Can I actually find a way to catch up completely by Saturday? A tall order, but I’m sooooooo close at this point!
Bugs and sunscreen
I don’t know why, but as I was reading through the lunch scene, it occurred to me that maybe the characters who eat bugs are tagged as people who will die at the hands of the system in some way. That’s not to say we’ll see all of them; but at this point, with even Sakiko joining in, there’s literally only one character who’s had the opportunity to partake and hasn’t (Ikuko). It’s a working theory, of course; Week 7 could blow it right out of the water. I’m curious on how Murata-sensei chose which bugs to incorporate; セミ have short lives, and the story takes place in summer, so their inclusion is pretty easy to see. Something I’ll have to ruminate on more, perhaps.
As for the sunscreen, it’s interesting that she reapplies it upon coming back into the office, where there’s a much lower chance of her being hit by UV rays. The more logical thing would be to reapply a little bit before you go back out. Maybe that’s unimportant. In terms of her use as a whole, I kind of feel like it’s another instance of her rejecting part of the natural world because she thinks it will harm her. This is a very physical instance, but she also has those feelings regarding the bugs (it arguably harms her psyche) and the birthing and killing system (seen as “natural,” but obviously she’s got doubts about that).
Ikuko and her boss
I’m surprised more people didn’t talk about this section! I liked being able to see Ikuko have to work through her feelings of, “I want to kill this person” in the moment. This not only portrays a toxic work culture, but it sets up a dynamic of one person who’s in control of their emotions vs. another who just lets loose with them. This is pretty indicative of the culture that the 殺人出産 system promotes: don’t control your feelings of anger toward someone; let them writhe around in you, keep fanning their flames, and reach the point of letting them out by killing someone. During Ikuko’s mental run-through, she says this:
It made me really think about the punishment for killing without fulfilling the contract of a birthgiver. Ultimately, the outcome is the same: children are born at the expense of another life. It’s seen in society as a “punishment,” but to the government, I’d imagine it doesn’t really matter, because their needs are met either way. We’ve gotten to hear about how teachers promoted the idea of both 産み人 and 死に人 sacrificing themselves for the greater good, but how do they reconcile with the same circumstances when done out of order? Perhaps they don’t, which could also be indicative of Murata-sensei’s views on society.
This was a bit of a mind dump, but thanks for indulging me if you read through it.
ARE WE FINALLY MEETING THIS SISTER?! Pretty pumped.