I’ve read the new page several times to find the new information in fact supports my earlier crane theory, which I have since taken down and am reposting. Consider the edifice symbolism malleable/edifices as a subset of “human construction,” for this is what was always meant, and continue to read beyond the original crane theory.
The next WTC is going to be called “When the Cranes Cry.” Cranes, particularly the red-crowned crane, have major significance in Japanese culture, representing good fortune, longevity and happiness. There are legends that upon death, it is the crane’s wings that transport souls to paradise (http://www.jccc.on.ca/origami-cranes/pdf/meaning_of_the_origami_crane.pdf) and that after folding one-thousand paper cranes (origami), a crane grants the person a wish. After WWII, with the story of Sadako Sasaki, the origami legend and crane’s cultural significance became well-known. The red-crowned crane is an endangered species and, like cicadas and seagulls, cranes have a distinct cry (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-vGpEotSVY).
The art depicts white buildings and feathers above a sea of aphotic clouds, creating a contrast. Note that the feathers and buildings, things that have gained height, are white or illuminated, while anything lacking altitude is engulfed by darkness. Man’s constructs have bifurcated happiness (or white here), and thus a life that does not correspond to industrial success is bound to precarity. This could be seen as a call for humanity to engage in a return to form with respect to happiness and the crane feathers, in reminiscence of halcyon days when the desecration of legends was not banal (reminiscent as well of Umineko). The presence of tall, industrial cranes fortifies the dichotomy, standing tall as the means to which humans can construct concrete towers to keep themselves above the black clouds, emulating but only falsely the legendary crane’s feathers. There is a contrast, though as it is clear that, while the legendary crane’s feathers, from the image’s perspective, precede the industrial cranes and their towers, the industrial cranes are far more numerous than the feathers. Note also that, unlike the feathers, the white towers are impure; behind their light exterior is darkness, a Faustian bargain.
The feathers are pure white while success in the new human world is bound to the darkness their constructs are meant to escape. This describes the sparsity of an old and forgotten way of thinking amidst a set of modern societal and philosophical plagues Ryukishi07 will bring to light. White feathers underwent a symbolic atavism as a result of both World Wars; they would originally denote pacifism but the two wars turned them into symbols of cowardice. The time after WWII was a time of suffering and grieving for Japan but also a time to rebuild and this split in symbolism reiterates the false dichotomy of the crane versus crane issue earlier. WWII is doubly important as the suffering from the two bombings revived the legend of the thousand paper cranes in the Japanese, a story where the legendary crane ascends you through a granted wish versus the industrial crane ascending you through human means, though even in death one is ultimately ascended by the legendary crane. The legendary crane’s salvation, though fickle, amorphous and dormant, especially in modern times, is pure white and has no upward boundary. In the search for God through construction and success, humanity is escaping a fog that grows tirelessly, but in truth only the crane’s wings can carry a human to paradise while all towers are bound to plateau. The “open world” theme intended allows this symbolism to apply to the western world by making crane symbolism interchangeable with angel symbolism. This is a dialogue with humanity’s fate wagered between the tempting, irresolute moratorium from death offered by the demiurge and the forsaken, golden longevity offered by the heavenly crane, legible only to those who seek it beyond the lure of stasis. Or, again, a Faustian bargain.
Delighted at the support of my theory, here is what I’ve found with a bit of reading and a bit of pondering:
The new characters and quotes support the notion of WTC5 expressing society’s need for a return to form, demanding humanity regains the soul it once lost for a false sense of progress (particularly intellectual and societal). Note the automata naming format of “Isolated ___ of the ___: organics automata,” the blanks thus far referring to earth’s grandest biomes (forest and sea) as well as Punica’s Environmental Control Organisation title. The automata quotes, verbatim, “Everything is for the sake of this star. Organics Automata will restore this star’s beauty," and “Nice to meet you. I’m Tomomasa’s sister, her mother, myself.” These suggest the automata (ironically mechanical entities, likely further human constructs) play restorative and motherly roles regarding nature (of course in fact as fragments of humanity’s forsaken soul) . Definitionally, automata agency is illusory: their actions are all premeditated by the puppeteer. Their preservation of a lost love is a last-ditch effort from the universe, at its wits’ end, to remind humanity that it once venerated nature/the universe. This lost veneration of nature (including space) explains the several quotes regarding stars, particularly Asaki’s “This star, it’s become quite lovely, hasn’t it?” and Green’s “Everything is for the sake of this star. Organics Automata will restore this star’s beauty.” They’re crying out for humanity to return to form.
Haworthia, the only character not named after her voice actress, is named after a genus of South African plants. Their relevance is in their relation to her role, Grand Admiral of the 1st Area Immigrant Fleet, in that, the Haworthia, a succulent plant (that is, it deposits water in thicker parts) genus subsisting in shaded area in arid wastelands (devoid of nature), is the namesake of an admiral. This connects to her admiral title: an admiral is a naval military rank: despite being mired by human construction, the admiral is eternally mindful of and adrift the ocean, or water, like the plant, in spite of its wasteland (artificial) habitat, employing faculties designated for retaining and moderation of water. Haworthia’s quote, “Remember to sing of joy. And so, may it never be forgotten,” is thus apt as a reminder to retain those lost values. She exemplifies this lost, ascended intellectualism like a lone, succulent plant in an arid wasteland.
The plant theme continues with Punica Granatum, referring to the pomegranate plant species and both the legends of Persephone and the Garden of Eden’s fruit of knowledge. Persephone’s myth, concisely: Hades kidnapped Persephone to wed her in the underworld, where she had naught to eat but six pomegranate seeds. The Fates’ rule applies: all who eat food from the underworld must be eternally banished there (reminiscent of a fruit of knowledge/Faustain Bargain concept), though Persephone is required to only remain there for six months a year (one month per seed) and, during this time, her mother, Demeter, the goddess of harvest, weeps and despairs, abandoning her duty, prompting not only winter but inhospitability to nature. The Garden of Eden was located in proximity to pomegranates and, in tandem with the Greek myth of eternal damnation as the punishment for consuming forbidden fruit (that is, forbidden knowledge gained from exploration of the underworld), the pomegranate became a reasonable nominee as the true fruit of knowledge. Returning from the mythology, the modern grenade’s etymology is that of the French name for the pomegranate, “la grenade,” a plant connected to the military/more blatant scenario of the symptom of human construct intoxication. These are reminiscent of the Faustian bargain: humanity sacrificed its soul (the crane) for the sake of a lesser salvation (knowledge/constructions/edifices in the first promotional art piece).
In regards to the crane being the animal of choice crying this time, consider the following…
The red crowned crane, previously ascended to a state nigh godhood, is now forgotten and endangered in reality, making it a perfect choice: the flame of love for it rekindled after the second world war, which Ryukishi ardently explores, as a creature of choice to once again venerate and seek deliverance from when the Japanese, like all of humanity is now being pleaded to, had to revise their identity and philosophy. They failed to, and now the red crowned crane, like the wonder of all celestial bodies, is endangered and banalized in return for vapid, empty progress. This is the same “progress” that has lead to the death of love and integrity, resulting in contemporary adoration of nihilism. Behind these golems of “progress” lays the quiet and hushed canticle Haworthia sings to one day be resurrected into an emphatic opera.
One more thing regarding cranes: the red crowned crane is primarily visible at the shrines (spiritual/philosophical implication) when it migrates in the winter, letting us connect it to Persephone. Quoting myself, if Persephone’s myth turns out to in fact be relevant, the WTC looping system applies: the cycle will be over the three other seasons, but when autumn ends, Demeter brings forth winter. This winter, then, is when the cranes migrate, are present and can be heard crying, implying, most excitingly, that when the cranes cry their distinct cry, the cycle has ended, and the characters have either escaped the game and been brought to salvation by the cranes or died trying to, and could never hear the cranes cry again.
Relevance notwithstanding, behold, lastly:
One small interesting point here is that the siblings here have a blue:red dichotomy. Kanon’s cooler equivalent is blue (hair, cloth) while Shannon’s passionate equivalent is red in the same places for the red/blue oni trope.