Was this an anime-original, or chapter from the LN? I wonder, as the best episode by far – the two-part premiere – was the only original ep of the first five. For whatever reason Kami-Memo seems to have a kind of on-off switch for me, and on any given week it’s either happening or it isn’t. Admittedly part of the problem is that neither of the two leads has been very appealing. Narumi has been a bad example of the doormat lead, letting everyone else push him around and exploit him and offering very little color to the proceedings. And Alice has been the least appealing example of what’s been a very popular trope lately – pompous, absurd and not all that cute.
Needless to say – or I wouldn’t be writing this – things were better this week, and there several elements of the episode I liked. Starting with the sense of danger that’s attached to the proceedings. Fact is, Narumi has associated himself with some bad people and while the series hasn’t glossed over that, it’s been treated in a sort of flip manner that makes light (intentionally or not) of the situation. The danger level was amped up this week, though it wasn’t a violent episode – it was a nice job portraying the implicit threat through the manner and words of the characters. I quite liked Hirasaka Renji (Suzumura Kenichi), the two-tone tough who’s been down in Osaka for the past few years after things took a bad turn in Tokyo. The scene between he and Narumi at Ueno Zoo was the best in the series since the first episode. Their dialogue was natural, and the sense of loneliness on the part of both of them was rather affecting.
You’ve got a pretty interesting situation now, with Narumi having partaken of the “friendship” ceremony with both Renji and Fourth. Two dangerous guys and now sworn enemies, seemingly possessing the venom that only broken friends can have. Alice clearly understands the risks involved for Narumi and is more appealing than she has been in trying to protect him, the veneer of her unconcern so tattered that not even she seems to believe it anymore. The blend seems just right with this ep – Alice is used as a complement to the story, not it’s impetus, and her silly NEET squad is present only in very brief spurts. The effect is to impart a degree of seriousness to the proceedings that’s been absent since the first episode. I don’t know if I’ll return to regularly blogging this, but I’ll certainly be watching next week to see how this crisis is resolved, and doing so with at least some sense of hope that this might turn out to be a decent series after all.