Narutaru Ch. 22 – 24 — Pregnancy and Control

Ch. 22 Summary: Our two villains in the government discuss the political ramifications of the military incident.

Ch. 23 Summary: We learn about Takeo’s infinite libido. Shiina asks Takeo and Norio why she can’t control Hoshimaru. Takeo asks Shiina if she has a boyfriend.

Ch. 24 Summary: A girl on the track team attempts to seduce Bungo. She’s rejected, and then Satomi delivers the finishing blow.

Bearing Children

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So Takeo’s had five children… or maybe six now. And it sounds like he doesn’t have any plans to stop until he has a hundred. Shiina, you’d better not get too close to this guy.

According to Takeo, he takes “responsibility” for his children by providing their mothers with money. I doubt most people would agree with his idea of “responsibility”, or with his idea that a fourteen year-old girl should take equal responsibility with an adult in the matter.

Putting that aside, Takeo later tells Norio that he’s only interested in lifeforms that can give birth. (We’ll get back to this when we learn some more about Norio… Suffice to say there’s a reason his dragon child is named “Vagina Dentata”.) We’ve seen this theme crop up before. Recall how Shiina has already decided she won’t ever have a child, and how Satomi stated that she despises women who have children. Recall also the description of the shadow dragons from back in chapter 4:

“Vessel… Shell… The incomplete…
Corpse… The empty body… That which is ended…”

Hmm. The first list sounds a bit like creatures who bear children. Vessels. Shells. Incomplete. And soon to become empty, withering away without its contents.

Bungo and the Doll

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So, like everyone else in our story so far, it turns out that Bungo is pretty fucked up. Now we have a better idea of why Satomi is so averse to opening up to him.

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Satomi says that to want to control someone is arrogance. This perhaps explains why she isn’t more accepting of Bungo: she doesn’t want to be controlled. This is despite the fact that all of his suggestions to her thus far have been rather sensible, as in asking her not to start a war (well, until he gets there at least).

Satomi’s moral compass is rather odd. (I’m sure everyone has already noticed this.) She calmly suggest that the other girl either give up on Bungo or kill him, presenting the two options as moral equivalents. But she sees trying to control him as monstrous.

Finally, I’d like to point out that Satomi’s view doesn’t appear self-consistent at all. Sudo controls her like a puppet, which she doesn’t mind, and Satomi has Bungo wrapped around her little finger. Yet this girl who wants Bungo to succeed at track has the ultimate arrogance? Huh.

Man, teenagers…

Further Thoughts

Some interesting censorship in these chapters. First, the girl whom Takeo impregnates jumps in age from 14 to 16 in the English version. It makes Takeo seem a bit less despicable, although not by much. Second, Vagina Dentata’s name changes to Neuter. I guess they’re afraid of the word “vagina”? Definitely a much lamer name.

This isn’t censorship, but just a rather awkward translation:

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“How dare you say Bungo will only be what he wants?!” Makes no sense.

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These faces are great. Compare Satomi’s face here to the girl’s face in the first picture of this post. Just a few little lines make such a big difference in expression. Many manga artists don’t get this. They draw these extremely detailed characters, and yet their facial expressions communicate so much less than Kitoh’s simple character designs.

It’s the details that convey Kitoh’s pessimistic view of humanity. The class is wild with excitement about the coup and the over 200 people who died. That’s a scene we’ve all seen many times before…

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HNNNGGGH! So adorable!

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