November 27th, 2013.
Where KyoAni Animates Twilight, Basically:
I began writing “Well, last episode certainly was eventful,” then I looked over my notes from last week and realized – the first half was non-stop comedy, and then though we didn’t have much actually happen we did have quite a few “plot moments”, and compared to the usual pacing of the show it did feel like a lot.
Well, our characters are in quite a situation – forms revealed, lines drawn, Akkey is going to come out in (weakened) youmu form and the Society is after his head. And Mirai had been confronted by Sakura to admit she cares for Akkey-kun, though she didn’t relent. Well, time to see what the skein of fate has in store.
Thoughts and Notes:
- “For Kuriyama-san’s birthday.” – What a selfish boy! For her birthday, he’ll buy her something to pleasehimself ;-)
- So, Izumi-san weakened Akihito’s human-side so his friends will kill him? Then again, the Spirit Society person didn’t say he wanted to kill Akihito, just to be handed him over. It probably all revolves around the old man whom Izumi speaks with underground.
- Sakura is still filling the role of “barely speaks, but can understand Mirai perfectly.” – Honestly, considering they’re childhood friends, a joke about Sakura x Mirai as OTP is sort of required here.
- “Goodbye, Senpai.” – Talking of visual imagery, it’s just so fitting that she sets her glasses down as she goes to kill Akihito. At least, it’s not a bespectacled beauty who will slay him. They’re hitting us on the head with the symbolism here.
Young Dark Love – Twilight, Romeo and Juliet, and Love:
- This is a KyoAni show, you don’t need to ask someone if they love someone else, just look at the downcast eyes, listen to the silence.
- Well, it’s the best of both worlds here – “I wish I never met him, if I had known it’d lead to this emotional turmoil within my maiden heart.” – The best of RomCom teenage love, and the best of Twilight’s form of emo-glamor love – not that there’s much of a difference, mind.
- Problem is they’re not selling it well, even in the beginning of this chat between Mirai and Hiromi – he said he loved glasses, not Mirai herself, she could’ve supposedly been any other bespectacled beauty, though obviously the two characters are very similar, which Akihito knows, and Mirai realizes in episode 4. Well, can’t fault them for visual imagery, following the admission, we have rain as tears, and torrential currents for one’s heart’s turmoil.
- Talking of Twilight romance again, you know what Twilight/Underworld are, right? Romeo and Juliet. Likewise, when Mirai first met Akihito perhaps she did try to kill him and not just train on him. This is another case of star-crossed lovers due to their origins.
Post Episode Notes:
Let’s begin with next episode’s preview – If you paid careful attention, you might realize this is not necessarily all it seems to be (I’m sure no one is surprised, the only reason I mention this is because I think some of the seeds had already been explained in the episode) – Akihito is part of The Calm, you need to defeat Akihito to defeat The Calm, but perhaps you also need to defeat The Calm in order to defeat Akihito? I doubt things are as they seem.
Well, this episode really was a continuation of last week’s episode. I know this anime isn’t really an action anime, and as such action sequences are either eye-candy (very much the case in this show) or only serve to make a point (which was very much the point in episode 4), but still, I would’ve liked some more shiny action sequences :3
We supposedly got many answers this episode, but did we really? We got a tiny answer as to why Akihito matters, but we still don’t know what they stand to gain from it, what Izumi told Mirai, what the Spirit Society person is after… On a “plot-events” level, not much happened – Akihito fights Mirai, Spirit Society dude fights Izumi, steals Hollow Shadow. On the narrative-story level, a tad more happened, especially Mirai accepting that she loves Akihito, and that he may love her, and characters around them know this as well.
The story of romance and conflict is tried and true, but the characters ring a tad hollow. Mirai agreeing to kill Akihito, her talk with Izumi, the Spirit Society’s agent whose every action screams “Ulterior motives!” as well as Izumi herself? All of these fit mystery shows, which withhold information and where the focus is on the plot. That show I just described? It’s a fine show, it’s even a show I’d watch and probably enjoy. Problem is, it’s not the show we’ve been watching thus far – the show we’ve watched thus far is one of the sillier and more tongue-tied RomComs/silly slice-of-life would-be-comedy shows I’ve watched recently.
And that is in a nut-shell KyoAni’s biggest problem with the show – it’s 2-3 solid shows, which keep getting in one another’s way – even an episode such as this which is dedicated almost entirely to the more serious and “dark” romantic “Woe is me!” meets some mysteries, it’s undermined by the characters being RomCom silly muppets whose relationships and actions make all this “She talks to Izumi, she agrees to kill Akihito, and does,” just incongruous with the rest of the show’s tone.
I’m also not sure how I feel about Mirai meeting with Izumi and being shown that. That is to say – we know she doesn’t want to kill Akihito, but we’re told she’d been convinced, and by Izumi. What are they trying to tell us? That Izumi really is manipulating Mirai? That Mirai had reasons? I feel it’d probably have been stronger had we not seen her talk to Izumi, or seen her talk to Izumi and also what was said. As a result, I suspect it’s going to come up when Akihito returns – she’d been told that this is the way to save Akihito, or perhaps not and we’ll see the lies she’s been given when he re-appears. Well, that’s my take.
A show with a clear focus, even one you don’t care for as much, usually beats a meandering tale. This show, it’s like Twilight :P Well, it’s a comedy act.