End of the Dream

Sigh, this was supposed to be a comment (about Yumeria) over at Chizumatic, but it kinda got away from me. Once again, I prove that, no matter how silly an animé series is, hours of time can be devoted to analyzing it. Defiinitely time for the spoiler tags…

It’s fairly obvious that the “end world” is the construction of Tomokazu’s own will, not exactly an unknown ending in anime. That’s how we got the twisted world in the first half of ep. 11, and could have gotten the destroyed world of Neito’s visions. Reconstructing after a visit to the refrigerator: Tomo, as an orphen, would have naturally felt alienated and alone; had the Faydoom succeeded in twisting his will, everyone would have suffered those feelings, amplified to the nth degree, thus causing the breakdown of civilization. But thanks to the interference of Kuyou and his growing relationship with Mizuki, his feelings were more positive, although the Faydoom still managed to twist them unexpectedly. Episode 6, for all that it was filler, was actually necessary from the p.o.v. of demonstrating his growing emotional ties to his surrogate family/harem. It wasn’t just a useless waste of time, as I thought also; looking back, it was bonding.

As for one of the stranger bonds in the show, The Wiki article on Yumeria also claims that guard is Tomo’s father, which got a major WTF??? reaction from me. I plan to go back and re-watch it to check that out. At the time, I put the guard’s personality development down to the writers going “well, we have to give him a reason to side with Tomo against the head of the family.” Still, the whole episode felt wrong. The problem with him being Tomokazu’s father is that it just upsets so much of the background. Why did he let the ditzy Nanase raise his son? On the other hand, it’s a better explanation than “I made him bad katsudon, and have empathy for him.”

Then there’s those last two episodes, to which I had the same reaction. “Um, replay, please?” Actually, I liked it at the time, and still do. The battles were pretty boring and silly, so the plot twist of winning-but-losing-and-having-to-refight-the-final-battle made up for it somewhat. As I noted, the Faydoom twisted his desires at the last moment — at the end of episode 11, his mood was uncertain, because of what he felt was the betrayal of Mone by the head of the family; while they “won”, the Faydoom were able to use his uncertainty to create a “holding pattern” universe in which they didn’t win, but they didn’t lose either. Instead, they pulled the same trick that Tomokazu’s mother had. Last time, she died, but left a world in which her son could grow up and win the final victory. This time, the Faydoom were stopped, but by creating a world in which Tomo was a loner and separated from his “harem,” there wouldn’t be anyone for him (or a descendant, if any) to energize the next time they tried to invade.

In the end, Tomokazu was far more determined the second time around, and, having experienced separation from his surrogate family, drew strength from having them back; hence his power revamped all their weapons into one super-gun that they fired together. Thus, victory and a reconstruction of the world based on Tomokazu’s desires, without Faydoom interference. The results surprised me, simply because I’d gotten so used to the “setting” that it no longer occured to me that Tomo was an orphen. And what would most orphens want the most? Their parents back. It shoudn’t have, but it blindsided me; I didn’t expect that kind of heart from a series this vapid.

On the other hand there is one thing that creeps me out about it… Tomo’s father’s personality, in the few moments he’s on screen, is a lot like Ishigari, without the pedo aspect. Now tie that in to my earlier speculation that Ishigari’s transformation had to have been caused by an early, unconcious, manifestation of Tomo’s power, and the result I get is “Ewww! Ewww! Ewww! Was Tomo looking at Ishigari as a surrogate father-figure but accidentally displaced his own lechery into him, thus causing the personality change?”

And I accused Steven of over-thinking.

The final scene though, that was a groaner, and was very expected. Though I was a bit surprised by the splitting of Neito and Nenneko. I had expected them to handwave it, much as I expected (and got) a handwaved existence for Mone, post-battle. I was not surprised that Tomokazu made his decision as to which girl he wants, even if no one seems to have any memory of what happened to bring that about. The show had been trending strongly that way for some time, and it would have been a cheat to keep the question open.

There is one last open question, though: does “the old man next door” remember anything?

Ok, I take that back, I just thought of another, even if it belongs over at Derailed by Darry. Given how Tomokazu energizes the girls, would a hypothetical prequel featuring Tomo’s mother feature lots of beefcake, or would it be a yuri series? Inquiring minds want to know.

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13 Responses to End of the Dream

  1. Let’s see if I can make spoiler tags work.

    The old man next door in the last episode is the old man who was the head of the family.

  2. I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong, Ubu. why won’t my spoiler tags work?

  3. Ubu Roi says:

    Using angle brackets?

    I fixed it. They work for me, but everyone else seems to have trouble. I’m trying to remember if anyone else has used them successfully. Maybe it’s linked to permissions, and you have to be an admin to get it to work in comments? Stupid, if so.

    Back to the spoilers…

    Anyway, I know who the old man is, my question is, does he know who he is? Or did Tomokazu get a bit of revenge by turning him into a generic “old fart next door?” Two things seem strange. First no one recognizes him as the Head. Second, no one seems ot have any memory of the war against the Faydoom.

    My guess is “no, the old man inserted himself to keep an eye on Tomo in the future, and he sealed their knowledge in the process, to protect the world from any further unintentional changes.” Since the Faydoom showed that they could modify the outcome of the the Destiny Transformer’s world changes, there’s no reason the old man couldn’t. Except that he never shows any signs of having such power — but neither is there any reason he wouldn’t. Since the “old man” is the Head of the family, I strongly suspect that he’s Tomo’s (and Nanase/Kuyou’s) grandfather, and since the power’s obviously hereditary….

    On the other hand, there’s a whole lot about the “kidnap” segment that just doesn’t work for me. It feels thrown in, completely at random. Take the katsudon-cooking guard again… why do the rest of the agents obey him, against the obvious wishes of the Head?

  4. Ubu Roi says:

    Oh, and another thing. It is rather jarring to see that Neneko doesn’t live with them by midway through the series, which raises all sorts of questions about what the hell are her parents doing while she’s off traipsing around town, getting gifts from pedo shopkeepers and alcholic drinks from women at bars. (Just what was the text on that lady’s back?)

    Maybe Hayate had a little sister that got given to some Very Nice People when he was too young to remember. (Cross-series joke, for those that don’t watch fansubs.)

  5. Yeah, I tried to use angle brackets. Let’s try a couple of experiments:

    This is a single line spoiler, using angle brackets

    This is a multiline spoiler, using angle brackets, with the tags on separate lines.

    [spoiler]This is a single line spoiler, using square brackets.[/spoiler]

    This is a multiline spoiler, using square brackets, with tags on separate lines.

    I’ve used spoilers in your comments before, which is why I was surprised that they didn’t work today.

  6. OK, seems as if I need to use square brackets. You should change the “You can use the following tags” list to change the angle brackets on “spoiler” to square brackets.

    And now a real spoiler:

    [spoiler]In the final replay, Tomokazu makes the world the way he wants it. Things like bringing his parents back. But if he parents are back, then it means there can’t be any overarching illuminatus Family Head meddling with things, right? So the old man who was head of the family isn’t any more.

    The big question I have is whether he also made it so that none of them have the ability to enter the dream world any longer, the way they had been. No way to know that.

    The question of who remembers what, how much, is a good one. Tomokazu remembers everything. I think that Neito pretty much knows what happened. And I think Mone may know, but it’s hard to tell. As to the others — I think they don’t have a clue. Those events never happened, as far as they remember.[/spoiler]

  7. Ubu Roi says:

    That is truly weird. Angle brackets are supposed to work… and do for me. Ok, my turn to experiment….

    Angle brackets

    [spoiler]Square brackets[/spoiler]

    And a real spoiler End of the Dream: Well, if the family is back, there couldn’t have been any war to start with, since Tomo’s mother is alive. But that introduces so many time paradoxes, that it’s easier to go with the old man doing it himself. Not only do we have the results of the last war undone, now we’ve eliminated the “organization” that fought it! That doesn’t bode well after a few more generations of people sleeping and discarding memories. In fact, with the rising world population, the war should have to be re-fought more and more often. It’s really a grim one, if you think about it — the human race can’t ever afford to lose; not even once.

    Neito is another question mark. She seems to have her full, adult personality; one gets the feeling that she’s just marking time as a kid, humoring her “twin.” Mone has to know, witness her reaction to Tomo in the final seconds (given the camera angle, that’s not a given, but who else would she react that way to?). Mizuki & Neneko, in the dark. Kuyou and Nanase? One is a powerful miko in the dream world. The other, who knows? The writers just choose to leave all that ambiguous.

    Edit: I just remembered, last night I replaced a key file to fix a bug involving registration and permissions, then I deleted about a dozen userID’s that looked bogus. (Odd that WP will show how many posts a registered user has made, but not how many comments.) It’s strictly a user registration file, not comments, but who knows?

  8. [spoiler]I think Tomokazu’s change goes extremely deep. There never was a war, there will never be a war. There is no Moera. There are no Faydoom, and can never be any.

    Tomokazu’s power seems a bit like Misaki’s power at the end of “Misaki Chronicles”. It looks as if he can twist alternatives around. At the beginning of ep 12, Neito projects an image of herself into his alternative, which means she has to be somewhere else, presumably a different alternative. As to Mone at the beginning of ep 12, it’s almost like Misaki’s bubble at the end of MC; that house is the only place she can really be without Tomokazu’s help.

    I think we really are overanalyzing this. The story isn’t tight; there are things that pretty much can’t be explained.[/spoiler]

  9. [spoiler]The fact that both Mone and Neito were able to get into Tomokazu’s alternate at the beginning of ep 12 is the reason I think they must both have memories of what really happened. They’re clearly both aware of the existence of alternates.

    It occurs to me that what Mone did at the beginning of ep 12 may be related to just how she managed to follow Tomokazu home in ep 1.[/spoiler]

  10. Ubu Roi says:

    You know, that’s entirely possible.

    And I agree, we are over-analyzing it… but then if we don’t, who will? Jason? 😛

  11. Let me see if I can use the spoiler tags:

    [spoiler]I always thought that the dream world, the one with all the floating cubes and stuff, was the actual real world, and the high-school world was a false construct. I thought they might go this route with the common tropes they used for “bad dreams,” for example, when Tomo was the only one who got a zero on the exam. If he’d been in his underwear too, that would have been one of those common “bad dream” things.[/spoiler]

    Fixed tags –Ubu

  12. Argh, sorry, I must have done the spoiler thing wrong.

  13. BC, it seems you have to use square brackets instead of angle brackets on the spoiler tag.

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