I woke up twice in the middle of the night thinking about the prince character of this manga. Once he almost killed her indirectly by not trusting Jay to be there. Once he almost killed her using his own hands. If she had died, then he is Orpheus, she is Eurydice and this is the story of Vertigo.
But she did not. Is it simply because the female lead cannot die in a shojo universe? I google the artist 지완 but cannot seem to find anything other than a list of her work. I notice another series called the Snow Queen. I realize that Jay corresponds to Gerda and each of the bishonen characters correspond to something in the Hans Christian Andersen tale.
- Jarte is both the Snow Queen and Kay, the boy that Gerda is trying to save from the Snow Queen (i.e. she has to save him from himself)
- Luigi is the old woman that enchants Gerda to make her forget Kay hence the K-drama-esque memory loss episode
- Clarence Ewan is the Robber Girl; although all the characters use some form of violence to express love, he is the most extreme
- Lennox is the Finland woman although this does not connect as easily as the Finland Woman knew that she could give Gerda no greater power than she already possess?
My fovorite part is the ending.
Gerda and Kay went hand-in-hand towards home; and as they advanced, spring appeared more lovely with its green verdure and its beautiful flowers. // They went upstairs into the little room, where all looked just as it used to do. The old clock was going “tick, tick,” and the hands pointed to the time of day, but as they passed through the door into the room they perceived that they were both grown up, and become a man and woman. The roses out on the roof were in full bloom, and peeped in at the window; and there stood the little chairs, on which they had sat when children; and Kay and Gerda seated themselves each on their own chair, and held each other by the hand, while the cold empty grandeur of the Snow Queen’s palace vanished from their memories like a painful dream.
Now compare this to the last part of 1Q84.
Just like years before, when she had held his hand in the classroom after school. // Even as dawn approached, the number of moons didn’t increase. It was just the same old familiar moon. The one and only satellite that has faithfully circled the earth, at the same speed, from before human memory. // She quietly stretched out her hand and Tengo took it. The two of them stood there, side by side, as one, wordlessly watching the moon over the buildings. Until the newly risen sun shone upon it, robbing it of its nighttime brilliance. Until it was nothing more than a gray paper moon, hanging in the sky.
I’m not saying that Murakami is trying to rewrite the Snow Queen but who didn’t read this tale as a child even if they cannot remember?
Now my favorite part of 1Q84.
Leader explained it this way just before he died. The train is the story that Tengo wrote, and I was trapped inside that tale. Which explains why I’m here now–entirely passive, a confused, clueless bit player wandering in a thick fog. But that’s not the whole picture, Aomame told herself. That’s not the whole picture at all. I am not just some passive being mixed up in this just because someone else willed it. That might be true. But at the same time I chose to be here. I chose to be here of my own free will. She was sure of this. // This might be Tengo’s story, she thought, but it’s my story, too.
P.S. Maybe I’m leaning in too much but whereas Orwell’s Julia only has a first name, Aomame goes by her last name.