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Shadow Symbolism Part 2

Draph91 April 13, 2015 User blog:Draph91

again feel free to make your own interpretations

Shadow Rise

In the same manner as the other Shadows, Shadow Rise represents the reverse of her counterpart's arcana, namely the Lovers. The reversed Lovers represent false love, emotional loss, being unable to forget the past, and feeling helpless. False love is clearly shown through the idea of a stripper, exposing herself trying to make others love, but others only love what they see. Emotional loss stems from Rise quitting the showbiz career; though she hides it, she secretly misses the attention.

Furthermore Rise feels that she is haunted by her past of fame, being unable to escape from it, and believing that she will never be able to live a normal life. Shadow Rise's ability to use scan at the end of the battle suggests Rise's desire to be seen for more than just her outside, she wants people to see everything about her, not just the idol.

Finally, the Lovers arcana is commonly associated with choice, with a crucial decision to make. Therefore, the reversed Lovers card represents making the wrong choice and choosing an easy escape route instead of choosing wisely. Rise escaped from showbiz though she liked it, and she has trouble admitting that she made the wrong choice.

Shadow Teddie

Shadow Teddie represents the reversed Star Arcana . The reversed Star represents depression, self-doubt and a fear of being alone. Depression is manifested via the large pit in which Shadow Teddie is found. This represents how those who are depressed feel trapped inside a hole that consumes them and keeps them trapped within its vicious circle. Self-doubt stems from the way that Shadow Teddie consistently preaches that living in delusion and ignorance is the only true bliss. Teddie's cracked face, revealing the void within him, shows that he is empty inside and doesn't know who he is or what his purpose in life is, thus his existential crisis.

Following this, Shadow Teddie also symbolizes the idea of nihilism. Nihilism argues that life has no purpose, meaning or truth, denying what most would hold to be true as one big illusion. Throughout Shadow Teddie's dialogue one gets the impression of nihilism, as he tells the characters there is no point in discovering "the truth [they] hold so dear", further implying that their efforts and struggles are pointless.

Shadow Mitsuo

As with all boss Shadows, Shadow Mitsuo represents the reversed form of its Arcana, in this case the Hermit . The reversed Hermit Arcana represents a person who is detached from society and who has failed to master himself or come to terms with his isolation. As a result, he is delusional and full of himself. Disdainful of other people but yet in need of their attentions to feel "real". Mitsuo the Hero represents Mitsuo's desire to be seen as a strong, powerful individual who is seemingly perfect, when, in truth, it is nothing but a child inept of using physical attacks, and of an aesthete (its disdain for the world around it).

The unborn fetus that is the main shadow represents how Mitsuo feels he does not exist. By killing people Mitsuo feels he can be "born" into the world.

When it speaks in human form, it has a very deep and menacing voice, but when it speaks in its Shadow form, its voice sounds synthetic and atonal. This is another way it represents the reversed Hermit, as the being it projects (its human form) seems realistic and powerful, but the being it truly is just an emotionless machine.

Since Mitsuo himself is very similar to his Shadow (and the Arcana it represents) in personality, the party is initially unsure of which Mitsuo is the real person or the Shadow in his form. When it is defeated, Mitsuo shows the qualities associated with reversed Hermit when he refuses to confront it, showing both willful ignorance and a lack of self-control. Thus, it disappears, since Mitsuo has embraced the worst parts of his personality by willfully denying his Shadow multiple times, therefore becoming the Shadow itself.

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