Sorry, I fell way behind on this. It’s such a good show, but even better when you don’t have to wait a week for the next episode.
A Wonderland of Snow
First off: snow is awesome. Every anime should have snow and mountains. Best setting. The only thing about Kanon that wasn’t terrible.
Snow is made even better by esper skiing. Gah I want to do this too so bad. It makes Maria’s flying look lame by comparison.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. Saki, Maria and friends think Mamoru lacks in courage. I don’t see this at all. I think he’s the bravest of the lot.
Back after they returned from the school trip, everyone else was making out to comfort themselves and get over their fear. Mamoru was the only one who didn’t need that.
Now, Mamoru knows they’re going to kill him. Does he just roll over and die? No, he chooses to live. He leaves everything he’s ever known behind so that he can live. He leaves all his friends behind so that they won’t get hurt. All his friends want to go back, but he doesn’t take the easy way out. He even makes it so no one can find him.
A personal aside: in middle school, my history teach had been a colonel in the army. He told us all these stories about how he escaped on helicopters, took a mortar he’d never used before out of his dead friend’s hands to save his company, and many similar stories. Not a guy anyone would accuse of lacking courage.
Anyway, he called me to his desk about an essay I had written. The essay asked what we would do if we lived in the time of the civil war. I said that I would have dodged the draft because I wasn’t very brave.
“Draggle,” he said, “do you roll over and get out of bed every morning?”
“No matter how much you don’t want to?”
“That’s what true courage is. Don’t ever say you aren’t brave again.”
I never did.
Mamoru gets out of bed every morning, even when his own village is trying to kill him, even when he’s all alone, even when he is doomed to wander the wilderness alone until he dies. Mamoru is the bravest person in this show.
The Rights of Man (and Queerats)
What Squealer says makes perfect sense. The rats should have rights, and the queen shouldn’t be allowed to just eat them whenever she feels like it.
The queen also has the right not to be turned into a vegetable, of course. But what choice do they have? Eliminate one person’s rights, or eliminate the colony’s very hope of survival?
Saki’s thoughts on the treatment of the queen are fascinating.
Is she really talking about the queerats here? I don’t think so. She’s talking about the humans. About how they eliminate the problem children so that the community can survive. They only did it to survive, after all. Is it the right thing to do… or are the humans beasts themselves?
He sees right through her. The queerats are hardly different from humans at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did replace the humans soon, either. Their technology is advancing beyond that of the humans, and they have far more ambition. Humanity is stagnant and living in fear of itself.
- Best face. But it stands out because for the majority of the show, the faces show such little variation in expression. Even if the voice acting has plenty of emotion behind it, it tends to come across as fake since they spend such little effort animating facial expressions. You don’t realize how important these things are until they’re missing.
- This show sure knows how to amp up fear. They have a superb sountrack, as I already mentioned, and they use it to build the tension perfectly. Things slowly get worse and worse, until when you least expect it, something drastic happens, like Saki falling in the avalanche.
- I liked the scene where Saki faces the board of education. I’m kind of confused about why Saki had to be executed for knowing about the cats though. Can’t they just brainwash her again? I don’t see how that would necessitate death. I mean, all the adults know about them, and Saki’s almost an adult anyway.
- I can’t believe everyone except Saki and friends is continuously brainwashed all the time. It’s amazing this society stays together at all. And if they’re kept on such a tight leash, why do so many of them need to be eliminated?
- Squealer is so moe. The way they present him is great: even the most reasonable and innocuous things he says seem completely evil.