Garp’s Kobayashi Maru
It’s no coincidence that the forces surrounding Garp’s fate are from both his past and present. His former pupil Kuzan (who idolized Garp) is now fighting against him while Garp’s latest pupil Coby (who wants nothing more than to be a truly righteous Marine) is involved in a life or death battle for the future of the Marines.
In Chapter 1088, via flashback, Garp was shown giving a lesson to Coby on how to weigh lives. There are three people who need to escape an island and only one boat that fits two people. If there’s a Marine, an old man, and a child, what does the Marine do?
Coby suggests giving the seats to the old man and the child.
Garp chastises him and says to leave the old man behind, rescuing the younger generations. While this lesson comes back around at the end of the chapter with Garp living out his code by exchanging his ‘older’ life for the survival of the ‘younger’ Marines, Garp himself may have destroyed the necessisty for this conondrum, something I doubt he could have ever predicted.
Garp’s own ‘Kobayashi Maru’ dilemma is made difficult because of the one boat qualifier. The boat represents a set quantity of ‘aid resources’ in the world. While Coby gives a noble answer and Garp a deceptively optimistic (albeit socially cruel) answer, I would argue that the galaxy brain answer doesn’t involve weighing life, instead it’s asking a question, “How we can increase the number of boats?”
While Garp certainly wasn’t seeking that answer, he unwittingly *created* that path by raising cadets who follow *truly* selfless and honest endeavors; in doing so, he might even have saved his own life. Let me explain.
If the big picture solution is to increase the amount of ‘aid resources’, then that’s what Garp has essentially been doing by raising *more* decent Marines who would be willing to make tough choices or even sacrifices. If there are statistically more able-bodied and willing Marines, then the overall ‘stock’ of available ‘aid resources’ will be available in surplus. Thus, in our boat dilemma, if we had more truly heroic Marines, then it’s possible they could have brought *another boat*, or perhaps *joined forces* against the threats and overcome them. More good people = more good in the world.
While Coby was a hero in this encounter, he’s far from the only ‘good’ Marine and it seems that even Garp himself recognized that. In his final words, he declares that “ALL of you, are the future of the Marines!” I don’t think that message was only intended for Coby and the younger generation of Marines, I strongly believe he also included Kuzan in that declaration, and Kuzan *realizes* that. By instilling the moral codes and ethics that he did in Kuzan in his youth, I do believe it’s entirely possible that we haven’t seen the last of Garp.
Weekly Shonen Jump #34 Ch.1088