On a whim, I decided to post this. It will be good practice and preview for what you can expect from me. I probably won’t follow up next week. Note, this comes from someone who has NOT read the book, so I will be theory-crafting on things that are already answered =P
So if you haven’t been following Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, I want you to find the nearest hard object, a glass will do, and smash it into your own head, because it’s a lovely series that deserves a chance. You are advised to not continue reading because of major spoilers, obviously, since I’m jumping straight in at 11 of 12.
If you are one of those who haven’t watched and continue to read, a brief overview: Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi (hereafter simply referred to as “KIN”) is a series essentially about the zombie apocalypse without the panic. In this world, people have simply stopped dying. That is to say, they die, then several minutes thereafter, they simply get up again. They still have emotions, walk and talk, and overall are utterly normal, except for the fact physically, they are dead. Meaning the familiar image of a zombie with decayed skin shambling forward doesn’t happen for another 5, 10, even 20 years as their body begins to decay and their mind withers. There are even whole new fields of science dedicated to replacing the body parts of the dead with new cells and organs, to keep them functioning. The only way for people to truly “die” (as we understand it), is to be buried by a Gravekeeper, some seemingly artificial-intelligence human who is good-natured, yet cold and emotionless when it comes to their duty of burying the dead. Ai Astin, our heroine, is the daughter of one such Gravekeeper.
So, skipping ahead to episode 11. This is your last chance. I warn you.
There were quite a few bombshells in this week’s episode. Some expected, and some not so expected. We had excellent character moments, and more insight into how they felt about the universe. But I want to focus on Dee for a moment.
So we have learned that Dee is dead in the outside world. Or, “to” the outside world may be appropriate. And we have confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that she loves Ares (I refuse to call him Alis/Alice until official translations are compiled xD Despite the poignant rabbit hole metaphor). However, the scrutinizing viewer may have noticed something about her story that doesn’t add up…
Dee claims that the bubble world was created when the class of 3-4 wished to undo her death collectively. This is what keeps her alive, yet still dead when she leaves the confines of it. The bubble world is her cage, yet it sustains her. But no matter how this is sliced, it doesn’t QUITE add up.
The contradictions are obvious, or, perhaps obvious. It has been implied that the power of wishes has only become apparent after the Undying Time. And it most closely associated to those close to death, implying the connection even further. But for Dee to have died, and then immediately (or very shortly thereafter, presumably a few days) be wished back to life makes the window of opportunity uncompromisingly slim (no pun intended). In a normal circumstance, there is NO WAY this story checks out. Something is definitely up.
So, let’s get into why this may be.
Theory 1: Class 3-4 created the Undying Time. It is a poetic option. In their will to revive their beloved classmate, 3-4 unwittingly created the world where people cannot die. This is a favored option because KIN’s biggest weakness, I have felt, was the lack of a weaved narrative. It was more “adventures in the world of the undead”, which is nice, but there has been absolutely no theme. The theme has focused on Gravekeepers, which hasn’t been a plot point since arriving at Ortus. It then focused heavily on the dead, which has mostly disappeared since leaving Ortus. It then went to the power of wishing, where Ai’s Gravekeeper status was barely flimsy justification, and now to the bubble world, which has been dealing very little with any of those issues. Even Ai failed to notice her shovel went missing. How bad is it when the main character forgets the “premise” of the show? But this theory would, in a strange way, wrap all of those pieces together at the very end. I had been hopeful that KIN would be a breakout show in the same vein as, say, Angel Beats or Madoka. However the lack of focus has made it hard to feel as optimistic and passionate as the Humpney Humbert arc. While this structure works for a book, as in Shinsekai Yori earlier this year, sometimes these formats don’t take to the screen very well, and this is one of them. Still, this could be the saving grace of the series that propels it upwards again.
Theory 2: 3-4 is not to blame; Ares is. This is basically the same as the first theory, but the blame lays squarely on Ares. It is possible he wished for the bubble world, which is why he remains aware of its existence while the others became drones. Dee would be “immune” since she IS technically dead. After all he is the one who slipped Ai the article about Dee’s death. If she were to properly die, as Ai and Dee theorize, the world might be broken. Ares must have thought of this. It might be his hidden feelings for her that keep him from acting on it, and blind denial that makes him persist that the “class” must be saved. I think another piece of this is that we still don’t -know- Ares’ wish. The headmistress surmised he had perfect aim, but Ares remained mute. His wish may be more abstract, a “I wish to save the ones I care about,” that can take various shapes depending on the situation. After all, he once killed all of the classmates….except Dee. Why hold back on her?
Theory 3: 3-4 is not to blame; Dee is. It may have been Dee’s wish to remain with Ares that created the world all along, even unwittingly. While it’s true that 3-4 may have wished strongly, they might have lacked the passion of a 16 year old girl heart-throbbing after the cute boy. It grants them both immunity from the effects of the world in reverse: Ares for being Dee’s object of attention, and Dee for her “god” status within the bubble world.
Theory 4: The scapegoat option; We are still missing information. It is also just as likely, if not more, we are missing information. The bubble world still makes little sense. In short: Someone is lying. It is “not exactly” a full year. So, perhaps two weeks short? It has moved quite a bit from the outside world, in just fifteen years. Which is the elephant in the room. Where did 35,000 people come from? Ares says he brought them into the bubble world. That makes sense for a few, but 35,000? In, at most, 15 years? And that’s presuming he escaped the world before the first cycle, which it seems he did not. It may be that the Undying Time was created when he and Dee escaped, but even that gives them so little time, as they have spent considerable chunks inside as well as outside. I’d be lucky to MEET a random 35,000 people who went along with my crazy plan, let alone get them all back and live it out. This seems the most likely.
Theory 4-a: Ares/Dee are God: It may be the world where God abandoned the world, but perhaps it is because Ares (or Dee, or 3-4, depending) are the “new” god, inwardly focused on the bubble world. They created a new world, so thus the old one broke down. It has seemed very likely God did not send the Gravekeepers, but that they were wished into existence by someone who wished for a way to die, and die properly. But if they WERE sent by “God”, in the form of one of these characters, we might get something of an answer why Dee refused to go closer to the Gravekeeper field. It does seem strange to be so close to our bubble world. Ares’ words about not answering everyone’s wishes (or perhaps, prayers? she asked with a raised eyebrow) removes their motivation to fix the world with their own hands, also seems a very metaphysical concept that seems innocent at first glance, but could be much more important next week. Perhaps the bubble world is a Kamisama’s viewpoint when he lost perspective.
Theory 5: The Cake is a lie. Going by KIN’s record, there just may not be anything tying these points together, and perhaps it is wishful thinking to hope that there is. Obviously, this is the least-preferred option, and the series on a whole would have to receive a rating of “disappointment” if it just stopped without doing anything else.
That’s all I wanted to cover, the final stretch comes this week, so I hope you’ll play catch-up on this unique series if you haven’t already.