Monday, December 23, 2013

So tomorrow is...

...Christmas Day Eve. Then come the day after next, Christmas will be officially welcomed. Thinking about this, I suddenly have a surreal feeling because it seems that Jesus has been my only friend for the past 10+ years. Maybe that's why I enjoy commenting/liking/sharing FB posts on Christianity? Well, guess this will continue for the next 5-6 years, at least it's heartening to know that your only faith is the only reason why you only ended up with cracks rather than absolutely shattered.

ERM, SO WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY?No, I'm not going to evangelise anyone. Rather, I suddenly have the urge to do something on anime/manga. Okay, I'm talking about a particular title, not something too generic. I can't really remember when, but for sure I was in my early twenties when I came across this manga series. Let's just say that it's not just about vampires or even your typical Stoker-esque archetype.

Suffice to say, I was attracted by the plot and characters right from the bang. The characters are 100% realistic (apart from your customary anime/manga tropes being spammed) with the main protagonist so much more than a monster. And speaking of main protagonist, I hereby present you...


Before I start however, allow me to up this particular clip.

Intro:On the first glance, Abel seemed like you everyday klutz full of accidents and horny impulses. However, we must understand that this is Japanese creativity we're talking about, many a trope has been pretty much flogged like a dead horse. In fact, I'm not surprised at the presence of fan service and over-the-top situations by the time I hit the legal age of sixteen.

Yet, it seems that the manga adaption is hell bent on minimizing cleavage, side/underboobs, and upskirt angles. This was unlike many of its predecessors where everything portrayed is still subtly synonymous with the current underground culture. So what does Trinity Blood depend on otherwise?

Plot value:Interestingly, many contemporary manga/gaming/anime works have now gravitated towards plot and characterization. Not that old school series were incapable of that since every fanboy/girl will still surely recall stuff like:Neon Genesis Evangelion (it took me N ages to finally comprehend what End of Evangelion was truly talking about)Gundam Wing (Endless Waltz has gotta be the finest part where Heero Yuy's humanity was concerned. Not to mention Zechs Merquise's quest for vengeance and his resultant redemption during the TV series)Rurouni Kenshin (better known as Samurai X, the manga is the only thing you need. OVA was an epic failure mainly due to Shinomori Aoshi gone MIA).

As for Trinity Blood, let me first say that NEVER in my life have I ever seen vampires in a biological light. Indeed they were victims of their own power. More specifically their power source (which is some kinda blood consuming bacillus). Calling themselves the Methuselah, said term got nothing to do with meth.

[And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.]Genesis 5:27

I don't have to list who was Methuselah's father because it's pointless. What I want you all to know is understanding why the vampires in Trinity Blood called themselves this name.

Crusnik 02Better known as Abel himself, this was an absolute monster once labelled "The God of Carnage". [Disclaimer-I can only roughly translate this from the manga, sorry.] What drove Abel once into the abyss of madness is beyond me unless someone managed to bugger Chuangyi/Yasui Kentaro to hurry up. Especially Yasui-sensei since I've long given up on Chuangyi's schedule.

What we do know, however, is that Abel truly hated the human race (known as Terrans) due to their selfish decision to use him and the Methuselah as tools to colonize Mars. We must understand foremost that the Methuselah are technically human beings. Their only problem with the Terrans lies in the need to feed on blood. Not to sustain some evil mojo, but to merely survive. This could very likely be the reason why Abel joined Cain (Crusnik 01) and Seth (Crusnik 03) to declare all out war on the human race, i.e. the first Methuselah who returned to Earth were murdered by the Terrans.

At the same time, we've got one last Crusnik, Lilith (i.e. Crusnik 04). She chose to side with the human race despite her identity. The final end? She wasn't killed by the "ungrateful" Terrans, but Cain himself. So what does this have to do with Abel's character, you might ask?

One undeniable truth about Abel's character is viewing Lilith as a mother figure. More specifically Lilith was the closest thing to a mother while Cain is the closest thing to a brother with Seth being the sister counterpart.

Biblical parallelsIn the Bible, Cain murdered Abel and God called him into judgement. In Trinity Blood, it was Lilith being murdered instead. Now it must be said that just like how the Bible recorded Cain, Abel, and Seth as sons of Adam and Eve, Crusnik 01-03 were like children to Crusnik 04. In short, Lilith was the ultimate mother figure with a loving heart. If not for Lilith, I can't be sure how this duo and Seth could ever survived.

One interesting snippet is that there used to be five Methuselah instead of four (i.e. Cain, Abel, Seth, Lilith). These Methuselah were genetically enhanced, yet one of them died. Unnamed and unknown apart from Seth trying to save him/her and Cain, everything started from the Crusnik nanomachines infused into them. Sadly, it was said that Seth's action managed to drive Cain mad due to said nanomachines planted in him.

Abel, Seth, and Lilith actually did the same thing N years later with no apparent ill effects. Yet, why did Lilith chose to help the humans who brutally murdered their own kindred? There were a few flashback scenes from Abel's POV where Lilith was shown as someone with great compassion. Imagine what would happen if either side win the war! Either the Terrans would be butchered or the Methuselah facing absolute genocide. Lilith was trying to stop the war, but she knew it would be pointless to join Abel and co since that would defeat the purpose (read: she never desired mutual enmity and destruction). Unable to handle this truth, Cain at last killed Lilith and cut off her head. This was when Abel decided to kill Cain instead.

And therein comes the mother of all ironies. In the Bible, it was Cain who murdered Abel. This time round, it was Abel killing Cain albeit with Seth helping him out (note that at his strongest, not even Abel or Seth could stand before him one vs one). With Cain the one committing murder in the first place, the irony lies in a combination of that thrice damned Cain-Abel complex and those words stated below:

[Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword]Matthew 26:52

A lifelong penanceAbel's life was full of sorrow and regret, his only aim being redemption. His power as Crusnik 02 cursed him as a monster, he would remain as so if not for Lilith. If Cain's decision to wage mass bloodshed was guided by hatred, then Abel's path was a miraculous U-turn of sorts. Indeed Abel was different from Cain, that even though he (Abel) hated the world, deep in his heart he still cares. This forms a stark contrast to Cain's imminent moniker "Contra Mundi" (i.e. Enemy of the World). Ironically, Abel's actions during his murderous past indeed proved himself as another "Contra Mundi".

Remember what I've said on Lilith being a mother character? 'Tis merely a figure of speech, for Abel and Lilith were stated as lovers (in the original novels, so this info is 100% authentic). If not for Lilith's love for him and his reciprocation likewise, Abel would have lost himself to a lifetime of mistakes. Perhaps this was why Lilith could dissuade Abel in the first place, THAT HER LOVE FOR ABEL ACTUALLY SHOWED US HOW MUCH SHE UNDERSTOOD HIM AND VICE VERSA.

To be cont'd...Next-the various women in Abel's life
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