Hello, everyone. It’s time to talk about The Shadows of Pygmalion. The Shadows of Pygmalion is a yuri/chuuni action game in which dolls called Puppets inhabit our world alongside ourselves. Today we are going to take a look at some of the Greek legends that the game alludes to so that when you play the game, you can do so armed with that knowledge.
The “Pygmalion” from the title is already a reference to one such legend and the name of the legend’s protagonist. Pygmalion carved a statue so beautiful he fell in love with it, and when he asked the gods to make her come to life, they answered his prayers and later he married his statue. Does this parallel the game in some way? Well… I can’t tell you that.
Much of the allusions eventually trace back to Plato. For example, Plato held that human beings do not learn anything fundamental about the universe; our soul is immortal, but knowledge from our past lives is forgotten when we are born. Learning something basic about how the world operates, then, means remembering some of that past knowledge. All science and religion becomes an act of recalling the immortal truths within us for Plato, and all we ‘learn’ in the modern sense of the word are everyday actions and events. Plato called this act of recalling the divine truths locked away within ourselves “anamnesis”.
He also held that all the things we see, the reality around us, is merely an imperfect reflection or projection of the true forms which we have mirrored and lensed through human imperfection. The shape of a circle is never completely perfect no matter how hard we humans try, but to identify an imperfect circle, we resort to the idea of a perfect circle.
These Ideas, the perfect definitions of something, are in his view the reason why states must be radically reformed every so often because, as reflections of justice, states are always imperfect. The republic required lawmakers like Draco from time to time which purged the state of its human influences and moved it closer to divine ideal of justice.
All of this is alluded to within the novel, and while you can certainly enjoy it without knowing any of it, perhaps this knowledge will give you a heightened appreciation of the text. Enjoy Pygmalion.