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Sinnesspiel ([personal profile] sinnesspiel) wrote2015-04-28 05:30 pm

Shiki Novel Translations 3.10.1


1

Mutou Tamotsu peered down into the coffin and went stiff. The flowers he'd prepared for their parting wouldn't leave his hands.

The tatami room was not very wide itself, and within that room was a coffin.The face of the one stretched out in that coffin was peaceful with no particular signs of disturbance, but there was most certainly a sense of separation conveyed on that face. 

He hadn't seen him lately. Even though before he had been coming over all the time. Tamotsu was so caught up in his own grief that he couldn't have imagined Natsuno who had been out of sight and out of mind had fallen ill.

(I should have at least called.)

Why didn't he, he asked himself. If he had done that much then at least he could have paid a sick visit. 

Since last night's vigil, Tamotsu couldn't stop repeating those regrets in his mind. He lost his brother, Masao had passed away, Tamotsu should have realized it then. There was nobody who would be eternally at his side. Just saying "see ya" didn't mean that you'd definitely meet someone again. Meeting them as you did today might be the last time, that was a truth he should have realized sooner. 

And this really was an eternal separation. Just like with his brother Tohru--and just like with Masao, from here on, the being called Yuuki natsuno would no longer be a part of Tamotsu's life.

"......Tamotsu."

His sister Aoi urged him with a tearful voice, and Tamotsu released the white flowers. Bearing that pain he took two, three steps. Turning back he fled to the corner of the tatami room. There weren't many in attendance. It might have been since he hadn't moved here that long ago. Strangely, there were no signs of any people who looked to be his classmates either. Because of that the emptiness of the tatami room was distinct.  There with him was Aoi who had followed after him and patted his shoulder.

"You can still see him at the temple. Natsu's being buried in the village."

First looking to Aoi as she spoke comfortingly, Tamotsu then looking to the gathering of his father and Hirosawa and the others.

"He's.... it's true he's being buried at the temple?"

"That's right," Hirosawa said sympathetically. "Yuuki-san said that since he'd finally become a member of the village, he wanted to have him buried here too."

I see, Tamotsu said with a pain clutching in his chest. "......He never was, even at the very end of the end, able to get out of the village."

Tamotsu, Aoi said reproachfully. Tamotsu knew it sounded like he was condemning Yuuki who'd made the decision about his burial. ---But. 

"He should have been cremated. If they did that, at least he could become smoke and get away. Nee-san, you know too don't you? How much Natsuno really wanted to get out of the village."

He had quietly been making arrangements to do so. And yet in the end he couldn't get out.

Hirosawa and the others exchanged looks. With a look to Yuuki, who was sitting beside Azusa who seemed in a daze, who looked up as if surprised, Tamotsu fled the room. If he stayed behind there, he thought he might end up saying something like please don't be so cruel as to bury him here. 

"Tamotsu......"

Aoi stood from the seat beside him to chase after him. 

"I know how you feel but you can't do things like that. To Natsu's dad, he decided it thinking it was the best thing."

"Mm...... I know."

"And Natsu said it himself, he doesn't care and won't know what happens after he's dead."

Tamotsu gave a smile, and covered his face that seemed as if he might cry on his sleeve. "......Yeah."

Desperately fighting back the tears, somehow he swallowed down his sob and looked up, only to see Aoi crouching covering her face. 

"......I've had enough of this. How long is this going to go on?!"

Tamotsu nodded. Really how much more of this would there be? They lost their brother, their childhood friend, Natsuno had died---and, who would be next? He didn't think this would be the last. Surely soon new of someone else's death would come and Tamotsu would lose another major figure in his life. It might have been one of his parents or it might have been Aoi. Maybe it'd be Tamotsu himself. 

"The Tamo's Hiro-chan too, it seems like he's sick now they say......" 

Aoi lifted her face at his murmuring to himself. "Is he?"

"Yeah. He hasn't been coming to school for a while now."

Aoi let out something between a sigh and a sob. "......What's going on?"

Yeah, Tamotsu nodded. Since that summer there had been a lot of dead people he'd been told, and it was true. He didn't think that it would continue into this many people. Talking at school, all of his classmates said "it's cursed there, ain't it?" In truth, that might have been the case he thought. Not just as a joke, but some god of pestilence may have been cursing them, here in this village. It was quietly corroding the village, thinning out the people.  --The Oni were dragging people off into the mountains.

Tamotsu suddenly furrowed his brows.Dragged off by an Oni, that was what this was like, he thought, a thought that pulled at him itself.

"Natsuno...... The last time I saw him, he did something weird."

"Something weird?"

"Yeah. Remember, on the day Masao's vigil was. It came that night right? At that time he'd brought a bunch of videos he rented. And they were all horror flicks."

"......Natsu did? Was Natsu into that kind of thing?"

"I don't think he was. Until then, he'd never brought up anything like that. And at the time he didn't seem like was watching them seriously or getting into them. He was fast-forwarding through them one after another. Like he was looking for something......"

Yes, when it came to the vital or the scariest scenes, he fast-forwarded. The only scenes Natsuno was watching seriously were the scenes that didn't seem very interesting, just the conversations. For example the scenes where the man hunting the vampires talked a lot.

Suddenly Tamotsu's eyes opened.He couldn't remember what videos Natsuno had rented and brought that day. But there was one other trend that the miscellaneous assortment had besides being horror.

"He......" Natsuno was suspicious, he thought. That this might be the work of Oni. And then he died. If the successive deaths were the work of Oni, he was carried off by an Oni. ---Those who suspect that Oni exist are taken away by them.

"......What is it?"

Aoi tilted her head. Tamotsu repressed the chill running down his spine and shook his head.

"No, it's nothing. I'm just thinking too much....... About a lot of things."

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-04-29 11:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Yuuki natsuno -> Natsuno
soon new of someone else's death -> news
brows.Dragged -> needs a space there
opened.He -> also needs a space

8D

(Anonymous) 2015-05-06 02:53 am (UTC)(link)
I was reading someone's Shiki posts on wordpress, and it mentioned something about why Seishin decided to stick by Sunako in the end, besides the obvious of Tatsumi asking him to. I think it's logical and matches Seishin's character (like why didn't I think of it before?). I think this specific reason hasn't been brought up here before, so I want to put it here so we can discuss it further.

We know that Seishin is passive in his intaction with external world. Passive people tend to follow more than initiating action. I also analyzed before that Seishin tends to want examples/intermediaries to guide him moving about in the world. The blog owner mentioned that likely Seishin's reason of sticking to Sunako is alike Tatsumi's -- that is, finding something beautiful in her struggling to keeping alive even being what she is.

I want to expand on that. Seishin obviously relates to her in being forsaken, being different. They view themselves as sinners for this. However, she's struggling for life -- while keeping true to her identity as something different. This is what Seishin has been unable to do, and he sees strength in Sunako's decision. She has the courage to stand on her own feet being what she is, even if she risks being separated from the world by admitting to this and doing this. (Though even then she still cannot fully exterminate her ties with God/world, just like he does). I think Seishin would want her guidance so he could be more like her, which is why he sticks to Sunako. Along with her being similar to him, him not wanting to be alone, she's been helping her and all, and feeling dutiful to Tatsumi's plea.

Re: 8D

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-05-16 03:32 am (UTC)(link)
Oh yeah, I definitely agree. I also can't believe we've never discussed it before! I mean, we discussed Seishin being passive and then we discussed why Seishin sticks by Sunako, but never the two in conjunction D:

Seishin is passive and he knows that he's passive. He doesn't want to be passive anymore, and he hates Sotoba for kind of leaving him with no choice but to be a passive individual. And people who yearn to have a certain personality trait usually try to gravitate toward people who do have the personality trait, in hopes that it will rub off on them or something.

We did talk about Seishin sticking to Toshio because he admires him so much--and that's why he admires him, because Toshio is not as passive despite having the same pressures placed on him as Seishin. The pressures placed on Seishin keep him passive, whereas Toshio is able to be active regardless, maybe that's another reason why he resents Toshio (if he does at all).
So it's the same with Sunako, her and Toshio are very similar. A particular comparison I noticed was when the humans started fighting back, Toshio took command and did what needs to be done without getting caught up in feelings (thinking about all the patients that died, etc). Similarly, Sunako did what needed to be done to fight back without being caught up in her own sorrow over Chizuru's death.

I might have argued that Seishin isn't as passive once he's a jinrou, but first of all, it's completely unthinkable that he would be 100% non-passive just because he's suddenly a jinrou, he would definitely still have traces of passiveness and hesitation when acting that will most likely never completely go away. And even if he did just suddenly turn 100% non-passive, he'd still have that yearning that pulls him toward people who initiate action (Sunako).

Re: 8D

(Anonymous) 2015-05-16 12:42 pm (UTC)(link)
8D -- That I can relate. I have a close friend who's kinda like Toshio I guess, in terms of being so quick on her feet, decisive, kinda leader-like and a very action person. I trust her judgment on things and thus I generally follow her advice. I do want to be more of an action person, and I do naturally gravitate toward people who are like that.

I'm also wondering if Seishin being a morally principled person also what attracts Toshio. Toshio is generally conscious about doing 'bad' things, and I think he's even more conscious about what Seishin's opinions on them would be. Probably that's also why Toshio often hides what he does from Seishin, because it's clear Seishin won't like it. If this is true then it's interesting indeed -- that Seishin's attracted to Toshio's decisiveness for action and Toshio to Seishin's moral principles.

The recent chapter also makes it clear that Seishin 'harbors deep affection' (lol) for Toshio, so I think it's pretty much debunked that Seishin might actually be indifferent/resentful towards him judging by other instances too. Interestingly, I think it also debunks Seishin might be harboring romantic feelings towards Toshio, because he places Miwako and Toshio in the same sentence, which would most likely mean that it's a similar kind of affection. That's in my opinion though. I think even if Seishin harbors some resentment for Toshio, his affection would outweigh it, and that I think it's more likely that any resentment would be caused by his not being able to forgive what Toshio does than other things. Well, one resentment can enhance/enable the others though, even if they have different reasons. I now wonder if Seishin will come to resent Toshio as a person (especially because of Kyouko incident) at all or not, because it could turn out to be pretty different in the novel.

Re: 8D

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-05-19 12:40 am (UTC)(link)
You also have to be careful with people like that though because they have a way of presenting their opinions as something reasonable when they actually might not be.
But yeah, I do something similar too, but only with friends, which is kinda weird. If I think that somebody does something better than I do, I automatically see them as a rival and it's hard for me to like them BUT if they're a friend, I do become very happy and proud of them.

I wonder if Toshio didn't get frustrated with Seishin's moral principles at the end, though. Well I mean, he obviously did because they kept Seishin from giving Toshio some much-needed help against the Shiki (in a time like this, he needs his best friend and his help desperately, and his hopes on that part are crushed too because his best friend doesn't want to help). It's sad to think about, but sometimes when things get tough you find that the things that you loved most about your friends are the things that drive you up the wall and cause you to treat that friend with contempt. So that's how I think it is with Ozaki, maybe he admired Seishin's moral principles in his own way all his life, but now that all this is happening, they cause him to get angry with and to give up on Seishin.

My secret is that I don't really ship Ozaki and Seishin! I can imagine them together, but only as a crack-pairing since I don't think they hold romantic attraction toward one another in the series. Besides, if they did I feel like that would distract from the story that Ono wants to tell. One of the things I love about Shiki is how it explores all kinds of different relationships: family, friends, and yeah, romantic ones. Kanami and Motoko. Natsuno and Tohru. Sunako and Seishin. All of these are potentially shippable, but it's uncharacteristically basic for Ono's work to have all of her relationships be romantic; plus, I think it just makes a better story to have the relationship between Seishin and Toshio just be deep friendship. Maybe this is because it's not something you see often in stories; it's rare that the main relationship explored throughout the is not romantic. Along with that, Ono said about Ghost Hunt that romance isn't the kind of story she wants to write. You know better than me about Twelve Kingdoms, but it doesn't seem to me to be a romantic story either, right? It would be consistent if Shiki wasn't romantic either.

Re: 8D

(Anonymous) 2015-05-21 10:49 pm (UTC)(link)
8D -- aha, that's my exact problem with people actually. I'm now trying to be more critical as well as forming my own opinions on things.

If we're talking about Seishin's not agreeing to exterminate Shiki, then yes. This is probably his only moral principle that Toshio's totally opposed to. His other moral principles however, especially those that concern with the welfare of people around them, I think Toshio is often conscious about but thinks that sometimes he has to violate those for greater good. Not that he's conscious about everything there is though, because he'll also have principles totally unique to him. That part Toshio's opposed to is what he condemns; He doesn't condemn his whole self nor does he condemn his other moral principles. He does think of them as silly though. About giving him up; in my opinion it's due to the situation where he knows Seishin's already taken the opposite side. I think even in his worst dreams he wouldn't have imagined something like this -- I think he'll expect Seishin to just sit nicely not doing anything, completely neutral. Not taking up Shiki's side.

I've kinda noticed that lol. I do agree that they don't seem to necessarily like one another romantically according to canon, especially from Seishin's end. I still don't really know how it is from Toshio's end though. If we're talking about hardcore-canon then he probably doesn't, but I think I see some 'potential' from Toshio's end (which is weird because I'm probably the only reader who thinks like that, whereas people tend to think it's Seishin who has a thing for Toshio where I don't share the same opinion). The recent Seishin chapter kind of cemented my opinion on Seishin's end I guess. Judging by that chapter, at most he thinks of Toshio as a family -- a brother, maybe. There are other instances like despite being overly introspective, Toshio is rarely on his mind unless there are direct problems that concern him. Sounds to me like he treats Toshio as someone who's always pretty much there -- like a family? (it gets tricky if we only analyze it from this aspect tho). There's probably also the fact that he doesn't seem to wish to share more of himself with Toshio, no more than what he wishes with other villagers that is. He wants to connect with Toshio the same way and (kinda) amount he wants to connect with other villagers. The counterargument to these is, probably the fact that he gets a little controlling when it comes to Toshio... but there's also the fact that he wants to control 'his little brother' (who is an embodiment of all the villagers' wish reflected on his monk persona) to some extent, so I'm not sure if this actually counts.

Toshio, on the other hand, I think has set Seishin completely apart from other people around him. Most of my favorite details of their relationship comes from his end too. There's the fact that he shares his sanctuary (bedroom) with Seishin only. Totally fond of him and everything that reminds of him (the temple, the northern mountain). Seishin's presence being something that boosts his mood, which he doesn't really find in others. Being demanding that Seishin assists him in almost everything, which I think as not only because they're pillars. As Sinnesspiel pointed out, there's another pillar (Tamo, who represents Kanemasa) whom Toshio pretty much never bothers with his supposedly village business. Even since they were kids he was already quite demanding in this regard too. I view it as a very Toshio-way of showing attraction -- that is, not by adapting to his object of attraction but by demanding they adapt to him instead, like: "I have a very good idea and this is important to me and this is also good for you so you totally should share it!" Which means he gets controlling and territorial. Not that I'm thinking that he's been attracted to Seishin since he was a kid, but it'll be pretty easy for people who are already close like them to merge their attraction with their usual dynamic I think. The only thing he thinks as more important than Seishin is probably his work/duties. Not saying that all these mean he definitely harbors something for Seishin though... it could be that he's just deeply attached to Seishin, but I still see these as potential leanings toward romantic attraction. I think the fact that Toshio, as someone who can freely choose to not have Seishin as a partner but still chooses him -- while being totally aware of their differences and the likelihood that Seishin wouldn't exactly make a perfect partner -- shows a great deal. (I wonder about Seishin's perspective in this aspect of their partnership too. It's true that he wants to help Toshio, yes, but as a person who tends to follow more than initiate something he will not be as free in this regard in my opinion. Toshio's expectation restricts him, and he does mention it in the recent chapter. Just like his relationship with the whole village. It's different from Toshio's case in my opinion.)

In all honesty I don't think of either of them as caring much about romance/romantic relationship. They never speak of it after all, from each of their perspective. Seishin has more pressing matters at hand, and as for Toshio... he strikes me as the type that even if he does get interested in someone, those feelings will not rule over him and he will still prioritize his work over them.

In Taniyama Mai's wikia page it's said that Ono did intend for Mai and Naru to be endgame pairing, though she didn't want to show any romance on screen. I cannot vouch for its reliability though. Twelve Kingdoms is indeed not a romantic story -- but then it doesn't get ambiguous either in my opinion. Twelve Kingdoms sure has relationships where the parties involved are deeply committed/attached to one another in a (usually) non-romantic/sexual way, which are the relationships between emperors/empresses and their kirin. At least, why it doesn't seem ambiguous to me is because it's implied why they get like that. Kirin are beings that are essentially created to serve their rulers, and since rulers are initially commoners they can only be rulers thanks to the kirin who make them so. They're soul-bound by contract; the kirin would vow a pledge to the ruler-to-be and they would accept. Toshio and Seishin however has reached the realm of kinda ambiguity in my opinion, but it's not exactly clear what makes them so. Well, it's slowly made clear from Seishin's perspective so there's that lol. But given its ambiguity then it also means that the true nature behind it will be totally up to readers' interpretation. If Ono-sensei doesn't want us to get the wrong idea, she will disclose it I think. We'll probably get cleared on Toshio in the future if we aren't already.

I want Toshio and Seishin to have some romantic leanings for purely selfish reason; actually I rarely go into anime/manga without shipping any pairing romantically at all. That indeed is my preference, but I wouldn't begrudge Shiki if it doesn't end up catering to it.

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-05-27 11:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Good, you should always take the opportunity for personal growth! Thinking critically is a useful life skill. (Although just hearing the phrase 'think critically' gives me war flashbacks because every English teacher I've ever had would use that phrase in conjunction with anything. "Do this vocab exercise. I want you to learn how to think critically." What thinking, lady?! The assignment was literally to find some words in the dictionary and write them in a sentence.)

Ozaki just has an easier time ignoring moral principles, I think. More pragmatic people (like Toshio) often make decisions based off necessity, often ignoring morals altogether, even if they're their own. Even if Ozaki thought that killing Shiki was wrong seeing as they're 'people', I believe he still would have started a manhunt because his job is to protect the village, so that's what he'll do. And he wouldn't dwell on it either, because he knows that doing so wouldn't change anything. In fact, not one of Ozaki's actions was taken due to his morals. His principles may be "the villagers' lives are precious and I have to protect them", but the reason he'll protect them is because he needs to, not because he personally thinks it's right. Seishin, on the other hand, won't do anything unless he personally agrees with it. Neither is necessarily right, though; decision making should be based off both personal values and outside need. Not saying that Ozaki doesn't consider personal values or that Seishin doesn't consider outside need, but it's useful to make the distinction since both lean heavily to one side.


It's an interesting juxtaposition that although Seishin is introverted, and one would usually think that introverts have a small group of friends that they care a lot about and treat specially, he actually treats everyone close to him about the same, with Toshio being on the same level as his parents. Whereas Ozaki is more extroverted and one would expect him to have a wide group of friends who he's less exclusive about, but really he's specially close to Seishin. Just going by the fact that Ozaki is extroverted, there's the possibility that he hangs out with Seishin because Seishin mostly goes along with him, and extroverts need people to bounce ideas off of. Judging by his other canon friend, Yasumori Mikiyasu, who is also a mild type of person, this is true.

Somehow I can't see Ozaki being a romance guy at all. If I could, I'd probably imagine him as the guy who punches his bedroom wall and grunts, "Shit. I'm in love. This sucks, what did I get myself into?" and then fails to act naturally around his love interest. But he does act naturally around Seishin. If he wasn't acting naturally, we'd see signs like him caring about Seishin's feelings. That sounds harsh but I mean like how he puts out Seishin's essays as reading material in the hospital waiting room for people to read. If he was off balance due to his attraction to Seishin he'd probably not do that for fear of hurting him. Well, that's my interpretation of Ozaki either way.

I feel like if Ono wanted us not to get the wrong idea about a certain couple, she'd probably make a statement about Natsuno and Tohru, lol. But if I were an author, I wouldn't tell people who are canon love interests and who aren't (well, I'd make it clear in the story in the first place...) because it's more fun for readers to interpret it how they will. Besides, I think Ono is kind of like that too; unless otherwise stated in the story, they're not a couple or romantically linked. Even in Ghost Hunt, Mai talked multiple times about being attracted to Naru, so they are shippable from the canon point of view. If Ozaki did punch a wall and monologue about being attracted to Seishin, I would be more open to shipping them.

But like I said, it's more fun for the readers to interpret the story as they will! If you want to ship Seishin/Ozaki, that's totally fine; it's not like there's not parts of the story that could be interpreted that way. I guess with me, for Shiki in particular, I just really like the platonic relationships shown. Usually though, I also do ship people whenever I get into anime/manga/book/anything ^^

8D

(Anonymous) 2015-05-30 01:12 am (UTC)(link)
Yes, that's exactly right! The interesting thing is Seishin wondering about Toshio's motivation in this, but what comes into his mind is personal consideration ('feeling compassion for the villagers'). It shows that that line of thinking is what he understands the most, and that would likely mean it's a mindset he operates at. He even thinks that he doesn't understand Toshio here. While in fact, Toshio just does something he needs to do, regardless of how he exactly feels. (Though I think he once acted selfishly that one time he asked Ishida to keep things quiet from his superiors which led Seishin really mad). That's why what he says about it is "We have to hunt Shiki" and not "It's not right to leave villagers to die" or other things.


It's interesting that while Toshio is definitely someone closest to Seishin and the one person he seeks out probably more than anyone else (in the village, in the future Sunako can probably rivals him), Seishin probably doesn't think of him as close to him as Toshio thinks of Seishin, or that's how I see it anyway. Not saying that Seishin actually dislikes Toshio (because now it's been debunked quite a few times), but he's just THAT detached from anyone. It's also pretty interesting that through Toshio we first knew that apparently Seishin has a friend he seems to be close to, and not from Seishin himself (Toshio's intro chapter, 1.4). Well, thinking about the chapters' format it's probably more of a writing thing than anything though, since it'd probably be weird if Seishin mentions a close friend without showing that friend first, while it'd be okay for Toshio to mention Seishin because he'd already been shown just last chapter. ...However, my above statement still stands remembering other instances.

While it's true that when Toshio was a kid (and kind of a bully kid at that) children like Seishin are the ones who stuck around, they can only be that close as adults because they decided to. Growing up, Toshio became more quiet and tolerant and thus he gained other friends and so did Seishin, but in the end they still returned to one another because they chose to. To be honest, they have personalities so different that unless they make physical efforts to be tolerant of one another and stay together, they wouldn't last this long.

There is also definitely a habit element in their sticking around until now though. If you have something and it still works nicely and it's nice and useful, why would you let it go? Seishin has always been there ever since they were children that thinking about them splitting up probably has never occurred to Toshio. It's probably also the same to Seishin, that only when he takes a final move that it dawns on him that they'd be separated for good. Toshio definitely thinks of them as a package, while I think Seishin is a bit less inclined about it. It's just, Toshio in their relationship is the most genuine him, just like how he is with everyone else. Seishin, on the other hand, splits up between 'Seishin that forms relationship with other people' and 'the most genuine Seishin'. Seishin isn't being his most real self even with Toshio, which is why he feels 'off' to me, because that would mean it's a Seishin that's quite a lie.

I also don't imagine Toshio as an outright romance guy, even if he does get interested in someone leaning that way. The kind of attraction I can imagine him having for Seishin (if he does) is a mix between platonic and romantic one. Or at the very least it's something that rises from years of habitual relationship, though I cannot imagine him as being outright romantic about it. (there are also people who don't wish for romantic relationship even if they fall in love with other people) Say if this is true, then I can sort of understand why he acts like he does; there's the fact that aside from being not really introspective (that he probably hasn't realized it if he does have certain feelings) he'd probably think that their usual dynamic is enough that there's nothing more he possibly wishes out of it. He is Seishin's closest person, and he's also come first ever since they were children. Seishin has always ended up catering to his needs no matter how much he might protest (Seishin's method is if he cannot stop Toshio, then he'll go along to make sure Toshio doesn't do anything out of hand. I guess this is partially why Toshio gets so demanding of Seishin -- that not only because he sincerely wishes to have him in whatever it is, it's also because Seishin is usually so lenient) Seishin is unattached to anyone and Toshio always comes first that I think he must be content already. If all of this is true, I think the exact way to tell if Toshio actually is interested that way or not will be whether he's bothered or not when suddenly Seishin decides to go out with someone. If he is, he'd probably think that it's because Seishin will not always be there anymore, true; but really, it's to be expected anyway remembering their position.

I wonder about Natsuno and Tohru. I mean, they seem to be way less ambiguous in the novel that if you ask me, I think the animanga are the ones that exaggerate. In my opinion, there's no need for Ono-sensei to clarify about Natsuno and Tohru in the novel. Natsuno treats Tohru the same way he treats Tamotsu and Aoi and were they the ones who rise up, I bet Natsuno's reaction would be exactly the same. Natsuno also doesn't do anything about Tohru rising up not only because he sees Tohru as still the same, but he honestly isn't brave enough to kill Shiki whoever they are. (3.6.4 -- oh ho! Someone with moral principles closer to Seishin's) If you meant she didn't clarify about Natsuno and Tohru in the animanga, that's likely because the animanga aren't her right that she doesn't have any link to them. I've read somewhere that when an author has their novel adapted into a movie/TV serial, they usually sell its right to the makers. So Ono-sensei can only do anything about the novels but not their other installments, unless she directly made them.

For me though, Seishin and Toshio has reached the realm of true ambiguity that if Ono-sensei doesn't clarify them, then I can interpret them all I want. She already clarified it from Seishin's end that I think unless she intended for it to be ambiguous from Toshio's side, she'd clarify it too from his end. Or it's probably been clarified somewhere but I missed it because it's subtle. Either way, I have my hopes but if the novels don't align with that, I can still channel them through fanworks lol. (Lol yeah fanworks. I've yet to contribute to this fandom lol)

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-06-04 12:44 am (UTC)(link)
It's interesting why if Seishin is hung up on the idea that nobody should die, he's okay with the Shiki existing even if that means more villagers will die. I think Seishin's morality is a little bit clouded with this one because I think he projects his resentment of the village onto the villagers--and they do contribute to that resentment, not gonna lie. Like Natsuno, he hates how your business is everybody's business, and that means that Seishin's suicide attempt is everybody's business. So maybe while the villagers are alive and living in the village, he equates "villagers dying out" with "village dying out", which is something he actually yearns for. Whereas once they become Shiki they're individuals, and have succeeded in breaking off from the village--which is what Seishin wants to do, so it would contribute to his fascination with the Shiki and reluctance to fight them.
And on the other hand we have Toshio, who sees the villagers as individuals, and the Shiki as a group of animals rather than people.


Perhaps the reason that Toshio relies on Seishin more than the other way around is because Seishin made more of an impact on him. Seishin was evidently a calm and reserved kid, kind of how he's now a calm and reserved adult. Toshio was more of a rowdy kid, but now that he's the village doctor, he's a lot more responsible and compassionate to his clients--qualities he might have acquired from Seishin. In contrast, it doesn't seem like Seishin is more easygoing or adventurous like Toshio; the only time he's adventurous is when he's with Toshio and they're going to sneak to each other's houses or something like that. Whereas Toshio puts the calm attitude he (maybe) got from Seishin to work during everyday tasks. Therefore, he would feel closer to Seishin than vice versa because he made an impact on his life and personality whereas Toshio didn't really change Seishin's life, if you think about it.

I feel like Toshio would be kind of needy in a relationship. I wonder if he can tell like you do (and I did notice too) that he seems "off". Part of being in love with another person, or my interpretation of it, is wanting them all to yourself. I like how you made that distinction between 'being in love' and 'romance', because it's one that is often overlooked. But I think even being in love means not wanting to share the person. Even if Ozaki was in love with Seishin, even if he didn't want to hear things like "you're the only one for me, Toshio-chan", he'd still want to hear "You're who I go to when I don't want to be alone" or "I trust your advice over anyone else's". Maybe it's implicitly obvious looking at Seishin's actions, I mean he always tries to help Toshio and they visit each other late at night, so that could be easily interpreted to mean those things especially since he doesn't do it with anyone else. Except Toshio isn't introspective about himself or about Seishin (beyond feeling that he's empty inside), so he wouldn't think into it far enough to guess those things from Seishin's behavior, and he would probably demand some verbal confirmation.


I thought Ono would have to clarify about them since most people who are fans of Shiki have probably, like 99% likely, seen the anime. Not all those who saw the anime have read the book, but I think everyone on here at least has seen the anime. So she would be aware that the majority of people who appreciate her work will have been exposed to the adaptation which does ship Natsuno and Tohru and honestly in interviews, since people like asking about shipping, would probably ask about that, which would cause her to clarify. Even if she sold the rights to the animanga, people could still ask her during novel interviews because they're familiar with it and then she could clarify.
Going by just the novel, I agree, there's really no indication of anything romantic between Natsuno and Tohru at all. I thought that Tohru dying and Natsuno having to deal with it was very good as a platonic friendship because there's a different kind of pain you feel when a friend dies, when a family member dies, or when a partner dies. The more we discuss, the more I realize how great it is how many different topics Shiki addresses.

We contribute to the fandom by supporting the translation ;^; T-that's something, right?

8D

(Anonymous) 2015-06-04 06:43 pm (UTC)(link)
The villagers are also part of the village, and a big part at that. The village as an order is maintained by the people there, and admittedly the people there are the ones who created the order in the first place. Even if probably the authorities are the ones who directly created the order, people with more inferior positions also contribute to that same order. So I understand that line of thinking. The village can only be called alive if the people there are still alive and continue to contribute to the order after all. Speaking about system/order, I think his resentment towards it is mainly caused by his feeling helplessness at not being able to be accepted as he is, even if he honestly wants to contribute to it as other people do. What he wants is to contribute his own way, according to his own conscience (latest Seishin chapter). Not only is he not accepted, he's also not understood. He feels isolated, and, seeing those people who can fit in more will probably make him envious. Those are people who have what he wishes to have. Those same people also cannot understand him and judge him for being what he is.

If I were in his position I'd also likely be confused about the whole killing Shiki. Like, I think Seishin, Natsuno and others too will have easier time dealing with it if Shiki are just like mindless zombies. Staking them wouldn't feel like killing a human being. But instead, Shiki have conscience exactly like a human being, and a person they know at that. To a lot of people, doing something to them will exactly feel like doing something to a living human being. Seishin also acknowledges them being a Shiki (something different, sinful perhaps) is not because they choose to. He'll probably see them as just living up to their identity, and why should they be punished for doing something they can't not do? He probably relates to the Shiki somehow.

(Not that I agree with this line of thinking if that's what he actually thinks, since I believe Shiki doesn't have to actually kill people and they can leave their victims alive if they actually make effort to -- but Shiki are ordered to kill the villagers by the Kirishikis and they probably don't have choices and yeah, it's confusing. It's good that the villagers have Toshio here, really)


In my opinion it's mainly the matter of emotional attachment. I don't want to hold a competition of 'who loves the other more' between those two (since people have their own idea about how love should be expressed), but from the way I see it it's like:
-Seishin: Toshio is my friend and I like him a lot and I desire his presence a lot and I want to help him whenever I can but mostly I'm on my own and unattached to anyone specifically
-Toshio: me and Seishin are partners. Seishin, we are in this together. Seishin, we have to do this. (To everyone) when Seishin and me get together, you don't know what we might be plotting! (Excuse me, those are YOUR plots, not his)
Now I'm wondering if to Seishin, Toshio is just like the villagers in general (just a person from Sotoba) whom, even if he loves dearly, he wants to be relieved from for many reasons. While for Toshio, I think it's just because Toshio loves him dearly and actually wants to be together with him (as partners. Well, platonic partners).

I think Toshio does notice about Seishin being 'off', but I sometimes wonder about him doing nothing about it. I dunno, but I think it kinda seems like Toshio doesn't really care? I'm not even talking about possible romantic attraction, but just about Toshio caring about Seishin as true individual. Meaning, an individual that doesn't always yield to him, that has his own conscience and doesn't always want to meet his expectation. Seishin being 'off' isn't only about his suicide attempt too. It extends to anything there is about him. Toshio is his closest friend for decades, who's observed him a lot but... when he notices him being off or anything, why does he stay quiet? Why doesn't he try to, dunno, talk to him or anything? As long as you're not being judgmental first, Seishin is actually quite open. If he's truly only noticed it after finding out about his suicide attempt, when he's spent 18 years at least (without 2 years of uni, Seishin's attempt was when he was around 20) with Seishin, I'm kinda afraid it's because he's being purposefully ignorant. Then he continues to be kinda is years down the road. Not saying that he does it out of malice, but what's on my mind is to Toshio, to someone as demanding as Toshio, he'd probably think that the Seishin he wants to have on his side is the one who yields to him. Just like what the whole Sotoba wants from him -- the one that meets their expectation, not the real him! So, what I'm thinking is, he purposefully keeps quiet about it not only because he doesn't get Seishin, but he doesn't try to, probably he doesn't really want to try to, because then it'd mean acknowledging the real Seishin that follows his own self and not Toshio. The real Seishin who likely wants to just get out.

But I wonder if I'm being too harsh. Then again, even Seishin doesn't really get Toshio. They have personalities so different it's just hard for them to actually get one another. However, Toshio has never been 'weird' the way Seishin is. Toshio probably just leaves Seishin to his own devices because he knows Seishin isn't really the type to open up. As someone who's equally that closed up, it admittedly annoys me when people pressure me too much for information. People closest to me (my family) also leave me alone most of the time, probably because they know they don't exactly have any right to force me or anything. They do however, wish that I would open up more, and they love me more than anyone ever does. They only chide me at most when my being closed up poses as actual problem (like if it could harm my academic progress or health). So I wonder if Toshio is just being like my family. He probably knows how important it is for Seishin to internalize stuffs first. Usually, people who tend to leave others to internalize are the ones who also internalize their problems. My parents are the same (my sister not really, which is probably why she's more vocal about my being closed up). Toshio, while being extroverted and all, actually does internalize some important stuffs.

However, my fear still stands remembering the metaphor Toshio = Sotoba. So I'd like to discuss it more, especially since I know Toshio has the potential to be controlling. He's actually went to some lengths to keep Seishin by his side to support him too.


Oh, I think Toshio is already quite needy about Seishin. About not wanting to share Seishin with other people; as I've mentioned in my last reply, I think Toshio isn't in a position where he'd feel 'threatened' by other people (and he remains in the dark about Seishin's growing attachment to Sunako, lol) that he'd make a fuss about it. He already got the biggest share of Seishin if you ask me. I think he'd also overlook casual friends because they're casual and Seishin has a job where he serves people. About asking for verbal confirmation if he is indeed in love with Seishin; their dynamic hasn't changed at all since they were kids when they obviously hadn't developed any hypothetical feelings. Seishin has always helped him and visited him at night since he was kid, and because he does the same as adult, Toshio would probably think that there's no reason for Seishin to develop romantic feelings. Not to mention he doesn't know if Seishin is into guys or not. He'd probably also feel that if he acts upon it, it could affect their cherished friendship in a bad way. I think he'll want to hear something like that, but unless he's sure their friendship will not be ruined and he already knows Seishin reciprocates, I think he'll be more subtle about it. Actually, even if Toshio doesn't like him that way, I still think he'd want to hear those words from Seishin.


Since Shiki novel is old (published in 1998, reprinted in the 2000s) I don't think people in Japan especially remember much about the novel, sooo I don't think there have been novel interviews these past few years. And to be honest I don't think she wants to deal with all the shipping hype, since she did say she couldn't handle it. I figure it'll be easier to avoid it rather than saying anything that would attract attention.

We definitely do! But I'm also wondering if prooooooobably I better contribute more. I'm much too cautious that I'd probably end up not doing anything tho. I still think I don't understand Seishin and Toshio enough to write about them.

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-06-13 06:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I think another part of why Seishin finds it hard to identify with the village is because he's effectively the head of one of the three pillars without choosing to be, like a "lonely at the top" syndrome. He can't contribute to the village so much as he has to lead it. The villagers have their own traditions going on and rely on the village leaders to fulfill them. Perhaps if Seishin was a regular villager this would be different because nobody would force him to help the other villagers fulfill their traditions and soothe their worries (as the head of the temple probably has to do); instead he could just live the way he wanted to, taking part in the traditions he chooses to take part in. As the Junior Monk, he has no choice.

He doesn't like the way the village is run in general, but the real kicker is that he's one of the main individuals who are making it run. He's helping further the traditions and attitudes that he himself despises in the village. Seishin has to take charge of it, too, and maybe he doesn't trust himself to make decisions for other people because he has a hard time making decisions for himself (with the suicide attempt). If he can't control himself, how will he be able to control the village?

I wonder if his dislike of the village comes from it being Sotoba in particular or just it being a small community. I know that he has personal problems, but I wonder if they would rear their heads in any village that he's Junior Monk of--I'm pretty sure his position is a big cause of his worries.

There's another fundamental difference between him and Toshio: if you think about it, their positions are pretty similar, but it really shows their different attitudes by looking at how differently they adapt to life.


I never got why nobody except Kanami's mom and Natsuno (when he was asking Tohru to run away in the anime) saw that they don't have to kill their victims to survive necessarily. There are so many villagers, how hard would it be to drink from each once, let them recover, and drink again? Tatsumi's conditioning and threats, maybe? In that case, I'm surprised there aren't a few rebellious Shiki that try to avoid killing that way. Or is it the dark human instinct to hurt others?

I understand that Sunako's plan to turn Sotoba is with the goal of having the Shiki live in peace, and that can't happen if half of the villagers are alive--were they to reveal their existence, the two sides would not be able to live in harmony at all. But I wonder what the Shiki would eat after the last villager dies.

I supported the villagers during the story because I saw it like "get back at the people who killed your friends and family" rather than "kill them because they're different". The hunt for Shiki wasn't a hate crime, it was self-defense because they weren't so naive as to the think the Shiki would leave some of them alive. The vicious parts where the villagers tortured the Shiki were understandable too, horrible as it sounds, because mostly the people who did that had friends and family that they lost--it's natural to want to wish harm on people who did that, after all there's so many movies and books where the protagonist is looking for the person that killed their family or friends.

The part at the end when the villagers were going after Sunako so viciously also failed to make me feel sorry for her at all. Some Shiki brat moved into the village where the villagers' ancestors have lived for generations, killed off some people they've known all their lives while turning others into self-loathing Shiki, all just to have a place where she can be herself? Hell yeah get her, villagers! -- And at the same time, the viewer was clearly meant to feel sorry for her and rejoice when she was saved, wtf. Or at least, that's how I think of it.


I don't think Toshio is manipulative enough to purposefully want Seishin to remain unconfident so he can control him better, but it is interesting to think about. If he does something like that though, I think it's more of like he wants to preserve their childhood. As a child, Seishin never let on that he had any problems--now if he were to start having deep talks with Toshio, it wouldn't be as carefree. I might even venture to say that Ozaki's yearning to have some aspect of his life remind him of his childhood is a coping mechanism for being the village doctor. He's expected to be adult and responsible and is really good at it, but in the end it's still something he never quite wanted. As a child, he didn't have that responsibility weighing over him and he still had hope that he could do something different with his life, which was probably a good feeling with him. Ozaki associates his childhood with hanging out with Seishin, therefore he wants to hang out with Seishin now, trying to make it be like the good old days. Like them sneaking into each other's bedrooms is pretty immature--who would think that adults would behave like that?--and since it's likely Toshio's idea, since everything is, it might be him trying to preserve that childhood again.

There are many reasons why Ozaki may be staying silent. It's not that he doesn't notice Seishin's being off, but it might be because he doesn't think it's a bad thing or impacting Seishin negatively. It's like if you're friends with someone who's being weird, you might think "oh well. It's quirky but it's a part of them. I like them anyway." Seishin is obviously impacted negatively by something, since he did have a suicide attempt, but maybe Ozaki just sees his behavior as him trying to deal with it on his own and since Seishin is such a private person, he doesn't see it as his business to intervene, trusting Seishin to know what to do with himself. That's another way we see that Ozaki sees Seishin as special; to most people, Ozaki is the doctor and sees it as his purpose to be in their business and not trusting them to be capable of taking care of themselves. On the other hand, Seishin is special so Ozaki trusts him to make those decisions themselves. Maybe.

Perhaps Toshio didn't always stay silent, though? Here's my personal experience about it: sometimes I saw a friend acting colder than usual and rude to me, so I asked if they were okay. They brushed me off and continued acting the same way. It's frustrating when people are obviously treating you differently because of personal problems but won't talk about them. It's understandable I guess but it's also hurtful because hey, haven't we been friends for years? Why won't they trust me?
So maybe Ozaki did that a couple of times and got that kind of response from Seishin. For both of them, maybe the prospect of talking about feelings is odd because they've known each other for so long so now talking about feelings would make them feel like strangers since they'll be effectively getting to know each other again, and they don't want that. Seishin doesn't think that Toshio would understand, and Toshio doesn't think that Seishin wants to share, when in reality both of those statements might not be true.

In contrast, Sunako IS a stranger so Seishin can't make deductions like 'oh, she won't listen' or 'she can't relate', so he talks to her. Like we discussed earlier, it's easier to talk to a stranger sometimes because you have prejudices when it comes to your friends.

There are indeed parallels of Toshio = Sotoba. Seishin has grown up with Toshio, and Sotoba. Seishin is constantly badgered by Toshio, and Sotoba. Seishin has grown used to being with Toshio, and Sotoba. However, Seishin has gotten comfortable with Toshio, enough to open up more to him than to anybody except Sunako, while his situation with Sotoba seems to worsen as he grows older.

I think Seishin also might resent Ozaki subconsciously because the latter is keeping the village alive and healthy. If a part of Seishin wants Sotoba to die out, then Toshio is an enemy to that part. Also, if Seishin sees Toshio as on a pedestal, he might resent him and not want to show weakness by opening up and showing his vulnerable side to him (also because he doesn't believe Toshio will show Seishin his own vulnerable side), and those two are also reasons why he might not confide in Toshio. Because having deep discussions is a two way street: you can't rely on one person to always ask if something's up, but you can't also rely on the other person to speak up when something's up. It's both their faults that they don't talk.



But couldn't you perhaps start understanding more about the two if you start writing about them?

8D

(Anonymous) 2015-06-14 03:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Interestingly, Seishin's other novel, Minotaur, might include this aspect of Seishin's feelings as the one in the position of power. It's in chapter 2.7.6. Minotaur in his work is someone who grew horn. He's afraid people will discriminate him because of that, so he attempts to hide it. He ends up being worshiped as God. Minotaur is thankful of that, at least by worshiping him as a God people don't reject him. But since he's not actually a God as he's only a heretic, he cannot perform miracles. He doesn't have the power as a God, but he makes it seem so so that people would still think of him as one and welcome him into society as a God. However, in his attempt in doing that, people only fear him more and exclude and isolate him further. He wants to be included into society as a God, but in doing that he's excluded and feared more.

I see it as Seishin thinking that being revered to as village head is better than being discriminated against, but since he's not a real village head he couldn't perform his duties like a real village head should. He still wants to perform his duties so people won't reject him, but he cannot do them like how a head should. Therefore, he's isolated and excluded. But people revering him as a head is also in a way their attempt to exclude him from the society. He actually doesn't really want to be a village head, but if being one means not being rejected, then he'll be one. There's a limit in appeasing others so they wouldn't reject him, however, and he's hitting that limit soon. One can only live a lie just as far. Being someone other than yourself is painful.

I think generally Seishin doesn't *really* think of himself as one of the heads of the village. The older brother in his novel too isn't someone in the position of power if I'm not mistaken, and it may reflect how he sees himself. He also has stated that, as far as positions go, he'll always be under his father's shadow/just an extension of his father (he once said that he's only 'assistant of the head monk', but I forgot the full context of the chapter in regards to his exact feelings about it). There are many reasons as to why he thinks like this if this is the case. But I think you're right in that, as much as he doesn't want to be a head of the village, he's still one so he's to some extent to be held responsible of how the village turns out to be. While it's true that someone cannot be held responsible for others' actions, since Seishin is a leader, even if he doesn't want to, even if that's something other people force on him, he's to be held responsible of, even if not all of the actions of the villagers obviously since it'd be unfair, a bigger deal of it than a regular villager would. Not saying that a leader is to be punished if a member of theirs does a crime, but it'd probably be like "Why could they do this or that when they're under your watch? Why did you let it slide? You didn't know? Did you not supervise them or anything? What did you do as a leader? Probably YOU are the one who instructed them to do that." etc. That's quite a natural response I guess. If a member of a group does something out of hand, the leaders are naturally to be questioned too (if not by the judicial system, then by society), even if they aren't to be immediately punished, except if evidences show that they are also guilty. It's tough being a leader.

I'm sure it's because it's Sotoba being the way Sotoba is. But actually since Seishin is the way Seishin is, I'm not sure he'd be able to find some perfect place where he could be himself even when he's detached himself from Sotoba. He has to make the place himself. But by doing so he'll likely risk being hated by people, just like Sunako.

The way I see it compared to Toshio Seishin cannot get over being different. He cannot relinquish those differences and work like how he's expected to. It means he's so fixated on those differences -- meaning his self -- and couldn't be anything but himself. And it pains him how society seems to reject him being himself. Toshio however even if he's to some extent not like how people expect him to, knows more how to merge. He isn't fixated on being so different that it'll be easier for him to shrug those differences off. Toshio likely 'gets' it more that you have to work within the standards than Seishin does. Even if Toshio meets a block, like when he was expected to get married, he finds a workaround. He chose to marry Kyouko even when he didn't love her so his parents would shut up. The point is, even if getting married was not what Toshio wanted, he knew he had to do it so he picked a woman suitable enough to marry. He could put aside feelings of not wanting to get married. Seishin however can't do this. He thinks that no, he really cannot get married. He cannot meet people's expectation. He does want to, but something else outweighs that (3.10.5). Unlike Toshio, Seishin doesn't want to compromise.


From the way I see it, it's not just about individual survival anymore. It's mainly politics (or species survival, group survival, everything that will include politics). Aaand yes, the Kirishikis' threatening and conditioning is a big deal. There's a reason why Tatsumi (and perhaps Yoshio too) is the one who 'trains' the newborn Shikis, I think. As a Jinrou, he could pull the card 'if you do things we don't wish you to (if you jeopardize our plan by doing what you want), I'll drag you out to the sun as you're still in your day coma so you'll burn to death'. The newborn Shikis who are practically babies will see that Tatsumi is way stronger than they are, and they wouldn't want to make him angry. As newborns, they're also very dependent on the Kirishiki lot. They will not survive without the Kirishikis teaching them how. And well, as a Shiki who's not so human anymore, in time they'd probably realize that, as beings completely different from human beings, even if they end up killing people it'd only feel like killing an animal to consume their meat. Or they condition themselves to think that way so they won't be consumed by guilt of killing people. Killing their victims will probably make it easier for them too, because their control don't impact memories. Their victims still remember what the Shikis did to them, it's just they're prevented somehow from doing anything about it. If the Shikis don't kill them before the control runs out, it's like giving them a chance to get back at them. They may be the one getting killed now. So yeah, killing them is way to go, but as part of the plans pace is important.

Since their object is not to make the villagers livestock but to seize the village, once they killed the last villager, I think they'll go back to randomly kill people from other cities. The difference is, this time they'll have some defined place to go back to to sleep and rest. It's just while they execute their plans, they also make the villagers their livestock because why not. Kill two birds with a stone!

The villagers certainly have legit reason to kill the Shikis. Even if the Shiki don't intend to take over the village (as in they're there because they're just... there) once the villagers know what beings they actually are, I think it'll be understandable if they become cautious of the Shiki, and will want them to just get out of the village. Coexistence is not impossible to achieve I think, but it'd be damn difficult. Not that I agree if the villagers end up committing hate crime, when the Shiki (in a hypothetical situation) hasn't done anything to them. (But even if they didn't kill the villagers, if they still took their blood without their consent, it'd make them angry too and fearing for their life) The Shiki thus have no choice but to keep silent about their identity, while for some people (like Seishin and Sunako) keeping quiet about their own identity is practically hurting. That I also understand.

What Sunako wants is to have a safe haven where she could be herself without hiding and lots of other Shiki also relate to her. This aspect of 'being oneself' definitely also resonates with Seishin. But the next aspect of the theme is 'do you still want to be yourself without apology at the cost of others/others' lives?' This definitely plagues Seishin too. He doesn't want to be a head of the village, doesn't want to be a monk, but if he doesn't do that, it'd be bad for the villagers. But by being a monk he's practically killing his real self.

You certainly don't have to feel sorry for Sunako if you really don't. A lot of people likely don't, and that's for legit reason. As a reader, I resonate to some extent with Sunako's desire to stay as herself, and largely with Seishin as someone who only wants to be himself. Not that I agree with Sunako's methods, but I acknowledge her desire. Duties also usually fall short to me except I hate disappointing people and make them sad, so to some extent I get Seishin. I get not wanting to be hated, but when I have to appease others while actually sacrificing myself I perhaps will try to rebel. The only way I can care about duties for their own sake is only when I truly want to.


I also don't think that whatever Toshio does in this, he does it out of malice. Not that he wants Seishin to remain unconfident, but if he can keep Seishin from going against him, the better. He does that by hiding certain methods that Seishin sure won't agree him doing. Seishin is actually outspoken to him in terms of morality, to the point it makes Toshio conscious of his own lack of it. The interesting thing is Toshio is probably the only person he gets so outspoken at in this aspect. Being friends for decades certainly makes him bolder with Toshio than with others. Probably also because he cares personally about Toshio more than the others that he wants Toshio to know his opinions on things too.

As I see it, they both definitely like to preserve what has been going around for long, even without the coping mechanism you mentioned. Since Seishin has always been so lenient, Toshio treats him like that even now as adults not because he's a bad person but because Toshio's just being his usual self and hopes Seishin will be too. That it's something Toshio feels they HAVE to do also plays a big part, because if they don't, the village will die. Toshio probably also thinks it's the best option for Seishin (he's probably wrong though). Now you also mentioned them sneaking into each other's bedroom, lol. I also thought that it's really a quite immature thing for adults to do, not to mention one of them is married (even if staying at different place from his wife). Actually, I think Seishin is the one behind most of the sneaking since their childhood. He visits Toshio's bedroom (and hospital) frequently on his own accord after all, and Toshio still likes it even now that he's disappointed when Seishin couldn't visit him. That's also why even after being separated from Seishin for a decade, when he went back he occupied his room at the first floor so Seishin could visit him again (and preserves their habit), even if the room that's prepared for him and his wife is his former bedroom at the second floor (3.7.6). Even after he married Kyouko, with or without her in the house he won't touch the room and uses his room in the first floor instead. His not loving Kyouko is also at play, most probably.

Hmm, that's true I think. Prior to Seishin's suicide attempt, he might be 'off' but that wasn't something Toshio felt he was supposed to worry about. After he attempted suicide, Toshio might have gone to see him directly but saw that he wasn't suicidal (because Seishin really wasn't), though was confused as heck, so he left Seishin to sort it out himself. Not that it didn't boggle his mind, but he figured it wasn't a dire enough situation, probably. Seishin also had his family looking after him so he wouldn't worry about Seishin repeating the attempt. Seishin also clearly didn't like his family pressuring him to tell them why so Toshio likely saw that and backed off. Even if Toshio might perhaps see that he didn't look suicidal, he couldn't be 100% sure and would perhaps think that agitating Seishin further would just make him angry and did something unthinkable, on top of respecting Seishin to internalize his own problems. When Seishin attempted suicide, Toshio was also still a student and I think he probably hadn't developed any strong work ethic yet. When he'd become a doctor, Seishin likely had 'calmed' enough that Toshio probably only saw fit to observe him.

Since their childhood, I think they both are already not good about talking feelings. Toshio whines a lot but he does internalize important stuffs, and Seishin is much worse in that regard. They're probably both 'action speaks louder than words' people. But then again sometimes you just have to share about your feelings (lol yeah, telling that to myself too. I understand that in theory but not in practice). I think talking about feelings is pretty foreign a concept to them, since I think their friendship wasn't built on much sharing-talking but by being there to support the other and do important things together. They learn to know each other in the process, but it's mainly by observing. But then again not everything about people you can learn just by observing. When they do talk, they'll probably really think that they indeed only know so little about one another. So, I think their 'not talking' issue is also due to habit.

As someone more prone to taking action, I can see Toshio inquiring things from Seishin once or twice, but unfortunately I can also see Seishin brushing him off. Toshio also admittedly seems like someone who isn't a very good listener, especially for private, feelings stuffs like this, so that probably also holds Seishin back even if he wants to share (prejudice I know). Seishin probably once attempted to share once or twice but Toshio couldn't really understand that so his response was disappointing. But in time Toshio perhaps comes to want to understand, and Seishin not trusting him enough to share his feelings would perhaps hurt him to an extent.

Seishin being off certainly rings one of many alarms in my head; I probably fear he'd end up like me. My friends have also noted that I'm always away somewhere place, like I'm only half there with them but half being in my own internal world. I'm so busy in my own world I don't notice I'm acting weird. People do talk and wonder, and sometimes I get conscious about how I act. Then again while I'm quite dependent on people in a technical sense (choosing to follow others' actions if I deem they can do better than I do) I'm not emotionally very attached to them, or probably less than people usually do. It makes me feel like a cold person inside, but one of my greatest fears is to entrust myself (in a mental sense) to people. I also fear getting attached because the feelings tend to overwhelm me, makes me want more, etc.



Ahah true... I guess aside from starting writing, I also would like to discuss about them (we're already doing it, but in a random and unorganized manner): what do you think Toshio and Seishin's core personalities are? If you could do a little summary please. What do you think is the most important thing to them? What do they want? What do they hate?

Re: 8D

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-07-07 09:06 pm (UTC)(link)

I'm traveling this summer, so I'm sorry for the big gap in my reply! Dx

Seishin seems reserved, so it's surprising how much of himself he puts out there in his novels. For me at least, whenever I write something and I anticipate that I'll let one of my friends read it, I always actively try to write it so that it doesn't parallel my own life or personality in any way. And I'm not as reserved as Seishin, so I'm a little mystified by his lack of qualms in that respect. Perhaps the fact that his writing reflects his own self a lot is evident only to us, the readers, since while reading his monologues, we come to see his 'true self' and feelings.

But even if we say for argument's sake that nobody reading Seishin's novels would recognize it as Seishin writing from his own heart rather than making up abstract stories (false, since Sunako deduced a lot about him just from reading), it would be surprising that Seishin doesn't get paranoid that people MIGHT. Does he really feel like nobody understands him at all, to the point that nobody would make the connection between his writing and his feelings? Not even Toshio? If that's the case, then that puts yet another spin on their relationship: the fact that Seishin doesn't think that Toshio understands him even that much. And it doesn't seem like Toshio thinks Seishin's writing is that deep after all, leaving it out for patients to read and whatnot. Either he doesn't think it's really personal, or he knows it's personal but is extremely insensitive and doesn't think this would be a big deal to Seishin. Oddly enough, both of those options sound like the Ozaki we know.

Seishin might also be actively putting his life into his writing as a cry for help, hoping that somebody would get to know him like that--Sunako does, so the fact that she understood so much through his writing would contribute to him growing attached to her. Since he can't tell anyone his true feelings or inner struggles due to his position in the village, the only way is through his writing, hoping that somebody will read and get to know 'the real him', as opposed to his outer persona. Or something. To be honest, I don't feel like I can understand Seishin very well...

But I can see how his position in the temple is tough, if only because it's so contradictory. Like you pointed out, he's a shadow of his father--that must be painful for Seishin, who's an individualist. He doesn't want to be a part of a system, so it wouldn't make sense that he wants to be an extension of anyone else, even if it is his father. But at the same time, stepping out of his father's shadow would mean taking over as head monk and being one of the village heads for real. Since Seishin doesn't want to be one, I feel like one of his coping mechanisms is tricking himself into thinking he doesn't have that responsibility: "I'm just acting as head monk, nobody really sees me that way. I'm just filling in for my father." Of course, he is head monk, and when push comes to shove and even his father disappears, it's a turning point because he can't do nothing; at this point, the village would be under his protection, but the only way to protect it would be to go Shiki hunting: something he also refuses to do. The chains of leadership are wrapped tight around Seishin indeed.

I didn't see Toshio's marriage to Kyouko as a compromise so much as a "take that" to his mother Takae. Seishin and Toshio are both stuck in leadership positions they never really wanted to be in, but Toshio's seems to be defined more by anger. He wanted to rebel and move away from Sotoba, but circumstances were such that he ended up doing exactly what he doesn't want. So I can see him thinking, "okay, this as far as this is going to go. The rest will be on my terms, and anyone who doesn't like it will have to deal with it." And people do. The villagers put up with Toshio's innappropriate attitude while still respecting and liking him, and that odd combination is what makes Toshio the most epic character in Shiki for me. That's not to say that Seishin isn't as angry as Toshio, I suppose. He may be even more angry; he's the one that wanted to break away from the system the most as a child, and not being able to do so has more consequences on him than it does for Toshio; out of the two, Toshio is obviously more mentally healthy, or peaceful. That's the feeling I get from watching the anime and reading the novel. But like everything else, Seishin probably internalizes his anger. That internalization is what makes his attitude so unhealthy. I read about this study somewhere where scientists decided to measure whether swearing helps relieve pain. The patients had to put their feet in ice water or something like that for a period of time; some were allowed to use swear words, and others weren't. In the end, those who were allowed to swear experienced less pain, or maybe it went away faster. Anyway, the conclusion is that people feel better when they're allowed to express their discontent. Of course, it's not necessary to do an experiment to prove that letting your frustrations out in a healthy way is better than bottling them up--but that's a part of the reason why I see Toshio's behavior as ultimately beneficial to him.

What you said about Toshio not being a good listener at first, yeah I can totally see that happening. To bring up the part about young!Seishin saying he wants to break out of the system, I noticed that it's HIM saying such a willful thing, not Toshio as one might expect. It follows that Toshio doesn't quite agree (I can see him hating his demanding family rather than hating the whole Sotoba system) or understand him. A lot of Seishin's problems stem from the Sotoba system, so that would mean that Toshio, at that point in his life, would be incapable of understanding his problems either. The current timeline in the novel when they're adults is a different story, as we can clearly see Toshio at least resenting the system as well.

It's also interesting that Seishin used to be a lot more vocal in his youth. It's almost a given that he would try to talk to Toshio, actually. Over the years, he probably realized that being vocal doesn't help his situation and it's a lot more advantageous to be more docile. And, if he unsuccessfully tried to open up to Toshio, talking about it doesn't help. But even though he's more introspective, I've not noticed that Seishin is especially direct. Perhaps he can't articulate his thoughts into words well enough to show Toshio that his problem is bothering him or that it's anything more than a rant--after his suicide attempt, Toshio would realize that his problem was a legitimate one, but it's been so many years at this point that we come to our earlier conclusion that having deep discussions isn't what they usually do so they don't want it to be weird. (And this is another way their behavior is childlike; children usually don't have deep, philosophical talks and are more lighthearted. I expect that Seishin and Toshio's talks were usually like that too before the beginning of the story). The way I can see that Seishin isn't very direct is because he has problems organizing his own thoughts, most notably being unable to pin down the reason behind his suicide attempt.

To be honest, I think you should act the way you feel most comfortable acting. There's not really a set way that a person should act. You say you act cold, but it's also weird when people are 'warm': too touchy feely and in your face. If you enjoy your time in your 'internal world', I don't see a reason to change. There'll be people who like you anyway, and they're the ones worth hanging out with. Judging by what I hear, you have friends, so it sounds like you've surrounded yourself with a good group. That's not to say that you can't try to go out of your comfort zone occasionally, but it's the same process: go with what you like. Maybe you'll try something and get a thrill from it, then you can repeat it. If you're NOT happy doing things the way you're doing, then you should start thinking about change; your personal wellbeing should be the target.

Core personalities for Seishin and Toshio...gee, now I feel worse for replying so late ;-; Feel free to ask me to expand on my conclusions. Of course, I'd be really interested to hear your version of these summaries too! Toshio: Not a very introspective person who is motivated by a sense of duty and follows through on his tasks practically and methodically, not doing anything halfway. He looks before he leaps and if he rebels against the status quo, he does it in a way that doesn't hurt anyone but himself (smoking, speaking unprofessionally, marrying for convenience). It's important for him to remain objective and to follow through with his duty, to others and to himself. He wants obedience, for people to do as he says (in this he becomes like his dad) and for things to go as planned. He hates indecision, hesitation and busy work (like when Seishin wasted time investigating people moving away instead of following the path of the epidemic). Seishin: Although he's quite old, he still doesn't really have a sense of what he wants or where he wants to go. Since being an individual is important to him, this is probably because his role is being chosen for him, whereas he would like to choose it himself. He bends willingly to the status quo, but there are some areas that he just can't compromise in, such as marriage. A sense of self is more important than a sense of duty in the village, and his personal beliefs are more important than the religion he was raised with. He wants to be able to make his own decisions and if he does something, he wants to do it if it doesn't go against his beliefs. He hates people undervaluing human life, decisions being made for him, and going to bed at a reasonable hour.

Re: 8D

(Anonymous) 2015-07-09 02:47 am (UTC)(link)
8D -- That sounds fun! Are you on holiday? Hope you enjoy your vacation!

He probably doesn't expect that he'd have lots of readers, but you're right in that at the very least his editor would have to see his writing anyway. Even if he didn't expect to have fans some people would still read his novels. Logically speaking, people as reserved as he is would likely also be as reserved in his writing, but I also see him as both shameful and shameless, both apologetic and unapologetic. He's socially awkward and exerts great control over what he says or does, but he's also this person who sneaks into his friend's bedroom via the windows, or entering the hospital without so much a hello to anyone. If he didn't meet any nurse in his trip, I think he wouldn't say anything at all and just went to Toshio's place directly. After that he also disappeared without a word. Granted, a great deal of it all is habit, but even when he feels bad for making Toshio move bedroom when they were kids Seishin still doesn't stop visiting him or even says anything about that.

I also think that he uses his novels as a self-exploring medium, and that he actually wants to show his real self to the world, but... well, not saying that his habits have to match mine, but I'm just throwing in my two cents; I'm quiet most of the time, but my friend said that when I did talk, all I talked about was myself/my 'world'. I was taken aback lol, because I didn't even realize it. But then again I am the one person I know the most, and at the heart of it, the most important in a way or another. Everything I ponder about, ultimately are things that have personal connection to me. It was no wonder that my friend was able to see it right away. Seishin is probably kind of similar.

I think in some way or another he could get paranoid too when people actually confront him on his novels, but when no one does (even if they did read it) he could pretend that NO ONE read it. There's this instance of people actually knowing about his suicide attempt, but since they never talk about it anyway, he goes on about his business like usual pretending things are normal even if deep in his heart he knows that they know. I think Seishin does tend to run away or hides in his shell/makes himself ignorant when the alternative is to face it head-on. Things are just easier when you just don't think about it, and lie to yourself that people around you are also ignorant. But nope, people around Seishin aren't.

Sad as this sounds, I think Seishin indeed thinks that not even Toshio is going to understand him. He's still running away from himself, so I think it'll be even harder for him to open up to people, all the more so if they're people who are most likely to judge him. It's a fact too that he thinks people learning about his real self will cause problems. I can see why though -- what will people think if their future head monk didn't actually believe in their faith? I also think that it's not the only thing about Seishin that clashes with what's supposed to be. I don't know if actually Seishin didn't believe in Buddhism since the very start or if he actually believed in it, but turned against it since it rejected him. I think it's kind of a mix or both though. The Buddhism here is also Sotoba's version too, not exactly Buddhism as a whole. Not saying that Sotoba's is any different, since I don't know about that, but the point is in Seishin's mind it's Sotoba's faith (system).

Toshio... well, what Toshio puts in his hospital's waiting room is a magazine containing Seishin's essay about Sotoba, so it'll arguably be less deep than his usual writing... or so it probably seem to people who don't exactly know what to search for. Especially since I don't think Toshio has actually read Seishin's novels (I just don't think Seishin's writing style is his thing, not to mention Seishin will be Greatly Displeased) in order to get used to his writing style and able to pick up hints from them. In my opinion too, since the essay isn't directly about him unlike his novels it'd not be weird if Toshio didn't pick up any hint. Though in general I also think that Toshio isn't really able to understand (most of) Seishin.

I think his incorporating his own life into his writing is mainly an unconscious process, and even if he does have other motives like sincerely wishing people to know the real him he doesn't fixate on them as much, at least that's not his main reason anyway. If he gets so paranoid about people from Sotoba learning about his real self, I think he'd at least get a bit paranoid about outsiders learning about his real self. But it's also that -- it helps that he isn't exactly popular, because that means not getting too much attention. It helps his coping mechanism in tricking himself that people are more ignorant than they actually are, but he still cannot help but want to show his real self to people -- not exactly because he wants attention, but because he just wants to be himself. I think more than actually wanting to connect to people through his writing, it's more like a "take that" to the world in general. Since the world also comprises of people, people become his target. But he's still too anxious about image that he's not going to be super unapologetic about it.

I agree with what you said here, and I also agree that he has certain kind of coping mechanism. Rather than confronting problems head-on like Toshio, Seishin tends to run away from them. And his problems aren't always external. A great deal of his problems also stem from his internal processes, but even he runs away from it despite being so introspective. I think I can quite relate with that. Often, when I try to delve in too deep inside my own mind, I'm met with big, looming monster. Being someone who values security, safety and comfort the most, it kind of freaks me out since I'm sure delving too deep will only give me despair. So I instinctively try to either run away or shut it down. In my defense though, I think delving too deep isn't really good for me, not when I cannot balance it out with external stuffs. The scale tips too heavily on one side. It's funny that I used to kind of underestimate Seishin's intrapersonal skill given how clueless he seems, but I quite often do the same thing he does. Well, we're probably introspective enough to notice this monster within. I think the real monster exists in ourselves, or that the strongest and biggest monster is essentially ourselves.

Hmm, probably 'compromise' isn't the correct word for it... what I meant is, that chapter gave me impression that if it were up to Toshio, he might not get married at all. But since he knew his position and such, he just had to. So yeah, getting married it was; but he got to decide whom to marry. So I quite agree with you, though I don't think he's actually angry about his position. I think he's actually way more accepting than Seishin in regards to expectation and position, despite how he seems. Sure, he's pissed as hell at his family, but he isn't pissed at Sotoba. I think he sees his position as for Sotoba as a whole community and not exactly for his family (his family can go to hell for all he cares). He isn't thrilled by the name Ozaki, but were he not a head I think he would still contribute to the village as he'd been doing, though probably less. He says rude things and such, but I don't think it reaches his heart -- unless it has to do with his family that is.

Well, as someone who also internalizes her problems to a point where I often don't talk about it even to ask for advice, I can see that bottling things up can be bad. But in my case, it's a natural state, though perhaps sometimes I get overboard about it. Sometimes, the more I whine, the more energy I exert and thus the more tired I become, and problems will not go away just because I whine about them. But it also has its downsides too because I'm actually incredibly sensitive and easily agitated, so I tend to get angry but in the end it'll just burn me, especially because I'm also this person who doesn't exactly turn those feelings into something productive (unlike my Mom). If it's not something big I can usually manage it on my own, but if it's something big I clearly have to do something about it beyond bottling it up but I usually just... don't. And I also hate swearing. Eh, it's also a factor really that I think people will not just get me and are likely to judge me, because among the things I bottle up are things that could potentially get me into problem... so uh, my two cents?

As for Seishin, I think in his core he's... someone who actually has lots of ideas about how things are supposed to be, whether it's for himself or the external world, but for some reason or another he doesn't go through with them. Could be because he's just too anxious about actually detaching himself from Sotoba, even when he doesn't exactly fit in. In some way or another he's still running away from those ideas too, even if he also embraces them at the same time, which factors in in his seeming like he 'doesn't know what he wants'. For some reason or another, those ideas freak him out, probably because of them being so 'different' -- which is why he buries them. But in his core he's an individualist who can be no one but himself, so in the end he has to confront those ideas and just accept them. Toshio: he's Seishin's exact opposite in almost every way. He's a big, rolling ball of Sotoba because in the end everything he does is with Sotoba's best interest at mind. Actually more agreeable than he appears; you just have to observe beyond his rude mouth (in contrast to Seishin who's way less agreeable than he appears). Hates his family but doesn't hate Sotoba, is probably more sentimental about it than Seishin. Someone with high sense of duty, practical and methodical, but isn't very good at detailed and long-term planning. Instead what he does is mainly to produce things immediately. He's objective and can put aside feelings in what he does, but sometimes he gets selfish. A brave person who faces things head-on and doesn't beat around the bush. Leadership comes naturally to him, and people like him usually expect others to obey him, which means that sometimes he gets demanding and controlling. To summarize, he's the 'actual' head of Sotoba who does everything for Sotoba even at the cost of himself (in contrast to Seishin who, in the end, follows himself at the cost of Sotoba).

Re: 8D

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-08-09 10:22 pm (UTC)(link)

My holiday was amazing, thank you! Sorry again for the late response and thanks for bearing with me as I haven't had time to just sit down at my computer and do anything that wasn't related to university in a long time. D: I hope your summer is going well also?

Your friends sound like they're really perceptive, commenting on your personality that way! That's a lot different than the way I talk with my friends. It's good though, because being surrounded by people who know you that well and talk about your good qualities as well as your faults is a good way to be introspective in that you see yourself from an outsider's perspective. Sometimes there are just things you don't realize about yourself until someone points them out.

I like the comment about how Seishin can PRETEND nobody has read his essays. It reminds me of one time when a classmate was talking about how she wants to have attention and wants to be recognized for her outstanding traits, but she doesn't want to go out and draw that attention. It's a contradiction but it makes a lot of sense, and it makes sense to apply it to Seishin also. Seishin COULD just write his essays for himself and keep them in a stash in his room so nobody would be able to see them. But he actively goes out and sends them out into the world. If his only goal was to express himself, I think that he wouldn't see any need to get them published.

Perhaps it's just the thought of letting SOMETHING of his escape from Sotoba, even if he can't. He feels trapped, by the village, and by his responsibilities. But even though his body's trapped, he can still send his thinking outside, if that makes sense. By publishing his books, he lets his ideas exist outside of Sotoba. Tied in along with that, maybe just the fact that he does business that's not 100% related to Sotoba makes the thought of his exile easier on him. He lives in Sotoba, and he has to work in Sotoba as a monk; but if he also does business with an editor outside of Sotoba (I assume), then he can't say that he exists in and lives only for Sotoba.

It could also be that he wants a part of himself to be permanent. This is conflicting because he sees Sotoba as permanent; it's always been there, and always will be--so if he locks his manuscripts in his room, chances are nothing will happen to them because the temple's position in the village is as permanent as the village itself. However, with Seishin's suicide attempt, he tries to erase this sense of permanence by showing that he isn't permanent. In fact, the villagers probably ignore his suicide attempt because they don't want to emerge from the flow of permanence in the village. Perhaps Seishin saw how fragile permanence is after his suicide attempt and decided that no, he wants something of his to exist outside of Sotoba because even if he disappears, that part of him will continue existing. In any case, throughout the book I'd say 'permanence' or one of its synonyms is a large theme. Sotoba's peaceful balance seems timeless, but it's then shown to be very fragile as well.

Whew, that's more metaphor and theme discussion than I'm normally comfortable having outside of literature class. But going back to how he tricks himself into thinking people are ignorant, it makes a lot of sense. He wants to be recognized, or at least a part of himself to be out there, but he doesn't go out and draw attention to himself. He could have dropped off all his published novels at Toshio's door and demanded for him to read it and know what he thinks. He could have asked Toshio to circulate his writing too...but the fact that he doesn't shows that it's more important for him that his stories are out there than having people actually read them.

Going by how you said that Seishin would be Greatly Displeased if Toshio read his work, that ties in well with how we were talking earlier that it's easier to connect with strangers sometimes than with friends. Seishin likely doesn't want Toshio to see the person he is deep inside, but the feeling I get from Toshio says that Toshio doesn't want to see it either for the same reason. Their friendship is already so established that Toshio is afraid that he'll see a whole new side to Seishin and would have a different perception of him, which would throw their relationship off balance because they've likely had the same perception of each other for a long time. So I'm inclined to say that Toshio knows Seishin well enough to guess that he's really closed off and hiding a side that Toshio hasn't seen. Maybe Toshio knows him well enough even to guess that Seishin doesn't want other people seeing his side, and he respects that. I mean, apart from joking and putting out Seishin's essays, Toshio never does anything that makes Seishin feel his privacy is violated throughout the duration of the novel. Like you said that you don't want to think too deeply about the monster in you, perhaps Toshio doesn't want to realize the identity of the monster inside Seishin.

I definitely agree (that Toshio is angry at his parents more than at Sotoba). He just doesn't see Sotoba as something he can't escape. He almost DID escape; he got a medical education elsewhere and could have moved somewhere else to work if his family hadn't pressed on him the expectation that he would succeed his dad. And Toshio is nothing if not duty-oriented; regardless if he wants to or not, he feels that it's his duty to carry on the family name. It's also his duty to heal and save the village that's raised him since he was a kid. In contrast, Seishin sees his family as other victims of the system and their expectations to be the results of that, so he can't blame them. Maybe that leads to him feeling lost: being angry and having nothing to blame it on leads to feeling horrible.

(About bottling up problems) Well, everyone's different. While everyone cites communication as the answer to all of life's problems ("just talk about it to someone! Get a fresh perspective! Don't be afraid to reach out!") I firmly believe it's not as simple as that. I really try to reach out occasionally, but then I sometimes get mad and lash out at the person if they don't offer the response I want. But then it's like, if I already know the response I want, why do I even need advice? For self-validation, it would seem. But that fact makes me uncomfortable because I try to be all "I don't need nobody's approval!!! :UU" at the same time. Another reason I think being silent about problems sometimes is good because whoever you reach out to will probably give you advice that they think is right, and thus will sway you into making a decision that you might not have made in the first place. In the end, I think only the individual knows what's better for themselves. But reaching out can also provide you ideas and options you might not have considered in the first place.

I think your descriptions of the characters "at the core" are pretty on point! I wonder if they realize that about themselves, though--know who they are at heart? What do you think?

Re: 8D

(Anonymous) 2015-08-10 05:34 am (UTC)(link)
8D -- That's good to hear! My holiday was also great, though it wasn't summer holiday. Tropical countries which only have dry season and rainy season (or at least in my country's case) don't have seasonal holidays, which kinda sucks. Though considering that I'm at the end of semester, I have a very loose schedule at the moment because I've finished my exams. It's like a second holiday~ (though I'm now waiting for the results...)

My friends (two girls closest to me) are indeed perceptive, though I think that's partially because they're extroverts and are much more external focused. Not saying that introverts aren't perceptive, but in my case I'm just that helpless lol. For the life of me I don't notice things they (and everyone else) normally notice. Well, that's probably a price I had to pay in order to be so internally aware (not saying that it's healthy tho). The only thing I notice my friends generally don't is cats. You're right though, even if I'm internally aware, I don't always know how I present in front of people and their inputs are very valuable for my further introspections.

Well, wanting to express oneself but not being seen is sad, in my opinion. When you want to express yourself, don't you normally also want to be acknowledged/validated? Especially for Seishin, who all his life hides in isolation which is seriously eating him. Everyone around him cannot validate him, he cannot validate himself, so he'll unconsciously want some other groups to validate him. Human beings don't live alone, and we cannot. There'll always be part of us that wants others to agree with us, in order to validate us and forms a sense of group/community that way.

That's an interesting topic to discuss. I believe Sinnesspiel also once mentioned something similar, about Seishin's suicide attempt as his trying to break away from all his responsibilities -- something that has sustained Sotoba throughout generations, so in a way it's an attempt at rebellion. It's an attempt to disturb Sotoba's timeless balance. I agree that that's also why people around him ignore that, including his own parents and Toshio. Tied in with the fact that he started writing directly after his suicide attempt -- sounds like his trying to exist as his true self outside of Sotoba, while probably, at the same time, rebelling/further cutting his ties with Sotoba. The birth of new him will also mean the death of old him, and that's what Sotoba doesn't like. Sotoba -- his parents, Toshio, the villagers, will want the old him, the him that's a facade at most. So in a way, his being an author and publishing his stories probably also count as his continuing rebellion.

I wonder if Toshio not reading his works also reflects his not wanting to find out about Seishin's true self. Not going to lie, the real Seishin is someone Toshio thinks as, well, not good for Sotoba. Meaning, the real Seishin isn't exactly Seishin he wants there. Toshio, in a way is, lol, a slave for Sotoba so obviously he'll also want Seishin to keep at his duties and dedicate his life for Sotoba just like he does.

Not saying that them as village leaders is the only thing they are, but as adults, it's certainly a big thing that keep them together. They started their friendship as children who obviously didn't comprehend fully what it meant to be an Ozaki or a Muroi, but as adults, it's something they cannot simply throw aside. From Seishin's end it's a burden, emotional baggage, which probably is why he wants to separate himself from Toshio -- not Toshio as Toshio, but Toshio as an Ozaki. From Toshio's end however, as a very duty oriented person, he probably sees his being an Ozaki and Seishin being a Muroi as, in a way, wonderful thing. It's shared duties, them being the very main people who sustain the village they are born into. Sinnesspiel mentioned few times about how Toshio likes to brag about his being a doctor and Seishin being a monk, about them working together, and this is probably why. Their shared duties is something Toshio highly values, but for Seishin, it's something he detests. Not saying that Toshio is a bad person, rather, I think this is his way of showing affection for Seishin, by wanting Seishin to perform his duties, like an overly traditional father with his kid, or overly traditional husband with his wife. Does that mean Toshio doesn't love Seishin? No. I think the more he loves someone the more he'll expect from them, to the point it's restricting for someone like Seishin. (Just look at his attitude with his parents and Kyouko) Seishin however, is NOT on board with that. I love you too, Toshio, but just let me do what I want. For Seishin, people expecting a lot from him but not seeing whether he himself agrees with it or not is some kind of warped and selfish love (just like the case with his parents).


About Toshio and Seishin at their core; I think they recognize some, but not the rest. As the novel progresses I believe they'll come to notice more and more, however, and be forced to confront the sides of themselves they initially shy off from (Seishin being Seishin, Toshio being similar to his paents)

Re: 8D

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-08-16 06:13 pm (UTC)(link)

I'm jealous of you now, getting to live in the tropics! I love it when it's warm. I'm one of those people that would prefer to be too hot than too cold. I mean, yeah, I'm from a place that gets to have white Christmases, but it's only pretty and magical for one or two days. After that, you get two solid months where it's so cold a penguin would freeze to death, and you fall into snow drifts at least once a week because you can't tell that the fluffy snow under your feet is really only a few centimeters deep and hiding the slickest, smoothest sheet of ice you'll ever have the misfortune of slipping on. At least the bugs are dead for half a year, that's really the only benefit. Lol sorry for the rant! I hope you have tons of fun on your holiday and that your exam results will make you proud!

I always thought that introverts are more perceptive? Just from the basis (stereotype?) that introverts are more focused on people, while extroverts are more focused on tasks and external events. You're studying psychology, so do you know if that's true or just a misconception? I believe that for me, being perceptive about other people is also tied to being introspective. If I ever try to analyze people, it's always in relation to me: how they made me feel, how they behave towards me. Like, "how could they do ? Maybe it's because they're _." So regrettably, my perception is usually tied to negative feelings. Also, I usually try to avoid trying to, like, map out someone's personality because I don't trust myself to get it right. What if someone tried to do that to me, and ended up jumping to some totally incorrect conclusions? The thought makes me uncomfortable, so I really don't count myself capable or don't think it's my place to deeply analyze people like that; as a result, most of my analyses about real people are shallow (ex: "this person saved up their money for the purse they've been eyeing for a while. They're really disciplined and goal-oriented.") Not saying that's good--like I said earlier, telling people about your perception of them also leads them to see parts of themselves that they might not even have noticed before. Part of me wishes people could do that to me more often, haha.

I think that if people try to get validated by other people, what they really want is to get validated by themselves. So like if Seishin got rave reviews on all his essays and the villagers were always saying, "you're so talented! You should write more, you've really worked hard and it was totally worth it!" then just hearing that won't necessarily make him happy. But if he starts taking the praise to heart and feel that he really is talented and a hard worker and that his writing is worth it, then he'll have a more positive view of himself than where he started. Thus, he validates himself.

However, Seishin is also unique because his lack of reviews doesn't stop him from writing. If what he was looking for was for his stories to be a success, he likely would have given up after not being able to get any. Or if he didn't give up but kept working harder, then Shiki would have reflected that drive. But au contraire, one of Seishin's biggest defining features is that he really doesn't have a drive to do anything. The conclusion I'm at right now is that he mostly writes for himself.

A big part of Toshio's personality is wanting to control his environment. I doubt he actually likes Sotoba 100%--it's the place where he grew up and the place where his parents bullied him after all--and maybe he wants to be somewhere else, but he doesn't dwell on it, just finding good qualities about it and crafting the ideal environment for him to be in. Kids that are controlled by parents growing up usually end up being controlling themselves, as if to make up for not being able to take charge of anything in their youth, and Toshio is probably like that. Since he tries to accentuate the positive about Sotoba, he would fix in on the positive experiences that he had in Sotoba, and some of them are hanging out with Seishin. Therefore, he wants Seishin to be there with him so he can associate those good memories with the present.

Maybe Toshio understands some of Seishin, or abstractly that he wants to leave, but doesn't take it seriously, just like a traditional parent like you said. "Oh, Seishin, that's just what you THINK you want now. But you don't need it" <--is he talking about Seishin wanting to get a tattoo or Seishin wanting to leave Sotoba? Toshio's managed to find a niche that he's comfortable in, so why can't Seishin? It doesn't help that Seishin acts like he's fine with his job, like the monk that everyone expects him to be. If he was more obviously outwardly depressed, perhaps Toshio would take his wishes more seriously. It must really bite for Seishin, then, that the only person that he doesn't have to act like he's fine with his job with, sees his feelings as a tantrum, to put it harshly.

Do you think that both Seishin and Toshio have self-acceptance at the end? It's pretty much a given that Seishin does (more than at the beginning) but I can't decide if Toshio's deteriorated or stayed the same. On the 'deteriorated' hand, at the beginning he's a chill doctor who's in control, but later starts lashing out and getting frustrated with himself when he sees himself as his dad. But on the other hand, Toshio doesn't experience much angst after the Shiki are outed, and in the last scene where he's escaping the burning Sotoba, he kind of lights up a cigarette and says, "I lost the game". Someone snaps, "was it a game to you?" and he says something along the lines of "I wonder" (this is all if I remember correctly?) But he smiles and looks like he accepts the situation he's in, so that leads me to think that maybe even if Toshio does realize that he acted like his dad, he's okay with what he is at the end.

Re: 8D

(Anonymous) 2015-08-17 01:56 pm (UTC)(link)
8D -- The weather here is one of the reasons I sort of relate with the villagers (during the timeline of Shiki) lol. Hot all year-round with the sun technically pathological, where it almost never subsides except when it gets cloudy. The town I lived at before I moved here for my uni studies is slightly cooler and receives more rain, but thanks to moving here, plus having a really hot bedroom with wide windows and crappy air conditioner really increased my heat tolerance and lowered my cold one. Listening to your winter stories makes me feel chilled. Brr. Thanks for the wishes! I've got the results now and I'm pretty pleased with them.

I've always joked (not here though) that 'Shiki' could totally happen in my country. Not that I wish my country'd meet a similar end with Sotoba, not at all, but because of similarities like being very religious and traditional, hot-as-hell, and more importantly throughout the country we mostly bury. The difference is we're so populous those Shikis will not be able to wipe us out in a few months. (but uh, more food?) I may someday write about it, though obviously with original characters.

Well, I've always thought that perception is tied with observation (of external circumstances) and that some people are better at it than others. Given that extroverts are more external (outside themselves) and I always think of 'external' as other people or events, and introverts are internal (inside/among themselves), I figure extroverts are often better at observation, but I might be wrong. I'm only studying a bit of psychology on my own after all, so it definitely lacks. A lot of it is MBTI/personality types anyway. According to it, extroverts are better at unbiased/objective observation because they turn outside first before they turn inwards, while introverts' observation are more subjective because they turn inwards first before turning outwards. But I guess this mostly depends on practice and experiences. My Mom (I suspect ISTJ) is good at observing people, and she constantly analyzes them. My Dad (INFP, also my type) is really indifferent about people, and as he gets older he might become better at observing people but isn't probably on par with my Mom. I don't know what my sister is but she's more perceptive than me. The stereotype is INFPs are often dense about their external circumstances, and it's true for me and (I think) my Dad. Or he actually knows but he doesn't care. Other introverts? Not so much, probably.

To me introspection is better done as two-way interactive method; looking into yourself and then look at others, and/or look at others and then returns to yourself -- forming a cycle. I pride myself in knowing myself, but I'd not come this far if I let out the 'looking at others' part. Understanding others can give you confirmations of your own behavior and vice versa, like, for example: learning about Seishin made me able to name several parts of myself that I was aware were there, but didn't know what to name. Understanding myself in turn makes me able to understand others, because "They act just like I do" or "They feel just like how I'd feel". Of course it's certainly not applicable to everyone, because other people are so different in mindset I'd not be able to understand them without experiencing what they experienced firsthand, for example: Toshio. For me, I need my own psychological map first as a basis to understand/predict others. I usually only try to understand parts of people's personalities that I'm personally interested in, or if they're significant for my further introspection.

That's very likely. However, there are people that are easily swayed by people's passion and feelings -- judging by Seishin's narrative, he is. Unlike Toshio who's all duty but actually isn't as concerned by how the villagers would feel, Seishin is all about how the villagers would feel and way less duty. He mentions about 'being trapped by people's expectation' after all. (Fun fact: I also wouldn't realize Toshio being all about duty until you mentioned it) I also think that what people really want is to validate themselves. However, there are people who are less confident at doing this on their own, and being acknowledged by other people helps you gain the confidence you need. It's also like, other people (plural) > you (alone). I think people who have lots of self-doubt will subconsciously want to turn to others to help validate themselves. Seishin is ever concerned about how people feel -- check. He's also not very secure on his own -- check. It forms a combo for him to be easily controlled by other people -- check. If people say to his face "You better not do this or that" one part of him might really believe them.

The feeling I mostly get from how he ever came to write -- and continue to write -- is that he doesn't think about it, mostly. It is what it is. Sure, he probably links writing to some metaphorical reasoning, and he indeed has some subconscious drives, but he mostly doesn't think anything about it. Doesn't hope anything will come out of it. He mostly writes to understand himself, and if other people find it good, good for them, but he's not going to care much. So I agree on that.

Lol, Toshio. Essentially, I really don't get him, because his most defining personality is opposed to mine (being controlling and dutiful). I guess being dutiful is sticking to anything that's been assigned upon you, even if that's not thrilling at all. Like patriots. That's why he got married, when Seishin cannot (though Toshio's really not up to siring children I guess -- seems his disdain for his family here wins?)

(I'm just curious here though -- is 'memory' a meaningful word for you? You have used the word quite a few times if I recall correctly, for similar context (when we're talking about Toshio). I also think that you might be a more dutiful person than I am, given that you were able to catch that (being dutiful) in Toshio when I couldn't. It's all interesting. Since for me, the more I use a word the more I'm enamored or live on the idea.)

Seishin might be less reserved with Toshio... but he's still highly reserved. And Seishin knows more than anyone about how seriously Toshio takes his duties, and likely, his shared duties with Seishin, so just like with everyone else, with Toshio Seishin will probably feel that he should perform his duties perfectly. As long as it's Sotoba, as long as they're a villager... Seishin will always have his mask on. I think it's mostly because he just doesn't get Seishin, but I've always found it a bit off-putting that he doesn't seem to notice anything. He grasps that something is off, but it's like he deliberately doesn't think deeper into it. 'Seishin doesn't even say anything, so I better leave him to it.' He respects Seishin's privacy, indeed, but he's known to withholding information/refraining from doing something when it benefits him. Seishin leaving him will truly put him at disadvantage.

I said in my previous reply that the one Seishin wanted to separate from was Toshio as an Ozaki, not Toshio as Toshio... but what is Toshio if not an Ozaki? Does a Toshio that's not an Ozaki even exist? That's to put it metaphorically. Those two men really are destined to drift apart.

Well, I'd say that everything in Shiki is deteriorating, including Seishin. I think it fits the theme. I think in time they will fully come to terms with it all, even if at the end of Shiki it's probably more about being forced to accept things by tragedy than anything. I know a tiny lil bit of spoiler from Toshio's end (I hope I got the context right though) and it's really sad in my opinion...

Re: 8D

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-08-23 08:07 pm (UTC)(link)

I relate to the villagers climate-wise too because here in August (like in their August), it's the hottest part of the year and the roads look out of focus due to heat, and it's dusty, and the insects are really loud, and it's impossible to walk anywhere so everyone drives instead... It's cool how Shiki relates to both your tropical climate and my cold, gross one lol. My favorite parts of the year are spring and autumn. In the fall I like crisp, cool Halloween mornings when the leaves are red, and in the spring it's just a good feeling to finally be able to walk around without like 10 layers of clothes on. I'm happy for you for your exams! Keep working hard!

Yeah, I suppose it is true that extroverts would be more observant since they're tuned outward. I wonder if they turn that observance into analysis, though? I feel like while introverts are more people that like to listen (and thus notice more about the speaker), extroverts like to speak more and thus don't really notice stuff about people, if that makes sense. That's why in lots of media (anime/manga/books/movies) the really manipulative people are also quieter and introverted (not that quiet=introverted necessarily). I'm not sure where I'd classify myself since I'm not very self-observant beyond outward appearance, but I usually don't notice stuff about people unless they upfront tell me. I can analyze novel characters since they're apart from me, not interacting with me, like. Are you planning to study psychology formally in a class? It must be extremely interesting. So I wanted to ask, does psychology (from what you've studied so far) make much use from horoscopes? Is there any basis for horoscope-based personality types? I'm asking because every time I see one of those "the signs as..." posts on Tumblr, my horoscope is always so wrong. Dx And I always see horoscopes equated with MBTI for some reason?

You've mentioned several times that you relate the most to Seishin--but you still like him. I've just heard that sometimes people don't like the characters that are most like them (most likely because they show traits about themselves that they don't like?), so it seems to me like you have a lot of self-acceptance. You can find traits of him in yourself, and even the traits you don't like you can accept as being part of yourself. And presumably, be it consciously or subconsciously, try to work on them. I just wanted to mention it - correct me if I'm wrong, of course! ^__^

It's interesting how although the opinions of others matter to Seishin so much, he's still such an individualist. Does that mean that the opinions of others don't matter to him that much, then? If they mattered, perhaps he would have gotten married, or done more stuff that people expect of him. Maybe stayed in the temple instead of getting himself affiliated with Sunako and the Shiki. And conversely, I feel like Toshio relies on other people's opinions a lot, too. He tries to make a big show of doing what he wants and offending people without blinking an eye, but he rarely does stuff he "wants", it's mostly out of duty. For instance, Seishin didn't WANT to go married, so he didn't. He WANTED to keep associating with Sunako, so he did. Did Ozaki start the Shiki hunt because he wanted to? I think it was more because he felt that he had to. And though he did marry Kyoko to piss off his parents, you still can't say that he wanted to do it.

I had to think a little bit about the question if 'memory' is an important word for me, and I have to settle with the answer 'not really'. Unfortunately, it's a bad habit of mine when writing analyses, when trying to make a point I get more focused on the point rather than nice, varied word choice so if I find a word that seems to fit well, I use it a lot, so that's probably more of what happened with 'memory' than it having a personal tie to me. You are right that I am dutiful, however. I do see my future as a minefield of duties that I have to fulfill, but the way I go about it is up to me and what I like best. For example I see that it's expected of me to get a nice and stable job and provide for my family, but what kind of job it is is up to me, so I can do what I want with that. Which words are important to you?

Realistically speaking, I think that Toshio who is not an Ozaki does exist; family ties can't be 100% of a person. But I don't think that Ono put that much of Toshio's outside-of-duty personality into the text enough to make it clear to the reader just who Toshio is as a person. What does he do outside of work? What were his hobbies growing up? Those kinds of things that set him apart would show who Toshio by himself is. Ono does give us hints, however: for instance, Toshio's mischievous streak with purposefully aggravating Seishin by putting out his essays as reading material. Neither of his parents were shown to be like that, so we can say that individually he's a prankster, and that falls outside of his "Ozaki" persona.

What's the spoiler from Toshio's end?

Re: 8D

(Anonymous) 2015-08-24 10:03 am (UTC)(link)
8D -- It's like here, lol. We don't have as good trains (or any public transportation really) as in Japan so we drive or use motorcycles instead, and there's no train in Sotoba according to Megumi. The downside is, even underage kids do it. I love driving but gazing into the scenery outside where the sun is scorching hot makes me go 'ugh', though it doesn't deter me because I'm not going outside my car lol. I love it most when it's cloudy, and driving when it's cloudy. Living in the tropics, I think there's quite the hype of going/wanting to go to winter places, but I don't envy those people. Not at all. When I was a kid I also rather liked the idea of seeing the snows, but now I worry more about getting frozen to death the moment I step on the snow. I mean, I even keep the temperature in my room no colder than 26 degree Celsius (I don't know how much it is in Fahrenheit) and I also really don't like traveling lol.

I guess sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, which also applies to introverts. Not everyone likes to go into deep analysis, and if you ask me, I actually also rarely analyze stuffs except myself or things related to me. Extroverts around me however are people who notice others way more than I do, so I'm not really sure if you ask me, but I'm considerably dense for a person. I'm also admittedly not good at listening closely because I have short attention span, and I'm also not exactly a person who likes to share stories with others (therefore I rarely demand people to listen to me) so I'm often a bit caught off guard whenever people want to share their stories with me lol. I also so rarely notice stuffs about people unless they outright tell me, so if you play tsundere with me chances are I'm not even going to notice it lol. Good thing people around me know that.

I do happen to love psychology way more than medicine, but I'm not sure if I can study it formally. Minors aren't exactly a thing here as far as I'm aware, and aside from the fact that my uni studies obviously don't include psychology, there's just no time. Now I kind of feel a bit down about it, lol. But even then I don't know if I like psychology enough to study it formally, since I'm a person who rarely feels deeply excited about anything, especially if it requires some degree of commitment. The reason I go to med school is more about familiarity than anything, really. That might be one of the reasons I relate with Seishin. About horoscopes: I don't believe it at all, and I don't think there's correlation between it and personality types. At least, I don't see the reason. I'm a Virgo, and like you, horoscopes get me wrong 80% of the time I cannot take it seriously. And... well, please don't take MBTI as 100% scientific because it hasn't been acknowledged yet by most higher-ups in psychology world it seems. Some people obviously believe in it, some don't. I personally rather believe it because it gets me mostly right, and when I apply it to other people it's also mostly right in my opinion lol. It helps me understand people who are different from me, if I do say so myself. I think we better treat MBTI as informal thing for now. I also pay a bit attention to Enneagram, because it also gets me right -- and I'm type 6. I think type 6 also describes Seishin lol. I think we're both type 6 INFPs, or as I dub it, the 'semi/pseudo-individualists' since we're individualistic at our core but are still too scared to fully follow ourselves.

I think I have rather high amount of self-acceptance, so I think you're right. It's just, as someone who's actually all about individuality and identity, being someone else is a no-go. Even if I wish to, I cannot. I'll always go back to myself, both good and bad. I can't even act as someone else for five minutes. I'm not even good at hiding myself, which is probably why other people can read me pretty easily. Not that I'm absolutely thrilled with everything about myself (there are obviously parts of me I so don't like I want to kick them to Antarctica, but I also think that I'm a good specimen to study it so I keep them be), and it's never like I've never had any angst (lol), but I just cannot be anyone else. So yeah, I try to work on parts I think need improving, even if I don't always do good. I'd say that, having someone other (even if fictional) that I can relate a lot to (to the point of identifying to a degree) is comforting.

You've just described me as well, lol. Let's see, the reasons I appear considerably 'dutiful' when I'm actually not and concerned are because 1) I hate giving people negative impressions of myself (image-concerned) and thus I avoid causing conflicts 2) I don't like disappointing people 3) I'm so easily swayed by other people's feelings 4) I'm actually gutless. I cannot go against people even when I want to 5) I wish to have support system because I'm in fact an anxious person who hates being without support. If I don't 'appear to perform my duties', I will lose this support system.
This is probably me, but I can see these reasons apply to Seishin as well. In the end, though, he's still too much of an individualist that he chooses to follow his own self, but I think it's mostly due to him finding another support system he can rely on -- Sunako. I think that's why he goes to great lengths to keep her alive, since if she falters, he will too. If it were not for this alternative support system, I doubt he'd go that far really. I'm much like him in this regard; we cannot function without any support system, and what we truly want is a support system than can accommodate us and accept us as we are. "I want to do things the way I like it, but I want a safe place for it."

Insisting on having guidance -- support systems -- is a part of me I'm not very thrilled with but also (intellectually) amused with. That's why I get swayed easily by people, and why I like to flock up to 'dominant' or 'charming people'. I sometimes really hate how my opinions hinge on certain people, hate the thought of faltering when they themselves falter. I mentioned that I have a friend who was sorta like Toshio, and it's a fact that I often look up to her, to the point of making her an anchor in many things I do (mostly uni-related). Sometimes I realize that she makes mistakes, and that's when I feel a bit shaken, and thinks "I really cannot keep on being like this." But I think I still make her an anchor in many things, even now. Part of reasons as to why I don't think Seishin has romantic feelings toward Toshio, even if he probably appears to also hinge on Toshio in some things is this; I still do it to my friend even without being into her romantically. That's dependence, not romance.

My friends see this part of me as 'a safe (good?) quality to have in a girl' because it means I'm, well, submissive and avoiding conflicts, and I snorted inside when they said it. I don't feel secure on my own and that's not a good trait, lol. I want to be more like them, like my Toshio-friend who's a fierce girl (even if I cringe sometimes at what she does). I love having guidance, and finding people who can guide me so I can learn from them to be better, but this is, while peaceful, not a good trait if left unchecked and definitely needs some improving. I also thought of Seishin when they said it, unavoidably -- if this is a good trait to find in girls, how is it then if found in guys? No girl will want to be with a guy like that, I surmise. People are incredible, but my friends are also in a way, victims. I cannot blame them for thinking like that, when even my Toshio-friend sometimes thinks that she's 'too much' (not that exact word though, since I don't know how to translate it into English) for a girl.

On to the marriage ordeal -- I wonder if it's actually him staying to his own principles tightly and not mainly because he just takes advantage of his situations. The people around him are currently cutting him some slack because they are afraid he'd repeat his suicide attempt because they pressure him too much. This circumstance provides Seishin with exactly what he needs -- a condition where he can assert his principles, even when it's imperfect. I think he's clinging to it. If he actually gets pressured a lot, he'll probably give in.

I don't really know if Toshio relies on people's opinions, but I think even if he does, it's to a lesser degree than Seishin. He's dutiful, and I think dutiful people can appear caring about people's opinions. I don't think even Toshio will find it peaceful to cause so much conflicts, and I think people normally want to avoid conflicts. I see him feeling like he has to do things as more from his own principles than from how people will think of it. His marrying Kyouko was out of duty, though. I think the reason as to why Toshio is so self-sacrificing is because he puts aside his own personal desires, but he still does it not for people's good opinions.

Ah, so that's how you got the idea to analyze Toshio from -- the part of 'doing things on your own terms but are still within realm of duties'. It's nice when you can still align your desires with people's expectations on you. If you ask about the words important to me that often make appearances in my comments, I think they would be 1) Human (human beings fascinate me as much as they frustrate me) 2) Natural (I think it's to make sure what I do and Seishin do are indeed still normal (since my analyses of him are interconnected with my own introspection lol) and 3) Individual, since I'm all for individuality, and I lack social perception.

I agree that that's quite realistically possible lol, which was why I put it in metaphors. I love metaphors because they're in a way removed from reality I guess, like existing in fantasy realm -- indifferent, emotionless and rather playful. I sometimes love to play with metaphors. I think metaphorically a Toshio that's not an Ozaki doesn't exist because he works tirelessly for the village's wellbeing -- like it's his only purpose. It's an Ozaki's purpose, to serve the village after all. Toshio lives for the village (in a way), so the Toshio without the village would metaphorically mean, in my mind, a Toshio that really lacks = not a Toshio anymore. That's why I kind of predict he'll be, in a way, really shaken post-Shiki period even if he doesn't seem it. I can certainly be wrong, however.

It's this sentence: 敏夫はもう一度、北山を見上げる。火勢はもう山寺に迫ろうとしている。――全てを呑み込んでいく。 It's at the very end of his appearance in the novel, just before epilogue that's about Tsuhara just like in the manga. It roughly means "Toshio once more looked up at the northern mountain. Flame was delving further into the mountain temple. --- swallowing everything." I think it's really sad. A few sentences above he thinks about 'a childhood friend', who's probably Seishin (he doesn't mention any name), but I cannot translate it so I don't know. I think there's a high possibility he's thinking about Seishin (nothing romantic though I think) since he certainly associates him with both the northern mountain and the temple.

Re: 8D

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-09-26 04:58 pm (UTC)(link)

I love driving too. Driving in the winter is such a pain, though... Be glad you don't have to deal with it. In my opinion, traveling to any place during the winter is a risk because even if it's a place that doesn't get much snow, chances are that while you're there it will get more snow than it has in 20 years or something lol. Or at least, that's how my luck has been. The place where I live is also sadly train-free; I would love to ride to work on a train every morning. (I use the Celsius scale too), and I completely understand keeping your house that warm. I can't handle the cold very well either.

Well...if you really don't feel passionate about anything you're learning so far, you could just try to pick an area of study that you understand pretty well. The way I understand it and from what I've heard from a lot of my classmates is that when choosing a major, people generally don't do it because they're passionate about the subject and working on it is fun for them. They do it because it seems interesting and they wouldn't mind the job that would come with it. And then if it turns out they like that subject, they'll go on to grad school with it. Well, I'm not sure exactly how many years of med school you have left, but from what I've heard I'm inclined to just give you the advice of giving it some time and thinking about it more. Not just about which possible specialization invokes the strongest feelings from you if any, but about which one will give you the most benefit to go on studying. Besides, nobody says you have to study psychology formally; if you like psych but wouldn't like the actual job that comes from being a therapist or psychiatrist, then you could always specialize in something different while doing your own self-study on psychology. You'd probably get more enjoyment out of self-study than out of a structured approach offered at university, I'm guessing, from what I've heard about your personality so far.

In my opinion there's no such thing as being one or the other, so you can't be 100% an individualist or 100%...not individualistic? I don't think it's necessarily bad to have a support system. You can still count yourself as an individualist even if you are dependent on people's opinions like you say you are, it all depends on your inner attitude. If you're a person who shuns all outside influence, that would make you a recluse, not an individualist. I guess how I imagine being an individualist to be is surrounding yourself with many different opinions, and listening and contributing to them yourself, and then digest all that information and make a decision based on your own wants. Of course, that definition becomes less simple if the decision you're making is based off of people's wellbeing, like a certain decision will make life better for another person while making life a little worse for you. Then it depends on a lot of things, like how important the person is. In this case a true individualist will still make the decision that benefits themselves even at the cost of the other person--but then that's a much darker definition of an individualist, isn't it?

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that to define yourself in terms of words is extremely difficult, and is there really a point to it? Often in school I had activities like 'write down words to describe you'. Hell, even when I was applying to college one of my prompts was 'pick a word that you feel describes you best and explain why' (they're obviously setting you up to pick words like 'responsible' or 'hard worker' or 'innovative'). But going with the first example, even if you write down ten, fifty, one hundred words that describe you and show the list to another person, they'll get a feel of who you are, but they still won't know you. Those words can't describe how your mind works, because nobody's mind works in a certain way. My mind works in different ways depending on the situation I'm in, and depending on who I'm interacting with. For example, I'm naturally not very sympathetic unless I honestly care for and feel a connection with the other person. So if I wrote down 'sympathetic' or 'caring', those would be conditional traits.

I totally feel you on the stereotype that 'girls have to be a certain way'. I was raised in a culture where I was always expected to be even-tempered and polite and, more dangerously, I was not expected to pursue a 'hard' career. Being raised to be even-tempered and polite doesn't sound too bad, but when raising a child to be like that I think what a lot of people don't do is also respect the fact that the child you're trying to train is still a child that wants to run around and let out pent-up emotions and cry and make their own mistakes. There are way too many people who expect children to act like adults, or they're not considered a 'good child'.

As for whether girls really have to be a certain way, I think that just like there's a wide variety of girls, there's also a wide variety of guys (and other girls too, of course) that like different kinds of girls. If you're a demure girl, there's people who will like that in a romantic partner. If you're "too much" (like your friend), there's people who will like that in a romantic partner.

Back to Shiki! I actually think that Ozaki does care about people's opinions a lot. You don't see it much in the story because everyone in the village is satisfied with Ozaki's work, but what if they weren't? You can best believe that if complaints started coming out that Ozaki is not a diligent doctor or that he is inattentive, he'd do something about that. He'd focus more on patients and work even harder because if the people he's supposed to take care of are not satisfied, then he's not doing his duty. Whereas people already disapprove of Seishin, but he doesn't do anything about it (he could stop putting out books, get married and take a more active role in the leadership of the village). Since he's miserable, he obviously does care about the opinions of the villagers, but not enough to stop the rumors about himself.

Ooh, that is an interesting line. I can't wait to get to it in the translation (although that'll be bittersweet because it'll mean Shiki is over).

Re: 8D

(Anonymous) 2015-09-27 04:05 pm (UTC)(link)
8D -- Well... the main reason my parents sent me to med school was because I myself was so indecisive about what I would choose. There was no doubt that they wanted me to actually become a doctor, but if I was so adamantly against it but could back it up with another similarly good choice, they would support me all the way. The problem was, I couldn't. All the choices I proposed to them were half-assed and they could totally see through me (there's a matter of them not being convinced that what I laid up before them were good choices, and it was made worse by the fact that I was so half-assed). Admittedly med school isn't so bad, even if I feel like I'm kinda just trolling my way through it. At the very least it's familiar and it's not math. I definitely like it better than high school where things were so much scattered and there were more things I disliked compared to uni. Uni instead has more fixed direction. Things are flat, but it's good enough.

I like psychology in general but I don't know if I'd like jobs related to it. I don't know any job I'd totally enjoy or if I should link enjoyment to my job (like what we talked about way back). Chances are, knowing myself, I'd troll my way through whatever job I end up with but not totally feel it, even if I don't hate it either. That's pretty much how I felt throughout school and a lot of other things. Doesn't mean I had no emotional attachment whatsoever with my school when I was studying there, but I've always been less sentimental about that kind of thing compared to lots of my friends.

...Logically speaking, like you said, people are really not completely one thing or another. At least, looking at myself, I have a rather individualistic drive but when actually left on my own I become too anxious. I can't not check in with other people, which makes it seem like I'm easily influenced. Then again, I'm often so unsure about whether what I'm thinking is correct or most right in the first place or not, which prompts me to check in with other people all the more. It has its good side and downside. What does it mean to be an individualist in the first place, now that I think about it? If it means stomping on other people's rights or happiness, then I want no part in it. If it means bringing other people to be below me, I want no part in it too. At least, I don't want to be a person to stoop so low as to do that. As a person, I believe that people have their own lives and that they can do whatever they want. But as is with everything else, I think things should have limits. What are limits to individualism? If I dare place limits to individualism, am I not an individualist anymore? But what if people harm other people in their attempt at pertaining individuality? Should I stay quiet? I won't do that if I were they, but they aren't going to think like I do. I think people shouldn't do that, but who am I to control them? The moment I step too far in setting boundaries for other people like that, I instantly feel bad. But what about the people who become the receiving end of what these people did? That's why Toshio is so pissed at Seishin, and rightfully so. I'm very impressed at him for bringing up legit issues, like, A+++ job, Toshio. Seishin too, like, when it comes to Toshio he becomes ethically controlling to an extent, but he's reluctant to do that when it comes to the Shiki. Could be because he sees Toshio as the wrong one at the time but the Shiki aren't wrong. Judging at the narrative, it's likely. Is it because Toshio is a human, so harming other humans is therefore wrong, but the Shiki aren't humans so judging them according to human standards are wrong?

What is the most correct decision? How do people define 'correctness' to begin with? How do I define 'correctness'? If I believe in limits, where should I take them from? How can I be sure that these limits are fair and good for everyone? Can the law reflect these limits respectfully? What if the law isn't good? Being unsure with my direction like this can put me into existential crisis, and it's especially worse when I feel like losing faith at a system/value I'm supposed to believe/currently believe.

I feel Seishin to an extent when he said he had certain ideas on how things were supposed to be, but when he was on his own thinking like that, could they be called an ideal at all? But should an ideal based on collective views be called an ideal in the first place? (when I think they aren't good or fair, it's bad, but I think here Seishin just sort of hates the idea that the number of believers indicate that something is good or bad.) I think one of main differences between me and Seishin is that unlike him I'm willing to rely on a system and worship it wholeheartedly, provide they're really, actually good and just. I have a feeling that he's not as good at accepting organized ideas as I do. Doesn't mean I'm better than him, it just means that we're wired differently and different things work for us.

I wonder how things would turn out to be if I were Seishin. I think things would be simpler, in a way. Toshio killing Kyouko would make me lose quite a lot of faith in him though, probably. That scene in the animanga where Seishin got so mad he walked away is so like me. Knowing myself, there's a pretty high possibility that I'll go back to him few days later, but still pissed off as hell it'd probably put a damper on our relationship. I'd probably still end up assisting him.

I guess when it comes to myself, I'll sometimes really want people to find out who I really am, but thinking about the possibility of them reacting unfavorably has me shut up. People around me think of me as weird and I kinda don't want to fuel it further. I still like searching for words or ideas that could rightly describe myself however, and for the time being I keep the results with me -- though I'm such a bad actor/liar I could end up just dumping them on the nearest person in the heat of a moment.

Don't let your upbringing stop you, because I know you're meant for more. Being even-tempered and polite are mostly good traits to find in a person, but if you want to pursue a 'hard' career you should do just exactly that. We have similar stereotypes here in the East, and while my parents are fortunately not very culturally inclined they still largely think about how to harmonize ourselves with our environment. There are good sides as well as downsides to this, as is with everything else.

My friend is very popular, which is something she still cannot wrap her mind around because as she said, she's very short tempered and is never afraid to let her opinions known (usually in anger-fueled harsh words). I think this is part of her charm, and our other friend said that guys usually have their own criteria that us girls don't usually understand. I'm still not unapologetic enough that I think the way I am I'm not very desirable, but now I'm still eh about the whole thing, perhaps fortunately. Some things of myself indeed need to be worked on, but there's a line between working on your flaws and deliberately be someone else when in the face of potential romantic partner.

I agree that Toshio to an extent could care about people's opinions on his performance, and that I think when he was still in med school and after that a junior doctor in the university hospital he'd pay an attention to how he appeared to people, but I think it's less so now that he's in Sotoba. Since he was a kid an image that stuck to him is that he's an imprudent, rude brat, and I think partly to his own amusement he still plays along with that. There's probably the fact that he's already known what kind of people he's supposed to serve and I think when people already know about how people they're supposed to perform before are like they can usually relax a bit. It isn't like Toshio knows how to deal with them, but he already knows how those people perceive him and that it's still okay if he behaves along a certain boundary (since an image stuck to him). It could be a bad thing though, because getting out of an image can be a hard thing to do and people don't get it anyway, don't understand how we are beyond our perceived image and we unknowingly just go along with it since people expect it from us. Less tiring that way too. I wonder if the same could apply to Toshio -- he certainly isn't just an "imprudent, rude brat". The same with Seishin. He isn't just "a man who once attempted suicide, also utter eccentric". Those are just a specific layer to many layers of their personality.

After that line, Shiki isn't over yet -- but Toshio's role is pretty much finished. The epilogue would be exclusively Tsuhara and some Seishin and Sunako, much like in the manga.

Re: 8D

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-11-05 04:35 am (UTC)(link)

I hope that when the time comes for me to apply for med school, they'll accept me and I'll get a chance to troll my way through it too, lol. But I do take pre-med courses, and from what I'm getting it really sounds like medicine is a lifestyle. So if you're heart's not into it or if you really hate it, you'll have a hard time. Well, I'm in no way telling you that you should drop out of med school, but if you'll accept advice from me you should find something in your work that you are passionate about! Medicine is great because you can specialize in a field you're most interested in, and that's a good way to explore your interests even within medicine. You mentioned being interested in psychiatry as a specialization, do you still feel like you want to explore that path?

And I don't think there's a set way to be passionate, just like there's no set way to be happy or sad, everyone expresses it in different ways. How you feel about something is the way you feel about something, there's no right or wrong way to feel; you just...do. I've noticed that you sound a little disappointed in yourself when you mention that you don't react with the same enthusiasm to certain things as some of your friends do, and you shouldn't be disappointed; I don't think there's anything wrong with that. There's no right amount of emotion that you have to show.

I feel like individualism can be described in different ways, say the Ozaki way and the Seishin way. I think both are individualistic. Seishin because he's not influenced by the system and strives to be true to himself; Ozaki because like I mentioned before, he does succumb to people's expectations, yes, but he does it on his own terms. Rather than being influenced by the system, I feel like Ozaki exerts his own influence on the system. For instance, patients see it as a given that when they come into the clinic, they're given the gruff Ozaki treatment. That's the norm in the village, so really, Ozaki has made his role in healthcare a part of the system. There's a lot of different ways to be an individualist that can't really be described. The closest I can think of is 'Actively striving to find something that sets you apart', as opposed to conforming. But then everyone's an individualist because I doubt anyone wakes up in the morning thinking "Wow, I want to do exactly what everyone else wants to do, not what I want to do!" And what's up with the bad rep for the concept of 'conforming'? If you start watching a show that all your friends love, you're conforming. But then you have a new thing to enjoy with the people close to you; that aspect of conforming proves that it's not a purely negative thing.

"Is it because Toshio is a human, so harming other humans is therefore wrong, but the Shiki aren't humans so judging them according to human standards are wrong?" - I like that analysis a lot. That may very well be the case because it rings true with what Seishin said to Sunako at the end of Shiki; she should stop thinking of herself as a bad person because she's forsaken God because she no longer falls under God's law. And we've already mentioned that Seishin has his own very specific idea of who God truly is; it's very likely that he thinks that Ozaki must also be subject to his God's law. However, Ozaki isn't hurting other humans, he's hurting Shiki. If Seishin's god states that humans can't harm other humans, then Ozaki is doing no wrong. But wait, doesn't that seem to be the rationale behind Seishin sympathizing with the Shiki: he sees them as human? And if he sees them as human, then he really should judge them according to human standards. Could it be that Seishin goes from believing that the Shiki are human to accepting that they're something other than human? He also shows that as a jinrou, he's not subject to God's law either when he kills Ohkawa--probably something Seishin the Human would not have done even if Sunako was in danger.

The difference between you and Seishin on the whole accepting the system thing could be just that you agree with the system you're in and accept it, while Seishin does not. If you were in a system you wouldn't agree in, would you act like Seishin? is what you should ask. If you were the junior monk in Sotoba, would you be okay with it or would you do anything and everything, including befriending a shady loli, to get out of that situation?

Well, you've told me all of this stuff about you and I don't think you're weird! While I definitely don't think you should tell your deepest feelings to people you don't trust, it might be nice to open up because the other person might open up and you never know, maybe you'll find a kindred spirit. ...says me, who always gets embarrassed when she talks about feelings and makes some kind of joke to laugh it off XD But what about you wanting to contemplate individualism makes you weird? You're philosophical, it's definitely more interesting than contemplating celebrity gossip instead.

Luckily, I'm pursuing a "hard" career anyway! I have a pretty long fuse, so I can put up with mostly anything for a long time, so I'm trying to use that to my advantage. As a kid, I was always encouraged to let provocations go. Now, it's more like if I'm talking to my boss who I don't like, I'm thinking "okay, I want to say something passive-aggressive, but I'd rather play nice instead so I look better in her eyes. Maybe the next time I call in sick, she'll be understanding." I always look for the long-term benefit and am usually okay with doing stuff I don't like to achieve it.

One thing I know is that if you actively look for a romantic partner, you won't get one! It's good that you're not concerned with it now, anyway; all that energy can be directed toward more productive things, like a hobby or anything else that can make you happy. Guys do have weird criteria, but so do girls...sometimes I sit down to think of what I want in a guy, and then I'm like, "I'm so weird..."

It's probably good for Sotoba that Ozaki is more concerned with the patients than his appearance, isn't it? I think that Ozaki considers that as long as he's getting the job done, he's fine. He's met his mother's expectation of getting married, so he's fine.

Re: 8D

(Anonymous) 2015-11-07 06:01 am (UTC)(link)
8D -- I guess I'm lucky in that I'm not miserable here because of my family's medical background. I find the familiarity pretty comforting even if I find the looming future dreadful. Borrowing Ritsuko's words but changing a few; I don't think of it as bad because I don't know other things I like better. I'm also pretty grateful for my ability to keep my feelings flat so I don't get too miserable, lol. My friend actually kind of admires that ability of mine. Her words are "You can go through things even if your heart isn't really into it." She'd feel very miserable instead. She initially hated med school, but now has found her dream here she would like to accomplish no matter what. I'm glad that now she's found true love in med school.

While not really enjoying it here (but not hating it either -- it's flat), I'm starting to form my values here, and envision what kind of doctor I'd like to be. I'm grateful enough that I think this is a good profession to channel my morals. There are worse places where I can't even do that. Not that I think it's 'flawless', since there are things I still kind of balk at (which I'm working on, because it'll probably not be good for me and others if I cling to it)

Since I'm not that passionate of a person, I think I better find a specialization that I find generally interesting, suits my skill set and is generally convenient for me, lol. I mean, if I were to base everything on passion I'd probably not find any. If during my clinical clerkship I found out that psychiatry suits me best, then I'll take it.

I've been thinking quite a lot about stuffs. I believe that there's no such thing as meaningless existence and that every existence no matter how small is significant. So even if I only 'trolled through life' that has to count as a meaningful accomplishment, but I want more I guess, due to my individuality and the shame over being too bland and not as capable compared to other people. There has to be something only I have and only I can give. Something unique to me. There has to be a way to contribute to the world while still being authentically and uniquely me. The current me is not assertive enough, however, and I think together with finding ways to contribute to the world as myself I have to learn to assert myself in order to do that. As of now I'm much, much too afraid.

Thank you, lol. Well, If I were to be honest indifference is in a way something I've been wanting to achieve. I figure my life would be easier if things are just flat (I was terribly emotional as a kid and feeling flat is way better than feeling distressed, sad, or being too overwhelmed by feelings in general) so it's a defense mechanism, but sometimes it backfires a bit I guess? For the record, I'm still very sensitive, but growing up also means that your control over your emotions mature so things are pretty good. Actually, the reason I want to be indifferent is exactly because I have bad control over my emotions and actions based on them.

I don't find it bad to be conforming; I conform a lot and I think it's good. The problem is, I find things aren't balanced when it should be balanced. I just talked about this with my close friends yesterday; it's not a new news that my friends think I'm a little too dependent on other people's decisions. My Toshio friend (to set them apart) asked me if I'm the type who can accept others' advice. I asked back: "Doesn't being dependent on others' decisions mean that I accept their advice easily?" "No, it's different," she said. I was a bit confused as to why they're different, but now I think I know why. Then I explained to them that the reason I lean a lot on other people's thoughts is because I try to understand their thoughts first. The problem lies in how focused I am on them while not asserting myself (due to fear and inferiority mostly). My other friend chimed in and said: "So you try to plant their thoughts in you." And yes, that's the best way to put it.

In terms of my relation to the 'system', the best way to put it is I let it influence myself a lot while not asserting my own place. I hide instead due to fear and inferiority. That's when things turn bad. It's bad because it's potentially unhealthy. It makes me question my own sense of self, sometimes -- not that I don't have it, given how self-focused I actually am, but I find it a little disturbing that in the terms of practical matters I tend to be so externally focused while not asserting my internal structure. Being too dependent is always not good.

I get too dependent on my quest in finding out the 'truth'/most right thing. I usually automatically assume that people are right and I might be wrong. But now that I think, is 'wrong' and 'right', 'truth' and 'falsehood' dichotomies the most important thing that I have to set aside other things? They're important, but now that I think about it, they're probably not the whole thing, but I'm still so very focused on this quest.

I don't think Seishin sees the Shiki as actually humans, but that he sees them as 'innocent'. So it escapes him as to why they should be punished when they do nothing wrong in rising up as Shiki and needing others' blood to survive. For Seishin, they don't have to be killed. To do so is injustice, and that's not how the 'law' should be according to his ideals. But his 'law' doesn't align with 'collective law', the law that all people except him follow as citizens of the world. I think 'God' is the metaphor for the world/universe, and 'the law' is metaphor for its workings/structure including humanity (probably both words can be used interchangeably; so 'system' could mean both God and the law). Seishin believes in his own ideals (many kinds of them, not just about the Shiki), but when one's ideas seem to go against the existing structure you'll usually start to think whether you're the one at fault because you're the only one thinking this way. In thinking like this, Seishin becomes well aware about how 'different' he is, how at fault he is and isolated he is. Then a part of him will start to push away those differences due to shame, and try to embrace the existing structure probably because he should be able to truly embrace them just like everyone else, but he cannot. Another part of him knows very well what he wants, and that he should achieve them, and that no matter how much he tries he'll never be like everyone else. I think this part of him has accepted his true fate. That's what I think anyway. I think that's how a lot of people's psychology works were they in this particular situation.

Canonically too, for Seishin, there's the fear that he'll be shunned out by people, over being different I think. The system is usually unforgiving towards people who don't fit, and he fears being 'exiled', so he works hard to 'fit in'.

Like Sunako, I think what Seishin said to her inside of the burning church is sad indeed. Sad because not belonging to any order is sad. Human beings long for structure, and they'll seek for it -- whether it's religious structure or other structures. Structure could be something which links you to other people/world, or something beyond yourself. Something which gives yourself a bigger meaning, something to validate yourself by belonging to a validated structure. Being a part of an acknowledged structure/system means that you yourself are validated too, like adopting a collective moral view such as thinking that 'killing is bad'. This view is adopted by nearly all people in the world, therefore making it a valid one. If you adopt this view, you're recognized as good, but if you do the opposite/do things opposite of this view then you're bad. Everyone knows that. Sunako doesn't actually want to be recognized as a 'bad' person but she recognizes that what she's doing as bad, which is why she works hard in finding people who can validate her ways/methods to validate herself -- but in working to deny that perception would only mean that her mindset still wraps around 'good' and 'bad' as included within the 'law'.

That's what Seishin tells her to stop doing I think: "You don't need to worry about such thing. You're no longer a member of God's system (God's jurisdiction), therefore God's law doesn't apply to you anymore. What you're doing cannot be classified as good or bad because you're exempt from God's law." For people like Seishin and Sunako who long to be a part of structure, this doesn't actually relieve them. This is horrible for them. As much as Sunako doesn't want to be viewed as bad, at the very least she still wants to be included within the 'law'. Seishin at first sort of refuses the idea that he's exempt from the law, but him turning into a Jinrou likely cements the idea as an actual fact that he should accept his fate. Both of them have no choice but to accept it.

There are a lot of things I disagree with how the world works, but I want to truly participate in it. To be influenced but also to influence in return, to create an impact. I have a tendency to run away and wallow in bitterness, but it's also true that what I dislike won't change as long as I don't participate. I have ideas; I should work to implement those ideas into the world's workings. Thankfully, it's also true that I mostly agree with the system/structure I'm in.

If I were a junior monk in Sotoba, I'd likely be a milder version of Seishin. There's a bit of bitterness, there's a bit of feeling like the whole village sucks and so does its people and world in general, but I think I'll be mostly accepting. I'll feel like I'm only trolling my way through life, but it's still pretty good. I'll be more impatient than he is and more anxious, but I think I'll assist Toshio to the end in exterminating the Shiki even if at times conflicted. I'll probably be more decisive. I'll probably kick Toshio's ass over what he did to Kyouko but still comes back later to assist him, though it'll put a real damage in our relationship. Damn, if I were the junior monk of Sotoba I'll find Toshio attractive and so are a lot of other people. I'll also be more flirty.

Lol, I think despite being an anon I'm the person who shares her personal details the most here. Even Sinnesspiel knows my twitter where I post several of my pictures. For the record, I love contemplating about myself and talking about myself lol (I can be a bit of a narcissist). Oh no, I've never let people know my philosophical side so far so that's now what makes them think of me as weird, but they find the way I act is weird -- you know, like that kid who's so wrapped up in her little world so she doesn't really act like the majority of people. I'm also super awkward (like how Seishin's awkward) and take jokes in a literal sense, so people often make fun of that side of me.

That's good, and I also admire people who have a long fuse lol. Mine is admittedly pretty short, and I trick it by making myself indifferent to the whole thing. Being anxious of what people think of me also makes me look after my performance (even if I was never an overachieving kid), so sometimes it can be a good trait.

Haha, high on my list of what I want in a partner would be 'someone who isn't too much like me'. There'll be no development that way. Speaking about appearance, I'm often attracted to people who wear glasses. I wonder if it's because I wear glasses myself? But I think they indeed make people look better.

It's sad that Toshio (and Seishin) are really expected to get married and have children, when that's probably not what they want. :(

Re: 8D

[personal profile] airlynx 2015-11-26 08:21 pm (UTC)(link)

Is your clinical clerkship coming up soon? That does sound like a good opportunity to explore various career options. Loving the job is ideal, but 'job' isn't just the work you do; you can not 'love' your work, but love the benefits and stability that come from such work. Best of luck in finding a position that matches your criteria! You've already come far in medical school, you go girl!

I don't think any existence is meaningless either; no matter what, you've lived and left your mark on the world. Even while 'trolling', you talked to people, learned things, and matured. Your friends seem to often give you profound advice, but you probably say stuff to them that sticks to them for a while too. All of the things you've learned in medical school and all you've done after choosing that career path have likely made their mark on you too, turning you into a different, more mature person. All of those things have meaning; you've impacted others, and have been impacted by your experiences. Any experiences that have a result like that aren't meaningless. If YOU have a definition of what counts as 'meaningful' and you think that those aren't satisfying it, then that's another thing altogether.

So, it's probably good that you take the effort to understand people's thoughts when they give you advice. When people give advice in general, they want to be taken seriously and the advice to be considered. And that advice should be considered; a lot of the time when I ask for advice my friends tell me something I would never have thought of by myself...which is of course the point of asking for advice. Advice is basically useless if you let it fly in one ear and out the other, so it's good that you respect other people's advice so much. And there's nothing wrong with accepting someone's advice over your own thoughts if you think theirs is better; that's how people grow, borrowing ideas from other people and building off of them. It is a problem if you're the opposite and think only your opinion matters and reject everyone else's. There's countless stories out there with the theme that listening to the people around you is important.

What's also a problem is if you decide not to do what you want because you're afraid what someone who doesn't matter will think about it. It's okay to be concerned about the opinions of people who do matter. But from what I heard, it doesn't seem like you have a problem with this because even if someone else plants an idea, you ultimately are the one that makes a decision. If someone suggests something completely against your moral code, I doubt you'd do it.

Seishin is missing the big picture when he sees the Shiki as "innocent". He's startled by Ozaki's cruelty in killing Kyoko and by the villagers when they kill the temple workers in their paranoia-fueled Shiki hunt--and rightfully so. HOWEVER, he does not notice how the Shiki largely don't feel remorse about the humans and think themselves better than them--like Megumi going after people she hated, or those guys chasing an old man down the street and dragging him off while having fun. While he doesn't see this, he still knows that his dear Sunako is behind all of the deaths in the village and he still knows that Tatsumi is...Tatsumi, but he still treats them as if they are noble and normal. So organized slaughter of humans in order to survive is 'okay', but the organized slaughter of Shiki to survive AND to avenge dead loved ones is not? This makes me think Seishin is a visual person because he never sees Sunako or Tatsumi get down to business, whereas he sees the humans go on a rampage, which makes it seem more real to him.

Yeah, I think that Sunako does long for structure, even going so far as to create her own with first her family, and then her would-be Shiki Sotoba Society. As Seishin seems to have convinced her that this is unnecessary, it really makes you wonder about the future with them. If he convinces her that creating a structure isn't necessary, then it's likely that they'd just drift their way through the future, just observing events as they go. But while Seishin may be okay with this, Sunako is too leaderish, she'll want to take part in the world. So if their future takes a turn in that direction, I bet they'd split up eventually.

If you want to impact how the world works, then it's good that you're aiming for a doctor position. I don't know what it's like where you're at, but here in my pre-med classes it's emphasized that as a doctor you have a lot of influence and you're basically required to hold positions on all sorts of boards and committees. Healthcare is such an important topic that those involved in healthcare have a big role to play in those types of things. I understand you completely, I want to make a difference too, call the shots, and have some degree of control over the direction that policy takes.

If I was the Sotoba Junior Monk, I'd pray for it to snow so that Kyoko wouldn't be able to visit often lol! I agree with you on this as well ;D

The good part about there being a lot of people in the world is that no matter how weird you are, you'll find people that appreciate it. You seem to have a nice group of friends despite being 'weird', right? And a good relationship with your parents. If you feel like the way you act is holding you back from letting you do right by those you consider close, then maybe you should consider making some changes; after all, self-improvement inspired by someone you love is sacred. If not, then I don't see any problem with just doin' you.

On a side note, do you like Twitter? I'm think about getting one, but I don't know if it's worth it or not. I don't have any social networking except Tumblr, but that's because I used to get harassed on Facebook (it was more irritating than genuinely scary or hurtful, don't worry!), so I just said 'screw it' and deleted it. So maybe it's time for another shot with Twitter? I'm kinda weird because I text and talk to people online a lot, but I don't use social media XD

The attraction to glasses is noooot just you. I don't wear glasses and I think they're super hot _

I'm really happy that we live in a day and age where getting married is not priority #1 anymore...that makes you settle for less. I mean, if you're in a hurry to get married you'll just marry the first person that comes along for fear of being considered an old maid (that's essentially what Toshio did, although it was more of 'I'll do this so you get off my back'). You need time to find someone you click with, and the amount of time that takes is nobody's business.

Re: 8D

(Anonymous) 2015-11-28 01:46 am (UTC)(link)
8D -- If all goes well, next year that is. Lol, I'm probably still a little idealistic about the whole thing, but as years come by and I've probably gotten married and had kids I'll probably become more realistic and practical about the whole thing that those benefits and stability become my main aim instead. Thank you!! 8D

I feel lucky that as a person I'm ultimately someone who thinks first about what's best for myself. For better of worse, I'm not that person who's too altruistic she forgets about herself -- on the other hand, I'm too self-focused to forget about myself. I weigh people's opinions not for themselves, but for me, in the end. Of course, sometimes my desire to find harmony means that I have to sacrifice some of my comfort so as to not cause conflicts, but in the end that's for my own comfort too. Sometimes I become too naive and indifferent that I don't always notice that people could use it against me, but I think my life so far proves that, really, I've always placed myself first. As long as I don't harm other people, there's nothing wrong with that.

My friends also always say that as a person I'm actually pretty firm in my beliefs, and these few days I've been observing myself and thinking that, really, I'm probably more firm and set than what I initially thought. I've also noticed that I mainly take in people's suggestions if they're about practical stuffs, since that's what I sincerely lack -- but when it comes to myself, as in my internal state of self, I'm my own boss first and foremost.

Don't they say that the majority of people are visual people? Especially for a person who can sit still for a long time reading books after books -- Seishin's got to be a visual. Well, that aside, you talk exactly like Toshio it's interesting. I agree with you that Seishin is pretty skewed in his views here. I personally think that the contempt he has for the village affects his morals, which makes it that he doesn't operate fully on moral values anymore but also on his own selfish desires. Narratively speaking it makes him an interesting character, but beyond that I can see why it pisses you and Sinnesspiel a lot -- you two are more like Toshio after all.

I personally think that, yes, Seishin is pretty wrong according to my own definition of wrong. 'Wrong' because as we've discussed before, it's likely that he's noticed that those Shiki could prey on people without actually killing them, which means that the whole thing is not exactly about survival anymore but instead only about them wanting to make their own place. If Sunako starts to muse about how it's about survival in the novel just like she did in the animanga (I think?) then I'm going to frown. Not that I don't understand her, though -- she's allowed to think whatever she wants to, though that also allows the villagers to act in their best interests. If she harms people, people will come after her, that's just how it is. Part of me thinks that Sunako and her lot deserve to be given a really hard time. What truly sets me off instead is what Toshio does to Kyouko, because as far as innocence goes -- in my opinion, she is. Just like Yano Tae and Ritsuko. What makes it worse is that Toshio knows fully that Kyouko hasn't done anything wrong. His reason is that, aside from wanting to solve things as soon as possible, that Kyouko's already dead, but I'm one of those readers who don't really think of the Shikis as 'dead' so it probably gives me a bit of a hard time. Of course, Toshio doesn't get that because he views it as justified because he thinks she's a dead person already, and he's allowed to think whatever he wants too -- but it still pisses me off.

Their splitting up is something I very much want to see lol, and also something I'm quite certain will come in time -- whether for the reason you said or others. Well, I have to say that not taking part in the world is totally impossible to do no matter how individualistic you are, because that's kinda the point of being human -- or being a being who thinks like humans do. That's the saddest thing; taking part in the world would mean to me mingling with the system. Since Seishin thinks he's no longer of the system anymore, he'd probably think he couldn't take part in the world anymore. Even it breaks him, someone most individualistic in the whole novel.

It's also quite the same here, as far as I'm aware. Since healthcare isn't something I'm inherently interested in yet, I kind of feel 'nah' about impacting the world through it for the time being, but if that's the only way to go considering where I'm at now then well, I'll find ways to share myself with the world through it and impact the world as a result. Or through other things. Should be a way.

The 'finding Toshio attractive' part? Lol yeah, Kyouko better not visit often because I'll proooobably get jealous. Well, but it's bad to find a married person attractive and still continue those questionable and immature habits of going into their room at the dead of night among other things, even if their marriage isn't doing well and they don't even love their spouse. Oh well. I've also been rewatching Psycho-Pass, and I know that I find this character very attractive also because he kinda shares Toshio's hairstyle. He lacks the stubble, however. I don't initially find stubble attractive, but I'm not that picky lol.

Oh yes, for the better me I've got to change, so now I'm still finding ways. One of my friends said that my 'weird' attitude is funny instead, lol.

I love Twitter. I think it's my favorite social media. I talk to people less there and talk about myself and my interests more, so I view it as quite a way to share myself with other people. I love having that kind of place. (even if I close it from my IRL friends except my sister and a cousin) Aside from Tumblr and Twitter, I also have LINE, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, but LINE and Facebook are for interacting with my IRL friends and WhatsApp mainly for interacting with cousins (we have a group there). So yeah, I compartmentalize things like that, but the only place where I can go 'all out' more is Twitter. Well, aside from here that is.

Haha, quoting my friend: "Dream high, makes a lot of criteria, so you'll (end up) settling with someone that fits those criteria." She used her own Mom as an example -- and her 'dreaming high' resulted in her marrying the man of her criteria on time. My parents are more like the majority of people who worry about not being able to get married on time if we're too particular about things, but my friend disagrees. But that also makes sense, because if you refuse to be a bit particular for the sake of marrying the first person that comes along, it'll likely be someone who actually doesn't fit. Sooo, I'll probably try doing that: making criteria and actually try to be someone who could fit someone who fits those criteria. Then, well, life will find a way.
airlynx: (tamadontchawantsome)

Re: 8D

[personal profile] airlynx 2016-01-02 06:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Although being headstrong is a good trait, it's not realistic to have that trait 'on' all the time because life is really all about compromises. If everyone just did what they wanted, we wouldn't have a society at all. There are lots of people in all sorts of different countries that think that their education system, for instance, is sub-par but most people still go because it's a compromise that'll let them achieve their long-term goals, if not their short-term ones.

:'D I am so pleased to hear I'm similar to Ozaki! *fangirling so hard*

Don't you think that Seishin is "wrong" by his own definition of "wrong" too? I remember wondering the first time I watched Shiki about what the show was trying to say about parasitism. The Shiki are parasites since they live off humans. But so are the villagers, in Seishin's opinion: they expect services from Seishin (and Ozaki), not worrying about his mental or physical health in the meantime. With that analogy, wouldn't Seishin hate the Shiki because he sees them doing what the village was doing to him? Or, is he pleased that the villagers are now getting a taste of their own medicine? If that's the case, then that makes him an even darker character than before.

I can agree that Ozaki was wrong, too, with Kyoko. She was a last resort, though, although that doesn't make it any better. He had wanted to capture Shiki before; although he didn't make any plans to do so, the first hint that he wanted to catch a Shiki to see what they were like was when he was staking out Setsuko when Nao came for her. Following that, he wanted to dig up Setsuko, but was stopped by the fact that a) Seishin wouldn't help, and b) she never rose up anyway. Had Kyoko not risen, Ozaki would have found someone else. I guess the reason it *had* to be Kyoko and not anyone else was because the Shiki were making their victims say they didn't want to be hospitalized, so if Ozaki hospitalized Kyoko it wouldn't be a problem. Likewise, family members never let him do autopsies; with Kyoko, Ozaki IS her family member so there's no problem there either.

The scariest thing about Ozaki's vivisection of Kyoko was that it wasn't like he was driven into a corner and only half-aware of what he was doing; although he was under huge strain and lack of sleep, he was still sharp in being clinical with Kyoko's experimentation and following it, he still displayed the same capacity for leadership and determination that he had done previously. Given that a brief stretch of time passed between Kyoko and the Shiki hunt, we can deduce that Kyoko's death just didn't take that much of a toll on Ozaki. Isn't that horrible? Even if she wasn't his wife, not everyone would be able to get away so relatively easily after doing that to a person they knew really well.

But this isn't the only time we see family members offing Shiki family members. Old man Ohkawa killed Atsushi because ~*it was the right thing to do*~, since he felt Atsushi was his responsibility. In a more spiritual angle, he might have thought he was doing Atsushi a kindness because a real death is better than having to live a life of coming out at night to kill other people to sustain himself. And Ozaki (and none of the other villagers, save Kanami and Seishin) even know if Shiki are the same person when they rise up. It's their relative's body walking around, but the relative may not be 'there' anymore. That's how I'd feel if I was a villager in that situation and I'd hate them for it (don't think I'd bring myself to actually stake them in cold blood, though). Masao's sister-in-law and Kaori both killed Shiki relatives too.

You know what would have been a better idea (in the animanga)? Natsuno wanted to help destroy the Shiki. He also wanted to die. It would be ideal if he just volunteered to be dissected by Ozaki.


Taking a part in the world doesn't have to mean the whole world. Even impacting the community like putting out food for stray cats or something is an important thing that makes a difference. So, I'm inclined not to think that the scale of your actions in impacting the world isn't so important as you being proud of what you're doing.

I haven't seen Psycho-Pass...but I do like stubble. =v= In anime and movies, that is. I don't think I've met a real life guy with hot stubble yet...

That does sound nice, posting thoughts "out loud" on Twitter. Like a journal. Do you keep a journal, too? I sometimes think about how I want to have a diary or something, but then it's such a pain to actually take the time to write stuff out. Within a few days I go from making super detailed entries about my feelings to "Woke up at 9. Went out for doughnuts. Fed the cat. Went to bed later."
The idea of having a journal is appealing to me because I tend to try to organize everything, including my feelings.

Yeah, when looking for someone to marry I guess it's good to be "picky, but not too picky". You can't have no standards at all but if your standards are too high they're also going to be more realistic and also you never really know what kind of a person you need because you've never tried to be with someone "quiet and studious" (let's say that's your criteria). I'm afraid that I'll think someone is good for me and then realize that he's not way too late. :L
severia: (Seishin2)

Re: 8D

[personal profile] severia 2016-01-05 01:04 am (UTC)(link)
I think both you and Sinnesspiel are more alike Toshio than any other characters. I think Sinnesspiel once said or implied that they related to Toshio the most and I can sort of see that. I'd say that you two's contempt toward Sunako and her lot is especially what sealed it, and that you two seem to agree with Toshio a lot, and like him as well as accepting certain aspects of him. I think it's because you're able to understand him given your similar perspective. And then there are readers like me, who happens to be despaired by some of what he does, (he pisses me off quite a lot) because I don't understand him enough to accept what he does. I think it's the same way with Seishin: I accept what he does (some of it is annoying, but if I were in his situation I couldn't guarantee I wouldn't do what he did), but he pisses you two a lot. My brain probably works along a wavelength closer to Seishin's than to you two's or Toshio.

Oho, tough question. Regarding his definition of 'right' and 'wrong', I actually don't know what it'd be. Let's see... I think Seishin is pretty much someone who finds it difficult to see things that have nothing to do with his own situations. By situation, I also mean all his feelings, perspectives, and values surrounding it. Not saying that he's not able to understand at all, but his feelings, desires, values, perspectives, etc take priority. Even if he wants to also consider those other things, he won't, he cannot, if it's at the cost of his 'situations'. All the more so if it's an aspect he feels strongly about; he'll practically turn blind and deaf towards everything beyond it. At the very least, he'll feel repelled.

Which means he's someone who's not 'fair', in the sense of being truly impartial. I think he's very far from it in certain situations; he'll be very much self-absorbed. What I'm trying to say is, he might have a certain idea of 'right' or 'wrong' that's more 'fair', but in certain situations his own desires overrule them and even rewrite them. I think Sinnesspiel once said he bends his own rules to suit himself or something along the line, and I kinda agree. Which means that... yes, he gets dark down the road.

Which means he vivisected Kyouko because she was convenient. I think he implied it in a chapter somewhere. Oh my God, Toshio. Sure, she was only a Shiki when he experimented on her, that she was dead and all (according to his own definition of 'death'; I disagree), but in all actuality wasn't her (former) death caused by Toshio's own deliberate decision to not perform action to save her?? On top of that, he deliberately made it so that her condition got worse by feeding her off to the Shikis. He knew the outcome. He wanted that outcome. He wanted her dead. His actions led to her death and it was planned and deliberate, so it's the same as him killing Kyouko, to me. It's like him killing Kyouko two times.

Toshio managing to piss me off isn't only because I don't understand him. It's also because I love him a lot as a character and thus him doing it to Kyouko is like a huge punch to the gut, with me doubling over and all. Basically the disappointment you feel when someone you love do things you think as wrong. It's probably bad of me to say this but not even Sunako pisses me off that much because I literally don't care enough about her. The pissed-off feeling I have about her is by what she does to people, but I don't care about how it makes her look in my eyes. It's the feeling of wanting someone you love to be flawless, and it's the kind of feeling I figure Toshio would have some problems with.

Excuse me for talking as if these characters were real..

It got to the point where I thought that Ono had to have put those chapters there because she wanted readers like me to get riled up. Not to make us angry for its own sake, but because she wanted it to be thought-provoking, mind-opening and kinda symbolic kind of riled-up emotions. The kind of sudden blast of emotions that make us realize something we wouldn't be otherwise, just like what Seishin felt when he opened that God-damned door and found Toshio bloody and a hole in Kyouko's body. At the very least, she must've wanted to show how far Toshio's fallen.

For me, at the very least, it's mind-opening because I, as a reader who likes Toshio a lot, is forced to then face the aspects of him I really don't like. Also, not to expect a lot from him or anyone who doesn't wish it. That people you like will have faults, and you can either accept it or not, but don't burden them for it... etc etc. Basically a further realization of self. For me, everything that happens around me serves as a tool to realize more and more about myself.

If that spiritual angle you mentioned about his actual view alongside that feeling of responsibility, I sort of disagree with that view. It's probably bad of me to say this but I don't like it when people decide things for other people like that, much less something that takes their life. If a villager kills a Shiki because they're threatening their lives, then I can accept. Do things based on your own best interest, but don't do it because you think it's good for others, because it might not be. Of course, it'll be an even more complicated matter when it's regarding one's own children, because even I will feel some sort of responsibility to shape them... If it's me, I'll probably still think a Shiki is the same person they used to be, and I certainly think they're alive to some extent... but I'll probably run away because I don't want to be killed. I'll probably not have the guts to stake them too, but when push come to shove, anything is possible.

It's possible in the animanga (though didn't he revive after Toshio was done dissecting Kyouko or..?) but is certainly impossible in the novels. I still think that there has to be the meaning of Toshio dissecting Kyouko which means that it HAS to be Toshio dissecting Kyouko, even though it pisses me off.



Psycho-Pass is great! I recommend it. Well, though I think season 2 isn't as good as season 1. The movie is also good, but I love season 1 the most.

Haha, I don't have a journal. Like you, I also think it's a pain to write things out. Writing media is good to expand my mind further, but I feel like my hands aren't fast enough to keep up with my mind. An online journal or journal you keep in a computer might be a better idea for me. I'll probably employ my DW for it.

You have a cat?? Awwwwww, what breed is your cat??

I wonder too about what kind of person who'll be good for me. Someone whose principal views don't clash with mine but is also different enough to prompt me to be better, someone whom I can support as well as able to support me, someone who's willing to be partners with me. There are more specific details too. But is someone like that will be good for me? I'll probably not know until I try dating one...