Please Save My Earth 16
November 2, 2011
Saki Hiwatari – Viz – 2006 – 21 volumes
It’s an act?! Seriously? Holy crap, that is cold.
This is the more interesting part of Mokuren’s flashback, the time just before and right at the beginning of her stint on the moon base. I thought that Mokuren would somehow turn into her sweet and mild self through some event. Mostly, she just becomes a good Kiche Sarjalian. Watching everything play out from her point of view is very, very amusing.
Aside from the comedy, I also like all the expectations she went onto the team with. Her prayers to Sarjalim just before she met the rest of the team cracked me up too, and her… perspective on the team members made reading some of the same scenes again a lot more informative.
Also, I did like that Hiwatari saved a lot of new material for this flashback. Some of the differences between the two flashbacks are simply a matter of things Shion witnessed on the base verses things Mokuren witnessed (different talks with Gyokuran and Shukaido, for instance, or more of certain events that Shion only saw the aftermath of). I didn’t realize that until just now, and it appeals to the side of me that is fanatical for alternative narrative techniques. That one is BRILLIANT. Some of them are new for this flashback, though, such as a really terrible Shion/Mokuren moment that the volume ended on. I wonder if that will be a turning point in their relationship. Hmm… That Mokuren remembered it and Shion didn’t might be a clue that Shion didn’t think it was worth remembering, or that it was more important for Mokuren.
I do like that certain events were finally explained. The ones that were mentioned in passing by other crew mates during Shion’s flashback, and then perhaps again in conversation in the present, were driving me crazy. Now I know for sure what was going on.
I also like Mokuren’s perspective on some of the characters. How certain friendships are too impenetrable for her to enter. How she hates being treated special because of her Kiche, and how it pushes her away from certain people. And how friendly warnings seem to reveal ugly intentions to her. I can’t figure out if her memory is painting a more accurate portrait of the characters or not. Maybe just different. I’m not even sure if Mokuren and Shion’s memories together really give us a good idea of the characters in the past. And maybe that’s one of the major themes. What face are you showing others, and what do they do with that information?
It’s pretty amazing, and I’m 16 volumes in. I can’t get over all the subtle nuances and storytelling and whatnot, and that all this work is still being put into it. It’s obvious Hiwatari is telling the story she wants to tell, and it makes me so happy to read it. I just can’t get enough.
One more thing. My favorite scene in the volume, and one of the most beautiful in the series so far, was when Mode, Mokuren’s attendant, asked her if she found anyone she could be friends with. There was a page that lingered on Mode and Mokuren, before Mokuren told Mode that nobody would be a friend like her. Which is true, she told Mode everything without putting on her Kiche face, and Mode was one of only a few people that treated Mokuren like a regular person. Their friendship really was special.