I promise this is the best Christmas image ever. Just open it. Art by itou.

Secret Santa, ring the bells!

The Reverse Thieves elves brought us a task this year.  That is: watch anime.  For this we were instructed to pick three series/movies to force a fellow blogger to watch.

From my Santa I received Kure-nai, Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai (AKA Munto), and Mushi-Uta.  We were supposed to watch two out of the three and review write about them.  I watched all three, but I have only chosen two of them to review write about.

This was a fun experience, but I think my Santa was trying to troll me.

Anyway, on to the posts.

Art by Ebiba.

Kure-nai

“It’s okay, Shinkurou. This is farewell.”

The tears stream down her face, and she walks off into episode ten, titled “Accustomed Fear”.

The trained dog aspect of the Kuhouin family was probably the most upsetting part of this show to me.  Not even that the members of the family are quashed and forced into doing what tradition and family law says, but that they actually think it’s the proper course of action.

That they actually think it’s fine –right, even– to force young girls to live in solitude in the Inner Sactuary of their house.  Or that said young girls think that it is their place to live that way, because that is what tradition has taught them.  That is what family brainwashing has taught them.

Murasaki knows what is waiting for her at her home.  She knows, and she fears it, but in order to fulfill her family duty and protect Shinkurou, she is willing to give up her freedom and embrace that fear anyway.

She is seven-years-old.  Her life is that of slavery to the family.  This is sad.

It doesn’t make it any less sad that this sort of thing is something that really happened to children in the past.  Or that it happens now.  Or that it could happen in the future.

It’s sad.

Art by Rori.

Murasaki is the princess trapped in the castle, and it’s Shinkurou’s duty to save her.  To repay the sacrifice she made to keep him safe when the Kuhouins came calling to take him away.  And this becomes like a knight’s tale.

The knight sets out on his quest.  He has a mission, and he has divine support (or perhaps, Benika and Yayoi’s support).  He moves forward, and he is met with challenges.  Traffic, cold, being discovered the instant he sets foot on Kuhouin property.

The knight runs into a guard before the tower, a defenseless woman protecting the entrance to the Inner Sanctuary.  She tries to stop him from harming himself; she ends up sacrificing herself for the sake of the princess and the knight.  Blood is spilled on the quest.

And then, the knight reaches the princess in the tower, and she says she doesn’t want to go with him.  That she wants to remain where she is.

The knight has failed in his mission.

He starts the journey, he gains support, he makes sacrifices, he overcomes challenges: and the girl refuses to go.  The story of the girl is transformed from one of obedient following to that of defiance.  Defiance that traps her further; obligated defiance.  But defiance nonetheless.

The knight knows her will better than she does.  The knight returns to save her once more.  But that moment of defiance is still powerful.  It’s better than her meekly sitting there and being pulled between one family and the other.

“I’m still weak,” Shinkurou says.

“You’re like me then.  I must change too,” Murasaki replies.

The princess knows that she must learn to develop this defiance further.  She learns by the end of the show how to break away from obligation and how to stick up for her opinions.  She goes from a sheltered girl trying to be brave in the face of fear to a girl who looks at fear and defeats it.

Art by Mirakichi.

“I have seen many Kuhouins smile.  But they are crooked smiles.  I will not accept them.”

She refuses to allow her family’s traditions, even those of deception or lies to self, stand.  She knocks them away, and the crosses the threshold out of the Inner Sanctuary as a more enlightened person.  As a much stronger person already.

To me, it is this strength that Murasaki gains throughout the course of the show that is the most powerful thing.  It is the ability of this seven-year-old to look at her life, to look at her happiness, and make a choice on her own.

Years and tradition of oppression to a decision powered by her and her alone.

Because the show is definitely about the princess, not the knight.

It’s a radical transition.

Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai (AKA Munto)

>my crooked smile when this show is so horrible I want to laugh, but it hurts so bad I can’t.

Really, Santa?  Really?

itou - Mirakichi - Rori - Ebiba

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