Once again we are exposed to the principalities and powers. Yui’s friend confronts her over the fact that she has abandoned karate, when she had promised to become the champion. Now, Yui’s life has no purpose. Without a purpose, of course, Yui’s life is meaningless.
As we’ve discussed before, this idea of a meaningless life is rooted in the fear of death.
I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” — Ecclesiastes 3:18-21
After we die, we will turn to dust just like the animals. To avoid this fate, we attempt to construct purpose in our life by constructing idols and worshiping the principalities and powers. The principalities and powers are things that are greater than us, things that will will last beyond our own deaths, giving our lives “meaning.”
The same idea pops up later when Aoi discusses his friend who died after spending all her time studying in cram school:
Ultimately, the principalities and powers are subject to a greater power, Death. All of Aoi’s friend’s accomplishments become meaningless in the face of death. And so will Yui’s. Eventually, Yui’s karate championship will be forgotten. No one will remember Yui existed.
Recall why Yui began practicing karate in the first place: she wanted to be able to protect herself from the men who abused her. She practiced karate out of fear.
As Paul points out, the idols we worship due to the fear of death turn us away from God.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. — Romans 1:21-23
Instead of being concerned about Yui, Yui’s friend is concerned about not being able to fight for the karate championship. She has exchanged Yui (the true image of God) for an artificial image of Yui.
Likewise, Yui is unwilling to look at her friend. She is afraid that her friend will bring back her past, leading to the death of her newfound friendships and stability.
But now that Yui has begun to live in community, the hold that death has on her is weakening. She is no longer alone and afraid.
Yui comes to the same conclusion as Paul: she isn’t worthy of anyone’s love, but she is loved regardless. So she begins to do the same.
Yui’s life doesn’t need a purpose. Living in community with her friends is enough. She is not afraid any more. She accepts her life, her meaningless life, just as it is.
So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. — Ecclessiastes 3:22
Oh, and baby Iori is cute.