Ch. 45 Summary: Shiina’s dad goes to Russia. He meets an old lady, and brings her on a flight to find her son. They find him living with a dragon, who has been in space for the past eighteen years.
Basically, this chapter (which spans over half a volume!) is an excuse for Kitoh to draw Soviet aircraft. I’m not even joking. And darn do they look good. We have multiple types of planes, missiles, and even helicopters. I don’t know much about planes but I assume they’re quite realistically depicted.
Aside from that, I think the main take away point here is to show Shiina’s dad coming to terms with his own fatherhood, through seeing how she lost her son.
“As long as he’s alive somewhere! I have no other wishes.” That’s all it takes for a parent to be happy.
“Children do not stay with their parents forever. Even if their parents would like that.”
Shiina is also coming of age. Soon, she too will leave her parents behind. And they need to come to terms with that and accept it.
Well, assuming the apocalypse doesn’t happen first. *cough, cough*
Note, however, that the dragons don’t come of age. They still dream with the mind of a little girl.
The chicken coop house, Baba Yaga, is from Slavic mythology. As we’ve heard before, the dragons are associated with creatures of mythology. We’ve already met Otohime.
Why did Kitoh choose Baba Yaga? Probably because a house with chicken legs sounds bloody awesome. But also, I’d imagine, to a lesser degree, because of the maternal and forestry associations Baba Yaga has. The son describes her mission as bringing life to outer space, like a mother or forester would do.
Upon hearing the son’s story, of how he has been gone traveling to space the past 18 years but hasn’t aged at all, Shiina’s father relates it to the story of Urashima Tarou, and says that the cabin is like the Dragon Palace under the sea. Again, we’re reinforcing the connotations with Otohime. Recall that we discussed earlier that Shiina may be Tamayorihime, Otohime’s sister. The new dragon, living in Baba Yaga’s hut, also sends her greetings to Shiina.
And what an embarrassing backpack Shiina forced her dad to wear ahahaha. It’s good she did though or his plane would have been shot down!