In Caligula episode 3, “Why do we live? The further we pursue the meaning of life, the more confused we become,” Ritsu Shikishima struggles to come to terms with what his senses are telling him. He wants to examine the problem from all angles — but does he have that kind of time? Meanwhile, Mifue Shinohara, desparate to find her mother, happens to see an ad for SweetP’s tea party, an event where secrets will be revealed. Will Shinohara be able to find out anything about her mother? Or will the true nature of the tea party break her spirit?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What’s In This Post
3 Favorite Moments
Even if it’s frustrating in the moment, I like a show whose character behaves consistently. The show’s gone to great lengths to show us that Shikishima is a thinker. He’ll stew over a problem for way longer than most of us would because that’s how he approaches life. At the end of the last episode, he found out that the world he’s in is artificial. He spends most of this episode trying to understand exactly what that means (7:13). What’s funny is that he quotes “someone” as saying that if he had an hour to save the world, he’s spend the first 59 minutes understanding the problem (6:59). If the internet is to be believed, that “someone” was Albert Einstein, and he said he’d spend 55 minutes understanding the problem. Though to be fair, I found less attributable quotes saying 59 minutes… But the quote is perfectly in keeping with Shikishima’s character, as frustrating as that can be!
After all the “dreamy cute” and “non non nons” in the tea party scene, I’m surprised Shinohara lasted as long as she did before snapping (14:13). She tried really hard to break into the conversation, even smiling and trying to act “cute” despite her obviously growing frustration. But for Shinohara, the cakes falling and splatting on the table — and the other girls starting to feast — that was just more than she could bear. I grew up on a farm, and I can tell you from experience that those other girls looked just like pigs feeding. To be fair to the pigs, they lack hands and opposable thumbs, so they have to eat like that! Bonus points for Shinohara’s outburst revealing what looked to me like an irrational hatred of overweight people — not because there’s anything inherently wrong with being heavy, but because character depth is a good thing. Her attitude seems to be tied to her mom’s Anorexia Nervosa. I hope the writers take that trait in an interesting direction. Come to think of it, I wonder if Shikishima has a disorder, too? It’d be fascinating if disorders are the key to “awakening” in this world.
We get to welcome Naruko Morita to those who are woke (20:51)! I found it interesting how SweepP’s own obsessions gave Morita some of the clues she needed to begin doubting the world. After reporting on the tea party incident, Morita was happily reviewing how many hits her story about SweetP was getting when she saw one of her pictures of Shougo Satake switch “perspectives:” one moment, Satake was his “normal” self and the next, he was all spiked out with a huge pistol for one arm (20:40). Surprised, she looked up to see pedestrians with static-y heads. She was so shocked that she fell on her butt. I don’t think it was intended as humor, but Shinohara looked completely nonplussed when she asked, “Did you just now realize it?” Like it was the most obvious thing in the world! It’s going to be nice having someone as bright and inquisitive as Morita on the case. I’ve been rooting for her since I first saw her! Must be the journalist in me…
I finally figured out who Shikishima reminds me of. Do you remember Adam Lambert? He’s the glam-rock artist who’s working with Queen now. Shikishima reminds me a lot of the singer, even down to what looks like eye-liner!
Given the shot that looks like people in life support pods (21:50), it’s pretty clear we’re in a Matrix kind of world. Before you throw your hands up in exasperation (or if you already have!), please let me mention that there are no completely unique stories. It all comes down to details and execution. So far, the show’s technically promising. The art’s solid, the action sequences are dramatic, and the characters are starting to come alive. It’s presenting a scenario to its main characters, and they’re working through it in realistic ways.
You know that this is a site that celebrates anime! So you have to expect me to look on the bright side!
There’s still a lot of ways this show could distinguish itself from The Matrix. We don’t know how or why there are people in pods; we don’t know who actually founded Mobius — it might have been μ; we don’t know who created her. We don’t know how the Ostinato Musicians rose to power. These details and others, developed and presented in the right way, could be fascinating.
And since I chose this series to review for Spring 2018, you’d be right to say that I’m rooting for it!
What do you think? Am I being overly optimistic (again)? Are we on the verge of another (shudder) Taboo Tattoo? Or do you think Caligula might develop into something interesting? Let me know in the comments below!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit Discussion of Caligula Episode 3
- Marth’s Anime Blog: Caligula Episode 3: Magical dreams
- Anime Q and A: Caligula Episode 3: Anime QandA 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 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 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