Shiki has finally arrived at the curiosity that is Ziggy’s actions and the enigma surrounding them. Before returning to Granbell and leaving the Edens Zero, Ziggy wasn’t driven by dark intentions but he still proceeded to wipe the memories of the Four Shining Stars that related to events outside the Sakura Cosmos. Initially I believed that Ziggy intended to hide any information referencing Mother that the Four Shining Stars knew but the theory Shiki presented in regards to Ziggy expecting to fall to the dark side put the past in a whole new context. Ziggy anticipated falling to the Dark Side and in hopes of establishing a safeguard against himself, he chose to abandon his mission to find Mother and focus on developing Shiki as a counter to his power. All in order to prevent what Ziggy feared deeply – the end of coexistence.
Looking at events closer, it actually makes sense interpreting the past through the lens of Ziggy expecting to succumb to the Dark Side. Ziggy knew the importance of Mother and his primary mission when he started his journey was to locate Mother. So why would someone holding such conviction give up mid-way through their journey? I suspect, during the journey, Ziggy came to find out the danger he possessed. This could have been through knowledge Ziggy slowly accumulated during his journey or an event that terrified Ziggy and forced him to change priorities. Such an event could have been when he encountered Shiki who attracted memories of different timelines with his innate Gravity Ether (Satan Gravity). Through encountering Shiki, Ziggy may have been made aware of the future that awaits him i.e. falling to the dark side. There is already precedence with Rebecca that confirms Shiki is able to pull in memories from other realities or timelines into the current one. The reason Rebecca was able to keep her memories when she entered World Number 30 (Universe 2) was because of Shiki. Drakken already mentioned in chapter 98 that Shiki pulled in Rebecca’s memories with his gravity and made them fall into this world/universe. Without Shiki’s gravity powers, Rebecca doesn’t normally retain her memories. Drakken also mentioned that according to Noah, Shiki is the key to unlocking Rebecca’s powers, which was the case. It wouldn’t be inconsistent to believe that Shiki possessed Satan Gravity inherently (which is why he is so strong) and even as a child, he was able to indirectly access it. Through meeting Ziggy, Shiki pulled memories of other Ziggy’s from different timelines into him which alerted Ziggy to the possibility and danger of Dark Ziggy.
Consequently, Ziggy moved to put in place defenses against the future danger he would represent. Choosing to abandon his mission to find Mother would have prevented future Dark Ziggy from knowing the location of Mother. And choosing to train Shiki would be Ziggy’s attempt to introduce a counter to his power when Dark Ziggy is awakened. Initially, when Ziggy began his journey and visited Poseidon Nero in the Aoi Cosmos, he had little interest in taking on a student and only taught Shura the basics of Gravity Ether. Ziggy only became serious about training a student after he made the decision to abandon his mission to find Mother. Wiping the memories of the Four Shining Stars was done to prevent any information relating to Mother to fall into the wrong hands i.e. Dark Ziggy. When Shiki first mentioned that he felt he met Mother before, I rationalized that as meaning Ziggy had encountered Mother before but considering Dark Ziggy is using the Edens One to deduce the location of Mother, it confirms that Ziggy had not met Mother when he found Shiki. Rather it could be just Shiki who met Mother in the past (or was created by Mother). Either a Dragon or another third party could have relocated Shiki from Mother to where Ziggy picked him up. Without knowing the past of the Four Shining and Dark Stars, it is hard to know what knowledge they possessed that could have assisted Dark Ziggy with locating Mother if their memories were not partially wiped. It does not appear that Ziggy can pull memories from people like Shiki can.
There is also the existence of Dragonfall, masses of Dragons cascading around the Sakura Cosmos in the form of a web or barrier. The Lendard Arc confirms that Dark Ziggy and Acnoella (Mother of Dragons) know each other which could help establish a relationship the two had in the past. One that enabled Ziggy to request Acnoella to have her Dragons surround the Sakura Cosmos in order to prevent certain things from entering and leaving the Cosmos. The fact that Acnoella knows that Ziggy raised Shiki, sent him to the skies and even nurtured in him a belief in equality between Humans and Androids suggest that she was privy to information relating to the past Ziggy most likely because she was friends with the him. This could be why Acnoella questions Ziggy on the reason he has for wanting to kill Shiki (chapter 182). Dragonfall may have been established to protect the Sakura Cosmos until Shiki was ready to journey outside of it. Ziggy’s intention for Shiki to experience the universe can be seen in the plan Granbell had in place to force Shiki to leave when someone with a spaceship arrived. Ziggy also likely prepared for Dark Ziggy by creating Pino and using the space pod Shiki and he came to Granbell in to send Pino away. Pino could very likely be another counter to Dark Ziggy i.e. sealing his gravity and/or memories. Approaching the Edens Zero story from the perspective of Ziggy knowing he would succumb to the Dark side allows for the current mysteries in the story to make much more sense.
I don’t believe Ziggy will be completely defeated after this arc but what will happen is that he will be severely weakened and made aware of the potential strength of Shiki. If Ziggy is injured by Shiki, it may take him time to repair himself which could buy the story sufficient time to focus on the recovery of the Kaede Cosmos and the plot related to the Yukino Cosmos. Once the story is ready to move toward locating Mother, Ziggy could return and conflict against the Edens Zero one final time during the the journey to Mother. New versions of the Four Dark Stars could also be introduced which the Four Shining Stars would face off against. Given that, I don’t believe the current Four Dark Stars will be comprehensively defeated during this Lendard War. Wizard was dispatched by Shiki but he is still alive and functioning. The chances of him returning in the future after upgrading his tech is very high. Similar occurrences will happen with Killer and Clown. They will have short battles against Weisz and Rebecca respectively but the results won’t involve death on any side. I personally hope Hermit and Sister would involve themselves but in the absence of their presence, the potential and mystery behind Killer and Clown will be highlighted. The only opponent that could get significant focus is Brigandine who is currently facing off against their Shining Star counterpart – Sword. Both Clown and Killer are playing around with Rebecca and Weisz with only Brigandine and Wizard (defeated) taking their opponents serious. Homura currently can’t damage Brigandine’s armor but during this battle, she will find a way to cut him. Once Wizard recovers, he could end up saving the rest of the Four Dark Stars after they are defeated. Ziggy and the Dark Stars are foils to Shiki and the Shining Stars. They are endgame antagonist not merely destined to be disposed of within a mid-story arc.
Ultimately, what I see happening with the conflict between the Four Shining Stars and the Four Dark Stars are expressions of heart. As conveyed by Wizard’s situation, the Four Dark Stars all likely have memories hidden away by Ziggy. Such memories are possibly based on their previous human forms with shared experiences with the Four Shining Stars. Once the Four Dark Stars are able to recognise the hollowness of their current form, they will feel compelled to follow a direction contrary to Dark Ziggy’s intentions. Through the fights the Four Dark Stars will have against the Four Shining Stars, they will come to awaken their heart. The coexistence between Humans and Machine are not as evil as they were led to believe. The Four Dark Stars will eventually realise that the one who corrupted and misled them was Dark Ziggy. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.
April 27, 2022 at 3:47 am
It’s clear that since the moment he took Shiki, Ziggy put many of the current events in the story in motion. I have to confess that I’d never considered that he could have planned it in fear of his fall into darkness but when you look at things from that perspective, it actually makes sense.
I, too, believe that Ziggy will at least be incredibly incapacitated at the end of Lendard – so much so that the EZ crew will have to believe that he is no longer a threat. Remember, this is the guy they sidelined the quest for Mother for 3 years. Unless they have some kind of confirmation that he no longer poses danger, there’s no way the EZ crew can move on organically on their quest. (And who knows, Mashima-sensei can even do this in a way that makes us believe that Ziggy is gone for good).
Lendard feels a lot like mid-story like you said and somewhat a change in the current status quo of the story (like the heavy participation of both OSI and OSG, the crew’s evolution and the possible “defeat” of Ziggy and the DS) so I’m very much interested as well to see what happens in the next chapters. Because literally, anything could happen. Great review.
April 29, 2022 at 12:38 am
I wonder if Mashima-sensei will handle Ziggy in the way Ultron is in Marvel stories. Rather than inhabit just one body, Ultron is an AI program that can duplicate himself in several forms. As long as the core program structure remains, Ultron is able to revive himself with time. Ziggy may function in a similar fashion. He could have duplicated his data in his current body or onto the Edens One system. If Dark Stars can be revived after being destroyed (when Jaguar defeated Killer and Brigandine), it seems possible that Ziggy could have a plan in place to revive himself in a different/updated body once his current self is destroyed.
If this is the case, it would allow for Ziggy to be destroyed on Lendard. Shiki does not necessarily need to defend Ziggy, all he needs to do is exhaust Ziggy during their battle to the point where Ziggy is unable to use Wormhole due to a lack of Ether. Once Ziggy has reached such a state, the Chronophage can do the rest with Ziggy unable to escape using Wormhole.
Ziggy 2.0 could contain a tougher body minus the Wormhole ability he stole from Nero and the memories he didn’t have a chance to backup of Shiki and his power on Lendard. If the Dark Stars are also revived into their new versions/bodies, they may also not have the memories of what happened on Lendard meaning Wizard wouldn’t be aware of what Shiki suggested to him i.e. that Wizard knew Witch.
May 1, 2022 at 2:51 am
Ooh, that could actually be a good idea to see implemented into the story! I firmly believe Ziggy has to be heavily incapacitated during Lendard (may be deadly wrong) so even though I’m not all that familiar with Ultron, I kinda get how it works and it could nicely apply to Ziggy.
Also removing Wormhole would be a nice way to decrease the OPness level.