Is crazy supposed to make sense? Girghe doesn’t seem to. He takes over this part of the nairrative. He steals the show in the fourth film and owns this one… all the way to his spectacular and perplexing death. It occurs to me that a character needs a clear and obvious explanation for any insanity exhibited. Is it really so?
Pierrot le Fou in Cowboy Bebop is stylishly insane, and we know why because we are told that he was messed around with in an attempt to create a super soldier. Four Murasame and Rosamia Badam are similar examples from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. In anime (I am not confident to comment on other media), the creation of the super soldier always means mental disorders to some degree or in some form for the soldier (see Gundam 00’s Soma Pieres and Doublellujah Haptism; also, Eureka SeveN’s Anemone).
These characters do ‘unpredictable’ things during combat that is explained by their mental instability, which was determined by a kind of back story that makes sense. Girghe’s behavior I find unpredictable, and ultimately nonsensical. Is he a credit to the show for being so? I don’t know yet, but let me think it through.
Baldr told Rygart to never trust Girghe. He told Rygart to kill him when the time comes. He told Rygart about the murder of the single ally amidst the defeat of the rest of the platoon by Girghe’s hand. He told Rygart about how he turned himself in.
We saw Girghe ‘practice’ way too hard. We saw Girghe lose all his composure and refuse to fight during the battle on the plain. We saw Girghe perform a one-golem ambush on the entire Athenian army. We saw Girghe run away when his squad was ambushed in turn. He called himself a traitor, and saw Rygart as like himself. But this seeming self-hate is reversed, he actually saw himself (and Rygart) as superior, and the rest are pests. We see him goad Rygart to duel with him while the rest of the squad is ambushed. We hear him offer to kidnap the Queen for Rygart if he loses the duel. We see him lose the duel, and save Rygart, killing Nike. And with his final gesture, he ultimately saves Rygart by taking on the entire squad of Athenians and getting shot to pieces… he steps out of the cockpit, faces Rygart, and shoots at him with his pistol as he dies.
If it seems that there is a symmetry between the binary presentation of apparently negative, then seemingly positive behaviors by Girghe, credit that to my predilection to symmetry than any accusation of symmetrical or sensible presentation/composition of his character as a work of fiction.
For one, his character doesn’t give an explanation of why he did these things, only a precedent. His was a character who just did things, and just didn’t do things. I recently came across this fascinating article on psychopaths and how to tell if someone is one. I just have to force a reading on Girghe.
The 20 point Hare PCL-R exam:
|Item 1 Glibness/superficial charm||Yes|
|Item 2 Grandiose sense of self-worth||Yes|
|Item 3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom||Yes|
|Item 4 Pathological lying||Qualified yes|
|Item 5 Cunning/manipulative||Qualified yes|
|Item 6 Lack of remorse or guilt||Yes|
|Item 7 Shallow affect||Yes|
|Item 8 Callous/lack of empathy||Yes|
|Item 9 Parasitic lifestyle||Yes|
|Item 10 Poor behavioural controls||No|
|Item 11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour||No data|
|Item 12 Early behaviour problems||No data|
|Item 13 Lack of realistic long-term goals||Yes|
|Item 14 Impulsivity||Yes|
|Item 15 Irresponsibility||Yes|
|Item 16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions||No data|
|Item 17 Many short-term marital relationships||No|
|Item 18 Juvenile delinquency||Yes|
|Item 19 Revocation of conditional release||Yes|
|Item 20 Criminal versatility||No|
I don’t really have the technical expertise to score Girghe, but the “yes” instances seem indicative of mental instability indeed. I feel like it’s a shame we don’t get why Girghe is this way, but what about characters who were insane, and perhaps were even more over-the-top, and yet don’t present satisfying explanations for their insanity? I feel that there should be at least one.
I couldn’t come up with one in anime, but I distinctly remember the Joker from The Dark Knight film (2008). Never mind the comic book versions, this film’s Joker made his back story irrelevant by being a liar about it. He was just this dog who chases cars, not knowing what to do when he caught one. He was just someone “who does things.” He was the kind of person who didn’t have rational motivations, who just wanted to “watch the world burn.” And I think the Joker from this film is one of the most superb villains ever.
Ultimately, I wouldn’t think of Girghe as anywhere close the perfection of this version of the Joker. I only present the case for the kind of nonsensical insanity Girghe manifested. It isn’t categorically bad.
Unless, we accept Rygart’s psychiatric work with Girghe near the end: He got Girghe to make a face when he dared him to apply himself and become a general and surpass his father. In the end, it’s daddy issues all over again isn’t it? If so, then there is an explanation, and as explanations go, this is as old and as boring as sanity itself.
P.S. It’s the Independence Day of the Republic of the Philippines, which is lulz because I really think that this so-called independence failed to account for the fact that our former colonizers Spain simply sold us to the United States as part of the Treaty of Paris to conclude the Spanish vs. American War. But since the Americans “gave us our independence” on a 4th of July, June 12 seems more nationalistic and assertive of our freedom.