"Monster" - Implications with MG plotlines and Megumi

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"Monster" - Implications with MG plotlines and Megumi

Post by Storyteller » Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:52 pm

So - just wanted to comment on the "Monster" thing. It is definitely being used as a negative and bluntly derogatory word. From context with the Tokyo Threat Documentation Project - it is used to mean not a person/non-human interchangeably.

For those who are not following the TTDP plotline there are three mandated punishments for "Monsters" that do not hide well enough.

1. Disappearance - "Relocation to a secure facility outside the city until the damage caused ... either dissipates or is repaired."
2. Conversion - IE Removal/"minimalization" of obvious non human traits. For Chonky - that would be her ears, and she was specifically told she was lucky to not have a tail.
3. Termination

Note one individual on what is essentially a terrorist list is a recently pregnant woman who thought she was the one being cheated on or that it was an open relationship - as she was unaware that the guy was married.

So derogatory category - extremely well established.

Now the thing is - we've seen this term applied to MGs through Miho ages ago. The second page is even more informative when you break down what Miho is saying. Monsters is a general term and that Miho thinks that Yuki had to have heard her father use it. And we actually see him use it in his workplace through TTDP.

And there is also Largo's insights on the subject. "If they can't shoot them, they can't kill them. They can't manage them." Which does fit with the entire list of the guidelines above. It is all based around monopoly of force - and very obvious in how "monsters" are a lesser priority. We also have the entire present force freak out. Nine tailed Kitsune probably ranks at least around Yuki's level if not higher.

There is something else to consider as to what causes the termination orders. Miho's destruction of the hospital seems to be mostly be in self-defense because a termination order was triggered when her heart was fixed. "If allow termination, you die as supposed to." And Miho gives her response that she knows she's supposed to die and that with her heart fixed the way for her to die is for someone to kill her. And she's not going to let that happen.

So - Megumi might be in more danger than the average kitsune if news gets out because she's a nine tails. Because that is an extremely large amount of power and "Balance" does not like irregularities. (Which is how you have permits for blowing up City Hall and a termination order for Miho upon getting a pacemaker) And uh - Miho has the advantage that she does not stay dead and a whole lot of experience in staying low. Yuki's father didn't know that she'd awakened until he ran into her.

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Re: "Monster" - Implications with MG plotlines and Megumi

Post by paarfi » Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:59 pm

I'm still figuring out the whole "monster" thing myself. But I think it fits in with a wider picture.

Stability [1447] wants stability, and is therefore opposed to things that might make things unstable, and there are a lot of things that they seem to think might cause that.
- Largo got designated a "threat to balance of chaos in japan" [639], and so the TPCD [666] put out a contract on him.
- Erika was likened to a nuclear warhead who could "create chaos unlike Tokyo has ever seen" [597] if she wasn't properly handled.
- Miho was actually considered an aid to stability as long she was good girl and died when her story told her to. It was only once she got the pacemaker and refused to get back in her box that she became a liability.
- Some magical girls get labelled as "potentially catastrophic grade" [1108]

So I think "monsters", whether kemonomimi or people like Yuki and Miho, are all part of a broader spectrum of potential sources of instability.

While disappearance, conversion, and termination all are things that Stability appears willing to do if necessary, they appear to be more of a last resort and useful threat to keep people in line. Most of what they do seems to fall well short of those extremes.
- The TPCD monitors magical girls [1108]
- Miho and other character analogues have the whole Analogue Support Facility [aka notspital] [1248] run by the TPCD or the govt [1271]
- Meimi was quite willing to just escort Largo back to america to neutralize him [717] and ended up only intervening via his love-life [1097]
- Even Masamichi yelling at Chokky and recruiting her can be viewed as trying to manage the problem in a lower key way, if you think about it.

You're right though that they seem to like having force available as a last resort, and when the source of instability is so powerful that that might not work, then they get extra concerned [1109].

The question with Megumi is going to be whether a 9-tail is so powerful that they aren't even willing to wait to see if she causes chaos or not, because then it might be too late. Presumably the contract that the ninj4's have on great-grandma 8-tail [1529] comes from Stability, but it's been unfulfilled for a long time and nobody seems to be panicking over it. Maybe a 9-tail is enough worse that they won't be willing to take chances. I guess we'll see.
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Re: "Monster" - Implications with MG plotlines and Megumi

Post by Invisigoth » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:36 pm

My feelings are that it is in fact Piro who was responsible for the chaos that was being attributed to Largo and the contract on Largo was a mistake. Meimi initially appeared to think that it was in fact Piro whom Erika had begun seeing. Once Meimi had determined that it was not Largo who posed the risk then it was a simple matter for her to change her plans.

I also believe that Megumi is far beyond the capability of the TPCD to contain and her association with Piro would be a much greater matter of concern for the TPCD should they even make the connections that the "retired" Magical Girl network seems to have made

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Re: "Monster" - Implications with MG plotlines and Megumi

Post by Storyteller » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:18 am

paarfi wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:59 pm
- Miho was actually considered an aid to stability as long she was good girl and died when her story told her to. It was only once she got the pacemaker and refused to get back in her box that she became a liability.
- Some magical girls get labelled as "potentially catastrophic grade" [1108]

The question with Megumi is going to be whether a 9-tail is so powerful that they aren't even willing to wait to see if she causes chaos or not, because then it might be too late. Presumably the contract that the ninj4's have on great-grandma 8-tail [1529] comes from Stability, but it's been unfulfilled for a long time and nobody seems to be panicking over it. Maybe a 9-tail is enough worse that they won't be willing to take chances. I guess we'll see.
With Great-Grandma 8-tails I think a large part of it is that it has been such a long time that Stability essentially have had to accept it because they couldn't go after the 8-tails personally. There is a reason why hostages were to be used. An old crafty fox is a lot harder to kill than a young one who has no idea what they are doing.

As to waiting until they see chaos - I think you answered your question here.
paarfi wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:59 pm
- Miho was actually considered an aid to stability as long she was good girl and died when her story told her to. It was only once she got the pacemaker and refused to get back in her box that she became a liability.
The sequence of events as I understood it was that Miho broke out before Balance arrived - because she was not going to be tied down when they were trying to kill her. But that is precipitated by them deciding to kill her being triggered by her receiving a pacemaker. Given what goes on in Megatokyo every day - I kinda doubt that Balance would pull out that assault for merely the damage caused by Miho escaping the hospital room.

Similarly, for all that Miho can alternate between being an utter bitch to people - in the current timeline I don't think she has actively caused trouble for Stability since the incident where she was involved with Erika's fans. Wild stuff has occurred around her - but that is Ping and the Horde for the most part with others "halping" and "helping" depending.
paarfi wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:59 pm
- Some magical girls get labelled as "potentially catastrophic grade" [1108]
Something else to consider here - Moeko very much makes it sound like it may be a case of her feeding off of Miho versus the other way around. And Miho is very good at slipping away, partly due to her true story not being known. And I'm not at all sure that
paarfi wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:59 pm
I'm still figuring out the whole "monster" thing myself. But I think it fits in with a wider picture.
I do wonder sometimes if one of the things to consider is who is using the term at any time. Miho is old enough that she narratively she feels peerish in age to Great-Grandma 8 tails. Sometimes it feels like those in that age group don't necessarily mean monster with the connotations that the younger generations use it but more as a "Don't forget we're not human". In particular I can't recall when Miho ever used that term to refer to others but with Yuki while she was hefting the clue by four to get it through Yuki's skull that she's a MG. Herself is fair game but with Yuki - it only got used at that time period as I can recall.

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Re: "Monster" - Implications with MG plotlines and Megumi

Post by Invisigoth » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:41 pm

Since this presents itself as an opportunity for deep geekery into words this video concerning the etymology of the word monster can be fun

https://youtu.be/swuoSZXQTac

One takeaway is that the appearance of a monster was a premonition of disaster. A bad omen if you will

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Re: "Monster" - Implications with MG plotlines and Megumi

Post by Storyteller » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:45 am

Invisigoth wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:41 pm
Since this presents itself as an opportunity for deep geekery into words this video concerning the etymology of the word monster can be fun

https://youtu.be/swuoSZXQTac

One takeaway is that the appearance of a monster was a premonition of disaster. A bad omen if you will
That actually fits. Because the Kitsune clan has had a whole lot of "monsters" family and family adjacent things happening currently. And it does feel like there's a tidalwave coming in from the events going on.

1. Yaku - kidnapping. In general there's a whole lot of explosives ready to pop with the everything to do with there being a price on Great Grandma's head and no one being told about it. Oh and there's a Ninja/Kitsune relationship in the works and it's probably going to get messy since neither Mugi nor Junpei are the quitting types.
2. Nine Tails Kitsune. Even if the governmental forces don't freak out - please see everything with Yuki. Especially the accidental putting friend into hospital bit.
3. Ashe possibly is going to be getting onto TTDP list given the whole viral idea thing on there and the guy who seems to be the mind behind Ping took a picture of Ashe. With ears and tail. And he's all about taking pieces of people and mass producing them. TTDP so far giving a strong example that "reasonable" does not so far seem to enter the equation. And given everything the fact that Grandma Ninja was very much not above using leverage against the Kitsune family as a whole can lead to problems.

Not technically family/I really don't think the Kitsunes are lucky enough to not get drawn in.
4. The amount of family who are involved with the Miho plot and show no sign of leaving. Like - Miho was on a kill list for getting a pacemaker. Yaku is getting in on the ground floor with possible writing for a new story. Miho was Miho-sama for Mugi for some reason and likewise is not leaving if Yaku isn't. And Megumi is connected to the other side of the mess through Kimiko.
5. Oh and I highly doubt that Ping is and Junko are going to not be getting involved or dragging others into messes somehow. Ping is a general whirlpool of chaos and Junko keeps getting "halped".

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Re: "Monster" - Implications with MG plotlines and Megumi

Post by darrin » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:42 pm

Invisigoth wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:41 pm
Since this presents itself as an opportunity for deep geekery into words this video concerning the etymology of the word monster can be fun

https://youtu.be/swuoSZXQTac

One takeaway is that the appearance of a monster was a premonition of disaster. A bad omen if you will
Given the setting, it might be useful to also take into account the Japanese words that MegaTokyo is "translated from" (notionally, the way Tolkien described "translating" the works of Bilbo and Frodo into English).

Wiktionary gives a Japanese versions of the English "monster", and I don't know any Japanese, so I'm going with the only one I know, bakemono. (I welcome corrections or analysis of other possible equivalent translations.)

The meaning given is essentially "thing which can take a different form", or "thing which can disguise itself". "Thing which has disguised itself" would seem a reasonable extension to me. This thing is not what it seems. This fits very nicely with the basic idea of a monster as "something scary": it's scary because what you see is not necessarily what it is, or all that it is; you don't know what it is, so obviously you don't know what it will do.

The English word monster can be thought of as approaching the "scariness" from the observer's side, rather than the thing itself: the root is the one common to "demonstrate". It cannot be described, it must be shown. "You have to see it to believe it." You don't even know how to describe it, so how can you possibly understand it, let alone predict what it will do?

Coming back to specifics of MegaTokyo from the abstract / general, the two senses dovetail quite easily. Things are not always what they seem. No general description will suffice, each observer's beliefs are limited by their own perceptions. These are ideas Fred has been exploring since the beginning.
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Re: "Monster" - Implications with MG plotlines and Megumi

Post by mistersaxon » Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:49 am

There's always Kaiju - literally "strange beast". The strangeness is what makes them monstrous...
Yea, verily: Who is that, running on the steppes! It is Sax, clutching buzzsaw hand extensions! He howls homicidally:
"I'm seriously going to pound you into the fast lane!!!"

Oh, yeah, I wrote Ping some backstory once.

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