Love of Kill has gone from feeling a little lost in episode 5 to feeling very much like it is treading over tired ground in episode 6. Song’s unique courtship of Chateau is no longer enough to carry the story as it has become predictable background noise that barely registers so all this episode has left is a really shallow plot that sets up a really obvious scenario where Chateau will have to decide whether to trust Song or believe the worst about him.
Even the ‘victim’ at the centre of the conspiracy is obvious, telegraphed early in the episode where we see how stupidly happy Ritzland is with his wife on the cruise. Its kind of like in war movies where the young recruit shows his friend the picture of the gal he’s going to marry when he gets home and you just know he’s going to catch a bullet in the face in three, two, one…
Love of Kill needs to find some fun fast.
While the first episode Love of Kill was a little rough around the edges, it was kind of good fun. The action felt entertaining to watch and the interactions between Song and Chateau were enjoyable enough. But six episodes in they’ve made little progress and every conversation they have seems to go much the same way to the point where it doesn’t even feel like you need to tune in.
Song suggests something. Chateau scowls. Song continues to talk and suggests even more outrageous things and Chateau ends up doing whatever it was he first suggested.
Despite the lack of progress there, Love of Kill could have kept the enjoyment afloat if any of the other cast members had stepped up but Jim remains one of the single most annoying support cast members I’ve ever encountered and Ritzland has been all but a space filler. Even the episode where he finally makes some kind of move, speaking with Song directly on the phone and organising a meet, we really get no sense of who this guy is and so feel very little when the inevitable occurs.
Also, I mentioned that Love of Kill has been rough around the edges since the beginning but I can assure you at the mid-season we’ve definitely hit a new low with pretty much every other human on the cruise ship failing to move for the entire episode. Whether it is a ball room scene or watching Chateau and Song stroll past shops, every other character is stock-still. It creates an eerie and empty feeling to the whole scenery.
Now, other stories don’t bother to animate their background characters either. Soul Eater didn’t even bother to draw them properly. However that kind of story could kind of get away with it whereas Love of Kill’s plot and setting makes it seem like it needs to have a more grounded visual aesthetic and the absolute lack of animation in so many sequences, not just from background characters, made this episode feel really flat.
Though part of that might be that I still don’t know what any member of the cast actually wants. What is Song really trying to achieve by following Chateau around? What does Chateau actually want from her job and her life? What did Ritzland hope to achieve? And why did no-one suggest tossing Jim over-board?
For all that I was hoping Love of Kill might do after its first episode, I have to admit at the half-way mark, it probably isn’t going to get there. Instead, this will be another anime I remember for holding onto it and wanting it to be better even as it never quite manages to achieve it.
Images from: Love of Kill. Dir. H Ooba. Platinum Vision. 2022
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