The World is Mine is a seinen manga which I believe happens to be the best piece of fiction ever made. It follows the journey of the two man terrorist group ToshiMon as
their moral standings on the subjects of love and murder change over time. The story focuses upon these individuals in the purview of them in the process of
conducting a massive terrorist attack on Japan. Both characters change drastically from their initial forms, sometimes seeming to trade places with one another.
I first found out about TWIM from the tiktoker
Lirish who is needlessly bullied for his pedantic but ultimately excellent takes on the mediums I love. I was immediately attracted to its artstyle of
almost distorted, caricature-like facial features and displays of emotion. As I read it I began to interpret the story in a more philosophical manner, leading me to write this. While 'The World is Mine' does not seek relatibility, its themes are so vast that it can be interpreted in a number of ways, including the way in which i present it here.
The driving force of the story's development is the character Mon; Mon starts out as an almost perfect representation of Thomas Hobbes' idea of the primitive man, a selfish and uncaring being who — in Hobbes' opinion — must be controlled by the state. The primitive Mon consistently performs horrific acts on others all in accordance with his motif-like urge to "affirm" himself.
Toshi , his reluctant crossdressing partner, who is in love with Mon's ambition (and possibly him), creates bombs to help Mon terrorize Japan, he soon finds himself in over his own head, lacking the ambition that Mon has in such abundance.
Throughout their story a kaiju-esque monster called the Higumadon roams Japan killing all who happen upon it. Higumadon plays a critical role in Mon's moral development throughout the story.
Mon kills because he feels dominant to the “other” and simply because he has the ability to do so, this is evidenced in his statement to Toshi, “every creature possesses the power to let others stay alive or kill them… Use it." Because Mom is always dominant in his relationships he is unable to be “recognized” by another subject(an equal) as a self-consciousness, he remains unsatisfied and therefore continues to destroy, satisfying what Hegel calls first order desires. Hegel expands on this idea of animalistic desire and directly connects it to self affirmation much as Mon does through his terrorist attacks on Japan; from which he cultivates a sense of self. Whenever Mon states "i affirm myself" the phrase is always followed with some sort of extreme violence, this can be represented in Hegelian terms with negation in which Mon takes an object outside of himself and either transforms it (in most cases killing it) or letting it live as his slave such as in the case of Toshi. Mon lives and affirms himself through negation and collects those “below” him to aid him in the fulfillment of his desires. Mon thus first fits the bill of the "master" in Hegel’s master slave dialectic; the reason I specify “first” in this scenario is due to fact that Mon’s relation to the dialectic changes vastly throughout the story, I will present these changes as phases of development thus phase one is Mon’s phase of what I will call “Primitive Mastery”. As stated previously, Mon only lives to fulfill base desires as an animal would, due to this he possesses a self-confirming sense of domination over the world around him, Mon has never met an equal who necessarily possesses the ability to recognize him as a self-consciousness.
Mon and Toshi initiate an age of terrorism in Japan by feeding upon the emotions of the populace; they manipulate the prime minister into stripping nude for national television, create a crime wave of 7 times the traditional murder rate, and prompt a nationwide investigation motivated by fear (much like the slave) to find their locations. While Japan dips into this state Mon and Toshi travel to Otome to carry out their plans where they are intercepted by Maria; she becomes incredibly important to the story later on, eventually allowing Mon to transcend his reliance on others for affirmation. Mon is even more docile in Maria’s presence as she represents the motherly love that Mon was never able to experience as he grew in the contempt of his parents; due to Maria’s replacement for a mother, Mon seems to revert in age, behaving like a child. This can be read like a literal interpretation of a passage in Thus Spoke Zarathustra in which a priest encounters the prophet Zarathustra after his visit to the mountains, “Zarathustra is transformed, Zarathustra has become a child, an awakened one is Zarathustra. What do you want now among the sleepers?”. Coincidentally (or most likely intended), the transformation into childlike existence is the start of both Mon and Zarathustra’s transformations to becoming Ubermensch or Overman, men unconstrained by the morality of the common people who seek to rebirth the world much like they themselves were "reborn".
When Toshi´s outburst occurs it seems almost surprising, he rejects the recognition that he had in his previous life to become a deranged serial killer, but in the process of doing so he is recognized by the whole world. Toshi throughout the story never truly becomes a demon, his outburst against the TV shows that he is still bothered by the memories of the past and thus he remains a slave; both in fear of the world but still seeking its recognition. Toshi is a failure, a false rebirth; Mon, his master, has tricked him, he is the true rebirth, the Overman.
Mon´s rebirth into the Ubermensch (or phase 3) takes place in three stages, Fetal, Childlike, and Adult. The fetal stage occurs all within Maria´s lap, Mon recounts all of his childhood memories expressed like an explosion, a big bang within his own reality. From this vision he wakes into the childlike stage. Maria, having metaphorically become Mon´s mother, is overcome with emotions when Mon wakes; going insane, she is dragged into a massacre as Mon has lost all fear of the Higumadon and escaped the dialectic. He has projected all of his emotions upon her and becomes once again a husk, able to kill as he no longer remembers absolute fear.
This Mon is the Ubermensch, however he lacks ideology, there is no drive for anything other than satisfaction. In fact there is barely anything distinguishing stage two Mon from phase one Mon except for one thing, Mon is no longer a master, he no longer regards Toshi as a slave, for Toshi has become the slave of the world, not Mon´s. Toshi, and Mon´s inherent sense of dominance over others was the only thing tying Mon to the dialectic. In his rebirth he no longer has these ties to the world, he is experiencing it for the first time, like a child. This reality presents a problem; Mon is massacring people who he regards as equals, no longer does he view them as inferior consciousnesses, through his massacre we see that he no longer desires recognition, he desires to rebirth the world just as he did.