Arknights Lore: Mizuki analysis

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Species Identification: Moon Jellyfish


Source: Rika Raindevoost @ Facebook. I highly recommend you check out this Arknights species identification album.

Based on his hat, and the jellyfish on his E2 art, pretty sure he is based on Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), this jellyfish is one of most common jellyfish.

Fun fact: Moon jellyfish in Japanese (especially when Higashi is the Japan prototype of Terra) is 水海月 (mizukurage) while Mizuki is written as 水月 in Chinese. Hypergryph might have removed the 海 in 水海月 to come up with 水月. Remember these characters. There is another real life reference for 水月 that I will explain in the next section

They are mostly translucent with diameter around 25 to 40 cm. Their main characteristic is four U shaped structure on their center of the body, which is their gonads.

Their diet mostly consist of plankton, but also sometimes other animal such as mollusks, crustaceans, eggs, etc.

Being jellyfish, they do not have respiratory organs. Oxygen will directly diffused from water to their body.
It's also noted that they can recognise microscopic material as food or not, which makes pollution such as microbeads or microplastic being harmless to them.

Recent studies also found that they can reverse their life cycle just like immortal jellyfish. Usually though, in wild they only live for several months, with low food to sustain them, makes it easy for them to get sick then they die as a result. In aquarium, they could live for several years.

Being jellyfish, they are weaponized by stinging tentacles, but moon jellyfish are safe to human, since their stinging cell not strong enough to penetrate human skin.

Pac-Man motif on clothes


Mizuki's specialty is retro games and his ID card immediately makes a reference to a famous one: Pac-Man.

Pac-Man is an retro action maze chase video game; the player controls the eponymous character through an enclosed maze. The objective of the game is to eat all of the dots placed in the maze while avoiding four colored ghosts — Blinky (red), Pinky (pink), Inky (cyan), and Clyde (orange) — that pursue him. When Pac-Man eats all of the dots, the player advances to the next level. If Pac-Man makes contact with a ghost, he will lose a life; the game ends when all lives are lost.

Placed at the four corners of the maze are large flashing "energizers", or "power pellets". Eating these will cause the ghosts to turn blue with a dizzied expression and reverse direction. Pac-Man can eat blue ghosts for bonus points; when eaten, their eyes make their way back to the center box in the maze, where the ghosts "regenerate" and resume their normal activity. Eating multiple blue ghosts in succession increases their point value. After a certain amount of time, blue-colored ghosts will flash white before turning back into their normal, lethal form. Eating a certain number of dots in a level will cause a bonus item - usually in the form of a fruit – to appear underneath the center box, which can be eaten for bonus points.

Mizuki being a big eater and some of his lines about eating or messing with bad people in Dossoles Holiday and his operator record has parallels to Pac-Man eating ghosts.

You can also experience the Pac-Man Google Doodle.

Prisoner's Dilemma as Mizuki's S2

The prisoner's dilemma is a standard example of a game analyzed in game theory that shows why two completely rational individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interests to do so. It was originally framed by Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher while working at RAND in 1950. Albert W. Tucker formalized the game with prison sentence rewards and named it "prisoner's dilemma", presenting it as follows:

Two members of a criminal organization are arrested and imprisoned. Each prisoner is in solitary confinement with no means of communicating with the other. The prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to convict the pair on the principal charge, but they have enough to convict both on a lesser charge. Simultaneously, the prosecutors offer each prisoner a bargain. Each prisoner is given the opportunity either to betray the other by testifying that the other committed the crime, or to cooperate with the other by remaining silent. The possible outcomes are:

-If A and B each betray the other, each of them serves two years in prison
-If A betrays B but B remains silent, A will be set free and B will serve three years in prison
-If A remains silent but B betrays A, A will serve three years in prison and B will be set free
-If A and B both remain silent, both of them will serve only one year in prison (on the lesser charge).

It is implied that the prisoners will have no opportunity to reward or punish their partner other than the prison sentences they get and that their decision by itself will not affect their reputation in the future. As betraying a partner offers a greater reward than cooperating with them, all purely rational self-interested prisoners will betray the other, meaning the only possible outcome for two purely rational prisoners is for them to betray each other, even though mutual cooperation would yield greater reward.

A simple diagram to explain the prisoner's dilemma

PD is not just an intriguing hypothetical problem; real-life situations with similar characteristics have often been observed. For example, two shopkeepers engaged in a price war may well be caught up in a PD. Each shopkeeper knows that if he has lower prices than his rival, he will attract his rival’s customers and thereby increase his own profits. Each therefore decides to lower his prices, with the result that neither gains any customers and both earn smaller profits. Similarly, nations competing in an arms race and farmers increasing crop production can also be seen as manifestations of PD. When two nations keep buying more weapons in an attempt to achieve military superiority, neither gains an advantage and both are poorer than when they started. A single farmer can increase his profits by increasing production, but when all farmers increase their output a market glut ensues, with lower profits for all.

How does this have to do with Mizuki? It is interesting that S2 targets an additional target. He essentially traps 2 enemies. Would the two enemies help each other or not?

Anyway, his operator record plot has two enemies who turn out to be in cahoots indeed. If the second party (a Leithanien artist) did not confess to be associated with the kidnappers, Mizuki may have let him go. Because of the confession, Mizuki knocked both parties out.

But hey, better than one party being consumed or eaten... right?

镜花水月 (Kyouka Suigetsu) as Mizuki's S3: Moon in the Water


Feels awesome to have sort of predicted and talked about Kyouka Suigetsu for Mizuki before his release..

What is Kyouka Suigetsu? 镜花水月 (kyouka suigetsu) is an East Asian proverb. It is necessary to look at both Chinese and Japanese. Most Japanese 4 word sayings go back to Buddhism and Chinese classic literature.

Meaning: Flower seen in the mirror, moon on the water's surface. Something that can be seen but not touched.

Figurative meanings:
-fantasy, illusion, mere shadow, phantom, vision, something that is visible but having no substance
-the subtle and profound beauty of poems that should not be comprehended by words literally.

If you find the phrase kyouka suigetsu ringing a bell, you may have seen it before in Bleach. It is with this memory that I write this in my lore article.

Anyway, this phrase is very suitable for Mizuki for the meaning describes his existence as something very fishy (pardon the pun). On what he is, go recall Under Tides lore and you will get the implications: Seaborne related things.

So far Hypergryph is making the Mizuki lore very vague, but it can be deduced with some understanding of the Aegir lore. The new operator record makes it a little clearer. But not really. In fact Doctor asks Kal'tsit what is Mizuki, but Kal'tsit says it's not the time for Doctor to know the whole truth yet. Damn.

EP: Y1K as a reference to the Y2K computer error

EP description:
In the neon rainy night, try the unnamed electronic music.
The roar and noise are ready for trying.
, the wrong metal world, floating in the water droplets.

This is a reference to Y2K, the programming bug that happened when we reached year 2000 after 1999.

Y2K is a numeronym and was the common abbreviation for the year 2000 software problem. The abbreviation combines the letter Y for "year", the number 2 and a capitalized version of k for the SI unit prefix kilo meaning 1000; hence, 2K signifies 2000. It was also named the "Millennium Bug" because it was associated with the popular (rather than literal) rollover of the millennium, even though most of the problems could have occurred at the end of any century.

The Year 2000 problem, also known as the Y2K problem, Millennium bug, Y2K bug, Y2K glitch or Y2K error, refers to potential computer errors related to the formatting and storage of calendar data for dates in and after the year 2000. Many programs represented four-digit years with only the final two digits, making the year 2000 indistinguishable from 1900. Computer systems' inability to distinguish dates correctly had the potential to bring down worldwide infrastructures for industries ranging from banking to air travel.

In the years leading up to the turn of the century, the public gradually became aware of the "Y2K scare", and individual companies predicted the global damage caused by the bug would require anything between $400 million and $600 billion to rectify. A lack of clarity regarding the potential dangers of the bug led some to stock up on food, water, and arms, purchase backup generators, and withdraw large sums of money in anticipation of a computer-induced apocalypse.

At the same time, there was also a lot of doom around year 1000 for a possible Y1K. Even if computers did not exist then.

A devastating wave of invasions had struck most of western Europe between 850 and 950, disrupting much of the political, economic and social order, and order was slowly being restored in novel and often unfamiliar and unsettling ways.

We know that those invasions were the last of western Europe until the Allied landings in 1944. We also know that the new forms of political, social and economic organization later led to enormous population growth, a much more productive and varied economy and a distinctive and largely secularized European civilization, but at the time they did not know this, nor could they have.

These show that Mizuki's existence is worrying and a cause of concern to Rhodes Island. He cannot be a regular operator for many reasons. Due to well, implied seaborne things.

Operator Record: Close Encounter with the Fifth Kind

Mizuki's operator record is a good read. You can read a machine translated version here before it releases in EN in half a year's time.

The title is A Close Encounter of the Fifth Kind. This is a UFO event claiming direct communication between aliens and humans.

In ufology, a close encounter is an event in which a person witnesses an unidentified flying object. This terminology and the system of classification behind it were first suggested in astronomer and UFO researcher J. Allen Hynek's 1972 book The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry. Hynek's scale became well known after being referenced in a 1977 film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which is named after the third level of the scale.

This implies that Mizuki's existence is like that of an alien. Nonetheless, Doctor still wants to believe in and be in charge of him. They convince Kal'tsit, who also prevents Gladiia from doing anything to Mizuki.

I have come to the end of the Mizuki references. I really like all these references and all the best for your rolls in the next limited banner!

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About the Author(s)

Just a female Doctor with overflowing love for husbandos and the deep lore of the Arknights story.

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