Kami-sama no Memo-chō' – 10

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Kami-Memo certainly is an odd little series.  It has quite the on/off switch – the extremes not quite so maddening as HanaIro, but extreme nonetheless.  I’ll say this much – when the show is good, It’s very good.

The context of this arc – which I assume will be the last one in the anime – is interesting in that it was apparently the first arc in the novels.  I can understand why JC Staff decided not to open with this one, though it certainly would have started things off with a bang.  I liked the first arc so no complaints there, but it did have the odd impact of making Ayaka seem oddly vestigial for the entire series, after seeming like quite an important character at first.  I rather liked her, and was looking forward to seeing her get a turn in the spotlight.  Little did I know.

Unfortunately I was spoiled about the big reveal in this episode, so I was pretty much looking for clues to something that hadn’t happened yet for most of the episode.  Even so, it looked like a straightforward and interesting premise.  Ayaka’s older brother, Toshi, shows up at the arcade at the end of ep 9.  He’s obviously a junkie, coughing up a lung constantly and acting all surly and showing what bad drugs do to good kids (CBS cares).  The NEET gang desperately tries to keep all knowledge of this from Ayaka, who’s either faking that she doesn’t know or shockingly naïve.  When the meddlesome Narumi learns Toshi is taking a new designer drug called Angel Fix, he’s a bit disturbed.  When Third hires Alice to investigate the trafficking of the drug in the area, Narumi reveals what he knows to the group and it’s decided that Toshi is probably dealing as well.  The fact that his only friend appears to be a botany student doesn’t do anything to discourage this speculation.

All this proves to be something of a red herring, or at least an appetizer, because this last arc is clearly going to be about what happens at the very end, and why.  Ayaka jumps (apparently) from the roof of the school building and (apparently) dies.  Narumi certainly talks about her in the past tense in the preview, but I’ll withhold judgment for now – we all know how anime loves the dramatic coma.  In any case, we don’t yet know whether she jumped or was pushed, and the why in either case.  Fact is, she’s president of the gardening club, her brother is a drug dealer and the NEET misfits are studying botany textbooks. Coincidence?  Anime hates coincidence as much as it loves comas.  And then there’s the fact that Ayaka overheard the boys gossiping about how Toshi became a junkie.  So there are lots of possible options here for what happened – guilt is the most obvious, but perhaps someone wanted to shut her up.

Again, it’s very interesting to think how this would have played differently if the anime had opened with this story.  Much of the problem in the first half of the series was Narumi’s passiveness, and there are implications in the preview that he’s going to use this as a transformative event.  Is it possible his character suffered  and was passive for much longer here than in the novels because the Ayaka incident was moved to the end?  She was an important character even here in that it was Ayaka who initially linked Narumi to Alice and the NEETs, but – not surprisingly – the anime never seemed to know what to do with her. Well, that’s all water under the bridge now – at least we should be in for an interesting conclusion to one of the most uneven series of the year.

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7 comments

  1. A

    Heres my take. She is growing the flowers needed to make the drug and like you said its either guilt that made her jump or someone trying to get rid of the evidence.

  2. A

    Also does japan even have a drug problem among its youth like in America? I read somewhere that its hard to score weed but they do take methamphetamine alot around the club scene buts thats the above 18 age group.

  3. I think there is a drug problem, but it's not nearly as widespread as it is in America.

    Yep, she could have been growing for Toshi – wittingly or unwittingly – and someone may have wanted to shut her up, or she felt guilty for it.

  4. s

    Damn, why could this happen to Ayaka.

    *depressed*

  5. J

    The ending of this episode left me surprised. I didn't know that this happened earlier in the manga which would explain Ayaka being a bystander in the story for so long. What left me puzzled was Ayaka's "suicide"? It feels more like someone (Toshi) pushed her off. Then again, she did feel lost with everyone keeping secrets from her and then the teacher wanting to shut down the club for the festival. Everything appears to have started going wrong for Ayaka. Still, I don't think that would motivate Ayaka to take her own life. This will probably be explained in the last episode.

  6. a

    After a big break from this series I've just watched this episode and the one before in a row. They seem to like putting something to keep you hooked for next time right at the end. It was interesting to hear from you that this should have happened at the start of the series. I wondered at the first episode it appeared Ayaka would be a main character and Narumi's love interest but then pretty much disappeared for the rest of season (bar her cute cheerleader appearance last week). This show is indeed uneven, and is the one show out of the four I've been watching this season that I always have to catch up a lot of episodes on.

  7. Uneven definitely describes it, andall. At least Blood-C and Baka Test have had the consideration to be consistently bad.

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