Narutaru Ch. 14-15 — Hard Questions

Ch. 14 Summary: Shiina’s mother visits her father in the hospital to quiz him on what happened. Shiina also visits, and then attends the other pilot’s funeral. Akira asks Shiina for help, showing her a threatening note.
Ch. 15 Summary: Shiina and Akira discuss what to do in response to the note. Shiina says she will kill anyone who threatens her father.

In the car on the way to the funeral, Shiina asks her father’s friend a question he can’t answer:

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“What’s the point of being born if you’re just going to die?”

I’d like to compare Shiina’s reaction to some of the other characters who have already confronted death:

  • The adults. All the adults we’ve seen so far have come to accept death. They are very upset about it, of course, but they realize that it will happen. As Shiina’s driver says, they’ve become “numb” to death as they experienced it with age.
  • The high school revolutionaries. To lump these people all into one broad category, they have accepted the reality of death but have rejected life in order to do so. Unlike the reluctant, fearful acceptance of the adults, these children embrace death enthusiastically (or at least claim to). They do not ask why death happens, they ask who is going to die first and attempt to justify why it’s going to be someone else.
  • Akira. Akira is stuck in this strange place where she is too afraid to live, but she’s also too afraid to die. Her perspective is the most cowardly but also I think the most honest. She doesn’t look away from death like the adults do, and she doesn’t put up a false front like the revolutionaries try to.

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Unlike the adults, Shiina doesn’t want to accept death. In particular, she refuses to accept her father’s death. I think that to an extent, this is a good thing. Death should make you angry. It’s ridiculous. At some point, of course, you have to come to accept it. But to be angry at death is to be human. Some of the adults have gone numb and started to lose this feeling, which is unfortunate.

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Unfortunately, this anger leads Shiina to lose her way and head down the same path as Satomi and friends. This is the path that leads Satomi to decide it is okay to take the lives of others to justify and preserve her own life. The “survival of the fittest.” Although this isn’t to preserve her own life, but to preserve her father’s, Shiina decides that it’s okay to kill to prevent death.

A Hospital Visit

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Shiina’s mother and father have great chemistry together, even if they don’t get along at all. I especially like the frame when he leaves her looking completely dumbfounded. From what we’ve seen of her, she is not a person who is frequently confused as to what to say.

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Yeah… as I said, they have an interesting relationship.

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And in her own way, Shiina’s mother does care about her. Or so she claims.

Further Thoughts

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I enjoyed how Hoshimaru transformed into a plane to remind Shiina of the guy in the airplane. Readers who have completed the series will find this scene especially amusing.

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