September 09, 2016
Gods like Hardy don't have physical bodies and can't enjoy the sensations of being alive. But Hardy, at least, has the ability to possess someone and borrow their body for a while. It's risky for the human; a fair percentage of the time it burns out their brain. Hardy needs to talk to Itami and his team, and several of her priestesses volunteer to host her, but she thinks they aren't strong enough to handle it. Lelei, on the other hand, seems up to it and that's why Hardy possesses her. That happens at the end of chapter 57. Among other results, this causes Lelei's hair to grow about 3 feet longer.
She spends most of chapter 58 talking to Itami and the others, while eating an immense meal, far more food than Lelei would ordinarily eat. After she leaves Lelei's body (without Lelei's brains getting fried, fortunately), she tells Lelei that she ate too much, so to compensate her Hardy moved the excess fat somewhere that Itami would like. The strong implication is that Lelei's breasts just got larger.
The extra hair was also cut off by Hardy's priestesses and given to Lelei as a braid. Hardy says, "You may use that hair as a catalyst for whatever you wish, as a reward for letting me use your body. But the moment you use it for something it won't be usable for anything else. Think carefully about it."
We, obviously, don't have the slightest idea what significance that may have, but it's obvious that Lelei does know.
The REAL point of all this for Hardy wasn't Rory, though that was pending business and got taken care of. Hardy is afraid that the Gate is causing physical damage to the world and could lead to it being destroyed.
Ordinarly the timelines of worlds can drift close together and in that case a
small application of divine power can open a connection, which lasts until the
timelines drift apart again. But this time, it seems the Empire's magicians came
up with a device that is holding the gate open far longer than it ordinarily
would stay, and as these two worlds are beginning to drift apart, they can't
because of that device. And stress is building up.
Hardy approved of waking the Fire Dragon 50 years too soon because she realized that in order to close the gate, the Empire's device would have to be destroyed, and with the JSDF there that wasn't otherwise possible. She considered sending Giselle but realized even she couldn't do it. Which is true; Giselle would have gotten cut to shreds with machine gun fire and then imprisoned in a cell even she couldn't escape from. And Hardy knew that Rory wouldn't help Giselle and may even have fought her. So waking the Fire Dragon was her answer.
Now, of course, that's over since the JSDF killed the Fire Dragon and both its offspring. And it turns out that the big earthquake that hit the Capital was a side effect of the GATE staying open too long and the stress buildup.
There's something happening north of Belnargo and Hardy wants Itami and his team to investigate it. Why them instead of nearly anyone else? Because it affects both worlds, and she thinks there needs to be someone there from our world.
There is a moment in the conversation when the girls are teasing Itami about his tendency to run away, and he admits to being a coward.
I don't think that's fair. Itami has already demonstrated himself to be uncommonly brave, when he chooses to fight. It's just that he prefers to run instead of fighting if he can do so -- and that's very practical.
But when the Fire Dragon attacked the refugee column, Itami didn't hesitate for a moment to order Recon 3 to fight it. And it is not the act of a coward to enter the nest of an ancient dragon and to try to kill it there.
He fights when it makes sense to do so, when there's something he needs to fight for. He took a huge chance when he entered the labyrinth and ended up fighting the minotaur, because he needed something from there to keep Lelei from dying. He risked everything for her, just as he risked everything for Tuka in attacking the Fire Dragon in its nest.
And he eventually took a small team into the Imperial palace in order to rescue Pina and the Emperor. (That hasn't happened yet in the manga, but it will.)
Itami is not a coward. Not even slightly. (Grumble)
I think that there's a definition of "brave," common in at least some kinds of anime/manga, that requires that unflinchingly sprinting forwards without planning or thinking of consequences. Sort of an honor-based "not one step back" policy that's self-enforced.
It occurs to me, since I've been catching up on the Fairy Tale manga, that Natsu is the kind of person that would be considered "brave" under this mentality, and where Itami is considered a coward. Of course, IRL, Itami is actually a very good officer, not prone to sacrificing his men for his own pride, but accepting risk if it's required to achieve some definite end.
Posted by: CatCube at September 10, 2016 10:44 AM (BqqJs)
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At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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