Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) is already drafting articles of
impeachment related to Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, believing
there’s enough evidence of Trump’s obstruction of justice to begin an
impeachment inquiry (not to mention Trump’s blatant violation of the
Constitutions emoluments clause by profiting off his presidency, and much else).
But Democratic leaders are pushing back,
warning there aren’t enough facts to justify an impeachment inquiry at this point, and, in any event, such
an inquiry would politicize ongoing
the three previous impeachment inquiries in the House (involving presidents
Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton) rested on less evidence of
obstruction of justice than is already publicly known about Trump.
Comey’s testimony to
Congress is itself more than enough – confirming that Trump demanded Comey’s loyalty, asked Comey to stop investigating Michael Flynn, repeatedly told Comey the FBI investigation was a “cloud” on his presidency, and asked
Comey to declare publicly that Trump wasn’t an object of the investigation
In addition, we have Trump’s interview
with Lester Holt on NBC and Trump’s subsequent meeting with Russian officials
in the Oval Office. In both instances, Trump connected his firing
of Comey with the Russian investigation.
Also bear in mind the
obstructions of justice that caused the House to impeach previous presidents concerned
issues far less serious than Trump’s possible collusion with a foreign power to
Democratic leaders say they don’t want to talk about impeachment now because they’re worried about politicizing the current
congressional investigations, which aren’t impeachment inquiries. Hello? Republicans have already politicized them.
The real reason Democratic leaders don’t want to seek an impeachment now is they know there’s zero
chance that Republicans, who now control both houses of Congress, would support such a move. So why engage in a purely symbolic gesture?
Democratic leaders figure that between now and the
midterm elections there will be even more revelations from non-partisan sources – future testimony by Trump operatives like Michael Flynn and
Roger Stone, early reports from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation,
and leaks to the press – that will build the case, and fuel more public outrage.
That outrage will give Democrats a strong chance of taking back the House and maybe even the Senate. Then they’ll really impeach Trump.
I can’t argue with the
political logic of Democratic leaders. And if their strategy will lead to
Trump’s ouster sooner than any other way, I’m all for it.
But here’s the problem. It’s not clear America can wait for the midterm elections, followed by what’s likely to be a long and drawn-out impeachment investigation, followed by a trial in the Senate. (Note that none of the presidents listed above was ever convicted by the Senate and thrown out of office.)
With each passing day, Donald Trump becomes a greater danger to America and the world. We don’t have time.
The advantage of introducing a bill of impeachment now – even attempting to do so – is that such an action might itself galvanize the vast majority of Americans who want Trump out of office. It could mobilize and energize people around the most important immediate issue facing the country.
Never underestimate the power of a public aroused to action. It is worth recalling that Nixon resigned of his own accord before the House had even voted out an impeachment resolution. The American public demanded it.
Nyx dies among the flames and Lunafreya dies surrounded by water, and isn’t that so fitting for them, all parallels and opposites and filling in the uneven edges of each other, not quite mirrors but inverses––soldier and healer, fighter and diplomat, refugee and princess, the dark of night and the light of the moon.
He goes up in smoke and she vanishes into the dark of the water, and somewhere in the sinking and the floating they find balance, and isn’t that a comfort, that even in their oppositions they draw similar sketchbook lines of their lives, childhoods given over to the war, service sworn to a greater cause, lost in and among and for the fight.
For the future, Regis says; he says, Our hope goes with you now, and they pass that hope along like a baton, the future a promise, and in that, at least––in that, and in death––they are united.
Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849–1921, United States)
Thayer was an American artist and naturalist. A painter of portraits, figures, animals and landscapes, he is best known for his paintings of angels and other mystical subjects.
He enjoyed a certain prominence during his lifetime, and his paintings
are represented in the major American art collections. He is also known
for his work in the field of protective colouration in nature, showing
how patterns on animals and insects provided a camouflaging effect.
In the lore and history of weather witchery, it was common of weather witches to create and sell knotted rope charms to sailors, as it was believed these charms would help enchant the wind in the ship’s favor. These charms were made by venturing to a high-windswept place, and tying certain sailers knots into rope to capture the wind while imbuing them with magick ~ sometimes multiple knots were tied, meant to contain winds of different strengths.
While reading about these wind charms, I was inspired to write a more modern project tutorial on how to make such a charm, though mine will be a touch more decorated! These wind charms can be hung above a porch or in a window to encourage a wind to blow away storm clouds, to represent wind or air in a spell or ritual, to summon a wind (similar to wind whistling), and for any other wind-related uses you might find you need witchcraft-wise.
Thick twine or medium rope of your choice
Dried lemongrass or anise
A branch or piece of alder, oak, or scotch broom
Beads, bells, small bottles, and decorative elements
⌲ Capturing Wind
The first step, of course, is to capture the wind using knot magick ~ The knotted rope will serve as the base of the wind charm. You can begin with a plain rope, or make it thicker or more decorative by braiding or macrame-ing multiple smaller ropes together beforehand. This first step is the longest in the tutorial, as it will take some time to find the right conditions. Traditionally, three single knots are made in a rope ~ But for this tutorial, we are going to be knotting the rope three times, each consisting of more smaller knots, to capture and represent different buildups of wind energy - If you wish, you can replace the knots with different sailors knots, if you know how to do so. Here’s how to do this:
Near the top of the rope (leaving a section of 5-7 inches for hanging, depending on the length you make it), you will knot it 3 times in the same place during a day or in a place where the wind is gentle, like a breeze. As you do this, recite:
Tied of three, knots capture this breeze
Contained by my hand and quelled upon these skies
The gentle air I seize - For my swift magickal disposition
A few inches below the previous knot, near the middle, you will be knotting it 5 times in the same place during a day or in a place where the wind is stronger; not a breeze, yet not a strong wind ~ somewhere in the middle. As you do this, recite:
Tied of five, knots gained of brisk wind
Direct and ardent as I exert its’ energy
With my intent and by my will - Magickally intertwined
Near the end of the rope, leaving a few inches hanging off the end, knot the last one 7 times at the same point during a day or in a place where the wind is strong and powerful, such as during a storm or on a high ground frequented by strong winds. As you do this, recite:
Tied of seven, knotted storms of the heavens
Vigorous and powerful,
Energy of formidable wind - Seals my magick of air
(Feel free to replace my chants with your own)
⌲ Decorating and Imbuing
Step 1. ⌇ Between the first and second knots, and between the second and third knots, we’ll be adding herbs associated specifically with wind magick to keep your charm charged and functional.
In the first empty length of rope, tie a bundle of dried lemongrass or dried anise - both strongly tied to the element of air. Or instead (how I made mine), get a small-ish corked bottle, and add the herbs to the bottle in smaller pieces ~ Attach the bottle into the charm - which I especially enjoy the look of!
In the second empty length of rope below the second knot and above the third, tie in a branch or chunk of alder wood, oak wood, or a bundle of scotch broom. Again, you can break the ingredient(s) into smaller pieces and instead put them into a bottle to attach to the charm if you wish. Both alder and oak were traditionally used in making flutes, whistles, and ‘bullroarers’ for whistling up winds, and scotch broom is used in weather brooms, spells, and charms to call up winds. (Tip: scotch broom is the most connected to weather witchery out of the three, so I suggest finding a place to buy or collect some specially for this charm)
Step 2. ⌇ Now that the magickal materials are on the charm, you can decorate it however you like ~ For mine, I attached colorful glass beads and tiny bells; Other items to use connected to wind and the air element include feathers, ribbons, the colors yellow and white, and bits of shining metal or glass, etc. If you worship a deity tied to the weather, skies, or winds, a figure or symbol of them may be added.
Step 3. ⌇ Once your charm is to your liking, hang it up on a porch or in a window or doorway. On days when you don’t wish to call or whistle the wind to you, remove the charm ~ You can hang it on a wall for decoration when not in use, or just put it in a bag or box until you need it again.
Personal note: The day I finished making mine and went to hang it in the window, I looked out my bedroom window to see a small ‘tornado’ of dust (we get them commonly in the dry seasons out here) quickly form and dispel in the backyard area nearest me!
If you have any questions or comments, you’re welcome to message me. Thank you ♡
This theory was dominant in the US and UK between the 30s and 70s.
A formalist, decontextualised approach to literature where the text is examined independently of other influences.
Explores the essential elements of language, imagery, symbolism, figures of speech, ambiguity, irony, paradox.
Pretty huge span of approaches - for example, within Shakespearean new criticism you had A.C. Bradley’s character-based critique, Harley Granville-Barker’s study of stagecraft, G. Wilson Knight’s exploration of image and theme, and L.C. Knights’ suggestion that Bradley is a douche and Shakespeare was a poet, not a dramatist. (Yeah, fuck you, Knights.)
HISTORICIST CRITICISM, or: “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, DUH”
Funnily enough, this approach believes that historical
context influences interpretation.
Stuff like: religion, political idealism of the time, cultural shifts, social attitudes, war, colonialism (although that’s a whole other bag of cats, see below),
pop culture references and in-jokes,
and anything that might have influenced the text during the era in which it was written.
Within historicist criticism there should be a distinction between text and context; history is the background that the text
Buuuut often this approach reveals more about the critic’s political/social/personal values than the period they are studying. Natch.
LIBERAL HUMANISM, or: “STORIES ARE JUST A REFLECTION OF THE AUTHOR, DUDE”
Popular at the beginning of the 1900s - literature and art are timeless, revealing a universal truth about humanity.
Like, writers are totally free agents whose intentions shape the meaning of their writing, man.
Like, human consciousness shapes language, culture and society, NOT the other way around.
MARXISM, or “WE’RE ALL SLAVES TO THE ECONOMY”
A criticial theory systemised in the 20s, based on the materialist philosophy of Karl Marx (1818-83) and
Friedrich Engels (1820-95) whereby the material circumstances
of life are determining factors in the individual’s experience.
So, like, the economic organisation of society shapes culture,
politics, philosophy, religion, education, law and art.
So, like, fuck liberal humanism; people are shaped by their environment, NOT the other way around. Authors and their works are basically products of society.
These guys believe that art reflects changing economic conditions and class values. There’s a little cross-over with historicist criticism in the approach that literature should be interpreted within the context of the period and its political inflections - often with a focus on the lower classes.
Get yourself familiar with the Marxist concept of ‘ideology’ - a function which ‘naturalises’ the inequalities of power through a complex structure of social perceptions which renders class division invisible.
Yeah. It’s heavy, dude.
STRUCTURALISM, or: “LANGUAGE IS EVERYTHIIIING!”
Based on the linguistic theory of Ferdinand de
The belief that language
shapes humanity, culture, communication, and the way we perceive the world. Yay, go language.
Structuralism was a radical theory during the second half of the 20th
Century whose central argument opposed liberal humanist ideas (Recap: lib-humans reckoned that human consciousness creates language and culture - structuralists reckoned the complete opposite. At this point everyone is basically being completely contrary for the sake of it.)
POST STRUCTURALISM, or “WE’RE SORT OF ON THE FENCE ABOUT LANGUAGE SO JUST GO WITH IT”
A critical theory prominent in France in the 1960s, primarily associated with philosopher Jacques Derrida and critic Roland Barthes - a reaction against structuralism as well as a
development of it. <sigh>
Ok, so this language thing? How about we agree that reality is constituted through language BUT language itself is unstable and beyond our control. Like, language is an unreliable narrator, yeah? Yeahhh.
Essentially, it’s language that speaks, not the author. So let’s call it THE DEATH OF THE AUTHOR because we are needlessly dramatic.
So, like, literary texts don’t present a single or
unified view and the author cannot claim authority on interpretation. (The curtains are blue…)
You can trace a whole thread of critical development here from formalist criticism to structuralism to post-structuralism and later to deconstruction - all of which are concerned with the ambiguity and contradictions within text and language. To make it even more confusing, new historicism (see below) can also be seen as post-structuralist since it places stress on a text’s connection to culture rather than relying on the autonomy of the text itself.
Time for a stiff drink.
NEW HISTORICISM, or “IT’S THE CIIIIRCLE OF LIIIIIIFE - ART AND HISTORY ARE STUCK IN AN INFINITY LOOP”
A term coined by Stephen Greenblatt (Shakespeare-critic-extraordinaire) in the 80s - a reaction against old historicism (where text is a reflection of historical background) and a move away from Marxist and post-structural theories.
New historicism asserts that the text is an active participant in historical development.
So, like, art and literature help to create the cultural values of the period in which they are produced. BUT, we are also formed and tied to cultural ideologies, so it ain’t all about the text.
Involves close reading of the text, taking into account political ideology, social practice, religion, class division and conflict within society.
A pessimistic take on Foucault: the belief that we are ‘remarkably unfree’ of the influence of society and socio-political power operates through the language of major institutions to determine what’s normal and demonise ‘otherness’.
Seriously. Fuck society.
CULTURAL MATERIALISM, or “WE NEED A BRITISH VERSION OF NEW HISTORICISM”
We can’t let the Americans monopolise this kind of criticism.
So consider this: how much freedom of thought do we actually have? Does culture shape our identities or can we think independently of dominant ideologies? Huh? Huh? Are we saying anything new yet?
Basically, a historicist approach to political criticism with a revised conception of the connection between literature and culture.
Culture is a complex, unstable and dynamic creature which offers an opportunity for the radical subversion of power and society.
Unlike historicism or Marxism, cultural materialists believe the author is able to achieve a degree of independence from prevailing structures of power and discourse.
Often demonstrates optimism for political change - once again, critical theory reflects the critic’s personal opinions and hopes for change in present day society. Literary criticism can change the world, man.
Some crossover into feminist/queer/post-colonial theory, because FUCK ALL THOSE OLD WHITE GUYS.
FEMINIST THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICISM FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T CIS/MALE”
Following the women’s movement of the 1960s, feminist theory was established in the 70s and 80s and founded on texts Le Deuxieme Sex by Simone de Beauvoir and Sexual Politics by Kate Millett.
Explicitly political – similarities to new historicism and
cultural materialism - challenging the subordinate position of women in society and deconstructing/contesting the concept of essentialism, whereby men and women have intrinsically separate qualities and natures.
Often seen as an attack on the Western literary canon and the exclusion of female writers throughout history. Focuses on female characters and authors, exploring the influence and restrictions of patriarchy, and constructions of gender, femininity and sexuality (both in text and culture).
Feminists influenced by post-structuralism tend to disregard the positive discrimination of women writers, claiming “it is language that
speaks, not the author.”
Feminism and psychoanalytical theories (esp
Freud and Lacan) contributed to the erosion of liberal humanist ideas, redefining human nature and the concept of child development, and exploring the psychology of patriarchy and male-dominated culture.
GAY/LESBIAN CRITICISM AND QUEER THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICISM FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T CIS/MALE/STRAIGHT”
During the 80s, queer theory was influenced by post-structuralist ideas of identity as being fluid and unstable, and investigates the role of sexual orientation within literary criticism from a social and political viewpoint.
An opposition to homophobia and the privilege of heterosexual culture and an exploration of themes that have been suppressed by conservative critical theory.
A look at LGBQTA, non-binary characters and authors and their influence within a historical, political, religious and social context.
The end of ‘gal-pals’ and ‘no-homo’, fuckboys.
POST COLONIAL THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICAL THEORY FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T WHITE”
A critique on the English canon and colonial rule with a focus on canonical texts written during periods of colonisation.
An exploration of cultural displacement/appropriation and the language and cultural values thrust upon/developed by colonised people.
Post-colonial theory gives voices to colonial ‘subjects’ and looks at the impact on individual and collective identity, as well as the complexity of colonial relationships and interaction.
Gonna have a lot to do with politics, history, social ideology, religion and international/race relations, obvs. Stay woke.
“Excavation of Persepolis (Iran): Throne Hall, Southern Wall, West Jamb of Western Doorway: View of Uppermost Register Picturing Enthroned King Giving Audience under the Winged Symbol with Partly Encircled Figure of Ahuramazda”
With incised images of royal figures in the center with a winged sun disc over the tree of life, all surrounded by repoussé giant serpents with animal heads. The sides and back are decorated with incised figure of worshippers.
5:48 a.m. I woke up to write this.
Actually I woke up to piss. I have to frequently. Too frequently. That was how I discovered I have a congenital
kidney thing that needs surgery. Hope my insurance holds out. Which led me to
think of Paul Ryan, my high school bully. We only overlapped for a semester, but
it was enough. I was a sophomore at Craig High School. Paul was a junior. By
December of that year I would drop out, leave home, and begin fifteen years of
peripatetic living (forty-two moves on sublets, pieces of leases, sun porch
living, attic living). Was he my worst bully? No. Paul was an entitled golden
boy who was part of the ambient hatefulness and ostracism I experienced every
day in my town, Paul’s town, Janesville, Wisconsin. I used to joke that beating
me up was an extracurricular activity at my school. By the time I was making
the joke a decade had passed and while I was out of particular danger, the long
tail of abuse and fear was everywhere evident in my life. I drank to excess and
withdrew from life a lot. I was afraid on the streets and in crowds. I had a
horrible temper and would flare up and lash out at people. I was intermittently
estranged from my family and poor with no permanent address. Paul remains
powerful in my mind because he’s famous––with his Eddie Munster hairline and
Ayn Rand worship–– and when I see his smug face it represents that time as well
as the horrible present in which he rules over people. Since 1999, when Paul
became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, I’ve seen that face again
and again. His rise as a politician was no surprise. He had been Class
President junior year and prom king. He excelled at sports. The Ryans were
among the most entitled families who helped develop Janesville, along with the
Cullens and Fitzgeralds. It was no secret that the so-called Irish Mafia didn’t
appreciate the influence that the General Motors factory had as the town’s
largest employer. I was one of the kids whose dad worked at the factory. Paul’s
father and grandfather were lawyers and his uncle ran a major construction
company. Paul was the kind of bully who encouraged others to do his dirty work.
A test run for what he’s become: the perfect politician, the perfect man of
power. Years later I heard from acquaintances that the year after I’d dropped
out and vanished, Paul and his buddies had t-shirts printed up that said Dunk the Punk aimed at the small
contingent of nerdy dye-haired outsiders just trying to get through. Paul and
his pals strutted the halls in their Dunk
the Punk t-shirts and it was sanctioned by the school, the teachers, and
the principal. That’s what they all do and who they are. Once I sat in the
school superintendent’s office––this was after the suicide attempt but before
the stint in the psyche ward––and he told me “There’s no money for you.” He
thought I was looking for money––a handout––because I had a grievance. I only
wanted an education free from taunts and bullying. I suppose I wanted justice
though I wouldn’t have used that word. Two years later in a hotel room counting
cash, I assure you the word justice had been wiped clean away. Two decades
later eviction notice in hand and all my spoons bent and black, I laughed at
the word. Not that I’m saying there is causation here. But I carry the pain of
that time still. Maybe Paul does too. Maybe that’s why he hates social security
so much. He associates it with his father’s death when he was 17, feeling
helpless. Sure Paul and his family took the social security money––why
shouldn’t they have––but now he doesn’t want other people to get theirs. He
worked at McDonald’s too. These facts are part of his political mythology. But
Paul we’ve all worked at McDonald’s, and not just as teenagers who can use it
as a political anecdote. I worked at one in New York the year I burned my career
and life to the ground and kicked dope. I was 37 then. I’m Lovin’ It. When I think of Paul now, I see some sort of bad
‘80s movie: the preppy, jocky boys in their Izods and boat shoes at home in
their bodies and enjoying the pain of other people because no one is real but
them. It’s a lark. They’re having fun. These malignant forces are everywhere
now. I doubt any of them can imagine what it’s like to carry feelings of
worthlessness and hatred of self and others around for decades. Or maybe they can. But I’m not looking for
common humanity. Not while Paul and his pals figure new ways to make people
suffer. How does it feel having gone to school with the Speaker of the United
States House of Representatives? Terrible but would I ever have said it was
great about anyone? Isn’t that part of this? All these years later, outside of
school, family, and church, I recoil at authority. I find even the language
around it embarrassing. Power and powerful people disgust me. So Paul is a
figure, a symbol––that seems right.
Paul reminds me of the past and he’s here now talking but I muted the sound. I
know the voice. I’ve heard these guys all my life. Now Paul Ryan is everybody’s
bully and there is satisfaction in hearing his name said like a curse, there is
satisfaction in hearing people hate him. But it doesn’t last long. It tires me
out. What will Paul do tomorrow? The next day? Paul will go on destroying in
the name of creation. And when he ceases there will be another bully and
another. We can dream of pissing on their graves––like a friend of mine did on
the headstone of Joe McCarthy (another Wisconsin monster)––but they always come
back horror movie style. I don’t want justice because I’ve seen who gets to use
that word. My revenge is that surgery, my revenge is not getting up to piss, my
revenge is sleeping through the night, my revenge is life, and I know hatred
goes on and on until it stops moving.
What's with all of these "couples" being focused on this arc in particular?
Why are so many characters coming out for their feelings to others?
As we later find out that the title suggests, Tokyo Ghoul :re is about the coming of age of a King, and his progression through the life cycles of infant, adolescent and adult, with the adult phase signalling his readiness to take on the title of King. Each of these phases in life come with a different priority for relationships: first family, then friends, then love. But because Kaneki is the main character, the story revolves around him and the story’s themes are aligned with his development. So when Kaneki develops, so does everyone else. The child phase was the first half of the :re manga, the teenage phase was the Rushima Arc, and the adult phase is this latest Siege Arc - and now, love is the focus.
Kaneki -> Touka: Haise was his childhood; naive, oblivious (not even having his memories), and utterly controlled by senior figures, Haise was at least happy - except for the nagging sense that something was wrong which heralded the onset of his spiritual adolescence. He hits the adolescent phase with the return of his memories, and with them an enormous amount of greater insight, emotional turmoil (not to mention edginess), power, and the desire to break away from his family (Arima) when their flaws and injustices become apparent, favouring his friends (Hinami). He at last breaks from the egg in the Rushima Arc when he overcomes the emotional crisis of his adolescent stage through the mental image of the closest of his friends, Hide, and by coming to understand the true nature of his ‘father’. On reaching adulthood, he symbolically overcomes his father figure, who then removes himself from the son’s path and steps aside to allow him to become the One-Eyed King. But now he is free from the yoke and chain of his parent, Kaneki still feels lonely in his absence. Now in the Siege Arc, Touka has offered to fill that hole for him with the emotional requirement of an adult - love.
Touka -> Kaneki: Touka’s development doesn’t fit the mould quite like the other examples, with both the revelation of her moving on from her family and the fruition of her romantic feelings happening in the Siege Arc. The former occurred when Touka was talking to Akira in Ch 120 and demonstrates that she’s come to see her father how he really was, allowing her to graduate into the adult stage of life (while she’s been in that stage for some time, it’s not important which arc it occurs in, it’s important which arc the reader sees it in). The latter, of course, happens in Ch 122.
Amon -> Akira: In Amon’s case, his child phase is not related to familial feelings, but rather expressed through his confinement at the hands of the fatherly Kanou. He is rescued by a friend in Scarecrow and thus progresses to the teenage phase, his moral compass in torment as he struggles to live as a Ghoul but help the CCG. But in the teenage phase you can go both forwards and backwards, and Amon falls back into Kanou’s hands, only to be rescued again by a friend in Takizawa. Now completely free and in the adult phase, Amon turns to love through Akira.
Akira -> Amon: Like Haise, Akira was an obedient investigator who followed orders, largely due to the overwhelming influence of her father even beyond the grave. But in the Rushima Arc, she violated protocol and did something her father would never do - for the sake of her friend, she shielded a Ghoul, and she begins to question everything she once believed. When taken to Goat in the Siege arc she begins the phase of her spiritual adulthood, forming new points of view and leaving her father behind in her talk with Touka, coming to truly understand him beyond the figure she idolised. And while she’s struggling to adapt to this new life, she finds comfort through love in the form of Koutarou Amon.
Takizawa -> Akira: Takizawa had resigned himself as a plaything in the hands of Aogiri for a long time, but in the Rushima Arc he turns against Tatara, the figurehead for Aogiri, and kills him for the sake of his friends, Akira and Houji. In his teenage turmoil, he then reeled between his childish self and his future adult self, until his friend Amon pushed him towards the future. In the Siege arc, rather than at the orders of his controlling pseudo-family, he risks his life for the sake of his love for Akira (it’s also in this arc that he has the memory of eating his parents, a fitting if grim reflection of his displacing of them into the adult phase). Sadly Takizawa’s romance didn’t work out, but not all do, and his storyline reflects that truth while still allowing romance to develop his character’s progression through the stages of life.
Mutsuki -> Haise: Mutsuki was constantly in the shadow of her father’s abuse - but in the oblivious nature of a child, she blocked it out from her memory. Facing that kind of abuse in the Rushima Arc at the hands of Torso, she was put through unbelievable emotional turmoil that enabled her to remember her past and understand the flaws of her family, symbolically overcoming this by turning the tables on her abuser. In the Siege Arc, with a helpful push from a Clown, she turns her attention to love - her love of her Sensei, Haise Sasaki. But unfortunately, she has not escaped her turmoil unscarred, and her attitudes to love are as twisted as her father’s were.
Matsuri -> Urie: Matsuri was cocky and prideful for the first half of :re, naively believing he’d paved the path to success out in front of him as he followed the orders of his father and grandfather. The Rushima Arc breaks him of that conviction, when his father and grandfather are murdered and Matsuri is shoved prematurely into the adult stage of life without ever having the chance to question his family, psychologically breaking him. Unprepared for this stage of life, he is completely swallowed by his love for the one man he believes to be on his side, and soon can think of little else.
Urie -> Mutsuki: Urie’s development is a little delayed, with his teenage phase and the onset of adulthood both happening in the Siege arc. Urie was in the CCG for the sole reason of living up to his father, but Donato, whose alias is literally ‘Father’ and who had a history with Mikito Urie, forced Urie into questioning his devotion to his father and pushed him into such a great state of turmoil he momentarily became a monster. Saiko filled the hole left by the absence of his father with friendship, and when Urie wakes up, he registers his transition between the teenage and adult phases by thinking of their primary figures in turn. First he thinks of Saiko, who fulfilled the requirement for friendship, and then he thinks of Mutsuki, who he hopes will fulfil his desire for love. (This is assuming Saiko meant ‘love’ in a platonic sense, judging from her calm demeanour and the fact that she hasn’t left her child phase yet - she had the chance to do so by sparing Amon, but she didn’t take it.)
Ui -> Hairu: Like Matsuri, Ui has been shoved into the adult phase in the Siege Arc before his time. His relationship with Arima was not familial, per se, but he clearly had a deep respect for him as a mentor. When Arima died and Ui’s other friends, Hirako and Haise, defected, Ui was at his wit’s end. So long as Arima was around he could remain in the child phase without the need for romantic love, and so long as his friends were around he could stay in a teenage phase and rely solely on them. But without them, he has nothing, because the woman he loved had already been snatched away from him. He was faced with a gaping hole that nothing seemed to be able to fill - until Furuta offers to bring Hairu back to life. With nothing else he can do to fill the emptiness, Ui has no choice but to dance to Furuta’s strings.
Furuta -> Rize: But who was the first link in this chain of romance? Naturally, a Clown. This all started when Furuta announced his love of Rize in Ch 101. At the end of the Rushima arc he murdered his father and became free from his controlling influence, in order to pursue his grand ambitions to win back Rize and effectively rule over Tokyo (and further, depending on how far V’s influence extends) with her.
I think that’s it for the pairings, but if you’re interested in some other examples of family splits in the Rushima Arc, there’s Tatara (unable to move on from Yan and Fei and pays the price), Kurona (moves on from Nashiro and confronts Kanou) and Yomo (moves on from his sister).
So in a sense the manga itself has reached the adult phase, and that’s why this latest Siege Arc has been spreading the love - beyond Ishida trying to kill us all with feels, that is.