In Caligula episode 10, “Caligula“, most of the Go-Home Club is still trapped in their club room. Tomoe Kotaro tries to break through the door, but only ends up annoying everyone around him. Suspicions boil over as they try to guess who betrayed them. Was it Kagi-P? Ritsu Shikishima? Some unknown entity? In an attempt to rebuild some kind of trust, and at Kagi-P’s suggestion, they begin sharing how they came to be inside Mobius. They don’t realize it, but someone’s listening in on their conversation. Who? And just why does Marie Mizuguchi seem so anxious to find Shikishima?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What’s In This Post
3 Favorite Moments
For such a cerebral series, Caligula has a surprising number of powerful and sometimes raw emotional moments. Near the beginning of this episode (3:29), when Kotaro accuses Kagi-P of being the spy before trying to punch the Ostinato Musician, Kagura Suzuna almost breaks down in sobs. Holding her face in her hands, she stresses that doubting themselves won’t help them get out of the locked room. In light of the psychological wounds we learn are in her backstory, this moment is a glimpse straight into her heart. It looks like the Go-Home Club is the closest thing she’s had to a group of friends. It had to be agony for her to sit there as it began to unravel right in front of her.
Satake Shogo’s back story (starting around 8:25) was way more sympathetic than I thought it’d be. Not sure why; the foreshadowing was there, so I should have expected it. Maybe I’m the victim of stereotyping? Maybe I harbor the kind of stereotype that inclines me to think that someone who displayed his fighting skills would be emotionally more resilient? Yeah, I need to eradicate that kind of thinking… Anyway, while I was relieved he wasn’t a cold-blooded murderer, I really bought into the story of how he and Thorn had bonded in the real world over being social outcasts. And how that when she asked if he wanted to commit suicide with her, he saw his refusal as a betrayal that amounted to murder (9:37). Can you imagine blaming yourself for someone’s death — and then having to endure watching them reenact it over and over right in front of you? That had to be hell! I also thought that Naruko Morita trying to convince him otherwise was a nice gesture, even if she seemed more angry than sympathetic. Overall, I enjoyed the back stories. It made our heroes more relatable in the same way the scenes showing the toll μ’s protracted unconsciousness had on the Ostinato Musicians back in episode 8.
Do you mind if I take a moment to celebrate that I called Mizuguchi being Wicked? The proof’s in the Thoughts section of last week’s review (and no, I didn’t edit it to make it look like I called it!). I don’t often get to forecast something like that, so I’m feeling pretty proud right now! Anyway, my third favorite moment in this episode is when Mizuguchi slams open the door to the Go-Home Club room and casually announces that she’s done listening to their “tear-jerking revelations” (21:13). Then she casually tosses a grenade into the room. Did I mention that she’d pulled the pin? Talk about a grand entrance! Just to make sure she’s made her point, she threw in two more grenades. I feel like the observation I’m about to make is at odds with the seriousness of the possibility that most of the main characters are either dead or maimed after that attack. But am I alone in thinking that Mizuguchi looks really good with her psycho killer expression? It’s the authenticity of the expression. She’s completely in tune with her feelings! I worry myself sometimes…
Quote of the week: Minesawa Izuru’s observation about Mobius was pretty insightful when he said, “We’re all just being kept alive in this tepid bath of whatever μ considers happiness” (7:30).
Second quote of the week (busy week!): Kotaro tried to downplay the level of hell Kagi-P had faced, and Kagi-P answered, “Hells are as varied as there are people” (14:49). Note that Marth’s Anime Blog review and Anime Q and A’s review of this episode both called out that quote, too! Another good insight. What’s heavenly for one person might be unbearable for another.
So Kotaro is a middle-schooler! That completely explains his emotional outbursts and his un-nuanced thinking. As disjointed as last week’s episode was, I found the subtle and deft characterization in this episode more than made up for it.
I’ve mentioned before how much I appreciate this show taking mental health issues seriously. Whether it be Shogo’s feelings of social isolation and guilt, Shinohara Mifue’s eating disorder, Izuru’s self mutilation, or Morita’s addiction to the toxic feedback from internet trolling, the show’s given us realistic, relatable, and non-judgemental depictions of these disorders.
I still think that the severity of the disorder drives how powerful the characters are. Shogo is the best fighter, and he seems to have received the deepest wounds. Keeping that idea in mind, did you notice a trend in this episode? Many of our heroes, after describing the secret wounds they’ve been carrying, felt like they were ready to go back to the real world and make a new start. It’s almost as if Mobius is a treatment center that gave them time to heal and develop the mental resiliency and strength they’d need to succeed back in the real world.
Remember Shikishima in this episode’s last scene? He was crashed on a couch. And remember how he spoke to μ back in episode 7? He clearly knew her. He lectured her almost as if she were his student — or maybe his creation? In the previous episode, we saw him apparently just walk out of Mobius. Did he create Mobius to treat patients with psychological or psychiatric illnesses? He’s awfully knowledgeable about those topics, after all!
If that’s the case, I think Mizuguchi’s treatment isn’t quite finished…
BTW, John Narwhal, one of my mutuals on Twitter, noticed something interesting in the credits for this episode. Up until this now, Chiharu Sawashiro (沢城千春) had been credited with being the voice actor for Shikishima. But in this episode? The character’s name changed to 橘 真吾 (Shingo Tachibana)! Did the studio make a mistake in the credits (very unlikely)? Is Tachibana Shikishima’s real name — outside of Mobius? Or is there yet another explanation? Hmmmm…
What do you think is up with Shikishima? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit Discussion of Caligula Episode 10
- Marth’s Anime Blog: Caligula Episode 10: That really escalated quickly
- Anime Q and A: Caligula Episode 10 Review
This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)
- Caligula Episode 1
- Caligula Episode 2: Anxiety, Irritation, and Other Such Negative Emotions Spread to Others
- Caligula Episode 3: Why do we live? The further we pursue the meaning of life, the more confused we become
- Caligula Episode 4: People who do not respect themselves will not be respected by others
- Caligula Episode 5: Everyone gets hurt. But those who don’t realize they’re hurting can’t be healed
- Caligula Episode 6: Looking forward doesn’t equal progress on its own. Understanding one’s situation is also an important step
- Caligula Episode 7: When you’re in a desperate situation, it’s all the more important to keep smiling
- Caligula Episode 8: Your life shouldn’t be built from someone else’s blueprint. No matter how unskilled you may be, you should draw it yourself
- Caligula Episode 9: Even if something has already happened, you can still choose what you do
- Caligula Episode 11: People constantly seek out the right answer. Yet, is being right really all that matters?
- Caligula Episode 12: Destroy your ideals and self, and return to hell and reality