You guys are going to have to bear with me a little bit longer. We’re all sending Karandi happy vibes and hope she gets well soon. I’m also playing catch up on my end so I might get closer to that 100 word mark in the upcoming reviews. Let’s see what we can do!
Last week I speculated that the following episodes of In/Spectre could turn out to be more or less repeats. That is, Kotoko has 4 stories to spin and she’s essentially doing so by speed writing creepy pasta in a parked car with Saki while Kuro fights Nanase.
That’s all episode 9 was (there was a lot more talking than fighting), and Kotoko only managed to get through a single story so I wondered if we were just going to rinse repeat for the rest of the season.
And I still wonder that. This week really was more of the same, except that Kotoko managed to get through 2 stories…sort of. I’ll get back to it. Although I did like this week’s episode, I also sort of wandered away from the tv to get a snack without even really thinking about it. It became background noise at some point even though I wasn’t doing anything else. The characters and core premise are interesting and enjoyable enough to keep me coming back for more, and I would not hesitate to recommend In/Spectre to someone but I found the last two episodes less captivating and I think I know why.
First I think the universe of In/Spectre itself is far more interesting than the creepy pastas Kotoko is coming up with so I would rather they do an investigation or something. Second the episode really are getting repetitive. But mostly, for me at least. I think this specific format is wasting one of the series’ greatest strengths.
What I mean is that in practice, Kuro is simply a background element. We cut to him a few times throughout the episodes to inject some movement as the other characters are completely stationary but they are really just transition scenes and he has no lines. Saki is staring at the scene and occasionally asks questions to drive the exposition just a bit more naturally but honestly it would make very little difference if she wasn’t there.
Kotoko for her part is sitting in the back seat and narrating her “solutions”. Sometimes we get a visual representation of her in the web but it’s a fairly flat visual without much variation or creativity so really what we’re meant to care about id the monologue. And that’s my issue, it’s a monologue. As in, it’s not a dialogue.
To me, one of the things In/Spectre does particularly well is creating chemistry between the characters. Particularly Kuro and Kotoko. As lovely as Kotoko is, and she is bestest girl, don’t get me wrong, she’s way more fun when she has someone else to play off of. I just miss the banter.
Towards the end of the episode we did get something a bit different in the form of Rikka coming in to dispute Kotoko’s solutions. I get what they were going for here. A clash of titans. Two masterminds outwitting each other for an audience to marvel at their genius. The problem I have with this is that all of Kotoko’s stories immediately fall apart under scrutiny. The show itself admits this. So having someone poke holes at the theories really isn’t all that impressive or anything. It’s just sort of, well duh…
However, like I said, I didn’t dislike the episode so much as it didn’t grab my attention. It was a pleasant enough and I guess I could call it filler. I am still looking forward to the next episode but I am starting to get a touch impatient for the ladies to get out of that car already…
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.