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Alethea & Athena
Forbidden Scrollery volume 5 
6th-Dec-2018 09:28 pm
hercthinking
Today has been an interesting day. We tried to get some work done on Sailor moon, but we kept getting interrupted. We had a phone call from Gaston, and then, it was raining today, but at one point the sun came out. So we thought, "It's probably too early to see a rainbow (the sun would be at the wrong angle), but let's go check just in case." So we opened the door to see if we could get a good view, and there was little Eren Yeager huddled in a corner of the patio, trying to stay dry.

He didn't seem to interested in coming in, but I left the door open for a while, just in case, and sure enough, he and Adrien both came in, and were very reluctant to leave. It was nice to have them, but it sure didn't help us get any work done.

But we promised a review for today! So here it is, our review of Forbidden Scrollery 5! Spoilers ahead!


It's about fifteen minutes before our bedtime, but if we can get this review written we'll be ever so much closer to being caught up on everything, so we really want to write it anyway. (We could have started earlier, but we so rarely have time to watch entire stage plays, so we watched the second Noragami play instead. It wasn't as good as the first one, alas.)

Forbidden Scrollery...Forbidden Scrollery... Actually this volume came dangerously close to having an overall plot! WHAT! And then it seemed to be another bout of, "Hey, look at all this cool research I did!" Anyway, the formula was the same as always: four two-part stories. This one started with the cow head story, which I admit is sort of an interesting sort of paradoxical urban legend. I wonder, if someone were to start telling you the story of the cow head, if you could say, "Wait, I don't want to hear anymore!" and thus save yourself from death, or if the fear of the unknown would kill you anyway. This part wasn't mentioned in Forbidden Scrollery (it was at Wikipedia), but apparently when you hear the story, you start shaking uncontrollably from the fear, and you die three days later, so that's plenty of time for you to share the story before you kick it. And then people would be like, "Oh, no! What's wrong? Why are you shaking?" and so you'd tell them, and that's how it would spread. Contagion is a scary thing sometimes.

So what happens with the cow head in Forbidden Scrollery is that an unknown youkai named Nue is spreading the rumor. We learned from reading Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time that nobody really knows what a nue is, which is probably why her epithet is the unidentified unknown. Incidentally, Athena read the first part of her epithet (shoutai fumei), and I immediately typed "unknown," and then I heard her say, "annoon," or "unknown" in English, and I just threw my hands in the air and said, "What do you people want from me?" That's not really what happened, but it was the sentiment. Anyway, I suspect she's behind a lot of the stuff that's going to be part of the main plot, because later Mamizou is like, "What kind of unaffiliated youkai would be doing this?" and while Nue is technically affiliated with Byakuren's temple, she still seems pretty independent, but I could be wrong.

The next story...really seems to be kind of a not story. Like, nothing happens. A tengu comes along and says, "Hey, sell my newspapers!" and Kosuzu says, "Um..." And that's the entire conflict. Not really--there's some stuff with Marisa about whether or not some writing is authentic, but nobody cares. The thing that gets me about it is that Kosuzu seems like a real flip-flopper when it comes to youkai. If they're providing her with youma books, she's all, "I don't see why we can't live in harmony," but in any other situation, she's like, "Youkai are bad! Youkai are trouble! Scary! No! Stay away! Get out the salt! Aaaaahhhh!" So because of the youma books, it's not entirely inconsistent, but it still kind of seems that way sometimes. Athena says she's like the politicians who were super against gay rights because they have this strong family image to maintain but then it comes out that they've been super closeted and meeting with gay prostitutes in bathrooms all along. We may or may not find out if there's any more to Kosuzu.

The important thing from this story, though, is that Aya tells Marisa that the youkai have been fighting for control of the human village all along. Well, that's no real surprise. She also says that it won't really affect the humans' lives that much no matter who's in charge, which is also kind of true of real life human society. But the one thing no youkai wants is for a human to take control of the village, because that would affect the youkai's lives. Of course all speculation points toward Kosuzu becoming the ruler of the village, but only time will tell.

Then there's a whole thing about the end of the world, and everyone in the human village is afraid that it's almost time. This seems pretty serious, because Reimu still hasn't managed to stop originally groundless rumors from coming true, so if the end of the world business gets around too much... But that's settled pretty quickly, too, thanks to Aya the Tengu's newspaper. It was mentioned that the tengu might be trying to gain control through manipulation of information, and I think they're probably on the right track. I mean, just look at what a viral tweet can do to our society.

Finally, there's a story about an old millionaire who gets possessed by a horse youkai and dies. I'm sorry, I gave it all away. So apparently he was a pretty decent guy, and according to the Wikipedia article about the Umatsuki, when someone gets possessed they start acting like horses until they die. And it didn't make any sense, because the deductive reasoning behind figuring out what was going on is that, oh, of course he's acting like a horse because he's cutting down all the trees that are toxic to horses. And I'm like, "ZUN, have you ever had a pet?" Because the reason toxic plants kill animals, the reason you can't have those trees if you keep horses, is that the horses don't hate the tree, they think they like it, and they eat it anyway, and that's why they die. If they didn't like it, they would stay away from it, and you could use it to keep the horses out of places. But no, apparently this guy is acting like a horse by cutting down the trees that are so evilly tempting. It just didn't really work for us as a story. Surely there are other ways to act like a horse, like eating hay and stuff.

The other thing that didn't make sense was that apparently this millionaire thought of his horses as dear friends, until one day he decides to start eating them? That part didn't make sense, either. So that whole story was just a big ol', "Wha?" But the deductive reasoning about what Kosuzu could have seen in the fog was interesting. I do still like the characters pretty well, and the series always points us in the direction of interesting things to learn about. So it's still pretty enjoyable, even if that last story didn't make any sense. Also, I think Aya's newsie outfit is adorable. And I think that covers it for this volume. Just a nice little diversion.


Well, that's all for this review! We still have a fairly long backlog, with two new releases next week, so we're going to keep going with the two-reviews-a-week schedule. So tune in on Tuesday for our review of Fruits Basket another volume 2!

Today I'm thankful for getting at least some work done today, being able to give some kitties some reprieve from the rain, getting to play Kingdom Hearts (work isn't all that urgent yet, so we're still on a no-work-after-dinner diet), not having to go out in the rain ourselves, and being pointed in the direction of some new-to-us shoujo anime.
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