Decided to drink whisky and watch Mawaru Penguindrum. Sometimes we just have to obey these imperatives.
I'm not finished by any means. I'm still not sure where the endgame is, or even how the pieces are laid out. But I've seen enough to take this seriously.
Nothing I've seen dispels my interpretation of this as Utena 3. The details, I'm still working out. For a while I suspected that this was a means to justify Akio's behavior -- the Paradise Lost of Ikuhara's eschatology, if you like. I'm not abandoning that. I'm not even halfway through. Theories grow like mushrooms in the night. For now, I can believe whatever I want to believe.
And I love the Ringo x Shoma plot. The whole thing works perfectly -- so much so that I might suspect Ikuhara himself of never having grown up.
And -- one last thing -- the idea that Ikuhara could have let MURAKAMI Haruki define his world to this extent is almost beyond belief. How far back does it go?