To those that have recently listened to the RRRnRRR for Agito you likely would have heard me jokingly bring up the semi-religious aspect behind the two gods that are prominently featured within the program. While at the time I was indeed joking it was not outside the realm of ideas I had contemplated for Agito before the pod cast started recording. For those unaware of what it is that I’m talking about allow me to give a brief summary of the aspects of these two gods that I’ll be discussing here.
In the world of Agito resides two brother gods, the Overlord of Light and the Overlord of Darkness. Neither of which are named this within the show but lets just go with the official terms for naming purposes. The two brothers battled endlessly with each other. Now it was stated that it was the Overlord of Darkness(aptly dressed in black) that created humanity. This fact gave the Overlord of Light(dressed in white) leverage over his brother in the battle, having sent his power(seed) into the humans just before his own defeat. With this he gave humanity the ability to endlessly evolve so that one day they may oppose the god who had cherished them.
Now before I get into the bulk of things I want to discuss I’ll state right now that yeah, this will talk about religion. For a long time it’s been a bit of a hobby of mine to research different religions. I find the growth and evolution of them fascinating and while I of course do not believe every religion I study I do attempt to view the value within each. I’ll be pulling several bits of information from different religions and compare them to the story and underlying tones of Agito as a story. Now I should say that I’m not displaying any sort of fact but rather several theories and viewpoints. Nor am I attempting to argue in favor of any religion over another.
Lets start things off easy with a debate on the concept of good and evil. Now it’s pretty clear who the antagonist from the viewer’s standpoint is, that being the Overlord of Darkness, but when certain interpretations of what constitutes evil are laid out the walls between protagonist and antagonist begin to break down. Taken from a basic Christian viewpoint the creation of mankind is often considered a good thing but here we see that it’s the Darkness, the antagonist of the story, that created mankind. We then view what it is that the Light has done, which is to infest humanity with his power and turn them away from their creator. Common Christian views would see this stance as being in relation to the devil, that which embodies evil. The Christian devil manipulates mankind in order to gain their favor and to turn that which God loves most against him. This idea almost perfectly reflects the stance the protagonist god takes within Agito. So if we view this story by a purely Christian morality, that being that every thing is either good or evil, then do the two gods truly fall within the morality that the view point of the audience dictates? In other words is the protagonist truly good or is it possible that because it is an act against the creator god he is in fact evil?
Lets view the opposite side shall we. The Overlord of Darkness has created mankind and has on several occasions not only expressed his love for them but protected them. An example of which being his forcing of a Lord(his servant) to kill itself because it attacked a human being. That said we take his stance within the story, in that he attacks and removes those with the seed of the Light, and must decide whether his actions are truly evil or just. Again going by the general stance of Christianity he is comparable to the Christian God, a creator of man. The question arises though of whether he is truly the counterpart to God as he chooses to eliminate the humans that have evolved against his will. In a sense, yes. It is a known fact within the Judaic and Christian religions that their God had on several occasions taken a stance against parts of humanity that have outgrown his will. Example of this would be his complete wipe of humanity through not only plagues within the story of Moses but the great flood within the story of Noah, both of which saw God eliminating parts of mankind for their injustices. If we view this as being essentially good in that it is just or righteous then is it plausible that the Overlord of Darkness isn’t evil, despite his antagonistic approach within the story, but rather justified in his approach towards the evolution of mankind.
Interestingly enough we can take these viewpoints on the two gods a step further if we look into the symbolism that their respected colors represent. Obviously in western culture it’s a given that black is the color for mourning as well to represent that which we fear. That being said this is not always the case both here nor in the country of origin for this given story. Black is not as feared of a color to the human psyche within eastern civilization and is often looked at in more of a stylish, positive sense. The negative connotation towards the color black is just as well not as prevalent within western civilizations as we first imagine. Think of it in this way. The color black in representative of submission, the need to submit or to be submitted to. Now this is of course very reminiscent of the general personality of the Overlord of Darkness within Agito. The need for his beloved mankind to be submissive to him, the need for control.
The same thing can be viewed within the Overlord of Light with the color of white. White is often a very positive color in western society but comes with a fairly negative view in the east. That being the representation of death. White also has the added symbolism of purity a fact that, at first glance, starkly opposes the actions of the Overlord of Light. What I mean by this is that the Light uses his power to change humanity. If we view humanity as being it’s creator’s perfect envisioning of what they should be upon their creation then we can take that to mean that any tampering, be it good or bad, would result in humanity’s corruption and impurity. That said, what if we view it from our own modern day standards and morals? Submission, aka the perfect of humanity in god’s eyes, is viewed in a negative light and often considered to be a hindrance on what human life can be. It is what holds humanity back from its furthest reaches. Viewing it in this light we begin to see that the changes to the human race by the Light would be a purification of sorts. Removing the hindrance and allowing humanity to reach it’s fullest and purest potential.
My final step during this session of discussion is to view the internal theme of creationism versus evolution within Agito. Again being tied back to a standard Christian views the god to create mankind is the representation of creationism. While the god that opposes him is the representation of evolution. This is another of the moral view points being reversed as the opposition towards god and their use of evolution to reach humanities pinnacle is considered the good. While the opposition to this is creationism a largely positive viewpoint within Christianity but negative within the context of Agito.
This debate brings us more or less into the modern day debate within Agito, being whether or not there truly stands a moral good and a moral evil(The Black and The White). In today’s society neither viewpoint is really definably right or wrong and both are in constant contention(again a connection to the eternal dispute of gods within Agito). We look at the two gods and are lead to believe that one is more evil than the other but a deeper and more modern look into their motives shows a larger association to the grey. The idea that neither is truly right or wrong, but rather both are just in their motives. Darkness wishes to preserve his beloved creation as it moves down a path that will inevitably outgrow him. Light wishes to allow humanity a chance to choose a path for itself and thereby causes humanity’s “corruption” in order to do so. Now take the character of Tetsuya Sawaki who perfectly represents the grey within this story. Given power by Darkness he betrays god in order to influence humanity for the better. Using the power of his creator and the will given by his corrupter he chooses a path beneficial not for one god or the other but for his race. His actions and influences are never truly righteous and often result in the death or injury of others but is all done for an inevitably greater cause. From a viewer standpoint he is the grey, from his own standpoint he is the good and from the standpoint of god and others he is the bad.
This concludes the first part of my hierological breakdown of the Agito. This isn’t so much a structured column as you’ve no doubt noticed but is rather a more philosophical approach to understanding Agito. I’m not here to really lay down facts but to attempt to open up the realm of deeper thought over the series we watch. I will attempt to continue this in some fashion in the future and any criticism or thoughts on this primarily beta version of a new column would be appreciated. I’ve just dipped my toes into this series and trust me there’s so much more to come. The debate on Agito as a person, the concepts displays behind the various character motives, the odd Gnostic influence on this series as a whole. Stay tuned.
Oh, and happy first anniversary.