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T3h L00m1ng C0nfl1ct

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Adaon
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T3h L00m1ng C0nfl1ct

Post by Adaon » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:14 pm

Hello, good people! It’s been a while…

This is… another attempt at something, I guess…

Actually, this one is a REALLY ambitious attempt.

It would appear that in the main MT story, various forces are in play, and things may be leading up to some sort of major conflict. In this thread is an attempt at a detailed discussion of a number of things which would appear to be important.

The MT story moves ever forward, and we’ve seen a lot of plot up to this point. There are also some themes that have been being developed in the light novels which have not yet featured that significantly in the main MT story.

As was stated, this is an ambitious attempt. This discussion takes a shot at actually explaining the details related to some major and longstanding aspects of the story. So (even if only a fraction of this discussion happens to be correct) it presumably should be mentioned that there are a number of places in this discussion where things are being DIRECTLY STATED.

There is a LOT of text in this thread… but I think that overall it will be worth taking the time to read.

This discussion covers a number of various topics. The earliest essays are rather mundane, but they provide the background for a more substantial part of the discussion later on. There are some things being discussed here that would seem to be of some importance but which have not featured very significantly in the story so far (and how these things may come into play in the future is unknown). There are some places in the text which basically consist of the statement of the obvious, but this is necessary for the sake of creating a cohesive discussion.

And so… This text is respectfully submitted:

###################################################

CIVILIZATION

[1379]: "Doesn't a small beach make the ocean seem more awesome?"

Since MT is set in the "concrete jungle" of Tokyo, we don't usually see nature figure that prominently in the main MT story, though nature does show up with some significance in a couple of the omakes. In the Endgames light novels, though, there are plenty of instances where we see nature figure in a prominent manner.

The earth is very large. The land and oceans are vast. Though such instances are rare, there are times when significant natural events occur - large tornadoes, hurricanes, major blizzards, and so forth – and at those times we are hit with all of the great power and fury of nature and we are reminded just how small and powerless we are.

There was a time very long ago when there were much less people then there are today, and those people lived simpler lives, and their lives were lived rather close to nature.

That situation eventually changed, however. The human population increased. Towns and cities formed. Buildings were built. Forests were cleared away to create fields that were used for farming. In places, grass and dirt were covered over with hard surfaces, in order to make it easier for vehicles and pedestrians to travel. As time went on and on, some cities grew into very large urban areas. What was once forest or farmland was built up with buildings or paved over. Today we have gigantic expanses of mostly paved-over urban areas. As part of the process of creating these major urban areas, nature has in effect been tamed by humans, and then nature has been mostly pushed aside.

If people live very close to nature, presumably they have to worry about having to be attacked by wild animals. Early on, human beings started from primitive conditions, but over time things changed. We human beings used our intellect and we discovered things about the world, and better ways of doing things. One example of these “better ways of doing things” is agriculture, which was a more efficient method of obtaining food. Eventually life for human beings became more stable (than it had been). After that had occurred, we no longer had to spend such a great amount of our time and energy on the activities that were required to merely be able to survive. We started to have time to spend on thinking about higher things.

As the centuries passed, we continued to learn more about the world. We studied things and started to understand how they worked. We continued to learn more and more about the world that we live in - the laws of physics, biological processes, and the other mechanisms that govern how things function in our world. And we started to make things based upon this knowledge. Technology increased and kept increasing, building upon itself. We discovered much more efficient ways of doing things. And we discovered ways to do things that had been impossible for us to do before. The various technological advances that occurred over time (including, for instance, motorized transportation, electricity, mass production, powered flight, and computer technology) changed our lives in significant ways. Now, thanks to all of the centuries of technological advances, we can do lots of significant things in an impressively efficient and effective way. We have amazing capabilities. We have looked at things at the subatomic level, and we have seen unfathomable distances out into interstellar space. Our technology and knowledge has given us incredible power. And along the way we have used this power to transform and shape the world according to our will.

A human being living in the most primitive conditions is arguably not very different than an animal in a number of ways. As compared to those primitive times, through the application of intellect we human beings have greatly improved our situation. A primitive man living in a nearly "natural" state was subject to the limitations of what was "naturally" available. Since then, we have greatly stretched or completely broken away from those limitations. As compared to primitive man, we know a lot more about the world (e.g. the laws of physics) and we know that there is much more to the world.

Our opportunity to focus on higher things has also led to the development of new ideas. And, over time these various new ideas have also changed our lives in significant ways. I will just mention one aspect of the changes that have been brought about by these new ideas – the effect of these ideas in the realm of government. Over time, there was a switch from governments that consisted of rule by absolute despots to governments which involved arrangements where power was shared more equally between all people and the basic rights and dignity of each person were recognized. It would seem that over time there has been a general increase in empathy (and tolerance) which people show toward each other, as well.

The process of a gradual increase in knowledge and a gradual advancement of technology has been going on for a very long time, and the process continues unabated even today.

More on these things later.

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FANTASY

We see the people in MT engaging in a variety of types of "fantasy" activities... reading manga, watching anime, playing MMORPGs and other types of video games, and so forth.

All of us need some leisure time; Some time to relax. A person cannot work ALL of the time.

A significant amount of the leisure activities that exist involve fantasy somehow... Going to see movies... LARPing... Playing MMORPGs or other types of computer games... and so forth.

Of course we have to do a lot of things merely to survive. We have to provide for ourselves, and then also do the various activities that are necessary to maintain things and to keep our lives in decent order.

Pretty well any human activity can end up being done to excess, and that is most definitely true regarding fantasy activities, which can have a powerful allure. First of all, fantasy is fun, and it is often a lot more fun than doing work or doing chores. Fantasy worlds are a lot more exciting than plain old ordinary reality. There is a definite temptation for a person to spend as much time having fun as possible.

There are many fantasy worlds (on-line virtual worlds, for instance) which are extremely fun and stimulating. But the problem is, we cannot just leave and go to live in a fantasy world. We live in reality and we can't actually leave it. We have real physical needs. We have to do things to counteract entropy. If a person spends an excessive amount of time in a fantasy world, they are essentially trying to live their life split between two different worlds, which is difficult to do and takes a toll on a person. Too much time spent in a virtual world means that things that needed to be done in the real world are left un-done, time and energy that could have been expended working toward important goals is expended on the fantasy world instead, and the activities in the real world that ARE done may end up suffering somewhat in their quality.

Let us say that one way in which we can define the term "fantasy" is that fantasy is anything that is not reality or that is different from reality.

If so, then a person who is trying to live a life that is dominated too much by fantasy is essentially trying to live their life out of sync with reality. And the more out of sync with reality that a person tries to live, the more likely that things are not going to go well for them.

There are some situations where fantasy is used (improperly) as an escape. In such a situation, a person chooses to try to escape into a fantasy world and distract themselves rather than to face certain painful or difficult aspects of their external reality (or to face something inside themselves that needs to be dealt with). In some situations of this type, the "fantasy world" that the person chooses to try to escape into is the altered state of consciousness that is provided by drugs or alcohol. Presumably such an attempt at escape is sometimes involved in situations where a significant addiction to something ends up developing. Whatever the method of escape, it is likely that the fundamental reason that the person is trying to escape boils down to fear. A fear that they choose to avoid facing.
There are plenty of cases where things roughly like this can happen. Real life can be difficult and scary. People who are scared to face real life could retreat into fantasy instead, since fantasy things are usually safe and relatively easy.
There are plenty of examples in the story of situations where people choose to retreat into fantasy in various ways. What seems to be implied in the comic is that anyone who puts too much emphasis in their life on fantasy is doing that because they have chosen to give into fear.
It is not good for a person to give into fear in a significant way.
Perhaps a person is afraid of making the difficult, or time-consuming, or emotionally risky effort that they would be required to make in order to cause something to happen in their life? They can choose to retreat, and to not try to do that thing. Maybe a person is afraid of the fear and pain that is always associated with various types of conflict. (e.g. [606], maybe?) They can choose to never stand up for themselves but to always give in instead. Maybe a person doesn't like being ostracized by others because they have a different opinion? Then they can always choose instead just to keep their mouth shut. All of this may sound a bit excessive, but I am sure that there are plenty of instances where people do actually behave this way, at least to some extent. People who choose to retreat in the fashion that has just been described are certainly not going to end up actually getting what it is that they want out of life, and so they are going to have to resort to the far inferior option of getting what they want only by the way of a fantasy…

*******************************************

This is done with some trepidation... but... there will now be some speculation about how the “laws of physics” operate in the main MT world.

[1243]: "We don't hide it from her, we CAN'T show her! It's not something she can see!!"

What people can see seems to be extremely important here. Certainly not everybody can see everything, apparently.

In the MT story, we have already seen hints that there are other, "parallel" dimensions that exist (e.g.
[280],[983])…

If it is the case that “parallel” dimensions exist in the MT world, then it would make just as much sense if it was also the case that there were the existence of “higher” dimensions. That is, it would be the case that "normal" reality would actually be an "n"-dimensional space, with "n" being a number that is greater than four.

Whether it is the case that we are dealing with “parallel” dimensions or “higher” dimensions or some other phenomena, the following can be speculated:

Let us call our normal frame of reference, the “ordinary” world that we are used to, “reality”.

Let us assume that there is another area that somehow occupies the same physical space as our “reality”. However, in most situations this area cannot be perceived at all from the frame of reference of “reality”. In this other area, things are very different. The physical laws are significantly different. So, it is possible for things to occur in this area that are impossible in “reality”. Let us call this other area “fantasy”.

So, this “fantasy” area would essentially be like a whole other world. Perhaps there could be strange beings who lived there.

The term "fantasy" can be defined in a multitude of ways. For instance, it could be defined as "things that are NEVER observed in reality", or "things that are impossible in reality", or even "things that exist only in the imagination".

"Fantasy" and "imaginary" are similar terms. They have slightly different meanings, but there are plenty of instances where they overlap and can both properly be applied to the same thing.

Regarding another aspect of this subject…

We generally perceive the world by means of our five senses. However, if it should be the case that there are more things going on in the world then our five senses are able to tell us about (such as things that go on in the “fantasy” area of space, for instance)… then it is possible that we might have other "senses" besides the five primary senses, “senses” that could detect things that the five primary senses could not detect. Perhaps these other senses would work in ways that were significantly different. The most likely example of such an additional “sense” that I can think of is "intuition". Also, it would be possible that for some people, these “other” or “additional” senses would work very effectively, but for other people these senses would have such a low level of effectiveness that they would essentially be nonexistent.

*******************************************

There is another aspect of this subject that barely shows up in the main story but which has been showing up a bit in the light novels.

It could be said that most of us actually spend a lot of time in a completely different world every day...

...while we are sleeping.

While we are dreaming, in our dreams we are doing things, or things are otherwise happening. But once we wake up, we know that the things that happened in our dreams were not real. They did not actually happen. At least they did not happen from the perspective of the waking world.

Since we don’t consider the things that happened in our dreams to be real, those things are usually of very little concern to us. And it is often the case that we do not even remember our dreams (at least, I very seldom remember mine), and so, whatever it was that may have happened in our dreams, we don’t even really know that it happened!

Taking everything into account (including the light novels), there seems to be an idea that while we are dreaming, the way in which we perceive things may be somehow different then our “normal” way of perceiving things. If there are things happening (or beings existing) in our world that we are not normally able to perceive, perhaps it may become possible for us to perceive them while we are dreaming. Perhaps while we are dreaming our consciousness somehow expands out into other areas (of multi-dimensional space), or even goes to another place entirely.

Ever notice how, in a dream, if something attacks you, you usually wake up instantly?

Could this be due to some sort of survival instinct, perhaps?

*******************************************

PERSISTING

And now, for something that has hardly shown up in the main story at all, but would seem to have some significant importance...

[1428]: "You do not look like a ghost. You are too pathetic to be a ghost." "Too pathetic?"
"Even a weak and insubstantial shade would radiate some dread or terror. You radiate no threat at all."

Ghosts!

Based on some information in the light novels, it would appear that, in the MT context, a ghost is a mortal who found themselves arriving at their appointed time of death, but, at that time, instead of dying, they rebelled, chose not to die, and somehow managed to avoid dying. Because they chose to do that, however, they were cursed by the divine will, for eternity.

Now, let me try and extrapolate from that (going out onto less stable ground) and try to make a more detailed statement, as follows:

Through their strong will or some other ability, the person in question managed to somehow avoid their death and to remain in the realm of the living, instead of choosing to leave the realm of the living (as they were supposed to do) and to go on to where they were supposed to go. Maybe they had a very strong desire to hang on to life. Maybe they were just generally rebellious. (Or maybe it was the case that they were trying to avoid going where they were supposed to go...) They chose to evade death, but apparently they were unable to prevent the death of their physical bodies, and so they ended up as a disembodied spirit. They had been allowed free will, but, since they made the choice to rebel and to disobey the divine will and to violate the natural order, they were cursed by the divine will. They were cursed to be disembodied spirits for eternity. They have to exist somewhere, but I think that they have basically lost all control of WHERE it is specifically that they are at any given time. They may be somewhere in the realm of the living, or somewhere down in the depths of the underworld. Where they happen to be at any given time is predominately determined by factors external to themselves. (I theorize that when they are in the realm of the living, they exist primarily in areas of multi-dimensional space where they cannot usually be seen.) Regardless of where they happen to be, since their existence is a cursed one it cannot be a comfortable one.

Desperate to live, and suffering under their cursed existence, the ghosts become angry at the one who cursed them, envious of the living, and all around angry and resentful. And the ghosts are also DESPERATE to find some way to escape from their plight. So, (as may be implied by the quote up above) pretty well any ghost will present a potential threat to anyone who should encounter them - the ghost likely could try to possess them, or could try to drain their energy, or could try to do anything else that the ghost could do to further the ghost's desire to somehow become truly alive again. If a person should somehow end up in the same place as a ghost and that person for some reason happened to be in a state that made them vulnerable to a ghost, the ghost would be a legitimate threat to them.

Now... What significant character do we know of that tends to be rebellious in nature (e.g.
[606], [307], [920]) and apparently has always had an incredibly strong desire to live ([1454], [1484])?

But in the particular case of Miho, it appears that there was more than one bizarre situation that occurred. Miho experienced what was for someone in her situation an incredible stroke of luck. People heard of the compelling story about the things that had happened at the end of her life, and their desire for her story was somehow so powerful that it caused Miho to be yanked completely back into the realm of the living, and given a physical body again, even. Apparently she didn't have to exist as a disembodied ghost for very long.

Now, if the nature of ghosts is actually as was previously described, she would of course not be the only ghost that ever existed. Potentially, at least, it could always be the case that, lurking in the background behind currently living humanity, there would be a large number of ghosts...

Hey, wait a minute...

[1070]: "This store is full of characters that want to live. Why does she deserve life more than they do?"

Oh, my...!!!

Well, well... So what would be the ONE thing ([1034], [1035]) that would be most likely to invoke significant empathy from Miho?

I guess that, even as far back as comic [219], there's always been something a little suspicious about this "Kotone" thing, hasn't there?

*******************************************

And now, an attempt to explain a likely important but rather complicated point regarding Miho and her life.

This discussion concerns the way that things apparently were for Miho for a long time, up at least until the events at the end of the previous chapter.

Let us consider an individual human being. That person will only exist in the mortal realm for a limited period of time.

Conversely, there are plenty of other things that can exist for far longer than the time span of a human lifetime. Certain physical objects such as rocks and land can persist for millennia. Things that are made up of multiple people - such as organizations, companies, governments, and nations - can persist for generations, if there is a continuing influx of new people to replace the people who depart or who pass on. Similarly, some intangible things, such as ideas and philosophies, can persist for numerous generations as long as there continue to be new people that embrace them.

Something else that would be classified as being one of the “intangible things” would be a story.
There are some stories that can persist for generation after generation, as well. A story can manage to survive for a very long time if it happens to significantly resonate with people. (The story "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is still going strong after 150 years, for example...)

Now, regarding (again) the case of a human being… a human being will be present (and exist) in the mortal realm for a finite period of time, and then they will die, and pass out of the mortal realm.

Looking at things just from the standpoint of the mortal realm, the following can be stated…

A person lives, and then they die. After the person has died, that person will continue to exist (in some fashion) in people’s memories. But the people who remember the person will all eventually die, as well. After all of the people who had firsthand memories of the person have died, then the person will still continue to exist somewhat (in a very limited fashion) by the means of any photographs or written records (or, more recently, archived video records) about that person that should still exist. Of course, it is the case that a significant majority of the people who have died have never been heard of by the “average” person. Those few people who have died that are widely remembered usually did something very significant (i.e., they invented something, helped start a new government, or so forth), or it may just be the case that they happen to have a good story associated with them.

Whether it is by the means of some sort of unexciting documented account or by the means of an exciting tale, a person who died a long time ago now exists (in as far as they continue to exist) only as some kind of story. And, since they are no longer alive, their story never changes. The past can never be changed.

Okay, now... Let us make a very important assumption.

Let us assume that the fundamental purpose of a person's life in the mortal realm is for that person to CHOOSE. (To choose between being good or evil, for instance.)

Let us therefore assume that a fundamental sign that someone is alive is CHOICE. And, furthermore, let us assume that CHOICE is a privilege of ONLY those who are currently alive in the mortal realm.

So, if a person dies, and then by some strange occurrence they somehow end up back in the mortal realm with a physical body, it is still the case that they died. When they died, they lost their ability to make choices. Since they no longer have the privilege of choice, then, if it is somehow the case that they are existing in the mortal realm in human form, then the only way that they are able to exist is if they are re-living their previous life over again. They have already made their choices, and, so, if they exist, they have to live their previous choices over again. Basically, if it was the case that they were allowed to do something new, then it would have to be the case that they had the ability to choose.

A ghost is a person who decided to attempt to keep living beyond their allotted span of time. And, that person (ghost) has a huge problem, because such a thing goes significantly against the natural order of the world.

Remember, though, that a character in a fantasy story can continue to live, for (human) generation after (human) generation, if it is the case that the character and story continue to be experienced by currently living people, generation after generation.

And of course (as was previously discussed above), within the natural order of things, an ordinary human being CAN persist in the mortal realm, in a minor, residual way - and the way that they persist is in the form of a story of some sort.

And, so, if ghost Miho is actually to persist in the mortal realm beyond her allotted span of time, the only way that her doing so can somehow fit in AT ALL within the natural order is if she exists as a character in a story.

Even though there is at least a way that she can sort of fit in, her existence is still a violation of the natural order. For Miho to continue to exist isn't easy, and she has complications to deal with that most people don't have. And, for that matter, she is also still cursed.

We previously knew that Miho has apparently been living some sort of cyclical existence for a very long period of time. She lives, dies, is brought back to life, lives again, dies again, and so on, in an ever-continuing cycle.

Apparently, at the most fundamental level, Miho must be living her real life over again. It would seem that Miho is actually able to live life substantially like a normal human. She can go places, see people, and participate fully in the world as it currently is (so, therefore, it is possible for her to play video games, for instance). Miho can actually make thousands of choices - but these are MINOR choices. Miho is not capable of making a MAJOR choice. When she reaches the point on the timeline of her life at which she originally made a MAJOR choice, she is forced to make the exact same choice that she originally made, and so at that time she must relive that choice again.

Miho, of course, probably attempts to rebel against this and to resist, inasmuch as she is able to do so (and, since she probably had a regular habit of doing gambits during the course of her original life, that fact helps), but of course it is not possible for Miho to actually resist her fate.

Now, has the fact that Piro “saved” Miho at the end of the previous chapter somehow caused some major change to the things that have just been discussed? I don’t know…

*******************************************

DARKNESS

In the latest of the light novels (The Great Underground Empire) we see some shadowy creatures that are not able to stand the slightest light.

Let’s take that idea and apply it in a much greater fashion…

It would appear that human beings have some sort of primal fear of the dark.

Human beings are attuned to the regular cycle of day and night, and of course during some part of that cycle we have to sleep. In order for a person to be able to sleep, it is helpful for them to be in a darkened room.

In complete darkness, a person cannot see anything. Therefore, a person cannot be absolutely sure what is there around them. Even if you previously saw everything that was there… theoretically, at least, anything could be there (because theoretically someone else could have silently changed something). If you are in pitch darkness and you let your imagination run wild and you imagine that there are scary things hiding in the darkness, then you can really scare yourself (or allow yourself to be scared)…

Let us assume that there really are creatures that exist in the darkness. Let us also assume that these dark creatures exist in the “imaginary” or “fantasy” area of multi-dimensional space.

If you are in complete darkness but you have a light with you and then you turn on the light, that light can have a very comforting effect. (Well, at least it feels that way to me…)

If there is some sort of light that is even dimly lighting up the room that you are in, then you can see for sure what is there and what is not there. Perhaps the light allows the rational mind to override the imagination, since if a person can see then they KNOW what is there and what is not there. Since the light allows the rational mind to dominate, perhaps it could be the case that the light really does protect us against dark creatures…

These “dark” creatures would be such that they could only exist in complete darkness, and so they would be driven away by the slightest light. Assuming that it is the case that these creatures exist in the “fantasy” (or “imaginary”) area of multi-dimensional space, then, in a place where there was complete darkness, perhaps these creatures would be able to attack a person by means of that person’s imagination…

Let us assume that these creatures of darkness would somehow have their power increase (to some extent) during the part of the day/night cycle that is dominated by darkness, and would have their power decrease during the part of the cycle that is dominated by the light.

Again, the time of day that is dominated by darkness is usually the time when we sleep, and when we dream. And dreams are not real – so, basically, they are fantasies. And, as was previously theorized, perhaps when we dream we are capable of sensing things that we are not able to sense while we are awake – and perhaps this would include sensing things in the “fantasy” area of multi-dimensional space.

So, based on this, we could say that darkness is associated with fantasy and light is associated with reality.

Let us assume that in the middle of the night when a person’s energy is low, a person’s defense against certain forms of attack (emotional? imaginary? spiritual?) is decreased. At such times a person can experience such things as nightmares, a racing mind, worries, muddled thinking, and so forth. And also at such times – while conscious or while dreaming - a person may be more open to sensing things in the imaginary/fantasy (or the spiritual?) realm.

I can see angels and demons fitting into all of this as well, maybe.

So, taking the previous speculation and trying to add in demons:

Demons would be some of the dark creatures that existed in the “fantasy” area of multi-dimensional space. They would be non-corporeal creatures, and so they would be unable to attack a human being physically. But they would be able to attack a human using non-physical means such as emotions (with fear being a very significant one of these). They would do things such as attempting to hold a human being back from what the human being would otherwise be capable of doing, or trying to trick the human being into doing something unwise.

*******************************************

REGARDING TOKYO

The Tokyo that we see in the MT world is an interesting, exciting, chaotic place. 'Zillas and giant turtles periodically rampage through town. Corporate agents perform sinister deeds. The buildings that are damaged or destroyed as a result of this activity are almost instantly rebuilt. Magical girls and ninjas exist, and they exhibit impossible leaping skills, super speed, and other types of super powers.

There are a large number of people in Tokyo. And some of these people are otaku. And so… there are a large number of otaku. We have seen large CROWDS of otaku form, multiple times.

[466]: "we, the remaining members of the 'Hayasaka Erika Fan Club' vow to find the truth you died so valiantly to reveal!!"

That sounds pretty serious, doesn't it?

From the numerous instances that we have seen, it is clear that the otaku are often VERY serious as far as things related to their preferred fantasies are concerned.

Not just very serious… TOO serious!

The lengths that we have seen the otaku go to for the sake of their preferred fantasies are… rather concerning, really. I’d say that it is often the case that they are going too far.

They care too much.

I think that it could be said that these people are simply putting TOO much emphasis on fantasy in their lives. And there are a large number of otaku about which this could be said.

I’m going to speculate that it’s not just the otaku for which this is the case, but there are in general a significant number of people in Tokyo whose lives are focused too much on fantasy. And that this situation is so widespread that it is becoming a real problem.

Assuming that the previously stated things are accurate… an important question is, have things always been this way in Tokyo, or was there a particular time when this situation started? I’m guessing that things have not always been the way that they currently are.

It would seem that if someone is to get significantly involved in fantasy, they have to have plenty of available leisure time. And a person will not have a lot of available leisure time if circumstances are such that they have to spend almost all of their time on doing things that are necessary in order to simply survive. So, people as a whole will only have a good amount of leisure time available to them during eras when things are generally peaceful and stable.

I think that a statement that Miho made during the "t3h b34ch" omake must be extremely important. Whether or not the events that Miho mentioned actually happened in the mainline MT story, I think that her statement must definitely give us some insight about the situation that currently exists in MT Tokyo.

[1375]: "In 1954, Tokyo residents reported bright flashes and loud rumblings off the coast from the direction of a series of small islands remarkably not that far offshore."

[1376]: "Initially there were reports of a secret nuclear test gone horribly wrong." "Its excessive yield opened a crater into some sort of eldritch underworld."

Okay... so, let's think about the year 1954. In America, the Korean war had ended the previous year, and the end of World War II was then nine years in the past. In Japan... presumably things had by this point become stable after the years of war followed by a disruptive period under American occupation? So, perhaps it would be the case that we could say that Japan was entering into a period of peace and stability?

Let's assume, then, that this could be the point in time at which a significant number of people in the Tokyo area started putting too much emphasis on fantasy in their lives.

As for the current-day situation in MT Tokyo…

We can see that there are a lot of interesting things going on in Tokyo. Periodic monster rampages are just one of the many things that are going on.

What if we take everything that we are seeing literally? (And why shouldn’t we do so?)

Let me attempt some speculation about the actual causes of the things that we see going on…

Kimiko feels things intensely and wants to somehow live what she feels ([528]). There's probably a large number of people in Tokyo who feel the same way and have the exact same desire.

Apparently a lot of these people want to experience excitement. They would like to live like a character in an exciting fantasy story. And it would seem that their desire for such a thing is extremely strong.

Is it the case here that peoples’ collective emotions give power to stories? ([1240]?) Can peoples’ collective desires warp reality? Whatever the exact reason may be, it seems that something is causing the things that these people desire to actually happen in reality. Exciting events – like the events in a fantasy story – are actually occurring.

Apparently there must be a significant number of people who would actually like to live in a world that is like the world that one would see in a Japanese “giant monster” movie. And so, because of the collective desire of a good number of people, somehow a number of actual large monsters have been drawn (from somewhere) to the Tokyo area, to serve the purpose of being the antagonists in a fantasy-type monster story.

Let me speculate that the people (in Tokyo) who have an excessive desire for fantasy basically fall into two categories. The first category consists of the "adventurous" types. These are the people who actually want to be the person who is experiencing the exciting events of the fantasy story. They want to be the hero, for instance. The other category would consist of the more passive types of people. These people don't want to have the exciting experiences themselves, they just want to watch someone else participating in the exciting events.

So, if we are assuming that people’s desires or emotions are actually affecting reality, then it would be the desires of the adventurous types that would cause exciting events to actually occur (such as 'zillas rampaging through downtown), and it would be the desires of the passive types that would empower the stories of the Character Analogues. And, perhaps it is possible that some of the people who fall into the "adventurous" category are people who actually end up becoming Character Analogues.

Again, it would seem that there are a good number of people who desire to live in a world where there are 'zillas or other giant monsters regularly rampaging through the city. But if that is the case… Wouldn’t a person who had such a desire tend to also desire to actually be the person who is piloting a giant mech-

...oh, right.

So, that would seem to shed light on the problem that Masamichi had in Chapter 3. There was no other unit "available" to help Masamichi take on Gameru because...

...Because everyone wants to be the one piloting the 'mech, but no one actually wants to do the difficult and painful work of actually fighting the giant monster! No wonder Masamichi was so grateful to Largo for his help...

Okay, now, there is a quote from Chapter 3 that is somewhat related to this...

[355]: "The Tokyo Police Cataclysm Division schedules 'events', cleanup, and reconstruction. We're proud of the fact that we can facilitate 30% more disasters this year than last year."

Generally an organization does not get a large increase in personnel and equipment without some legitimate rationale...

Good grief, that's an alarming rate of increase of the fantasy-addicted population of Tokyo...!

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There are plenty of old stories... most of which are from LONG ago... that feature strange creatures, such as dragons, nymphs, leprechauns, fairies, (and kitsune), and so forth.

However, as far as I have seen, in our real world we don't currently have any evidence that would prove that any of those creatures ever actually existed.

If you think about it, all of that is... kind of suspicious, isn't it?

In MT Tokyo, at least, we see that there are actually some of those fantastical creatures hanging around.

As has been previously stated, it would seem that peoples' emotions (or desires) are apparently having some kind of actual effect on the world. It was also previously speculated that it might be possible for people (at least some people) to sense certain things that are outside the realm of what can be sensed using the normal five senses.

Let it be hereby theorized that sometime in the fairly recent past, the people in Tokyo (collectively) changed their outlook in a significant way, and so they now desire fantasy much more than they had desired fantasy in earlier times.

There is thinking, and there is feeling. Human beings do both. Perhaps one could say that logical people think a lot and emotional people "feel" a lot. I am also reminded of the idea (whether it is valid or not) that people are "right-brain" or "left-brain" dominant.

But, anyway, whether it is "emotions" or "attitude" or "aura" or "intentions" or "desires" or "essence", let us theorize that humans are usually constantly broadcasting something outward into the area around them that is not directly perceivable by the five senses. (One example that is possibly relevant to this is how you occasionally can walk into a room and sense a "vibe" that is reflective of the collective emotional state of the people that are in that room.)

The people in the Tokyo area changed their outlook in such a way that they now desire fantasy to a significantly greater degree (than they used to), and something associated with that change in outlook has caused a significant change in what is being broadcast outward by these people.

I am not sure of exactly what the change is. Perhaps the change is a shift toward more emotionalism and a reduction in logical thinking? Or it is something else?

Regardless, whatever it is that people are broadcasting outward apparently has an effect on the surrounding "environment". This effect is not directly perceivable with the five senses, but it does have ramifications from a multi-dimensional perspective. Basically the change in what people are broadcasting outward has caused the area of land (or space) that is the Tokyo metropolitan area to be “shifted” to some degree, from a multi-dimensional perspective. Specifically, the Tokyo area has been partially “shifted”, to a degree, out of “reality” and into the “fantasy” area of multi-dimensional space.

We now see that giant turtles, 'zillas, and sea monsters are present in the Tokyo area. There's probably nothing that would prevent dragons from showing up as well ([760]?).

All creatures have their own "habitable range", which is the range of environmental conditions that the creatures can exist in, comfortably.

Let us assume that the fantastical creatures (such as 'zillas and sea monsters) usually have to exist in a slightly different environment than humans exist in. This is because the habitable range of these fantastical creatures is such that they have to live in an area that is shifted into the “fantasy” area of multi-dimensional space to a certain significant degree.

It is hereby theorized that what has been going on here is as follows: Long ago, it was possible for the humans and the fantastical creatures to live in some proximity to each other. (Whether or not they were able to get along with each other is a different subject.) But, at some point in time, there was a significant change in the human outlook. What the humans were broadcasting out into the surrounding environment changed significantly. Also (over a long period of time) there was a significant increase in the number of human beings that there were. The change in what the humans were broadcasting out caused a significant change in the surrounding environment, and the result was that the areas where the humans lived were now no longer in the habitable range for the fantastical creatures. (Those areas had shifted more into "reality".) So, the fantastical creatures could no longer even exist comfortably around humans, and so they had to go elsewhere, far away from humans.

But, recently, the human outlook has shifted again, and now it is possible for the fantasy creatures to exist comfortably near humans again.

(Perhaps it could be the case that the humans have forgotten the things that they did in the distant past in order to "protect" themselves...)

Since the environment of the Tokyo area has changed and it has shifted more into "fantasy", that shift has caused the laws of physics in the Tokyo area to change somewhat. So, things that would not have been possible before are now possible, and so it is now possible to create things that could not have been created before. So, we are seeing the appearance of things like robot girls, plasma cannons, and large spherical mobile cannons that are capable of climbing up to the top of tall buildings. The entertainment companies (gee, why would they be the first ones to catch on...) have taken full advantage of these changes in the laws of physics.

Apparently the makeup of human beings is robust enough that humans can exist comfortably in a good range, with respect to how much the area where they live is shifted into “fantasy” space. But to really thrive, humans need to be located in an environment that is significantly in reality. Otherwise, humans can exist at a location, but they will not do as well.

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There would seem to be another point related to this regarding the large monsters, and, again, the statement from Miho would seem to be relevant:

[1376]: "Initially there were reports of a secret nuclear test gone horribly wrong." "Its excessive yield opened a crater into some sort of eldritch underworld. But the citizens of Tokyo were soon busy dealing with the first attack by a very large zilla. So the story was easily covered up."

Again, this quote comes from the omake… but, still, it would seem that the best information that we have suggests that these large monsters have emerged from some sort of underworld.

I theorize that, sometime in the distant past, both human beings and these large monsters roamed the face of this planet. But the monsters and the humans were fundamentally incompatible, and so they could not peacefully co-exist together. Therefore, the humans and the monsters battled, and eventually the humans gained the upper hand. The monsters were killed or violently driven away. In order to survive, the monsters were forced to retreat to places where there were no humans. But, eventually, humans covered the entire face of the planet…

If we assume that humans covered the entire surface of the planet but the monsters still managed to retreat to some place where they could survive… It would seem pretty unlikely that the monsters could have somehow gone up into the sky, and so it would be likely that the place that the monsters retreated to would have had to be underground.

Presumably the various races of monsters managed to survive for ages, away from humanity, underground. But now it seems that a few of them have emerged, and have been drawn to the Tokyo area…

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What people are “broadcasting out” is certainly important here, but I think that is only one aspect of something broader.

It is hereby theorized that the way that things work (in the MT world, that is) is as follows:

Technically, the kinds of things it is that a person likes are not entirely determined by the decisions that the person has made (at least not early on). But the person can specifically choose what they focus on, and what they spend their time with, and what they seek out. In the end, a person chooses their outlook, and they choose the things that they spend time with, and so they choose the things that they have an affinity with, and what they are attracted to.

I theorize that (the way that things work in the MT world) in choosing their outlook, a person essentially determines what they are able to see.

So, presumably, it would be the people who are very heavily focused on fantasy who would tend to be the type of people who could see the ‘zillas and other fantastical creatures that periodically roam through Tokyo.

Conversely, a person who was heavily focused on reality would not be able to see the fantastical creatures. However, in the rare event that something caused that person to see something fantastical (say, for instance, a ‘zilla was about to step on them), the person would then notice the fantastical being (or thing) and would attempt to take the appropriate actions. However, once the unusual event was over and things were back to “normal”… Since the person was heavily focused on reality, their brains would tend to end up categorizing what they just saw as a fantasy – In other words, their brain would categorize what they just saw in the same way that their brain categorizes a dream – and so, they would tend to quickly forget the strange thing that happened to them.

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A person’s outlook (which is something that they choose) would determine what that person was “broadcasting out”. And it would determine what that person can see. A person’s outlook (and what they choose to be attracted to) would also end up determining what that person would tend to ATTRACT. And, it would determine what kinds of beings would be able to see THEM.

Since fantasy is out of sync with reality… then a person who places too much emphasis in their lives on fantasy is trying to live out of sync with reality, and that is a kind of rebellion…

I theorize that the change in the outlook of the residents of Tokyo (and the resulting change in what they were “broadcasting out”) not only altered the environment so that fantastical creatures can now exist comfortably in the Tokyo area, but the change also ended up causing a lot of ghosts to be attracted into the Tokyo area (from wherever else it was that they happened to be). And of course, the people who place a lot of emphasis on fantasy should tend to able to see the ghosts, and so the ghosts should be able to see them…

So, the upshot of all of this would be… that simply by a person’s choice of outlook, and what they desire, and what they pursue, the person could end up making an opening for significant evil to come into their life. By heavily pursuing fantasy they are inadvertently making themselves vulnerable to all sorts of dark things…

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So, then… here is an attempt at an overall summary of the situation in Tokyo, and the conflict that would seem to be looming…

A good number of the residents of Tokyo are still primarily focused on reality. They don’t really see the unusual things that are going on, and those things usually don’t really affect them…

But an ever-growing number of people have become focused too heavily on fantasy in their lives. And that is gradually having an effect on them. They are gradually becoming disconnected from other people and isolated. They are gradually becoming weakened, as well, as fantasy sucks away their time and energy, and eventually weakens their will. Some people have gone so deep into fantasy for so long that they have become essentially enslaved to it. Their lives are now shrouded in darkness.

Apparently there are a number of ghosts that are now lurking around the Tokyo area. It would appear that these ghosts are somehow causing a slow process to occur that gradually results in the creation of additional character analogues. The extremely powerful allure of a character analogue can attract a large number of people, and so this process tends to cause additional people to be encouraged to become deeply involved in fantasy. Also, another effect of this process is that a few lucky ghosts will end up getting a chance to return to the realm of the living.

[868]: "I still can't believe you managed to scare so many of them into giving you their memory cards. I guess deep down they really are all just a bunch of pathetic cowards."

The people of Tokyo have been at peace and have had things pretty good for a long time. They are not used to fighting. Those who are focusing on fantasy are distracted and are not expecting to face any kind of attack. But, as more and more people are drawn into fantasy, the populace gradually becomes more and more weak, in various ways. I am going to assume that a good percentage of the populace is rather weak and not likely to engage in any significant resistance.

I am assuming that the population of Tokyo is weak and unprepared enough that, if it happened to be the case that some powerful and tyrannical entity wanted to launch an attack that was both strong and sudden ([314]) that entity would most likely win easily, quickly, and decisively. Then the victorious entity would have their way with the residents of Tokyo - whatever it is that they wanted. For the residents of Tokyo, life as they had known it would be over.

Even without any sort of attack, it would seem that the current situation is beneficial to the governmental and corporate authorities that exercise structural control over the city. A relatively weak populace would tend to be fairly easy to govern. If the powers that be can manage to keep things fairly balanced and stable in the city, then they will likely maintain the status quo and preserve their controlling positions. It is likely that they would look askance on anyone who threatens to significantly disrupt things.

And then, there are the large creatures – ‘zillas, giant turtles, sea monsters, and so forth – that are roaming around in the vicinity of Tokyo. Apparently the numbers of these large creatures (that are present in the area) have been gradually increasing ([355], again).

I assume that the monsters remember that the humans fought against them and drove them away in the distant past. They would be happy enough to rule the land again, and to give some payback to the humans... For the moment, the monsters respect the power of the human authorities. But they sense that the human population is gradually weakening. If it ever happened to be the case that they thought that the time was opportune for them, it is possible that they would attempt to make a decisive attack on the human population…

Monsters from ancient times... ghosts from the past... Civilization itself now faces a deadly threat from its ancient enemies…

And in the middle of this gathering darkness, there is a small group of strong-willed young people who are at least starting to become aware of what is really going on. Will they decide to try to do something about it?

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Adaon
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Re: T3h L00m1ng C0nfl1ct

Post by Adaon » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:16 pm

(Discussion continues…)

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Human beings have five senses, but sight is likely the most important of the senses, because it gives us the most information. And, of course, sight only works when there is light present.

If one were to be living under absolutely primitive conditions, then under those conditions the only light available would be the light from the sun. (Well, okay… and sometimes the light from the moon, as well…)

A significant artifact of human civilization is man-made (or "artificial") light. Such light makes it possible to do a much wider range of activities during the period of the day when the sun is not shining. (It also improves the range of activities that can be done indoors, at any time during the day.)

In one of the light novels, there is a significant incident that occurs, in which the presence or absence of light is literally the difference between life and death.

"Light", literally or metaphorically, helps protect us and keep us safe (or safer) in a number of ways.

I guess that if someone is out camping and is spending the night in a largely natural area, then they need to keep a campfire burning at night in order to encourage the wild animals to stay away. If there is no campfire, the wild animals might attack...

In urban areas, there are street lights, and also it is the case that some businesses keep their lights on at night. One purpose that the lights are kept turned on is to help reduce wrongdoing. There are a good number of people who would do bad things if they could, but they are less likely to do bad things in an area that is lighted (because there is the possibility that they could be seen) then they are to do bad things in an area that is completely dark.

It was speculated previously that there could be dark “fantasy” creatures which would be driven away if a light was present…

If it is indeed the case that the light helps keep us safe, then that means... if for some reason the light should go out, then at that time we would become vulnerable and we would be subject to attacks by all kinds of evil...

In the mainline MT comic we have seen instances where the lights have gone out. We have also seen that the people do not really tend to handle such a situation well.

Where I live, at least, most people are not used to having to deal with power outages. In a rare case where the power (and the lights) are out for several days, that significantly interferes with many of our normal activities. If a power outage is widespread and very long in duration, many of the impressive capabilities of a technologically advanced society will become unavailable. And, of course, in such situations it will be the case that bad people will try to take advantage of the darkness to do bad things...

The term "Darkness" also has other meanings besides the literal one...

There is the "darkness" of tyranny and oppression. There is the "darkness" of all of the evil that one human being can do to another. There is the "darkness" of barbarity - of a situation where no one can trust anyone else, and so therefore no one can ever really be safe.

So, what would be the light that shines in the darkness?

It could be defined in various ways, I guess. “Civilization” could be one term. A place where there are empathy, self-control, strength, and higher ideals. A refuge, a place of safety, where people treat each other well, and there is no reason to fear. Another term that could be used for a definition is… “virtue”.

A person can be a "light in the darkness" if they dare to speak up instead of remaining silent, or if they choose to be a person of courage who will stand up to evil instead of giving into their fear.

If it should be the case that somehow all of the "lights in the darkness" go out... then evil will quickly rush in to attack, and some major form of "darkness" will certainly engulf the world.

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LARGO!

And, now, here is an attempt to actually describe a few of the technical details related to Largo and his perennial battles against ph34r…

It was previously speculated that, in addition to their normal five senses, people could have additional senses that could somehow sense things beyond what could be sensed with the normal five senses. It was also speculated that in some people these senses could be stronger than in other people.

I am guessing that Largo is one of the rare people who has one or more of these “extra” senses that are unusually strong. If so, he can perceive things that most people are not able to perceive.

I assume, therefore, that Largo is able to somehow sense “dark” creatures, creatures who use fear as one of their most significant weapons.

Technically, fear is an imaginary thing, because most of the time fear is associated with things that might happen. However, of course, it is not the case that everything that might happen always actually ends up happening, and so sometimes the things that we are afraid of do not actually happen. (Of course, sometimes fear is produced by situations that certainly do require action to be taken.)

Think about a teddy bear in the “ordinary” context of our real world. A teddy bear, of course, is just a stuffed animal, an inanimate object, and so it cannot actually do anything. However, a child's imagination can create scary monsters that lurk about in the dark. Of course these monsters are not actually real, but they can still cause a problem because the child is actually scared. If you give the child a teddy bear and the child believes (or imagines) that the teddy bear will keep them safe, then the teddy bear has a "real" effect, as well, because the child is no longer scared. So, what we have in this situation is an "imaginary" defender protecting the child from "imaginary" monsters.

Now, in the MT world at least, we have been assuming that there really can be scary creatures of the imagination that lurk in the dark. Still, I am guessing that Largo’s “ph34rbots” must work on basically the same principle as a teddy bear…

Fear can hold people back. Fear is used as a weapon of oppression by bullies or tyrants. It starts making sense why Largo would want to confront fear whenever he has the opportunity to do so…

Probably the most dramatic instance of Largo’s battle against “ph34r” occurs in the “t3h b34ch” omake, when Largo enters a large pipe which leads down into the abyss.

Presumably Largo’s objective is to confront the evil creatures that are within the pipe. Doing such a thing is actually a more dangerous and difficult thing than Largo makes it seem.

Junpei is a person who is strong of will and powerful of body, but Largo implies that the battle that Largo is about to fight is too dangerous for even Junpei.

Presumably, the task that Largo is undertaking involves confronting the evil creatures within the pipe and successfully not giving into the fear that they use as a weapon of attack.

What would have happened if Junpei had accompanied Largo into the pipe and then Junpei had failed in his struggle and given into fear? Would Junpei have died? Would he have have gone insane? Would Junpei have become possessed and then been used by the possessing creatures to physically attack Largo?

Presumably if Largo confronts these dark creatures and successfully manages to resist them, avoiding giving into their fear, then the result of that will be that the dark creatures are destroyed, or at least that their ability to cause fear is somehow permanently destroyed, making it so the creatures can never harm anyone else using fear again.

Largo apparently has a unique talent that makes him extremely strong when it comes to confronting and overcoming these creatures of darkness.

Presumably these “creatures of darkness” that he can fight would include demons. They might also include ghosts or other types of dark creatures. (I assume that these are intangible, “imaginary” creatures.)

Largo is crawling into a pipe that essentially leads right into the abyss. Not just “an” abyss… “The” abyss. So, actually what Largo is doing is literally storming the gates of Hell. That’s… quite a talent that he has!

Largo may have been wishing like crazy that he had fire and light with him, but presumably it is important that Largo confronts the evil creatures directly in their natural habitat of pitch darkness.

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TRANSITION

There has been previous discussion about people who choose to put too much emphasis in their lives on fantasy, and some of the negative consequences that can result from that.

I theorize that there is one other thing that can happen to such a person, something which has not been previously stated…

Let’s assume that there is a person who absolutely goes too deep into fantasy.

That person desires, with their whole heart, to live a life like the life of a person in a fantasy story. And that person actually attempts to live such a life.

That person eventually reaches a point where their heart is in the fantasy world, not the real world. The fantasy world is the thing that they are living for.

But, then… this person’s strong desire ends up causing multi-dimensional effects. Somewhere along the line, the person has made a critical choice – they have chosen fantasy over reality. And so, the person’s heart has (from a multi-dimensional perspective) actually crossed over from “reality” into “fantasy”. And then… the person’s physical body starts following. The person’s physical body gradually starts actually moving over from “reality” to “fantasy”. As this transition happens, less and less of the person’s body remains in “reality”, and so the part of the person’s body that remains in “reality” gets weaker and weaker. Since it is the case that the person is still actually living in the real world (as much as they would desire otherwise), this fact starts to cause them significant problems, because their weak physical bodies are now susceptible to diseases and all sorts of other hazards…

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NATURE

These next two sections involve themes that have been primarily showing up in the Endgames light novels. I bet, however, that they will end up somehow impacting the main MT story as well.

Today many of us live in large cities, surrounded by pavement, a good distance away from "untamed" nature.

But nature is still out there.

Nature is very beautiful by itself. The systems that comprise the various plants, and the bodies of animals, can be very complex. But nature itself is very simple. At a very high level, there is definitely an order to nature. But at a low level, all that you have is chaos.

In untamed nature - in the world of animals and plants - there is always a struggle for survival going on. Most significant in this regard is the constant struggle between predatory animals and their prey.

There is little intelligence in nature. Animals mostly have pretty simple brains, and they operate primarily on instinct. Seeds are spread randomly by gravity, the wind, animals, and so forth. (In untamed nature you do not usually see straight lines and orderly arrangements, which are the hallmarks of intellect and deliberate planning.) And there's really no imagination in nature, either.

In untamed nature there is very limited empathy. Predators, of course, show no mercy to their prey. Animals may be "kind" to their offspring or to members of their own clan, but that's about it. In groups of animals, there can be violent clashes for dominance. Animals will kill the young of their species in some situations.

Now, regarding human beings... Since our lives tend to be relatively easy and we do not usually have to struggle to survive, many of us have little experience with anything related to a struggle for survival. If someone put us out deep in the untamed wilderness, where the availability of food is questionable and there are plenty of wild animals, a lot of us might not be able to even survive.

People of course can go camping in relative safety. If you dwell on a campground for an extended period of time, though, you tend to be subject to certain limitations.

The fact of the matter is, a lot of the "higher" aspects of our human civilization rely on four sturdy walls and a roof to even be possible. All the printed matter and electronic devices that we are so fond of do not tend to fare so well if they are exposed to the elements.

Our human world was basically created by taming and overcoming nature, and so our human world is largely incompatible with untamed nature.

Expanses of concrete preclude things from growing, and fences usually keep out wild animals. Even in the cities, though, we do allow some nature to be nearby us - such as grass, trees, and flowers. However, even these rather benign aspects of nature have to be constantly tamed. Grass has to be cut, trees can start growing up in the most inconvenient places, and creatures like moles, field mice, and insects can invade our territory. Out in the more rural areas, there are more problems with animals, and, furthermore, any fields that are used for agriculture have to be defended against invasion by undesirable plants.

If human beings end up abandoning an area for some reason, nature will eventually take over that area again. Paved roads eventually crack and break up, and plants start growing in the cracks. Structures are soon overtaken by trees and vines, and, due to the effects of both the plants and the elements, the structures are then gradually reduced to rubble.

If it is the case that untamed nature is incompatible with our human world, then it is also the case that the parts of the world that have been tamed and transformed by humans are largely incompatible with nature. Paved areas do not provide any plants for cattle or deer to graze on. Insects and spiders may find their way into a house, but it is often the case that there is nothing in the house that they can eat.

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Based upon what we have been seeing in the light novels, it appears that in the Endgames world, the overall level of technology that people have available to them is (approximately) the same as it was at a time in the past of our real world, centuries ago. Also consistent with that period in our real-world history is the fact that, in the Endgames world, it appears that there are a lot of wars going on.

Wars can simply be conflicts over what group of people is going to be in control of a particular region, or they can be existential conflicts between two groups who simply cannot get along because their ways of looking at the world are so different that they cannot successfully co-exist.

It seems to be implied that there are two basic types of people groups in the Endgames world. One type is a type of people that I will call the "untamed" people. This type of people seems to live very close to nature. Perhaps we could say that they are “still” living close to nature. It seems to be further implied that one aspect of the fact that these people are “close to nature” is that these people are rather animal-like in their behavior. Specifically, they can be very aggressive and brutal and they do not necessarily treat each other well - the strong will brutally take advantage of the weak, for instance. This type of people apparently focuses on the things that they can actually see, and their thoughts do not go much beyond that.

The second type of people I will call the "civilized" people. These people are aware of "higher" things. They have technology that is significantly greater than that of the "untamed" people. And, thanks to their "higher" ideas, they have an overall greater level of empathy for each other. While it is true that history is filled with myriad examples of how badly “civilized” people can treat each other… still, the implication here would seem to be that, on average, these “civilized” people tend to treat each other much better than the “untamed” people tend to treat each other.

The "civilized" people would tend to transform their world and to tame nature, and so I guess it could be said that they would not be living in “harmony” with nature. Conversely, the “untamed” people would tend to not transform their world very much, and so they would largely be living in “harmony” with nature.

"Civilized" people want to be treated well, and so they would tend to not want to be around "untamed" people who cannot be counted on to treat them well. The value systems of the two groups are so radically different that the two groups cannot get along with each other.

We don’t actually see the “untamed” people show up very much at all in the Endgames novels. But it seems to be implied that, in the Endgames world, there have, within living memory, been wars - existential conflicts - between groups of "civilized" and "untamed" people. The wars are in the past, but the legacy of these wars remains to some extent.

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KITSUNE

The information that we have about Komugiko is still somewhat limited, but we have gradually been learning more about her (and her family) of late. And, most significantly, the long comics [1490] and [1491] certainly tell us something.

Based on the available information, what can we surmise about Komugiko, the kitsune, and how they fit into the overall picture with respect to the things that have been being discussed here?

Based on some (very limited) research about the kitsune, let me state some possible "facts" and try to describe a basic “model” of the kitsune which will hopefully be adequate enough for the purposes of this discussion:

"Kitsune" are simply foxes.

Historically in Japan, it was common for people to live in somewhat close proximity to foxes.

Supposedly, foxes had the ability to shape-shift into human form.

In some instances, foxes would take human form and try to pass as human and become a member of human society. Sometimes they would end up marrying normal humans and having children with them.

However, if a fox attempted to do this, they tended to eventually be found out, and when they were found out, they were then expelled from human society.

Apparently humans and foxes are different enough that they cannot really live together.

Also, apparently foxes have a tendency to sometimes cause mischief for humans.

Just above was a discussion about the “untamed” and the “civilized” people. The "untamed" people only believe in what they can actually see, and so they value nature and the physical world, and they don't think too much about anything abstract or about higher ideas. Conversely, the civilized people think about “higher” ideas and make significant use of their imagination.

As far as the “untamed” people are concerned, probably the closest thing to the “untamed” people that we are going to see in the main MT story is the kitsune. After all, how can you get closer to nature than actually being a fox? I am going to assume that, in their overall outlook and behavior, the kitsune fundamentally fit the description that has been given for the “untamed” people. So we can consider them to essentially be “untamed” people for the sake of this discussion.

For the remainder of this discussion, the term “kitsune” will be used to refer to Komugiko and her people, whatever it is that they actually are. Based upon the available information, I am guessing that the number of kitsune that exist is very small.

Apparently it is possible for a kitsune (a fox?) to have children with a human. But if that is so... exactly what type of being are these children? Would these children have to be either 100% human or 100% fox? Or would they be some sort of fox-human hybrid?

So... the possibilities for which type of being Komugiko actually is are as follows:

1) 100% fox
2) Fox-human hybrid
3) Something essentially equivalent to a chimera (Chimeras, of course, have been showing up in the light novels.)

I'm just going to assume that the answer is "100% fox" for the rest of this discussion, but most of the discussion will also be applicable for the other possibilities.

Anyway, these kitsune are certainly fully sentient and just as intelligent as humans. Perhaps their native form is fox but they can shape-shift into human form. If that is the case, then they certainly look almost completely human, and it would seem that they prefer to spend their time pretty well exclusively in human form.

Again, I think that we can assume that the number of kitsune is pretty small as compared to the human population. Perhaps there are only a small percentage of foxes that are actually (due to genetics or otherwise) intelligent and powerful enough to be able to live in a human-like form.

From what we have seen of Komugiko, it appears that she has to live her life constantly putting up with significant prejudice against her from the humans. (Well, she seems to get plenty of prejudice from the adults, at least. She doesn’t seem to get much prejudice from the children.)

There could be multiple possible reasons for why this prejudice exists, but I am going to guess that the reason is as follows:

Kitsune and humans have always lived in some proximity to each other. However, the two sides really cannot get along well enough to actually live together. By their nature, the kitsune tend to occasionally cause problems for humanity. However, the level of problems that the kitsune cause has never become great enough to cause the humans to attempt to undertake the very dangerous and costly task of trying to wipe out the kitsune. The kitsune are a problem for humans, but they are not that big of a problem.

If that is the case, humans would think of kitsune as potential pests, something untrustworthy, something to be wary of, and something that could be very dangerous in rare situations.

It seems that human society has now become tolerant enough (or un-vigilant enough?) so that the kitsune can live among humans without the humans trying to kick them out. But there is still a significant amount of prejudice against the kitsune.

Now, based on what we see in [1490], indications are that human civilization has had some influence on the kitsune, and that the kitsune are treating each other a bit nicer than they did at some time in the past. However, it would seem that not all of the animal tendencies have completely disappeared from the kitsune yet...

It can’t be that pleasant to be a kitsune if you actually have to worry about the possibility that your own grandmother is going to kill you for the sake of obtaining your spine in order to increase her own power. (I guess this would be consistent with the premise that the “untamed” people don’t always treat each other that well.)

Now, it appears that Komugiko has been completely disowned by her mother.

Was it because she got pregnant? Was it because she was significantly rebellious? Probably neither of those reasons was the actual cause.

Komugiko's grandmother appears to live in a somewhat isolated area. Presumably the humans in that area live close enough to nature that they have a fairly congenial relationship with the kitsune.

Apparently Komugiko's grandmother and her mother are "traditionalists" in their own way.

So, what did Komugiko do that got her disowned?

I speculate that Komugiko’s offense was that she went significantly against the values of her family. For one thing, she embraced “science”. This, of course, is basically embracing abstract thinking as opposed to a type of thinking that just involves the things that are directly observable. Apparently Komugiko has, overall, embraced some aspects of human “civilization” that are in fundamental opposition to the basic values and outlook of the kitsune.

Komugiko is, in a way, similar to the proverbial young lady who chooses to throw off her strict upbringing and moves far away to make her home in the corrupt big city.

The world is complicated. People are complicated. Komugiko has chosen a rather challenging life for herself.

(All of the previous speculation really puts the "battle" that occurred between Komugiko and Largo in a whole new light...)

*******************************************

A CHANCE

Day and night is a cycle. The seasons change in a cycle. Certain cycles are a part of human life.

Could there perhaps be some sort of cycle of good and evil as well?

If so, it would be a very long cycle. Such a cycle could work something like this: When goodness dominates, people treat each other well. But during those times, people start to forget about how bad the suffering that was caused by significant evil was. The people assume that the benefits that they receive due to the ascendancy of goodness will continue even if the work that is required to maintain the ascendancy of goodness stops being done. And so people start tolerating various types of evil. And then, before they know it, evil takes over. And then the people suffer. But they again learn the lesson about how bad evil is, and after some period of time they finally manage to react against the evil, and defeat it. And, then, for a while, the people remember what they need to remember in order to make them put forth the effort to keep evil at bay.

We seem to be in a time where darkness is falling over the MT Tokyo area. People are embracing fantasy, and they are starting to care less about other people and to become dominated by fear.

Their embrace of fantasy has changed the environment, and that has made it possible for fantastical creatures such as the kitsune to approach the area where the humans live. It may be the case that humans are tolerating evil more, but it is also the case that humans are tolerating differences more. And so, it has become possible for the kitsune to actually live among the humans.

It appears that over the centuries human culture has had a bit of influence on the kitsune, and that the kitsune are gradually starting to treat each other in a somewhat more civilized manner.

As for the kitsune who have chosen to live among the humans, these kitsune are not necessarily the “average” kitsune. We have seen that Komugiko has apparently chosen to embrace some form of human civilization, even knowing that her doing such a thing would cause her to be estranged from her family. Perhaps the other kitsune who have chosen to live in Tokyo have situations that are similar. In addition to this, we see that Komugiko’s daughter Yakugashi has apparently grown up among the humans, and it would appear that Yakugashi has decided to completely embrace civilized behavior.

So, it may be the case that the human beings are choosing to embrace fantasy and to allow themselves to fall into darkness. But, while that is going on, some members of a somewhat “less civilized” race (a race that has been sort of dominated by a different type of darkness, maybe?) are getting a chance to get close to human civilization, and some of them are choosing to embrace the good aspects of human civilization - To move toward the light, so to speak.

Perhaps in a darkened time, when even the difference between the “good” and the “evil” is no longer as great, somehow during that time there can be a chance for even an irredeemably cursed ghost to receive another shot at redemption… another chance to choose to embrace the light…

###################################################

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Re: T3h L00m1ng C0nfl1ct

Post by S1arburst » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:26 pm

Before I critique, let me just say that I love your long posts.
Adaon wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:14 pm
Those few people who have died that are widely remembered usually did something very significant (i.e., they invented something, helped start a new government, or so forth), or it may just be the case that they happen to have a good story associated with them.
True, like Anastasia. What did she do? Nothing, except that her body could not be found after her family massacre, so a story arose of a Russian princess with amnesia, that persisted because it made a good story, regardless of its truth.
Adaon wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:14 pm
Let us therefore assume that a fundamental sign that someone is alive is CHOICE. And, furthermore, let us assume that CHOICE is a privilege of ONLY those who are currently alive in the mortal realm.
Interestingly, choice is a trait not only of the living, but belongs more to humans than other species. Animals are driven much more by instinct.(Edit, I see you covered this somewhat further down). I’m not sure I buy that all choices have been made after death though. Perhaps there are death choices. However, I’ll accept that after death all life choices have been made ^^

Adaon wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:14 pm
So, if we are assuming that people’s desires or emotions are actually affecting reality, then it would be the desires of the adventurous types that would cause exciting events to actually occur (such as 'zillas rampaging through downtown), and it would be the desires of the passive types that would empower the stories of the Character Analogues. And, perhaps it is possible that some of the people who fall into the "adventurous" category are people who actually end up becoming Character Analogues.

[snip]

Regardless, whatever it is that people are broadcasting outward apparently has an effect on the surrounding "environment". This effect is not directly perceivable with the five senses, but it does have ramifications from a multi-dimensional perspective. Basically the change in what people are broadcasting outward has caused the area of land (or space) that is the Tokyo metropolitan area to be “shifted” to some degree, from a multi-dimensional perspective. Specifically, the Tokyo area has been partially “shifted”, to a degree, out of “reality” and into the “fantasy” area of multi-dimensional space.

[snip]

So, presumably, it would be the people who are very heavily focused on fantasy who would tend to be the type of people who could see the ‘zillas and other fantastical creatures that periodically roam through Tokyo.

Conversely, a person who was heavily focused on reality would not be able to see the fantastical creatures. However, in the rare event that something caused that person to see something fantastical (say, for instance, a ‘zilla was about to step on them), the person would then notice the fantastical being (or thing) and would attempt to take the appropriate actions. However, once the unusual event was over and things were back to “normal”… Since the person was heavily focused on reality, their brains would tend to end up categorizing what they just saw as a fantasy – In other words, their brain would categorize what they just saw in the same way that their brain categorizes a dream – and so, they would tend to quickly forget the strange thing that happened to them.

*******************************************

A person’s outlook (which is something that they choose) would determine what that person was “broadcasting out”. And it would determine what that person can see. A person’s outlook (and what they choose to be attracted to) would also end up determining what that person would tend to ATTRACT. And, it would determine what kinds of beings would be able to see THEM.
The theory of fantasy or reality-oriented people warping the environment is interesting, but it doesn’t really account for the multiple LEVELS of awareness people show. Like crowds of otaku on a train, while very interested in fantasy, are unaware of crowds of zombies right outside.
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Re: T3h L00m1ng C0nfl1ct

Post by Invisigoth » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:27 am

It's entirely possible that the true situation is that they are all living in a simulation and the base reality is found in unMod....

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