Elegant Yokai Apartment Life Episode 12: Sometimes People Are Just Broken

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Review:

This story still has no real idea what tone it is actually going for. The majority of episode 12 has Inaba and the story being super serious as we first assist the possessed teacher and then realise that even when he’s not possessed, he’s just a little bit broken at this point. Of course, the audience kind of already knew that given the Id monster was attracted to him for a reason. Just taking the monster away doesn’t fix everything else.

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And it is all just going through the motions again. Characters do everything you would expect to resolve the situation, though Inaba is still making some really stupid choices, and nothing really raises the bar above passingly interesting.

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The worst parts are Inaba’s internal (and sometimes even external) monologues. With some characters this can come off as charming, or at least offer some insight, but Inaba’s character just comes off sounding presumptuous or really naive. Although, part of my overall issue is I just don’t like this show so now I’m nitpicking. Plus, the preview for next week makes it look like a pool episode. Let us all hope they offer something more than girls in swimsuits. You know, like a storyline.


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Elegant Yokai Apartment Life Episode 11: Shifting Tone and Lack of Conviction

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Review:

While it will become apparent from my Feature this week (tomorrow), I am really not loving this show. It was one of the few titles I was genuinely anticipating this season and the overall delivery has been mediocre at best, though reasonably uninspired is probably a better statement.

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This week finally delivers something that looks like a real conflict and even then we waste air time with the characters going crazy over food in a moment of light hearted comedy that was utterly at odds with the subject matter of the episode and made no sense given the situation. By the time we got back to the matter at hand we’d forgotten all the earlier build-up which was heading in an interesting direction.

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Then we get the end of the episode which I guess is supposed to be having us on the edge of our seats but because of the inconsistent delivery and tone pretty much all it made me do was roll my eyes at the cheap plot device to drag us into one more episode. See, Princess Principal did much the same thing this week at the end of its episode, but due to actual build up and a fairly good effort at characterisation all season, that plot device worked whereas this one falls pretty flat.


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Elegant Yokai Apartment Life Episode 10: An Attempt At Darkness

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Review:

If this show wanted me to take the supernatural seriously and think that there was any kind of threat coming from that perspective, it really needed to do something earlier. So far this show has delivered nothing but the occasional thug as a potential issue as almost every situation has been dealt with in an almost non-event fashion.

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On the bright side, at least as we approach the end of the season, the show seems to be trying to step up its game. The issue is, they’ve given no precedent for the emotion they are trying for and so – like a lot of other things in this show – it is a poor fit in a show that has no idea what it actually wants to be.

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Perhaps the lesson is simple: figure out whether you want to slice of life, emotionally resonate, be a supernatural investigation show, or a comedy and actually commit to something. While there is nothing overly bad in this show, the elements have never come together and I have no idea what tone they were even attempting at this point. I’d have to say they missed the mark but maybe they were going for unsatisfying meander.


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Elegant Yokai Apartment Life Episode 8: Today, My Friend Came Over And Nothing Happened

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Review:

Given it has now taken three episodes for Hase to realise Inaba is surrounded by weird things, to learn his friend has a magic book, and then actually to show up at the apartment, you would think that something would actually happen during the visit. You would think that. Instead, he is overly courteous, showering the residents with gifts, making friends with everyone easily, has a bath and a sleep and then rides off on his shiny motorbike almost without incident.

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There’s a minor moment of maybe something will happen when the book guy brings another weird thing into the apartment but that is a moment of tension quickly killed off and then we resume the nothing happening tone that kind of predominates in this series.

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While shows like Natsume have proven that sometimes nothing really big happening can be charming, Elegant Yokai Apartment Life lacks characters you care about, an understanding of pacing, and just isn’t able to be particular charming. It punctures sweet moments with poor placed humour and more feels like a tumble of events leading to nothing.

So basically episode 8 continued this show’s trend of being pretty underwhelming.


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Elegant Yokai Apartment Life Episodes 6 + 7: Well, guess that secret is out.

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Review Episode 6:

Another resident returns to the apartment (seriously, how many residents are there not living in the complex) and he happens to collect and sell books. Of course one of the books is a bit odd and Inaba and then exorcist girl (who doesn’t ever seem to actually do any exorcisms) noticed.

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Despite her taking the book to be checked out it then shows up in Inaba’s bedroom and hey, turns out it is full of spirits and Inaba is now their master. Only most the spirits in the book seem pretty useless.

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It is a pretty dull episode really, just going through the motions of introduce new character and weird object and then have the cheap comedy of the spirits in the book. However, Hase shows up at the end to save the episode. It seems like Inaba wants to tell him about the apartment but he’s struggling and then after Hase picks a fight with some thugs (as you do) they get chased and the book shows up again kind of outing Inaba’s secret whether he wanted to tell Hase then or not.

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This of course leaves the whole episode on a cliff-hanger but I’m not that annoyed by it. If the last five minutes hadn’t happened this would have been a pretty pointless and dull episode so I was just kind of happy something happened in the end.

Review Episode 7:

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Plunging boldly forward (I’m joking), the show chooses to put the Inaba and Hase conversation about the random spirit on hold while they deal with the thugs, which would make sense except they wrap that up pretty quick and then Hase still kind of leaves without an actual explanation. Nor does he offer any explanation as to his own apparent knowledge, though Inaba is a particular kind of dense given he’s impressed with a fairly rudimentary magic fact.

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Which leads us on to the cutest of the spirits summoned so far. At the behest of the apartment’s occupants, and because cheap jokes are so much better than progressing a plot according to the writers of this increasingly hard to defend show, Inaba summons Death, Thanatos and get’s this cute little guy.

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Seriously, I want one.

Outside of that, the show then goes through a spiritual training sequence that is pretty stock standard before they decide to leave us on another cliff-hanger with Hase dramatically announcing on the phone that he is visiting the apartment. Or at least, that would be dramatic if they hadn’t really shown the outcome of that visit in their preview. This show¬† makes some truly baffling choices.


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