Caligula Episode 3 – Why do we live? The further we pursue the meaning of life, the more confused we become
Well, it looks like we got to learn a lot about Mifue and Sweet-P this episode. The main takeaway being, this whole league of ‘musicians’ aren’t quite as frightening as they may have been made out to be…
The show also has now cleared the synopsis, revealing the simulated world officially, so from here on out it’s uncharted territory.
Another important thing, that answered one of my previous questions, is that it looks like only students are being swept up in the mobius system as they are the only ones who transform into monsters when they hear μ’s music.
We’ve also finally begun to deep dive into the reasons why the rogues have entered the system in the first place. Mifue is up first and her pure, unadulterated hatred for fat/ugly people is quite aggressive. We also found out that she is the one who erased her mom from this world, kinda. I don’t know how μ comes up with the plan for making wishes come true. It’s set up as a world where anything goes in order to attain happiness. Yet, when Mifue simply wishes ‘to eat dinner with her mom’, μ leaps straight to erasing the mom’s existence and replacing her with someone who looks nothing like the original. Judging by the distaste for that sudden change, shouldn’t μ have come to fix that? We also still don’t know why Mifue despises them. Judging by her mom’s physique, it’s possible the negative feelings were passed on from mother to daughter or maybe Mifue is actually large in real life and was bullied or harassed by friends/family causing mobius to sweep her up in its algorithm. Hopefully we get more into that because learning about the cast seems like the most surefire way to invest us in the show at this point.
Now, I realize that the antagonists are still people too, and therefore can succumb to the same weaknesses as everyone else. I can’t shake the feeling though that this episode is foreshadowing a big 180 in terms of how serious the plot becomes. The silliness that was Sweet-P’s defeat was nothing short of absurd and the turn to comedy wasn’t really what I wanted out of it. This show wasn’t popular at all so I can’t hold it against anyone if the reference is lost, but a few seasons ago a show called 18if aired. It dealt with a world of dreams where girls who experienced trauma became ‘witches’ and went comatose to live out the rest of their lives inside a lucid dream. There, they could take any form they wanted and shunned any memories of their previous lives. It was up to a ragtag group to enter the dreams and convince the witches to return to real life by facing their problems. If this episode of Caligula was mixed into 18if I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. And that’s not necessarily a compliment.
While the previous episodes, I thought, were very good, this episode has me torn a little bit. The trippy dream sequence didn’t really do it for me, probably because of the aforementioned show it reminded me of. The Ostinato’s have this sort of ‘admin power’ in the mobius world (ex. Sweet-P this episode and we’ve seen one of the others appear and disappear as he pleases) and they are trying to use these powers to basically force the teens into compliance by having them relapse their trauma. At least in this episode. It just seems terribly short-sighted.
They would still have the memories of the world being fake even if the re-traumatization worked. I also wonder then what is the point of the monsters? Even having doubts about the world labels you as a target for them, their transformation is triggered by Ostinato’s use of μ’s music, and then they try to kill the non-believers. If killing them is viable, why not just use the admin powers from the get go or just play the music all the time so they don’t have a chance to rest? If this ‘dissonance’ is causing such enormous issues, shouldn’t the threat of people running around be an urgent situation? Life would go on as normal for everyone who is still trapped in their own heads no matter what course of action Ostinato takes.
At the end of the day we’re not sure yet why these teens that have become self-aware are being forced to stay in the system. We’re also not sure if they can actually escape.
All in all, there’s still a lot more questions that need to be answered but this is only episode three so I’m still excited to see where the plot goes. This could just be a dud of an episode and the next will put us back on track. These were just some of the thoughts that passed through my head as I watched.
I really liked the one scene we got of Shikishima. The normal constant stream of thought being replaced with silence, save the ticking of the clock, was a really enjoyable scene. I love it when shows play around with composition like that.
Let me know what you thought of the episode too or if you thought any of my ideas were off base or just straight up wrong!