We’ve got a genuine magical girl appearance this week and I was smiling from ear to ear. While Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken is shaping up to be my anime of the season, Kotoko is definitely charging for my favourite character of the season. Then again, it is her exchanges with Kuro and Saki that make her so memorable, so maybe best cast? Anyway, how did you find the episode, Irina?
FUN! Although when I looked over my screencaps I realized almost nothing happened. It says something when an episode can thoroughly entertain me while being essentially only one long conversation between 3 people. This said, I have to admit this wasn’t my favourite episode but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. As for Kotoko being best girl, I think we all know where I stand! Kuro is all wrong for you, he don’t appreciate you like I do!!!!
Honestly, I just had so much fun this week as well. Beginning with the conclusion of the conversation Saki’s room, episode 6 of In/Spectre just hit the right notes. I loved Kotoko’s dive onto the bed to grab the file as well as the small signs of a more intimate relationship between Kuro and Kotoko as he nonchalantly put his hand on her leg. It is a small detail but I couldn’t help but wonder at how any other anime girl would have reacted to that gesture.
Kuro and Kotoko’s relationship is fascinating to me and I hope we get a chance to find out what happened between them during that time skip. And Kotoko is usually so exuberant with any attention Kuro gives her so the understated reaction is a bit odd. There’s a story there! I did enjoy the bedroom conversation but I thought the scene was just a smidge too long. Or maybe they could have spliced in some animation sequences just to break it up a little. However, the idea of fighting a monster of belief with gossip really thrilled me as a concept. There’s something darkly comedic about the idea and I love it. It also modernizes this story filled with traditiional Yokai and twisted takes on classic fables.
Naturally my favourite moment goes to the construction site ghost summoning. I absolutely loved Kotoko’s delivery as she drew her magic circle though it was Kuro’s dead-pan reaction that really sold the scene. The two year time skip earlier in the show kind of confused me because it hadn’t seemed like there was any reason for it. Now though it is clear that Kuro and Kotoko have had any number of adventures together and built up quite a complex relationship and understanding and we’re slowly learning the new status quo between them through seeing these interactions. I kind of love it while at the same time am still not entirely convinced we needed it. I feel we could have started with this case and they could have later gone back to how Kuro and Kotoko met. Then again, that’s just me being nit-picky when I’m actually just enjoying the story as is.
I’m not sure about the reordering. I don’t disagree but I think I would have to see it. Part of why I’m enjoying the current arc is that I got really attached to the characters in the beginning where nothing much was happening so they had time to build them up. I have been comparing Kotoko to Cardcaptor Sakura for a while so I also loved the magical girl moment. It was probably my favourite comedic moment but maybe not my favourite overall. I’m glad they worked the cane into the animation.
Moving away from Saki we have a Kotoko and Kuro only moment as he escorts her to her hotel (pretty sure he doesn’t plan on staying with her even if she does pout). Again, it is a lovely sequence that gives us a lot to ponder about the two and the state of their relationship. Equally, it does give us a little bit of exposition about the nature of Kuro’s particular talent for ‘seeing’ the future. For an anime that is so dialogue heavy, they do manage to avoid expositioning us to death and leave a lot of things as implied rather than said. So when we get these explicit explanations of how something works they are far more effective because it isn’t buried under a million other explanations.
I have been watching a few anime with divination as an element and this is one of my favourite takes on it. It allows to have both absolute and accurate predictions while maintaining the prospect of an uncertain future with limitless possibilities. It does make Kuro seem terrifyingly powerful though. Almost godlike really. I’m starting to be a little afraid of the guy.
I can’t let the review end without at least mentioning the post credits. I’m not getting into detail but despite my overall dislike of cliff-hangers, this is a great example where one feels earned and works. They spend the whole episode working toward Kotoko developing a plan for dealing with Nanase and just when they have the information they need to progress their plan something happens that alters the playing field and tips the balance very much against them. It was nicely done and the transition between Kotoko worrying about exactly the scenario that occurred and seeing it happen was timed more or less perfectly. I’m definitely waiting for the next episode now to see how this revelation changes things.
This was in fact my favourite scene. Favourite may not be the best way to put it. It evolved a character I liked a lot and was very effective. In any case, it got me hanging. I’m cautiously excited about the final implication of an actual flesh and blood antagonist. Although I do like the concept of a mindless evil, there is something to be said for a good villain. It can really bring a story together.
Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi