Afterthoughts on Kamisama no Memochou
The series was actually engaging but it had me thinking why some of the characters were like that.
Narumi had a very questionable personality during the start of the series. He claims that he’s already used to not seeing the “full image” – which is why he remained being a lone dot. But, he was annoyingly bowing to everything that’s happening around him. There’s no pressure at all being applied to him but he still unwillingly went and got dragged by Ayaka. He actually instinctively stayed during the scene in episode 1 where the girl jumped from the window even though Hiro and everyone else actually didn’t even mind him witnessing the event.
Yeah, in short he was so pretentious. He claims that he doesn’t want to be involved even though he actually badly wants to. Ok, so the word “badly” might be an overstatement, but I don’t see the reason behind his choice to stay after Ayaka left him (aside from the fact that she originally planned to treat him for dinner, tsk.).
Meanwhile, Alice was also pretentious at some degree. I don’t know why she over emphasizes on the word NEET every time she introduces herself. Not to mention, her jargon about detectives being speakers for the dead. Her introduction to Narumi also went over the top. She blames herself for being inefficient and for failing to prevent the death of people she doesn’t even know. Messiah complex? I don’t know– but for someone with that kind of thinking, I wonder why she chooses to stay inside her apartment every time instead.
Really now, I don’t get why these two main characters contradict their selves.
On being a victim of circumstance
I tried to look on the net the definition but I think the closest would be “Someone whose bad luck was not of his own making” (Ringo’s DESTINYYY suddenly rang on my head). I honestly don’t believe that there exists an instance where one simply got drifted along. That person did allow the external forces to take over, and that was his/her own decision (it’s a different case if the decision was beyond the control of the person, then again there’s just a thin line between beyond and within).
There is this post from 4ch regarding the run-of-the-mill formula being used by several anime in male protagonists and after reading this, I though that there is a need to clarify the synonymy of the phrases “victim of circumstance” and “going with the flow”. Though I won’t deny the fact that the trend is getting a bit stale already, I think that there’s a misunderstanding on how these two phrases are being used interchangeably to describe the characters mentioned in the post.
The general consensus among personality researchers is that behavior is a function of the person, the situation, and the person within the situation. The situation clearly isn’t a primary factor because Narumi lacks the knowledge to know the future consequences of being involved with Alice and everyone else so this is clearly a question of his personality and I think that it’s pretty clear throughout the anime that he likes to stick his nose pretty much where ever he goes, which is why after watching the series, I was convinced that he isn’t a victim of circumstance, since he wasn’t a victim of something beyond his control. He might be going with the flow though, and that’s different because it’s within his control. It was his very own choice to initiate the sake ceremony with Yondaime. It was his choice all along, perhaps in lieu of Ayaka’s efforts to befriend him; he must have felt the responsibility to return the mutuality of the relationship by sticking with her, even if that means being associated with the NEETs and a yakuza group.
image credits: pixiv user Tiv