This is another one of those Summer series that’s easier to enjoy watching than it is to blog, but it’s nonetheless quite an interesting little shows. Binbougami is really two shows in one, and the critical factor seems to be the presence of Tsuwabaki. When he’s present not only does Ichiko’s character change dramatically, but the tone of the entire show as well. Sincerity is a risky thing for comedies, but the sincerity seems to play well here, and maybe that’s because it clings to Tsuwabaki and his family so naturally. It’s quite believable that they should be the thing that makes Ichiko question the nature of her own existence. If he weren’t in the cast, those sincere moments might just fall flat and drag the series to a halt.
And then there’s that other side of the show – the metahumor (Dragonball its usual makes an appearance this week, as well as Campione! and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure) the slapstick, and the outright meanness. Any show that can give you moments of such utter wrongness as Momou in cute dog form strapped into a bondage rig waiting to be tortured is clearly not too worried about the bounds of good taste, yet the show pivots from there to show Ichiko actually sad about no longer being her ten-year old self, with the connection that brought her with the Tsuwabaki family, or deliriously happy at the simple act of returning Keita’s handkerchief. And it manages to do so without losing the audience – or at least this member of it.
If there’s a “message” here, perhaps it’s a commentary on the nature of good fortune, and making your own luck. We’ve already seen Ichiko’s fortune come in handy when she relied on it to save Ryuunosuke from drowning, and hear she actually relies on Momiji’s help to use it directly to save Keita – who, apparently, was about to die from the injuries he suffered when looking for Mini-ko. Fact is that just as Tittyko has a compassionate side that reveals itself under the right circumstances, for all her bluster and depravity Momiji has a moral code she sticks to as well. I won’t say she just wants what’s best for Ichiko, but she seems to have enough perspective to realize that forcing her target to choose a different path in life might just accomplish what she set out to do in the first place.