Man, you’d think this far in the future the open-world genre would be a lot more expansive. Maybe they just need that new DLC expansion pack. Apparently it comes with a whole new map and even a new family if you want it to. Thanks μ!
So it looks like ‘getting out’ isn’t as straightforward as it first appeared. Or maybe it’s not even possible at all. At least, not without destroying the system first. Rather than comparing this to the Matrix, something like Haruhi Suzumiya’s Endless Eight or Angel Beats might have been a better description. For now, Shikishima and the 3 other new outliers we’ve met are confined to a state of half-awareness, knowing that something insane is going on but not yet able to comprehend the true depths of the situation. I won’t say it again after this (let’s focus on the positives!), but I really can’t help but be reminded of how much the synopsis took away from this show. I obviously wouldn’t know for sure, but I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to say that my mind would have been way more blown if I had no prior context for this. I know she meant well, but μ’s attempts to woo them to rejoining the brainwashed by offering them a new family or any other desire was just straight up creepy!
That being said, I am once again pleasantly surprised by this episode’s turn of events. It feels like we learned a bunch, but there’s still a lot more awaiting us. Even what I considered to be spoiled content is being redeemed as we delve into the complexities. μ, mu, or μ (as MyAnimeList spells it, I’m assuming because she’s a program, AI-thing) is desperately trying to keep people in this fake world in order to bring them happiness. It seems though that her pureness is being manipulated by the group that call themselves the Ostinato Musicians. Somehow, they are using her songs to make the passive people turn into those monster-things in an attempt to target people who come to realize the truth of the world.
Here’s something cool. From a quick google search, ostinato music is derived from Italian for ‘stubborn’ and means “a motif or phrase that persistently repeats in the same musical voice, frequently at the same pitch.” While it’s typically meant to be the exact same each time, the term extends to music that features ‘variation and development’ within the repetition too. It looks like Shikishima and the gang are part of the latter definition. I’m glad I looked that up before making fun of their name because I was definitely going to. I had a lot of jokes lined up actually. Most of the rest of the post was just going to be ostinato-based puns and jokes. Shoot.
So the group’s name is a type of music with a central theme of repetition of short melodies. Plus, a majority of the lyrics that μ sings also drive home the whole ‘hey guys, you’ve been repeating the same time period for a while now’ conundrum. Like this little, light-hearted ditty:
“My heartbeat resonates through the sky, through endless, repeating days, as I carry my hidden wounds.”
I can’t say the powerful, but well-meaning, person being taken advantage of by an evil organization is really anything new but there’s still so many questions to be answered that I’m consistently captivated by the show. What they may lack in creativity they make up for in execution. For one thing, I don’t quite get whether or not everyone inside this world is a real person or whether there are some NPC characters mixed in. Also, for Mifue, we saw her mom once at the very beginning with what looked like an eating disorder. Something along the lines of anorexia. Then we never saw her again. Was that simply a glitch? Or was it supposed to show how the catalyst for a seamless transition from real life into the ‘perfect world’ happens?
At this point it’s unclear where this show will go. Whether or not we’ll ever leave the simulation or if the group will eventually join forces and try to bring down the system from the inside is still up in the air. I’m counting on Shikishima, Mifue, and sunglasses dude and lady duo to come together soon and possibly get their own versions of Aria, like Shougo has. Following typical anime conventions, it will have to take the form of something from their lives that caused them to enter into the mobius system in the first place. With how little we know, finding out each person’s reasons for being thrown into the system (and them having to overcome those flaws when they do find out) should be very interesting.
I say all this, but it’s only the 2nd episode. It could be in the next episode that this all goes down the drain. Currently, I’m just genuinely excited to see what kind of ride we’re in for.