Space is the Place: Exploring the Symbolism of the Moons in Bahamut
Hello space travelers! Thank you for stopping by at this lone planet where we offer the finest boys in the whole galaxy. If you’re here…chances are you crash landed after hitting a storm or you were redirected here by Sirius over from Planet Chienne Stella! While this post is less about cute boys – our specialty – and more about the place in the sky called Space, I still think you might find some beautiful things to admire (and learn about a series with many handsome men!)
But ICYMI, “Space is the Place” is a blog tour being hosted by Scott in celebration of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. Apparently, it’s been 50 years since it happened! And when I heard Scott was looking for some people to join the tour I immediately decided I wanted to be part of it. But after joining and getting the OK from him, I realized I hadn’t watched many anime about space…
So what would I talk about?!
“We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry.”– Maria Mitchell
After many sleepless nights and nightmares over this blog tour, I remembered something that I used to dream about when I was younger and possibly the only fantastical idea I still strongly “believe in” (or I guess it’s more like something I really wished for)
I used to wonder if I keep digging and digging into the ground, would I end up falling from the sky? What world would I fall into if I did? It seemed like a cooler idea than believing that if I dug deep enough I’d probably die from heat
And that’s how I ended up choosing the series for this tour
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul is a 24 episode series you can watch on Amazon Prime. I had first stumbled upon it as an anime preview at least one year ago but never got around to investigating where it was (I even forgot the title so that definitely made things harder)
It’s the sequel to the series Rage of Bahamut: Genesis (which I am only halfway through, I know, not the best order but alls good!) and follows the protagonist Nina, a young and cheerful girl who moves to the city of Anatae to make a living and send money to her village, which has suffered some poverty since the Bahamut – a mysterious entity that fell from the skies thousands of years ago and who came to be feared as The Destroyer of the World – reappeared ten years ago and wreaked havoc upon the land. Everyone in town loves her exuberant personality so when she’s being accused of consorting with the rebel Rag Demon, they can’t believe it. And while Nina never signed up to be a member of a demon rebellion, the truth is that because of her dragon folk nature (and naiveness), the accusations ARE true
That’s the basics of the show, and since I’m not really focusing on the show specifically, I’ll leave it at that. So what will I be focusing on?
It was actually really tough deciding! As many of you know, I don’t watch many anime that have to do with Outerspace since my “specialty” lies in the fantasy realm. And while there is a sense of the fantastical in space anime, I tend to categorize that as scifi, a genre I tend to stay away from
So I went around asking some people what they thought about when they heard the word space and I even asked myself. All of the alien movies came to mind, but alas, this was an anime blog tour. I was also told that Mars came to mind but aside from Aldnoah Zero, I hadn’t watched anything with Mars as part of the deal. I decided to not talk about AZ for emotional reasons *cries*. I knew no anime (that hadn’t already been chosen by my cohorts) with black holes, faraway galaxies, or amazing supernovas…
Then I gave up. I know, it’s very tragic but it ended up with very good results!
I set up camp in my living room and watched anime for two days and I stumbled upon Bahamut: Virgin Souls and the double moons in the sky
This is (obviously) when I had a derp moment because while I was thinking of space as this vast expanse of nothingness, or something magical and fantastical, I had completely ignored my favorite ugly rock that I often would admire during my late-night rides home. It also happens to be the reason for this tour!!
But this isn’t the first time I see the use of a double moon. If you guys have watched the series Escaflowne, you’ll see that the world of Gaea also has a double moon
One of them is The Moon and the other is The Mystic Moon, or as Hitomi comes to learn – Earth. The thing about the Mystic Moon, however, is that it’s a cursed land and those who come from it bring about misfortune. As we come to see as the series progresses, that’s not exactly untrue. So then I asked myself, what was the lore for this double moon?
Unfortunately, it’s never explained and for that, I’m happy and upset. Upset because it completely ruined my chances for this blog post but also happy because it’s all just there for us to admire. It’s sort of like how we just have a moon and in this world, they just happen to have two
But the Moon brings about other uses and the one I see that is very present in many fantasy anime are eclipses. Now then, it’s time to take out our nerd glasses because if you’re like me, then chances are you might not know what an eclipse is? Or am I the only clueless one?!
From the many anime I’ve watched, I know that when the red moon shows up, there’s probably something tragic about to happen. I always assumed it was something to do with the color red (and maybe it is) since it’s not just the color of passion and love, but of the devil, blood, and evil. But why is it red? For symbolic and aesthetic purposes?
Not exactly. Apparently, the moon does get red, courtesy of the sun, which is surprisingly not mentioned much in anime now that I think about it…
According to some light astronomy research I did, there are two main types of eclipses (Solar and Lunar), and for each of these main categories, there are three other subcategories (total, partial, and penumbral or annular eclipses). Since we’re talking about the full red moon, we’re going to ignore the solar eclipses and focus on the lunar eclipses, specifically the Total lunar eclipse
When we have a total lunar eclipse, it means that the sun, the Earth, and the moon have become perfectly aligned (in that order). The moon is directly at the center of the Earth’s umbra (or “inner” shadow as I like to call it), and with the Sun casting its own shadow behind the Earth, the Moon ends up reflecting red. This event lasts for a few hours and has often been seen as an ill omen in many cultures
In fact, in my home, my mom always tells me that during an eclipse (hasn’t specified which), a pregnant woman should wear red to protect her child from any ill or deformities, and that trees that give fruits should be tied with a red ribbon for protection as well
And like we tend to get excited for eclipses (for whatever reason) here in the real world, in fantasy anime they love to start wars and other calamities when the moons align. In a sense, lunar eclipses are omens of good and bad. While we often see death and wars during the red moons, what follows when the moons align tends to be growth
In Bahamut that growth came at a tremendous cost of lives but the different beings (angels, humans, and demons) who were once living in poverty, slavery, and with hatred, came forth to fight together to permanently defeat a greater evil. It caused a major change and after the alignment of the moons, after the war, after the eclipse, a better life came to be for everyone who survived
Well now, I won’t hold you all hostage any longer. The use of the aligned moons is the biggest thing I wanted to focus on for this tour, which I think I did fairly well? But before we depart for Neha’s place over at BiblioNyan, I also wanted to say that the nice thing about space in anime is that it can also act as a portal. Perhaps my digging idea wasn’t too off the mark!
Until the next time