Shigofumi: “I hate you!” “Well, I hate you MORE!”

“No, I hate YOU more!”
“No, I hate YOU even more!”
“I hate you times infinity!”
“I hate you times infinity PLUS ONE!”

Repeat ad nauseum. Ah, childhood, those long-gone halcyon days…

The conclusion to Shigofumi operated much the same as the other Shigofumi delivery episodes, strangely enough, except this time the focus was Mikawa Fumika and the trauma of a media circus. The result of the trial is left somewhat open-ended, although I presume from the shot of Kirameki in a prison visiting room, that the jury found him quite guilty of child abuse. But what happens to Kirameki isn’t the main point, however; it’s the very tangible tension between Fumi and Mika.

Fumi (the original personality) probably didn’t think about the media storm that would come from her suing her father for child abuse, and, as such, was not prepared for the flurry of reporters swamping houses and the rumor mill grinding away at full capacity at school. It’s obvious mere minutes into the episode that she can’t stand all this attention on her, and it is not long that she progresses close to the breaking point. I would argue that she has it in her mind to punish herself (and not Mika) for the incident three years ago,  and the current aftermath. It’s probably a guilt complex grafted onto her via her father’s abuse–since even her beloved father despises her, the fault must therefore lie with her, and so she is to blame for everything. However, no matter how much she tries, she is ever cognizant of the fact that she is being watched at every turn, and this slowly begins to grate down her defenses.

Eventually, she, of course, cracks under the pressure, and tries to take her own life. Then Mika steps in, and that whole heated exchange takes place. Fumi wants to shoulder the blame by herself, and Mika thinks that she is the one who should be punished. It’s an interesting war between dual personalities who happen not to occupy the same body at the moment  And yet, despite the difference in ability to handle the pressures of living, the two of them realize, somewhat belatedly, that they really aren’t that different at all. Rather than being two competing personalities, they are instead two halves of a complete person–Fumi having created Mika to bear the pain. They both have different maturity levels, and Fumi has missed out on three years of maturing, yet, in the end, as they come to understand while telling the other what they wanted to do in life, they aren’t that different at all. Hence the cathartic breakdown in both of them, each telling the other that they hate them.

They don’t, of course, hate each other–that’s merely the spoken manifestation of their realization. It doesn’t matter who they are, whether or not they are together, or whether they have gone from two into one (they clearly don’t, according to the ED sequence)–it’s now solely about how they, having realized that they can’t necessarily depend on one another, must instead strike out on their own. That, I think, is the true lesson Fumi learns–she isn’t necessarily to blame for the events in her life, and neither is MIka. WIth that, she can finally find the strength to change.

Or so one presumes. I’d like to see a And Three Years Later… OVA episode where we find out what’s gone on since the conclusion of the series, but, alas, that will probably not happen. Unless one happens to be the sort who writes fanfiction…

Thoughts on the series as a whole: Having not seen Boogiepop Phantom or Kino’s Journey, I don’t know how this series stacks up against those two behemoths, but I can safely say that, as a series, it certainly stands out on its own merits apart from those two series. Which is the way it should be, as I’m sure, despite the similarities in comcept between the three, they each approach the concept with a different theme or idea in mind, and develop things in a different manner.

The series was certainly well-directed and well-written, if not consistently spectacularly so. I think the best episodes were, ironically, the ones that didn’t focus on the overall plot relating to Fumika at all (exceptions being the two Kirameki episodes, the one where he took center stage, and the one where we find out the horrors of his abuse), as those episodes were more devoted to telling an episodic story, and as such had tighter scripting and much more dramatic impact. That’s not to say the plot wasn’t interesting (multiple personalities always are interesting, anyway), but I felt that the series shined on these episodes in particular. I can honestly say I quite enjoyed watching the series, and hopefully, if you’re reading this, it means you either a) enjoyed it too or b) stuck with it to the bitter end, and I doubt (b) people will be much interested in reading an entry about the series anyway. Hopefully those in (a) liked it as much as I did.

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1 Response to “Shigofumi: “I hate you!” “Well, I hate you MORE!””


  1. 1 Bluesilo 31 March 2008 at 11:48 am

    I read your thoughts. It was a good series and I have to agree on the episodes that didn’t have anything to do with the overall plot. The first two episodes were classic and perhaps the best the series offered throughout its run. I would like to see a second season made with more episodic stories and now that we are done with her story it could possibly happen. Overall a good watch.


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