I think Ryo could also sing “Boys of Summer.” It kind of reminds of me of him reflecting on Runa (“your dark skin shining in the sun”). However, Runa was the only one harvesting romantic feelings in that relationship. Ryo may have liked her but not in the romantic sense. He just doesn’t do relationship and I don’t know if he could because his duties. *shrugs*
You know that Sound Horizon post about religion? I spent a hour on it (I was getting distracted by Pewds videos on the TV) and it was really interesting. Thank you person for your post! It really got me thinking!
I LOVE YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH for your kind kind support!!!
You are so welcome!! I do this for you and others that enjoy it!!
You’re so welcome! This to me is worth another read since I’ve never come across certain terms such as demiurge. This has also given me thought on my own creations.
You know that Sound Horizon post about religion? I spent a hour on it (I was getting distracted by Pewds videos on the TV) and it was really interesting. Thank you person for your post! It really got me thinking!
The Sound Horizon universe is riddled with religious references from the very start. It is possible that some aren’t particularly meaningful. However, I truly believe that given Revo’s meticulous attention to detail throughout Sound Horizon, most things have meaning. In this post, I’m going to identify several religious connections in Sound Horizon and connect it to religious schools of thought, namely Gnosticism.
DISCLAIMER: I do not believe Sound Horizon is a story of religion. It’s simply a recurring symbol that’s been there from the start. As I said earlier, I think everything has meaning—especially when the religious references are as blatantly obvious. I think it’s important to say that as of now, I do not have a theory connecting all of these references together (EDIT: I do. Oops. A lot of this came together while writing. This post will cover the Roman Liar among other things) I just think some of these things are just ignored by the fans and I want to bring to light some aspects of this universe that may be overlooked. If I enlighten one person, then my mission has been a success. Just as Revo said about his music. If you gain one fan, it’s worth continuing.
I’m fully aware this post will cause backlash and I’m prepared for it. Whenever new ideas are brought up, there is always an initial resentment to them. EDIT: Basically everything in this will contradict a lot of ideas that are “established” in the Sound Horizon kingdom. It’s blasphemous. Please be gentle.
ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: I am not a particularly religious person. I have no personal attachment to any of this in a religious way. The theology in this post is downright blasphemous to some of the most prevalent modern religions today. If you are sensitive about these topics, DO NOT READ. I’m posting this so as to clarify any potential misunderstandings and to avoid terrible discussion. There is nothing worse than a religious debate. Nothing. I want to view these references and analyze them in an objective way, so let’s start!
Gnosticism: A General Summary
The central part of this post (I’m not going to refer to it as a theory right now) will center on Gnosticism. Due to the obvious “there is no actual Gnosticism in Sound Horizon” in a literal sense, this is ALL about symbolism. This post is about making connections to Gnostic archetypes, beings, and their roles. Nothing is set in stone. I’m sure I’ll find more to add and consider here.
What is Gnosticism? In an overly simplified sense (and this can be debated), it is one of the earliest forms of Christianity. However, it’s very different, to the point where it is basically unrecognizable from the most prevalent modern Christian sects.
The essential, core factor of Gnosticism is that suffering and sin on the world come from the Creator, or God. This is what makes Gnostic thought absolutely blasphemous to a lot of people. Once again, I ask for your understanding and patience; I do not believe in Gnosticism or anything. I think there are some connections to the Sound Horizon universe that have not been looked at in this way before.
In Gnosticism, we have a True God, and from it came deities of a lower standing. These deities are known as Aeons. I will touch upon the Aeons later, but one of the lower Aeons in Gnosticism of importance is Sophia. She is always described as the Mother of all life. This is because out of Sophia, the Demiurge was born. From my understanding, this may not have been an intentional thing (I see different interpretations, of course). The Demiurge is the embodiment of what is described as the “flawed consciousness” of Sophia. The Demiurge is what creates the physical world, which is flawed because it is created in the image of the Demiurge himself.
Michele Malebranche: The False Creator
First of all—the most overarching aspect of Sound Horizon is suffering. Tragedy and conflict are in every Horizon. Yes, conflict and tragedy are in EVERY story ever made, so this may seem like a moot point. Stories are driven by conflict. If there’s no conflict, it’s not interesting, so I understand this perspective. However, the way suffering is depicted in Sound Horizon goes beyond that. Many Laurants hold that Michele Malebranche is the God-like being of the Horizons. I, myself, like to think that the Horizons are phases in Michele’s evolving psyche in the attic, but that can be expanded on in another theory. I think many Laurants support the “Michele = Goddess of all Horizons” theory, which will be looked at for the rest of the post.
As mentioned earlier, God in Gnosticism is the creator of all suffering in the world. If Michele is an analogous being, she is what brings suffering into all the Horizons. This can be seen, for example, in Roman—the Reine Michele (or Diamant Rouge) is a jewel that is the manifestation of Michele’s soul, which curses Hiver and puts him in his cursed cycles after he digs it up. The suffering in Sound Horizon comes from Michele. That’s not to definitively say that Michele is an evil character—I think that may be misguided, as there is evidence out there that proves that Michele is merely misunderstood. However way you have it, Michele is responsible for the creation of the Horizons, and the subsequent suffering in all of them.
So far, no ground has been broken with this post. I believe that all potential theories should stem from evidence and connections that have been more or less established. But let’s look at all this from another angle, shall we? Let’s look at the lyrics of Ori no Naka no Hana (translation by Defade):
"What kind of magic did she use? That is beyond me, But if we’re strictly discussing the motives behind her murders, I can’t say that the answer is anything but clear.”
“She probably wanted to escape The narrow cage she was trapped in… To the point of monomania. …but, regrettably Her wish was not granted during her lifetime. …and even now, one century after her death, She is still within that cage…”
“…why can I make such an assertion? …a good question. Fine then, acknowledging that my answer may be subject to misunderstanding, I, Christopher Jean-Jacques Saint-Laurent, shall announce herein. Because we are in the same cage that she is….”
(Excerpt from a poem found in the notes left behind by “Michèle Malebranche”)
Before blossoming and withering in this cage I give… this greeting of parting… to this world that lost love…
~Serial fantasy drama “The Flower within the Cage” (Author) Noёl Malebranche
Here it is confirmed that the Sound Horizon universe takes place in Michele’s cage, as stated earlier. Michele’s cage of suffering is impossible to escape, and this is a parallel to how people suffer under God’s wrath in Gnosticism. However, this song is one of the most important to this theory for another reason: the reveal that Michele Malebranche herself is a fictional creation. She is created by Noёl Malebranche in the serial fantasy drama.
THIS is where the Gnostic creation myth is the most apparent. The fiction-within-fiction element of Sound Horizon has been studied before, but I don’t believe we as a fanbase have addressed this potential Gnostic layer before. Let’s look at Gnosticism once again: we have the True God which created the Aeons, Sophia (the Aeon of Wisdom) that creates the material world, and out of her came the Demiurge, the “half-maker” (and also literally dubbed the False Creator). If we are using Sound Horizon as an analogy, I believe Noёl Malebranche is analogous to Sophia. She writes the Cage Trilogy of which Michele is present, and every Horizon is then created by her.
Id, Ego, and Michele Malebranche
Let’s make sure the Id is defined properly before jumping into more seemingly irrelevant Gnostic stuff. The unconscious mind was evaluated by Sigmund Freud, who is essentially the father of modern psychology (despite, of course, a lot of what he’s said has been disproven/outdated). The Id is the part in one’s unconscious that represents impulse: hunger, carnal desire, aggression/violence, mostly things that symbolize “survival instinct”. He also defined Ego as the “reality principle” of the unconscious mind that keeps the Id in check, along with the Superego—the “morality” and (somewhat thin/fake) image we disguise ourselves in. The Id, Ego, and Superego keep each other in check and interact with one another. Id and Ego should be familiar concepts for Sound Horizon fans—these Freudian ideas take central focus in the 7th Story Märchen and IdoIdo.
Let’s take a look at the connection between Jungian psychology and Gnosticism from my source (which I will put in the credits):
“ Most mythologems found in Gnostic scriptures possess psychological relevance and applicability. For instance the blind and arrogant creator-demiurge bears a close resemblance to the alienated human ego that has lost contact with the ontological Self. Also, the myth of Sophia resembles closely the story of the human psyche that loses its connection with the collective unconscious and needs to be rescued by the Self. Analogies of this sort exist in great profusion.”
If we are defining the Ego once again as the “reality principle” and making connections with Sound Horizon, this becomes incredibly fascinating. It is stated that the Demiurge itself comes from the “flawed consciousness” part of Sophia—the Ego has somehow become separate and has manifested itself into another god-like being that created the world in its own image. Let’s make the Sound Horizon analogies. Sophia can be connected to Noёl Malebranche as she created Michele/Demiurge who created all the Horizons in their image. In this case, Michele is the embodiment of Noёl Malebranche’s Ego, and Michele created the Horizons in that flawed image. Ego is the “reality principle”, so if Michele made the Horizons in her flawed image, then she based it out of her reality. Which is her cage, the attic. The reality of Michele’s cage became the foundation for all of the Horizons, which is why so many individuals feel “trapped” or “in a cage” in this universe.
The Id is what drives the events in the 7th Story Märchen. It is possible that Michele’s Id (which may have come from Sophia?) manifests itself into the Horizons, which is why it is such an element in the 7th Story among other things. There’s not much evidence for this part in particular, but if a common Gnostic interpretation states that the Demiurge came from Sophia’s severed Ego, I think we can make a parallel to Sound Horizon.
Moira and Thanatos: They Fit in Too?!
In the beginning, chaos filled the world. After a while, the mother of all life awakens. She creates children from this world of chaos. They are the genesis.
The previous quote is from Shinwa (Mythos) from the 6th Horizon, Moira. Hey, look at it! That soundz like Gahnostizism!1!…Okay, I’m looking at it out of context. This is the Greek creation myth, and I’m well aware of that. It’s important to know that Gnosticism is what reconciles polytheism and monotheism. Yes, it’s an early form of Christianity, but it has multiple deities and has several common elements with polytheistic theology. I think Sound Horizon IS a reconciliation between the two. On the one hand, we have the False Creator who is the God of the Horizons, Michele Malebranche. Her hold, omnipresence, and control over the Horizons is analogous to the Demiurge, as stated earlier. This is a monotheistic interpretation.
But I believe there are other deities—specifically Moira and Thanatos. The deities representing destiny and death respectively. They have two Horizons named particularly out of them. I do NOT think that Michele has control over Moira and Thanatos. Perhaps they are other Aeons created by the True Creator? Anyway, if you support the Thanabranche theory, this may be of particular importance to you. This may also be my particular headcanons that aren’t founded on much hard evidence (but what else is new in this post?). I like to think that Thanatos and Moira are deities representing concepts that Michele cannot control. Thanako, who creates fantasies in her head to stay awake so as not to be taken by Thanatos in the 2nd Horizon, is haunted by the concept of death (until accepting it). If you believe in the Thanabranche theory which has a significant amount of evidence itself, Michele is in the same position, and cannot control death. Or her destiny, as she has been locked in the attic for all eternity, dooming the humanity of the Sound Horizon universe in her cage.
But what she can control are the Horizons. She has a certain presence in them that ties them all together, given with all the references. Her mere existence, represented by the Reine Michele, curses Hiver in Roman. A lot of people that buy into the “Michele = God” theory that think she’s an omnipotent God forget certain things: she cannot control death and destiny, and of course, she herself is a fictional creation. That last point is perhaps the most important and the biggest evidence here.
I just think that the fact that we seem to have a hierarchy of deities seems in line with Gnostic theory, and I don’t think that Moira’s Greek mythology emphasis does anything to disprove this post. After all, ALL of these Gnostic analogies are just that: analogies, metaphors. As I said in the disclaimer, Sound Horizon is NOT about religion. It’s a tangentially related topic that shows its face again and again. If you compare the powerful beings of Sound Horizon, looking at Gnosticism can shed light on their overall nature in a way that hasn’t really been done before. Food for thought is important, isn’t it? I will concede that this part of the theory lacks evidence, but I’m convinced it’s out there.
Hortensia and Violette: The Archons
I have not yet described another aspect of Gnosticism: the Archons. The Archons in Gnosticism are servants of the Demiurge that have the sole purpose of making sure humanity remains ignorant of the nature of their creator. They make sure humanity remains enslaved by God, as is described in Gnosticism (this is pure blasphemy for so many religious sects. Once again I must point to the disclaimer). Let’s look at the origin of Hortensia and Violette, perhaps described in Norowareshi Pierre:
Her chin resting on her hand…one sigh after another…she’s a doll-maker’s daughter… A pair of twin dolls stand still by her window—
This part describes Noelle, Hiver’s sister. I will be treating Noelle and Noёl Malebranche as separate characters because it makes more sense for the theory. I will also be spelling them in that arbitrary way to distinguish between them. Gnosticism has Messengers of Light: messengers from the True Creator that are there to guide people to their salvation—which, in Gnosticism, is freedom from the Demiurge and the overcoming of ignorance. Perhaps Noelle is a Messenger of Light, which explains why she shares the name of Noёl Malebranche…but if Noёl Malebranche represents Sophia, and not the True Creator, this part doesn’t exactly fall in line. But again, it’s important to state that Sound Horizon isn’t 100% what Gnosticism is, but we can make connections. More food for thought. For now, I’m not entirely sure how the Messengers of Light apply to Sound Horizon (EDIT: Read on. It’s Shaytan). This is something we’ll know more about in the 10th Horizon, when hopefully humanity breaks away from the cage and finally finds salvation.
Anyway, Noelle is the dollmaker’s daughter with twin dolls standing by her window. I’ve seen people interpret it as Noelle creates Hortensia and Violette herself, but as she’s the daughter of a dollmaker, perhaps it’s her mother or maybe even her father. In this theory, Roman is all about Michele’s hold over humanity, and as the creator of the Horizons, it doesn’t really matter who made the dolls. Because the dolls are her servants. Yaneura Roman time!
The illusion the girl painted on the white canvas The story woven in the attic The thirteen boys who died, caged together Ah… in that gloomy cage… her laughter rules…
Come…be born, Hiver!
Perhaps seen better in the live, the “Oui, Madame” part is said by BOTH Violette and Hortensia. They, in a way, bow down to their true master. The Archons in Gnosticism take on many forms to deceive humanity into believing lies.
That’s right. In this wacky theory, Violette and Hortensia are BOTH the liars of Roman. “Who is the liar?” is the question that is asked at the end of Asa to Yoru and repeated throughout, but if you apply Gnosticism to Roman and make Violette and Hortensia the Archons, of course they’re both the liars. It is possible if you believe the “Hortensia is the liar” theory that Hortensia is the Archon and Violette is actually some sort of double agent that actually serves the True Creator or Noel but it just makes more sense to me for this theory to put them here. The “who is the liar?” thing might work against this theory as it might be explicitly singular as ONE liar and maybe calling them both liars is a copout. Either way, at least one of the dolls is a servant of Michele that deceives Hiver and as a result, Hiver gets stuck continually in the cage and never finds his Roman. At least one of them is analogous to an Archon in Gnosticism. For the purpose of this theory, I will designate both of the twin dolls as the liar as they are both the Archons. (EDIT: Murkki has confirmed that this is a valid interpretation, as the Japanese language is vague when it comes to singular pronouns and stuff like that. Thanks!)
In Gnosticism, the “sin” of humans is the ignorance of their own creation. I’m going to have Hiver be a general symbol for humanity in Gnosticism for this part of the theory. Humans search for the meanings of life and death as they go through their own stories, their Romans. Hiver assigns Hortensia and Violette (as seen in Asa to Yoru no Monogatari) to find the story of his birth. His birth would free him from Michele’s cage, after all. But as the dolls are actually Michele’s servants, they deceive him into falling into Michele’s cage again and again. Just like the Gnostic Archons deceive all of humanity to remain ignorant of the Demiurge’s hold over them, Michele enslaves Hiver into his cycle of death and rebirth.
Roman is an interesting story. When put it this way, it is THE Gnostic Horizon. Being trapped in a cage and being born and reborn into it certainly screams Gnosticism. It is the central story of Sound Horizon, after all, the 5th Horizon of 10. It and the Cage Trilogy shed the most light on the fiction-within-fiction element of Sound Horizon, the overarching plot, which has apparently a lot of analogies with Gnosticism. The plot of Roman is essentially the basic theory behind humanity’s role in Gnosticism, but the stories in its individual songs tell about how humans still find meanings in their lives and deaths. It is truly fascinating to think about. At this point of writing, I’ve realized wayyy more connections than I ever thought I would.
I leave this section with a quote that summarizes things better than I ever could. Hoo boy, y’all are going to love this. It’s from my source of Gnosticism, Stephen A. Hoeller, a Gnostic bishop who put a great amount of information summarizing some of its tenants on the great powerful Internet (his website is in the credits).
"Death does not automatically bring about liberation from bondage in the realms of the Demiurge. Those who have not attained to a liberating Gnosis while they were in embodiment may become trapped in existence once more. It is quite likely that this might occur by way of the cycle of rebirths. Gnosticism does not emphasize the doctrine of reincarnation prominently, but it is implicitly understood in most Gnostic teachings that those who have not made effective contact with their transcendental origins while they were in embodiment would have to return into the sorrowful condition of earthly life."
…If that doesn’t sound…an AWFUL lot like Roman, I don’t know what will. Heehee! Maybe this isn’t bullshit after all.
Along with suffering, the biggest, most omnipresent theme in Sound Horizon is motherhood. Maman, Kathleen Livermore, Therese von Ludowing, the mother in Yuigon, the Mother, this list will keep expanding. Sophia is described as the “mother of all life” by some Gnostic schools. There is a connection here, but it will have to come at a later day.
There is a ton of evidence that suggests that motherly love is the one thing Michele Malebranche wished for in her life. All of the Horizons are created in her image, and she herself is the embodiment of Sophia’s severed Ego. You can look at Shoujo Ningyou from Chronicle—if you were to symbolically interpret that as applying to Michele (hmm, similar circumstances, right?) , motherly love is absolutely what she wished for the most. In summary, the song states that the girl doll would give up its powers (that it never wished for) for motherly love. It is clearly Michele’s deepest desire in her subconscious, which in itself can be interpreted as the cage where Sound Horizon takes place. This is why we have mother figures in every story. At least, my take on it.
I opened this post saying that this will contain various religious references in Sound Horizon. I’ve focused almost exclusively on Gnosticism so far and how it relates to the overarching plot, but let’s look at other elements. From this part forward, expect less of a focus of the Gnostic theory I’ve put forth, but simple connections and allusions. Although there are some things that I can connect to with the Gnostic theory and I will do so.
Chronicle is the most biblical of all the Horizons. Noah’s Ark and the Flood of the End if you need the most obvious references. The Black Chronicle. In Gnosticism, once again, we have the Demiurge which creates out of itself the flawed physical world and humanity is enslaved by it. In Sound Horizon, the analogy is Michele Malebranche (just summarizing for the millionth time). The Black Chronicle, the book that creates the past, present, and future, is created by Michele Malebranche to enslave humanity into following its destiny. There is the part that says it was written by Noah, but here we’re theorizing that Michele has a god-like presence in all the Horizons (though not a truly omnipotent being), so once again, for the purpose of THIS theory, it might not have much consequence.
At the end of Chronicle, we have the hidden page at the end. This is described by the last song, Kimi ga Umarete Kuru Sekai. In essence, it says “Even when the world gets destroyed, the world will be reborn.” Simply put, Chronicle signifies the genesis of the Horizons. The hidden page is the hope for humanity to escape the cage (for, as we know, the entire Sound Horizon universe is in the cage. Thanks Savant! If it weren’t for you, this theory wouldn’t have been possible.)
Halloween to Yoru no Monogatari and the 10th Horizon
Obviously it doesn’t exist yet, but we have a hint from Hoshi no Kirei na Yoru about the 10th Horizon. The song references all the Horizons of the past and future. The 10th “Creator/God in Heaven”. Huh, well, that sounds significant, considering the apparent Gnostic overarching plot. My prediction for the 10th Horizon is that the hope for humanity will be realized. After all the Horizons and all the cycles of suffering, humanity will escape the cage thanks to the Messenger of Light informing humanity of the truth of their origin. It’s possible the 9th Reality will come into play as well here. Let’s look at the context of the full line.
“He offered up countless prayers, but in the end… the Tenth Will [our Lord in Heaven] remained silent.”
Okay then. The Will can be interpreted as the wish for liberation from the cage. The suffering Seamus goes through is basically Sound Horizon’s classic brand of suffering. And ALL of the Horizons are involved/referenced. Halloyoru is the “secret in the attic”, huh?
Hoshi no Kirei na Yoru references Jesus. This is significant. Just kidding, no it isn’t. That is the dumbest thing you could add to this theory. Be glad I’ve said a lot of dumb stuff but haven’t gone there. Anyway, I predict the 10th Horizon will connect with Chronicle, you know, the first becomes the last, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. And will involve the cage and liberation. I think these predictions and assumptions aren’t too much of a stretch.
Elysion and Moira
Elysion is another Horizon that has deeply rooted religious references. It’s all about paradise and hell; Elysion and Abyss. While these aren’t necessarily exclusive to Gnosticism, Gnosticism was the first branch of Christianity to describe paradise the way Eden is described in modern Christianity. Elysion is the Greek term for that paradise.
We have the “E—>A” connection. Eru no Shouzou, let’s look at it.
If a daughter becomes a mother and gives birth to a daughter of her own She repeats forever the original sin which lost Paradise
In the space between the door of beginnings and the door of endings “E” [El] and ”A” [Abyss] attract each other — the portrait of love and hate
Hands stained with sin, they fall in love many times “E” [Eve] and ”A” [Adam] desire each other — the portrait of love and hate
This is a cycle that has repeated from beginning of humanity it seems. My good friend ThetaThanako tweeted me this list that connects this to Moira as well:
El - Abyss
Eve - Adam
Elys - Arthur
Elef - Artemisia
Elef - Amethystos
Eirene - Alexei
Just a religious connection to think about. No theory here. Yet. It’s there though so don’t forget it, it means something. But I can comment on the 4th Story with more evidence. In the end of Elysion, in Eru no Rakuen [Side: A], the paradise of Elysion is revealed to actually be the Abyss. They are one and the same. This is because there is no paradise as long as humanity is trapped in Michele’s cage. Just like in Gnosticism, people don’t achieve gnosis or salvation until they obtain the wisdom of the nature of their creation.
Seisen no Iberia
The Holy War of Iberia obviously contains religious references. Christianity, Islam. This is self-explanatory. Seisen is also about a neverending human conflict that is practically infinite in nature. In this story, Shaytan freed humanity by ending the conflict. Maybe, just maybe, Shaytan is a Messenger of Light that will help guide humanity to its salvation. This is—VERY, VERY, VERY Devilman. Holy shit. If we make symbolism-within-symbolism (woohoo), the Iberia conflict represents humanity’s cage and subsequent liberation, as humanity is trapped in it for an extended period of time. In fact, the Holy War conflict in itself can be interpreted as another manifestation of the cage.
Perhaps Seisen no Iberia represents the liberation of humanity on a small scale. I didn’t even consider this idea, and now I really want to know about that damn bonus track…it might provide the greatest hints for the future of Sound Horizon.
Here are some other things I thought of while writing this that came to mind. Here we go:
In Aoki Hakushaku no Shiro, Bluebeard says that no matter how much he prays, he never will find salvation. This is because there is no salvation until humanity is liberated from the cage.
In Hoshi no Kirei na Yoru, Mr. Seamus says that no matter how many prayers he offers, he never finds salvation (this was stated above). This is also because there is no salvation until humanity is liberated from the cage.
"The meaning of life is in the cage". This is in 2nd Story Thanatos and gives, once again, more evidence that the SH universe takes place in the cage. As if we needed more.
Sophia is a character in Moira, as we know—the oracle that takes in Artemisia. SHE might be another one of those Messengers of Light, as she shares Sophia’s name. Wisdom. Wisdom is the true goal of humanity according to Gnosticism. Just an interesting coincidence I suppose……
The Demiurge is referred to as “El” by some Gnostic schools. Interesting tidbit, not sure how it connects to this theory dump though.
The first stanza of Ark sounds awfully relevant in the way it refers to God as proud and arrogant. Also the name “Ark”. I probably could have talked more about that in here, but for now, this tidbit will do.
The 7th Story is loosely based on the 7 cardinal sins. This is one of the most obvious religious references.
Now time for some counterpoints. “How in the world would Revo even know about Gnosticism?” Folks, Gnosticism is deeply rooted in Japanese media. I cannot emphasize that enough. Since Go Nagai’s Devilman which popularized it, so many Japanese creations contain Gnosticism. The generation of Japanese people that grew up on Devilman is the same generation Revo is in. Devilman for some reason never really came to the West and made an impact, but its impact in Japan cannot be understated. It alone inspired shows like Nadia, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and those in turn inspired other shows like Yu-Gi-Oh! and the list goes on and on and on. As Devilman is the big revolution that inspired countless aspects of Japanese media, including various anime and games made by creators of Revo’s generation, it is Devilman’s VERSION/INTERPRETATION of Gnosticism that Revo is potentially inspired by. KEEP THIS IN MIND.
Flaws and Conclusion
I believe every good theory MUST have concessions and potential issues addressed. This one has several issues, but I think if more evidence is found, it can be a more complete theory.
The biggest flaw is that it absolutely demonizes Michele Malebranche. I mean, poor Michele. This theory makes her out to be the enslaver of all humanity, when there’s a LOT of evidence (especially in Thanatos and Chronicle) that she is misunderstood and doesn’t have bad intentions. That may be true and that wouldn’t necessarily contradict the theory. I am not literally saying Michele is the Demiurge. Her role has similarities and they can be found mostly in Roman. That is all.
There is a dearth of evidence from the doujin era in this theory. It is because my doujin era is too rusty at this time. My knowledge is too spotty to make meaningful contributions from this era, although I aim on adding more and more to this theory. I want to add more that I find to it. I think it is possible. The doujin era give us the most insight into the beginning and the ending after all.
Lastly, once again, Sound Horizon is NOT about religion or Gnosticism. This theory makes it seem like it is the central part—it isn’t, but there are roles that certain characters take that are oddly familiar. I’m only talking about the beginning, the middle, and the end here.
The Moira and Thanatos segment is kind of weak. In summary I think Michele, analogous to the Demiurge, cannot truly control concepts like Death and Destiny, so I think they are other deities. Their roles perhaps make more sense with doujin era stories. This is the biggest part that lacks evidence if you ask me.
The Archons, Hortensia and Violette. It’s possible one is an Archon and one is a Messenger of Light. I don’t have evidence as to say which one is which, and I don’t really know if that can be done with the content we have. For the purpose of this theory I assigned them both as Archons because it makes sense. I know it contradicts a theory that’s been widely accepted, but I’m one of the few that doesn’t see 100% of the sense in that theory. EDIT: I am actually very happy with this section of the theory now that I know about how “Who is the liar?” can be interpreted in a way that doesn’t necessarily single out any one individual.
My knowledge of Gnosticism is flawed. I know it from a summary I read by what someone put on the Internet. Okay, great. To be fair though, Gnosticism from a Japanese perspective that came from Devilman is in itself different from its original form. And the way it’s presented in Sound Horizon seems to be similar (I am not an expert on Devilman mythos either).
As it is, this theory is flawed. It needs more evidence from all the Horizons. I ask for people reading this to be gentle with the information I have presented. I realize it is NOT what people expect out of Sound Horizon theories, and I understand there are so many things that haven’t been considered yet (especially from the doujin era).
I want to give birth to a whole new potential layer of discussion providing ideas that are original to the discussion of Sound Horizon. I want people to look at the fiction-within-fiction elements in a new light. I’ve provided a significant amount of parallels and religious references in this post, so I hope you appreciate the time it took to put this all together. Please don’t rip it to shreds. I might be a crazy idiot babbling Sound Horizon blasphemy, but give me a chance to explain myself if you have questions. If you see some potential truths, let’s work on this together! Nothing here is set in stone.
-Revo for making a riveting universe that can be interpreted in even the craziest of ways.
-Translators such as Defade that have helped make Sound Horizon accessible to so many more people. If it weren’t for you guys, I would have never come up with any of this. Special thanks to Murkki for clearing up a Japanese translation issue I had concerning the Roman Liar.
-My favorite friend from Hong Kong who has been a HUGE influence in the birth of this theory. I took what he suggested. At first I didn’t buy into it, but then I did all the research and found all the evidence for it. I essentially ran with it. Thanks so much. If it weren’t for you this, wouldn’t be made.
-My sister for introducing me to Devilman, Nadia, Evangelion, and more works that undoubtedly inspired so many aspects of Japanese media.
-The game Xenogears which also helped give me the idea to apply Gnosticism to everything ever. Thank you Tetsuya Takahashi for being amazing.
-All the Laurants on Twitter that have been very supportive of my coming forth with my ideas. Thanks so much for being interested in my ramblings on Twitter, because had you not shown interest, this wouldn’t have been made. Particularly Alchea for helping my understanding of Roman—particularly Norowareshi Pierre—that proved to be essential . Also ThetaThanako for the E—>A list and several other ideas that I’ve been inspired by from her theories.
-Stephen A. Hoeller for making a terrific website that summarizes Gnosticism. If you want to learn more, I highly recommend researching Gnosticism through this website (read the note first):
Note: He is a Gnostic bishop, so it is a very biased website. I apologize if you are sensitive to matters of religious discussion. I do NOT want to force my religious views (or lack thereof) on ANYONE. That is NOT my plan as a Laurant and certainly not my plan as a human being. Let us be mature when discussing potential inspirations of Sound Horizon from an objective point of view. I used this summary of Gnosticism because it summarizes its basic tenants in a way that I can understand it. There are other parts of the Internet that summarize Gnosticism. This is the website I happened to use because it was informative for me personally.
-Thanks to everyone who read it this far, whether you agree or disagree. This is a VERY out there theory. Thank you for reading this far and putting up with something that’s very messy and disorganized.