Review of the Month; Silver Ring

This review is a bit hard from the get go for me. Previously I have tried to look things from multiple perspectives, but this time I’m with something that could be summed as It’s important to me, I don’t care how it actually is” Don’t let that discourage you, this review will combine that personal post I promised you early in the month.

Let’s get on with the review then; Silver Ring.

I'm not going to go into the package review. It came in a nice black box with Kimi ga Nozomu Eien in silver letters on it. Nothing special
I’m not going to go into the package review. It came in a nice black box with Kimi ga Nozomu Eien in silver letters on it. Nothing special

This silver ring from Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is modelled after the one Takayuki buys to one of the main heroines, Mitsuki Hayase. You may know her from either Kimi ga Nozomu Eien or Muv-Luv. The ring makes its impact in the former, where one could argue it is the reason which sets second half of the story into motion. There are multiple renders of the ring, as the ring tends to change its overall design and shape within the animated series. One could argue that this is bad continuity and whoever was in charge should’ve pointed out that an object shown so prominently should have seen more care when drawn, but one can also argue that the ring’s changing shape reflects the changing relationship dynamics and thoughts the characters are having. The series is pretty heavy on symbolism in general, some more subtle and some heavy-handed. Not that heavy-handed in this case was handled badly, showing a broken person trying to fix a broken shoe is almost an iconic addition to the series.

The copy of the ring I have is an official one, and despite it being different from what consider to be the iconic one, is what I consider the definitive look for it. I personally like the interlocking ring more, but we’ll look at the variations down the line. The definitive version I have at hand is one ring with the top split in two, and then bridged over the path. It forms a sort of infinity symbol, which sort of plays to the whole titular theme of eternity.

Ring itself represents continuation with no beginning or end, and giving it to someone means you are entrusting your own to this person. With this silver ring you have the branching path that also plays into how the story builds itself and ends. It shows how at one point there is a moment where two can be separated, only to meet again momentarily, and then finally to become one again. I would argue that this represents Hayase’s path in the visual novel, but I may be seeing meaning in things that aren’t there.

You can almost see my reflection there!
You can almost see my reflection there!

The ring’s overall appearance is plain and straight. Its curved outer surface is standard and its inner surface is almost flat. The ring doesn’t look necessarily expensive and mass producing this wouldn’t be too hard, but that’s beside the point. The ring itself was bought from a street vendor in Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, and the ring looks like the part. It’s no jewel encrusted, it’s not lined with gold or mixed with it to form electrum. It’s down to earth, simple silver ring and in that it does well. Its split is what makes it noteworthy, generally speaking, and as of late I’ve seen this sort of rings becoming more popular, but always have embed rocks on one of the paths. The overall shape the ring has become known as Infinity ring, and especially Russia tends to make rings that look mistakenly similar to this silver ring, although the ring is not of very special shape. I should probably mention that some Celtic wedding rings use similar infinity theme, but the knot goes through the whole circumference, not just the top bit.

You can see that the paths have something funky going on with them too
You can see that the paths have something funky going on with them too

The sculpt overall is good, nothing to complain about. At the connection points you can see some of the material over the points, but you’d need to inspect the ring closer to see them. Depending on how the ring is made, it may also be a casting error which may not be present in other rings from the same mould. Of course, if this has been present during moulding, then you see slight excess amount of silver in each of the ring produced.

IMG_4099
(C) âge

Markings on the ring are âge with a copyright symbol before it and Silver. It would be nice to know what sort of silver the ring is made of. It’s not fine silver, as that is not suitable for jewellery, but I would guess this silver is sterling silver. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver mixed with 7.5% of copper or other metal. The silver amount I gave is the minimum amount required, and sterling silver may vary in how much there is of each component. My guess is based on the fact that when I got the ring, it was tarnished because of oxidation. I’ve yet to see any firescaling. I doubt that the ring is made of nickel silver, as that’d be cheating. If I’m proved wrong, I’ll be disappointed, and most likely will use this as a model to replicate a sterling silver variant.

IMG_4100

Ring's inside. I should probably mention that the ring is a bit small to me and fits my pinky. On the other hand, this is a girls' ring and I am a grown man, so there's that
Ring’s inside. I should probably mention that the ring is a bit small to me and fits my pinky. On the other hand, this is a girls’ ring and I am a grown man, so there’s that

Overall, the ring fulfils the little expectations one can have for a street vendor-like ring. Some may find its simplicity too plain, but that does not concern yours truly. Now for the ring’s variants.

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There are basically four variations on the ring; the iconic one seen at the topmost row with two rings interlocking at two points, a version where the ring is one piece that has two backs, and one that sort of combines the two. I wish there was a better shot of the last one. It looks like the first one, but it ain’t. The fourth one is the one reviewed here. Personally, I like the first one the most, it looks the best and is the most iconic. The rest of the variants are a bit weaker in presentation, though the final design should be the physical variant here. The physical ring was a Comiket exclusive and hasn’t seen a rerun after that (at least reruns I’m aware of), and I overpaid for this piece, about three or four times its selling price. Why? Because the ring means a lot to me, personally. It wasn’t just something to put into collection or the like.

I would lie if I said that I was a fan of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien in the same manner as with other series, including Muv-Luv. KGNE means something personal to me, and by that the ring has a special meaning for me. This bit was originally part of the Kimi ga Nozomu Eien special episode we had a while back, but my rant was too long and incoherent that I decided to cut it out, and so I’ll include the basic gist here.

The reason why Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is special to me is, without exaggeration, has played important part in my personal growth. Early  2000’s was a time when my old man was an alcoholic, spending most of his evenings chugging booze down and weekends were the worst. Some evenings saw him basically thrashing my brother’s room because it was too messy after cleaning, and there were more than few nights when I was woken up and had to sit across him in the kitchen and see him weep and blabber about things I had no idea of.

There were winds of change at the time as well, as it was time to decide what I should want of my life in terms of education and so on, which of course added further stress. People were putting expectations on me that I never knew I needed fulfil, and in my friends circle there were things that added to that pressure. World seemed like it was pressing me down, and I couldn’t handle it. I froze and there were times when I broke down during the night, but managed to gather myself in the morning. Grades and friendships suffered. I was stuck in a personal loop, unable to ask any help or move onwards with anything. Things piled up.

A long time friend of mine used to throw me CDs filled with series and other interesting stuff, and one of them was so-called Blue People Special. It contained the first episode of KGNE, and at the time I didn’t thought nothing of it. The second episode however felt strange, as if had grabbed me. When the final sequences hit, I thought only fifteen minutes had passed. I probably watched the ending fifteen times to make sure that the events did happen.

Time moved one, and the series came to an end. Slowly but surely I began to move on, making decisions what I wanted to do for myself rather than for anyone else. I saw things changing, and all the piled up things began dwindling down. I stood up on my old man’s drinking, and I think that made him realize how fucked up he was, at least a bit. It had been because of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien that I realised that I can’t just stay put. Time does not wait, even if we want to stop. It made me realize that there are emotions that I need to allow to come out, and bottling them up would just ruin me on the long run.

And then, as usual, I fucked things up with my first actual love. I screwed things early on, and used a song called Precious Memories in order to tell her how I cherish the memories, but she took it the wrong way. We fixed things together after a while, thanks to her effort, but it haunted her for a while. Certain things seemed to mirror from the the story and between the events, and because of certain future plans of her we were in a sort of stalemate. I felt we couldn’t move along, and the little under two years we dated had a definitive deadline. That’s how it seemed.

The ring was supposed to be my engagement ring to her. After that, the ring became more or less a symbol of moving forwards and choosing your path. It’s unending road and splitting paths work well for me in this one. For me, that’s how it was and pretty much still is. The ring I have now can’t be given to anyone anymore, and it doesn’t really belong to me either. It has become more or less a reminder of old me and how I need to keep moving on.

It took me about eight years since first getting into Kimi ga Nozomu Eien to get back into it properly and rewatched the series for the third time. Soon after that I got into Muv-Luv, and here we are today, with Muv-Luv Kickstarter and all under our belts. I don’t call myself a fan of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien because of all this. It’s not like with Iczer-1 that I enjoy for what it is, it’s more along the lines I value and appreciate what Kimi ga Nozomu Eien effectively did for me. Having a personal connection, you can also see how I hated the idea of aliens and giant robots being in the sequel, but everything in good spirit.

I’ll leave you with this review and little personal story, and see you next year.

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