Caligula Episode 9: Mystery Door, Locked Door

Suspicious memory retrieval from Aria leads the go Home club to look for a door that might lead home. Typically, it doesn’t go well.

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Here’s how not to write an episode. Start with a scene we have no context for based on where we left the characters. Throw in a line or two of exposition that says a character somehow managed to recall memories of a way out and the other characters all just accept they can now leave. Then have one of the characters run off to investigate some screams on the 18th floor. The rest of the characters ride an elevator but two of them jump out at floor forty something because of more screams. Suddenly, a few punches, jumps and broken floors later, everyone is somehow on the roof which blows up. The door is found, but as was established earlier through exposition only it won’t open without a character who hasn’t been seen all episode and despite knowing that right back when they started, the characters all seem disappointed. Oh, and then trap all but one in a room for a totally unrelated reason. Meanwhile, hint that the character acting suspicious all episode opened the door and left them all behind.

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There are very few words to describe how mind-numblingly tedious this all is when the show seems to insist on acting like it wants to be taken seriously and yet it offers nothing of substance. If March Comes in Like a Lion showed us how to create a good arc around bullying, this episode of Caligula shows us how to never, ever tackle the subject. This wasn’t entertainment, it wasn’t exploring a theme, it wasn’t even decent characterisation. It was just kind of smashed together explanation to rationalise insane behaviour. This series is definitely vying for a position in my worst of the year list of anime I’ve actually watched.

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Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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