The Lunar New Year: (11) Fools rush in …

where angels fear to tread.

Attenborough’s the one with the pink and violet striped shirt. He wears eyeglasses.

Alexander Pope wrote this line. It came from his first major poem, An Essay on Criticism. I haven’t read that poem, but I discovered that line while looking into the synopsis of E. M. Forster‘s Where Angels Fear to Tread. I was attracted to that novel simply because the title was so inviting. I reflected upon this, and truly, I believe the statement to be true, in either real life or in anime. This was corroborated with my remembrance of T.S. Eliot’s elegiac Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

In one stanza, the persona states:

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two
Advice the prince; no doubt, an easy tool
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous —
almost at times, the Fool.

(italics and emphases mine)

I have noticed that the Fool in any anime series precipitates action (or reaction) especially when the primary characters are mired in fear or indecision. Now I haven’t watched a ton of anime series, but I have watched the seminal Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and one of the most memorable scenes in that series was when Simon and his team were doubtful with regard to the enemy: the enemy was bigger; it was never beaten before; it seemed a lot more powerful. Attenborough fired impulsively into the enemy, however, and this roused Simon and his team to fight, even if the odds were impossibly against them.

This precipitation of action can also be seen in Honey and Clover. Ultimately, what forced Takemoto to set out on a journey to discover himself, as well as what forced the cast to evolve, was Morita’s removal of himself from their group of friends because he had to work elsewhere. His disappearance was a big factor in his friends’ changes, and this cannot be denied.

Another Fool (but really, he’s so much more)

This also happened in real life just recently.

No one ever expected the Atlanta Hawks to win one game against the juggernaut Boston Celtics, let alone expect them to push the Celtics to the brink of elimination. But they did, and it was primarily because they thought like fools: the idea of an angel is that it is conservative, intelligent, logical, but always obedient to God. The Fool is impulsive and reckless, but within him burns an obstinacy that even angels do not have. The Hawks thought like fools: so what if the opponent had three superstars? So what if they were young and inexperienced?

This was, I think, what Attenborough thought: so what if that’s a massive, nigh-unbeatable enemy? This risky mentality may be dangerous (and it still is, to many, and have caused considerable many their deaths), but it is these risk-takers who shake the world. Logic can only go so far: after all, it is fools who can go to places where even angels fear to tread.

6 Responses to “The Lunar New Year: (11) Fools rush in …”

  1. Nagato Says:

    Attenborough reminds me of certain stereotypes. And I do mean his physical appearance.

  2. Michael Says:

    Haha, I see what you did there.

  3. Shance Says:

    It’s more of “I can’t help it, it must be done” separation. How the people around him evolved or changed are the people’s individual choices. If you’ve watched or read enough material, sometimes this isn’t even so. For example, FSN’s Heaven’s Feel arc, in one of the endings: Shiro dies and the Holy Grail Gets destroyed, but Sakura still holds to the promise Shiro gave to her (that Shiro will return after the battle). Years have passed, and Sakura is already old beyond recognition, but she still waits for Shiro to come back, even though everyone around her know that is it not possible anymore, opening the ground for Hollow Ataraxia to take place.

  4. korosora Says:

    >>Another Fool (but really, he’s so much more)

    Strange, that almost made me cry.

  5. smashingtofu Says:


    I DIDN’T READ ANYTHING ABOUT HEAVENS FEEL TODAY *mentally blocks it and goes something equally shocking or something*

    Er, good post!

  6. Ryan A Says:

    chaaaanccceee! I think there are various levels of foolishness, and some, while foolish, can be genius… Vash lol, Morita also

    Thing is, foolishness is a sort of freedom, and it can take us places we would never think of. I have a friend who was such a foolish character, but we would end up in the most strange places and circumstances; some terrible but interesting. It was all on the account of this freedom… such things … if the door is unlocked, it wishes for us to enter

    … terrifying stuff

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