C – 11: the philosophy of hope and final symbolisms

I actually watched the episode beforehand, but I could never really organize my thoughts well enough to get out of the paper stage. Despite that, I still feel that I have to make my final post on this great series. It may not be a masterpiece, but it’s certainly one of the better series of the year. So far, it’s been one of the best in terms of provoking thought: while the ending may not have been as well-executed as Tatami Galaxy, it was still a great way to wrap up the series. The entire episode was composed of Kimimaro’s battle and its denouement, as can be expected from a final episode. No amount of summarizing would do it justice, although I must say that the QUALITY and BUDGET of this series reared its ugly head at an inopportune time. Faces were sometimes off, and the art was sometimes ugly, but the episode was dynamic and creative with its resources that its final twenty minutes passed by so fast.

I honestly expected a chess match between Mikuni and Kimimaro given the recent flux of events in C (fights were often eschewed in favor of character and plot development in the later episodes), but they fully showed the final battle that simply reaffirmed my stance that the series was essentially all about a clash of ethics between the main characters. Whereas Mikuni cherishes the present and only the present, Kimimaro hopes for a beautiful future.

Hope has been tackled by many philosophers throughout the years, but I have been decently familiar only with Marcel’s rendition of it. His definition of hope was ‘I hope in Thee for them.’ Thee is not the Christian God, or even a religious god, I think, but a higher being where one places his trust for the sake of other people’s benefit. I believed Kimimaro was the avatar for this hope, especially because he trusted in the ability of the higher being (the entities in the Financial District, perhaps even King Midas) for the sake of Japan’s future, sacrificing everything he ever cherished in his present so that others may live. Tying in with the Qabalistic and Tarot imagery that peppered the show throughout its run, Kimimaro seems similar to the Judeo-Christian Jesus in his self-sacrifice. He essentially killed his present self, losing the two people he has grown to cherish to a different historical reality. His parting with Msyu was bittersweet, and his realization that he would never see the Hanabi he liked ever again was heart-wrenching. Despite everything, he had no regrets other than he wished that he smiled during his picture together with Msyu.

That was nice.

There were few symbols evoked with the macroflations both Mikuni and Kimimaro performed. They didn’t have much of a connection with tarot symbols, although notably both were still heavily influenced by tarot mysticism.

Economic Blockade

Economic Blockade invokes the image of the octopus that activates during C, as well as a closed door. These obviously aren’t directly connected to tarot symbolism, although the skull on top of the image is quite similar to what appears on the Devil card. The card, after all, indicates an obsession or addiction to fulfilling one’s own earthly base desires. Should the Devil represent a person, it will most likely be one of money and power, one who is persuasive, aggressive, and controlling. That’s about right, considering that the invoker was Mikuni, and he was a person of money and power. He is also persuasive, aggressive, and controlling.

The reversal of the rotary press was merely Midas realizing that there are a lot of things that have much more value than money. It has little connection to tarot symbolism, but ties well with the message the episode was trying to deliver. Money is not the end-all or the be-all, and there are some things that money can never trade for.

And that’s it.

For me, the series was a great ride overall. I’ve had pleasurable debates and disagreements, not only on this site, but with people on /a/ who see the value of discussion. I’m still of the belief that the series was all about the ethics, especially because it was never about the money in the final episode, but their stances that they fought for. There were a good amount of inconsistencies and the series was clearly affected by the unfortunate catastrophe that happened in Japan some months ago. Despite that, however, it was a great show for me. The ending wasn’t brilliant, but it was competent enough to wrap the series up decently and cleanly. While Kimimaro failed at beating the house, he was able to give Japan back its future, and was happy that it was full of hope. That was enough for him.

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4 Responses to “C – 11: the philosophy of hope and final symbolisms”

  1. Angelus Says:

    The future is a funny thing. I think Pink Floyd had a good appreciation of it even when they were young:

    “Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
    You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.”

    As you travel more into the future, you think a lot more about the past. I suppose that’s inevitable really, because there’s so much more past for you than there probably is future. And it’s more predictable, more trustworthy. It may not all be good, but it never suddenly turns out worse than you thought it would. It’s safe. Unlike the future, which is a dangerous place, and one far better left to the young than to the old.

    BTW, good to see you over on /ɐ/ earlier, and glad that they by and large don’t give you a bad time – you certainly don’t deserve one.

  2. Wow my name is really lon Says:

    Thanks a lot for all the insight on [C], it helped me realize how much deeper this series actually was.

    You did miss a few tarot references throughout the series though. Check them out if you have some extra time. One would be the one which appears during the use of any ‘Direct’ seen
    here: http://sadpanda.us/images/541058-61B6MQI.png
    and here: http://sadpanda.us/images/541068-18HXPRN.png

    Another would be Jennifer’s EBO flation: http://sadpanda.us/images/541069-UKQL52G.jpg

  3. Janin Says:

    Just throwing in a random note.

    The octopus and the door is actually referencing to Cthulu mytho.
    Though, I do not know whether you have read any of the Lovecraftian works to interpret their meanings.

  4. Chris A Says:

    I just want to say thanks for all the posts on [C] these past couple of months. Your posts have made me like the show more than I would like to admit. I definitely liked [C] for its great ideas in spite of its lacklaster execution and your posts really pointed out these great ideas.

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