veemignon: (rahicon2)
[personal profile] veemignon
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According to William Mason and W.S.B. Mathews, "Music is Mind expressed in tones." On the nature of music study, they note, "Music consists of three kinds of motion, or of motion in three planes - motion in Time (measure and rhythm); motion in Pitch (melody and harmony); and motion in Intensity (fluctuations of intensity, as in loud and soft). These motions are capable of almost endless combinations with each other, and it is by means of them that mind expresses itself in tones."

Through motion, time, harmony and intensity, the viewer is allowed a peek into Ayato's unconscious realm, where the remnants of a haunting memory reside. But is he lost in the process of retrieving it?

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From where episode 21 left off, Ayato is beginning to understand that Reika is not the girl from his vision, but rather a remnant of her. The plot tells us that she is a being known as "Ixtli", who takes on the face of what the instrumentalist most desires. But at that point in time, as Ayato finally finishes his painting, she is the wrong face and the wrong personality to depict what he truly desires. She's a delusion, I guess. If you break down their names, Haruka and Reika both have -ka as their stem. Rei, on it's own, means "nothing." For Quon, her Ixtli takes on the form of Ayato, which I think can also be read as Itsuki? I don't know, that one bit's still confusing for me, why Ayato? Did she desire to be like him, as an instrumentalist? It's something to think about.

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Reika has the wrong face and the wrong personality. Time and meddling has warped her appearance. On analyzing Gradiva, a story with a similar dream girl who has changed in appearance, Freud stated, "Does not the idea suddenly dawn upon us that the fancies of the young man about his Gradiva might be an echo of his childhood memories? Then they would, therefore, be no arbitrary products of his imagination, but determined, without his knowing it, by the existing material of childhood impressions already forgotten, but still active in him." Ayato's memory of Haruka has been buried deep within him and he doesn't yet have the capability to retrieve it. As such, Reika is not the girl he desires and with that face, he doesn't desire Ixtli either. He realizes that he wanted Haruka to see his painting, though, and at this notion, Reika's appearance and nature begin to change.

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The painting of the girl is not right, because it's the wrong girl. As Ayato destroys the painting, Reika appears to be in pain, as if the dream is slowly dwindling away. As much as Ayato dabbles in the creative part of his desire, there's also a destructive element to it, which he doesn't seem willing to accept. We see this later, with a much wider scope of destruction, but the painting is a small form of destruction. He's spent countless hours by now creating that image only to destroy it in the end. However, by opening himself up to that destructive nature, he's allowed a moment with the true woman of his dreams.

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Not being wanted by Ayato is a kind of death for Ixtli. He notes that she's acting more like a human and her appearance starts to change, to look like Haruka at a younger age. This realization allows him to accept Ixtli, because she's not just a concept anymore. As Shougi notes later on, Ayato receives the mind and the heart - the mind being the idea while the heart would be accepting both Haruka's appearance and nature as the dream woman.

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The culmination of the two represents the three forms of movement mentioned above, solely in Ayato's relationship with Haruka. A motion in time, forgotten, a motion in the harmony as both of their voices join together, and a motion of intensity in their relationship. Motion in time can be seen on Haruka's side of the memory as well. When he comes back into her life, their relationship is started up again. I'm pretty certain that the memory stayed alive and well in Haruka, as going into Tokyo Jupiter for her always meant reclaiming Ayato. But Ayato can't become Ollin without that memory at hand.

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In order to retrieve the memory, Ayato travels deep into his unconscious. Delving that deep, however, is dangerous. One can get lost, and we see this with Ayato as he doesn't remember who he is. Walking down into the subway station represents walking down into the underworld. Barbara G. Walker discusses the idea of hell before Christianity warped it, when it was a realm belonging to a woman, as a, "uterine shrine or sacred cave of rebirth." Many characters in mythology have made changes after entering the underworld. Persephone went from being a maiden to a queen. Delving into the unconscious for Ayato means going into that murky part of his desire that he doesn't truly understand. Freud believed that all repressed memories were erotic in nature and that's probably true for Ayato. The plot says the memory was erased, but I'm leaning more on the side of repressed, in order to become a tool. But Ayato cannot properly be that tool without understanding what it is that drives him forward. There's a great fear with going that deep, but there's also great reward, as the memory will give him the tools to realize his dream.

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But Ayato is still having difficulty accepting the destructive part of his nature. By understanding that he is the RahXephon, he accepts that he's both a creative and a destructive element (I think this in part came with accepting Ixtli). I am reminded of Tiamat, who was once a great goddess and was brought down by mythical male figures in order for the Indo-European conquerors to truly take over. After the invasion, Tiamat became a monster who ravaged the land. Marduk killed her and her lover Kingu and their blood fell on clay, creating humans. I bring this up because it's constantly mentioned in RahXephon that the world will be returned to clay or that humans came from clay, or even the clay creature seen earlier. In order to create the world again, Ayato has to destroy the world. The destruction gives him grief, as he kills two friends, like he killed Asahina. But he has to accept that aspect of his nature in order to realize his dream.

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Not only his own world, but his own dream. Ayato was being used to fulfill other dreams, Bahbem's dreams and his mother's dreams. With Haruka's intervention, Ayato realizes that his true dream lies in the memory of long ago. At this point, I think Haruka's realized that Ayato is a dream figure for her as well. He helps her realize her dream as well, the dream of love. The realization of Ayato's dream results in two creations: the painting finally finished and a baby. He creates a world where he and Haruka can continue their relationship and live together, thus making the delusion reality.

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The idea of harmonizing the universe comes initially from Buddhism. According to President Ikeda, "The kosen-rufu [world peace] that is our aim is a movement to transform the universe . . . in accord with the rhythm of the Mystic Law." Through a repeated rhythm, there is a transformation in the individual as well as in the world.

As a series, RahXephon is probably one of the most complete pieces of work Bones Studio ever put out. The deaths at the end are justified, unlike in Wolf's Rain (which I hope to re-watch as well), and the ideas presented are complex and fascinating. The characters are immediately endearing. They're not likable in a way that they're forgettable, when I say they're likable, they're actually likable. Sou and Elvy's deaths were poignant, because they had been built up and developed. All of the characters are developed in rather subtle ways. For a series with so many characters, I think it's commendable.

On a first reaction, I had noted that I didn't care for the music, but as the series progressed, it got better. Including classical music really helped. There's only one episode that I can think of where the art suffered, but that gives you 25 episodes of good art. I loved the references to the Mayan civilization in the design for the Mulians. For "aliens", the Mus were given both female and male qualities, which resonates one of the themes in the series. I do have the RahXephon Bible, but most of the information pads out a lot of the technical terms and the only new information provided is that Ayato and Quon need to eat a couple of ham sandwiches (110 lbs. for 5'5"? For a growing boy? Ridiculous). It's a solid series and on re-watching, it's probably one of my favorites now.

Hopefully, the movie will not leave a bitter last taste on my tongue.
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February 2013

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