Fyggs and Wishes

I have enjoyed playing video games for a long, long time.  Sometimes almost too much, I am afraid.  One of the interesting things I have learned is that most of the video games that I have liked over the years come from Japan.  One of the games that I really like is Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies for the Nintendo DS.  This games has a number of wonderful features for us here at Senshi.  Aside from being an exciting adventure story game, it allows you to have an all girl team and to play dress up with one’s armor and equipment.  The armor and equipment shows in game play, so there are times when one has to choose between fashion and good statistics, which is often a difficult choice!

Fygg ScreenshotAmong many interesting things in this game are subplots that form the basis for a large part of the beginning of the game.  As part of the main plot, fyggs or fruits from a Celestrial Tree fall down below to the terrestrial plane.  These fyggs purport to be able to grant the desires of people that eat the fygg,  Yet, the granting of the desires turns out to be quite problematic.  The fygg turns the person into a monster, that as the heroine, one must defeat.  After the monster is defeated, we find that the original person was usually quite ordinary, with ordinary faults and failings.  These made for quite interesting and often moving subplots to the game.

Those of us who have been watching DokiDoki Precure will likely recognize this theme.  The villains from the Selfish Kingdom “grant the wish” of their victims by turning their heart black, stealing their hearts, and using these dark hearts to create a monster that creates havoc until the Precures come to defeat the Selfishness and return the cleansed hearts to the victims.

So, what is wrong with one’s wishes being granted?  That is a good question, and I think that the answer is a bit complex.  I think that one of the points in both the game and in DokiDoki Precure is that victims wishes are not really being granted.  I think that maybe the best way to explain is that these are the wishes of their False Self, or the part that we all have inside that is not aligned with Good, like the popular Western motif of the little devil on our shoulder.  Our True Self is that which is aligned with the little angel on our shoulder.  As you recall, in DokiDoki, the victim often resists the urge that the villain eventually uses to steal their hearts.

I think that there is an assumption in both Dragon Quest IX and in DokiDoki Precure, that most of us truly wish to be good, and that this wish trumps any self centered desires that we may have.  As the Dragon Quest game proceeds into the larger story line, we find that the fyggs are actually…oh oops…spoilers.  Well, I can say that the fyggs themselves are not evil either, and the wishes of the victims are not evil wishes, they were just corrupted.  In fact, we find out later in the game that fyggs are actually fruits from the Divine in Her Daughter form.  In the Dragon Quest game, after the victim of the corruption is purified, the energy from her wishes are also purified, and the entire town or village benefits.

As I am writing, I am having a really hard time being able to put into words the difference between the corrupt wishes and the purified wishes.  Even if I were to give spoilers and specifics, it would be hard.  I think I am realizing that it is because these concepts do not translate well into English.  I have started learning Japanese as well, but my studies have been cursory and quite basic, unlike the other authors of this site.  I was taught a Japanese term that may explain this somewhat.  There is a Japanese word wa that roughly translates to “harmony.”  I say roughly because harmony in English mostly refers to music, but there is a deeper harmony of life, society, and the cosmos that is reflected in earthly music (or it should be).  The term wa refers to this deeper harmony.  The opposite of wa is fuwa, or disharmony.

This may seem like an aside, but it really is not.  I have noticed that I have not necessarily got as involved in DokiDoki Precure as the other authors of this site.  I think I know the reason why.  It is because I need to watch it with English subtitles.  I have found that the DokiDoki dialogue seems rather strange and awkward in English.  In talking with Cure Dolly, who watches DokiDoki Precure with Japanese subtitles, she has mentioned that she  could imagine how difficult it would be for the translators.

One of the things that she explained was about the Selfish Kingdom and the monsters, “Selfishnesses.”  If I understand correctly, selfish is not really the precise term, but there is no equivalent in Japanese.  From what I have been told, in Japanese culture, there is an expectation that people will think of the group and community first, and to do otherwise is considered quite rude.  For example, it is my understanding that a statement that seems positive to a Western mind, “Do what you want to do,” is considered quite insulting in Japanese culture.  The closest translation to this concept is selfish, from what I have been told.

This takes me back to the premise of this article.  I think that in DokiDoki Precure and in DragonQuest IX, it is not the wishes themselves that are problematic.    We should have dreams and wishes.  What is problematic is when these wishes only relate to one’s own personal well-being without considering the group or the society.  When the wishes become fuwa, or they are granted in a way that is fuwa.  This actually prevents the wishes from being realized in a way that is wa, or in harmony with the group, society, and with the Music of the Spheres.

I have not finished the game DragonQuest IX, but it is getting quite interesting in a metaphysical sense as the story is progressing.  DokiDoki Precure is also getting quite interesting.  For example, it seems that Regina-san can turn people’s heart’s black without their specifically opening the door with “selfish” thoughts.  I wonder how that is possible.

So, I will leave these thoughts as they are at the moment, but there may be more as I get through the game, and as the DokiDoki Precure series progresses.

About Cure Kiyoku

I am just a girl who has recently discovered the joys and excitement of some very wonderful Anime series and loves video games. Like all Senshi, my powers have come upon me by surprise, and I find new ones after my toughest battles.

8 thoughts on “Fyggs and Wishes

  1. Shugo Chara, the anime version, has a section in it where there is a false-wish-granting young jeweller who turns the eggs in people’s hearts, not into despair laden x-eggs, but into confused riddle-eggs that turn children into what they thought they wanted to be in a totally out of control fashion. Amu-chan’s task is to help these children get to the heart of *why* they had their original wish, and it’s usually a quite *unselfish* reason! When they see they aren’t helping people the way they wanted to by fulfilling only the form of their wishes, then she can clear their heart’s eggs.

    I think people are really good, and when they wish for things, they can make mistakes about the best way to accomplish what they really, deep down, want. But usually, what they really want is good, I think, if they could only find a better way to get it.

    1. Oh, how interesting! I been continuing to watch Smile Precure, and I have gotten up to episode 24. Wishes have been playing a rather important role in Smile, starting from episode 21, which takes place on the holiday of Tanabata, and the custom of writing wishes and putting them up on a tree was explained. Those wishes play a rather large role in the upcoming episodes. There is also now a Miracle Jewel that is supposed to grant wishes that both Marchenland and the Bad End Kingdom are now looking for.

      There may be more comments on this topic as this series progresses as well.

      On another note, I have to stop the main story on DragonQuest IX a bit, as it seems that I need to level up before I can move into the next part of the story!

  2. In 1995, the Seeds of Evil (another expy of the forbidden fruit) in Daemon Child Zenki started the trend of “monster of the victim’s desire”. The seeds looked like walnuts or fortune cookies when closed, and like red eyes with narrow pupils when opened. The open seeds latched with vein-like tendrils onto the body of a passionate person (usually male, only two female victims appearing in the series), making said person lose reason and act merely according to the passion of the week (voyeurism, greed, vanity or whatsoever). Karma, the villainess, is created from desire, and she gives these statements in her final rant:

    Desire lies beneath the progress of humankind.
    As long as humans have desires, there will be Seeds of Evil.

    One is easily tempted (never better said!) to think of Thomas Hobbes and his “war of everyone on everyone”: in a world without the system (rules, limits, laws, regulations, interdictions…), all humans, carried away by passions, would wage war on each other, and their lives would be nasty, brutish, and short. Hobbes, an exiled Cavalier who had witnessed the horrors of war first-hand, speaks of this being fully convinced of it. Yet everyone, even the most firm and stern person there can be, has yielded at least once in a lifetime. Which has been stated in literature centuries before Leviathan.

  3. (It’s also interesting that, in Dokidoki Precure, most of the victims [including the one who started it all] and the immortal corrupter are male, while those who purify the victims and seal the corrupter away are an all-female team of heroines. Just like in Othello…)

  4. “Omae/Anata no nozomi kanaetemiruyo!”
    “I’m here to grant your desire.”

    Careful the wish you make,
    Wishes are children.
    Careful the path they take,
    Wishes come true,
    Not free.
    Careful the spell you cast,
    Not just on children.
    Sometimes the spell may last
    Past what you can see
    And turn against you..

    A review said that they “feed off of greed and passion”. Especially passion. Entities that feed off of passion tend, on one hand, to kick up tempests in teacups; and, on the other hand, to exploit the said passion for much more sinister aims.
    If you’d like to hear an example of the former, I recommend The Rape of the Lock, by Alexander Pope: an eighteenth-century mock epic in which a lock of hair gets (…), you know, by a baron drunk on coffee and obsessed with said blond tuft. Never had the cutting off of a lock of perfect tresses been presented as something so dramatic, leading even to an epic battle between male courtiers and court ladies! This poem offers a unique and affectionate look at tempests in teacups.
    If you’d like to hear an example of the latter, there is The Tragedy of Othello, written by Shakespeare, in which Iago feeds off of the male cast’s passion (the female cast being somehow, for one or another reason, immune to his deception)… and everyone pays a high price.

    Careful the wish you make,
    Wishes are children.
    Careful the path they take,
    Wishes come true,
    Not free.
    Careful the spell you cast,
    Not just on children.
    Sometimes the spell may last
    Past what you can see
    And turn against you..

    (It’s also interesting that, in Dokidoki Precure, most of the victims [including the one who started it all] and the immortal corrupter are male, while those who purify the victims and seal the corrupter away are an all-female team of heroines. Just like in Othello…)

    There’s also Der Butt, by Günter Grass: an epic historical feminist fresco spawning from the Neolithic Revolution, when the male gender usurped the power of matriarchy, to the much more recent times of the Iron Curtain, via the Middle Ages, the Reformation, the Thirty Years’ War, the Enlightenment, Napoleonic occupation in Central Europe, the class struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat, and both World Wars. Throughout this great novel, a family saga that is also a chain of historical tales linked together, males are revealed as the “evil” gender motivated by stubbornness and lust for power, while females are more clever, more sensible, and always able to best their spear counterparts.

  5. Agony!
    Beyond power of speech,
    When the one thing you want
    Is the only thing out of your reach.
    Oh, the torture they teach!
    What’s as intriguing-
    Or half so fatiguing-
    As what’s out of reach?

    “In the first place, plainly, we are not always conscious of expecting pleasure, when we desire a thing. We may only be conscious of the thing which we desire, and may be impelled to make for it at once, without any calculation as to whether it will bring us pleasure or pain. In the second place, even when we do expect pleasure, it can certainly be very rarely pleasure only which we desire.”
    John Stuart Mill.

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