The Morals of a Ghost: Natsuyuki Rendezvous – Episode 9

I really don’t know what to say about this episode. The plot threads have become frayed and then twisted into awkward knots. I am confused. I have no clue where this story is dragging me. I wish we were walking hand in hand like before, with the series leading me to all the secret places it wanted to show me. But now I a bit reluctant and it has no choice but to use force. I’m scared at where it might take me.

The situation looks very dire. Hazuki’s identity seems like it’s beginning to disappear, being replaced by Shimao’s. All of this seems to be a consequence of the ghost’s possession. Even in the real world, Hazuki’s visage is replaced by Shimao’s. It’s terrible to think that a memory, with no actual weight or mass is erasing something living and breathing. Hazuki’s youth is being snuffed out by a dead man’s dreams. A shroud should cover a corpse, not a young man at the age of twenty-three.

As I watched the final scenes unfold, I was terrified and angry. I hated Shimao for what he was doing. Instead of removing himself from Rokka’s life, his selfish desires cull her away from reality and into the past. Any progress she’s made in getting over him seems to have been effectively undone. After learning that she has fallen for Hazuki, he goes about to remind her of what made him special. He sets a tickertape parade of the bouquets he’s made her, writes a note in katakana, and runs away in his awkward form to corral her into the their history together. It would be extremely naïve of Shimao to think any of these actions wouldn’t have an effect on Rokka. Whether he actually intended to or not, Shimao has displaced two characters from where they should be. He should have left Hazuki’s body much sooner.

People aren’t flowers and life isn’t a bouquet. We can’t just arrange them around however we want. For Shimao, Hazuki was weed that needed to be removed. He was a plant that threatened to flower in fields Shimao no longer inhabited. That’s why he took the actions he did.

The above is illustrates how Shimao’s actions are not morally justifiable by any means. From a Utilitarian perspective, his actions are threatening to erase a person. A Humanitarian would say that his actions deters a person from growth and progress. From a Deontological perspective, his reasoning is entirely selfish with malicious intent. Maybe you could justify it with a very self-centered form Hedonism, but the morality of that sort of system is questionable in itself.

After venting to a few of my friends about these developments I was struck with a sudden realization. What if I was a ghost and had a chance at rebirth? Would I take it? Would I care for the consequences in a world I was already removed from?

I don’t really have answers for these questions, which irks and scares me. Can you hold a ghost to mortal moral standards?

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