harishima

Invisibility in Yurikuma Arashi

So, it’s really late, and I’m really tired, so hopefully this makes sense.

The Invisible Storm is a metaphor for in-group persecution of an out-group, and for societal pressure to conform and the harsh treatment of those who refuse (hence “storm”). It’s the embodiment of the Japanese saying “the nail that sticks out gets hammered”. Invisibility means not standing out, not drawing attention to yourself. To do so, you have to stifle your self, your individuality. Because of the larger societal context of Yurikuma, I’m pretty sure being invisible also has to do with adhering to certain rules regarding feminine and sexual expression.

In Yurikuma, the Invisible Storm is generally presented as mean, vicious, uncaring, manipulative, and sometimes just plain bad and evil. However, via Kaoru Harishima, we get a glimpse that, individually, these invisible girls are miserable. They’ve been told again and again to not stand out, to stifle themselves. They’re afraid to become visible out of fear of what the rest of the group would do to them, as well as out of fear of being eaten by bears. They’re immensely grateful if someone gives them a helping hand that allows them to rise above their predicament even just a little bit. Individually, they’re somewhat sympathetic, and entirely understandable. However, that doesn’t excuse what they do as a group. As a group, they do downright terrible things to people. I think they’re portrayed this way to show that, despite being sympathetic individually, the things they do as a group (a mob, really) are plainly inexcusable.

The girls in the Invisible Storm have come to internalize what they’ve been told about the need to be invisible. As a result, they’re prejudiced against and persecute those who break from their group. I think they’re also afraid, not in the sense of being afraid of those who break from the group, but in the sense that, if someone who breaks from their group really is able to find happiness in being visible, it’s a direct, strong challenge to their entire worldview. It shoves their own lack of courage to even try to do the same in their faces, and would probably cause a pretty high level of cognitive dissonance. They’d also be jealous of someone who’s able to do something that they not only didn’t have the courage to attempt themselves, but that they didn’t even believe was possible. Now, this is a generalization, and individual cases probably vary somewhat. For people like Chouko, who have internalized what they’ve been taught so strongly, regardless of whatever their own feelings may be, they cling to their belief of the entire thing as terrifying and revolting. It’s the most unbelievable and abnormal thing in the world. It’s unthinkable. “How could they? Why would they?” For people like the pig-tails girl, who haven’t internalized what they’ve been taught as strongly, who are at least a little bit open to the possibility of breaking from the group and being true to themselves, and who see where the actions their peers condemn lead, they might just be moved to attempt to do the same.

In general, though, the Invisible Storm reinforces its members’ state of collective unhappiness.

Invisibility also has another meaning in Yurikuma. The way that “unsavory” things are dealt with in a highly collectivistic culture like Japan’s is different than how they’re dealt with in the West. In the West, there’s more confrontation, with different ideologies butting heads. In Japan, because of the immense pressure to conform, issues with the perception and treatment of LGBTQ aren’t really aired, at least not in a way that gets to the heart of the matter. As a result, the people who oppress are free from responsibility because they aren’t really told that they’re oppressing and that it’s wrong, giving them plausible deniability. In that sense, the people who oppress are invisible. On the other side of it, as a result of the oppressors’ invisibility (which, again, is at least partly due to the way problems are aired by the oppressed and/or their advocates—I don’t intend that statement to be victim-blaming in the slightest; the way I mean it is in the sense that it’s just the current reality of how things stand) and the general cultural conformity, the people being oppressed aren’t acknowledged as such, meaning that they’re invisible too (in fact, Japanese lesbians don’t even have a word for themselves in their native language). This is quite possibly the reason (or is at least a reason) that lesbianism is never explicitly mentioned in Yurikuma.

(Note: The stuff about Japanese culture is what I remember reading from a post someone made at some point on one of the numerous blogs of people who have been talking about the show as it’s been airing. I don’t remember who or where or when. I think I remember the gist of what was said, but if I don’t quite have it, by all means please correct me.)

What are you talking about the peace Naruto made was real peace. Not the fake shit Harishima created. Where mini wars broke out every three seconds. They even have inter village diplomacy the people are marrying into each others villages. It is a direct reflection of our world. That would have never happened in the previous generations. What you are saying having a standing army is not an indication of shit except protection. Case and point Toneri Ootsutsuki living on the moon trying to blow the earth up. The science experiment trying to create another organization. There are threats that extend outside of the villages. They even trade and give out work to eachother. The extreme advancement in technology is a direct reflection of that. You know like the real world we live in lol.

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MY RESPONSE:

lol, Hashirama was the one who organized the first kages meeting. He actually had something that can be called a “policy”, balancing the power of the villages by giving them a bijuu. You think diplomacy didn’t exist before Naruto became Hokage? Hashirama was also the one who actively invited other clans to join his village, he himself married a Uzumaki from another village. You think alliance and inter village marriage didn’t exist before Naruto? You think this shit is new? Konoha is not an standing army, a standing army is funded by the state, and the personnels got paid regularly monthly salary. Konoha is a mercenary, it survives on missions such as assassinations and sabotage, jounins got paid based on how many missions they complete. They’re like professional hitmen. I don’t know what you’re talking about the experiment, Orochimaru is a villain, the dude experimented on babies, Naruto failed to judge him means he has no moral principles, he is a joke of a shonen MC. 

The technological advancement is bullshit in the first place, how did they advance the technology by 200 years within a decade? and technology was never what ninja are about anyway. Funny enough technology usually leapfrog during wars, such as WW 1 & 2 which produced atomic bomb, radar etc. Does the technology advancement reflect they had wars not long ago? LOL

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Yurikuma Arashi   ユリ熊嵐

1.5 “I Want to Have You All to Myself

“As long as you don’t forget love, you’ll never be alone