Sunday, August 26, 2012

Some Thoughts on Momiji and Binbougami Ga! Episode 8

I'm not an episodic blogger (episodic blogging is suffering), but I found Binbougami Ga! episode 8 had some interesting topics in it, and it has been far too long since my last anime post, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

     In this episode, dependency was an underlying theme. The idea of dependency on friends is nothing new in anime, but I was able to appreciate it here because of the specific situation Ichiko is in. When she tries to help people in dangerous situations, Ichiko's fortune can activate, which would put her safety first and the person's she's helping second. In other cases, like Tsuwabuki's, she lacks the ability to help them herself. That's where Momiji and her ability to extract Ichiko's fortune comes in. See, even though her solution to Ranmaru's pinch didn't really require the fortune (she could have just destroyed the rubble herself, it seemed like) from a logical standpoint, as far as the story is concerned, Ichiko needs Momiji in order to help people. She depends on Momiji's ability to extract her fortune so she can then use it to help others. When you consider that the whole show's theme so far has been about Ichiko coming out of her shell and growing closer to other people, this puts Momiji in a position of remarkable power.

     One reason I find that interesting is because Momiji has, so far, been portrayed as a decidedly unpowerful character. Her misfortune, combined with Ichiko's fortune, always have her goofing up, failing, and getting thwarted by Ichiko. When one considers Ichiko's goals of helping others (whether she actively goes about it or not), though, Momiji goes through a role reversal. She may not be able to get what she wants, but she could certainly wreck Ichiko's personal life (and mental state) if she really wanted to by not helping her (thus resulting in the death/severe injury of people because of Ichiko). Which brings us the thing I find most interesting: Momiji's motivations.

     Though the two are portrayed as being antagonists to each other (or simply has having sexual frustration to an unhealthy degree, depending on the settings of your yuri goggles), Momiji and Ichiko's relationship is a little different in actuality. Over the course of the series, Momiji has helped Ichiko considerably in her various efforts, either as a catalyst or through direct involvement. But one has to wonder why? Momiji certainly doesn't seem particularly unhappy with her assignment. She spends most of her time just hanging out and slacking off, and even acts to keep it from being handed to someone else in an earlier episode. And yet, she is constantly scheming to take Ichiko's fortune from her, and often to herself (so it's not like she does it to keep up appearances). So why is she always so ready to help Ichiko? I mean, heck, she even had the chance to take, like, a significant portion of her fortune in the episode itself, but instead gave it to her to use.

     Now, you could just write this off for a number of reasons. In one view, Momiji is almost a guardian figure to Ichiko, guiding her through life. In another, she could just be a person with "good" tendencies. Heck, you could even say it's a plothole. But what I'm wondering about is, what if Momiji decides to stop helping Ichiko? With the person she depends on gone, it's safe to say that Ichiko's ability to retain her current life is limited. Either she'd regress and go back to her shell, or continue on and no doubt hurt someone unintentionally. Either way, it's doubtful to actually happen, given the kind of show Binbougami Ga! is, but then again, this show does like to include drama elements. It makes you wonder, doesn't it? What if Momiji turned "evil" and hurt Ichiko instead of helping her?

. . .Yup, I'm never being an episodic blogger.


  1. Perhaps Momiji helping Ichiko despite it conflicting with her own interests is simply a ploy to make her more endearing to viewers? I mean, she has nothing (aside from maybe a guilt-free conscience) to gain from doing so, I mean, she’s a God of misfortune, helping Ichiko kind of contradicts her very reason for existence!

    Hey, maybe we could class her as being one of those selfless characters we talked about?

    1. Well, there's certainly that. I fully acknowledge that the chances anything will come of this power "struggle" between Momiji and Ichiko are quite low, so...

      As for selflessness, I like where you're going with this. If I really think about, though, I would probably This trait of hers only really seems to surface when Ichiko is concerned (she doesn't interact with many other characters, but you can assume from the way she abuses her henchmen...). So, this instead seems to suggest Momiji only cares about Ichiko more than herself, rather than people in general. I guess actually she could be a selfless character, but a subset of the archetype on the whole, being selfless where only one person is concerned...maybe? I don't know, it's certainly something to think about.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. In the manga it's clear that Ichiko and Momiji care and rely on one another. Momiji even states later on that "As Ichiko's partner, I will protect her with everything I've got." And Ichiko says, "when she'I here with me (speaking of Momiji', I won't ever lose."

    They make one another strong. They protect each other and when in a pinch they save each other