Alright, my prediction last week that the cliff-hanger would resolve within the first minutes this week proved slightly incorrect and yet not. The Guardian Snake story was finished at around the 8 minute mark and then we had a two year time skip. In/Spectre certainly makes predicting where it is going a little more difficult than other shows. That said, I had quite a bit of fun this week with it. How about you Irina?
Well the conclusion of the Snake Saga got a bit melodramatic and contrived for my tastes. I did like that Kotoko had a semi explanation for her apparent omniscience though. This said, once I started watching it as a fun supernatural soap opera, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I also did like how things picked up after the time jump.
I’m going to talk about the end of the Guardian Snake story first and then I’ll deal with the introduction to the new story because it makes sense to do these things in order. The snake story finished through dialogue but ultimately gave us a possible scenario for the facts as they were presented that the snake accepted. Kurou and Kotoko then leave the mountain and catch a ride home and discuss further with Kotoko somehow or another drawing the conclusion that she was now Kurou’s girlfriend.
It kind of sounds dull but I really find I enjoy the exchanges between the characters in this story. Dialogue here is rich and individual words end up having a lot of meaning, which probably means relying on subs isn’t the best option as we’re probably losing some of the nuance in translation. That said, I really just find the dialogue fun to listen to and it reveals a lot about the characters. I was pretty happy with how this story wrapped up.
Personally, I think the scene works mostly (if not entirely) due to Kotoko and Kuro’s fantastic chemistry both as characters and actors. I’m not sure the exact same dialogue would have been as successful with any other two characters.
Kotoko is a character I enjoy a lot so far but she does run the risk of being one note and the car conversation was really just reinforcing the personification we have gotten so far rather than adding anything to it. I look forward to seeing these two get developed a bit more because I think there are some very solid foundations here.
The two year time skip caught me off guard and it took me awhile to realise who the young police officer was, though it did click before the story actually revealed it. I will admit I very much enjoyed the introduction to this next story. A ghost who caused a traffic accident is fairly common in urban legends and with the dead idol twist this story got me immediately interested. What was less clear was how Kotoko was going to get involved however she arrives before the episode ends and we get another short action sequence. Like the first story there’s this mix of fun with an underlying darkness and I really just like the tone of this story.
I recognized her right away and I really liked that they made her the main focus of the latter half of the episode. It’s a really interesting relationship that brings up conflicts we don’t explore quite as much. As for the steel lady Nanase story line, it played out like a creepy pasta and I mean that as a compliment. A slightly cheesy creepy story whispered between school kids that everyone laughs about but are secretly just a little scared of. I eat that stuff up. It adds back a bit of camp and lighthearted fun to the series and I think In/Spectre shines when it’s just a little goofy. A really strong start to what I am assuming is going to be the main arc (based on the visuals in the OP).
Part of me is wondering if the two year time skip is going to be meaningful or whether they just wanted to fast track Kotoko and Kurou’s relationship. Of course, it is hard to say given Kurou didn’t reappear yet in the ghost story. However, Kotoko was pretty confident in her declaration that she was his girlfriend. Then again, she told the snake the same thing… I definitely love that we can’t exactly trust everything Kotoko says or take it at face value. It makes you look a little closer at things.
I was thinking the same thing..did they fast track the relationship or is Kotoko lying again. She mentioned having come “here” because of Nanase so I’m thinking this is a different city. Maybe Kuro is still back home, with his wife and children or something… I don’t actually think that but I might enjoy seeing the main relationship in the series being an unexpected shift from the obvious Kuro/Kotoko romance to a more complex Kotoko and Saki friendship. Or they could do both!
Honestly, I really like In/Spectre so far. The characters are really fun, the story is engaging, and it leaves me wanting to know more about the underlying world and the characters. I could do without them splitting stories over episodes, but that isn’t a deal breaker and clearly is going to continue throughout the season so I’m just going to have to accept that episodes won’t necessarily end on a resolution for the current story.
I am having a lot of fun with the series as well. It’s sort of what I hoped BoogiePop would be.
Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi
3 thoughts on “In/Spectre Episode 3 Review”
Oh, that face and voice Kotoko made before getting punched in the face was adorable. That incident has left her better equipped to dealing with youkai than humans, but hasn’t rendered her shy or despondent. I love this. And makes her and Saki perfect foils for each other.
I didn’t expect a time-skip, and Kotoko claiming to be Kurou’s boyfriend could be a development or it could be business as usual. Even that line about her “most painful experience” is ambiguous between them having sex and her losing that eye and leg. That was one of those moment where I really wished I spoke Japanese well enough to get subtleties (I don’t speek Japanese at all, but I suspect a little wouldn’t have been enough here, I didn’t fully trust the subs here either).
I hear the story’s written by the author of Blast of Tempest. All the talking make sense now, heh.
I think the chmistry between Kuro and Kotoko is wonderful and carries a lot of the show but the few minutes that Saki and Kotoko shared were pure fun and I want to see more. Great casting too. The inetrplay between actors is so enjoyable in this,
I do speak some Japanese (enough to functionally get around and carry out incredibly basic conversations and I understand a lot more Japanese than I can speak) but yeah, not helpful here where there are a lot of subtleties involved and just a lot of dialogue to try and process. While action based anime I can sometimes get through whole scenes without the subs (of course a lot of action anime have pretty repetitive dialogue), I wouldn’t even try to follow this one without them.