Tag Archives: kyou fujibayashi

Three Can Play At That Game


In honour of ‘The Semiotics of Skin‘, and Kaiserpingvin’s original deployment of this image, I append a few observations of my own.

Let’s look at what’s held in the hands. Headphones on the right and a book on the left offer a choice of diversions to Kyou, one modern (yet antique: that’s a CD player!), one old (yet hardly out of date). Both activities – reading and listening – cut one off from the outside world, though the headphones are a far more visible signal that, in common with Garbo (who was, like Kaiserpingvin, born where the word ‘ombudsman’ was invented) one vonts to be alone. Of course, we don’t know what’s written in the book, or what music might be playing in the headphones. Two unsolvable mysteries, unless there’s something I’m missing because I haven’t played Clannad or seen its anime adaption.

I note from Wikipedia’s information about Kyou that she frequently uses books as weapons, so perhaps this isn’t just a choice of diversions but also a choice between defensive retreat into the headphones and offensive action. If, however, a book in Kyou’s hands is a threat of attack, then it is a denatured threat: it’s a very flimsy book (the flowers on its cover reinforce this impression). Similarly, such large headphones strike me as utterly impractical for someone with that hairstyle. It may be significant that Kyou isn’t looking at what she’s holding, but rather out of the picture, at you/us. Are the threat of attack and the threat of retreat meant to be only a token resistance?