The implications pertaining to the revelation at the end of the chapter echoes a deeper regard toward the history of the constructs of Ziggy. Why do they know each other and when did they have the chance to encounter each other? Were the Shining and Dark Stars “created” by Ziggy or transformed by him into the form they now take. Unlike any of the other robots Ziggy has created, the Shining and Dark Stars bear a close resemblance to humans in the form they take – why? Why not design your elite force to look more mechanical than human? Could it be that the Shining and Dark Stars aren’t machines by origin but in fact humans who at some point Ziggy decided to save/use by reviving their minds in a mechanical body?
If memories of a human can be saved to a virtual space or a database/repository, wouldn’t it then be possible to reconstruct a copy of a person, at least in terms of memories, if a mechanical form were imbued with that data? Is this the case for the Shining and Dark Stars? Does Ziggy have a repository where he stores the data of human memories? Depending on which Ziggy created it, the repository of memories could be a way Ziggy intended to save certain individuals who met unfortunate ends. Rather than killing humans and storing their data in a repository, he could have located dying humans and provided a space in which they may still exist. The basis for Ziggy creating the Shining Four Stars could have been empathy and the desire to give them another chance in a different form. Ziggy saved Elsie, so it wouldn’t be out of character for this Ziggy to do this. The repository may have been located on the Edens One which Ziggy used to imbue mechanical forms with memories stored in the repository.
Thinking about it logically, the only time Witch could have interacted with others outside the Edens Zero was before Ziggy found Shiki on his journey to locate Mother. Once Shiki was found, we know that Witch was aboard the Edens Zero caring for him. And after Ziggy settled down on Granbell to look after Shiki, Witch placed herself on stand-by mode aboard the ship awakening only after Shiki returned to the ship 10 years later. Unless Witch in stand-by mode was interacting with Wizard in a virtual space and creating memories, the other option that seems likely is Witch having known Wizard prior to becoming the Shield of Edens. Considering how pre-Shiki, there hasn’t been any evidence showing the Four Shining Stars being present aboard the Edens Zero, I suspect during Ziggy’s journey, he was able to extract the memories of dying humans and imbue a few of those into mechanical life forms he had created. The revival of their persona’s in a mechanical form could have detached their operating system from the memories of their past selves, corrupting it. Or their operating system could not parse the human memories they possessed into a format that constituted data they could process. The human memories in their system existed but they could just not interpret it through their code. This would explain why Wizard is surprised Shiki is able to access his memories. Memories it seems he didn’t even know he possessed.
Alternatively, memories that Shiki pulls does not have to relate to the current timeline or universe. They may exist in a different universe where Witch and Wizard are familiar with one another. Like how Shiki was able to instinctively feel how it felt to die to Drakken before in a different timeline, the information Shiki is accessing could relate to a different universe. The problem with this possibility though is that it represents a Witch and Wizard the reader’s do not care about. There is also the possibility that Ziggy was just into TV shows and films in the past which he based the personality and mannerisms of the Shining and Dark Stars around. While this could be possible, it detaches emotional weight from the Shining and Dark Star by their personalities being based on fictional characters.
What I do see as more possible are the Shining and Dark Stars once being human but after some catastrophic event, they found themselves at deaths door. Ziggy, during his journey, encountered them and feeling pity, attempted to save them. During Ziggy’s journey to find Mother, he did appear to be driven by compassion opposed to the chaos he is guided by now. This is why he chose to save Elsie when war began in the Kaede Cosmos on Lendard. He had no reason to get involved but he did and a child’s life was saved in the process. All of Ziggy’s attempts to save people may not have ended in success but what he may have been able to do with those that passed was keep their memories alive in a virtual space/repository. Ultimately, prior to finding Shiki, Ziggy could have transitioned four of the persona’s he had stored into a mechanical body. The kindness in the Shining Stars reflects the Ziggy who established them. Four additional records from the repository would later be used to develop Dark Ziggy’s Four Dark Stars.
What implications would this have going forward. If the Four Shining and Four Dark Stars were associated before being made into androids, those memories could be used to jump start the “heart” within the Four Dark Stars and get them to turn on Ziggy or at least step out of the way as Shiki targets Ziggy. It may not happen within this arc but fragments of inconsistencies within the code may result in the Four Dark Stars eventually processing hidden data stored within their systems. It could also pave the path toward Witch returning into the story. You don’t introduce a history shared between Wizard and Witch if one of those characters were completely removed from the story. There are multiple ways to reasonably bring Witch back within the Edens Zero Universe without breaking continuity or logic set within the Edens Zero universe. Backups of Witch’s data could be one way or for a more genuine revival of Witch that isn’t merely a copy, using the Chronophage could be another. Also, I’m curious to learn the relevance and symbolism for Wizard opening his eyes that have been closed in all prior moments. Does it represent, Wizard subconsciously opening himself up to the blind spot in his system? Very much looking forward to the next chapter.
April 18, 2022 at 2:39 pm
Now that I’ve read your review and your implications on the possibility of a kind Ziggy having revived the 4SS by transferring their data to mechanical bodies, what if that’s the same case to him? If he did that to the 4SS, he would’ve to have prior knowledge of how to do it – like say, if he once was a version of Shiki who eventually got his human data sent to a machine body and it also resulted in him not having all of the memories the original Shiki previously had. Maybe Mashima-sensei wants us to imply that scenario through this reveal?
Also, have you checked the vol20 afterword? Apparently, we’re in the second half of the story now and Mashima-sensei doesn’t know for how long it’ll run. There’s some other info there, but I don’t know if you’d consider them potentially spoiling or not.