There are very few words for how disappointing these final two episodes are. Mostly because this demonstrates an incredible lack of either planning to end the story at a reasonable rest point OR lack of care for an audience that will be left without anything resembling closure and no announcement of follow up. While not every story will resolve everything perfectly, ending a final season episode with a cliff-hanger and literally just dropping the story there is kind of the laziest path imaginable. The only time it is excusable is when the resolution is already planned and a release date for a follow up has already been announced and even then it is still a poor way to end a season.
Even if I ignore the lack of anything resembling a resolution here just the sheer leaps some of these characters went through in terms of their personalities in the space of the last three episodes were a little ridiculous. While I get all of the characters were in fact keeping some of their inner nature in check out of consideration and abandoning that position was going to result in some changes, that doesn’t account for some of the decisions and statements these characters suddenly came out with for the sake of a dramatic climax. It all just kind of made me wonder what I’d been watching the nine or ten episodes leading up to this.
I will do a full season review of this at some point, but honestly, I don’t think any pleasant enjoyment from the earlier episodes can offset this ending so it probably isn’t going to be a favourable review. That said, I will give myself some time to reflect and think about the series as a whole and to distance myself from the current feeling of disappointment before I write it.
Episodes 9 and 10 bring some heavy drama in the form of Snow getting sick and the family rallying to help him. Somewhere along the line that turned into Snow turning into a half-dog monster and running into Sumire (the girl Tanisu has been crushing on). After saving Sumire from getting dirty clothes and lending her an umbrella even though she was already drenched, Snow ends up with a lap pillow just as Tanisu shows up. Oh the drama.
I’ve really enjoyed the family dynamic of this anime, but this episode really pushed it a little too far. Whether it was Suishi meeting randoms from the internet in search of medicine (even knowing the land lord was fetching medicine anyway) or Tanisu’s dual personality drama and freak out after the disappointment of a lost first love, it all just came off as a little bit more trite than I would have liked. Throw in the over the top lightning storm to add to the drama and the whole thing blew out to eye-roll worthy proportions.
That isn’t to say there wasn’t any fun to be had, more that this is definitely going to remain a fairly ordinary kind of series. Fun for a once watch and then I’ll move on and probably forget most of these characters. Anyway, with two episodes to go, I’m interested to find out whether the landlord gets let in on the secret or not.
With the cliff-hanger ending of episode 6 to be resolved and the issue of whether or not the kids can trust the landlord, episodes 7 and 8 manage to be pretty interesting even while not a lot actually happens in Frankenstein Family.
I’m not a big fan of flash backs during dramatic moments given I kind of feel that if the information was important and is necessary to really understand the emotional impact of the scene we probably should have already seen it prior to the moment. Yet, Frankenstein Family uses a flash back quite nicely as we see the twins confronting one another, the spider being restrained by the plant and the end result being something visually amazing even while the mind boggles at the implications. Seeing the twins as children and how close they were/are really did add something to the moment and it wasn’t drawn out too long, given the shorter run time of the episodes. All and all, this was a pretty well done sequence.
We then move into a sequence that focuses on the landlord and whether the kids can trust him. I assume sooner or later the cat is going to come out of the bag whether the kids tell him or not given it seems impossible the girls can keep applying make up or wearing a back pack forever. The sequence is simple enough with him buying furniture online and then taking the kids to collect it. On failing to get to the seller first, Tanisu ends up guiding the group to the dump and they scavenge some pieces to build their own. It works well and the group dynamic continues to be a strength of the show. It also helped the landlord integrate a little with the rest of the cast where before he was very much on the outside. While he still doesn’t know the secret, at least he now feels more like he might become a part of the group.
So while not an amazing show, Frankenstein Family continues to deliver an interesting enough meander through the life of these kids. It would be nice if it does delve into some of the darker subject matter, but just seeing their daily lives is actually kind of fun.
This week we finally get to see the ‘side-effects’ of the medicine that makes the sister’s look human. We knew they existed but seeing it is kind of scary.
The landlord is still trying to bond and so invites the kids out to the mountains for a hike. They all go along and we realise that Sumire’s class is also hiking in the mountains leading to a very happy Tanisu trying to play knight in shining armour before his older brother Snow ends up sweeping Sumire off her feet. That will be fun when they go to resolve that plot line.
However the hike continues and eventually we hit the time limit with both sisters losing control as the medicine wears off and it seems they become the extreme form of their mutation with the spider girl going full monster while the plant girl seems to be rooting into the ground. Of course this isn’t resolved this episode but it seems like a genuinely tricky situation and makes you wonder what the long term plan might be given they clearly cannot keep taking the medication.
This week the kids finish infiltrating the lab and retrieving what they need, meanwhile the landlord returns and tries to make friends with a mind-reader.
This episode is fairly uneventful in that we continue the infiltration before returning home but not a lot happens other than what you would expect from their mission. The kids manage to avoid detection in getting to the safe but then the girls need to use the bathroom. The flushing toilet alerts some researchers and so they are forced to use a small amount of violence to knock them out. It is all pretty much expected.
What is nice in this episode is seeing the characters each visit their old rooms and how they react both to seeing the space again and to leaving. It is short, but a nice moment in terms of seeing each of the characters.
Then of course they return to their new home where Suishi has been keeping the landlord company (though given the awkwardness between them that probably isn’t the best description). Finally a pizza dinner, some chit-chat and then the episode ends. It is a little unfortunate the episode ends without us learning anything about the landlords intentions or even what the kids plan on doing next given there’s not a lot of compelling ideas driving this and it is more just kind of watching the family day to day. There isn’t anything wrong with that but it isn’t the most bingeable watching.
Minor correction from my review of episodes 1 and 2; it turns out Snow is actually an older brother rather than a sister. That doesn’t change a lot about the show, but I felt I should correct it.
Episode 4 has the family returning to the lab as Tanisu has decided he needs the research on the medicine to help his sisters pass as human so they might be able to live normal lives. The sisters for the most part are just thrilled to get to return to the lab which clearly shows that for them being experimented on was not some horrendous trauma they were trying to escape from. It is interesting given normally this set up of kids being used for experiments has the kids trying to burn down the place of their transformation rather than eagerly returning to it and hoping to stay.
I am curious as to what will be discovered in the lab but the journey there took the run time of this episode so I guess we’ll have to wait until the next episodes are released. I think the best thing about this show is how the family dynamic actually feels genuine despite the various modifications. The siblings really work well together to keep this show rolling along.
Episode 3 of Frankenstein Family is quite logical in that we see Tanisu looking for help for his family and going back through his very limited contacts out in the world. It doesn’t exactly end happily, but the experience of watching him and his sister figure out their way around the city and meeting with someone and genuinely trying to explain their situation was kind of low-key entertainment.
I would like to ask just how messed up is that tutor? She went from perfectly normal to fairly crazy in the blink of an eye and her reasoning was just silly. Okay, I could understand her not wanting to help Tanisu but why agree to meet him at all if that was all she was after?
Anyway, this anime knows how to soften a moment. Immediately following this encounter and Tanisu’s brush with self-doubt and facing a near loss of faith in everyone, he runs into the girl from last episode and has a pretty adorable encounter. He probably didn’t even need his mind-reading sister to help him come to the conclusion that there are some decent people around.
This anime continues to be very laid back but entertaining enough to pass the time. It is still fairly forgettable, but for 15 minutes of actual episode it is doing enough.