Saturday, June 30, 2012

.hack//Sign: Color My World

.hack recap: Tsukasa hasn't been seen since the thus-far unexplained incident at the end of episode 2.

(I recommend actually buying .hack//Sign since my words don't really do it justice.  One can get either the DVD this episode is on, or the full series as a set.)

.hack//Sign, Episode 3: Folklore, 7:07 - 8:55

Tsukasa is in Aura's domain, same bed, same Aura floating above it, same randomly floating teddy bear, completely different surroundings.  At the moment it's a forest with thick tree trunks covered in deep green moss.

Tsukasa looks at Aura and, slowly, haltingly, as if he's unsure what to do and possibly afraid, reaches out to touch the floating sleeping girl.  As his hand nears her his eyes go wide and he flashes back to a memory.

Small-child Tsukasa is outside in what looks like some kind of an alley, nursing an extremely undernourished kitten with an eyedropper full of milk.  Little Tsukasa smiles as it looks like there's some success.  Then an adult, Tsukasa's dad, shows up with a clenched fist.  We see a menacing POV shot of a left hand coming down from above.  The eyedropper falls (with a thud that has got to be purely emotional since such a light object couldn't produce that sound) and lands next to knocked over milk.

Little Tsukasa says something, presumably protest, but we hear nothing.

The father walks away with the kitten, and at this point I'm wondering if he's left handed because everything (clenching, menacing, carrying the kitten by the back of the neck) has been left handed.  The manner of carrying implies that he's not exactly interested in the cat's well being.  The way he's holding it he can't even see the frail kitten, and it wouldn't surprise me if it's nothing more than refuse in his mind.

Little Tsukasa again speaks, and again we hear nothing, but based on how much mouth movement there is (almost none, as opposed to quite a bit the first time) I think it's quiet and not really expected to be communication.  Quite possibly something said to oneself.

And then little Tsukasa's head starts to drop, after an angle change we can the child completely slumped.  No idea if there is crying going on, but there's definite despondency.  Then little Tsukasa reaches for the eyedropper, the milk, or both, and the flashback ends.

In the present, in The World, Tsukasa is still standing with his arm outstretched toward Aura.

DVL: Go ahead.
Tsukasa: What do you mean?
DVL: Imbue the girl with your own color.

That feeling you had when your dad stopped you from saving a helpless kitten and left you to sulk, possibly sob, in an alleyway.  Put some of that in Aura.

If this sounds like a bad idea, if maybe dredging up someone's most painful moments and using them to shape the personality of a sleeping child seems like something less than ideal to you, you might not be evil.  DVL is evil, and this may very well be the first indication of that that we get.

Tsukasa's color is that of someone who wants nothing more than to hide from the whole world, break off from human contact, and escape everyone.  It's the color of someone who is afraid of everything due to a history of abuse.  It's of someone whose highest goal in life is to be left alone forever.

That's what DVL wants to flavor Aura with.

That's why Tsukasa was chosen.

Of course, as we've previously discussed, Tsukasa isn't exactly as low as he could be yet.  He's reached a kind of stability.  He doesn't get better, he doesn't get worse.  He just is.  To get to the really bad places he'll need to be built up a bit so that he can experience a shattering fall.  When Tsukasa says that he doesn't understand, DVL again starts to work toward the building up side of that:

DVL: Do as you wish.  I shall protect you.
Tsukasa: But...
DVL: Do not be afraid, and do as you wish.
Tsukasa: But.

(Yes, that second "but" is followed by a period.  Apparently it's a complete sentence.)

Once Tsukasa is out there, having fun, living carefree at the top of the world, well then he'll be primed for a downfall that will be even worse than the memory of the lost cat.

The Guardian comes out, and the scene ends.

I considered trying to get here in the "Kinds of Power" post, because Tsukasa is about to get the power to do what he will, and that's an incredible power to have.  Subaru can't just do what she wants, she has the knights to think about, Sora almost can, but he still has to pass through root towns and watch his own back, and he had to put in a lot of hard work to get it.

Tsukasa, who's spent his entire life being powerless, is about to get to feel what it's like to be powerful.  He can do whatever he wants.

Of course, the one with the real power is DVL.  As she says, "I shall protect you," not, "You'll be able to take care of yourself."  That gives her say over how that protection is handled, and it also gives her the ability to revoke that protection.

Regardless, this marks the start of Tsukasa's happy fun times.  They'll last about an episode and a half and be punctuated by not so happy not so fun times.


And then there's a short scene of Mimiru, alone in the desert, fighting against what I'm going to call a giant tailless Komodo dragon with a stone hammer.

I think she's grinding.  Her thinking is about how she must get stronger, this is how you gain experience, so, as I said, I think she's grinding.  It doesn't look like much fun to me, really.

I include this here because I felt like including it somewhere and it would be weird to put it at the beginning of the next post.


1 comment:

  1. DVL: Imbue the girl with your own color.

    Oh, so that's what that is. I can't seem to turn the subtitles on with this, and I couldn't make out what she was saying. Now that you tell me, I can hear those words, but I couldn't figure it out on my own. Thanks.