The reveal this week that the volume cover for volume 12 will be Saiko was surprising, as she hasn’t really featured at all in any of the chapters slated to be included in this volume so far.
But lined up with the last two Volume covers a clear pattern emerges. Now with Saiko covering her ears, we have the line up of the Three Wise Monkeys.
The Wise Monkey’s come from word play on the Japanese phrases Speak Not, See Not, and Hear Not, the negative conjunction “zaru” sounding like the word for monkey, “saru”, resulting in the iconic image.
While in western context, they are often used to indicate turning a blind eye (or mouth or ear) to evil, their original meaning in Japan was about how to not dwell on evil thoughts and live a good life. However, given the Quinx associated with each, it does suggest a turning away from or ignoring of something important.
This meta took me a while to get out, so I’m sure you’ve all already seen people pointing out this motif, but I wanted to go more into depth on the connection between the Wise Monkey’s and the Quinx associated with them.
The result is quite long, but I hope the points at the end are worth the read. Thanks for bearing with me, and thanks to everyone who pointed out this connection, as well as to @linkspooky for helping me untangle and flesh out some of the connections.
Ok so on my Fourth time reading through the latest chapter I noticed something strange about Furuta’s gestures other than him just being his natural Furuta self, the gestures had reminded me of something I had seen before. And I’m sure many others have seen,
the three wise monkeys
See no evil
Speak no evil
Hear no evil
In the latest chapter Furuta actually does all three gestures to see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. I understood that the origin of the three wise monkeys is Japan so I was sure it wasn’t a coincidence. At first I had a hard time determining what it could all mean outside of it’s literally meaning so I had a talk with @therabbitoracle and @smol-kitten-furuta to discuss in hopes of getting a better understanding.
Just as there is disagreement about the origin of the phrase, there are differing explanations of the meaning of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”
In Buddhist tradition, the tenets of the proverb are about not dwelling on evil thoughts.
In the Western world both the proverb and the image are often used to refer to a lack of moral responsibility on the part of people who refuse to acknowledge impropriety, looking the other way or feigning ignorance.
It may also signify a code of silence in gangs, or organized crime.
I believe this was a good explaination for why Ishida would make Furuta make these gestures especially the part about lack of moral responsibility, refuses to acknowledge impropriety, looking the other way and feigning ignorance. This is something we see Furuta do A LOT. You could say it’s a major part of his characterization but he displays all these traits in the latest chapter back to back.
lack of moral responsibility.
(Setting back and letting Eto kill off all the V members)
Refuses to acknowledge impropriety.
(The last remaining V member begs him to fight he choices to run away instead)
Looking the other way and feigning ignorance (need I explain).
And another interesting part is the Buddhist traditional meaning of it not dwelling on bad thoughts.
(And yet is seems Furuta struggles with that this chapter with some of his strange lines.)
(When he thinks why am I always alone while running.)
When he complains about having to fight.
It is strange but those scenes did not feel like the Furuta we are use to. Through all his acting and clowning these parts felt somewhat genuine (which made me feel a little uneasy.He sounds like a small child or something.)
And then lastly his word to Eto vs his actual thoughts “let’s solve this peacefully.”
vs. “let’s slaughter them like animals”
Everything he’s doing strongly resonates with the three wise monkeys. He fits the western definition perfectly but when it comes to the Buddhist teaching Furuta tries to have this mindset with his “Shake off the past and dash.” gimmick. But can not help but to dwell on it every now and again. I think the fight with Eto might’ve made some things re-emerge especially being told to fight by members of V.
Still it was a nice reference for Ishida to throw in since everything the three wise monkeys stands for connects well with Furuta actions this chapter.
Butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life. Many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls. The Christian religion sees the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection. Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, and hope.