What Do You Know?
Due to being super busy at the end of last year I didn’t really look at anything coming out in the Winter Anime Season until it actually started coming out. The end result has been nearly daily surprises though so far very few that have been instant must-watch shows (there’s been a couple of exceptions). Which is why In/Spectre or Kyokou Suiri ended up being such a pleasant surprise. A supernatural anime that’s also tagged with mystery, romance and comedy seems like it has perfect potential to be my kind of story. Not sure about the shounen tag on it though. Naturally I asked Irina if she had watched the first episode and the end result is we’ve decided to cover this one together.
I am nowhere near as organized and professional as Karadi so my usual experience is to have no clue what’s going on or what I’m getting into when I start a series. I had picked this one cause I liked the cover art and I thought it might be a mystery since it sounded like Inspector… I was thinking of leaving it in the binge pile but after watching it, I just couldn’t pass up the chance to talk this one over with K. It’s just the type of anime that’s better with a friend!
I totally agree. I think this one is going to be great fun to discuss each week.
As the episode begins we see a young girl being asked to become a ‘god of wisdom’ and it all seems very serious business but then we cut to a girl dozing on a bench. She approaches a guy and after a bit of chit chat about his former girlfriend and the lack of discretion by various hospital nurses, as well as a flash back about her saving his life in the past (though not really) the girl asks the guy to date her with the intention of marriage. There’s a lot of dialogue and it is all delivered by the characters as though it were all perfectly sensible and serious subject matter. It’s actually pretty fun but the dry delivery may not work for some. Still, I found the exchange pretty charming and immediately warmed to both Kotoko and Kurou, though Kurou had a lot of the ‘nice generic anime guy’ aura going on and I kind of hoped that he would develop a bit more of a personality as time went on. What were your first impressions of the characters, Irina?
I’ve already declared Kotoko best girl and am building a small but elegant shrine to her #MYGodOfWisdom. In all seriousness.. nah wait forget that part. In usual lack of seriousness, dry delivery is something I actually really enjoy. So far Kotoko is essentially a wiseguy archetype but considering how much plot establishment they had to do in episode 1 I think we still got a fair amount of characterisation. As for Kurou, I’m pretty sure being bland is intentional… It’s kind of important to the first episode arc that he come off as unassuming and unimpressive so the hum drum every guy type was the perfect choice methinks.
For me the end of the episode, when they encountered the yokai in the library, ended up being the most deliberately light and yet monstrous part of the episode. Whether it is Kotoko commenting on how Kurou is carrying her or the giant creature bearing down on the two or even Kotoko’s attempt at going on the offensive with a fire extinguisher in an athletic feat most people with two legs would struggle to pull off, it is a fun and dramatic sequence to end the first episode on. While the slower first half set the scene, the second part is enough to make it feel like the episode has accomplished something and that it isn’t just going to be a talk-fest, though honestly I didn’t mind the dialogue.
I actually liked the ramp up a lot and sort of loved their conversation. It was a confrontation in its own right with two accomplished liars trying to get the better of the other. The progression of the reveals and the verbal back and forth was way more enjoyable than a simple expo dump yet gave us all the information we needed to understand why the action was happening and what the stakes were. Don’t get me wrong, it got heavy handed at times, it has a sort of pulp fiction feel to it. And I like that!
I really liked that the episode also kind of answers the question of why the yokai don’t want to be around Kurou. We still don’t know the full story because naturally they leave us hanging, but I thought they would drag out Kurou being the generic nice guy being dragged into things for a while longer before they got around to dealing with him. Instead it seems the story intends to not waffle about and I can definitely appreciate that.
Those last seconds were just perfect. I like that they gave us a very concrete reason to watch episode 2. As for Kurou, there’s a few ways he could still be a generic nice guy. I wouldn’t put it past this show to play the possession or split personality card. And I can’t wait to see if they do!
Thanks so much for suggesting this collab. It’s going to be fun!
Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi
Let’s follow along with Kotoko and Kurou. All episode reviews of In/Spectre.
Images from: In/Spectre. Dir. Keiji Gotou. Brain’s Base. 2020.