C – 09: going through the spectra of philosophies

I have a lot of ground to cover. I haven’t posted about the ninth episode primarily because I’ve been sidetracked by the start of school, and the return of responsibilities once more. Doki also haven’t been as speedy as I liked them to be, and it just snowballed from there. I did watch the episode twice already. Before I attempt to tackle Simone’s powerful rebuttal, allow me to posit my own thoughts regarding the episode.

* * *

During the previous episode, we were made privy to the consequences if C was allowed to activate. Not only is there devastation, the places that the Financial District often controls also disappears. It’s not limited to the focus, however: shockwaves destroy places proximal to it just as well. The destruction of one FD can trigger the destruction of other FDs, and this is what makes C so threatening. Japan became nearly bankrupt due to the failure of the Southeast Asia’s financial district: were it not for Mikuni’s interference Japan would also have disappeared as well.

His intervention came at a massive cost, however, not merely to himself, but to Japan. His belief, as I’ve stated in the past is reminiscent to Merleau-Ponty’s general perception of temporality, which is situated in the present. It is only the present that can give rise to the past as well as the future. The hope, however, that is often ensconced in the future no longer remained as it was sold as collateral by Mikuni. Japan’s progress spiraled downward as a result, and people found even less incentive to reproduce. Children represent both the future and the continuation of one’s legacy. Kimimaro was made privy of the love his father had for him when Jennifer pointed out his undiminished existence despite everything. There was little doubt that the reason he was preserved and extant was due to his father’s actions to avoid any tragedy that will occur to him.

It now becomes clear that one can juxtapose Mikuni and Kimimaro’s father as antipodes to one another: whereas Mikuni gave everything, even his soul, to preserve the present, Kimimaro’s father gave everything to preserve the future, his son. If the present only bore a persistent drudgery and a slog toward a bleak future, what use is it? If the future welcomed only death and despair, what use is the present?

It’s also become clear to me that Kimimaro has been in an existential crisis for the past eight episodes. Sartre considered god and religion to be the crutches of humanity but at the same time preventing man to express the full measure of his humanity. How is this? Because if one recognized that we are thrown, alone, into the world, it creates such a crippling fear when one knows that he has only himself to rely on. At the same time, however, by breaking past the constraints of religion one allows himself an open view of both the world and his humanity. But it’s so trying to man – upon his realization that there is no heaven, he is faced with the reality that he has only sixty or so years to be the best he could be by his own effort and humanity.

Kimimaro has been thrown into a dilemma such as this. Episode nine is pivotal because it is his catharsis breaking free of his crutches: he finally decides to act for the future by taking it back.

In contrast to my argument, Simone posits a different explanation for Kimimaro’s struggles. Do note that we perceive the series differently, and that he utilizes Kierkegaard’s lens scrutinizing Hegelian philosophy. I find him more able to express philosophical thoughts than me. Here is his explanation:

The starting point of Kierkegaard’s philosophy is his critical approach towards hegelism. In Hegelian Idealism, there are no real differences between two possible choices, because everything can be reconciled with its opposite. This process occurs in three, subsequent stages:

a) thesis – one choice is analyzed and determined; not a couple of two opposite choices, just one at this point. Ex: I choose to study architecture at college.

b) antithesis – The individual realizes that the initial choice can be defined, analyzed, determined, only when opposed to another, different choice. Ex: I choose to study architecture in college; this means I won’t study medicine, or economy, etc. All the opposite choices are already contained in the original choice, in an implicit and negative form, following the general statement that it’s impossible to define something without defining also its opposite (ex: light has no meaning without darkness, etc.)

By realizing that the initial choice implicitly contains all the opposite choices, that choice loses its original meaning and value.

c) synthesis – the individual realizes that every choice is the same, because one choice has, within itself, every other possible choice. The difference between them is only apparent; every choice is at the same level, has the same weight, and is ultimately the same thing.

Kierkegaard states that this is the realm of the et-et (and-and: where one choice is itself and its opposite), and the first and lowest stage of one’s existence. By thinking that everything is the same, the individual just accepts whatever the world has to offer, ultimately avoiding to make choices that have some actual weight.

This is Kimimaro’s initial stage (episodes 1-8). The lack of money is more of an excuse –it’s not like one has to spend money every time he hangs out with his friends!; Hanabi, in one of the early episodes, says ‘You have it [money], it’s just that you don’t want to spend it’. One other focal point in Kimimaro’s characterisation is one of the early confrontations with Mikuni, where Kimimaro states that he only wants to lead a normal, uneventful life. This is an example of the two different faces of Kimimaro: one is that he’s purposefully avoiding to make any ‘serious’ choice (lack of events means lack of choices), accepting passively the little comfort life has given him; the other is that this isn’t an unconscious decision. He has actually thought about what to do with his life, he has pondered every choice; he accepts this compromise rationally, but in his heart he isn’t happy. He cannot help but feel the anguish originated from this choice.

The realm of the et-et is ultimately void, because, without choices, one cannot achieve anything, but remains still at the starting line of his life, deceiving himself into believing he’s making progresses.

This closed loop of emptiness can be broken by making actual choices. The individual thus enters the realm of the aut-aut (or-or: one chooses one possibility or another; possibilities have an actual weight). This is Mikuni’s stage, and the stage Kimimaro reaches in episodes 9, when he reaches a point where he cannot simply accept the world the way it is, but he has to make a stand.

While the realm of the et-et, which embodies Hegelian Idealism, is seen by Kierkegaard as limited, unproductive for the individual, and generally negative, the realm of the aut-aut has not all the positive meaning it seems to have at first glance.

Making choices is a source of anguish and conflict; Kimimaro, by making a stand, has to oppose Mikuni; he cannot choose the path of coexistence. There’s also another aspect, represented by the [C] effect in episodes 8-9: the more our choices are vital, the more they’re bound to influence the life of others.

The concept of ‘infinite’ is far from everyday experience; thus, we have a very abstract image of the concept of ‘infinite possibilities’, when stated this way. But when one reflects upon one choice, its opposite, and every other possible choices that comes to mind; when one realizes that there may be many other choices that he just hasn’t seen yet, which may be better; when one reflects upon the implications on his future of every different choice, and the implications on the future of others – this is the moment when the concept of ‘infinite’ assumes a more concrete meaning and shape, and the moment where anguish originates.

The source of anguish is not ‘infinite’ as a concept, but rather the vast number of actual futures we can imagine in our mind, which are the only thing that have a concrete weight.

The more futures we can imagine, the more we are close to that ‘infinite’, the more the choice amasses weight.

Lowering the number of choices is dwelling into the realm of the et-et, where the number of choices, possibilities, implications is very scarce. The number of actual, concrete futures we can imagine in our mind is very limited, and so is their weight, also because of the relevance of the choice itself: only in the realm of the aut-aut, the individual makes important choices with repercussions onto the future of others.

The Financial District is another realm of the et-et, as I’ve stated in my analysis; if all the Entrepreneurs saw it in this way, the perverse and hellish game depicted in the series could turn into an immense playground, where even the butterfly effect spawned from choices (one choice influences other people, which make other choices, etc.) could be controlled, thus eliminating every possible side-effect. I think one of the messages of [C] is that even in a potential ‘perfect’ reality, where there could be no actual consequence to our actions, one cannot help but determine himself by giving to its choices an actual meaning; even in a perfect et-et reality, one has to live in the realm of aut-aut to be himself and exist, even if this is a source of anguish.

Clearly I’m out of my league compared to this guy – and I’ve already selected the parts in his letter relevant to this post. I’m going to close this post with his commentary on the Qabalistic symbols I’ve noted early on in the series.

In Hegel, the argument is not limited to choices. Everything is one and the same – literally everything: a computer, a tree, a star, the Moon, space, time, etc. are part of one single unit, the Absolute, which is, in other terms, the Universe seen not as the sum of different entities, but as a single, puntiform unit made of all the matter and energy within it. Only the Absolute has a meaning and a raison d’etre per se; the golden coin is a representation of this concept. Future becomes money; this means that individuals become money, too, and, ultimately, everything else becomes money, because mankind, as a whole, can influence everything on this planet through its choices.

In our everyday life, of course, we see every object as something different from ourselves; accepting that everything is one and the same would be rather radical if put this way. For this reason, Hegel systematically planned his philosophical publications into two different segments: one (the ‘Phenomenology of the Spirit’) describing the path through which the individual can take conscience and accept the concept of Absolute (the Universe as a single unit), and one describing the implications of this notion (several publications in three categories: Rationality, Nature, and Spirit, which is the individual nobilitated by accepting the concept of Absolute).

The path described in the ‘Phenomenology of the Spirit’ begins by analyzing common, everyday things, becoming little by little more abstract, and ultimately reaching the concept of Absolute. The thing I find interesting, in relation to [C], is that in Qabala and tarot mysticism we have literally the same process.

When seen like this, it looks like the top view of the Wheel of Fortune, especially because the Wheel of Fortune has eight spokes.

In tarot mysticism, the Fool (associated to the zero, or left unnumbered – he represents the purity, and the cruelty, of the infant) is the subject of an ideal journey from the material reality to the immaterial and inner reality (Star, Moon, Aeon), whose point of arrival is the comprehension of the Universe, the last card in the series. In Qabala, each of the ten sephiroth represents a different level of understanding of the soul, of the world and of God; the Tree of Life is the visual representation of one’s journey towards the last and more profound level of comprehension, Kether, symbolising the eternal perfection seen as a unit. I believe it’s not a case that it’s Kether the sephira that shines the most in Jennifer’s and Kimimaro’s Tree of Life, in episode 8: they both have reached the final level of understanding of the Financial District reality, and they both have finally decided to make a stand and take action (Kimimaro actually reaches this level in episode 9, but the turning point is in episode 8).

I actually noted the similarities of Masakaki to the Fool, and also noted the Malkuth as being the sephira taken away from Msyu. I did note that the Keter shined even in the early episodes, so I think it pertains more to the elevated nature of the sephira. It most definitely can pertain to the level of understanding Jennifer and Kimimaro have arrived at, however. What do you guys think?

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6 Responses to “C – 09: going through the spectra of philosophies”

  1. Catcher Says:

    Incredible.

    I am no student of philosophy; my strong points lie in literature and medicine. However, your posts regarding this show are fascinating, and quite frankly, enlightening. I very much enjoy reading that which I cannot figure out for myself about this show, as I was only able to scratch the surface with my limited knowledge of philosophy.

    Keep it up. You and Simone are great at this, and seem to hold the same ideas that I do regarding anime as a medium. Congratulations, you have earned respect, and a new follower.

  2. info600 Says:

    I think I got the gist of the letter about “the thought of choices and possibilities that oneself can force to narrow or expand upon”…even after reading the whole thing

    one thing though, seeing Mikuni reflect after the crisis was thought provoking. As he remembered the conversation with Masakaki, I can see him wanting to regret his decision of starting that “printing press”.
    However, as it can be observed later (ya, the subs for ep.10’s out) – or even right then – that he’s forcing himself onward with his own philosophy…

    *not gonna spoil further*

  3. zhurai Says:

    Hi, I actually wrote this message but apparently my computer borked and I lost all of what I was going to write, so alot of this is going to be quite straight to the point (oh and it’s 2am >_>)

    I am not really a “student” of philosophy/etc, however I have a pretty good hold on japanese (read/write = bad, listening pretty good), as well as I like symbolism. in my previous message I was typing, I was saying that I first saw this blog and read it around C episode 5 or 6 and it opened up different ways of seeing this anime (the deeper meanings/possibly meanings/etc)

    first of all, I’d like to put out there that the Darkness card, which you say looks like (a bit) like the tarot card “Wheel of Fortune”, also can be seen as the leviathan (which also according to the 7 deadly sins corresponds to the sin of Envy, though that might be looking wayyy too much into it…). I’d also like to note that the darkness card, the dots look pretty similar to the Sephirot… though with one less (or maybe even mikuni also SOLD ONE STOCK? or maybe not, who knows, it jsut looks a bit similar in my opinion, except with the “Beauty” and “Foundation” points moved towards the crown, and the 6 on the side moving inwards…… Or… maybe I’m just wrong >high: entry,gold, platnium,darkness), and won’t work with any other.
    — when the money’s being printed, all the assets go under some sort of pain (but ofc nothing compared to when C actually kills them off)
    — kimimaro asks if they can stop it
    — she says there’s only ONE way to stop it…. to beat him, get the darkness card and [something like reverse the effect, of what he just did… I’m not entirely sure, since there’s lots of complicated japanese at this part]
    — from what I get, kimimaro (just gonna shorten to “kimi”) asks how are they going to beat him (since he’s obviously out of their league) and I think she said to attack the other higher ups in the sterling guild. [i.e. the weaker spots]
    — not sure what the informant’s talking about, something about trust/midas money but eh
    – satou (Asks/tells) kimi to part ways with his guild (to be able to hit the higher upsand such)

    – kimi goes and asks his asset (mashu) about what she thinks about it, she says as an asset all she’ll do (like all other assets) is follow along
    — stuff about “protecting the future” from what I understand…

    – scene changes back to mikuni looking EVEN OLDER (very heavy bags under his eyes…/etc), apparently doing this “Deal” takes a toll on someone already/etc.

    – glasses dude trying to steal stuff from the guild, and fails
    — already knew that he was a traitor.

    – essentially both kimi and satou choose a challenger to “get money” (in this case kimi vs the insane looking guy, and satou vs mikuni himself)

    – while this is happening, funds are going all around (“FALLING FROM THE SKY”) as well as people finding tons of money in their accounts, etc
    — hehe email used for the random money falling around “confidence-money-byst.co.jp”, fitting for that informant.
    — something about the money will be/is becoming trash, change the doller (?) not sure about the second part…
    obviously by injecting THIS MUCH MONEY SO FAST, something should go extremely wrong…but I’ll get into that later…
    — something’s closed, idk what, ,something japan, foreign, but not too sure.

    – masakaki already gets informed about the deal and tells mikuni that he has a deal !!, mikuni tries to pass
    — apparently if he passes (since he has to deal with the C or something) he’ll lose half of his money

    DEAL: satou vs mikuni

    DEAL: crazy dude vs kimi
    (wtf masakaki can be at multiple places at once… hax)

    – crazy dude (gonna just call him crazy o.O) goes off on something not too sure… and don’t feel like checking, and goes like “but I’m strong, you know…”

    – kimi sees mashu still in pain, asks masakaki, essentially he says that when the “Deal with the devil” (refered to りんてんき, or rotary press) happens, all assets have that pain
    –stuff a bout assets are the future of the entre
    – you see while mashu’s in pain, crazy’s asset is also in pain (cracking. but he doesn’t care.)
    – essentially chooses to go without using her for awhile
    – you can also see how the balance sheet/whatever is such a disparity between crazy (large) and kimi’s (small)

    – crazy saying it’s laughable that he’s trying to do it by himself
    – open deal: kimi vs crazy (entry level vs platnium level)
    — gets owned by the asset like… REALLY owned
    — mashu WANTS to fight, but he declines, gets owned
    — other asset being pushed to its limits, really breaking up
    — gets a lucky shot off; both in critical conditions
    — oo mashu starting to “care” (well already did, but shows, compared to the relationship that crazy has with his asset) -> like she doesn’t want to see him hurt/etc/etc
    — awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww moment (I think he’s like “I’m glad I met you” or something)
    — crazy continues to try to use “Insider On” but asset’s like half dead, and he doesn’t care (sees asset as a tool), contrasted with mashu+kimi
    — essentially when he said before, ” I want to protect the future” and such things, apparently mashu didn’t know that assets = entre’s future, and means HER, goes on with wanting to protect her from day 1
    —- crazy kicks his asset (HIS FUTURE OHHHHHH) away, finally gets back online though…
    (more with the contrasts~]

    – finally calls out mashu to block
    — not sure what she says there, but essentially says she’s relieved about kimimaro
    — kimi goes like “what…?” and mashu goes “We’re gonna win this!”
    — essentially their plan is to use macroflation (the flation unused usually) to take them out.

    (Part 2, since apparently the system “doesn’t like spam” 🙁

  4. zhurai Says:

    PART 2

    – “MICRO, MEZZO, MACROFLATION!” (and shows a more advanced looking (lol) Tarot looking card
    — Macroflation = “Overheated economy”
    [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overheating_(economics) -> “Overheating of an economy occurs when its productive capacity is unable to keep pace with growing aggregate demand.”, which you can read about that, and understand that better than I, my economy skills kinda suck/aren’t up to par (+it’s now 3:30am ^_^) :/)
    — cool effects

    RESULT: crazy – BANKRUPT, and now the “balance sheet” looks way large for kimi.

    – mashu really tired.

    now we go onto the other Deal happening…mikuni vs satou

    mikuni (darkness) vs satou (gold)
    – satou starts off with a macroflation of her own “Mergers and acquisitions”, which obviously a business term, and steals the anubis asset && attacks with it
    – mikuni defends with the “sleeping beauty” one
    – direct attacks && Q comes out
    – knows her time is running out, uses macroflation again (her asset getting more and more hurt), then uses EBO (her mezzo), but those were cancelled

    – Q’s I’d like to say “power level” is going insane, and then you see mikuni overload with micro and mezzo flations, and then uses his macroflation “Cannibalization” which a quick google shows that it’s a business term (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_cannibalism) (“Market cannibalization, market cannibalism or corporate cannibalism is the practice (on the part of a company) of slashing the price of a product or introducing a new product into a market of established product categories. If a company is practising market cannibalization, it is seen to be eating its own market and in so doing, hoping to get a bigger share of it.”)
    — another tarot symbol I’d think, but I don’t know them…

    – Satou gets attacked.

    – some other stuff in the real world, but he’s too crazy that I can’t understand him too well

    – essentially satou says he’s REALLY strong (not sure what that exchange was about)
    – telepathy connection to kimi
    — saying sorry that she couldn’t win
    — goes and sells (all?) the stock of her asset (for kimimaro to buy, which he does)

    – confrontation between the two (kimi and mikuni)
    — essentially says he beat her
    — kimi asks is this the result/ending you wanted?, says it’s strange (stuff about using/trading his future or something)
    — also notes that the assets of mikuni are really tired and at their limits AS well… but actually I think the japanese said that the “Deal with the Devil” hurts his own assets (future), off about “isn’t Q your future? What are you THINKING?!?!?!” (not sure what mikuni’s response is however it seems like he doesn’t care much?), however he goes off that he wants to preserve mashu
    — a shot of the assets of kimi shows he has satou’s
    — not sure what mikuni found out, but it seems it’s connected to what the informant did (released those money), and some commands, and etc happened, not too sure what’s going on here, sorry T__T
    – mikuni essentially tells masakaki to do the deal with the devil, masakaki warns that he’s going to use up ALL his life if h e does this, and mikuni doesn’t care (at this point)
    — kimi doesn’t want this, for mikuni to use his life.
    — he sees a previous version of himself…
    — some babble and then “if you want to stop me, go and try”
    — kimi gets owned physically (well mikuni IS bigger)
    — continues on trying to stop him, mikuni says “how are you going to do that”, something about he doesn’t have the way to do that

    – masakaki comes and says essentially “Oh hey you have a Darkness Card” (which I’m guessing that darkness card = super entre?)
    — mikuni goes “wtf” while kimi shows he has a wheel of fortune/levithan darkness card

    [ INTERESTINGLY to note, one of the “eyes” looks like it’s darkened (as he sold that stock to mikuni, using the Sephirot model… that one there is red…while the others are white ?)

    – esssentially now that he has a darkness card, he is able to occupy/do something about mikuni doing that “Deal with the Devil”
    — mikuni says something about (his allegience? he follows? I don’t know?) someone from “above”

    – kimi challenges mikuni, some battle exchange, Q looking pissed, mashu looking concerned

    – Deal Starts….

    {Ending}

    ==================

    some stuff about episode 11
    http://www.noitamina-control.jp/05story/story11.html

    #11 Control
    “現実世界では、竹田崎の仕掛けたハイパーインフレと情報操作によって日本円の価値が暴落し、人々はパニックに陥っていた。そんな中、ミダスマネーに変化が現れる。真朱や人々の未来を守る決意をした公麿と、現在を守る決意の壮一郎。それぞれの想いがぶつかり合い、加速度的に白熱していくディールは、遂に決着の時を迎える!”

    Which translation in google translate does turn up some gems…
    “In the real world, the value of the yen plunged by hyperinflation and information operations Takeda planted where the people were panic. During such, a change in the Midas money appear. Maro was determined to protect the public and the future of the people and true red, Soichiro determination to protect the present. Clashes thoughts each deal will continue to glow at an accelerated pace, finally settled at the welcome!”

    ofc because by adding ALL THE MONEY, that Takeda planted (the informant), made the value of the yen go down (supply and demand), causing hyperinflation, and apparently the midas money…well
    Kimi is trying to protect the future of everyoone, while Soichiro (aka: Mikuni) is trying to protect ONLY the present, which goes into the philosophy talk/etc

    ====================

    I hope this helps, I started around 1:40 or so am (but that got messed up so restarted at 2am) and it’s now 4am. hope I’m understandable, and hope that clears things up about the current episode

    … but then again FFFFFFF apparently Doki released the funsubbed version while I was typing this out, but hope that helps~

    T_T my two hours…. hope my commentary was insightful enough though…. ><

    – zhurai

  5. Michael Says:

    zhurai:

    You certainly took your time, thank you very much. I watched the episode and your step-by-step commentary was down pat. There remains to be a battle between the future and the present represented by Mikuni, and the Darkness card given to Kimimaro was a nice twist by Masakaki. Hyperinflation is indeed near, and the final battle looms.

    Thank you for your work and commentary.

  6. zhurai Says:

    Thanks. you’re welcome (though i don’t think I want to stay up that late again ><) It's really my first time (or rather, first anime) doing any sort of indepth analysis on them, since there's been so many moeblobs recently, and nothing much for me to look into there obviously…

    when I first looked into C, I thought it would be a cool/nice/interesting anime to watch (but isn't "mainstream") that was related somehow with business, stocks, money, economy, etc, but never really imagined that it would have this much symbolism packed into it (and into 11 episodes at that), and after randomly finding your blog somewhere I realized this, and got into it more, so thanks for these write ups ^_^

    ——-

    more random stuff, I'm going to put them as a 3rd (T__T) comment in c-10 as I think it's more appropriate (at least in my own head ^_^) to talk about c ep10 stuff there rather than c-9, now that the page's open, rather than post about it just in c-9

    [about the cards]

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