If there’s one series of the Spring that I’m almost exactly on the fence about, it’s this one. It pleases me, bores me and irritates me in just about equal amounts.
I really do like Kirie as a character – have from the beginning, if you’ve been reading my posts – and so it was nice to see an episode centered around her character. But I feel as in the anime version anyway, the concept of this series usually exceeds the execution. It’s an interesting premise and an interesting dynamic, but has some flaws that are close to deal-breakers for me (and they’re interrelated). First off, it tries to be a screwball comedy too often and that’s a problem in that I rarely find it funny. The writing is so self-aware that the characters do all but pause and wait for adoring laughter every time a joke is executed, and the gags – not that funny to begin with – are becoming repetitive. Which is part of the second problem, Yuuko. The bit with her sexually embarrassing the hell out of Teiichi is exactly the same every time – it’s like a “Groundhog Day” effect, the same situation over and over. Enough already, I get it.
Can I like this series if I find the main character annoying? And that’s where I find myself, because Yuuko is really getting on my nerves. The series is much, much better when it tries to be serious than when it tries to be funny, and that certainly applies to her too. Her situation is pretty sad when you consider it, and I have empathy for the character – in concept. In practice, I just find her grating – though it’s better when things stay fairly grounded. Kirie is definitely the best part of the show for me, and the more we get into her issues the more interested I’ll be. It was certainly obvious she was falling for Teiichi, and it’s clever to have her feeling jealous and competitive towards a dead relative – a new twist on old adolescent insecurities. I don’t necessarily need to see her brought down to Okonogi’s level as she was this week – she’s certainly cute as a little sister maid with nekomimi, but I find her more attractive when she’s being her usual self.
After next week the show will be half-over, so I suppose the onus is one me to make a firm decision one way or the other. It’s weird to be undecided this late in the game, but Dusk Maiden is a weird show. I suppose I’ll give it another episode and see where it takes me.
Kimi to Boku 2 – 06
Why doesn’t it surprise me that Yuuki reads shoujo manga?
It says something about how perversely addicted to the mundane KtB is that one show about collecting Anpanda stickers wasn’t enough – it had to give us a second. But this was really more about real-life concerns than konbini stickers, and the subplot featuring Kayo the cafeteria girl and her cougar of a Mom has always been more entertaining than average for this show. It seems as if the twins have been more in focus this season than last, and the spotlight was squarely on Yuuki this time. Clearly, this is a guy who lacks motivation in life to a ridiculous degree – so much so that Yuta is prone to worrying over it and prodding him to do things like join the basketball club. But what’s obvious to us is that there is something Yuuki feels passionate about, though among his pals only “National Treasure” Shun (“You too, Miss”) seems to have a clue about it.
Anime about first crushes tend to be pretty formulaic, but this episode was quite effective. You’d expect no less than an extremely understated treatment from Kimi to Boku and that’s exactly what we got, but the relationship between Yuuki and Kayo – she just old enough to not take him seriously as a potential love interest – is surprisingly sad and authentic. With Kayo quitting to go back to pursuing her original vocation as a hair and makeup stylist, he’s understandably in a funk (even by his standards) but Yuuki conjures up enough courage to at least face Kayo on her last day and say goodbye – and to give her the precious second-gen Anpanda plate he’d been saving for (I half-expected her to refuse it). Given the film noir fantasy playing out in his mind I almost (but not quite) thought he might be bold and try to kiss her – but that would be a different series. Instead, like so many relationships in our teenage years, this one was just a brief flash in time and both parties went their separate ways.
I hope that bad relationship karma doesn’t bode ill for Chizuru, as next week’s ep looks as if it’ll focus on my favorite KtB sidebar, his pursuit of Mary-saki.
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san – 05
So this thing wasn’t on track to move enough Blu-rays, now they add BL to the mix? This show just doesn’t miss a trick.
Speaking of which, just within the first five minutes we had Kuroshitsuji and Pokemon references, and then the DeLorean showed up. I think my favorite moment of the episode, though, was certainly the “Nephren-car” – and all the more so because it came out of a Pokeball . Seriously, I don’t know who stays up all night coming up with this stuff, but there are some wonderful drugs now that just might be able to help. Or could that be the problem?
So just why did Cthulhu tell Yoriko-san that whichever side that possessed her could rule the universe – and when did Yoriko (and then Kuuko) willingly get in her DeLorean and speed off after she whispered something in their ear? I don’t especially care and I doubt you do either, and it’s pretty safe to assume it’s going to be something very stupid. And that’s just how we’ll like it. It’s much more fun to focus on the season’s weirdest love quadrangle, with genderless yet female Nyaruko after Mahiro, genderless yet lesbian Kuuko after Nyaruko and genderless yet shota Hastur after Mahiro, too. It’s funny how many fans are taking the same self-delusional track as Mahiro to deal with their budding Hasturcon feelings… You just keep telling yourself he’s a guy and it doesn’t count, Mahiro – I can see your resistance melting away already. That 25 million year promise might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but The Old Ones have very long memories…