I finished Shingu a few days ago. I am entranced. I have to agree with Steven, this series is top-shelf. The length of it makes a rewatch somewhat unlikely though, but I am going to read Steven’s TMW and then make a final post on my own thoughts overall.
I stitched this poster together out of separate screencaps, since the camera was panning over it:
“Stop staring at those flowers! it’s creepy!”
more spoilerish screencaps below the fold.
what can I say? the spaceships were cool. I love the whale look of the Galactic Federation behemoth.
It’s amazing how later this pile of food becomes a major plot point. I mean, it’s food! I loved how often I was surprised.
Muryou stands out, doesn’t he? Have to admit I found him less useless in the episodes’ final stretch. Though the final revelation of Muryou’s identity was I think more for laughs than anything else.
“Oh, that’s just my son and his friend from school.”
OK, I confess that I didn’t really have any idea what the metaphysical babble was all about regarding Shingu/Mugen and energy flow. But I didn’t care, and didn’t want to think about it too hard. I really bought into this. Haven’t been so willing to suspend disbelief since Haibane Renmei, to be honest. (I wonder if someone has photoshopped wings onto Nayuta…? )
I feel vindicated. Jiltosh was my favorite character (aside from Nayuta, of course). Figures he’d be the baddest bad ass of the surprisingly high number of badasses loafing around on Earth.
9 thoughts on “Shingu fin”
You weren’t kidding about the spoilers.
I think the Ginga Renpo ships look more like sharks than whales, and I think the Uchu Renmei ships are a lot cooler looking.
“I confess that I didnâ€™t really have any idea what the metaphysical babble was all about regarding Shingu/Mugen and energy flow.”
Here’s how I understood it: in the last battle of the war between the Federation and the Alliance, Mugen lost control of his powers and began releasing a massive flux of energy. The other Heroes managed to cap the flux, but not before most of a galaxy was destroyed; and as part of the capping, Jiltosh had to kill Mugen. The Shingu (what’s under the mountain) is simply Mugen’s corpse. Jiltosh and Asougi would have preferred to destroy the Shingu entirely, but Setsuna (who was Mugen’s sister) objected — I think she had hopes that Mugen wasn’t permanently dead. So the peace treaty ordained that the Shingu be buried on Earth, that Earth be off-limits to both the powers, and that Setsuna be responsible for keeping the Shingu from misuse. The Tenmo natives, as Setsuna’s descendants, share in her responsibility.
At the climax, Jiltosh’s worst fear is that Nayuta will, as Mugen did, lose control of the power she’s drawing on and explode, destroying an unknown number of stars. When Nayuta transforms again, after beating the last Sanadon, Jiltosh thinks the change is irrevocable, and that Nayuta is bound to explode. That’s why he attacks her — by pushing her to an explosion as early as possible, and in his presence, Jiltosh can cap the flux again before it damages anything other than Earth itself.
The thing is, Jiltosh lacks one important bit of information: he doesn’t know what Muryou is, or rather, who Muryou was. It appears that Muryou is, in fact, Mugen’s soul clothed in new flesh (Setsuna’s hopes were not unfounded.) Asougi, either knowing this or suspecting it, therefore had reason to think that Nayuta could still be recovered, even from an explosion; that’s why he went to the school, where Hajime and the Chosen were — if Hajime hadn’t already thought of travelling to Nayuta in spirit, Asougi would have suggested it to him. And once Hajime found Nayuta, she used him to brace herself, controlled the flux and returned home, thus proving Asougi right. Jiltosh was a little abashed when he got back to Earth, because (I think) he knew he’d exposed Earth to more risk than was really necessary, through not listening to Asougi.
Michael, that makes a lot of sense – especially the Muryou backstory. Muryou as Mugen reborn would explain a great deal indeed.
My confusion however is more about the metaphysical stuff about “reversing” the flow of energy that Hajime and Jiltosh discussed. But that’s not really important; the key is that Hajime provided Nayuta the way home.
Fledge, I took that discussion as being a case of trying to explain the unexplainable, like you trying to explain electricity to your eldest at her age. You’d do your best, but it would definitely come through massively distorted, because about the only thing you could do is to talk in metaphors.
I think the same thing happened with Jiltosh trying to explain things to Hajime. Words don’t exist for the concepts needed, and even if they did Hajime doesn’t have the referents for them and wouldn’t understand what the words meant — any more than your darling would understand “quantum state collapse”. About all Jiltosh could do is to try to use metaphors, and he ended up talking about energy flows, and directions, and so on. Sure, it was confusing, because it couldn’t be otherwise.
I just remembered something else I wanted to mention. You made comment about the way that the people of Zaigle had forgotten about their true history, and wondered if it was some sort of commentary on religion.
Actually it was foreshadowing. The people of Tenmo also had forgotten their true history.
That samurai drama Weinul watches several times, in which a travelling judge reveals that he was also an eyewitness to the crimes on his docket — that was foreshadowing too. Weinul says outright that the judge in the show is doing something only God has a right to do, meaning the God of Zaigle’s popular religion, Uelenn … and it’s implied that both the name and the attributes of Uelenn were inspired by the diplomats from Velunn who brought Zaigle into the Federation.
So Jiltosh being, overtly, a diplomat from Velunn links him to Zaigle’s popular religion; and Weinul’s remark that the judge is like the God of his home hints that Jiltosh is more than he seems. And indeed, Jiltosh proves to be the ultimate travelling judge, the Magistrate of the Galactic Federation, whose authority over that polity is final.
Mind you, my opinion of Jiltosh is roughly the same as Isozaki’s …
I agree, the energy flow talk was probably metaphorical in part. I’m not overly worried about it – I just went with the, er, flow.
great points about the foreshadowing, especially with respect to the samurai flick! I need to do a second viewing of Shingu at some point and will be on the lookout for more.
The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that Muryou is a true human. He is probably Mugen reborn, which is why he and Setsuna refer to each other as siblings; there’s a true bond. But Muryou isn’t Mugen literally; he’s a new being, a human with celestial power. In other words, the future of the human race, an equal to the Heroes themselves.
I think Muryou has to be fully human, despite inheriting celestial Power. Muryou says it himself at the end, he really is human. However his “virgin birth” appearance is a function of the power of Mugen coalescing into new life.
Aside from Muryou I believe that Hajime has powers too. Though his powers are discreet and not obvious. Though I don’t know how to describe what type of power Hajime has. Its feels like its not supernatural but it also feels like it could be. Does anybody else think Hajime has powers?
The flow of energy is simple, the inward flow of power is simplified as being the personification of that power into a physical form, the Shingu, and later, Mugen. The outward flow of energy is just that, and outward flow, a slow release of the power into the surrounding environment, not unlike osmosis in cellular bodies. Setsuna and to a lesser degree, Asougi and Jiltosh were hoping that by allowing the power to be turned outwards, and allowing it to fill the earth’s environment, it would have an effect on the humans, turning them, over thousands of years, into creatures that exist on the next level. Jiltosh fears what will happen if Nayuta, who is the embodiment of the inward power, were to lose control, and allow the inward power to turn to outward power all at once, which would create the aforementioned explosion.
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