The Catcher in the Rye: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
I love my dad: he has been one of my primary inspirations in my pursuit of knowledge, and he has been an excellent (even if flawed) parent. He always loved waking me and my siblings very early in the morning so that we wouldn’t suffer heavy traffic and wouldn’t be late at school. He often preached of time’s fickleness: when one really needed to be early, life often throws curveballs just to make one late. He probably paraphrased Murphy’s Law, but his prudence (even if it was uncomfortable for us) often helped us avoid accidents.
I’m not my dad, however. In fact, although I can be responsible enough to be on time, I’m quite my father’s opposite: I’m imprudent with regard to time. Most of the time I would go to school at the last moment it is possible for me not to be late: that is, if my classes start at 10:30 in the morning and I take ten minutes to arrive there on average, I would leave home at about 10:20 most of the time (which ends up in my being late sometimes).
I have respect for time and its fickleness: I have learned that much from my dad. Whenever I have an exam, for example, I make it a point that when my exam starts at 10:30 I arrive at about nine. But for most cases, such as the innocuity of daily life, I don’t regard time as highly as my father does. While it has caused little tragedies, I have also been able to live a more relaxed life compared to my father: I can’t wake up at 4:30 in the morning for six days a week, for example.
I have read The Catcher in the Rye before. In fact, I’ve read it three times. So when Daniel and I first talked about writing a post comparing that novel and any anime (and agreed upon it), I just kept on postponing re-reading the novel. First, I didn’t need to read the novel; second, I could read relatively fast so I didn’t really need to start reading the novel in advance, especially with Catcher being easy reading compared to what I usually read.
This procrastination, of course, has come to bite me back in my ass. Hard.
Two days ago, I bought a slightly-used headphone set from a friend of mine. He decided to save for a more expensive headset instead, and wanted a buyer of his relatively highbrow headphones. I decided to buy it after careful consideration, as I had saved quite an amount of money after all. After the purchase, however, I promised myself not to purchase any items of luxury for the next two weeks: just the week before I had splurged on rare novels, and I didn’t want to deplete my savings altogether. I often keep my promises to myself, so I simply decided to borrow Catcher from our library.
I checked for a copy yesterday: one was lost, and the other was overdue. My procrastination had indeed come full circle.
As I said, however, I keep my promises. I probably won’t be able to dissect the book as cogently as Daniel (I can see his post in my imagination now), but I will try from what I know, from what I remember, and from what I can refer to online.
The anime which most obviously was in love with J.D. Salinger’s works was Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. I’m sure people have written about this before, but I think some have forgotten and some need to be reminded. The image of the Laughing Man, however, is quite an unforgettable image. For the uninitiated, here is the picture:
I’m sure everyone remembers now.
The quote ‘I thought what I’d do was, I’d pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes,’ is a line taken from Holden near the end of the book. After being alienated from his school, from his ‘friends,’ and even from a prostitute he could not manipulate, there is an epiphany within him that what he really wanted was to be one of those deaf-mutes and have a companion who was a deaf-mute as well. It was because he wouldn’t be criticized any longer, since he’d just be taken as another one who could not understand, who could not speak, and who could not hear (his hypocrisy throughout the book was latent).
It is, of course, a story of alienation.
So was Salinger’s short story The Laughing Man which of course was the main ‘villain’ in Stand Alone Complex. In the end of the short story, the Chief (who told the story to the boys) finally parts with his lover and as a symbol of the end of their relationship, he kills the Laughing Man. He patterned The Laughing Man from his relationship, but in the end TLM was just an extension of himself. In the end of Stand Alone Complex, I also personally couldn’t tell if TLM was a villain.
But I’m not bringing anything new to the table: I’m just affirming what has already been said. I also believe Stand Alone Complex took a lot from the Catcher in the Rye, but you can try and see that for yourself. 🙂
P.S. This is just to keep my promise and break the ice: good luck to the rest!
P.P.S. The index of Catcher in the Rye juxtapositions:
- Daniel and his novel perceptions
- Baka-Raptor (Sarv) and his Shiznat [of course, in the rye]
- Daniel (There are two!) and [his] siscon tendencies (I SWEAR I THOUGHT SHE WAS 18!1)
- cuchlann and his CitR sentiments
- hayase (a girl!) and her discourse
- coburn and his Naruto-Holden comparisons (yes, he went there) (Glad to meet you, by the way. 🙂 )
This list will, of course, be updated frequently. Keep ’em coming, guys! 😀