08-23-2006, 06:22 PM
Critical essay on KABUKI at the University of Florida website:
08-26-2006, 12:37 AM
It's an interesting read, but I think reading "Kabuki" as a male vs. female dichotomy is rather missing the point. More pointedly, though, it seems as though the essay would have benefitted from a closer reading of the text - the Alchemy/Akemi reference is added in a footnote as a possibility that's occurred to the authors, rather than a specific plot point - that the inmates called her Akemi because "Alchemy" is hard on the Japanese tongue. This isn't really an esoteric point, because it dovetails directly into the questions of Akemi's identity, her network, and how her transformative force - her "alchemy" - is greater than her self, which is one of the central themes of "The Alchemy."
Which does raise a question, however - Her ID necklace read "Akemi" (and, of course, later the anagram "I Make.") Was this capitulation on the part of Control Corps? If the inmates were the ones to give Akemi that name, why did they allow Akemi to wear that label, when their goal was to break her down and control her? Or did the Akemi name actually come first? Ukiko's reads "Kabuki," which is her agent name - one would assume the other inmates are similarly tagged with their codenames. One would think that, with the amount that Akemi had to go through with regards to her paper, pen, clothes, pad, etc, that if she'd accumulated others' cubes to make the necklace herself, they would have taken it from her.
Also: Why has Ukiko never bothered to ask MC Square what her "real" name is? Does she view it as unimportant? Is all of that old life behind MC Square for good? Or has Ukiko's dealings with her own past blinded her to the pasts of others?
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