Some of the greatest minds in the world experience a lack of this displacement from society around them. In fact, one does not need the title of “greatest” to feel this way; displacement is a natural trait that occurs in all humans during different stages of their lives. Katagiri is one of them. Haruki Murakami's "Super-Frog Saves Tokyo” textually illustrates mild-mannered Katagiri’s journey through reclaiming his own self-worth is a social commentary on accepting the duality of human personas.
The story starts out as Katagiri enters his apartment finding a giant six-foot frog, later known as Frog, towering over “five-foot-three" meek Katagiri. Frog immediately takes charge of the situation and instructs Katagiri to remain calm; this is interesting because even though it is Katagiri’s place, Katagiri acts as this he is the actual guest instead of Frog. Katagiri’s actions towards Frog makes readers question what type of life Katagiri lives as Katagiri’s acts of cemented shin instantly label him as a “loser.” How can Katagiri break from this mold?
To visualize Katagiri achieving this goal, some readers interpret Frog as a manifestation in Katagiri’s head that displays the inner strength Katagiri holds. Frog's actions show signs of great bravery and confidence. After calming Katagiri down somewhat, Frog gets down to business by stating that he" [came] here to save Tokyo from destruction” (Murakami 93). Whereas Katagiri is constantly nervous, Frog shows great confidence; the same confidence inside Katagiri that he himself refuses to acknowledge. Frog shows Katagiri the person that Katagiri is on the inside and what Katagiri can be if he takes the initiative to stand up for himself. Because the task of saving Tokyo seems daunting, Katagiri questions them legitimacy of Frog's existence. Katagiri questions Frog by asking him, “Now, you [Frog] are a real frog, am I right?” (94). Murakami writes this scene to address readers concerns about whether or not Frog is simply in Katagiri’s mind or an actual manifestation of a six-foot frog. Frog tries to ensure that he is an actual Frog to Katagiri by making sounds similar to those of a Frog. While Katagiri mind eases at the gesture, this reaffirms readers’ beliefs that Frog is not real simply because one does not have to be a Frog to make Frog noises; Katagiri easily imagines this in order to grasp his own sanity falling away from him. Even during a later scene with Shiraoka’s client from Big Bear requesting that “[Katagiri] do not send Frog to his home again” (102) solidifies readers’ ideas of Frog’s lack of existence. Murakami does not write a scene where Frog talks to anyone besides Katagiri leaving many readers to believe that at one point Katagiri becomes Frog briefly as Narrator becomes Tyler Durden in Fight Club. The lack of dialogue adds a strong case, so what does Worm, the nemesis of Frog, represent?
If readers think Frog is the "good" Katagiri, then the “un-Frog” part of Frog is...