I found myself really enjoying the episode of In/Spectre this week, though when I got to the end of it and started thinking through what had happened, I realised we weren’t a whole lot further ahead than when we started. Part of that is the nature of the show with its heavy use of dialogue but I’m finding it thoroughly enjoyable and don’t often feel like the episode is padding things out (though once or twice it may have lingered longer than needed in a scene). How did you feel about it Irina?
The bulk of the episode was in fact an exposition dump to get us up to speed on the Steel Nanase legend. I didn’t mind it at all. It really gave it that spooky pasta feel and I think it fits the show. Moreover, I once again praise the chemistry between all three of the main characters that makes it fun to watch them simply interact in mundane circumstances. I really liked this episode and I wish I could have watched another.
My favourite part of the episode had to be the opening exchange between Kotoko and Saki. I loved that Saki just called it straight away that Kotoko wasn’t Kuro’s girlfriend and I had to stop the episode because I was laughing too hard when Kotoko tried to justify their closeness through that reel of photos on her phone. It was just really funny and well delivered. Of course, it makes you wonder why Kuro is still hanging around at all two years on, particularly as he has now apparently gone AWOL for a week. That boy has a lot of secrets and I’m really curious to know the answers.
The pictures were just the best, weren’t they? And Saki and Kotoko make a fun odd couple as well. Both are pretty strong headed and capable which means they interact more or less as equals which is always interesting in my opinion. This said, I’m not sure this was my favourite part per see. I enjoyed the entire episode.
The more serious side of the story though is that Saki is investigating the real idol Nanase’s death while Kotoko is also trying to get information together. In/Spectre once again used its tactic of telling us what happened to Nanase through Saki’s readings, but then Saki raised a question about the story making us doubt what we’d just been told. Of course, we don’t yet have an answer but this anime definitely seems to thrive on leaving the audience in a bit of limbo as to what the truth actually is.
To be fair, I have a feeling that unravelling the Nanase mystery is in fact what the core of the season will be. I’m only basing this on the OP visuals though so don’t put too much stock in that. Still it’s what my feeling is at the moment and as such I really can’t blame the series for not revealing everything right off the bat. I figure we won’t get that until episode 10 or maybe 12. Then again, I could be completely off here.
Where I felt the episode was wasting time a little was in giving us an entire anime opening to a drama that Nanase apparently appeared in. Seriously, mid-episode we get this opening song to a TV series that doesn’t actually exist for a character that is already dead. It just felt kind of unnecessary, though the cheesy nature of that OP was enough to make me smile and some of the lyrics were amusing due to how terrible they were.
Really? I loved it. I wanted to watch it. It seemed so inane. And from the little we do see of the real Nanase (as unreliable as it may be) she seemed like the type of person that would have had no patience for such an inane series. I wonder how she took it.
I also really liked Kotoko’s musings that Nanase the ghost may not be exactly as she appears. No malice, no sense of vengeance… I’m not entirely sure where they are going with this. Maybe it’s one of these stories where the gruesome circumstances of her death coupled with her idol status simply captured the imagination of the masses and it’s people’s collective, for lack of a better word: “belief” that created the Steel Lady. I sort of enjoy those stories even if they are a little cliché. I guess it’s less cliché than a vengeful ghost, although not by much.
Overall though I’m pretty happy with how this is going. I like the three characters of Kotoko, Kuro and Saki, even though they haven’t all been in a scene since episode 1, and I’m enjoying the way this story delivers dialogue. I’m also pretty curious as to what is going on with Nanase. They seemed to be alluding to the possibility that it was the estranged sister that might be dead and Nanase took her place, though I doubt the answer will be that obvious. Any theories before we wrap up Irina?
Foiled again, why don’t I read ahead!! I’m hoping that the show won’t fall into melodrama again and that long lost family is a red herring. Internet manifestation is what I’m going with although to be honest, I don’t really believe it myself. I’m happy Kuro’s back!I hadn’t realized I missed him.
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.