Okay, first of all, wow. The anime turned the speed up to 11, and we got an entire route in a single episode (and getting a full route next episode too!). To be kind of fair, I predicted large amount of cutting for Yumiko’s route because it was heavy on romance and related things which would cause conflicting plot points if they were included. Furthermore, I probably liked Yumiko’s route least. She’s a fake Gahara with very little personality and her route was basically a melting pot of ojou route tropes, so I really don’t care what kind of butchery they did to her. Even so, it honestly wasn’t super terrible so much as a weird choice to do a “route” like this. That said, this brings into question whether they are just making room for the highly praised (except by me) Amane route or are planning to do the 2nd game Meikyuu as well in the last 2 episodes (length wise, it is about as long as a single route). At this point, I’d be happy to get Meikyuu because then I’d get to write on some more interesting themes that I was debating how to approach should it not be aired. Anyway, let’s move on to the actual episode.
The episode begins with a flashback to when Yumiko decided to stab a schoolmate who was gossiping about her. JB is seen talking to Yumiko’s father who wants to Yumiko to be raised properly as his heir (through any means necessary). He decides to have her “attacked” by his own men.
Yumiko leaves the dorm by herself, and Yuuji abruptly follows her out. JB told him that he was ordered to act as her bodyguard, but lose the fight on purpose. Meanwhile, Yumiko is drawing because she says it lets her avoid talking to people. It starts raining and some suspicious men come to attack. Yuuji swiftly beats them up and runs away with Yumiko. She wonders how Yuuji can be so strong and talks about her past. Her mother was condemned for giving birth to Yumiko, a girl, instead of a male heir. They were rejected by their family, and even Yumiko’s mother regrets “if only you were a boy.” Although her father later had a male child through another woman, he died, and her father was forced to accept Yumiko as his heir. Yumiko was ridiculed by everyone because of this, and her father was only interested in raising her as an heir. As a result, Yumiko attacked her classmate, and her father decided to build the school as a birdcage for her.
In response, Yumiko’s father is angry that Yuuji decided to fight back. He decides to force Yumiko to study abroad and shut down the school. She locks herself in her room, and Yuuji does not appear to care either. Her father arrives to force her out, but Yuuji stops him. Yumiko appears as well and fires a gun at him. Apparently her father brings in a ton of soldiers, and JB has prepared for the situation to be resolved in secret. After a lot of bickering about the past and how he only cares about Yumiko, she runs out of bullets and so pulls out a grenade instead. Boom. He rushes in to find her dead body. Bad end~
At her grave, Yuuji and Yumiko’s father talk about how he decided to keep the school open because it was the only request she ever made of him. He says she taught him a life lesson and is proud to have had her as his daughter. Meanwhile, Yumiko is hiding behind a tree and feels slightly happier about her life. Apparently it was all a huge set up by JB and Yuuji. Yumiko is now free to live her new life as she wants.
Yumiko’s background is hardly unique and pretty straightforward. She was born into a rich family but was rejected for not being a male heir. Family drama, “if only you were a boy,” and building a giant school building for her to live in, isolated from normal society, are all things that have been done repeatedly before. Ironically, among all the girls (and guy) at the school, she is probably the most normal. However, regardless of how clichéd her situation is, it doesn’t change the fact that her birth itself was considered a sin. Although it is often claimed that those not yet born are innocent, Christian belief is that people are born as sinners. We inherit the sins of our fathers, and the nature and inclination to continue sinning is embedded into us. Yumiko questions the reason for her existence if even her birth was a sin. In her eyes, she has no reason to exist.
In the original visual novel, Yuuji gives her a reason to live. She goes against her father who wishes her to live as a tool, accepts her birth as a female, and decides to live her life with pride. She stages her own death in order to be reborn, which is quite similar to Michiru’s solution. However, in Yumiko’s situation, she chooses to kill herself in order for her to be reborn again. Christians, too, must accept that their human life is a sin, put that sinful life to death, and be born again in Christ. Unfortunately, we are all born sinners, and we continue to live as sinners. Even after we become followers of Christ, we continue sinning. It is a battle of our previous life, which we want to kill, and our current life of freedom and love in Jesus. Yumiko also must continue to battle her past and her father, as things were not left with perfect closure (or rather, the anime sort of ignores this plot hole). Regardless, it is not as if Yumiko believes that her birth was right; it is only that she has chosen to put her past behind her and restart her life now that she has found a reason to live. And although the anime is forced to exclude it, that reason is love.
For what reason do you live? Some people live their lives as society dictates without a clear goal (especially so in Japan). Others live admirably, living for their family or friends or just all around aiming to make the world a better place. As Christians, we live for God. We have chosen to put our sinful lives to death and restart our lives as followers of Christ. Although we are born sinners, God calls us to a greater life, one where our reason for existence is made clear. When we accept Christ, we live to serve and love the God who saved us via his boundless love for us; and we in turn spread the love He gave us so that others may also find joy in this reason for existence.
5 thoughts on “Grisaia no Kajitsu Episode 6: Reason for Existence”
I have more problems with this comparison than I do with all of the others. Mainly because…Yumiko’s birth wasn’t actually a sin. Unless all births are such. She shouldn’t have to be reborn just because she was born a girl. That’s…well…something that only happens because she was born into an incredibly sexist part of her society. o__o; I happen to enjoy the kind of sexism present in Japan more than the kind in America, but it definitely hurts people. I think that neglecting the real reason Yumiko felt the way she did (Not because of general sinfulness, but because of her gender!) leads to very awkward justifications of somewhat creepy cultural practices in Japan.
Then again, she possibly couldn’t have done anything different— Living in that world.
“For what reason do you live? Some people live their lives as society dictates without a clear goal (especially so in Japan). Others live admirably, living for their family or friends or just all around aiming to make the world a better place. As Christians, we live for God/”
The question of what one lives for, however, and why one would choose to be “born again..” are central to Christianity. And perhaps central to all of us. I decided, after being born into a world that uses any justification it can to judge and discriminate, to judge no one and fight all those who would decide that someone on any basis is not human. No matter what moral ends such a position would lead me to. I think that, whether you feel called to or not, it is better to live one’s life in accordance with one’s ideals (In your case, for God’s ideals) than to aimlessly drift through it.
That, and stating that being born is a sin (Rather than “We are born sinful,” which is actually a different statement) doesn’t work as Christian doctrine. If being born were a sin, then it would cause God Himself to sin by bringing you into existence and committing suicide to NOT be a sin. XD (Because the reason suicide is considered a sin is because it is “thwarting God’s purpose for your life.” )
You’re right I didn’t think about that properly, and there is a distinct but important difference between the two. I wanted to parallel Yumiko’s beliefs to Christian beliefs which I still think are similar but as you said, not exactly the same. That aside, while the gender was what considered a sin, the anime skipped over a ton of emotional trauma outside of the gender thing (though arguably gender was still an indirect cause). For example, after she was outcasted from the father, her mother’s hometown spread a bunch of rumors about her because they didn’t understand the political issues surrounding it, and just gossiped about made up stuff unrelated to her gender. It all can be traced back to her gender but it’s definitely wrong to say that is the reason she felt that way. As always, the anime gives all the major facts but leaves out all the emotional buildup.
Leader: One girl with a handgun? Quick, rally all the troops directly INTO her field of fire!
Grunt: Shouldn’t some of us go around the back and surprise her, sir?
Leader: What are you, some kind of coward? Don’t you like frontal assaults?
Eh, they were all in on it so they couldn’t care less about apparent efficiency as long as the dad was tricked.