Narutaru Ch. 11-13 — An Empty Husk

Ch. 11 Summary: Shiina returns to the scene of the crime with Hiro. Satomi slaps her.
Ch. 12 Summary: Shiina visits her mom for her birthday. Her mom is a jerk.
Ch. 13 Summary: An angel-like dragon child attempts to kill Shiina’s father in a dogfight.

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We see the Kanji for Shiina’s name the first time in Ch. 12. It’s 秕, meaning “an empty husk.” One can imagine why she doesn’t like to use it.

There’s two (related) meanings for this name that I’d like to examine. The first is how it relates to procreation. In Ch. 11, Satomi accuses Shiina and Hiro of being stupid girls who will get married and pop out loads of babies.

As we learn later, nothing could be further from the truth: Shiina intends to never give birth to a child. This makes her, in a sense, a barren, empty husk.

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Shiina is also associated with the dragon children, who are themselves empty husks. Notice how when Shiina announces that she will never have children, Hoshimaru randomly pops up. This is not random at all, but a careful, intentional placement.

Shiina’s Mother

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Shiina has a terrible mother. She never sees her, barely knows anything about her, calls her stupid to her face, and even named her “an empty husk”. Terrible. And yet it’s clear that Shiina loves her mother. She’s uncomfortable around her, perhaps, but you can tell that Shiina desperately wants her mother’s approval.

The big question is, what did Shiina’s father ever see in this woman?

Beauty

I think that part of the answer to that question is shown in Ch. 13. When this hideous, mutilated angel like creature is about to kill him, all Shiina’s father can do is cry and say how beautiful it is.

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Now by most standards this creature would not be considered beautiful. I mean, look at it. We’re deep, deep deep in uncanny valley territory here. But to her father, it looks beautiful.

I think that’s one of Shiina’s father’s gifts: the ability to see the broken, ugly, hideous things as they are: beautiful. If anyone could be capable of loving Shiina’s mother, it’s him.

Further Thoughts

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Poor Hoshimaru, Shiina is being so mean~~~

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Very weird frame in the translation. It sounds like Shiina’s dad is hitting on her. In the original, he didn’t say anything about her being a beautiful girl. Perhaps this was put in to make up for censoring the nudity in dad’s earlier flashback.

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I like how Shiina is freaked out about the murder but not in the most logical of ways. Hiding from the police, panicking when someone knocks on the door, etc. She is a kid after all.

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The battle scene was great. I could look at Kitoh’s drawings of planes all day.

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