In a tough season to pick series to blog, Kami-Memo is another series that’s right on the knife’s edge for me. Neither the second or third episodes have engaged me nearly as much as the first.
It’s hard to put a finger on just why that is – it’s not as if there’s any one glaring flaw that stands out. I’m just not nearly as interested in what’s happening on-screen. It’s often the case that mediocre studios (with apologies to fans of JC Staff) sink a lot into making a memorable first ep, but can’t sustain it. It’s too early to proclaim that the case here, but it’s a real possibility.
On the positive side, Narumi at least stepped up and showed some moxie this week, which I was hoping would happen. It was he who came up with the plan to outsmart the Yakuza, and he even threw himself into saving Meo on his own when there was no help on the way immediately. The downside of that is that the Yakuza was outsmarted by an inexperienced 16 year-old and pretty much got the butts handed to them in a street fight. Is that realistic? Probably not. In fact, it’s still hard to credit that Narumi could blithely insert himself into the middle of a Yakuza was and come out no worse off than with a band-aid on his face.
One of the things that appealed to me about the first episode was that Alice’s dialogue was really, genuinely interesting and deep. She said things that really made me stop and consider, and that doesn’t happen with anime too often. She seems to have slipped back into a more straightforward role, supplying moe and the occasional pithy insult, and with that some of the really interesting cool and style that the premiere had in spades has dropped away. In the premiere, this show felt unusual – the last two eps have felt pretty standard.
I can’t say this particular mystery was uninteresting, but it didn’t seem to have enough legs to carry two episodes. The twists and turns became a bit tiresome by the end, and again the behavior of the Yakuza – coming off as bumblers more than menaces – strained credulity a bit.
So where does the impetus to keep going with this show come from? Min-san might potentially be an interesting character, and she played a larger role this week. She’s pretty stock, but at least a different type than the others in this cast. Maybe Alice returns to the thought-provoking level she occupied in the opener. Maybe Narumi build on this arc and becomes a genuinely interesting lead. It’s too early to drop this show, but the competition this season is strong – I really want to see things pick up next week or I’ll be facing a tough decision.