Guess who’s all caught up?! I technically finished reading this week’s section on Sunday, but I wasn’t sure what to contribute to the discussion. I, too, feel like we were given a not-so-subtle hint at who the sister will end up choosing.
I think the part where Tamaki mentions that this world is better because it suits her is interesting. In コンビニ人間, there was a similar set-up, with the world of the convenience store suiting Keiko quite well, to the horror of pretty much everyone around her. Whereas we were pretty much in Keiko’s corner for that, I’d venture to say we’re less so for Tamaki. I think what it boils down to is Keiko being in a world that suited her best only really affected her, despite any grievances others had. She had been able to support herself, and though it’s debatable how well she was when it came to that (recalls the food situation), Tamaki’s case for her now being able to live in an ideal world for herself doesn’t meet that threshold. Afterall, she’s cutting off someone else’s life, as well as bringing in ten other lives. While society seems to have a decent response to what happens to those ten new lives, clearly not everyone is really on board with the sacrificed one, or else people wouldn’t decide to kill themselves before their death day. (There was the mention of suicides decreasing since the system came into place, but if the government could convince people to go along with this whole thing, surely they could get them to believe a statistic like that if they wanted to.)
To be honest, I don’t even think this system really suits Tamaki. As a child, she was able to kill bug after bug without having to offer anything up in return. Birthing ten kids just to have your hand at killing one person is a long game. Part of me wonders how satisfied she’ll be in the end. What if she isn’t satisfied after taking that one life? With all that she went through to get to ten (which she still hasn’t technically birthed yet), will she really be willing to attempt the whole process over? It’s a system that works for those with a grudge against one other person (and even that’s debatable). She doesn’t necessarily have that; you could argue she does against her mother, though we haven’t actually heard that from her perspective yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if she went rogue once her contractual kill is fulfilled.
Misaki…is interesting. I groaned when she said she wanted to be a birther, because of course I don’t want her to do that. Guided by that desire, would she try and find someone she wanted to kill, or would she just give up that right should she successfully have ten children? Down the road thinking, but that leads to another insidious aspect of this society: people looking to get angry, looking to find fault with someone enough to justify their decision of becoming a birther. Being on your best behavior likely wouldn’t matter for cases like that.
The ant moment was something, too. I was surprised Ikuko went ahead and killed one of them just to prove a point. That might be something I tuck into the back of my mind for now. I also don’t agree with what she says in that scene. People are always writing down their thoughts and feelings on the times that they’re living through. Unless those records get lost/destroyed, people will know what those living a hundred years before them thought of their society. I mean, we know that about people from a hundred years ago, and new documents and the like are always being discovered. Perhaps no direct memories, but some form of recollection will likely exist. She was also having a real Shiraha-moment, with the whole 「古代から変わらない」. @jhol613 mentioned her passivity, but I think it’s really her just being complacent with present-day society despite her own misgivings with it. She probably represents most people, to be honest. There are a lot of things I get worked up about in society, but that doesn’t mean I actively do things to change any of it. Sakiko is more that type, but as @Phryne pointed out, her methodology comes across as, “I know better than you,” rather than a, “look at it from these different perspectives” sort of approach. Thinking about it, Sakiko and Tamaki might be two sides of the same coin in that respect: both have hard-pressed views on the world they live in, and neither are at all willing to budge from them, thinking that their perspective is the “right” one.
Okay, I think I’m done rambling. I’m eager to see where things go from here. Really surprising that we’re almost done with the story.