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Lovecraftian Love Story

June 21, 2010

That’s what Kemonozume is all about: The tender love story between a man who knew what man was not meant to know and a beautiful horror from beyond time and space.

It takes the whole “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” perspective to galactic heights. Yeah, men and women don’t really “get” each other. Hell, I took several classes in college on genderlects (Linguistic differences between men and women, etc.) and that knowledge does jack shit for my ability to truly comprehend women. Men and women aren’t just Martians and Venusians waging a primal sex war on the surface of planet Earth, they’re creatures from wholly alien and distant parts of the galaxy who cannot fathom the means by which the other functions. The only true common ground we have is the fact that our uglies bump in just the right way to make it feel good and propagate future generations.

That’s what Kemonozume’s saying about the interplay between the genders. We have a human who is raised in a “culture” that is based around the slaughter of man-eating monsters. We have a monster who wishes to find some peace with the insatiable hunger and lust that dwells within her soul. They fall in love despite the fact that the nature of the universe itself seems to be opposed to their union. This isn’t just a matter of social mores or ideological differences getting in the way of their love. They can’t just say a few pretty words, hold hands, and break out into a song and dance number to heal the wounds that have caused a break in their respective sides. The differences between Toshihiko and Yuka reach the biological level. Evolution has essentially worked to make these two sides fundamentally opposed to one another.

If you want to get down to it, that’s pretty much how men and women are in reality. We’re wired differently at the basest of levels. We may be human, and we may be genetically compatible, but we’re different and it’s these differences that define us as a gender. But at the same time this is a good thing.

With Kemonozume we see this divide conquered. Man and woman unite against the idea that difference equates to the necessity to wage war. The very reason why Toshihiko and Yuka love each other is because of this difference. It’s this so-called opposition that brings them together and makes them love one another. And they don’t really try to understand one another. Toshihiko shows no signs of losing his killer instinct and has no qualms with killing Flesh Eaters other than Yuka. At the same time Yuka shows no qualms with eating other human beings other than Toshihiko. They aren’t taking a self-help course on understanding the way the other thinks and feels, they just accept the difference and get on to the freaky monster sex.

Kemonozume’s essentially saying that happiness in a relationship doesn’t come from “understanding.” Rather, it comes from “acceptance.” The main villain of the series, Ooba, wants to turn everyone into a Flesh Eater. He wants to return to a period in time where these monsters ruled the world, feasting upon one another in an orgy of gluttony and violence. He wants to rob us of that fundamental difference that makes relationships possible, thus leading to a world that fulfills his belief that love is nothing but a chemical reaction and everyone acts purely through self-interest.

That’s about as evil as you get: trying to rob people of a defining characteristic that contributes to their identity. The fact that this trait just happens to be something upon which such a vaunted concept like love is dependent makes it all the more despicable.

So, if we follow Kemonozume’s train of thought, we love one another not because of our similarities and not because of our understanding of one another. The reason why we love is because that person across from us fascinates us with their unfathomable nature.

We wanna bang Cthulhu and all those sexy horrors because they make us lose sanity points. It’s superhawt!

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