Please read the guidelines on the first page before adding any words.
What sentence/passage gave you the most difficulty? Feel free to request some help, or if you figured it out on your own break it down for the rest of us!
What was your favorite new vocab word from this week’s reading?
Was there any passage that you found particularly intriguing? Did it resonate with you (either positively or negatively)? Was it surprising? Offer any insight or new perspective? Was it just beautifully written?
This week, Misaki and our protag went to Chika’s funeral, and Misaki decides to devote her free research to the topic of (of course) the victims of 産み人. Afterwards, we get some insights into protag’s back story and into the two occasions where she actually felt the urge to kill somebody (the first one was that dude in high school who groped her, the second one was her manager in her first part-time job). Does this help you a bit, or is everything pretty much inseparable in your memory?
Ahhhgg @Phryne I’m convinced you read through the whole book ahead of time to pick the most painful cliffhangers as stopping points.
There’s a lot to unpack from this week’s reading. I just did the whole thing in a single marathon session so I’ll probably let it all settle a bit before writing any more thoughts. One thing I will say is that being forced to slow down (both by the club and by the… you know… Japanese) has helped make these books so compelling. I think somebody said it during the コンビニ人間 club–it’s almost like you’re living in this world with these characters over the course of the weeks that you’re reading.
I mean… loads of people aren’t even willing to do the bare minimum to avoid the short-term risk of getting covid, so I can see how people might not be willing to change their behaviour to avoid death 10+ years later. Same with regards to smoking, drinking, etc.
Oh, I meant to and forgot to comment on this. From the text, it seems that the targets committing suicide is a rare occurrence. I suppose the risk that their target may take this way out is negligible to the perpetrator compared to the penalty of having to continue to bear children until they die if they took matters into their own hands outside of the regulations.
Also, it sounds so nice and easy that they literally get the victim served to them, properly anesthesized as well, so that they can play with them for half a day. No fighting, no running away, no screaming and struggling. That’s probably a plus for most of them compared to an ordinary “wild” murder.
I haven’t had a chance to post recently but still reading along! This week was so good though that I just had to take the time to comment (even if I actually finished reading over the weekend and am only getting the chance to write something).
Lot's of spoiler-y plot talk
What I thought was interesting about this week was how it showed the effect of this system from multiple angles. In particular, I found striking the discussion where the sister suffered several multiple miscarriages and how the doctors are just like: cool, let’s try again! There is very little consideration for the effects on the body or the mental health of the 産み人 - while it is tempting at first so see them as monsters, we can see how they are also being exploited by the state in serving of pumping out more children. No one is the winner here.
On the other side, with the funeral we see how rituals have been built in ways to sell the deaths as a noble sacrifice. I am now imagining the architects of this system being like: and then they will all dress in white! And there will be bones! And white flowers! And everybody will post it on instragram and it will be all super aesthetic I’m not sure social media exists in this world, but you just know that if it did the government would be pushing all these hashtags…
I largely agree here, but on the flip side, considering how the victims are treated as serving the greater good, perhaps there is in some cases a sort of perverted pride in being selected? The co-workers in particular, note that they are surprising that Chika didn’t say anything, which means they were not able to send her off properly: this implies that perhaps usually people look to milk their month to be painted as sorts of matyrs for the greater good.
Finally, any one else find it disturbing how Misaki is like “more teenagers needs to get on the this killing action!” Yikes. Perhaps I missed it, but I wonder if there is an age limit for becoming an 産み人? Or Conversely, is there is limit to how young the person you kill is? I am also partially wondering that because it was mentioned in the previous thread that perhaps Misaki is the person that hte sister wants to kill, which I am personally leaning towards at hte moment, but I could see the government banning the killer of people of under 18 or something (seeing as the entire system is about increasing children, allowing their killing of them wouldn’t be a great PR move, you would think)
I think it was @softlyraining who mentioned it in the thread for Week 4 (could be misremembering), but I was thinking the same. First off, I partially think it because of how prominent role she is playing in the story: narrative-wise, I think it makes sense that the person who dies would be someone who the reader gets to know: to me that leaves the narrator and Misaki as obvious choices just from a narrative perspective. It certainly could be the narrator, but that feels like the more obvious choice to me. There would a sort of macabre tragedy in seeing one of the most vocal supporters of the system being the one who dies, which is why I think it’s definitely possible.
But also, the story talks about how the sister meet Misaki while coming at home after several miscarriages, and how much Misaki took to her. With the sister, it’s established that she doesn’t necessarily want to kill because of clear need for revenge: rather that it’s a dark urge that she feels like she can’t escape, hence the notebook. To me, killing someone who is innocent seems like a better fit for satisfying that darkness, even if the case might be the feeling that is somewhat neglected by her mother.
Obviously Misaki wouldn’t have been the original intended victim as she wouldn’t have been born when she first became an 産み人 but perhaps when she came home she was on the fence: but then meeting Misaki she found the perfect victim, the one thing that might finally put an end to the dark urges she felt once and for all.
But this is also just wild speculation! So I could be completely off.