10-25-2006, 2:45 PM
... While the first volume of Hello Kitty: Stump Village shows some rough edges, the core of Hello Kitty remains intact, expressing the futility of existence; the casual, Darwinistic cruelty we exercise on each other, often for little or no reason; and the meaningless suffering that infuses our lives. The show is ostensibly about four animalistic friends who symbolize the ego (Hello Kitty), the id (Pompompurin), the superego (My Melody), and the fundamental mysteries of the unknown (Cinamoroll); sadly, the stand-in for the Jungian collective unconscious (Badtz-Maru) appears only in the opening credits. The four engage in play activities heavily laden with symbolism in an ultimately futile dance against the existential void that hangs over them like the sword of Damocles. The sunglasses My Melody owns but refuses to share in the second episode takes on the same metaphorical weight of the Coke bottle in The Gods Must Be Crazy – a concrete symbol of the consumerism and greed simmering within us all and ready to burst out at the slightest provocation. The last two episodes are a bold experiment with an extended story structure, as Kitty is torn between loyalty to her friends and the hatred that burns in her heart over their selfish desires. The climax of the first of the two episodes comes as her friends shatter Kitty's heart fruit, neatly expressing the overriding theme of the show in an embarrassingly heavy-handed manner: our friends are often the only ones who can irrevocably break our hearts, and that love and hate are really only two sides of the same coin...
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