Ch. 62 Summary: More dealing with the fallout of nuclear war. Sudou starts nuking volcanoes. Akira appears!
Ch. 63 Summary: Dad flies Shiina to meet with Sudou. Mishou joins them as a dragon.
Ch. 64 Summary: We finally learn the backstory of Mishou. Airplane battle! A tragic death.
Ch. 65 Summary: Bungo dies. Sudou destroyed the world all for Shiina. Then he pointlessly dies. Akira tells Shiina she actually loves her mother. Shiina breaks (she could deal with nuclear war but this is another matter). Shiina accepts her identity.
Ch. 66 Summary: Shiina reconciles briefly with mom, then rushes to check on Tsurumaru. He is lying on his deathbed. She kisses him and tells him he loves her. They attempt to have sex. (the fuck?)
Ch. 67 Summary: Shiina starts smoking with her mom (the fuck?). Mom is murdered. Akira jumps out the window. Balloon committee guy is assassinated. Hoshimaru eats Tsurumaru’s brain once he dies. Witch mobs hunt Shiina. Shiina hangs out pregnant with Kuri on the island. Their children make out in the ruins of the past civilization.
Note: the other articles were all written in 2015 but left unpublished. Here I am picking up again in 2023! My thoughts have changed some.
The Dragon Children
We’ve spoken before about how the dragon children are incomplete and empty, lacking something. What they appear to lack is memories / brain / a soul / something along those lines. The dragons also appear to stem symbolically from a shadow within a person— Sudou’s self-loathing, Akira’s fears, etc.
Most people seem to learn to live despite their pain, and adapt to coexist. Some are unable to and commit suicide (as it appears Shiina’s sister did) and they then merge with their shadow dragons so their suffering is remembered forever.
Recall also how the different people awaken to control their shadow dragon. It appears to come from filling the hole inside you. Shiina awakens when she recognizes her mother’s love and accepts her name. It is a neat trick how Kitoh changes how Shiina’s name is spelled in the manga to reflect this (before it was in katakana, now the kanji is used). Kuri awakens when she is raped and appears to feel a trickle of an emotion.
The way I understand this is that humans were the brain and nervous system of Earth. And now that they have died (remember how Shiina could sense the pain of the cities destroyed by nukes) the Earth itself has emptied and become a shadow dragon. Now the question is, what to do? Which leads us back to the central theme of Narutaru…
Yin and Yang
The cover of the final chapter, which features a yin-yang symbol, connected many disparate thoughts for me.
Tsurumaru is chaos and creation, Sudou is destruction and nothingness. Shiina is also chaos and creation (hence the period scene and fucked up sex scene), Kuri is destruction and nothingness (hence all the murder and being emotionless). But like the yin and yang, they are opposites but also two parts of the whole. You can’t have creation without destruction or destruction without creation. Destruction converges to nothingness, creation diffuses to chaos. As Kuri herself says, Shiina is the light and she is her shadow.
This is why Sudou says he destroyed the world all for Shiina’s sake, while Tsurumaru has run around knocking up girls. When I put it like that… yeah, this is a weird manga.
There is a second central conflict as well— between those who want to create and destroy, and those who want to maintain the world exactly as it is. This side is represented by the majority of the adult cast, who are portrayed as villains, particularly represented by the balloon committee.
It ends with one of my favorite panels. Shiina and Kuri’s children (I assume?) begin a new world on the ruins of the old. What does the future hold? Probably similar things to the past, but there’s a chance it could be different this time. It’s unlikely though. Recall now the weird line from a while ago, when Tsurumaru said that Shiina is his daughter and his mother. I think Narutaru is presenting a cyclical view of time, and Shiina is the mother of the entire human race.
But despite all the facts, I feel it is a hopeful ending. The stars are beautiful, and the primitive children desire one another.
I just love his art style.
And his faces never cease to amaze me. It feels like you understand more sometimes from the faces than from the words. Like look at this scene:
So many feelings here. Shiina doesn’t need to speak a word. You can even sense Akira’s feelings just from those eyes.