Interpretation of Big O, part 1

Thanks to whoever recommended this show in the first place. It’s hard to find good animes. Spoilers follow.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,

The key to interpreting the show’s bizarre ending is in the name. Big O is about the simulation theory of the universe, using stage plays and film sets as metaphors. In the final episode, it’s revealed that the entire planet of Earth is a large stage with impossibly massive stage lights hanging overhead, previously hidden in mist.

Paradigm City represents Earth, whose denizens have suffered mass amnesia (“The Event”) about the previous advanced civilization but who carry the civilization’s memes and effortlessly operate its technology (which generally represents cultural capital, in this show and elsewhere, see also: AI and the Singularity as Antichrist and Rapture). Memory represents genetic memory/expression in this series. These memories resurface sporadically and elite individuals are driven to seek them out.

Like all robots in sublime anime, the giant robots represent material embodiment of souls, or “corporations”. But where Evas represent the mysteries of the human body, Megadeuces in Big O are corporations in a more gnostic sense of being a collection of people acting in unity. In keeping with the fascist ideas of state-as-god (or “emergent tribal consciousness”) and dictator-as-avatar, it is strongly implied that the giant robots are incorporated national gods driven by ingenious Great Men. In keeping with this theme, there was a war of the gods which destroyed the world approximately 40 years previously, just before The Event.

Part 2 will interpret the major characters and part 3 will hit on a couple of the minor themes.

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18 Responses to Interpretation of Big O, part 1

  1. UROTSUKIDOJI says:

    You would probably enjoy Ergo Proxy, and Gilgamesh too.

  2. a says:

    Glad you liked it, many of the other things I recommended on that post are danker if memory seves right.

    Also, I only saw the firat season so cant comment on this post itself

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >Glad you liked it, many of the other things I recommended on that post are danker if memory seves right.

      Didn’t find :-/

      • a says:

        Oh that’s right that comment got deleted… lol.
        NOT in any particular order:

        Miyazaki /Ghibli + the Castle of Cagliostro
        (Nausicaa in particular, to me. Also ‘The Wind Rises’. Fuck it, its all pretty good)
        Akira
        Macross Plus (Music is dankkk bro)

        Angel’s Egg (Aeoli has seen, others maybe not)
        Trailer:

        Full:

        Memories (Magnetic Rose at least)
        Jin Roh
        Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust
        Neo Tokyo

        Battle Angel Alita
        Full: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx_TEVUbJ2o
        There a a few good shorts in the animatrix, though some pretty dislikable globohomo shit themes as well

        Haven’t seen but look good:
        Barefoot Gen

        Grave of The Fireflies
        Steamboy
        + a few others I will report back on at some point.

        Its a shame that all the art above gets lumped in with normal weeb trash.
        Ah well.
        Im just glad this stuff exists.

        • a says:

          Thinking about it, some kind of serious magic happened with the Macross Plus ost.

          Information High
          The Borderline
          Wanna Be An Angel
          Idol Talk

          Pulse
          Voices/ Myung Theme

          Torch Song
          A sai en
          SANTI-U
          Goddess in the Morning

          (This is the only place I can find this song!)
          And my favorite- After/ In the Dark

          @ 20 secs here for distorted vhhs version

          If anyone wants all the songs (They can be hard to find!)
          email me at : 12345werstersd@gmail.com

  3. a says:

    Also, Alex Rosewater reminds me of Mike Cernovitch :/
    ewww

  4. a says:

    Im gonna binge the series this weekend (Already back to school) so I would appeciate it if you wait until Monday to release part 2 and 3. This post didnt spoil anything but the next two probly will.

  5. Mocheirge says:

    IT’S SHOW TIME!

    This was my first anime and remains my favorite “giant robots beating up giant robots” show. I had to watch it a couple times before it made any sense to me whatsoever. Since I hadn’t seen Eva then, the idea of using big mechs to represent competing philosophies/theologies was novel to me.

    I know they get called Megadeuces based on pronunciation, but I’m pretty sure the correct spelling is Megadeus — Big God. Additionally, I think the name comes from Big O notation — “used to describe how closely a finite series [Paradigm City and its forty years] approximates a given function [All History/Memories].”

    Also, I am shocked to find that someone other than me knows of Tenshi no Tamago. I found it by mistake years ago when looking for Gong. It had a noticeable lack of pothead pixies.

    • a says:

      Interestingly, Angel’s Egg and Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust had the same artist behind the overall look.
      There are very very few names and they pop up again and again (As you would expect considering how rare genius is). Hell, when it comes to music there’s Joe Hisaishi (Ghibli), Yoko Kanno (Macross, Magnetic Rose, lots of stuff for shows IE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIVgSuuUTwQ ) , a few others, and then normal composers who do one-off scores (The guy who did Angel’s egg soundtrack- “Living in water”. Primordial chaos and all that)
      The guy who made angel’s egg- Mamoru Oshii- also directed the first Ghost in the Shell (I still havent seen it)
      Otomo- Akira+ putting together Memories and Neo tokyo + the shorts he adds
      Also Steamboy- which makes me think its good.
      And of course Miyazaki and his team. The guy who made EVA (Chose to never see it for several reasons) is the same guy who drew the “Giant Warrior” in Nausicaa!

      Anyway, Big O stuff. From wikipedia:
      “The writing staff was assembled by the series’ head writer, Chiaki J. Konaka, who is known for his work on Serial Experiments Lain ”

      So there’s something else for the “watch at some point” pile.

      Anyway, Im just ranting for no reason. I comment here too much, right? (Maybe watching so much Jordan Peterson- who is very high in trait Openness- has worn off on me)

  6. bicebicebice says:

    western cartoon if you want to feel (rigtheousness), jap cartoons if you want to think (hmm that really makes me think about woo)
    western rpgs if you want to think (hmm that really makes me think), jrpgs if you want to feel (hmm thats really a cute feelinz)

  7. Pingback: The Nightingale in Big O | Aeoli Pera

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