Let me try something new this time around. If you’d remember, I made a post a while back about how we can learn stuff from anime and since then I’ve been a real fan of tangential learning. It might not be for all shows, but I truly believe that there are some that display quite effectively, concepts that classes seemingly make hard to understand.
And to start, I’ll show you guys how the story of fakes, impostors and little sisters might have actually gave you a small taste of some heavy Post-structuralism.
In particular, we’ll just be focusing on Araragi Tsukihi and teeny bit with Kaiki Deishuu (and I suppose the entire Tsukihi Phoenix arc at that). But before we dive into that, allow me to define a couple of terms that may (or may not) seem new to you.
Post-structuralism, in its most condensed form, is a rejection of a binary or structured reality. For example, we can say “white : good” and “black : evil” as a structure of reality. All we need to know for the next few minutes is that Post-structuralism simply wants to say “no” to all that.
Hyperreality and Simulacrum are two of the many facets used in Post-structuralism to contest the idea that reality is “set” in one way or another.
Hyperreality is the idea that a person can blend reality with a fabricated reality and end up not really knowing the difference. Simulacrum on the other hand can be defined as a representation, or, a copy of something that doesn’t really have an original.
A fun example is something you do from time to time on your computer – copying files. Say you typed a word document, and after that made an identical copy of the file and gave it to someone, who then gave it to someone, and so on, and so forth. The question now becomes, who has the original file? Who has a copy? What is the difference between your file and that someone’s?
Now, if you’ve watched Nise then you might already know where I’m going with this.
Araragi Tsukihi is also an example of a Simulacrum. She’s a fake, a representation, a “copy”, but at the same time she’s not if you think about it, because:
(1) the “original” Tsukihi never really existed, and
(2) before the fact, no one who knew Tsukihi doubted the authenticity of her being. Tsukihi (phoenix) was the “real” Tsukihi, simply because no other Tsukihi exists or existed.
Thus, her existence produced a Hyperreality for Araragi Koyomi. To him, the little sister he’s known for his entire life was now both “authentic” and “fake”. Not that it really mattered to him in the end, but it goes well with the theme of the story don’t you think?
Keeping all that in mind, Kaiki’s stand on fakes and impostors should also make little more sense; or at least, we can understand a bit more where he’s coming from –
Aaand that about ends my real talk. Short and hopefully sweet enough to have made you read up to this point. I never did intend to go full-on communication theory on you guys, but this little bit on Post-structuralism really piqued my interests honestly (Nise was the first thing that popped in my mind when this got brought up in class), and I hope it was as interesting for you guys 😀