Unless there are more twists in store for us, I think we can safely say that my guess from a while back actually hit the nail on the head for the most part.
WARNING: IMAGES MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.
In any case, Tasogare Otome continues its psychology education streak. This week, it’s about dissociative identity disorder (DID). I’m fairly certain everyone knows what it is, but any good writer assumes that his/her audience is completely ignorant, so here’s a brief explanation. DID is a psychological disorder wherein the person in question is “inhabited” by multiple personalities. The immediately obvious question, then, is which personality is the “original”. Of greater interest, though, is how or why the other personalities came into existence in the first place.
It’s sad to say, but the fact is, most individuals diagnosed with DID have a history of physical or even sexual abuse as a child. This in itself already suggests the nature of the condition; DID is typically a result of traumatizing experiences and memories. As I had previously observed, Yuuko’s death was… less than pleasant. Yet, as Kirie so aptly put it, “Yuuko feels no hate, rage, or grief, to the point that it’s unnatural”. Obviously, these things don’t just disappear into thin (or thick, for that matter) air, so just where did they go? This is where the multiple personalities step in.
In a sense, DID is sort of akin to something that most of us probably do a lot; sweeping under the rug. At least, I know I do it myself. It’s just so convenient to push the less desirable things out of sight and forget about them. Of course, in the case of dust and crumbs, they just go under the rug, and in a few months you end up having to call the exterminators. Are things quite as straight forward with emotions, though? As Tasogare Otome clearly demonstrates; no. To make yet another parallel, you could say that Yuuko is like a volcano; an active volcano, that is.
The stereotypical volcano that most of us would envision doesn’t constantly spew lava. Rather, the magma builds up under high pressure before the volcano literally blows its top. Quite clearly, this is what happened to Yuuko this week. The interesting thing to note, though, is that the cause of the incident can be traced back to an emotion that isn’t typically considered negative; love. But of course, we all know that love has its ups and downs, so perhaps this wasn’t too unpredictable. Still, I must say I find Yuuko just a tad too clingy, even having been alone for many decades.
Anyway, going back to the very first question most of us probably asked ourselves, which Yuuko is the “original”? I’m sure you could make all sorts of complicated analyses and write long essays detailing why one personality is the original, but that’s too much work for me. Instead, I’ll fall back to the good ol’ Occam’s Razor. If DID is typically a result of trying to repress bad memories, then the personality that has no recollection of these memories is probably the original. Creating a new, cheerful personality just to hold on to all the bad stuff yourself doesn’t really make sense. I know I wouldn’t do that.
Yes, it’s true that DID is actually much more complicated than that, and there are cases where the host personality is actually the “fake” one, but again, I point you to Occam’s Razor. If someone “hates” a blogger but types his name out in bold font in every comment, complete with hyperlinks to the blog, then that “hater” probably isn’t very genuine. In the same vein, if a personality wants to get rid of some crap, most likely it’ll get rid of the crap. The only thing left to ask, then, is what happens when the two (or more) personalities end up coming together again.
One outcome is that the original strongly rejects the bad memories and emotions through any means necessary. Notice how Yuuko first makes up a story of how she volunteered to be a sacrifice for the plague, but when mentally cornered, she decides to get rid of the source of the “problem”. In any case, you can be sure that the original will suffer from amnesia yet again. All of this thus brings the focus back on yet another mystery from Niiya’s “first meeting” with Yuuko. If I remember correctly, Niiya thought he heard her call his name, yet later on she asked for it as if she never knew it in the first place.
Unless Niiya is also suffering from amnesia, I’m going to guess that perhaps Yuuko has met someone with the same name and appearance before. The fact that “dark Yuuko” keeps accusing her of running away again only makes things more suspicious. If this is going to be as cliche as I think it is, Niiya might even end up being a reincarnation of some sort. That might help explain why he is even able to see Yuuko in the first place. It’s also kind of romantic to think that they’re tied together in some way that transcends death. Or, I could be way off and Niiya is just Yuuko’s latest boy-toy; everything else being a coincidence.