shouma takakura

On Beginnings, Endings, and Yuri Kuma Arashi

anthy himemiya, anthy, utena, revolutionary girl utena end, anthy leaves ohtori academy, the rose bride

“You really don’t know what happened, do you? It doesn’t matter. By all means, stay in this cozy coffin of yours and continue to play prince.”

-Anthy Himemiya to Akio Ohtori, Revolutionary Girl Utena, episode 39

Each Kunihiko Ikuhara series begins with a system, and the system always remains, even at the series’ end.

(more…)

Mary Had a Little Lamb, My Fair Lady: Terrorism in Mawaru Penguindrum and Terror in Resonance

Five, Five at her computer, zantero, zankyou no terror, terror in resonance, terror in tokyo

“Anyway, do you really think those guys have a future?”

– Five, to Lisa Mishima, Terror in Resonance, episode 8

Five has a future. She chose – according to Nine – to stay in the Rising Peace Academy, and therefore has been able to fashion herself quite the future from this decision. Thanks to the academy, Five has a cozy gig with the ISA and does not have to worry about her career. She commandeers an entire airport, blows up an airplane, and bombs an apartment, receiving only the gentle admonishment of, “Please show some moderation.” from her superiors. She has little need to worry about her own future, provided that she meets their goals.

(more…)

You Have Finally Realized It: Watching and Rewatching Mawaru Penguindrum

princess of the crystal, himari, himari takakura, penguindrum, mawaru penguindrum, the wheel of fate that binds us, human beings are such dense creatures

Human beings are such dense creatures.

(more…)

Lisa Mishima and the Place That Was Promised

terror in resonance, zankyou no terror, terror in tokyo, lisa mishima

“We shouldn’t criticize a sincere attempt to find answers. Still, this is precisely the point where a kind of fatal mistake can be made. The layers of reality begin to be distorted. The place that was promised, you suddenly realize, has changed into something different from what you’re looking for.”

-Haruki Murakami, “Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche”

Three episodes into Terror in Resonance, you may be wondering what Lisa Mishima’s role in all of this is.

(more…)

“I can’t leave you alone!” “The Conscience of a Grand and Creative Plan

ringo oginome, kanba takakura, mawaru penguindrum, momoka oginome, sanetoshi

Humming to herself, she carefully tucks a worn, pink-covered notebook into her schoolbag. It brushes gently against the penguin cell-phone strap and last night’s homework. Boarding the train with her chattering friends, eating lunch as a group while one of them drones on endlessly about the cute guy she bumped into the other day, and stopping by the grocery store on her way home for necessary dinner ingredients, her thoughts are always occupied with one thing: her grand and creative plan to save her family. Everything she does, it’s all for her family.

Every night, he talks to ghosts. Of course, he knows that they’re not real, that the warm and affectionate light and delicious steam wafting from a bubbling pot on the stove top do not exist, yet he feels them. He wills them into his existence, and swears to carry out their bloody legacy in order to protect his sister. Following the night he accepted that envelope on the train, a last-ditch effort in order to keep the roof over their heads, his hands have become dirtier and dirtier. But no matter, as it’s all for his family, and his sister.

(more…)