It’s been a long wait, but finally my beloved Kaiba is back. And what an episode does it return with! For once, Kaiba doesn’t appear in it at all, and instead it’s all about Popo, and how the bastards killed off his own mother to keep up his appearances. As it turns out, she once changed his body, which is against the rules of the organization Popo works for. That does make me wonder why Neiro was just allowed to change into Ger and all…
In any case, we indeed learn that there is another Warp besides Kaiba. This guy probably was the one who shot Neiro. If I understood things correctly, then Neiro’s body was shot, and she ended up in Hyohyo. It seems that her memory got split in two: one part works for Popo, and the other one went along with Kaiba.
That still leaves the question to: which Warp is the real one? What we know is that the body that Kaiba was in in episode one was the genuine indestructible body of Warp. I believe that the Warp we see in this episode is the real Warp who killed off those hundreds of people. Then at one point, he ran into this “Kaiba”, which stole his body. Kaiba then met Neiro and the two fell in love. Warp then tracked down Kaiba and destroyed Neiro’s body, though what I suspect is Popo’s meddling, Kaiba escaped him, somehow causing Kaiba to lose his body and get that hole through his body, after which episode 1 started.
What interests me the most is the real link between the plant Kaiba and the human Kaiba. We know that that plant has a lot of an appetite and that it eats memory, but what I want to know is how such a plant ended up being turned into actual memory. What I also want to know: who are on Kaiba’s side in this story, and most importantly: why? Why would the ostrich be working for such a plant? What’s the connection to the memory-guy to all of this?
I must say, that this series knows EXACTLY what makes a good mystery-series. I totally forgot about this, since 2007 was a bad year for mystery-series, but a good mystery-series doesn’t just ask questions, but it forces its viewer to form his own theories about what happened. This is what sets the genre apart from series that have to rely on some obscure side-story that you can only understand if it’s spelled out in front of you.
And indeed, even though I originally thought that Crystal Blaze would be a mystery-series, its mystery turned out to be just a simple back-story and the story focused on storytelling and characters instead. Instead, Shion no Ou’s mystery-plot was simple, yet it knew how to make its viewer guessing about the identity of the murderer, and most viewers already knew exactly what happened when facts were finally revealed. Nijuu Mensou no Musume is about to do the same: the simple question is: what happened to Nijuu Mensou, and there are several theories possible, and enough clues to keep you guessing.
Another great approach to mystery is the one used in Himitsu: it offers you the pieces of the puzzle for each episode, and they only really fall into place when you connect these pieces. Ergo Proxy and Boogiepop Phantom are yet another story: they just provide a few clues here and there and apart from that they make no attempt to help the viewer figure out what happened.
I now see that the series that just feature a huge setting, but withold some of this information at the start aren’t necessarily good mystery-series, and rather use the appeal of the unknown to create tension. I personally loved Dennou Coil, but it was excellent because of its plot, characters and the amount of imagination that was put into the setting. Not because of its mystery, and I’m surprised it took me so long to realize this.
At the moment, I’m wondering whether Real Drive will be able to pull off good mystery. Right now, it relies a lot on the appeal of the unknown, and it’s definitely got my attention about its concept, but interestingly enough, it hasn’t started asking focused questions yet. When this’ll happen, I wonder whether it’ll allow the viewer to speculate about the setting, or whether it’ll just carry the viewer along with its revelations.