lucid stead

linkspooky  asked:

Where do you think Seidou fits into the current Akira + Amon thing? Considering his arc is unresolved with both characters?

If there is anything that has the capacity of revealing the fallacy of their romance, Takizawa’s absence is more than likely it. Whereas many readers take the Amon and Akira relationship as an ostensible parallel to that of Kaneki and Touka, I’ve always seen it as uniquely isolated in various aspects, primarily owing to the gravity of Takizawa’s existence to them.

Amon’s myopic definition of atonement and justice propelled him to seek out Takizawa on Rushima as if to protect himself from his own departure from moral integrity. To succeed in ripping Takizawa from the jaws of complete corruption is to grant himself security in his emptiness, to realize that the light in the world hadn’t faded after all.

With Takizawa now out of sight and Kurona apparently having regained stability, Amon rapidly shifts his attention to Akira instead of chasing after them to speak as he was wont to prior to his arrival at Goat’s hideout. Like Kaneki, he juggles in his hands the lives of the people he believes he should be held responsible for; in an ironic twist, he himself ended up being saved in the lab infiltration mini-arc by the two people he fruitlessly ran around to save for years following his transformation. He can ill afford to relinquish his role as the vigilant martyr, for only in the redemption of his former comrades can he find his own. Of course, that includes Akira.

I think the conversations between Akira and Kaneki as of late are very telling of how she perceives the few she entrusted with as much intimacy as she could allow herself, how this—

—can also be interpreted as a reverberation of her underlying muddled feelings in regard to the contrast between the human “Takizawa Seidou” she was attached to and the ghoul “Owl” he has devolved into. No matter the substance of Takizawa’s thoughts and memories as they may now be, Akira wants to convince herself that such a person can’t be in her future because the investigator as she knew him did not survive the raid mission, the investigator as she knew him was not a homicidal traitor who could desecrate their organization and murder the superior he respected.

However, this is the same Akira that clings steadfast to the name of “First-Class Amon” and moves to kiss him for his words of solace when she most needed to hear them. He sympathizes with her pain. In these moments, Amon is as much a ghoul to her as “Sasaki Haise” was before. That she is a product of her environment notwithstanding, Akira not only views Amon as a vessel in which she must invest her desires, but as a sanctuary from the dissonance of the outside world she is due to face as a result of her interaction with Touka and Hinami.

Despite her scene with Amon, she clearly mentions that her hapless reliance on Haise was born of emotional exigency upon her loss of both Amon and Takizawa. Of the two, Akira establishes the former as the lone safe connection that fulfills her selfish nostalgia because he never scorned her, never pushed her away. But that doesn’t erase her sacrificial act of shielding Takizawa and what she said to him, and the events in this chapter would have no doubt played out differently had he stayed.

What if…back then…I had stopped you?

It might very well have been the guilt talking, but there is a reason for that, why her last memory of him was him turning his back to her and leaving her alone, just as he remembered her doing on countless occasions. They wasted so long walking away in turn from one another without getting anywhere but closer to lost.

What’s uncanny is their identical approach to withdrawing from Goat, the “I’m done with you, so you’re none of my business anymore” rationale as though they’re channeling this sentiment using Kaneki as a conduit. Tragic, how they somehow invent ways to grow further apart even when they are not sharing a space.

While her question is a heavy one that will probably never be answered, if there is a chance, it’s too soon because it demands genuine self-reflection. In fact, I think your theory on the current moon arc folds nicely into the plot with Amon and Akira — they’re ensnared in their recycled delusions, feeding off each other with no one to wake them. Takizawa’s reintroduction would signify the point of divergence into the conceivable death of their fantasy.

The rosary is a relic of Amon’s blissfully ignorant childhood, a chain of penitence originally given to him by Donato. In ridding himself of it, he seems to have forgotten about his old friend, as well as his anger for his foster father; that was him symbolically shifting his burdens onto Takizawa and fettering him to lucid reality in his stead. So Takizawa chose to run from Amon and Akira like an owl deserting its roost because he had made his peace with his identity and purpose, and he could no longer call them “home” insofar as he is to remain what he is. To him, this is the afterlife of his own elaborate construction, liberation from and mockery of his true self to the utmost degree.

Except Takizawa isn’t dead, not really. He’s a wanderer with only his shadow and a prayer for company, and the Oggai are out for the harvest. What with his line from the original series that appeared to foreshadow some sort of involvement with the Clowns (“Shit…I’m definitely on the clown course…”) and his possession of the rosary, I almost expect him to cross paths with Donato, which would inevitably deliver Amon back within grasp. Ideally, his returning the beads to Amon directly would trigger a domino effect of them gaining solemn clarity one at a time.

For Amon, to confront the man who raised and betrayed him is to stop idling and begin to come to terms with the fear and self-contempt that consumed him, to understand that his morals are his own; for all the admiration he has for the people precious to him, their lives, deaths, and salvation are not things he has to shoulder in penance for every child he let die at the orphanage. There is the plausibility that he will succumb to his terror for a while; Amon never figured out how to restrain his berserk state, and if this arc is mirroring the Anteiku raid, it would be satisfying to see a predecessor–successor battle parallel between Juuzou and kakuja-Amon as seen with Shinohara and Yoshimura. He vows to serve as Akira’s guiding light through her darkness, and this is not so much a lie as it is a shade of truth foretelling his role in her epiphany. As the person fueling her illusions, his release is the preeminently necessary step toward hers.

Akira is a capable strategist who can aid in Kaneki’s quest for equilibrium, but she opts to escape, mind thrown into disarray and unwilling to accept her place in the struggle. Violent hatred was her weapon that she doesn’t have anymore, thus she can’t fight, thus she turns to devote all of her being to its sheer opposite — love — at the quickest opportunity. She has yet to comprehend that people are more than simple manifestations of hate, love, emptiness. When she learns that she doesn’t have to lean on Amon for emotional and existential validation, that her heart has always belonged to her, she will be free to pay the same favor to Takizawa, to breach his barrier and pull him from despair: You don’t need me as a reason to live your life, to be who you are. Hero or not, you’re still you even after everything.

Letting go is a three-way process for them. It is also their conclusion. They fall two paces back for every one in defiance of reuniting with their forsaken selves, their sense of self that is an indispensable part of opening their eyes to absolute awareness. Takizawa is the one among them who is most self-determined, therefore the catalyst to get the reaction going. I thoroughly enjoy this trio in spite of this, because of this, because they need each other in order to be free of each other. Once the veil of fog lifts and forces them into sobriety from the corrosive cycle of deceit and self-deception, they’ll be able to see their vital lies for what they were — lies.

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“Lucid Stead”

So dope.  So sad I missed this Phillip K Smith III installation at High Desert Test Sites, one of my favorite art projects in one of my favorite places (Joshua Tree).  Smith took an abandoned 70 year old homesteader cabin and transformed it with mirrors & LED lights to reflect the stunning desert landscape.