— Temporal Vortex

Kaiba – Inevitability of Poverty

Kaiba is strange. I guess that would be the best adjective that could describe it for me. With the way that the characters were drawn, I never expected it would have serious connotations with regards to reality. Of course, the mere fact that it discusses the concept of memories already made me so fascinated on what could its plot be. But, let me toss aside that concept for the meantime and let me talk about the title itself of the entry. (Let me talk about memories on the next post! )

Okay, let me first introduce you to the Dualistic Dependence Theory. It is an economic theory which states that the existence of poor and the rich (non-poor) is inevitable and poverty could never be erased from the face of the earth.

It is probably much represented already by the electrolytic clouds that there is a barrier between those who are poor and those who have the money. It was even stated at  one point that the rich were the ones responsible for this division. Also, it was quite portrayed in the first episode that the poor won’t easily be able to get through the electrolytic clouds, which I’ll explain a bit more in detail later. Popo during episode one would be seen talking with a bunch of people making a hot air balloon that would supposedly let them reach the vicinity above, or in this case, the place of rich people. This actually made me remember Gurren Lagann on how there is the concept of the people under the ground and those who are above who pulls the strings so that those who are beneath the crust will stay so, and if we would try to remember, Lordgenome mentions as well the reason as “something inevitable” due to the Anti-Spirals. Although, I have to make it clear that in Gurren Lagann, those who are beneath the surface aren’t necessarily those who are poor, same as to those who are atop who aren’t necessarily the rich as well.

So, now, let me go back to Kaiba. Also, I think it’s easier to refer to people above the surface as those who have the power while those who are beneath as those who are powerless, or so it seems. Similar to the representation from Gurren Lagann, Kaiba presented the “barrier” between the two strata as something man-made or induced by men themselves. So here I am asking myself, does poverty/inequality inevitably exists, or is it because the people let it exist? It seems Kaiba answers it with “the people let it exist”. After all, if those who are rich didn’t make the electrolytic clouds, then the barrier couldn’t have existed, and those who were living beneath the surface weren’t stuck there to begin with.

Electrolytic clouds in Kaiba aren’t as simple as ordinary clouds, or else it won’ be named that way. It seems that inhaling the particles of the electrolytic clouds will make you forget your memories. It’s as if it is trying to imply that trying to transcend from being poor to that of being rich is similar to forgetting who you really are (since you have to pass through the clouds to live atop the surface). And as we all know it, this is some kind of brainwash mechanism which makes those who are poor think that it’s impossible for them to climb atop someday. Of course, there are still those who hold their hopes up. Take Chroniko for example, she had the dream to abandon their poor ways of living, but in her attempt to escape poverty, the rich tried to tamper both her memories and body, living her family mere amounts of luxurious food that would only hold for a day. It seems that those who have power will always be able to find a way to hinder those who are trying to make it at the top.

Of course, this is a mere representation of the anime– of what could be happening in the real world. I won’t know for sure if this is the absolute mechanism that we are currently following. All that I could envy is that, in Kaiba, the protagonists were able to eliminate the existence of the electrolytic clouds which symbolizes the barrier between those who are poor and rich.

Will that ever happen in real life? Or do we succumb in the idea that poverty and inequality is indeed inevitable and that poverty will never be erased from the face of the earth? Does this also prove that the elimination of the barrier between those who are rich and poor only happen in fiction?


image credits: pixiv user ノースキャロライナ飴子

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