Episode 19, this time, delves more into the personality of one of my top favorite characters, Shijou Takane. I enjoyed this episode immensely, and I was very pleased to note so many references from Shijou Takane’s characteristics and comments to The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, more specifically, Kaguya-hime. So, as a lover of Japanese folk tales, I was compelled to do an episodic post for this particular episode!
In this episode, the ever mysterious Shijou Takane finally takes the stage, and has been very popular with her own given idol nickname, the Silver Princess, owing to Takane’s beautiful, lush silver hair. The evil producer of 961 Pro is up to his own nefarious deeds again, and Takane is stalked by a paparazzi. The paparazzi manages to snap an incriminating photo of Takane dining at a fancy restaurant with, unbeknownst to her, the owner of another idol company, the Elder Records. This incriminating photo sparks a frenzy of speculations that Takane is looking to move to the Elder Records, and the rest of the idols from 765 Pro are all worried that they’ll be losing her.
The idols all begins to follow Takane around, worried that she might one day just disappear to go to the Elder Records, and at a festival, Chihaya tells Takane of their concerns. Takane responds by saying that everyone has a something that they do not wish others to know, especially Chihaya. Chihaya, shaken by this statement and a memory, takes her leave to visit a grave. Unfortunately, the paparazzi stalking Takane also followed her after having lost track of Takane, and takes a photo of her and someone else who apparently appears to be her mother. This is noted by the owner of 961 Pro with grim pleasure…
The situation is resolved, when Takane becomes Police Chief for the Day, and she meets with the owner of the Elder Records prompting the paparazzi to come out and attempt to take a picture of them together. However, he is trapped by Producer (what is his name, anyway?), and the paparazzi is taken out by Takane using a judo throw and throwing him down to the ground. The rumors and speculation have now been laid to rest, and Takane reflects on her actions and bonds with her friends and fans back home. However, Chihaya is shocked by a revelation shown in a magazine and she chokes in the middle of a song, ending the episode off there.
With the summary of the episode done and moved to the side, it’s time to talk about The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter! The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is another Japanese folk tale, a particularly well-known story about Kaguya-hime, a peerless extraordinary beauty. To reiterate the story, the story tells of an old bamboo cutter who finds Kaguya-hime as a baby in a bamboo forest. She is brought back to the bamboo cutter’s home and raised by him and his wife, who rejoiced at the thought of having a child of their own. Over time, she grew more beautiful and suitors from all over came to ask for her hand in marriage, including even the Emperor of Japan. However, Kaguya-hime reveals that she is from the Moon, and that she must return back to her people. The Emperor stationed guards around her in a vain effort to protect her from the people of the moon. Alas, Kaguya-hime was brought back to the moon, but not without leaving a letter and an immortality elixir for the Emperor. The Emperor wept upon reading the letter, and he then ordered that the letter and the immortality elixir be burned on the mountain closest to the heavens, declaring that he could not live forever without Kaguya-hime.
I do believe that Takane Shijou is a representation of Kaguya-hime, or she is Kaguya-hime herself. How did I come to this conclusion, you ask? Let’s take a look at the various comments and scenes from this episode. In one scene, Yukiho mentions having asked Takane about where she was from, and Takane responds by saying the old capital. This could very well be a reference to Tsuki-no-Miyako, the capital of the Moon, where Kaguya-hime was to be brought to on the day of her return. Understand that as The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter takes place in an olden time, the capital of the Moon can be seen as being another old capital. Also, Takane’s hair is silver, the color of the moon. These, in addition to the scenes with Takane looking at the moon often throughout the series, shows that she has a relation to the moon, of which Kaguya-hime is from.
The fact that Takane has a princess aura about her is another testament of Kaguya-hime’s characteristics, and she does behave in a royal and formal manner. Also, she did mention a letter from her butler about how much support she has garnered back home as well, indicating that she is from a wealthy family. At this point, all I can do is believe that Takane is a representation of Kaguya-hime or she is Kaguya-hime herself. Well, let’s just keep her secret under wrap, shall we? 😉