I really enjoyed how much Steven and Lars trusted each other in this episode. Steven listened to Lars and considered the things he said (including his initial misgivings about the Rutile twins), even though as a gem, Steven was the “expert” in their situation. And Lars, though uncomfortable on many occasions, was willing to let Steven take the lead as well. He was afraid, hungry, aching, and he probably wanted to complain even a little. But he didn’t because he trusted Steven. It says a lot about what kind of leader Steven is though. I really like it.
Mikasa meets the cruel world: Attack on Titan in a nutshell
More intelligent people than me have probably pointed this out long before me, but it still amazes me how much Mikasa’s upbringing truly is a metaphor for the entire series.
We start of with this carefree, peaceful family living in this isolated cabin in the woods, distanced from the outside. A comfortable existence, but their family is well aware that beyond their warm home lie problems: the Ackerman clan is still thought to be prosecuted, and Asians are sought by traffickers for their rare appearance and blood–they’re a different race, and this is useful to some.
And then one peace is interrupted: three men break in, destroying comfort and killing innocent people, and they’re there solemnly because of the physical aspects of the family, their rare appearance. Through this experience, Mikasa lost her hope and will to live, and also got to understand the cruel nature of the world she lived in.
And then, a sudden event that changed the course of that day. The young Eren Jaeger barges in, takes out the oppressive intruders, and most importantly, restores hope to her. Just like the kidnappers, Eren came from outside of her world…but instead of bringing her more cruelty, Eren brought Mikasa a way to go against said cruelty–to fight back. The world is cruel and brutal and it crushes the weak–thus, the only way to survive is to fight back against the oppression–and that’s what Mikasa proceeds to do.
This precise event can be translated with total accuracy into the entirety of the story–it’s the exact same thing the walled world went through. The walldians lived in peace and comfort (more or less), isolated from the rest of the world, because the outside meant danger for them. We’ve always known this danger to be the titans–the basement taught us the reality though. The entire outside world has a pre-determined relationship with the walldians–not because of who, but because of what they are. Some see them as danger and want them extinct for safety measures, some see them as useful tools for their own purposes.
Does this sound familiar? Ackermans are prosecuted because they’re a danger to the kings rule, and Asians are sought after because their origin makes them different. Mikasa’s family is a metaphor for all walldians, for all those wanted dead by the world or used as weapons in Marley’s titan army. Their situation is identical too: they live excluded from the outside world, in a pseudo-peace, which is one day interrupted by the arrival of three outsiders (kidnappers, RBA). Through their actions, those outsiders remind the inhabitants of the cruel, oppressive world they find themselves in (a grim reminder). And then, another outsider appears, restoring hope and teaching the oppressed how to free themselves: to fight. This is Eren when he barges into the cabin, and Grisha, originally from beyond the walls. when he entrusts the founding and attack titans to Eren, who would later become humanities hope and, in some way, inspires them to fight back. Both of these stories are perfect parallels.
It’s also definitely not a coincidence that the Eren-saves-Mikasa flashback was included in Isayama’s first draft of chapter 1, in flashback format. All the dialogue about Mikasa being part of a nearly extinct, different race, and Eren telling her to fight back, were there from day one. In the present time she even says that she believes Eren has the strength to overcome the world’s issues and bring hope to mankind–an even stronger parallel between her situation and all of walldia.
Heck, it certainly isn’t a coincidence either that, during ch 14, primordial desire, aka humanities first ever victory against oppression and the first climax of the story, Eren flashes back to that very moment
On one hand it sets up other humans, aka Marley as antagonists, who’re oppressing Paradis due to the blood flowing through its inhabitants. At the same time, it redraws all the parallels mentioned beforehand by straight up comparing humanities struggle to that struggle in the woods.
These two panels really affirm everything I mentioned above–Mikasa’s “origin story” is it’s own microcosm that foretells the entire core struggle of the series: Eldians seeking freedom from oppression. And the fact that such an early scene remains a total metaphor to the story even 90 chapters and a ton of plot twists and revelations later, just goes to show how much of a thought out story attack on titan has been for the longest time.
one of my favourite little adventure time things is that finn and jake are allowed to be affectionate with each other, to display those softer emotions.
lotsa media has brothers (and boys/men in general) being aggressive to each other, always fighting and even if they get on, they act like they don’t? because media portrays showing emotions (particularly kind hearted ones, and even sadder ones (everything besides a limited spectrum of anger)) as being “un masculine”
but finn and jake are much more real. they show those softer sides, especially at moments when they would be shown as tough and brave and above all manly if this were any other show.
they hold hands when they’re scared, they tell each other they love each other in moments of great peril. god, that moment in “hall of egress” when finn decides he has to go it alone, and he kisses jake’s sleeping head. that is one of the sweetest, heartfelt moments in the whole series.
Anonymous said: what were your thoughts on holly blue?
I’ll keep the introduction short for this post. Holly Blue is the second Homeworld character introduced affiliated with Homeworld and a specific Diamond. The first character was Peridot. While the Rubies openly talk about their service to Yellow Diamond, they don’t share the deep investment that Holly Blue and Peridot have shown in the story.
It’s interesting looking at her character knowing what we do about Peridot now. So let’s get right into it!
1. Gem Placement
Anonymous said: What do you suppose Holly Blue Agate’s gem placement (the back of her head, at the base of her skull) symbolizes?
Going by anatomy, the back of the skull is where the occipital lobe of the brain is located. The occipital lobe functions not necessarily to let us see, but to help us make sense of what we’re seeing. That is, the occipital lobe helps us interpret and comprehend the images that our eyes are looking at.
And to me, there’s something interesting about every single moment we get to see Holly Blue’s gem in Gem Heist, when she’s first introduced. In those moments, she sees the CGs just as they’re doing something they’re not supposed to do, and each time, she misinterprets what happens and they don’t get caught.
The very first time we see her gem is when the CGs just arrive and try to convince the Amethysts of their credibility. That Sapphire isn’t a “disgraced” Homeworld defector and that she’s the leader of the entire operation bringing a new human for Blue Diamond’s Zoo. Holly Blue buys into this narrative completely and leads them exactly where they want to go.
The second time is immediately after Pearl is ordered to open the first door. Pearl makes a very un-Pearl face at Holly, who, with back turned, ignores it unknowingly, saving Pearl and Sapphire what could have been a heated questioning.
The third time, she and Sapphire walk in on the other CGs trying to destroy the door. And they look so obviously guilty, but Holly blames it on the Amethysts instead.
Close to the end of the episode, we have one more shot of her gem as the Amethysts take Steven away and he’s very loudly resisting. We know that’s a sign of the upturn that Steven causes later on, but Holly interprets it as a sign that things are running smoothly and going to be fine.
Note that none of these circumstances immediately signal to Holly that things are going wrong. The Zoo is a far off outpost that has been very low-key. Working there must be very quiet, save the occasional visit from BD. Holly wouldn’t be expecting trouble and that tinges the way she processes what goes on around her.
I’d say on a normal day, the Famethyst pulls a few pranks, Holly makes them clean up and then they train for a while. Holly goes around inspecting everything. And it’s boring. So when a noble gem shows up, Holly wants things to be the best they can be.
It’s a point in how our contexts tinge how we interpret what our senses tell us. In experiencing the world, there is definitely going to be an element of subjectivity. No two people experience the same scenario the same way because just from a physical standpoint, they’re never really in the same place at the same time.
I think this is especially true for Holly. Her gem, which I’ve mentioned before gives us an idea of how gems interact with the world, is behind her. That means she wants to be on top of everything, but she doesn’t face things directly when interacting with them. She’s always just a little bit behind on what’s going on.
Additionally, we’ve already seen a discrepancy between what she sees and what she makes of it. It implies that she’s out of touch with what’s happening on the ground. Extending it further, she’s a bit out of touch with herself. Functioning at her best, I’d say she’d be very perceptive. But that “gut feeling” has to be cultivated.
And being out of touch is a very real phenomenon. Holly is in the middle of nowhere. She doesn’t get to interact with a lot of gems and the gems she does interact with are ones she’s been with for thousands of years from very early on in their lives.
I’d say that she’s amazing at telling what the Famethyst are up to. She’s always suspicious of them, and that’s maybe because they’ve given her a reason to believe something is always brewing. If the mischievous character of our own Amethyst is anything to go by, poking fun at Holly’s uptight nature is something they’d be doing very frequently, even before the CGs came.
Holly can probably tell what the Famethyst are plotting even at a glance. She’s attuned to them, whether she wants to be or not. And that leads to the next point.
When something bothered me, I didn’t talk with anyone about it. I thought it over all by myself, came to a conclusion, and took action alone. Not that I really felt lonely. I thought that’s just the way things are. Human beings, in the final analysis, have to survive on their own.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a theory or analysis post and I just wanted to kinda jot this down while I was thinking about it because I’ve been amused at the amount of surprise there is with the current arc and how it’s played out so far.
It is my hope that this will finally disprove the popular theory that humans are ‘just filler’ and not important to the plot, because as we’ve been seeing lately, they are more involved in what’s going on. It’s been a bit disheartening to see so many people assuming that the gems are the only characters who matter on Steven Universe, even after all the emphasis from the crew - and from the actual in-episode content - that the humans are important in Steven’s story.
So, why are they important? Well, I have a huge long potential theory write up for how the humans will ultimately lead to the salvation of not only earth but gems as well (granted as a joint effort), but this is not the time or place for that. Instead I’m going to talk a bit about Lars.
Rose talked about how important and special being human is, and many other gems - including Peridot - have made note of how unusual the earth is compared to the other planets/colonies they have. The fact that things grow and change is baffling to gems. Not to mention that humans are impervious to a lot of the technology specifically meant to deal with other gems, so it seems like humans would have an advantage in that respect (as shown with Lars in the recent episodes)
Another thing I’m hoping this brings up to people is that a lot of the blatant plant symbolism has been in the show for a long time - not surprising given that Rose’s magic was related to plants - and I don’t see a lot of discussion about.
Take Lars for example. When his full name was revealed, a lot of people fixated on the “tears of love” meaning, which is valid, but I remember also being fascinated that it’s also a french surname/placename that means “canopy of leafy boughs”, specifically because of the inherent plant symbolism with Lars.
Going back all the way to “Lars and the Cool Kids”, they have drawn comparisons between Lars and plants. In that episode, it was specifically comparing him to Rose’s moss. I feel this episode was also the strongest foreshadowing for the events of the most recent set of episodes.
To recap, they encounter a type of moss that Rose created that was aggressively growing over/consuming things. The moss is characterized as ugly and rather pointless, but as we see, it actually has a lot of potential that just needs the right circumstances to be seen.
Steven himself compares Lars to the moss in his angry rant about his mother “I know she saw beauty in everything. Even in stuff like this (the moss) and even in jerks like you”. Direct comparison between Lars and the plant in question. Also note that in this episode, Lars is wearing green, which is frequent in his colour scheme. There is an entire green/pink shift (or in a general sense a cool colour/warm colour shift) going on with Lars at various points in the show that seemed to implicate something deliberate.
At the end of this episode, Lars chooses to help Steven rescue the cool kids and yet he is ‘consumed’ by the moss. This is analogous to dying, as the rest of the scene has ‘rebirth’ tones, with the moss not just changing slightly… but turning from GREEN MOSS into PINK FLOWERS as it reaches the true potential that it’s been struggling toward since the beginning of the episode.
It’s hard to not see the comparisons between the moss and Lars in these latest episodes, right down to the change in colour scheme.
There have been several other instances of the colour/tone shift with Lars, specifically when he’s in ‘neutral’ position/presentation, he tends to be wearing purple(as with the Big Donut uniform), while when he’s displaying ‘negative’ behaviours he tends to be wearing darks or cools (blacks, greens and sometimes dark blues). After Steven takes over his body in “The New Lars” and he makes an effort to change his behaviour, he is more often seen in the warmer tones (like the pink shirt)
As a note: Ronaldo also has a similar colour/tone shift with various circumstances going on, something I wish to address again in more detail in another post as I feel both that and the plant (and general) symbolism with Ronaldo are also strong.
To sum it up: I really think the entire thing with Lars has been telegraphed for some time and that several of the other humans have also had telegraphed arcs moving forward. I think we’re going to see a lot more of that coming into play in the future.
Hopefully this will also lead to a greater respect and understanding of the human characters on the show.
This is basically a very small examination of my favorite Marvel character, Tony Stark, based on this post.
Tony Stark has always been a very dynamic character. He’s the confident, suave, genius, billionare, playboy, philanthropist wearing the badass metal suit. His sassiness, wise-cracking, and attitude are familiar and entertaining. To me, he can be downright lovable. I can see why he’s not a favorite to some. The narcissism, the unprofessionalism, the immaturity, the condescending remarks. But I’m not really writing this to recruit Tony Stark fans. This is more of an analysis (especially on his PTSD, like the post linked above) that I hope will deepen the already-existent appreciation of his character. Keep in mind that I STILL haven’t seen Age of Ultron or Captain America: Civil War please. Occasional ranting will occur, so I apologize in advance.
CAN WE PLEASE JUST ACKNOWLEDGE HOW MUCH PAIN THIS MAN HAS GONE THROUGH?
Just to start, both of Tony’s parents were murdered.
Fast forward a couple decades, Tony gets kidnapped by FREAKIN TERRORISTS! During the kidnapping, he witnesses the violent death of young American soldiers and gets hit by shrapnel. Then he’s taken back to the terrorist base, has an incredibly painful crack surgery done on his chest with no anesthesia, until he’s not knocked out with what looks like chloroform. Then he wakes up with a chunk of metal surgically attached to his chest and is obviously freaking out before that scene ends (I mean I would too, I would think I’d been fuckin cyborged!). AND he can’t take it out or he’ll die. He’s kept in captivity with those terrorists for 3 WHOLE MONTHS, and is even subjected to water torture on one occasion.
When Tony escapes from the terrorist compound, his only friend and ally in those 3 months of captivity is killed.
Tony’s mentor, business partner, and friend, who had been in his life since he was a child, reveals he’s been using Tony as a “golden goose”, and had arranged for him to be kidnapped and killed by the terrorists. I mean, THAT BETRAYAL. Then the guy tries to kill Tony again, multiple times.
THEN, Tony is literally dying. I mean he’s actually dying. He’s slowly being poisoned from the inside-out by the electromagnet in his chest, which he can’t remove or he’ll die. So he’s basically got a terminal illness (of which he luckily cures HIMSELF later).
While being a part of the Avengers, Tony flies a nuke into a wormhole to space to save millions of lives, while under the belief that he won’t make it back before the wormhole closes. He loses consciousness believing that he will die alone, in the empty nothingness of space.
Fast forward again, and Tony has PTSD. Like full-on flashbacks and crippling panic attacks. And just to top it off, he gets ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING SYMPATHY FROM ANYONE, not even from his best friend or girlfriend. Even Bruce fucking Banner falls asleep while Tony is telling him his story. FOR REAL?
Aaaaand his home is destroyed and falls into the ocean, with him underwater trying to hold it up. I’m sure that does wonders for his PTSD.
Every superhero has been through their fair share of tragedy, I’m not denying that in the slightest. But I think people (even his own fans) forget just how much trauma Stark has experienced. It’s easy to; Tony Stark covers up so much with narcissism, wise-cracks, and attitude.
Frankly the only times Stark really shows that he has some strictly mental issues to work through are during Iron Man 3.
If you had first met Tony Stark right before The Avengers, you would never guess he’d been held captive by terrorists for three months (something for which I am shocked he doesn’t have PTSD) and had suffered through and survived a terminal illness. His personality wouldn’t allow you to even consider that. He effectively covers it up will rebellious antics and jokes and immaturity.
But we know what’s happened to him. We’ve seen it. We’ve watched the movies. We have witnessed his traumatic experiences firsthand.
So when it comes to Iron Man 3, it’s always a surprise when I see some of his fans, y’know, hating on him for being…
A GODDAMN HUMAN BEING.
Iron Man 3 comes along and so many of his fans are so confused and annoyed with his obvious emotional and mental issues, and I’m just sitting here like, “Honestly, I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner.” For real, this guy has been through SOmuch, and some people in the audience and even in the movie itself don’t give half of a fuck about his mental state. He has PTSD and people are sitting there being disappointed that he didn’t wear the suit enough. WHICH WAS KIND THE THEME OF THE MOVIE. Sorry, ranting, ranting…
With all the trauma in his life, it’s honestly a miracle that it’s taken him four movies to finally experience any sort of mental struggle, and he gets very little understanding from the characters alongside him and the audience (even when it’s full of his fans). It’s more than a little disappointing and sad that such a large number of people are so unreceptive to his problems, especially when it seems very obvious why he possesses them.
Iron Man is a superhero, but Tony Stark said it himself: “I am Iron Man.” You can’t separate the two. Without Stark, Iron Man won’t exist. Stark is the one who willingly put his life on the line to fly a nuke into a wormhole to save the lives of millions. Tony Stark is a human being, with human problems, a human brain, and human emotions. He’s not perfect. He’s human, and I think the very least his fans can do is judge him as such.
I’ve been mulling this song over since I’d first heard it. For one, it confirms a lot of things about Homeworld and the Diamonds that I’ve been harping on for a while now. But this post isn’t a sermon about how to sympathise with the Diamonds better. I’m not too big a fan of that perspective. Rather, it’s the power that we receive when we empathise with them.
The thing about the Diamonds is that they’re all powerful, huge, and “human.” They err and have feelings, not necessarily in that order. So when they irrationally do something that hurts a lot of individuals and even entire planets, the answer isn’t to excuse them because “they’re sad.” The answer is to reach out to them in a way they understand so that they don’t do it again, and more appropriate to our context, make amends.
Because the two very polar sides of “forgive” and “punish” aren’t constructive. To side with either doesn’t do justice to the people and gems who’ve already been lost or still are losing. It doesn’t make things better for anyone.
This post will analyse the perspective Homeworld has of Earth and human beings. At the same time, the song reveals a lot about how gems view themselves and one another. I’ll round it up with how PD’s death impacted both Blue and Yellow Diamond and how their respective coping strategies led to the way things are now. And I’ll speculate on the immediate future of Earth in that regard.
So let’s get to it!
1. The song implies a falling-out among the Diamonds before PD’s shattering
Why would you want to be here? What do you ever see here That doesn’t make you feel worse than you do? And tell me, what’s the use of feeling, Blue?
When the Steven Bomb opens in Steven’s Dream, we get a rare moment of hearing Blue’s thoughts. Bent over PD’s palanquin, she expresses deep regret. She says, “If only I had done more.”
We know that Blue is sad over PD’s death. And we know from the first verse that visiting anything related to PD makes both surviving Diamonds uncomfortable. But we can find, within the lyrics, something specific about why instead of just sad, regret is interspersed in their mourning of PD.
In sharp contrast to Blue’s lament of wanting to do more, later on in the song, YD says, “Now there’s nothing we can do.” That implies at one point in time, the Diamonds were in a position to do something that could have prevented PD’s shattering. And they didn’t do it.
I want to bring back one of my older posts regarding the circumstances of PD’s shattering. In it, I mention that there’s been some sort of historical scrubbing of PD’s memory from Homeworld, such that only older gems are aware of her or feel any affinity for her. The Great Diamond Authority Logo, colour schemes, and even gem factions show no sign of PD’s ever existing, when this wasn’t the case for older structures on Earth.
But in a slightly contradictory manner, we know the truth to be the opposite. The Diamonds didn’t take PD out of Homeworld’s memory because of the fight. Rather, they erased her because it hurt them personally to be reminded of her existence.
When we look at the circumstances of their argument, there are a few theories I can posit. The main one being this: PD had an unconventional relationship with her Earth gems. I say this because now we have two Homeworld “subordinates” as examples in contrast.
I brought up before that Jasper felt a deep personalaffinity for PD. And this may be even without having met her personally, even with the possibility of her being created after PD was shattered. On the other hand, Peridot and Holly Blue talk about their Diamonds with a sense of detachment. There is a great divide that Peridot puts between herself and YD. YD is perfect; she is not. YD is the most objective; that is what she aims to be. YD is a great decider; she was there to reaffirm the logic of the former’s decisions.
It’s much the same for Holly Blue. BD decides to maintain the zoo; she is grateful for the opportunity to serve. BD is arriving; she wants to assure a pleasant visit for her.
In both these cases the gems don’t feel like they’re coerced into serving their Diamonds. They openly acknowledge that because their Diamonds are superior in different (and at times all) aspects, they’re worth following. It’s very similar to idolising someone and hoping they’d mentor you, or even that you could contribute to their cause in some way. This cause being the betterment of Homeworld.
Most prevalent galra ears (from the flashback episode. Zarkon’s ears are also like this but I can’t get a profile shot):
(Ezor also has this type of ears despite not being fully galra, although her lobes may be slightly longer than full galra)
Half galra half altean ears:
Lotor’s ears seem to be an even mix of altean ears and prevalent galra ears. The top part is more angular and slightly longer than altean ears and, though he doesn’t have the elongated lobes of the galra ears, his lobes do seem significantly different to the alteans- more pronounced and squared.
I don’t know if these are deliberate design choices but I’d like to think they are and the vld crew is as nitpicky about design as I am.
If they are deliberate, I can’t help but wonder about Acxa:
Her ears look even less galra than Lotor’s, with the top part almost identical in shape and length to altean ears. The difference is with the lobe, where Acxa’s, similarly to Lotor’s, are more pronounced and squared.
This design choice (and her more ~human~ appearance than the other generals) makes me wonder what exactly Acxa’s background is. Combined with her obvious future significance (apparent by her meeting Keith in the weblum and then the time taken to animate his recognition of her) I find myself yet again asking:
i cant believe im only just now finding your blog - a hide enthusiast who has the same opinions about touken as me! instant follow! mind if i ask what you think happened to hide / when (if) he'll come back??
Oh boy, I am so glad you asked me this because I have accumulated A LOT of thoughts over the past three years.
This might turn out a bit long since I usually come up with more stuff the more i type. We’ll see.
So firstly, I don’t think Hide is dead; I actually think it’s pretty unlikely at this point because of the nature of his character and how much we don’t know about him. It would seem like a huge waste of a character to just kill him off; I definitely think he’s been doing something behind the scenes, and I have a few ideas as to what that something may be, but obviously, nothing is certain.
Usually the first thing I look to when I’m theorising about Hide is the play that he was in with Kaneki when they were kids because that play does a great deal of foreshadowing and I think it’s the key to figuring out what happened with Hide and what’s happening with him now.
This is what I understand to be the basic plot of the play: the prince (Kaneki) and the witch’s servant (Hide) are both close friends. The witch’s servant, however, is tricked by the witch into betraying the prince because he is made to believe that doing so will help the prince. The end of the play has the witch’s servant asking the prince for forgiveness. The prince says he will forgive him as long as he promises to stay by his side and the witch’s servant agrees.
Now, a lot of what I get when I talk about this is the disbelief that Hide would betray Kaneki, but I think, like it says in the play, he may have either been tricked into it or thought it was best for Kaneki or a combination of the two.
The most likely explanation I can give that seems to match up with the plot of the play involves the theory about Hide making a deal with Arima to take Kaneki into the CCG. I’m sure you’ve probably heard of this theory, so I won’t go into too much detail, but it basically involves the idea that Hide may have had a discussion with Arima regarding Kaneki wherein he managed to convince him that Kaneki was worth keeping alive. Hence why he said this to Kaneki:
If Kaneki could prove to Arima that he was useful, then Arima would take him in and that is how Haise would come about. That also might explain the awkward cheek scratching that Hide did in the sewers when he was telling Kaneki that he wanted to help him.
He was, effectively, leading Kaneki to his death, so that might explain the betrayal aspect, since Hide may have thought that by doing this, he was doing what was best for Kaneki by allowing him to live. We’re obviously yet to reach the part where Hide asks Kaneki to forgive him, but in my opinion, that gives us something to look forward to, hopefully following the direction of the play where the two of them join together to fight on the same side.
That does leave the witch out of the explanation though, and that’s kind of where I’m stuck. The only character that’s really been shown with witch imagery is Eto, and she doesn’t seem to tie into this theory as it is, but maybe by making this deal with Arima, it would aid her in getting Kaneki to be the one-eyed King? That’s the only thing I could see her wanting from Hide at the moment, and maybe she saw his usefulness when he went to get that book signed for Kaneki.
I also want to address the Scarecrow theory since that seems to be the favourite recently. I think it’s definitely plausible, considering Scarecrow’s injuries and the fact that he’s only a C-rank and we’ve never seen him with a kagune before but that’s all we really have to go off of so far so I can’t really say much about it besides the fact that I think it’s plausible (and that Scarecrow’s mask certainly seems very Hide-ish with that face drawn on it.)
If Scarecrow is Hide, then that would explain why he saved Amon and how Amon seemed to recognise him. Maybe he needed Amon for something since he didn’t seem to go after Seidou. Maybe for something he’s been planning behind the scenes? Scarecrow seems to be doing a lot of snooping around; something Hide is certainly known for, and I’ve seen some say that he may be forming his own organisation or perhaps has joined one, but I feel as though Hide would work more on the down low than that. Joining or forming an organisation brings too much attention to himself; Hide seems like the kind of person who would rather snoop around my himself, or with a couple of aids by his side, which is also what I think Marude may be up to.
Marude came to trust Hide more when he joined the CCG and he saw his potential. Hide even seems to have shared his knowledge about the Washuu with him and he must look up to Marude since he’s proven to be very sharp as well; a characteristic that Hide, no doubt, values greatly in a person and would most likely cause him to look up to them. Perhaps Hide sought out Marude when he defected from the CCG? Marude’s off on his own snooping around too, and now that he knows the Washuu’s secret, I think that gives him even more ties and incentive to be working together with Hide.
There is one thing I particularly want to know though; what is Hide up to? I have no clue what his goal may be at this point; everything he’s done so far in the series seems to be driven by the idea of Kaneki and keeping him safe and protecting him, so perhaps whatever he’s doing is really for Kaneki but he’s managed to manipulate his goals in such a way to convince others to aid him (such as Marude, or Amon potentially.) In the end, I’m just waiting for him to come back so Ishida can answer all the other questions we have about Hide; where he’s been, what happened in the sewers, what he’s been doing all this time, what his true intentions are, but perhaps most of all, who is he? Because we still really don’t know even that.
As for when he’s coming back, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s some time soon, perhaps around chapter 136 since that’s the chapter where Hide had his reunion with Kaneki in the sewers and Ishida seems to like his parallels. I can only hope the outcome is more positive this time and ends with them staying together rather than being torn apart again; it hurts me to see them apart from each other for so long after being each other’s only support for most of their lives.
The idea that Gen is actually a human, not an ajin, is something I’ve been pushing for a while. I wrote the original post in may last year, but that original post is pretty out of date. There’s a surprising amount of evidence for what was originally a crack fan theory, so under the cut I’ll jump right in and go over it all.
Keep in mind this is long and image heavy, since I tried to include all the evidence.
OK I know I said I wanted to keep reading more than I wanted to flip out on tumblr rn, but fuck it.
Worm is a good story, it’s a great story - but even more than that, it’s effective.
[Cut for moderate spoilers regarding Taylor’s characterization, and the overall worldbuilding. Also, vague discussion of general people-being-horrible sorts of things, but… yeah, this is Worm I’m rambling about here.]
This week's big debate seems to be about Cas and humanity. I've read posts that are both excited and upset about how it seems like Cas is eventually going to choose to become human. I was wondering if you had any insight into whether that's a good thing or a bad thing for him, or if he should choose to stay an angel.
Heya! :) I am going to answer this to the best of my ability which is a liiittle bit loopy and over-tired today :P
But yeah I have been scrolling my dash and I am not dead yet so I have seen this discussion going on :D I sort of feel like I haven’t got much to say about it in a way that I haven’t said/agreed with before (so it’s been redundant to weigh in), but like… riiiight back when I was a Fandom Newbie and getting to know the lay of the land and I just got absorbed right into the general fandom consensus at that time among the groups of meta writers I glommed onto…
I mean, because I showed up after 9x18, and then though of course I was around for the following episodes I really started the whole circus of new episode reactions along with everyone, with season 10… between tearing apart the Cas stuff in 9x18 and then the Cas and Hannah stuff in 10x01-3 it just seemed really really obvious where Carver was going with it, and what it meant to Cas? And I mean okay this was 3 (4?) years ago but I also feel like with Cas’s development getting stalled over and over and over except in tangential ways, this was all put on ice like 3 times over before he even got possessed by Lucifer, so the MAJOR work on this was between the last minutes of 8x23 and 10x18 and even then that’s the STORYTELLING of it, and of course Cas himself puts the whole thing on ice as something he has the luxury to think about in 9x09. (Except for the one peanut butter and jelly conversation.)
So in 9x18 the MAJOR thing is that the lyrics “loneliness is a coat you wear” are laid over Cas taking off the coat to mend it (although that’s left out so it’s more like… he takes it off to gather his thoughts on what he’s going to do next, which is even more symbolic and useless in a practical way of why he does it). He then puts the coat back on to greet his army… And in a few episodes Metatron does the “draped yourself in the flag of Heaven” thing, which when 9x18 is all about the subtext and telling us to pay attention, I find a very very straight line to what that meant about him doing similar to 12x19 - using Heaven but not wanting Heaven, and never mind his motivation with Dean (and that being what changes his mind and makes him play Metatron’s game), the way it portrays Heaven as an obligation and a duty to help, but with a loneliness that comes from wearing that coat. He’s walking out into a parking lot full of angels but the lyrics are screaming that he’s without love, and lonely, and the end of the season confirms these choices were the reason.
And in season 10 it gets more personal, and we have Hannah as a counter example. With Daniel in 10x01 who wants to stay on earth and gets what that’s all about we see Cas empathising, but at the end of the episode he goes way deeper than that, talking about human things that upset and startle Hannah. She literally drapes the flag of Heaven over him in 10x02 and smooths it down and accidentally reveals that the plaid of Winchesters is underneath the collar all along, and Cas is sleeping and acting more and more human while sick. She wants to give him his grace back to stop this and he resists… Out of penance and lack of self-worth and knowing he did a heinous thing to steal grace in the first place (again, for Dean, not just to be an angel again but because he needed to survive to warn him about Ezekiel). But symbolically she is trying to make him take the grace and be an angel. Be a leader, the angel the others will rally behind and follow. She represents how all of Heaven feels about him (and 12x19 and 12x15 cover similar ground in what Kelvin says about Cas).
But also in 10x07 it goes deeper with how she feels about humanity - that the human things are forbidden, that love and enjoying sensual pleasures like showers are just *wrong* for angels to experience. She rejects human things entirely as stuff that’s not for her, and nopes out hard. And she is symbolic of angels in general, of Heaven’s desires and feelings in general when she asks him to be a leader.
This is the sort of pressure - innocent of malice but FULL of lack of understanding - that is at odds with what Cas FEELS which is full empathy to wanting to be on earth… an actual understanding and feeling for these human things. He’s in his own body without a shared vessel as 10x09 goes on to confirm, which means he has none of the conflict Hannah does there, and 10x09 paints quite a picture of Cas as wildly unlike all the angels in this way, because it confirms for once and for all he’s alone in there and the Jimmy issue is resolved.
To quickly skip ahead on this side of things, 12x10 shows the same thing but dialled up to a zillion. Instead of Hannah standing in for a clueless family that doesn’t understand and can’t empathise with the different feelings and sense of belonging Cas has, but is still mostly harmless if accidentally intolerant and stifling with their expectations and demands, we have Ishim, who stands in for the worst sort of family experience with intolerance. He’s also in love with a human and that’s the metaphor for violent, self-loathing homophobia I guess, as he kills Lily’s daughter to emotionally sever himself from her, to no avail, and tries to kill Cas for having the same “weakness”. Lashing out with hatred because of the internalised feelings of crossing a taboo line that their society has turned into a harsh rule. Supposedly good reasons are offered with the nephilim thing, but obviously Cas and Dean aren’t gonna have a baby any time soon, so the metaphor unfolds itself as queer through and through once Ishim turns on Dean.
And to walk aaaall the way back DOWN canon, I’m stalled in my rewatch in 4x10 at Anna pacing around talking about how she did the worst thing imaginable and cut out her grace and fell. 4x10 is the first episode to actually explore the nature of angels and lays down some ground rules, like that sex and disobedience are forbidden.
ANNA Orders are orders. I’m sure I have a death sentence on my head.
ANNA I disobeyed… which, for us, is about the worst thing you can do. I fell.
PAMELA She fell to earth, became human.
(I have the transcript open and scrolled down to that part in a tab and have for months… CBA to go find her talking about sex later but I think we all know the stuff she says)
That “worst thing you can do” line feels to me like with retcons from 12x10, that the “sacred oath” may be any sort of angel to human dalliance or connection or desire to BE and to be FREE. The same thing Hannah nopes out of in 10x07 is what Anna had to tear out her grace to experience. Anna having to take her grace back to survive is tragic, especially as it puts her right in the vulnerable firing line of Naomi’s reprogramming. This metaphor is SO much worse with Anna than even Cas, as it’s so simple about her returning to her family as an angel again after making a break to be free and live as a human like she wants, then to be tortured back to the family line and pure obedience, to her eventual death as an unrecognisable killer, a la Cas in 8x17. But without the sympathetic inside view and long arc to explain it or the narrative having any interest in saving her >.> (Hi, I like Anna and am bitter about that whole thing 5eva :P)
Cas in 9x09 also takes back a grace to survive (and this whole arc brings in the clear concept that has been on the backburner since Anna of grace and consciousness as 2 separate things, and grace to an angel being more of its power than its mind, though functionally they seem one and the same when nothing hinky is going on - something else important for human endgame as well as showing ways of removing grace without falling and turning into a human baby)… Again like Anna Cas has little choice when he takes the grace back. He was happy to die human until he learned Sam and Dean were in trouble, and made a horrific choice to help them by stealing grace. After that getting his real grace seemed like the only way to fix him dying of his actions, though he seemed happy to again, the story had other ideas :P (And Mittens wrote something on how Cas has “let himself die” in the way he didn’t in 10x18, where he has to pass through death for change and reaping the character benefits of transitions. (Flyingfish1′s heroine journey meta also comes to mind). Of course by not letting himself die, he’s trapped in the 10x18 > 12x19 holding pattern on his entire life and personal arcs except the ever-worsening depression and self-worth arcs that spring up in the meantime, and the belonging one.)
Anyway it’s all connected, these angels with their connections to humanity, either what they really really want and are denied by fate, or by fate end up experiencing, and really really don’t want. Or in Ishim’s case he really wanted and then because of being an example of a total tool representing institutional prejudices, decided murder was the best way out of his brush with feeling human things. And they all tell us things about Cas from different angles, with different angels (sorry. wordplay was right there.) The long and short of it is that Cas is supposed to be one of those marble statues with no doubts (in 4x10 - *buzzer noise* WRONG *points at 4x07 and “I have doubts”) or that human things are not for them (*points at Cas even bringing up the subject and confusing Hannah about why you’d want to learn them and horrified that Cas seemed to have picked up human cooties by admiring these qualities in the first place*) or indeed that angels in general are massively intolerant to humans and from start to finish it’s a death penalty offence to get tangled up with them or want to be/be one of them. (I know 12x10 is more applicable to the Destiel side of things but the general message about Heaven’s intolerance with “humanity” instead of queerness with all the other examples makes a lot of sense to me.)
Actually I’ve seen the argument a lot that this debate is metaphorical to the trans experience for Cas changing species, even more than the interspecies romance parallel to sexuality metaphors, and I think it is fairly simple to me that this is part of the general queer metaphor applied to Cas as something the angels are intolerant of. 12x10 threw in the Benjamin stuff too and made it a little angel gender studies thing (which Hannah also helped with in 10x17 by reprising her “totally in love with Cas” look in a male vessel and not giving a crap about the change). With Benjamin they said that the angel Cas was closest to there was the one who had a ….. friendship ….. with his vessel. So there’s a lot going on there between that and the “his vessel is a woman, benjamin is an angel” thing) :P
I think, anyway, Anna wanting to be human and getting disowned on pain of death and having to become an angel again, and even then being hunted for daring to not be an angel once, is the closest parallel to what Cas faces. Especially for internalised ideas he had at the time and hadn’t got to unlearn until he was a human.
And I think, additionally to that, he may not have even realised that being human even answered his feeling of not belonging or being different until AFTER it happened. Like, Metatron forced it on him too soon and then everything was non-stop awful and then suddenly he’s had to get grace again (and heading for that flag of heaven metaphor), and only then he gets to reflect on what it felt like, by way of being an angel again looking back on it. It was so brutal and short that he never got a chance to appreciate being human at the time in a way where it would explain to him what he lacks.
By 10x18 he has the family dinner and he takes his coat off for it. Heaven has rejected him, he’s seemingly chosen the Winchesters again, and got his grace back, but he has to go back to the grind, and he doesn’t change his wardrobe, he keeps the coat which is basically performative angel-ness with Winchester plaid underneath.
(Actually about the only time I can think of that angel-ness is used as the queer metaphor and not the other way around is in 9x06 when Cas is playing cis straight human to Nora and Dean shows up yelling about him being an angel at his workplace… I think that’s a very circumstantial metaphor which is more about delightfully queercoding the entire thing than a wider statement… After all, contained within a season where the main arc for Cas is leading a heaven army thing, and ending in “i just want to be an angel” in utter, tragic defeat on the emotional battlefield. Absolutely NOT a statement on what would make Cas feel HAPPY, just useful and numb, per 10x03 and what he says about human pain and how revealing those lines are side by side about what Cas is feeling and how angel is he REALLY, like, deep down in his too-big heart where it matters)
But yeah he just keeps on going after 10x18 and this all kinda drops away, so I think until season 12 basically nothing was really done to mess around with this concept again in a substantial, meaningful way aside from attack dog and similar arcs tangential to this and more about Cas’s state of mind in general (as the same conflict can be applied to Dean when human). It has become more about Cas belonging in the Winchesters as the main thing - 12x19 has Cas being way more upfront about using Kelvin to his face, that he’s only going along with it because his old connections to Heaven are useful, as well as shining a massive spotlight on Cas considering himself a guardian angel as a bad bad thing, which is actively damaging his beloved family relationships and especially upsetting Dean. He would rather protect them from afar, and I think long-term Cas ending up with the Winchesters but as an angel would always be somewhat prone to that sort of thought in an emergency that as a more powerful being he would have to protect them, and a sense of not belonging entirely as another species that can’t quiiite relate no matter how different he is and how much more kinship he feels with humanity even as an angel. I can’t see that as a happy ending, and since 12x19 it feels rather more like it would be not finishing a plotline that is not JUST about this relationship but using it to move the piece on the board about Cas’s human arc forward another step, as his endgame would be not just as human, but also with them, so tying the concepts together isn’t a bad idea, as long as it’s clear this is something in season 9 and 10 Cas came to as a desire without very much contact with them at all, and therefore very much for himself as an understanding of what he is and what he desires.
And, again, I don’t think Cas has great resources for self-reflection on the subject - not just that Metatron had to turn him human briefly to even make him realise he could ever do it, but something like using the belonging with family arc to help speed it along gives him a clear reason and goal for why it works and would feel right for him and to give him the place to self-analyse with motivation. I really don’t like the idea of equating this entirely with Cas’s belonging with the Winchesters arc all on its own, though. It CAN’T just be about that he should be human to be with his human friends/family etc. But I do think that a lot of the work to explain why he identifies with humanity has ALREADY been done and is a solid, existing part of his character already.
In a happy ending even if it all gets told tied up with the Winchesters, I would point to season 9 & 10 to argue that it was not JUST FOR them, but that they were the soft landing for him to make a decision. If he became human he wouldn’t be forcing himself to fit in with them, he would be doing it for himself. I mean, since season 4 he is equated with Anna, protesting loudly he’s nothing like her when even before we meet her he admits to one of the cardinal sins of doubt. He has ALWAYS had a slight leaning towards humanity and clearly described as UNANGELIC traits and feelings. So in this way he’s always FELT different and therefore as it gets expanded and expanded and ends up being a deeply complex metaphor and fascinating way to relate to Cas, it’s clear this is an inherent part of him from the start. The human feelings that Hannah violently nopes out of have been things Cas has tolerated, defined himself by, and felt all along. She’s used to show that Cas hasn’t ever been bothered in the same way, and just uses her leaving as an excuse to delve even deeper into human connections by worrying about Claire, and in the narrative, walking us right into proving he has his own body and no Jimmy, and another way Cas is both unique, and uniquely suited to a human endgame.
I think though that a lot of this is personal and subjective on the arguments going around, and I see this sooo deeply through the old meta I read back in season 9 & 10 which has shaped all my ongoing thoughts I do know I have developed probably my own biases on this. I think Cas would never be happy as an angel in a happy families endgame because the Guardian Angel Cas issue (which was his downfall in season 6, so not a new thing, just re-focused recently) would always play on his mind as it’s shown that he self-sabotages his relationships in order to protect them. I see it like season 4 Sam using his powers to exorcise because it’s an ethical way to get rid of demons quick in a fight without stabbing the innocent meatsuit. In season 5 even knowing aaall the trouble it caused him and that Ruby played off his desire to save people as a GOOD thing to do great evil, he was tempted by the demon blood and regrets/resents not being able to use powers to exorcise the kids. (Obviously before he learns they were all just human all along because that episode is so disturbing >.>)
Even if it went some pretty hinky places (as in the end of season 6 for Cas and the guardian angel mentality, with Crowley as his Ruby, as he uses “i still considered myself the Winchesters’ guardian” as a justification) Sam’s motives were for good originally and he missed the idea of sacrificing his own morality to save people for an objective better good. Cas seeing his powers as making him more powerful, therefore more expendable, less included, and with a personal sense of duty to watch over and protect them, HAVING the powers would only ever be living in temptation to do a 12x19 again. Sam only recovers properly without the powers to tempt him and I feel he’s in a very different place as a person by now… Cas with a human endgame might not get room to grow out of it on screen but by his grace being removed (hopefully and tbh by necessity willingly), he’d have the potential and promise that he would be able to recover in the same way from this toxic mentality. And I consider 12x19 very much doing for Cas and the guardian angel thing what Carver era and 8x01 especially did for the codependency. Just put it all on the table and told us, this is hurting them more than it’s doing good in the world. Let’s look at how it hurts them and why. Let’s aim to fix it and let them move past it.
And even if Cas can start to recover from some broad strokes, like feeling more included, feeling like less of a tool/personal attack dog, he will only have a long term chance at happiness if the temptation is removed at the source, and he will need to UNDERSTAND that too and to vocalise some things about his reasons for watching over them like this LONG before he chooses humanity. And these are very much my personal subjective feelings on why it feels BAD to me that Cas would stay an angel, as it’s right off on another end of the spectrum of why people are arguing they feel bad if he would become human. To me the personal identity stuff right down to complex sexuality and gender metaphors are MAIN TEXT in Cas’s arc due to him being an inherently queer character. The “it feel bad” reaction to me right now is that I feel sad for Cas being an angel around the Winchesters forever because he will always be their guardian angel and that’s BAD for what he WANTS which is just to be a part of the family with no complicated strings attached like his obligation to protect them. So to me I see humanity as the obvious answer to that. But that’s a personal reading of what I hope would happen and why. So my explanation of what I see in the text is one thing and this part is another, if that makes sense?
… I hope any of this makes sense. I apologise for typing so long… I know I said I’ve said it all before but I mean I assume you’re not tag-diving on my blog if you’re just asking me and tbh I wouldn’t know what tag to dive either and they’re *my* tags so I’m not judging ;)
I saw a post with gif and I could help but notice that when Satou points his machete towards Gen and says “I could cut off all your heads,” Gen freezes up in what looks to be fear and Takahashi look towards Gen with a worried expression.
Maybe Satou knew that that threatening the only human on the team would scare them all… Maybe.