O2 commentary: Adam, Eve, and Quetzalcoatl

In O2. Nemo’s Children Nakayama helps Nemo hatch his egg. He’s a father now, to over a thousand full-grown adults. He’s a pretty good dad considering he’s a day old: he immediately teaches his children his own name, their own names, and how to eat apples and peel oranges. He even investigates a dangerous invader to keep his children safe—it’s a disembodied arm with two elbows, a mouth, and an eye, and it crawls in the dirt like a snake.

In my commentary to M1. The Fall I promised comparisons to Milton’s Paradise Lost, the epic poem about how Satan made a cannon to kill God. Professor Akayama created the Hurricane and then banished herself to it out of guilt, which is my reversal of God banishing demons to Hell. While Milton’s Satan becomes leader of the underworld through charisma and guile, Akayama’s silver tongue barely buys her twelve years of labor before being assimilated. After assimilation, she’s forced to build a world to dominate; the islands she builds become Sheridan, which is Akayama DanJay‘s take on the Garden of Eden. Akayama gives Nemo all kinds of fruits.

In Paradise Lost Adam loves Eve partially (perhaps mostly) because of her beauty. After Satan disguises himself as a snake to convince Eve to eat an apple, she is cursed to painful childbirth. The birth of Nemo’s children is comparatively sterile and painless: he jerks off on an egg. He doesn’t even have a female partner; that role is taken by Nakayama. It is only after becoming a father that Nemo finds his snake, a disembodied arm with two elbows.

I don’t mind spoiling that Nemo eats his forbidden fruit next week. This arm, controlled by the Hurricane Planet, will convince him to eat a centipede. The centipede will connect Nemo to the Hurricane and make him a puppet for one of its pilots. You’ll have to check in next week to see what happens, but I’ll say it continues my goal of thematically inverting elements of Paradise Lost. Milton’s God made Eden to replace the army of demons He sentenced to Hell. Akayama built Sheridan because she was told to. Adam’s eating an apple granted him knowledge of pain and expelled him from the garden. We already know Nemo becomes Virgil Blue, religious leader of Sheridan for centuries to come.

So far, I like how Akayama DanJay thematically inverts Paradise Lost in its second half while referencing Dante’s Inferno in its first half. As literature based on Christian canon, they fit together as snapshots before and after the fall of man. The fact Akayama looks less like the Christian God, and more like a feathered serpent a la Quetzalcoatl, just helps the narrative straddle cultural boundaries with a surreal twist.

Of course, I’m totally spit-balling here. I don’t write these commentaries to explain from a high-chair what my work is about. For me, writing is just making stuff up. Then I compare what I’ve written to other stuff I’ve heard about, like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and try to emphasize what I enjoy in future drafts.

So thanks for reading! I’m having fun.

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