It’s a magic world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy. Let’s go exploring!
Besides being the only strip of written word to actually move me to tears (fans of Bill Waterson know why), this particular comic actually has a direct relation to the underlying message of the latest Jinrui arc. Since I’m a dirty, no good hipster I’m going to put more emphasis on the hidden irony here. Granted that the last two episodes have been a delightful mishmash of meta-humor, visual gags, RPG pop culture bashing, and robot philosophy, let’s take this step-by-step paragraph per point deconstruction style.
All the Important Crap in a Short Paragraph
At the beginning of episode 5, Watashi’s Grandfather, a learned man, muses to himself that a certain tablet dropped from an airplane isn’t adequate for his scientific ambitions. This statement later leads to the Joshuu, Watashi, and her Grandfather exploring another odd, seemingly abandoned factory, meeting up with the neko cyborgs Oyage and Pion, who are later revealed to be two space satelights, who have returned from being shot into space. Got all that down? Good, cause you’ll need it.
Ambition, Exploration, and Dissatisfaction
Watashi’s Grandfather is an intelligent man of both ego and providence. Something merely sent from above couldn’t possibly satisfy his lust for knowledge, and in order to feel wonder and satiation, he needs something more than incredible. His ambitions and desire to explore the world beyond causes him to ignore the wondrous world around him and gave birth to his arrogance. Both he and the scientists sent two vessels out into the wonders of space to find something new and exciting. However in doing this, they forget that their world is a world inhibited by fairies, wandering headless chickens, and all things spectacular. What is unfamiliar and exciting to us is boring and trite to them since they are hindered by their egos. In the comic above, Calvin and Hobbes find something as common as snow amazing and exciting because they opened their minds to it and found magic within their world. However, the scientists aren’t like these kids; their minds are closed to the outside world and clouded, even if what they seek is clearly around them.
The coup de grace of course are the final forms of Oyage and Pion. At first, Watashi’s Grandfather dismisses the tablet completely. However, when Oyage and Pion return from space, both he and his collaborators are enthralled and amazed, despite the very real chance that one of the two cat cyborg space robots (heh) were in fact the tablet. Why are they new and exiting when nothing has changed? Because they came from space? Why does this simple fact change anything? This insane hypocrisy can easily be traced back to us, the common viewers. How many times have you dismissed something or someone just for being normal or everyday? How often are you bored and discontent? Jinrui’s latest arc was a stinging, clever shot at this apathy and jadedness which governs our lives.
I’m bored is a useless thing to say. You live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. And even the inside of your mind is endless. It goes on forever. Do you understand? Being the fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to be bored
RPG and Science Fiction Culture Bashing
They were endless; they were all hilarious; here’s some of the highlights in bullet form (since I’m a lazy dick).
- Dragon Quest slimes! And metal slimes no less!
- Joshuu appears as a stereotypical chosen child clad in armor to slay a giant monster. This show…
- Oyage’s and Watashi’s suit in the ending is a Big Daddy suit from Bioshock
- Hardly a reference, the fairy scale from episode 5 is a shounen ass pull power ranking
- The monolith tablet thing is a reference from 2001, A Space Odyssey
- The robotic dog is an almost exact replica of Casshern’s lovable doggie companion.