Nausicaa as Ophiuchus avatar, archetypal Promethean healer

Disclaimer: If Christian parents are reading this and wondering whether to show this movie to their kids, I would recommend they treat it like Aristotle: good, beautiful, and inspiring, but ultimately pagan and therefore incomplete at best. Although this movie draws on Christian themes, it is not a Christian movie. For what it’s worth, it feels pretty clean and can impress children with positive feminine virtues and a sense that women can have spines and show courage without trying to become poor imitations of men. On the other hand, it would be easy for a child to take a message of subversive “tikkun olam” away if they were not specifically inoculated against it, because the counterargument to that message is hiding within artistic details too subtle for young minds. If you let your children watch it, it would be good to explain to them that the creators were not Christians but they were studying the successes of Western civilization and trying to make sense of our Christian ideas.


p160143_v_v8_ac

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is objectively the best anime I’ve ever seen. It’s not my favorite, and it’s not quite flawless, but it’s the closest thing to perfect artistic expression the Nips have ever put out. And if I were asked to say one positive thing about the Japanese race, it’s that they have an insatiable appetite for art. The plot is quite clever and mixes elements of Western and Eastern religions.

The film tells the story of Nausicaä (Shimamoto), a young princess of the Valley of the Wind who gets involved in a struggle with Tolmekia, a kingdom that tries to use an ancient weapon to eradicate a jungle of mutant giant insects. Nausicaä must stop the Tolmekians from enraging these creatures.

Infogalactic

Symbolism

The symbolism is fairly straightforward when you have the cipher. Fire represents destruction, conflict, and strife.

K’Shana: Well? Have you decided? If you promise to tell them to surrender, I’ll let you go. Do you want this to become another Pejité?
Gikkuri: I suppose you’re a princess, too, but you’re very different from our princess.
Goll: Look at my hand. I have the same disease Lord Yuri had. In half a year, it’ll be hard as a rock. But my princess says she likes this hand. She tells me I have the hands of a noble and hard-working man.
KuShana: Even while suffering from the Jungle, you still insist on living by it?
Gikkuri: You use fire… Well, I suppose we use it a bit too, but…
Goll: Too much fire can be nothing but destructive. Fire will reduce a forest to cinders in a day. The water and the wind will spend a century nurturing a forest to health.
Gikkuri: I’ll stick with the water and the wind.
Niga: When the princess sees what’s left of that forest, how she will grieve…

Thus, the backstory of this world—the “Seven Days of Fire”—is an inversion of the Genesis creation myth, comparable to the Flood.

kyoshinhei

One thousand years have passed since the Seven Days of Fire, an apocalyptic war that destroyed civilization and created the vast Toxic Jungle, a poisonous forest swarming with giant mutant insects.

The visual similarities of this anti-creation myth to Big O are probably not a coincidence, but I don’t understand what they mean yet.

big_1511769197_image

Water represents culture and the inarticulate philosophies by which people in this world live, as it typically does in mythical stories. The war crimes of the past have poisoned the water near the surface (possibly a reference to nuclear radiation) and turned the seas acidic, so that people in the valley have to rely on water from deep underground. The poison represents the constantly degrading malevolence left over from ancient war crimes, and could be compared to the Christian idea of sin.

Yupa: Nausicaä, what is this? These are all Jungle vegetation!
Nausicaä: I gathered the spores and raised them. It’s all right. They’re not poisonous.
Yupa: Not poisonous?! The air in here is definitely clean, but… How can it be? This arsenic plant is in full bloom!
Nausicaä: This water is brought up from 500 meters underground by the castle’s giant windmill. I gathered the sand from the bottom of the same well. If you give them clean water and soil, the plants of the Jungle aren’t poisonous… It’s the soil that’s polluted! Even the soil of the valley is polluted. Why!? Who could have done this?

The insects generally, and the Ohm particularly, embody the earth’s Karma. They can be thought of as natural forces personified as a semiconscious hive mind which is attempting to restore the world to a state of balance.

Nausicaä: The trees of the Jungle were born to clean this world that humans have polluted. They take in the earth’s poison and turn it into clean crystals. Then they die and turn to sand. That’s how this underground cavern was created. The insects are protecting the jungle.
Asbel: If that’s true, then the human race is doomed. It may take thousands of years, but we can’t go on living in fear of the insects and the vapours. I guess all we can hope for is to find a way to stop the Blight from growing any further.
Nausicaä: You sound just like Kushana.
Asbel: No, we’re different. We aren’t planning to use the Titan for warfare. Tomorrow, when you meet the others, you’ll see.

The Tolmekian plot to torture a baby Ohm to bait the Ohm horde into a raging stampede over their enemies is an example of the wartime temptation to use horrific evils with the unconscious intention of producing this destructive Karmic backlash*.

Tortured_baby_Ohm

Wind represents benevolent emotions from a culture rich in the social capital of high trust and mutual faith.

Yupa: This valley is so good… Whenever I return, my soul is healed.
Yuri: How fared you with your travels this time?
Yupa: Hmm. It’s terrible. In the south, two more countries have been swallowed up. The spread of the Blight is relentless. Yet everywhere, people would only wage war and spread hunger. Such ominous shadows… Why can’t they live like the people in this valley?
Obaba: This valley is protected by the Divine Breath of the Sea. The poisons of the Jungle are unable to reach the Valley.

Nausicaa’s strategic use of her natural empathy and benevolence to navigate seemingly irreconcilable conflicts is represented by her precocious skill in navigating wind currents with her glider.

Nausicaa_glider

Yupa: (Laughs) My, but she reads the wind well.

Message

The conflict in the story is not between people, but rather between philosophies of Just War. On the one hand, the imperialist melonhead declares war on malevolence itself, and on the other hand the fatalistic neanderthal shaman warns that this idealism will only result in catastrophic escalation and the extinction of the human race.

Kushana: Our purpose here is to unite the border kingdoms and build a new land of prosperity and hope. You are all on the verge of being destroyed by the Jungle. I’ve come to ask you to join with us, and cooperate in our undertaking! We will burn down the Jungle and reclaim the land that is our birthright!
Man: Burn down the Jungle?!
Muzu: Is that possible?
Kushana: We have succeeded in reviving the ancient powers that once gave the human race mastery over the planet. To those who follow me, I promise a livelihood without fear of the Jungle’s poisons or the insects!
Obaba: Just one moment! You must not raise a hand against the Jungle! …In the millenium since the birth of the Jungle, many people have tried to burn it down. But each and every time, a swarm of Ohm, red with fury, flooded the land like a tsunami. They swallowed up cities, destroyed whole countries… The Ohm continued to swarm until they themselves died from exhaustion. In due time, using the Ohm’s corpses as seed-beds, the spores took root, and even more lands were engulfed by the Jungle… You must not raise a hand against the Jungle!

Nausicaa’s resolution of this paradox is the antithesis of the Bhagavad Gita.

The Gita is a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna right before the start of the climactic Kurukshetra War in the Hindu epic Mahabaharata.[98][note 11] Two massive armies have gathered to destroy the other. The Pandava prince Arjuna asks his charioteer Krishna to drive to the center of the battlefield so that he can get a good look at both the armies and all those “so eager for war”.[100] He sees that some among his enemies are his own relatives, beloved friends, and revered teachers. He does not want to fight to kill them and is thus filled with doubt and despair on the battlefield.[101] He drops his bow, wonders if he should renounce and just leave the battlefield.[100] He turns to his charioteer and guide Krishna, for advice on the rationale for war, his choices and the right thing to do.

Krishna eventually convinces the Promethean figure, Arjuna, that he has to do his duty within the warrior caste dispassionately because to do otherwise would disrupt the natural order of the universe, which would be worse than the war itself.

In Nausicaa, the Promethean figure is the archetypal physician during a time of continually escalating conflicts between kingdoms on the edge of extinction due to the acceleration of generalized malevolence driving out good faith (represented by the spreading poison spores and the dying wind from the sea). There is no bad guy in the plot except bad Karma itself, created by fear and confusion leading to unnecessary conflicts, which is only abated by Nausicaa’s unreasonable good faith in key moments chosen correctly through compassionate love for her would-be enemies. There are three key moments where this is demonstrated in Christian symbolic language. The first time, she puts her body between a fighter plane, machine gun blazing, and the helpless airship that the pilot is shooting down for revenge. The pilot is taken aback by the sight of her standing fearlessly with her arms wide and, not understanding, pulls his fighter up.

The second time, she again puts herself directly in the line of fire with her arms wide to demonstrate that, even though they’re right then trying to kill her, she doesn’t consider them enemies. Although this is not a Christian movie, as I mentioned, this pose evokes the image of Christ on the cross.

400g

The third time, she’s returning the tortured baby Ohm to the unstoppable Ohm hordes as they cascade toward her village to kill everyone there. This time, in the face of her inevitable death as the Ohm rush toward her, she doesn’t even bother to raise her arms to say “we are not enemies”. This mirrors Krishna’s admonition to be emotionally detached from the cause and effect of doing one’s duty in the cycle of history, and to merely accept one’s fate.

Nausicaa_and_baby_Ohm

Her death here is obviously meant to imitate Christ’s self-sacrifice, by transferring the inevitable consequences of the built-up negative Karma onto Nausicaa. The result of this self-sacrifice is key to understanding the movie’s thesis. Even though the Ohms can’t understand speech, their blind rage is satiated because the action itself communicates sympathy for the injustice committed against them. This illustrates that even mysterious, impersonal forces of nature can sense, understand, and respond to benevolent action. The baby Ohm then intercedes on Nausicaa’s behalf, because she showed unreasonable compassion toward it during its time of suffering, and the Ohm horde resurrects Nausicaa from the dead to complete a Christ-like myth. They do this to mirror her unreasonable injection of good faith and compassion during an escalating conflict, returning good for good.

Character analysis

Last, I’ll type the most interesting characters in brief.

Nausicaa

Nausicaa

(Maybe it’s an American thing but this picture is very arousing for me.)

Nausicaa herself resists Edenic typing. She was probably conceived as the idyllic, self-sacrificing Aryan virgin princess, and would have the same typing as Aeris from Final Fantasy (which is a matter of important and intense debate among the autistes in our fine community). What impresses me about this character is that Miyazaki made her unnaturally strong in all the feminine virtues without descending into bathos, so that her unearthly perfection is inspiring rather than pedantic. She feels more like a real person than many of the people I know in real life.

Obaba

obaba

Obaba is an excellent representation of the neanderthal-as-shaman. She showcases their incredible strengths of intuitive discernment, conservative wisdom, and insouciant courage as well as their weaknesses of emotional impulsivity, fatalistic doomsaying, and impolitic criticism at the worst possible moments. When the healthy forest which shielded the valley from the Jungle for centuries gets infected with spores, Obaba is the one who makes the hard call to burn it down to buy a little more time to hope for a miracle. She’s also the first to notice when the wind dies, foreshadowing the Ohms’ rampage.

Princess Kushana

Kushana

Kushana is an archetypal melonhead complete with red hair, emotional scar tissue (represented by hidden physical scars and amputations), and imperialist ambitions. She’s talented and knows it, and her scars have made her pragmatic to the point of psychopathy, but she hasn’t lost the natural sensitivity that allows her to appreciate Nausicaa’s brilliant use of strategic empathy. Kushana’s character arc is the most interesting because her pragmatism observes the superiority of Nausicaa’s philosophy, which begins to peel away the protective layers of her acquired psychopathy.

Kurotawa

kurotowa

Kurotawa is more interesting than he appears. You get the sense that he’s an owl melon degenerated by years of politicking and hedonism who has retained a je ne sais quois sense of honor despite being called a weasel. When the rampaging Ohm are charging his battle line he just smirks and prepares to die well. Anytime he says something, you can imagine him punctuating the statement internally by saying “such is life”.

Lastelle

lastelle_lying_down

Her character isn’t developed but her death represents the innocence lost moment of the movie.

Yupa

Yupa

Lord Yupa plays what we’d call a “Nobilid”, and others might call an idealized natural aristocrat: prodigious, dignified, peripatetic, and melancholy. He’s a reliable friend and has a way of inserting himself exactly where he can do the most good at any particular time. He has a great mustache as well.

*This unconscious intention may be explained as the desire to archetype spiral into the Jungian Shadow, throwing off all humanity to become the sort of monster who belongs in such a profoundly anti-natalist environment as a warzone. The unconscious result of selling one’s soul to Satan in this way is to embody the death drive, and thus pay for this power with an attitude of self-sabotage to the point of craving death while unable to commit suicide (e.g. Colonel Kurtz). For more on this, see my analyses of Apocalypse Now (currently unfinished) and Inuyasha.

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18 Responses to Nausicaa as Ophiuchus avatar, archetypal Promethean healer

  1. j says:

    epic review thx

  2. Arakawa says:

    Excellent.

    That you looked at this seems inevitable as it’s an indirect influence on both Evangelion and Final Fantasy.

    However, it gets more interesting because Miyazaki was required to make the Nausicaa movie when he did for business reasons and he continued to draw the manga for another 10 years after that. So the movie is about 1/6th of the entire intended narrative, and the cod-Christian-resurrection scene was not Miyazaki’s thematic endpoint for the story.

    It’s rather like if Tolkien got finished writing Fellowship and was asked to make a screenplay of what he had so far, or he wouldn’t be allowed to publish the rest. So he’d make a story that left out a lot of the factions and conflicts, got to the part at Amon Hen, and then wrapped the movie up with “and then Sauron’s head exploded because reasons”.

    In light of that you might want to redo the analysis at some point for the full manga. The characterizations in the manga are rather more interesting for all of Nausicaa, Kushana, Kurotowa, and the giant god-warrior. The contradictions of Nausicaa’s empathetic tikkun olam thing are rather more explicit. (A translated online copy of the manga is just an internet search away, so you don’t even have to shell out money for the criminally hefty brick of paper from Amazon that will still have typos in it.)

    > The Tolmekian plot to torture a baby Ohm to bait the Ohm horde into a raging stampede over their enemies is an example of the wartime temptation to use horrific evils with the unconscious intention of producing this destructive Karmic backlash*.

    That definitely gets more play in the manga with the Dorok faction, a confederacy of fifty-one tribes united around a Death Ziggurat with Masonic Eye symbolism. They start with the stampeding-Ohmu idea and just escalate from there with even more self-defeating bioweapons.

  3. Obadiah says:

    Dank post.

    >Nausicaa herself resists Edenic typing.

    She looks fauxcippital (and appears to be too motivated by her Great Cause to be a “pure” T-back). The look in her eyes is also “burning”

    >When the rampaging Ohm are charging his battle line he just smirks and prepares to die well

    I’m picturing Cedonulli doing this as the globohomo hordes close in

    >Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is objectively the best anime I’ve ever seen. It’s not my favorite, and it’s not quite flawless, but it’s the closest thing to perfect artistic expression the Nips have ever put out.

    I know I’ve talked about how “muh value of muh art cannot be determined objectively” but for clarification I think there definitely is at least a partially objective element to the quality of art. Imo unironic, non-experiemental works of narrative storytelling become objectively “better” the closer in proximity they comes to the overall gist and message of the Gospel story, hence the enduring resonance and popularity of e.g. LotR.

    There’s still clearly a significant (if not predominant) subjective element insofar as the evaluation of the quality of art is concerned, though, due to the supernatural nature of consciousness.

  4. Fox says:

    “many times, for instance, when two armies approach each other in battle with swords drawn and spears thrust forward, these men [Druids] step forth between them and cause them to cease, as though having cast a spell over certain kinds of wild beasts. In this way, even among the wildest barbarians, does passion give place before wisdom, and Ares stands in awe of the Muses.”
    [Diodorus Siculus, Book 5, about the Gauls]

  5. bicebicebice says:

    “Disclaimer: If Christian parents are reading this and wondering whether to show this movie to their kids, I would recommend they treat it like Aristotle: good, beautiful, and inspiring, but ultimately pagan and therefore incomplete at best.”

    If your child is Sidis-tier, this whole analysis/review/woo post is what goes inside that childs head, when watching this or any japanimation… just stick to black/white western hero cartoons. Itz that whole bullshit about positive stress thing (just like have a benevolent brain tumor), if a chillum is over/under stimulated they always go hyper. 1 minute of social media should be counted as 10 irl minutes, if your chillum is a genious 20 minutes of tv per day should be enough, if your child is normal or tarded just let xir watch that garbage all day long.

    “For what it’s worth, it feels pretty clean and can impress children with positive feminine virtues and a sense that women can have spines and show courage without trying to become poor imitations of men.”

    we tumblrinas now – this is your brain on japanimation-woo. everything east of Jerusalem is eastern decadence and should probably not be inbibed nor indulged by anyone really.

    I am detecting a lack of Topcats, Cane and five o clock Tea in this post. Score; ignobilid

  6. bicebicebice says:

    A parentlock based on IQ would work great and solve a lot of problems, they should integrate that into goyble and (satans)apple family accounts…

  7. Arakawa says:

    Because I’m having fun with this, some Studio Ghibli quick takes:

    ‘Only Yesterday’ / ‘Memories like Falling Teardrops’: being a career woman is a lie, so is environmentalism, move to the countryside, subdue the land and have babies.

    ‘Spirited Away’ / ‘The Mysterious Disappearance of Sen and Chihiro’: the alien world of the kami with its nonsensical magic and taboos that can instantly destroy you is just a dressed up version of the alien world of adults with its nonsensical bureaucracy and taboos that can instantly destroy you.

    ‘Princess Mononoke’ Level I: dude goes to foreign country to fix everything and fixes nothing. Everyone kills everyone, God is dead, we have no guarantees this won’t happen again but the mayor promises we’ll do better next time anyways. Also, modern politics in a nutshell.

    ‘Princess Mononoke’ Level II: after 14 years of obsessively drawing the Nausicaa Manga Miyazaki tries to summarize the result of his musings in one movie. Because it’s a movie, there’s little room for nuance and he ends on them returning the deer god’s head to make the forest start growing back. aka another pseudo-Christian-resurrection scene to wrap up the unresolvable questions at the climax. The medium is the message and Marshall McLuhan cackles in his grave.

    ‘Ponyo’: the sweetest, nicest movie you could make about a shotgun marriage between five-year-olds.

    ‘The Wind Rising’: Miyazaki makes a movie about the real world for a change. Film should be mandatory viewing for the young fools who think working at Google is great because “you get to change the world”. The Japanese right wing hates the movie for being too left wing, the Japanese left wing hates the movie for being too right wing, and the anti-smoking lobby hates the movie for depicting smoking in period-accurate fashion. (“We must eradicate smoking in the past as well as the present!”) Miyazaki vows to have his revenge by making another movie about the real world (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Do_You_Live%3F_(film)).

    ‘Totoro’: Miyazaki is denied the right to make a ‘Pippi Longstocking’ movie, vows to have his revenge by making a far more iconic and lucrative character. Many years and several iterations of the concept later, revenge is achieved through making a killing on catbus plushies. (For strong circumstantial evidence that this was part of the thought process, see Panda Kopanda.) The rights to make a ‘Pippi Longstocking’ adaptation are subsequently granted to talentless Canadian animators.

    ‘Grave of the Fireflies’: ‘Totoro’ is traditionally shown as a brain bleach immediately after cinema showings of ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ in order to restore viewers’ faith in humanity.

    ‘Tales of Earthsea’: has the unenviable distinction that the ‘Behind the Scenes’ story is a exponentially more dramatic than the actual movie. But, tries one new thing for Ghibli in trying to depict the teenager’s sense of being slowly consumed by a darkness he can’t control. But then again, Evangelion also did that.

    ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’: Eurostalgia is to the Japanese as Orientalism is to the Europeans. Japanese love to contemplate the end result of lovely, high-trust European towns and breathtaking technological advancement, minus the hard-edged, messy and abstract religious conflicts that were a prerequisite to making all this stuff. (They also try to LARP this result. See also: Huis ten Bosch amusement park near Nagasaki.) Since Diana Wynne Jones is also in the Terry Pratchett category of depicting Europe-without-transcendence, this is the perfect source material.

    (Side note, Diana Wynne Jones has a great talent of depicting the sense of going into someone’s house. You go to someone’s house and it’s very British and a total mess but you somehow instantly want to live there. Since Ghibli has the obsessively detailed rendered environments, this is the perfect adaptation vehicle.)

    ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’: more Eurostalgia. Speaking of Tumblr, I think Buttercup Dew (the homosexual national-socialist My Little Pony fan) wrote a much better and very long essay about how much Miyazaki Sweden differs from Actual Sweden.

    ‘Castle in the Sky’: more Eurostalgia for Wales and Jules Verne this time. Thematically somewhat derivative of Nausicaa — Miyazaki was required to make this movie right after doing Nausicaa because Takahata was supposed to make an anime but instead wound up spending the budget to make a 3 hour documentary about the water supply system in the city of Yanagawa. It’s a great documentary if you want to sit for three hours and learn how the Japanese are very similar to the Dutch in some ways (lots of farmland below sea level and rube goldberg contraptions to keep the tide out) and that’s probably why they got along. But it didn’t pay the bills.

    ‘Pom Poko’: so, there was that Canadian animation, “The Raccoons”, about forest varmints waging a war of Leftist activism against rapacious capitalist developers? Isao Takahata decided to make something like that, but whenever you try to take it outside Japan it gets Lost In Translation. (Two words: raccoon pouch.)

    ‘My Neighbours the Yamadas’: Isao Takahata messes around with a hideously expensive computer animation method that tries to replicate the style of old calligraphy scrolls.

    ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’: Isao Takahata uses aforementioned hideously expensive computer animation method to make a movie. The film is Ghibli’s most theologically explicit and delivers Isao Takahata’s Take That to transcendent egotism whether of Christian or Buddhist varieties — depicting as viscerally horrible as possible the idea that if Kaguya goes to heaven/nirvanah she will not like or care about us anymore.

    (Isao Takahata also redeems this long string of weird or depressing [Grave of the Fireflies] movie projects by making ‘Only Yesterday’ — see above. Also, his ‘Anne of Green Gables’ adaptation is excellent and drove some Japanese tourism to Maritime Canada, a part of the world that would otherwise be completely ignored by everyone. The Canadian government, in its inscrutable wisdom, has reacted by surrounding Green Gables with a protective golf course.)

  8. Pingback: Arakawa on classic animes | Aeoli Pera

  9. Mr. T. says:

    Interesting post and hopefully an interesting movie. Don’t know much about anime, but I loaned the DVD from a local library. Will watch it in the near future.

  10. Obadiah says:

    >Imo unironic, non-experimental works of narrative storytelling become objectively “better” the closer in proximity they come to the overall gist and message of the Gospel story, hence the enduring resonance and popularity of e.g. LotR.

    “Art is a lie that tells the truth”

  11. Obadiah says:

    >Imo unironic, non-experimental works of narrative storytelling become objectively “better” the closer in proximity they come to the overall gist and message of the Gospel story, hence the enduring resonance and popularity of e.g. LotR.

    It’s also why Resident Evil 4 was just so outstanding and so much better than it had any right to be despite being corny, poorly acted and awkward in certain places.

    It’s actually even better as its own standalone game rather than as an installment in the convoluted, baggage-laden, and trite “Resident Evil” franchise continuum. Leon is a perfectly acceptable standalone protagonist–until he opens his mouth.

    “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

  12. bicebicebice says:

    “Obadiah says:
    February 13, 2019 at 2:49 am
    >Imo unironic, non-experimental works of narrative storytelling become objectively “better” the closer in proximity they come to the overall gist and message of the Gospel story, hence the enduring resonance and popularity of e.g. LotR.”

    Itz the golden baby formula that even all sapes like, maybe proving they can have souls via the holy spirit unironically, sort of like tethering wifi. The formula will never go out of style. paradox is they don’t want to live it and reap the benefits, of their own “agency”. Orangutangs don’t drive cars, but they wash with soap.

  13. Obadiah says:

    “Apropos nothing, claiming that the Problem of Evil disproves Christianity is about as intelligent as saying the Matrix I is unrealistic because people can’t actually fly.” -Koanic

  14. Obadiah says:

    The plot of RE 4—where a single, lightly armed man is sent into an absurdly dangerous situation with borderline-nonexistent intel on a search and rescue mission to retrieve the President of the United States’s daughter—is preposterous on its face and requires a major suspension of disbelief from the outset. Where’s Leon’s backup? Who else is working on this? There should be entire divisions of intel and military working on and coordinating this operation, not just one dude with a pistol.

    Of course, the point of the game isn’t the convoluted and trite plot we’re given–its about the underlying gist and eternal meaning of the events that transpire throughout the game, and the feeling of magic that accompanies them.

    The plot of the game we are playing is ostensibly about special agent Leon Kennedy going to save the president’s daughter something something umbrella corporation genetic experiments something something woman in the red dress conspiracy something something classified documents.

    But the story that we are actually being told and partaking in is very much a mythological one, and it is the classic tale of the brave hero going to save the damsel in distress from unspeakable evil.

    When we fight the El Gigante and the Del Lago we are being pitted against terrible, mythological trolls and sea-monsters.

    We use gold coins plundered from fallen foes to buy powerful weapons from a shady and mysterious merchant–who himself may be the key to all of this.

    When we hunt down Salazar, we are storming the castle of a corrupt, unworthy, decadent and despotic prince along his equally twisted servants.

    When we knife fight the renegade MT guy in the QTE sequence towards the end, we are engaging in single combat with a fallen knight.

    When we blow up melon melonson with a rocket launcher on the deep sea construction platform thing, we are slaying the evil, seemingly invincible dragon.

    When we ride away on the waverunner with Ashley at the end of the game, we are galloping on horseback into the sunset with the princess.

    The surface level *plot* of the game is ridiculous, convoluted, trite.
    The *deeper mythos* of the game is just perfect.

    It’s why RE5 and all subsequent sequels felt so flat, despite all the technical and graphical improvements it sported.

  15. Pingback: Obadiah: Jenova as collective unconscious | Aeoli Pera

  16. Obadiah says:

    When we meet the spanish owl melon guy with the Red 9 and hold out against the zombie onslaught in the house, according to the plot we’re supposed to be chasing some serum or something for the government to blah blah blah virus biological DNA sample blah blah helicopter extraction point blah blah.

    What’s really going on is our young hero and a dashing devilish rogue are making a hopeless final stand against the unstoppable tidal wave of evil to save the princess.

    I could go on and on, but I’d need to replay the game to remember more stuff. Speaking of replaying the game, I’ve already done so twice and the reviewer superbunnyhop mentioned he did so like 4 or 5 times. The reason we feel the urge to replay this game so much as opposed to its slicker, sleeker and more technically-sound copycats like Gears of War (which for example I only played once) is because of the reasons I talked about. It’s about the feeling of magic that comes from the deeper, ethereal mythological truth.

  17. Arakawa says:

    Another point from the manga that’s very debatable, hence not really a spoiler. It wasn’t too clear to me.

    But it would change the archetypal reading a lot.

    It’s implied the God Warriors were not a conventional nuclear arsenal but more like a tribunal of artificial humans meant to prevent conflict by adjudicating between different nations. Of course, for the decisions to be obeyed, they had to have more firepower than everyone else combined. But it seems like the God Warriors almost immediately purity spiraled into declaring the entire world UNWORTHY and blowing everyone up equally. Hence the Seven Days of Fire.

    The reactivated God Warrior has a speaking role in the manga. He declares himself “arbitrator and judge” and flies around with a very Evangelion looking halo of light. Fortunately he imprints on Nausicaa as his ‘mother’ and Nausicaa is able to tame the purity spiraling.

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