We are now at episode 11 of In/Spectre and you will never guess what happened. OK spoilers so go watch Kotoko and friends if you’re not caught up with episode 11 and I’ll be right here. You’re all good now? No fear of spoilers? I can lay it all out? Good! This week, Kotoko monologued in a car while Saki made a few comments and Kuro fought with Nanase getting killed in some gruesome ways. I know! Who would have seen that one comming?
Ok, so I’m being a smart arse. I once again didn’t in fact dislike this episode but I reiterate my stance that one of the most delightful aspects of In/Spectre is the chemistry between Kuro and Kotoko and to me, it’s a shame that we didn’t get to see it for the past month or so.
Otherwise, the episode was pretty much a rinse repeat of the last two. Just like the last two, I’m going to say right now that I didn’t hate but I’m also going to spend the rest of the post nitpicking so it might not be obvious. I’ll try to go the compliment sandwich route… So let’s start with some nitpick bread.
A while ago, I read from a movie critic that I quite like, that there will never bee a good realistic movie about hackers. Because the act of hacking is interesting in concept, it’s quite exciting to learn about or read about, but it’s rather boring to watch. In essence it’s simply watching someone type with nothing much going on on the screen. The only way to properly adapt it to a visual medium such as movies, is to inject some magical realism and try to illustrate the act in some way. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done is is often disblief hindering. I have a similar comment to make about Kotoko’s creepy pasta creation. Not to mention that everything needs to be narrated in order for it to make sense to the audience so by the end of it all, I felt like I would have enjoyed it more as a Light Novel. These particular scenes, which are the bulk of the latest episodes, just seem unsuited for adaptation, to me.
I do like a lot of elements of Kotoko’s 4th solution, and specifically the detail of the body double having a different face. The most salient bit of information about Nanase’s murder is that her face was bashed in beyond recognition or identification. It’s so important that the missing face is a prominent feature of the Steel Lady. Picking a solution that makes this gruesome detail a key factor is a great idea and makes it more likely to stick in people’s heads.
There seems to be a disconnect between my observation of how internet culture evolves and what these writer’s think. First the attention span that would be needed for people (let’s call them fans) to follow along 4 different permutations of the Nanase myth, the equivalent of hours of reading, without loosing interest seems really unlikely to me. And no third party has injected their own theories? No super popular fanfic with Lady Nanase kidnapping an innocent schoolgirl and ending up in a twisted love story? That doesn’t sound like the internet I know! From my observation, the quickest and easiest way to kill the Steel Lady myth would have been to come up with the next pasta. How about a handsome young man killer with a tutored soul. Young ladies are great for creating online fandoms! Heck, they could have just slightly modified Kuro’s story and there you go…
On the other hand, going with the notion that a celebrity that supposed to be dead is actually still alive is a tested and true classic. People love to believe in some form of immortality and I bet a lot of fans would have latched on to any story that makes a young, beautiful idol alive and living a crazy twisted double life, rather than just sadly gone forever. As an aside, whether Nanase is alive or dead, Kotoko has just painted her as a cold blooded murderer, staining her memory forever. Stone cold!
I’m not sure how changing the ghost to a beautiful idol serial killer would make the monster disappear. Flesh and blood serial killers have been a staple of horror stories and creepy pastas just as much as ghosts have been. And this one is full of fanservice. I would have thought that Kotoko’s story would have made the Steel Lady even stronger or maybe created a second one with a face. That would have been funny.
One thing I can’t deny, it’s that this episode obviously made me think about the story and what’s going on. That’s always a sign the there was something there. Did you guys like it?
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.