perception of things, not the monster's.

Last edited by monkey-boy at 7:56 pm, Mar 16

bukuwawa
Post #8256
Member

10:40 pm, Mar 16 2007
Posts: 13


Quote from monkey-boy
p026: I understand the context of the children's game, but what is the literal meaning of "Hana Ichi Monme?" One 'monme' of flowers ... ? could you ask Stephen?


<bukuwawa> oh stephen question from the nijigahara thread
<bukuwawa> what is the literal translation of Hana Ichi Monme
<flyingrobots> looks like it's a classic japanese unit of weight
<flyingrobots> a monme is 3.75g
<flyingrobots> so it would be "one monme of flowers"


candyloop
Post #8267 - Reply to (#8236) by monkey-boy
Member

12:19 am, Mar 17 2007
Posts: 154


Quote from monkey-boy
Quote from bukuwawa
I don't think she's hiding him from the butterflies, per se, or she would have to hide from them too. I think she just moved with him to the big city to avoid the cops.


But that wouldn't explain why he wouldn't be able to leave that place as long as he lives.

Edit: not saying that that proves she's hiding him from the butterflies. But there's more going on here than ordinary running from the law, even if you account for K's unstable state, I think.


This might sound silly, but just to make sure about something, you both don't imply that buterfly and monster where real, right?

monkey-boy
Post #8268 - Reply to (#8267) by candyloop
Member

1:13 am, Mar 17 2007
Posts: 18


Quote from candyloop
This might sound silly, but just to make sure about something, you both don't imply that buterfly and monster where real, right?


My original idea (I talk about this somewhere above in the thread) was that they were sort of common subjective experiences --- which is still real, but is closer to "mass hallucination" than real in the objective sense of the word.

But bukuwawa has convinced me that they're real. Komatsuzaki isn't just occasionally having visions of this thing; he's really working for momma.

The butterflies show up on the news reports, come to think of it (at Hitano/Sakaki's breakfast table; in Komatsuzaki's abandoned apartment when the cops are watching TV ...)

Quote from bukuwawa
<bukuwawa> oh stephen question from the nijigahara thread
<bukuwawa> what is the literal translation of Hana Ichi Monme
<flyingrobots> looks like it's a classic japanese unit of weight
<flyingrobots> a monme is 3.75g
<flyingrobots> so it would be "one monme of flowers"


Awesome, thanks. Didn't know Stephen was flyingrobots ... leeched fresh manga goodness off his fserve more times than I can remember.

Unfortunately, I can't think of any way offhand in which this contributes ... probably there's nothing there, then (will mull on it). But seriously, thanks for following up.

Re: the rainbow theme, just realized that HiguBro's cafe is called "prism."

Still don't know about the picture on HiguBro's wall, though I noticed that it says "Romantic" in the corner on p169; and now I'm reading Asano's Solanin and notice (a) there's a Romantic music studio there, and (b) the same giraffe poster that's on HiguBro's other wall is on Inoue's apartment wall on v01ch03p002. So I guess we can strike these off the list of integral Nijgahara story elements. smile

Edit: for clarity.

All right, I keep going back to tie up some of these loose ends, but end up getting distracted by new things.

Check out the group of cops on p018. Short guy on the right is holding a towel.

Next panel, the detective starts asking questions. He's got heavy eyelids, and thick eyebrows that don't go out as far as the full width of his eyes.

Next page, we see the detective, still asking questions, wiping his face and neck with the towel. So we know that the detective is the short guy. He's got a tendency to purse his lips too.

You probably already know where this is going. p095 ... short heavy-lidded part-width-eyebrowed detective appears, wiping his jowl with his collar. Pursed lips on p096. On p222 and p278 we see him wiping his neck and face again, and on p280 there he is as he was in the beginning, towel in hand.

So the detective in charge at the tunnel in 1991 and the short-white-haired older cop in 2003 are the same guy.

(edited for dates)

Quote from bukuwawa
I don't think I mentioned this anywhere in the thread, but I always (well, before we started this thread) assumed that Arie and Amahiko both fell at essentially the same moment. I do think that Amahiko jumped, and wasn't pushed, so I don't know if that first panel is showing her or him, but I sort of assume it's her still, since everyone is crowding around someone (with white skin) facing the other way.


The idea that they fell at the same moment had entered my mind also. I think that's a fair guess. Agree also that Amahiko let himself fall backward, whereas Arie ...? But if you look at the first panel on p027 (that's what you mean by the first panel, right?) I don't think it can be her ... the two white legs you see are wearing the legs of different pairs of shorts --- in other words, they're the legs of two different people, neither of whom is Arie, who's wearing a dress. That doesn't mean they aren't two of the kids who are driving her toward the well, despite the fact that we don't see said kids with bookbags elsewhere in this episode. But it remains a confusing panel.



Last edited by blakraven66 at 10:27 am, Jan 2

bukuwawa
Post #8417
Member

6:13 pm, Mar 18 2007
Posts: 13


Quote from monkey-boy
So the detective in charge at the tunnel in 1991 and the short-white-haired older cop in 2003 are the same guy.

Yup yup

Quote from monkey-boy
the two white legs you see are wearing the legs of different pairs of shorts --- in other words, they're the legs of two different people, neither of whom is Arie, who's wearing a dress. That doesn't mean they aren't two of the kids who are driving her toward the well, despite the fact that we don't see said kids with bookbags elsewhere in this episode. But it remains a confusing panel.


Yeah, the white legs aren't her, I agree. I'll say that of the two groups of kids, it's more likely for arie's tormenters (perhaps not the seven who actually laid hands on her) to have bookbags in their hands, because Amahiko's was playing a game, and the first instinct when someone jumps or falls or whatever off a roof probably isn't to grab your bookbag before you rush to the edge to peer over.

Last edited by blakraven66 at 10:30 am, Jan 2

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