What’s in a motto? The following is the motto of the megalomaniacal corporation Smart Brain from the tokusatsu series called Kamen Rider Faiz: “Life is frail. Life is limited. So, why don’t you think about true life? Be smart! True life is your start!” This motto, at first sight, seems like a mindless dribble from a heartless corporate entity but these words may have a larger meaning connected to the themes and even foreshadow elements of the story.
To Smart Brain itself, these words merely serve as a platitude for the sake of public image. After all, publicity is vital for any corporation’s survival. But, it also may give us an insight into their true plans for the world. Smart Brain. The ultimate purpose of Smart Brain underlying its corporate function is to convert the entire human population of the world into Orphnochs through the means of death or violence. Orphnochs are said to be the ascended form of mankind, or in other words, Orphnochs are the next step in human evolution, so thus the Orphnochs is blessed with all sorts of supernatural abilities. For Smart Brain, this goal is an altruistic one for the betterment of humanity since in their eyes human life is too ”frail” or ”limited” compared to the life as an Orphnoch, so accordingly ”true life” starts at being an Orphnoch.
This whole motto takes a different significance by the end of the show. It is eventually revealed that the Orphnochs is faced with a certain curse which will leave them to die within a few years of becoming an Orphnoch. The reasoning behind this from the show is “the human body cannot stand such a rapid evolution”. This curse will consume all Orphnoch eventually. Ironically, it is life as an Orphnoch which is truly more ”limited” or ”frail” than life as a human being. Besides foreshadowing this element of the story, it kicks off the final predicament faced by the main character of the show Takumi Inui.
Takumi Inui is an Orphnoch so his life will be cut short by this unfortunate curse. Takumi fully knows his life is too ”frail” and ”limited”. It can’t be a coincidence a certain scene of the final moments of the show directly mirrors a scene from a much earlier episode. In episode 17, in where Takumi dramatically held the ashes of a dead man in his hands suggesting that Takumi has come to terms with his unfortunate fate, Takumi is forced to contemplate what is the ”true life” with his life rapidly drawing to a close. Faiz’s answer to what is the ”true life” is finding your dream and pursuing that dream. Takumi strives to follow his dreams for the remainder of his short existence thereby achieving the ”true life”.
I hope I was able to demonstrate the importance of the motto: “Life is frail. Life is limited. So, why don’t you think about true life? Be smart! True life is your start!” Like many things in Faiz itself, nothing is what it seems like on the surface.
So have you wondered about the ”true life”?.