Parallels, parallels everywhere.
Kudos to GoHands and GoRa because this sure is a clever way to set-up the second half the series. They essentially took away Shiro’s established identity and worked on making Totsuka a key character. This episode also served to confirm things that viewers have been speculating on for a while. The mystery is one of my favorite aspects of K.
So far, my suspicions have been correct, leading me to believe that K knows what it’s doing with its story. The little clues scattered through out the first four episodes are finally coming together. It is purposely withholding information but it isn’t making things obtuse enough to make it difficult to follow. But who thought it was a good idea to make Yuki Kaiji sing?
Destined for Ruin
A few weeks ago, Munakata spoke about the Kagutsu crater that was caused by a previous King who attained so much power that the Sword of Damocles fell.. The system functions as a way to regulate the powers of the King, preventing them from becoming too powerful, because nothing forces you to reconsider stuff like a giant sword destroying you and the country you live in. Weissman logic– deal with it.
Kagutsu is derived from Kagu-tsuchi, the god of fire in Japanese mythology. Given how this series approaches things thematically, it can be assumed that the Kagutsu crater was caused by someone who used flames and was most likely to have been the previous Red King.
Mikoto’s always late for the party.
Even before Totsuka’s death, it seems like Mikoto has always believed that he was destined to bring about destruction. Totsuka was the one person who reassured him that he was meant to become a great king. With his friend’s senseless murder, I can understand why he’d choose to lock himself up. It sounds like a better plan than just going on a rampage and eventually triggering an event similar to what happened with the Kagutsu crater.
Being a King sucks for various reasons but it also opens up opportunities for people to climb up the ranks. Munakata’s position allows him a large control over Japan, the Gold King practically owns the country and Weissman is dancing with dolls because fuck you, he’s a king, he can do anything! The problem with Mikoto is that his nature doesn’t seem to coincide with those things but Totsuka saw something in Mikoto that made him believe that he would make a great king.
Back to Japanese mythology. Along with Kagutsuchi is another god of fire, Kojin.
The name Sambō-Kōjin means three-way rough deity, and he is considered a deity of uncertain temper. Fire, which he represents, is a destructive force, as shown in the myth of Kagu-tsuchi, the original fire deity, whose birth caused his mother’s death. However, Kōjin embodies fire controlled and turned toward a good purpose. He is said to destroy all impurity. Source: Wikipedia article
Totsuka Tatara has always made it a point to remind Mikoto that his powers were meant to protect and that he was destined to become a good king. However, I think things could go either way. Whether or not Mikoto becomes a Kagutsuchi or a Kojin is all up to him.
Sweet Deadman and Hollow Living Thing
As Shiro loses his ‘identity’, Totsuka gains his. This blog post’s title in derived from one of the K visuals released before the show’s airing. This episode also worked on displaying the similarities between Shiro and Totsuka, which is one of the most interesting things in the entire series so far. The way I see it, Totsuka is the Sweet Deadman while Shiro is the Hollow Living Thing. In the restaurant scene, we see Yashiro looking around, eyes lingering on a Daruma, a Japanese doll hollow on the inside.
The sexiest Daruma doll ever depicted in an anime.
Shiro comes to find out that he doesn’t have a picture with the rest of the other students who also happen to be the restaurant’s regulars. When he calls Kukuri to inquire about the fireworks, Kukuri tells him that she doesn’t know anyone called Yashiro Isana. By this time, I think it’s fairly obvious that Yashiro only exists in the place where he is present. This is why Neko persists that they return to the school and this is also why the restaurant owner remembers him, but not Kukuri.
I’m not going to analyze why Kuroh is standing even though there’s no one else in the train. It’s Kuroh, common sense is beyond him. That or everyone is making an Evangelion reference (cue in the horrified gasps and long groaning noises from anyone who reads this) which I guess would be fitting considering Shiro’s lost sight of who he is.That or he’s a male Rei Ayanami with 10,000 clones created by Adolf K. Weissman. 2DEEP4U. 2BLUE4U.
FUCKING CLONES SHOOTING PEOPLE.
This eventually leads Shiro the believe what everyone else wants him to be, the murderer of Totsuka Tatara.
Somehow destiny has allowed Shiro and Kuroh to meet. Kuroh is the only guy who’d answer the way he did thanks to his late master’s words. Which brings this up: Did Miwa Ichigen, a man who saw the future somewhat saw this coming? I have no doubts that it was his words that sent Kuroh to seek Shiro, but there’s no way that thing that recorded his voice is not pre-programmed to some degree.
It’s unclear whether or not Shiro’s parasol plays an important part in the series, the parasol is part of the Eight Auspicious Symbols in Buddhism. It is a symbol of royalty and protection from suffering. During the scene in the stadium, Shiro opens his parasol to protect him from the rain, and coincidentally Kuroh chooses to let him live.
Theory time: Shiro is Totsuka. However, there’s little to support this theory aside from how similar they act.
There are a couple of things that make me question how well thought out this plot is. But surprisingly, these are usually small details that are unexplained or just plain questionable (like how Yata and Izumo immediately knew where to find Totsuka). But other than that, the core mystery of K just draws you in. It’s enough for me to forgive them for having Yuki Kaiji sing and being so blatant with their advertising. Those things aren’t enough to drive me away. Also, one of the best episodes of K so far.