Micura Asahina Regina Otacorum

Behold Mikuru Asahina Queen of the Otaku.

moe

moe

The Haruhiverse provides loads of fodder for theological speculation.  Ep 14 of Haruhi-chan, as this image proves, is no exception.  Kyon and Haruhi are battling with balloons and Mikuru gets hurt.  Even though she’s clearly survived the attack, Haruhi and Kyon pretend she is dead and decide to crucify her (somehow in their twisted conception that’s the correct way of entombing her).  Then they decorate her”tomb” with balloons.

The storyline is silly, no doubt.  And to use the imagery in a theological discussion, well, it’d be easy to do but not particularly illuminating, would it?  These days crucifixion is “in”, trivialization of religious icons is rife, etc…

There is an angle here, though, that’s pretty unique, and it stems from the well-known fact that Mikuru is Moe.  In my book Mikuru is Super Moe.  Whenever I hear of Moe, Mikuru comes up (or her shadow Miyuki from Lucky Star).

MARO

But the subject of this post is not the “Crucifixion Moe”.  I do believe that you could work that angle, since people are extremely helpless when they are crucified.  One could argue then that this is ultimate Moe.

The subject of this post isn’t “Moe Crucified” either.  I mean, you could argue that Mikuru’s plea “but I’m still alive!” falls on deaf ears because Kyon and Haruhi are basically abusive to her and treat her like a toy, just like Yuki treats Achakura.  While usually this a source of merriment, maybe the crucifixion in this episode pushes it too far and reveals in the end the evils of Moe.  I’m not going to argue that, but I gues someone could.

So what’s my angle?  Well, a commenter on the Random Curiosity thread for this ep made the joke: “Mikuru died for your sins.”  Then it hit me: the imagery of this episode is neither the glorification of Moe nor the denunciation of Moe.  The imagery is just…Moe itself, barenaked Moe.

the world's a stage and...

Mikuru is a Moe character in anime.  This means:

1) Mikuru herself, or at the very least her “moe” traits, have been superadded to the story and are non-essential, tangential to the plot.

2) The role of Mikuru is not to interact with the other characters in the show so much as to interact with the viewers.  This explains why Haruhi and Kyon cannot hear her.

3) Mikuru’s role is soteriological: she dies to save us.  She dies for our sins, the sins of the otaku community.

And what are these sins?  Well, let’s single out the original sin, which is:

a) Insufficient willpower to relate to people in the real world, especially those of the opposite gender.  Lack of confidence obviously plays a role, but there is also this paradoxical cause:

b) Excessive confidence in our own self-worth, which leads us to denigrate others and detach ourselves from society by shifting the burden of “opening up communication” to the other side.  E.g.  “I know I’m worthy, so if they don’t want to talk to me then they suck.  If they suck then I don’t need to talk to them.”

Mikuru suffers and we feel better and laugh, while at the same time we love her and wish to protect her.  And just by watching her and thinking of her we feel we are in some sense fulfilling that role.

And I guess that’s one more way to look at the appeal and function of Moe.  I don’t intend it all to be a negative view of Moe although I suspect that many would view that way.  But come on, we don’t blame Christ’s Passion for making Christians look bad!

maro

LINGUSTIC NOTE:

One happy side effect of my Latinization of Mikuru Asahina’s name is that Micura = Mi cura, which means “my cure” in Spanish.

Of course, the MARO above the cross on the first pic is of my own insertion 🙂

~ by Haloed Bane on March 30, 2009.

27 Responses to “Micura Asahina Regina Otacorum”

  1. Once again, you take something and make it more interesting than it had any right to be, but I do totally see your point. Also, I realized that I totally have a ‘crucifixion moe’. Proven by the fact that 90% of what I draw involves crucifixion.

  2. I will go to hell for reading this post all the way to the end. No, I’m already in hell and you are the devil.

    What I find interesting in my atheism (yes, I am one) is the pretense it involves: it’s less atheistic than it is anti-theistic, as it – for most of the time a reaction to my Catholic upbringing and ever-present Roman Catholiphilia.

    So the episode, this post, my interaction with it is deliciously heretical.

    MARO, I wouldn’t be able to forget this if I tried.

  3. @digiboy

    i remember you saying once that you didn’t like depictions of pain and so you weren’t into S&M in anime and stuff. Crucifixion is pretty darn painful from what I hear. What gives?

    @ghostlightning

    Monarchianism, Sabellianism, Monophysitism, how sweet is Christian Heresiology?! Especially for the post-Christian…

    BTW, MARO is the new INRI, baby!


  4. D:

    Certainly an interesting way to look at this. Though I do like the Mikuru (=moe) died for your sins statement. A lot of people want moe gone, to be sure, but would it really be redemptive for anime, or apparently more importantly, anime fans?

  5. >>The role of Mikuru is not to interact with the other characters in the show so much as to interact with the viewers. This explains why Haruhi and Kyon cannot hear her.

    Hmmm that doesn’t really settle well for me. Does this imply that there is causality between a lack of in-text character interaction and an amount of “4th wall-ness”? I’m not sure…perhaps a “lack of” character interaction is still some kind of interaction, albeit on a more meta level, and then maybe it’s this meta level of which you speak…but then again I really have no idea what I’m talking about =3

  6. not into depictions of pain? I’ve been writing violent rape scenes since I was 15. I don’t like to FEEL pain, though. I can’t really get off on SnM because I don’t like pain, and also the clothes look fucking stupid. However, I love me some violence. Why do you think I love dark stories so much?

    As for crucifixions, I love them in particular thanks to Hideaki Anno and to a further extent Akiyuki Shinbo who love to use them. Shinbo especially can’t go a fucking episode of one of his shows without crucifying a character.

  7. MARO MARO MARO

    Or in other words, “。。。”

    Considering the extent to which I am obsessed with Beato of Umineko fame (?), I should stay silent on the topic of violence combined with moe. I just might gasmplode.

  8. @bign

    If you think being an otaku is a good thing, then i don’t see a problem with moe. If you take otaku negatively, then i guess eliminating moe might help the community. Moe = nectar or poison, take your pick!

    @lelangir

    Causality, yes. How? Like this:
    1) writers want to speak directly to the viewer (fanservice?)
    1) writers introduce Moe as a way to do this.
    2) Moe requires damsel in distress.
    3) Damsel in distress is very distressed if no one will listen to her.
    4) writers make the characters around the damsel deaf.

    Therefore, # 1 leads to # 4. QED.

    @digiboy

    someday i’m going to say “to hell with it” and ask you for a copy of your writings. but that day is not today, i’m relieved to say.. 🙂

    @kaiser

    the umineko image thread in animesuki looks awesome! that’s the first time i hear of this show..

  9. You know, Mikuru in the anime sorta does “sitteth at the right hand of God”. (Or maybe that’s Kyon’s role?) And so, from the old orthodoxy of Haruhiism, who continue to await the Messianic coming of their second season, arises a new sect – Mikuranity?

  10. @vendredi

    What you’re saying sorta sounds like the Gnostics, who put Jesus over and above the God of the Old Testament. The Catholic solution is to divinize the Messiah, but make him share in the Trinity with the Father. That would make Mikuru Haruhi’s daughter…But I rather not anger the Trikanaton (=HA-RU-HI) like that!

  11. […] time I talked about crosses in anime was when Haruhi-chan crucified Mikuru.  Remember that?  I saw a couple of instances on forums where people who pointed the religious […]

  12. Haruhi Suzumiya is God and Mikuru Asahina is our Messiah….

    Proofs:

    1)
    God created Jesus.
    Haruhi created Mikuru (Itsuki told us)

    2)
    Jesus suffered for our salvation.
    Mikuru suffered so we can be saved from Haruhi’s wrath (Salvation) or she just do it to make us happy.

    3)
    Jesus was God’s favorite.
    Mikuru was Haruhi’s favorite.

    $)
    Jesus was tortured.
    Mikuru was tortured.

    5)
    God is wrathful.
    Haruhi is sadistic.

    6)
    Jesus is pacifist.
    Mikuru is pacifist.

    By the way, Kyon is Simon Peter, and the Holy Spirit is either Yuki or Itsuki. The right hand of Haruhi is nobody else but Mikuru, the Messiah herself.

    Just joking, but personally I think Mikuru Asahina is really a Messiah, maybe one of the long line of our Messiahs that appeared in human history. Mikuru’s moe personality and treatment provides an alternative to raping and torturing real women and getting imprisoned for it.

  13. @John

    Analogically argued, I see. Everything matches except Kyon and Peter. I’ve never seen Kyon doubt Mikuru, though I haven’t read past book 3 so…

    I would not be surprised if virtual technology will progress to a stage where many social crimes disappear, by virtue of the..well, you get my drift, yeah.

  14. Ok, but I still believe Haruhi is God and Mikuru is the Messiah.

  15. But, if Haruhi is God, Mikuru is the Messiah, and Yuki and Itsuki are the Holy Spirit, I think Kyon represents the entire ordinary human race (he doubts on Haruhi alias God a lot, and people sometimed doubt about God a lot), which includes Peter and the Saints.

  16. Yeah, Kyon = Everyman. I think a lot of people see him this way, and of course it makes perfect sense. Haruhi loves him so… I guess God is supposed to love everyone too…except the devils, aliens, time travelers, sliders.

  17. If I am right, Haruhi is God, Mikuru is Jesus, Yuki and Itsuki are the Holy Spirit, and Kyon is the ordinary person.

    The problem is that there is a fan theory called “Kyon is God”, Kyon has all the power and he is just redirecting it to Haruhi. Then again, if Kyon is the real power behind Haruhi, then that means God is the collective manifestation of our souls. That also explains why Mikuru’s “sacrifice” dissipates the stress of both Haruhi and many real people.

    “That would make Mikuru Haruhi’s daughter”

    We all know Mikuru is a time traveller. Itsuki said Mikuru was created by Haruhi. However there is the possiblity that Mikuru is Haruhi’s biological daughter from the future. That might explain Mikuru’s “classified” replies, because if she reveals her identity it might go like this:

    Mikuru: I am your daughter…
    Haruhi: WTF?! (blows up Earth)

    To prevent that scenario, Mikuru mindwiped herself into saying Classified before going to the past and begin her sacrifice.

    By the way, that’s just my theory.

    • @John

      “there is the possiblity that Mikuru is Haruhi’s biological daughter from the future.”

      Well there is a Wild Mass Guess that Mikuru is Kyon and Haruhi’s designer baby from the future….

  18. ! This reminds me of Stephen Dedalus’ theory that Shakespeare is Hamlet’s father’s ghost 🙂

  19. OMG I knew it! If Haruhi is God then Mikuru is Jesus!

  20. Mikuru is Jesus. However, that means she is related to the other (and manly) Jesus of anime…..

    Kamina!!!! (Or Lelouch, maybe,)

    I also have other theories. Mikuru is Jesus, right? I mostly agree with John’s comments earlier, but I think there are more than just saying “Mikuru is Haruhi’s daughter”. Haruhi isn’t really GOD, she’s just a Demiurge figure (I’m personally a supporter of Gnostics), and we still don’t know where Haruhi’s powers came from, the source of Haruhi’s power might be Mikuru’s very origin. Popularly that figure is Kyon (or maybe the collective unconscious of normal people where Kyon is included), so if “Kyon is God” then maybe he was the one who created Mikuru on the first place (possibly as a designer baby) as a neutralizer to Haruhi (since Haruhi still has Kyon’s omnipotent powers).

    Alternatively, both were created by Kyon, Haruhi being an unstable prototype, and Mikuru as a stable one. imprinted with the words “classified information” in the psyche to stabilize her eldritch origins. Or maybe, all the members of the SOS Brigade except Haruhi is in fact an aspect of Jesus, with Mikuru representing Jesus’ physical innocence, Yuki representing Jesus’ limitless-yet-controlled powers, Itsuki representing Jesus’ vast-but-properly used knowledge, and Kyon as the foundation that connects everything for everything to function, or nexus.

    People also try to describe Jesus as a Prince. Maybe Mikuru is also royalty (a princess maybe, but maybe that’s going overboard since that will make her an Orihime), and maybe related to her original “classified information” creators from the future, Haruhi and Kyon (unlike Yuki and Itsuki, since both have present day creators), who will rule the world in the future (sure why not, since Haruhi is a megalomaniac, and Kyon resembles the 40k Emperor, aka people do bad things under his name)

    The theories might be many, but anyway I enjoy having Mikuru as a Jesus figure, she cures me (and otaku in general) of my Evangelionesque angst by abusing her (tragedy) and having pity at her afterwards (catharsis) at the same time.

    • First off, bonus points for using the word “eldritch”.Your notion of the SOS brigade as a whole being a corporate deity, or a social pentarchy of some sort, is interesting. Also, this idea of Mikuru being Haruhi and Kyon’s spawn makes so much sense in a twisted sense. Daughter of Gods…

      I much prefer Lelouch to Kamina, but that’s just me.

  21. […] Micura Asahina Regina Otacorum […]

  22. “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing…” Actually that’s Mikuru Asahina’s message to Creator Nagaru Tanigawa for the forgiveness of the sins of the otaku community, and their relentless abuse of Moe under the name of Haruhi “Jehova” Suzumiya.

  23. […] Micura Asahina Regina Otacorum […]

  24. […] have mapped theology onto anime several times: in posts like Micura Asahina Regina Otacorum (metaphor: Mikuru is Christ), K-On! 2: There is a God (metaphor: Tsumugi is God), Kyon Falls from […]

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