Shigofumi: Two Become One (?)

It’s not every day that someone with dissociative identity disorder gets to to physically shoot their alternate self. Or do they?

The implication is certainly heavy in the Department of Shigofumi Fumika Being Quite, er, Dead (for real this time), but we don’t know for sure at the moment. The actual process of implication, however, interested me. When Fumi spies MIka at the top of the shrine staircase, she immediately runs up to hug her, seeking solace and comfort in her very presence. The series handled the dichotomous personalities as aptly as most filmed things do with split personalities (the different personalities talk to each other through the magic of camerawork dividing shots between the personalities) but this scene in particular stood out for me. As Fumi hugs Mika, the two are essentially one, and Fumi is dependent on the presence of Mika in order to be able to cope with the pain of Kirameki’s torturous mockery of love. But, then, of course, Mika tells Fumi the truth: she is the one who shot her father, not her.

At this point, and I believe those in film studies like to refer to this phenomenon as “symbolism”, Fumi breaks her embrace of Mika and takes a step or two backwards (see picture). It is here, of course, that Fumi realizes just how separate Mika is from her, and, upon invitation to, supposedly shoots Mika. At the end of the episode, we are treated to Fumika (the real deal) trooping down to the police station for a questioning on the truth of the shooting incident, whereupon she immediately requests that charges be brought against her father, ostensibly for child abuse, with the declaration that “This time, I’ll be the one to shoot.”

If Fumi really shot Mika back there, then it’s entirely possible that what’s happened isn’t the death of Mika, but rather a symbolic (there’s that word again) representation of the fusion of the two discrete personalities into a whole once again. This is, of course, the Holy Grail of all dissociative identity disorder patients who are cognizant that they suffer from multiple personalities. With Fumi acting much more firm, and unwilling to take any more of her situation, it almost seems to me that this is exactly what’s happened. Maybe not even fusing both personalities into a whole–the act of shooting Mika could also be interpreted as Fumi regaining personal control over her life, also demonstrated by her strictly-business attitude in the questioning.  Whichever it is, I”m sure we’ll find out the thrilling and exciting truth behind everything in the final episode!

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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a ridiculously long and only partially organized list of subjects


March 2008

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