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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the "Bushido" ramble, Greg!

I hadn't realized the "Awakening" parallel (at least, not the parallel with the 994 portion of "Awakening") until you brought it up (not in this ramble, actually, but in an earlier reply here at "Ask Greg"), but it certainly works for me. And I agree that Yama, fortunately for the gargs, had held on to more of his courage and understanding of the "gargoyle way" than Demona had (I especially liked the scene where he discovers to his disgust that Taro had been lying about the first visitors to the theme park being a group of schoolchildren who wished to learn bushido - the fact that he had believed that those would be the first visitors illustrates his good intentions there).

The Ishimura gargoyles remind me a little of the tengu, a race of winged beings in Japanese legend who sometimes taught humans bushido (continuing the concept that you'd used in the Avalon World Tour of tying gargoyles in with other legends, as I mentioned before).

I agree with you that Taro isn't up to Xanatos's level. For one thing, though Xanatos might get defeated, he always did so in a way that essentially preserved his dignity; I simply cannot imagine him winding up dangling from a gigantic animatronic gargoyle in front of a crowd of reporters. (For that matter, I also can't help wondering why Taro would have wanted to have the reporters show up at dawn rather than dusk to get their first glimpse of the gargoyles; if I wanted to introduce people to gargoyles in an impressive way, I'd want it to be when they were bursting out of their stone shells in the evening. That'd be much more powerful and dramatic.)

Yama's concerns about gargoyle secrecy certainly worked for me, and although he went about solving the problem in the wrong way, I can certainly agree with him about the secrecy having its drawbacks. It does strike me that part of the reason why humans fear gargoyles is because about all that they usually see of them is their charging about growling, with eyes glowing, in battle-fury - a condition that certainly makes it easier to jump to the wrong conclusion about them. Would humans be so ready to make that mistake if they got to see more of the gargoyles when they weren't simply fighting? Also, there's the danger that if you just keep secret, somebody else might reveal you to the world under less favorable circumstances than the ones that you'd have chosen (such as claiming on a news broadcast that you blew up a police station in New York). It does make one wonder whether the gargoyles have been a little too passive in working for peace with humans, just sitting around and hoping that the humans will learn to accept them on their own, rather than actively working towards it.

And I got a big kick out of the metareferencing in Elisa's "TV stars" line, and Goliath's horrified cry of "No!" (Goliath's line was made all the funnier, for me, by Keith David's reading of it - making it sound as if Goliath truly considered such a prospect a fate worse than death!)

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of "Bushido" is that it shows a community where humans and gargoyles live together harmoniously, showing that Goliath's belief that such a thing is possible is indeed accurate. (We saw a bit of that on Avalon, but that was an unusual case - humans raising young gargoyles as if they were adopted children. This is a more "conventional" community.) Hope is indeed possible.

Again, thank you for the ramble.

Greg responds...

A big theme of the World Tour was hope. Intentionally.

Response recorded on October 20, 2006