Ch. 30 Summary: Tatsumi and another guy from the organization buy flowers. The worker at the flower shop is revealed to be Satou’s boyfriend.
Ch. 31 Summary: Sudou discusses his desire to create a fair society in which the less capable people die. Fairly.
Ch. 32 Summary: Norio visits her friend with a baby and wishes he could have Takeo’s child.
Ch. 33 Summary: Takeo brings back a girl home to her parents… after he ensures he fulfills her duties as a prostitute.
We’re back to some shorter chapters. Ch. 30 focuses on Tatsumi and his organization. Their organization has a figurehead who can be easily replaced if necessary and their organization continues. As the other person points out, it’s essentially a dictatorship. Tatsumi claims that this kind of organization is necessary to move forward, for the benefit of the people. It’s a de-humanizing, self-perpetuating organization, where people live in slavery to the principalities and powers, rather than the other way around.
Once again in this chapter we get a window into Tatsumi’s sexuality. The continuing metaphor, from Ch. 26, is that Tatsumi (and Japanese men more generally) are like the Japanese cars he loves so much— they polish the outside, but there’s nothing within. They’re just interchangeable, disposable units. A modern take on Jesus’ comparisons of the pharisees to whitewashed tombs. So, while Tatsumi is sitting in his car, stroking the clutch, and says that whoever Satou’s boyfriend is shakes his confidence as a man. Turns out it’s the guy at the flower shop he called stupid earlier.
For all the polish he has on the outside, he’s empty inside. What’s worse is that he doesn’t even understand what he’s missing.
The chapter also does make you feel more sympathetic to Satou. No idea why she’s working at this job though…
A Fair Society
In Ch. 31, Sudou drops out of school in order to, he says, bring about a “fair society”. In the Japanese, the adjective he uses is 平等 (byoudou) which my dictionary defines as “equal; impartial; even”. His dream is not a great society, much less a just society, but only a fair society. As we’ve seen before, Sudou lacks desire, and apparently also imagination. Of course Sudou’s plan will fail. Or I suppose it will succeed if you count killing off half the world’s population and making everyone left equally miserable as a success. Sudou probably would.
Anyway, Sudou meets his old teacher. He ends up saying that authorities hate a child killing his parents because it’s an act that “renounces the future”. I’m a bit confused here because I think a parent killing a child would be more along the lines of renouncing the future.
Regardless, Sudou isn’t sure humanity has a future. The world has endless pressing problems, but we spend our resources on luxuries like air conditioning, automobiles, TV, music, and games. Entertainment may be an essential part of society, but it should emerge naturally from within that society, instead of for profit, since things made for profit are hollow and spiritless. The kid might kind of have a point there, except he’s the most hollow and spiritless person I’ve ever seen. As for luxuries, Sudou is the one who discussed in Ch. 27 how he enjoys playing with life and making things suffer. The kid is a hypocrite of the highest order and his philosophy is completely inconsistent.
But anyway, according to Sudou, everyone assumes somebody else will solve the problems of the future and doesn’t take any responsibility. The whole world should go for an entire year without fossil fuels, even if a billion people died. While simultaneously claiming to wish to create a “fair” society, Sudou thinks it’s a good idea to exacerbate inequality by killing off a billion of the world’s poorest people. Great plan.
Because apparently, what’s “equal” isn’t to treat everyone equally, but to treat everyone according to their abilities. So the most capable person should eat while the less capable nine starve. Anyone who thinks otherwise is foolish. Oh, and also, every man is an island and should live without things given to them by others. Otherwise they should starve.
Clearly Japan needs to revise its curriculum to cover the concept and benefits of “civilization” before the children are allowed to drop out of school.
Even his fellow revolutionaries think Sudou’s an idiot. Satomi only follows him because she thinks doing something is better than doing nothing at all. People like that are so annoying. Use your heads. Although not nearly as annoying as people who think a solution is an improvement but not perfect so they’d rather do nothing at all.
The Prostitution Blackmail Girl
Ch. 33 is weird. I mean, even by Narutaru’s standards. Takeo is hired by a runaway girl’s parents to bring her home. He walks in on her as she is interrupted from doing her job as a prostitute by two others who rob and blackmail the man who paid for her. Takeo proceeds to beat up the pimps, then waits while the man rapes her. She agreed to do it, so she should pay the price. Later she’s cold and he makes her pay to borrow his jacket.
This is the same thing Takeo does with women. They have his children, he gives them money but nothing more. Everything is about agreements for him. Like all the other characters, he has something empty or missing inside… Fairness, but not empathy. A bit similar to Sudou, actually. But where Sudou thinks the strong should dominate the weak as fairness, Takeo thinks people should keep to their word and do what’s fair to each other. For some really really weird definition of fair.
Unlike Sudou though, who lacks desire, Takeo has an overabundant supply of that. Just look at how many children he has. I’m not sure if it’s actual desire though, or merely a shadow of desire— something he does mechanically.
The kid’s got no social skills either… can’t believe anyone puts up with him.
Ch. 32 has an interesting title: 古賀のり夫の閨, translated as Kaga Norio’s bedroom. The character translated as bedroom actually refers to one mainly used by a married couple. I presume along the lines of the “marriage bed”. Of course, Norio’s physical bedroom doesn’t appear in this chapter. The chapter’s focus is on Norio’s desire to create children in said bedroom and inability to do so.
Also, I might have mentioned this in an earlier post, but the way Norio’s name is written is unusual. The first two characters are in hiragana (a phonetic alphabet) while the third is a kanji meaning husband.