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The Bottom of the Water of Memories: Water Symbolism in Sound Horizon

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PostSubject: The Bottom of the Water of Memories: Water Symbolism in Sound Horizon Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:32 am#1

The Bottom of the Water of Memories

"Birth is almost regularly represented by some reference to water; either one plunges into the water or climbs out of it..." - Sigmund Freud

One of the most perplexing stories in Sound Horizon is the 3rd Horizon, Lost. At first, it might seem like a bunch of sketches that are very loosely connected under the theme of memory, with no true overarching story . It's true that there is no plot in the conventional sense. It truly is one of the most abstract releases in Sound Horizon, and that is saying a lot. I was confused about the overall meaning of Lost myself until a few months ago. Thanks to my dear friends Alchea and Sorau, I feel like I might understand it a bit more. This post, however, is not a post attempting to explain Lost--but rather, a key element of it: the bottom of the water of memories.

The water bottom is actually a recurring symbol throughout Sound Horizon. Whether it's literally referred to in the middle of a song through a narration by Ike in Moira, or if it's just slipped in like it is in Elysion, its concept is everywhere. I believe that understanding how the water bottom works is key to understanding not just Lost, but some of the defining principles of the Horizons. Please note that this is one of the most abstract symbols in Sound Horizon in that you could interpret a bunch of meanings from it and come to an entirely different conclusion. Everything here is just what I think! Feel free to tell me how you see these matters, I'd love to discuss them with you. Let's start with looking at this symbol from its strongest association, in Lost.

The Water Bottom in Lost

It's hard to say what Lost is "about" with definite confidence. However, we can objectively conclude that the release is about memory and memory loss. Huge thanks to Alchea who helped me a ton with coming to understanding the structure of Lost. The two songs that are the key to Lost's overarching structure are Kioku no Minasoko and Eien no Shounen. These songs portray two opposing perspectives regarding memories. Let's take a look at parts of the lyrics from both (translations by Defade).

From Kioku no Minasoko:

Quote :
A world seen while sinking is the hollow moonlight
No matter how much it shines on the water bottom, it will only fall into the hands of loss…
Sunken ones are corpses that waver in the chasm
No matter how painful the darkness of existence may be, don’t accept that boy…

From Eien no Shounen:

Quote :
"Memories are songs like waters that flow on to avoid becoming stagnant.
Even if its current stops
That’s not where it ends
When the disc inside you turns, the water shall flow again, playing illusions
And you…will come to『Lost』[here], time and time again….”
Hey, you…are you happy, being alive..?
I won’t let you escape till you’ve lost it…

The nature of the two opposing viewpoints can be identified with these quotes. On the one hand, we have a voice saying to "Keep on flowing" and "No matter how painful the darkness of existence may be, don't accept that boy". This viewpoint is represented by the girl on the cover, called Lostko by fans. On the other hand, we have a voice saying that it would be better if you were to disappear and that he "won't let you escape till you've lost it". This viewpoint is represented by the boy on the cover, Eien no Shounen. To put it in another way, Lostko represents keeping all memories dear to yourself, while Eien no Shounen represents the erasure of memories too painful to bear.

Throughout Lost, we hear an important phrase in every song except for Eien no Shounen, "wasuremono wa arimasen ka" (Have you forgotten anything?). This phrase represents Lostko's perspective of ensuring that memories are kept dear to your heart. Similarly, Eien no Shounen has his catchphrase "ushinau made nigasanai" (I won't let you escape till you've lost it) that is repeated, but only in his song, Ori no Naka no Yuugi, and the bonus track. Ori no Naka no Yuugi and the bonus track contain both Lostko and Eien no Shounen's catchphrases, indicating that they are indeed conflicting viewpoints. The 3rd Horizon ends on Eien no Shounen's phrase, however, indicating that the boy who pees on the water of memories "wins" the conflict. (This is the last time I'm making that joke, I swear.) The last thing we hear is "ushinau made nigasanai", implying that Lostko's voice is "drowned out" and memory is lost. This is an important point in particular. In Sound Horizon, amnesia is a very common trait that a ton of the protagonists have. There's a reason beyond "it's just a common trope"--it all makes sense as it stems from what is discussed in Lost. In particular, you could say that memory loss is caused by Eien no Shounen. But as I said earlier, the point of this post is not to explain Lost, but to investigate the significance of the water bottom. Of course, one cannot be done without the other.

The bottom of the water of memories in Lost, then, represents a choice. A choice of whether to keep on flowing, or to plunge into the depths of oblivion. This choice manifests itself differently in almost every release. Lostko and Eien no Shounen may not appear in Sound Horizon ever again, but they represent important driving forces throughout the stories. In my biggest theory post I even equated them to having as much power as something like a god-like being, as I believe they are voices within everyone in the Sound Horizon universe and have tremendous influence.

Before jumping into how the water bottom applies to basically all of Sound Horizon, let's take a look at the quote I started this post off with. I found this quote when discussing the symbol with Sorau in-depth, who gave me tremendous inspiration and motivation to make this post. In 1920 the revolutionary and infamous psychologist Sigmund Freud wrote A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis, an important work that laid out some of his biggest key ideas. A significant portion of the book was dedicated to dreams and what recurring symbols in dreams may represent. Let's look at the full quote in context:

Quote :
Birth is almost regularly represented by some reference to water; either one plunges into the water or climbs out of it, or rescues someone from the water, or is himself rescued from it, i.e., there is a mother-relation to the person.

As I said earlier, the water bottom manifests itself in many different ways throughout Sound Horizon. In Lost, it was in the context of memory and memory loss. But in other releases, it can be related to Freud's interpretation of water in dreams--you can interpret it as a symbol for the womb. However, some things remain constant: the water bottom always represents a choice of "going on" in some way (whether that be being born, fighting against destiny, cycling through, or retaining memories) or plunging to the depths (accepting destiny, death, or erasing memories).

The Water Bottom in Chronicle

The idea of the water bottom can be traced to the very first Horizon, Chronicle (and its loop/remake/sequel, Chronicle 2nd). Kioku no Minasoko, after all, does mention "a world seen while sinking". This could be a reference to the flood of the end, the prophesized apocalyptic event foretold in the Black Chronicle. The flood of the end directly relates to the idea of the water bottom and we see this in Kimi ga Umarete Kuru Sekai (The World You'll Be Born Into). KimiSekai is ultimately the hopeful back cover of the dark Black Chronicle, a song addressed to "all of you" about the creation of a new world and a new cycle. The water sound effects used in this song definitely add to the connection between the water bottom and Chronicle.

Once again, the water bottom is representing a choice. This time, it's specified that it's a choice at the end of a cycle. The creator is choosing to create a new world instead of plunging into oblivion. The original Chronicle's KimiSekai contains the sound of a baby crying, furthering the womb analogy (and of course, it is called The World You'll Be Born Into). Understanding how the idea of Lost plays into the other releases really helps understanding Lost itself. We can see that the water bottom usually is "encountered" (spiritually, it's not always literally represented) at the end of a cycle or life. The perspective of "keep on flowing" represented by Lostko also can be interpreted as cycling through, the determination to make things better no matter how painful it may be.

The Water Bottom in Roman

When thinking of how the bottom of the water of memories is a recurring concept of Sound Horizon, Roman was not one of the releases that came to mind at first. In fact, it's one of the releases that does not literally mention the symbol anywhere. However, my opinion changed once I had an enlightening conversation with Sorau, who kindly explained to me what water represents in Freudian psychoanalysis, particularly in dreams. The idea of the water bottom representing a mother's womb ties incredibly well to Roman, even though the water bottom itself is not literally mentioned.

Just like in Lost, there are two opposing messages and viewpoints in Roman. Going through the album in order, you can piece together Maman's 11-lettered message, which is commonly translated as "BECOME HAPPY". For the purposes of this post and how I perceive Roman, I strongly prefer the translation of "LIVE IN BLISS" (HUGE thank you to ThetaThanako for notifying me about this translation). All the songs of Roman are reordered in Tasogare no Savant, and following this order, the message spells out "ACCEPT DEATH"--which is Savant's 11-lettered message. You can say that they are opposite sides of the same coin, that Hiver can "become happy" by "accepting death" instead of looping over and over again and searching for the story of his birth. However, if we use the "LIVE IN BLISS" translation, it fits in better with the idea we've established of Lost. It also plays into "ignorance versus truth", a conflict that I've written about extensively in my biggest post and how it applies to Sound Horizon. It turns out that Hiver in stillbirth actually is another perfect representation of the water bottom in the Freudian sense of water representing birth.

Freud said that there is a mother-relation between the person and the water, and this makes a lot of sense in Roman. Much of Freudian psychology revolves around the desire to "return to the mother". This idea recurs throughout Sound Horizon, particularly in Roman. You could argue that Hiver's desire to remain united with his mother plays a factor in how he never actually gets born. Of course, things are very complicated when we consider how Hiver is trapped into Michele's cage of death and rebirth for all eternity.

Lostko's message of continuing to live on is analogous to Maman's message. As Hiver is naturally more drawn to his mother's message, he falls into the cycle of death and rebirth (cursed by Michele Malebranche because the first Hiver dug up the Reine Michele in Norowareshi Pierre) instead of accepting his death. Because Maman's message "drowns out" the Savant's, he cycles over and over again and ultimately never finds the story of his birth. In Freud's terms, he cannot emerge out of the water and be born. It makes sense how Savant's message could only be deciphered by scrambling up the album: it is drowned out by Maman's in the same way Eien no Shounen drowns out Lostko's voice in Lost. However, this time the roles are reversed--the message of "keep on flowing" here drowns out the message of "accept oblivion". The cycles repeat over and over and we see the result in Another Roman: everything is broken down and the true nature of Roman is revealed.

It's worth noting how complex morality is in Sound Horizon, and how a concept in one release can manifest itself entirely differently in another. In Lost, Eien no Shounen is clearly antagonized. Lines such as "Don't accept that boy" and his overall disposition make his entire message seem like the "bad" choice. However, cases such as Hiver's cycles show that "continuing to fight" may not always be the best choice. A lot of people think Sound Horizon is about never giving up and always fighting to make things better. I don't entirely agree with this viewpoint and find it an overly simplistic take: there are characters who never give up and always fight, and we see how they end up. Characters such as Elefseus, Hiver, and arguably even Michele Malebranche fall into this quite well. These are characters that never accept oblivion, to results that are not ideal to say the least. This aspect of the water bottom is touched upon very well in Moira.

The Water Bottom in Moira

The morality behind Lost and the principle of the water bottom is further examined in Moira. The bottom of the water of memories is literally mentioned by Ike in Lesbos. Arguably the turning point of Moira is when Misia is sacrificed by Scorpius as an offering to the Water God. The point here is that Misia is an example of a character who plunges to the depths of the water. This is literally represented by her drowning, the acceptance of her destiny. She follows the message of "accepting oblivion" and dies in a way that shatters Elef's rationality for the rest of the story.

Once again, water is used as a symbol. It is such a rich symbol in Sound Horizon because it represents birth, death, the womb, and memories depending on the release and the context. In Moira, Elef is described as "the boy who will turn his back against destiny", while Misia is described as "the girl who will accept destiny". Going back to Freud's quote, one can either plunge into the water or climb out of it. Both options are explored in Moira. Misia accepts her destiny and drowns instead of fighting it, which acts as a foil to Elef's actions. Elef battles against destiny and does not give up the fight. However, it doesn't end up well either for him, as he is entirely consumed by Thanatos--he never finds the freedom he is wishing for. This seems applicable to Sho no Sasayaki from Chronicle 2nd, a song that explains how one can attempt to escape one fate and end up being entwined into another.

From a morality standpoint, Sound Horizon is more than just "seize your destiny!!!". It is very intricate and is definitely not black or white. Elef and Misia's actions are two extremes, but they are opposite sides of the same coin. In the end, they both suffer greatly. This is why I don't necessarily perceive Lostko as "good" and Eien no Shounen as "bad"; they simply represent opposing sides that can have entirely different ramifications in different situations. It seems like the ideal mindset would be somewhere between the two extremes: fight for what's right, but know when things cannot be changed. This is represented by the neutral party of Moira: Leontius. He is portrayed throughout the story in a positive light, although he also gets caught up in the tragedy of the 6th Horizon.

The Water Bottom in Elysion

This isn't going to be a very long or detailed section, as the water bottom plays a minor role in Elysion in comparison to the previous releases. It is mentioned twice, however.

From Eru no Rakuen [Side: E]:

Quote :
Like falling asleep, she sinks towards the lovely world at water bottom
As if the end of fantasies is beckoning, the door opened

From Eru no Tenbin:

Quote :
-Within the water bottom of his gradually fading consciousness, he struggled to grasp a rusted key
The door is right in front of him, he has to hurry...soon...soon it'll be his daughter's promised-

Once again, the imagery of sinking "towards the world at water bottom" appears. The water bottom in Elysion adds more to the interpretation I understood from Chronicle--it is something "experienced" with the coming of the end. The water bottom represents endings, oblivion, and death, but also new beginnings and life. The entirety of Elysion is implied to be a cycle that repeats. The desire for El and Abyss to unite is a cycle started from Eve and Adam, as implied by Eru no Shouzou. As the water bottom signifies endings as well as new beginnings, it is a fitting symbol for the starting and ending points of cycles in Sound Horizon.

Also, Ark mentions the tampering of the "forbidden organ"--the hippocampus. The hippocampus is in charge of the regulation of long-term as well as short-term memories. This is yet another example of how lost or tampered memory plays a big role in Sound Horizon.

The Water Bottom in Märchen

The 7th Horizon provides an incredible amount of insight into the nature of the water bottom. However, before we dig into this, I feel that we must first discuss how Märchen is the most obviously Freudian Sound Horizon release. Key psychological ideas of ego and id are central to the story in Märchen, with the Well of Id (IDO) also representing Jung's idea of the collective unconscious. Märchen has been looked at before in terms of Freud, however, I strongly feel like there is one crucial piece that has not been discussed before: what Freud actually said about fairy tales.

Freud compared fairy tales to dreams as windows into the unconscious. In other words, they are filled with unconscious projections and desires. When talking about Freud, it's always very easy to get carried away with some of his "crazier" ideas, particularly his psychosexual metaphors. The problem is that much of the "everything is a penis or vagina if you try hard enough!" symbolism distracts from his contributions and is a gross misrepresentation of what he believed. You can most definitely analyze those symbols in that light; Freud dedicated a ton of his work to psychosexual symbolism in dreams, but the fact remains that there is a lot more to Freudian psychology than these modern stigmas. Freud was a revolutionary figure in psychoanalysis and can be considered the father of modern psychology, after all. There is so much deep meaning here that can be applied to Sound Horizon and I plan on making future posts dedicated to Märchen and these ideas. The point that I'll be using in this section, however, is that fairy tales are equated as having the same origin as dreams and the exact same symbolism Freud analyzed in dreams apply to fairy tales as well. In essence: the analogy of the water bottom representing the womb applies yet again.

In Märchen, the water bottom is represented by the well. As mentioned earlier, the well has another meaning related to Jung's collective unconscious (but this will not be detailed in this post). The young März falls into the well, which is yet another representation of the bottom of the water of memories. Because of the influences of his mother Therese, the doll Elisabeth gave him (who we can say "fused" with Therese's anger to become a cursed doll), and the body of Idolfried Ehrenberg which had fallen into the well before, März comes out of the well as Märchen von Friedhof, the corpse conductor of revenge.  There's a lot more going on with this particular water bottom than prior examples, but the point still remains. The metaphors we have established with the earlier releases still apply. As opposed to plunging to the depths of oblivion, März is born out of the well as Märchen, representing a new cycle.

However, his memories have been lost--he has no recollection of who he was in his past life (although Elisabeth's power as a saint "reawakens" him and he regains his memories, which was key to him obtaining his salvation and breaking the cycle of revenge). In terms of Lostko and Eien no Shounen, this is an odd case of both spirits applying: März continues as Märchen (and so he keeps on flowing), but at the same time loses his memories. My explanation for this is that Märchen's case is a bit special as it's made complicated by outside influences and factors.

For one, the character of Therese von Ludowing is key to explaining how Märchen came to be. Unfairly burned at the stake due to accusations of witchcraft, she curses humanity and "becomes a real witch" in that sense. This curse as well as the aggressive and primal human Id provide the motivation for the revenge tragedies in the 7th Story. The well of Id and its association with Therese, the mother figure of the story, provides even more evidence for this theory. It's also important to note that while Hiver represents eternal winter, März represents the coming of spring based on their names alone in their respective languages. Although death and rebirth play key roles in both releases, März sees the light and indeed manages to "return to the mother" with the very last line of the 7th Horizon.

The Water Bottom in the Maxi Singles

I'm grouping together Seisen no Iberia, Halloween to Yoru no Monogatari, and Vanishing Starlight under this category. The maxi singles all contain a key similarity: amnesiac protagonists. This is yet another extension of the water bottom conflict of Lost, as I've mentioned Eien no Shounen forcing memory loss throughout the Horizons. Shaytan and the Halloween Night could not even remember their names, for one.

Halloyoru represents an interesting case with parallels to Märchen. After Seamus' death on Halloween Night, he is "born again" as the Halloween Night in spirit. However, once again, this character does not exactly have a hold over the memories of his previous cycle, forgetting if his name was Seamus, William, and eventually coming to terms that it doesn't matter anymore. That being said, we do know the general motivation of his wish to "keep on flowing"--the wish to see Diana again. This is alluded to in the beginning of Hoshi no Kirei na Yoru. Once again, we have a character that is born again, but with memories that have been lost. This shows that sometimes one Lost voice doesn't necessarily completely drown the other, and that the water bottom manifests itself differently in different releases.

You might also wonder what Diana has to do with the water bottom. If the water bottom represents a metaphor for a womb and Diana has no connection with Seamus' mother, how could this fit? Here, I introduce the moon symbol. The moon is a truly profound symbol throughout Sound Horizon and I will definitely make another post analyzing this symbol. Maintaining the focus of this post on water symbolism, the moon plays a key role in this as well. In Ori no Naka no Yuugi, the "pale moon that shimmers on the water surface" is mentioned. Also in Lost, Kioku no Minasoko mentions "A world seen while sinking is the hollow moonlight". In addition these mentions, we have the Moira LE cover where young Elef and Misia are looking over the water and seeing the shimmering full moon's reflection on the surface (also mentioned in Parthenos). All this proves that the moon is often used in tandem with water in Sound Horizon.

The key point I'm making with Diana is that she represents the moon. Rather, the beauty of her gentle smile is compared to the moon. This relates to the idea of the shimmering moon on the water surface and reaching for it (like we see in Moira, even!). This motivation is what causes the birth of the Halloween Night character. If we want more proof for this, it's said that Seamus is stabbed on a "moonless night"--indicating that this particular Halloween was on a new moon. Thanks to Sorau, I know now that the phases of the moon do indeed represent cycles of this nature. Endings of lives and the beginnings of new ones are represented by full and new moons respectively.

All this adds even more to our understanding of the water bottom. Once again, it's something a character experiences after death. It's not always literally referred to (although Lostko's message of "keep on flowing" is literally mentioned in HoshiKirei), but in the case of Halloyoru it once again gives us an idea of how ghosts work in Sound Horizon: like with Märchen, they are interesting combinations of both of the "keep on flowing" and "you won't escape until you've lost it" messages of Lost.

Vanishing Starlight provides us with yet another character who arguably does not have a strong hold over his previous memories. We only know snippets of Noël's life through bits and pieces of interviews, but he lies in Interview with Noël and perhaps this is an indication that he may also have amnesia to some degree. Much is still unknown about his life. While it's probably too much of an assumption to outright claim that Noël is an amnesiac, he wouldn't be the first or likely the last to have forgotten memories.


The bottom of the water of memories is the center of arguably the most abstract release in Sound Horizon history: Lost. I strongly believe that you can come to a greater understanding of this mystifying Horizon by looking at its symbolism in every other release. Although it is true that the water bottom can manifest itself in multiple ways, it always represents a decision after death: the decision to keep on flowing with a new cycle, or to accept death and obliterate past memories. Sometimes both of these choices are mixed in the outcome. By relating the water bottom to what Freud said about water symbolizing the womb, we can make deeper connections to Sound Horizon and its key themes of birth and death. HUGE thanks to Alchea and Sorau, if it weren't for you, I surely wouldn't have been able to make this post! And thanks for reading!
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PostSubject: Re: The Bottom of the Water of Memories: Water Symbolism in Sound Horizon Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:29 pm#2

Ah, this was a bit long, but really nice. I'm happy to finally read this, because your promised it for a while and I was so looking forward to it!

In general terms, I can say I agree with you, it's really well done, your ideas are clear and you explained every single detail you wanted to cover with this post. I loved how you introduced Freud's work and focused it on your analysis. It's surprising because this isn't your real field of work, and getting this great text is woah! Very few people could have done it.

Anyway, like I said in our previous conversations, I'm really glad my comments about the topic helped you.

About the way Freud saw fairytales, I just remembered something important about it, and while what you point out about its relation with dreams is correct, there's something more: he thought dreams and any fiction writing were ways that the person uses to do things that for some reason or for another cannot be done in the real world. Either because the person is insecure about them, or they're forbidden actions, and here is were the id enters. It needs to be satisfied, and it finds ways of doing it.

Water indeed has many meanings, and it changes depending on the context and the movements, state of it. Is it calm? Is it stirred? Is it clean? Is it dark? And it's also worth to check if it's combined with other symbol, here the moon is a really interesting detail, since it can confirm death, mother or femenine aspects in the situation, which I think are totally present in Moira and Misia.

But why Freud thinks water is associated with the womb and mother? Well... The mother figure is related to water because of mother nature -lol- and it's something that usually gives life, that brings good things; but just like that, it can also take away life, inspire fear, and more.

I would like to talk about the IdoIdo part. The whole Märchen birth is right, water and mother are indeed implied in the whole process, but I would like to point out the well status. The well usually means life, abundance, and here it could actually mean the womb, due to its connection to earth -which is also the mother-, and water; however it's an abandoned one, and it contains stagnant water. At this point, symbols take the opposite meaning. Water usually purifies, but here means corruption, which can explain what happens to Märchen and somehow his memory situation. This also applies to Idoko.

This post has gotten longer than expected... But I'll leave this for the moment and see what you think!

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PostSubject: Re: The Bottom of the Water of Memories: Water Symbolism in Sound Horizon Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:46 am#3

First of all thank you so much ahhhh ;; Your kind words really motivate me to make more posts like this in the future! It's true that I'm in engineering and I don't ever do this work ever, nor have I ever done stuff like this in the past to this extent of depth. I'm glad you feel like I was clear on the details because clarity has always been a challenge for me as a writer. I tend to go with verbose and sometimes repetitive explanations just to make sure that my points are understood...but I'm glad I did justice to our conversations!

Yeah, I failed to mention this, but as you say more than anything he did see dreams and fairy tales as wish fulfillment for desires that can't be granted in real life. In dreams and fairy tales, the unconscious desires can run wild without the influences of the ego and superego to suppress and keep the id in check. The unconscious desires that fuel the id are why dreams have things such as the psychosexual undertones he wrote about. In terms of Sound Horizon, fantasies through dreams and fairy tales are key components of the 2nd and 7th Horizons respectively. These really play into what he saw as wish fulfillment--in the 2nd Story's case the wish being fulfilled depends on the corresponding toy, and the 7th Story's case the wish being fulfilled is revenge. The id is always satisfied until Elisabeth, who can be compared to the human ego as she suppresses the id and puts an end to the revenge tragedies. Of course, the id is never truly suppressed and is bound to release again, showing the cyclical nature of yet another Sound Horizon release.

As you said, Freud associates the womb with water because of how it represents the birth of life--in a sense, we all come out of water and need it to survive. It gives us life and calms us in a way that, according to him, unconsciously reminds us of our mothers. Clear water can represent a reflection of one's self like a mirror, whereas stirred water can represent uneasiness and fear. It's a very intricate and complex symbol, and it takes so many different forms in Sound Horizon after all!

I like your take on the well! I always thought it was the most literal example of the water bottom of Lost taking shape--it's connected with Therese, the mother-figure, and provides the choice of coming out (birth) or plunging to the depths (death). As you said, however, the water is stagnant because it's an abandoned well...I like the idea that the stagnation of the well due to the corpse of Idolfried Ehrenberg as well as it being abandoned corrupts the water! Idolfried Ehrenberg is a character that quite literally represents "Id" in this case; his corruption of the well represents how the id, if kept unchecked, can birth a character who represents the coming of spring in Marz into a fairy tale from the grave (Marchen von Friedhof). Once again, the fairy tale being a sort of window or even "playground" for the id relates very strongly. I didn't think of this quite in this light, so thank you for sharing these ideas!

There's a lot of hidden symbolism related to the 7th Story that I feel is overlooked (which is a real shame considering how it's been in the spotlight more than any other story since its release). I mentioned that the well also represents Jung's idea of the collective unconscious, and I'd like to say a few words about that here while I can. Carl Jung's ideas and contributions interest me about as much as Freud--two very revolutionary figures with some incredible approaches to human psychology. Jung's trademark idea was the idea of a shared human unconscious. I'm oversimplifying it (really, everything that's been said is kind of oversimplification--I could not begin to understand some of these things), but he essentially said that there exists a pool of desires and ideals that every human fundamentally shares.

Like Freud, fairy tales were used by him to prove his ideas. He said that common archetypes that characterize fairy tales prove that there is indeed a collective unconscious. Fairy tales have recurring themes even though the writers often had no contact with each other, or even exposure to preexisting notions and examples of fairy tales. I strongly think the collective unconscious is also related to with the well in the 7th Story. The id is the primal force that motivates the revenge tragedies, and the well is said to be a representation of "where id comes from", although the truth is that it's a part of every mind (oddly enough, a parallel to how Lostko and Eien no Shounen are equated to being "from the water bottom" but are also everywhere and anywhere). The well is the "center" for the tragedies that occur and it's a very deep symbol representing the tainted water bottom in a way that represents "where the id is housed" as well as the collective unconscious.

This also got very long! Ahh, I got really carried away with some of the interesting ideas here...thank you so much for responding to my post! This is such a fascinating and complex discussion that one could only have on a forum like this with proper tools to discuss and share ideas. It's a really nice feeling for me!
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PostSubject: Re: The Bottom of the Water of Memories: Water Symbolism in Sound Horizon Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:22 am#4

First of all, it's nothing, Ghostie <3333333 Your post has been a pleasure to read.

I would love to give tidbits in Moira, but my reread is still far from getting there and I would rather wait until I have refreshed it in my mind. However, I have something to say regarding the first horizon (and perhaps later of other horizons, I will be pleased to share what I find)

To explain it, I would first like to give you all a short quote from Chronicle's KimiSekai:

Kimi wa Umaretekuru Sekai wrote:
… And
母なる海に抱かれ この詩を聴いている君達の物語・・・
the story of those who will be embraced by Mother Sea and will listen to these verses, all of you...

The word for Mother used in japanese (母なる) is a particular variant used to refer to Mother Earth or Mother Nature. The use of Mother Sea shouldn't be surprising given the context of Chronicle, of course, yet I consider it of great interest in the topic of the water symbolism for, hopefully, obvious reasons. This quote makes of the terrible and fearsome Flood of the End the Mother Sea that will bear the people of the new world/cycle. The killer is also the mother that will embrace a world that decided to keep on flowing.

This is further pointed at by the japanese verb used for embrace (抱く) as it has a meaning of "hold in arms" and it is used for babies between other things. Just, the mother holding them happens to be made of water. In other words, the water bottom isn't only in the water sound effects or the baby crying: it is directly addressed in the song.

What does it mean to me? Basically, that this isn't any "happy incident" as some could think. All the implications of the Water Bottom and water itself all around Sound Horizon are most likely intentional from the moment Chronicle was conceived. The comparison with the mother/womb is something that Revo himself did just as early as the first work and in a very direct and literal way (probably the most direct reference in SH, even).

Later, of course, he has developed it further as Ghostie and Sorau have beautifully explained.

Last edited by Alchea on Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Attic Girl

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PostSubject: Re: The Bottom of the Water of Memories: Water Symbolism in Sound Horizon Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:49 am#5

I'm just going to say Eien no Shonen is ta bad boy and an antagonistic, since he can basically represent the extremeness of nihilism and being plunged to nothingness. Also, I assume Malebranche was the person that both of these Lost beings are referring to. I'm also not quite sure if they have god powers either, because they seem more like "voices", they can only persuade one to make their decision.

I am still somewhat confused to see how fighting the good fight seems to be an extreme if you simply choose to continue living to the fullest. I think they are cases in Sound Horizon, where simply accepting death does mean you are free from the cage. It is only by living the fullest or live with no regrets can you escape the cage of Sound Horizon.

I think we are to interpret this, I think Michele is a victim of cruel circumstances and she would most likely accept her death if she recieved a normal, average girl life. But she is given nothing, she can't feel happiness or be loved by anyone, she can't so easily accept death because even if she does, she would simply loop again. Missia accepting her death did not solve all problems in Moira, it only escalated Elef's hatred towards the Arcadia.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bottom of the Water of Memories: Water Symbolism in Sound Horizon Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:32 am#6


The Mother Sea symbolism fits entirely with the idea of the water bottom established in this post as an important symbol in Sound Horizon. In the Freudian context, it completely makes sense: the Mother Sea represents where life comes from and where it eventually ends as well. As KimiSekai strongly emphasizes the end of a world and cycle and the beginning of a brand new, hopeful one--the embrace by the "Motherly Sea" clicks right into place as yet another example. I touched upon this with the mention of the flood of the end and its function of "summoning" a water bottom situation, but I really appreciate the textual evidence and support you've provided to make this even stronger!!

Attic Girl:

You raise some good points here regarding Michele and I'd like to talk a bit more about her in the context of this post. Lostko and Eien no Shounen are portrayed in specific ways and I feel like this is done for several reasons. If we're going to say Michele is indeed the central character, you can say that the voices of Lost are kind of skewed to match with her perception of things. Particularly, Lostko is portrayed positively and Eien no Shounen is antagonized.

However, if we actually look at the messages they suggest for Michele rather than simple positive versus negative portrayals, our definitions change. Lostko's message of "entrusting yourself to the current" and remembering that "even your song has meaning" is very related to Hiver's cycles as well as Michele's: looping over and over again and failing to find their ideal stories. The true nature of this is revealed in works like Thanatos and Another Roman that show us the broken down state of things that have been repeated over and over like clockwork.

Eien no Shounen takes the other approach, saying that "it would be better if you just disappeared". This is also an extreme take. However, I always have interpreted the song of Eien no Shounen as something entirely addressed to Michele, and it fits really well that way. For the entire song, he is mocking her decisions and her loops, calling her out on being selfish and how she is killing so many people just to keep her alive. It doesn't mean that "Accept Death" is necessarily better at all--we see how Misia plummets to her demise. This is what I meant of being more in the middle: choosing your battles and fighting them with rationality intact, and knowing when things cannot be changed.

So where does Michele go from here? It's a good question. She's really trapped. She needs to come to terms with her own death more than anything to stop the nightmares repeating over and over again, but in a way that satisfies her and still provides her with a sense of purpose and meaning to her life. Who knows if this will ever happen.
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