Please Save My Earth 20
December 7, 2011
Saki Hiwatari – Viz – 2007 – 21 volumes
So, big reveal in this volume. A couple of them, actually. The bizarre circumstances surrounding Mokuren’s death, both in the past and present; and Alice wakes up after regaining all her memories and talks with Rin. It’s the latter that takes up most of the volume and has my full attention (there’s also some background story about how the other characters are searching for Alice), but the former is worth commenting on, as well.
It almost… doesn’t make sense? The last thing that Mokuren does. Actually, I can’t comment on it too much since I’ll spoil it, but I was a little puzzled. It was almost too new age-y for my taste, but it does tie everything together nicely, and it does attempt to give Shion hope in a rather hopeless situation. Of course, it’s not much hope, and we find out it didn’t do much good in the past. But still.
I did love and adore the conversations between Alice and Rin, though. Both make a distinction between Alice and Mokuren, and Rin and Shion. Alice tries to clearly make that distinction when it becomes obvious that Rin’s plans are conflicted because he and Shion are disagreeing about a plan of action. The distinction is also important, because Alice tries to use it to convince Rin that he’s not Shion, and that they’re two different people. Rin refuses to hear it. If he’s not Shion, then why does he love Mokuren? He can’t, and Alice would never love him if she wasn’t also Mokuren. But then Shion also doesn’t really think Mokuren really loved him back, nor does Mokuren believe that Shion loved her back, both because of the kiches on her forehead.
And that’s really the rub in this volume. Neither Alice nor Rin can properly convey the fact that they really love each other, no matter the time or place. Rin is too ready to give up, and lacks confidence in himself, where Alice still believes that Rin only loves her because she’s Mokuren, and Shion only loved Mokuren because she is a Kiche Sarjalian.
That they just can’t, no matter how hard they try, convey their feelings without running away or disbelieving… it’s an amazing handful of scenes. Adding to this is the fact that the conversations are interspersed with flashbacks to Mokuren’s death and its affect on Shion, and some glimpses of Shion’s years of isolation after that. The whole thing is tragic in so many ways, and Hiwatari pulls no punches.
I want to talk about Alice and Shin a little more, but unfortunately I don’t want to spoil things any more than I already have. I do want to talk about the ending next time, though, and I’ll do a big old spoiler cut for that so I can be satisfied. The ending is… both amazing and a little disappointing. It’s worth reading, though.