In my youth, my favorite tale was that of the two frogs.
You see, long ago in Japan there lived two frogs, one from Osaka and the other from Kyoto. At such a great distance apart, they did not know one another, but yet the idea struck them that they wished to see the other’s home city.
One fine morning they both set out upon the same road, just as different ends. Halfway between the cities there stood a tall mountain. Through much toil and trouble, they ascended to the top of that mountain, but to the surprise of both of them, there stood another frog before them!
They set out on the same journey of discovery, but seeing another traveler halted their progress. Together, they decided to work together, standing upon one another to circumvent the road, the mountain itself, and see their destination.
But what they did not realize, in their frog foolishness, was that their eyes did not point the same direction as their nose. Instead, they looked behind them, focused on where they came from.
Seeing cities that looked exactly as their own, it dissuaded them from continuing their journey. To the end of their pathetic lives, they believed that Osaka and Kyoto, which are as different to look at as two towns can be, were as alike as two peas.
It may not seem so, but OSW is full of frogs, those unable to pass the mountain.
Look at Tag and Banzan. On the surface, they could not be more different, but deep inside them lurk two foolish frogs. One an anarchic troublemaker, the other a peaceful monk, they have chosen roads that take them from that world into the opposite.
But instead of finding balance, they find themselves ascending the mountain between.
Tag is torn between his innate apathy and the realization that there are others out there like him that suffer the same discrimination as he.
Banzan is torn between the peaceful nature he ascribes to and the bloody brutality that follows him at all times.
This week, they stand upon the mountain, face to face, and have decided to circumvent that mountain. Together, they feel, they will look into the lands they seek.
But they are frogs, remember. It is their very nature to be incapable of that sight.
Tag will find only the anarchy he left.
Banzan will find only the monk’s life he abandoned.
Neither will find what they seek.
But the mountain will.
Because the mountain is an afterthought. Just another moment on a long journey. But in truth, it is the journey. If one does not pass the mountain, it does not pass.
Much like Goro Nakamura.
Many travelers have come to me, but none pass through without my consent.
Because the truth is that to conquer the mountain, one must conquer themselves. But for Banzan and Tag, that is impossible. Because they’re just frogs. Their fate is set in stone.
In the mountain.
Because the mountain always wins.
Goro Nakamura always wins, because just like that mountain…
I am inevitable.