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Old 2011-11-27, 11:31   Link #99
Cross Game - I need more
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: I've moved around the American West. I've lived in Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Oklahoma
Age: 39
Chosen vs Unchosen

This episode was very thought provoking and I've been thinking about it for a while. My thoughts went all over the place so I might ramble a bit, but I hope that people will read and respond. I'm interested in others thoughts.

The main theme from this episode (and has tied together a theme that's been running through all the episodes before) is the chosen vs the unchosen.

The belief is expressed that there are those that are chosen,and those that are not chosen. Those that are not chosen are tossed away like trash, while the chosen rise to power, wealth and fame. Triple H is an example of this. Compare Himari (Unchosen) to her friends (Chosen).

Whether the Child Broiler really exists in story or not is of little difference to me. The symbolism we are to take from it is the same. At some point children are given up on. They are not "chosen" and so are tossed away.

Immediately this made me think of the Japanese educational system, and the emphasis on entrance tests. The chosen few go to the elite schools, what happens to the unchosen? The ones that don't get in to the elite schools.

Additionally I've been given to understand that in Japan the most important impact on your future employment is which college you attend. Not your grades. Not how well prepared you are to preform. But which college you attend. Thus those that are "chosen" advance. What happens to the unchosen?

Maison Ikkoku is actually one of the rare shows to follow a man who is one of the unchosen. Godai got into a college so poor that even mentioning it's name makes prospective employers reject him. He can't get a job, despite being diligent and honest. There seems to be no reward for his virtues, for they are not valued, and his flaws are despised. Of course, Godai does ultimately triumph- but not by going the normal route- and he's still poor. Of course Maison Ikkoku was made during the boom years, so perhaps things are more desperate now.

Interestingly the solution of Godai in Maison Ikkoku is echoed in Penguindrum. Godai is not chosen by the world, but he is "chosen" by Kyoto (his Love Interest), and by his fellow residents at Maison Ikkoku (his nakama- even though they are abusive towards him). Essentially Godai chooses his nakama at the end. Similarly, Shouma has created a small family, in which he choose them. The world unchose Himari, but Shouma chose her. Tabuki's mother unchose him, but Momoka chose him. So on, and so on. I wonder if part of Shouma's funk right now can be explained by his sense that his parent have "unchoosen" him, (choosing Kanba instead?)

I think this aspect of being "unchosen" speaks to the condition of a lot of young Japanese who can not get permanent employment and so are reduced to eternal part-time work. Similar conditions exist through out the world right now. Spain. Italy. The Arab world. The "unchosen" young cannot find employment.

This is a much more serious condition outside of the United States. The US has a much more fluid workplace and so a part time worker does have the possibility of moving up and advancing. Becoming "chosen" even if he was "unchosen" before. Even so, it is a problem here as well. Much of the Occupy Wall Street movement is driven by college students who thought they were "chosen" and then suddenly discovered that they are not. It used to be you went to college and graduated and you got a job no problem. Not so anymore. They feel cheated.

This is also finally made clear to me the difference and similarity of the Tea Party and the Occupy movements. Both of them are furious at a system that they see as choosing winners and losers unfairly. Both bridle at the fact that there are now the "chosen" and the "unchosen".

The difference is that they have completely opposite solutions. Occupy Wall Street says that everyone should be "chosen". If a person is "unchosen" then the government should interfere to choose him. They are angry at the bailout, because why did the bankers get bailed out but not ordinary Americans. Where is my bailout?

The Tea Party thinks that no one should be chosen. Or at least, that there should be no central power that decides who is chosen and who is not. Thus the problem is the government "choosing" winners in the first place. It explains why they are so furious about the bailout of GM and the Solyndra scandal. To them the government made them "chosen". To the Tea Party the solution is to depower the government so it can't choose anyone. There also an untapped sentiment in the Tea Party that would favor breaking up the big banks (unfortunately for the Tea Party they have yet to find a politician who supports this and also supports their other more conservative views). The theory of the Tea Party is that if no one central figure is powerful enough to impose a regime of chosen and unchosen, then we will all fall back on the old way:

We are "chosen" by our family or friends or individual employer. Since the power to choose is spread out there are so many options and opportunities to be chosen that eventually most everyone will find a place. And even if one person deems you "unchosen," there is always another person who will deem you "chosen".

These are radically different concepts about how to determine chosen and unchosen. I'm curious where Penguindrum will come down on it.

Cross Game - A Story of Love, Life, Death - and Baseball. What more could you want?

Last edited by Sackett; 2011-11-27 at 11:55.
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