Golden Bat – Paranoia Agent
It’s a slightly bent golden baseball bat. And yet, it’s a metaphor. While it’s true that it’s a physical bat used to attack people, it represents something much darker. The meaning behind the golden bat is never explained, but it is suggested. The most superficial way to explain its meaning it is that it represents a form of escape or release for a cornered person. I won’t go into it in depth, because, ultimately, what golden bat means is left up to each individual viewer to decide.
A bit about Paranoia Agent: This anime has an extremely high bar for entry. I’d recommended this only for veterans of anime. You need significant understanding of Japanese culture and/or anime to even get started here.
This anime was created and directed by Satoshi Kon, whose other works include Paprika, Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers. Paranoia Agent depicts many different people’s struggles, both internally and within Japanese society. The anime is full of metaphor and symbolism. In addition, it’s somewhat surreal and the material is very densely packed, which adds to the difficulty. You need to be paying close attention at all times or you’re bound to get very lost, very fast. If you can keep your wits about you, it’s truly something strange and special. For those willing to give it a try, here’s the opening theme as a sampler. Once you can make it through the anime, it’s rich for discussion.
Mjolnir Hammer (Dekomori’s Twintails) – Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions
A weapon can be anything from a stick found nearby, to an enormous magical creation, to the most technologically-advanced piece of equipment that you’ve ever seen. Or, it could be a pair of very long twin-tails with weights at the end. I have chosen none of these. The picture above is very deceiving, because even though it technically looks like I chose Dekomori’s twin-tails…I actually chose what it is to her: a spectacular Mjolnir Hammer of epic dimensions and even more epic power.
If you haven’t seen Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions (and its sequel), it’s all about that middle-schoolish self-delusion of fantastical grandeur and imagining oneself living another, more exciting life in another, more exciting world. Akko has described it more in his “Best Animation” post in this 30 Day Anime Challenge, but the basic concept is that the characters see and do everything as if they are magical heroes and warriors, when their actual world is as real (and “boring”) as our own. The show beautifully animates their imaginations as well as their reality so that the viewer gets to see it from both sides.
Now back to the Mjolnir Hammer twin-tails. What I do find charming, however, is what it looks like to everyone else. Here comes an adorable little munchkin with dramatic speech and dramatic ways…who can suddenly wail away at you with her twin-tails! Sure, it’s a weapon in its own right, but in her mind’s eye, she is doing battle on an entirely different level. To her, she isn’t tangling her long blond tresses, she’s wielding something legendary and becoming a legend doing it. Oh yes…and still looking adorable at the same time. Such spunk!
Zenko signing off.