Well I for one am ready for some crazy shit to go down. The last few minutes of last week’s episode seemed to imply Mirai has actually been a crazy assassin this entire time, what with her admission to Hiromi and taking off the glasses and all that. Would her being a secret assassin save this series? No, of course not, the show’s emotionally sterile and wildly inconsistent. Would it allow for some crazy plot shenanigans and epic showdowns between our protagonists? Hell yeah. Plus it might even make Mirai more interesting, and god knows the girl needs it. Back to our star-crossed lovers!
0:15 – O SHIT WE FLASHBACKIN’. Mirai’s dark secrets, revealed!
0:27 – I like this shot. Gawd, Mirai’s such a sadsack
Ahaha, and then they play it straight in. Classy work, KyoAni
Man, every time this show pulls a neat trick, I wish all the pieces fit together. It really did come pretty close, and on paper it all seems fine
2:35 – Well that wasn’t much of a cliffhanger resolution. This is one of my favorite romance bits, though – the love interest asleep there as the character wakes up. Pretty much always heartwarming
3:17 – This is nicely done. Mirai talking too much and distracting herself with the cooking – a very natural way to portray her nervousness
4:43 – Akihito can be as inhumanly dense as he wants. I still get Chuunibyou next season either way
5:51 – This is a nice little moment too (though… why the hell did they drag his comatose body to the club room in the first place?). Again, if they’d just been a liiittle more focused on legitimately character-building moments earlier… gah
6:44 – And here’s where they pulled that quote. I actually love troll previews – giving away an episode only hurts its impact, so why not just screw with the fans instead?
8:09 – They’re doing that thing again. That thing where they have the scenes you’re supposed to care about before the explanation of why you’re supposed to care about them. This episode’s structure is actually pretty interesting, but it’s not giving me much to hold on to
8:41 – Another nice moment. This side of the narrative is building pretty well
10:16 – Oh, you know I’m a sucker for this kind of shit. Mix those frames in otherworldly ways all you want – this is what the medium’s for!
10:31 – Are there water trails down the entire frame now? Is this a dream that’s dissolving? This is actually getting pretty great
11:10 – Oh man, this is getting great!
12:59 – Wait, now they’re doing this? But we… but we don’t even need it anymore! And wait, I want to see what happens with…
Gah, this show’s a dick
14:09 – Something just doesn’t sit right with me regarding this order of revelations. That slow, relationship-based first half doesn’t build into this – this should be faster and more immediate
15:39 – And it actually comes back around to explain Mirai’s violent conviction at the beginning. Maybe a second watch really would help, but that kinda highlights the problem that the stuff later on continues to be necessary to add any emotional sting to the stuff early on
16:23 – Now I’m just annoyed at those middle episodes for this not working. The execution is perfectly fine here, and this is actually the hard part – building character rapport should be something KyoAni is good at
17:10 – This reveal was not worth making those early episodes feel like generic special snowflake ‘I come from a cursed clan’ bullshit. Once again, I kinda feel this entire show would have been significantly better from Mirai’s perspective
21:30 – You know, if moe shenanigans really did count as character development, this would actually all have worked. Those scenes wasted on gags would have built an attachment to and understanding of the characters in the audience. The relationships between the characters would have weight, because them doing bits together would somehow count as rapport and bonding. And then the emotional beats of the actual narrative would have landed.
This is actually extremely close to the show I would have liked to see, and the fact that it’s missing because of such a silly reason is infuriating on, like, a philosophical level. Moe shows are designed to be pleasant and worry-releasing – to be soma. They do not lay the groundwork for scenes like this, scenes that require an investment in characters who come across as people worth caring about
Well, that was certainly interesting. A unique structure, a kind of appropriately dreamy mood, a new perspective on the show.
Gah, sorry to be such a downer with this post, but this episode was actually really compelling in a lot of ways, and the fact that I was so unmoved by it is what actually frustrates me. I’ve always really wanted to like this show, and it’s finally doing some really interesting stuff narrative-wise, but the early episodes just weren’t load-bearing. I actually really like how it’s using the full season’s length to tell a structurally ambitious story like this – there just needed to be more of a resonant bond earlier on.
It’s frustrating. On the one hand, I’m happy, because a lot of things here still show what a talented studio KyoAni is. On the other… gah, this could have been pretty great.