Caligula Episode 11 Review: An Explosive Confrontation and Mad Keyboard Skills
In Caligula episode 11, “People constantly seek out the right answer. Yet, is being right really all that matters?” Marie Mizuguchi finds that she hasn’t killed the Go-Home Club, who have invoked their catharsis effects to fight back. So she cheerfully continues her assault. She’s more powerful than they are, and she’s more prepared. Which side will Kagi-P fight on? That decision could decide the battle. Meanwhile, we learn more about what Ritsu Shikishima was doing with the pink keyboard. Hint: Unknown to the Go-Home Club, their President was being two-faced.
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What’s In This Post
3 Favorite Moments
- Remember in my review for episode 10 that I mentioned how John Narwhal, one of my mutuals on Twitter, noticed something interesting in the credits for that episode? Namely, that until episode 10, Chiharu Sawashiro (沢城千春) had been listed as the voice actor for Shikishima, but was suddenly now listed as the voice behind Shingo Tachibana (橘 真吾)? Who the heck is that? Well, now we know! The Shikishima we knew in Mobius used his boss’ body and voice as a disguise, because his boss, Shingo Tachibana, was socially adept. Shikishima is actually a socially awkward lead programmer for μ (6:54)! I thought that Shikishima might be a director or developer associtated with μ, and I figured based on the show’s themes that he’d have some psychological issues, but I didn’t see him wearing his boss as a disguise! I really enjoy when a show does a great job with foreshadowing and still surprises me!
- Poor μ was never prepared to make someone like Mizuguchi happy! As Mizuguchi pushed her attack on the Go-Home Club, she appealed to μ for more munitions, and the idol, under the guise of making Wicked happy, provided the bombs (8:03). Since we’ve now met the real Shikishima, μ’s lead programmer, we have an idea of why the idol didn’t have a more sophisticated and nuanced understanding of the concept of happiness. Do you remember the story a couple of years ago about Microsoft’s chat-bot that went from a happy little AI program into a racist Nazi in under 24 hours? Artificial Intelligences (AIs) are just not that adept at understanding or interacting with humans on the level that μ’s attempting! I have to believe Wicked’s love of inflicting pain and the Go-Home Club’s diametrically opposed desires will force μ into a corner. I think that could be bad for everyone trapped in Mobius!
- “I can move my arms and legs freely,” Mizuguchi said (14:37), implying that before Mobius, she could not. Then, when Kagi-P blew her legs off using her own explosives, she continues crawling towards our heroes, intent on inflicting more pain and damage. And even as they fled, the legless Mizuguchi intoned (16:15), “Have you ever experienced it?! Having your family wish for your death? Have you?!” That’s heavy stuff. Makes me think that maybe in reality, Mizuguchi is a quadriplegic whose family saw her as a burden. That’s heart-breaking! It certainly explains why she’s so angry and bitter. The show’s succeeded — again! — in making me feel sympathy towards one of the Ostinato Musicians!
So we still don’t know how Thorn could have died in the real world yet be alive in Mobius. I hope the show doesn’t leave that answer hanging! I’d love to know!
The real Shikishima’s plight resonated with me. First, he describing hating the sunlight, the sense of so many people standing around him, and even the smell of ramen restaurants. It almost sounds like he’s suffering from sensory processing disorder or something similar. According to WebMD, there’s not even a “a distinct medical diagnosis” for it. Think about that for a second. If I walk into a hospital emergency room with my ulna sticking out of my forearm, it’s pretty clear what to do: set the bone, clean up and stitch the wound, and apply a cast. But for a psychological condition? There just aren’t enough doctors trained to diagnose the conditions, and the conditions themselves are not well understood due to a lack of funding and social taboos.
Second, Shikishima hates himself for not being able to fit in. That’s way too common among folks suffering from these kinds of ailments. I read an article on Ars Technica by David Girard called “Harnessing depression: One Ars writer’s journey.” He candidly described his experiences, and I admired him for his bravery in sharing. Bravery, I say? Yeah. Because too many comments told him he was just imagining things that that he should just snap out of it.
Just snap out of a psychological condition. That’s as likely as me snapping out of a broken ulna. Which is to say, it’s flat out impossible.
Shikishima undoubtedly ran into attitudes like that (in the writer’s mind if not in a disclosed back story). He’s trying to deal not only with the effects of his condition, but with social judgement that he should just “snap out of it.” Our software developer friend is trying his best; we even see him trying to talk to a counselor. I saw a Tweet saying that the counselor used the Baum Test on Shikishima (sorry I can’t find the link so I can give credit!), which itself is telling: the test seems to be stunningly subjective and at complete odds with the clarity of tests for physical ailments. So of course Shikishima blames himself — he can’t get any support or help from friends, family, or professionals!
From the perspective of Caligula, do you know what I find particularly interesting? He hasn’t given up. He’s still fighting. He’s trying to restore μ so he can save the people in Mobius — and perhaps get to talk to μ again. He’s using his amazing keyboard skills to write a patch (or more likely, a series of patches) to restore his idol. Talk about a microcosm of the human condition!
What do you think of this episode’s big reveal? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit Discussion of Caligula Episode 11
- Marth’s Anime Blog: Caligula Episode 11: Hey, some actual answers
- Anime Q and A: Caligula Episode 11 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 10: Caligula
- Caligula Episode 12: Destroy your ideals and self, and return to hell and reality