I guess her name should have been a hint. Amazing episode.
The Tragedy of M
Why is Yuri’s play tragic? The ending seems happy at first glance: Yuri and her lover fly off into the sunset, arm in arm, on the wings of a swan. But the reveals from the remainder of the episode paint the play’s ending in a different light. Yuri’s marriage is a lie meant to make her forget her past with Momoka. There is no love between her and her husband: they are but tied together by the cruel wheel of fate (as the swan is tied to the ceiling), unable to fly free. The lie they have constructed weighs down their dreams and true desires, just as the false swan is burdened by the weight of the couple. The feathers that they once used to fly are torn from their wings and scattered in the wind. Tabuki and Yuri are birds in a cage. This is the Tragedy of M(atrimony).
The Princess of Lies
The episode’s title, the Princess of Lies, refers to Yuri’s status as a celebrity and her propensity for lying. It also appears to be a clear reference to the Prince of Lies, Satan. The tragic character of Milton’s Lucifer bears many similarities to Yuri.
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That Glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deifie his power,
Who from the terrour of this Arm so late
Doubted his Empire, that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall; since by Fate the strength of Gods
And this Empyreal substance cannot fail,
Since through experience of this great event
In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanc’t,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal Warr
Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs, and in th’ excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the Tyranny of Heav’n.
Paradise Lost 1:106-124
Lucifer wages eternal war against heaven, even though he must surely fail: so, too, does Yuri (and Kanba) wage eternal war against fate. With deceit and guile, Yuri lures the unsuspecting Ringo into eating the fruit of carnal knowledge (and hopefully Ringo will share some with Shouma). Yuri claims that she has abandoned her past, but this is a lie: in her pride, she will not bow down to fate and sue for grace. Her body is that of a monster, and no one will ever accept her again.
So what is the mystery of Yuri’s body? I’m going to guess that she isn’t entirely a woman. She’s having an affair with a woman who dresses as a man, and apparently only a woman can satisfy her. So yeah.
To briefly incorporate the ongoing gnostic comparisons, the archons (Yuri) see the reflection of Sophia (Momoka) in the waters, and long for her. When they see the same light of Sophia (Momoka) within Eve (Ringo), they rape her and she bears their children.
Ringo and Shouma
Gah, this was too much. I’ve been shipping the two of them since the second episode, but really, this has exceeded my wildest expectations. The scene where Ringo clung to Shouma’s shirt as he refused to accept her forgiveness was too adorable. He even has her crying. I don’t think she ever did that for Tabuki. The aftermath was adorable as well, where it turned out that Ringo had elaborately planned out her “I wasn’t waiting long” greeting and was embarrassed. I could say more, but just have some pictures.
- Note Yuri’s bondage ropes: they’re red. She and Ringo have become entangled in the strings of fate.
- We see Yuri / Akiho’s car. I was wondering when they’d import this from Utena.
- Masako’s entrance to the subway car was awesome. While she knocks out the men in suits, her penguin replaces Kanba’s perverted pictures with pictures of herself. Then Masako places her foot in a very suggestive position. Kanba is a top-notch womanizer, as his eyes are focused up her skirt the entire time, even as he trips her.
- Masako’s words seem to lend some weight to the theory that Kanba and Himari are not actually related.
- I liked Sanetoshi’s answer to when Himari will be released from the hospital: “When the secrets of the world are revealed.”