Posted by psgels on 29 October 2008 with categories: Mouryou no Hako

Short Synopsis: Not just heads get cut off in this series.
Highlights: Awesome use of different camera-angles.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Those creators really are out to get me with their incredibly complicated dialogue. Heck, the website even refuses to list the name of the different characters in anything else but Kanji, making it even more difficult to try and put combine the names with the different faces, especially since half the cast doesn’t seem to be introduced yet (Yoriko has a sister?).

So, the beginning of this episode shows the main character with glasses, apparently Tatsumi Sekiguchi is his name, as he’s just cut up several bodies, commenting on how he just can’t get them right. Later in the episode, we see him again, showing a novel he’s writing. We don’t know whether his “failure” refers to his novel, where the cut-up body was just a visual metaphor, or whether he really does have a secret. Yoriko’s sister Kimie is apparently much older than she looks on the official website, and my guess is that she works for the ones who plan to publish Sekiguchi’s novel.

And at the same time, we see Kanako in a strange bed as she’s lost all of her limbs. There is someone who watches her, who I suspect to be the guy with glasses who left a bit earlier and whose name was Noritada Amemiya, I think. Later, strange limbs are found all over the country, but the DON’T belong to Kanako. The detective acts shocked, while the chief policeman in charge (at least, that’s what I thought their roles were) doesn’t act surprised. Suzaki (the most important doctor) then gets killed (probably to make sure that he doesn’t find any weird stuff) and the biggest enemy of Yoko is the detective Kiba. Yoko in some way has a very big role in this, but what exactly is it? For some reason, she also completely flipped once she found out that Suzaki was dead.

Then, a random teenaged girl gets kidnapped, cut up and stuffed into a box, I’m not sure who the guy was who did that. What I guess are a few months later, a new detective contacts Kiba, probably to team up with him, and he tells him about the four limbs that were found, and even though htey weren’t Kanako’s, he believes the two cases to be related. He seems to think that Sekiguchi is the victim, and the night he ran into them in the hospital wasn’t a coincidence, it seems. I wish I could remember who those others were who were with him in the car.

He points Kiba to some guy that Yoko got affiliated with when she was still an actress. Minami Kinuko, could that possibly be her stage name? It doesn’t appear anywhere on the list of names for this series. This is where Amemiya pops up again, apparently he was the one who forced Yoko to retire from her job as an actress. The guy also tells him about a certain doctor “Amakasu”, who is trying something like the doctor Frankenstein: he’s trying to create the perfect soldier that won’t die, explaining why in this series bodies have to be cut up.

What really strikes me so far is that this is a 13-episodes, and yet two of the five main characters haven’t felt like main characters at all (they only popped up once or twice) and two haven’t even appeared yet! I’m really curious to see what this series is going to turn into once it hits its second half, but so far I’m already loving every second of this. I’m in for lots of convolution once in a while, and this series is exactly what my inner mystery-fanboy needs.

It’s also interesting that this series shows the power that still frames can have. Especially that sequence in the beginning: it just consisted out of about ten drawings, there was no movement, and yet it perfectly showed what was going on, it looked excellent, and it set the mood. Madhouse really is an excellent studio when it comes to proving that you don’t need the budget of a small country to make a series look beautiful. You can easily try to save budget by simplified drawings (á la Kaiba) with lots of motion, or go Shigurui and have very detailed drawings with hardly any motion, but as long as you put enough thought into the artistic direction, you can make anything look good this way. This is exactly why I’m a big fan of series that experiment a bit with their graphics. It looks much more interesting than the straightforward drawings that just go with predictable poses and camera-angles.

2 Responses

  1. Email Address says:

    I thought the person in the beginning cutting up bodies were Amemiya? Sekiguchi looks less psychotic to me.

  2. Zerozaki says:

    The pre-credits sequences say on screen that they are passages from a novel by Kubo something.
    Suzaki was the assistant, not the doctor – the doctor is Mimasaka, not Amakasu, the white haired man who informed them of Suzaki’s death.
    Youko is Kanako’s sister, and Yoriko – who is an only child – only addressed her as sister because she is close friends with Kanako.
    Kimie is Yoriko’s mother, the crazy lady. She has nothing to do with the company publishing Sekiguchi’s novel; Koizumi, his editor, was the woman meeting with him there.
    Minami Kinuko is Youko’s stage name, you were right about that part.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:31 PM)
    I’m trying not to get my hopes up however, given that it wouldn’t be surprising if he gave us another filler chapter like he did with that pointless flashback.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:26 PM)
    I enjoyed this chapter of berserk and it made me immediately think “Finally now we’re getting somewhere”. I have been flicking through older chapters of the manga and wow, this really has turned into something fairly different. Bam is right about Gut’s reason to go to elfland. I think its impossible now to get a satisfactory ending out of berserk though we’ve been waiting too long.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:14 PM)
    The alternative is that Miura wants to bank on this till he dies; can’t blame him cuz you can always bet on black (swordsman).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:13 PM)
    @Aidan: I think the point was originally to heal Caska (hence Farnese showing hesitation in fear of losing Guts when Caska is back) but then so many people tagged along that I don’t think the party knows anymore why they’re going there, just that they were supposed to. I have said before but I’m sure that either Miura doesn’t know what to do or has serious doubts about the ending.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:52 PM)
    Fairy dust, stargate, riding dragons, ruby slippers…anything to get Gut’s back on track to taking revenge. Miura needs to end this. He’s sick of making it and we are sick of waiting yet he drags the thing to high heaven.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:48 PM)
    It’s been so long I can’t even remember why they were going to elfhelm in the first place. Also was that a one piece joke?
    I like his art but yes, going simpler for moving the story along would be a better idea. Even if he needs to downgrade to the level of one punch man webcomic standards to bring weekly releases.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:14 PM)
    I just hope they teleport back to Midland or something, or ride faeries or whatever, I don’t Gove a damn, just anything but the boat. #NoMoreBoat
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:13 PM)
    The artistry remains incredible, with every frame filled to the brim with details, almost to the point of tiring the eye. It looks great and all, but I wouldn’t mind some simplicity for the sake of more frequent Berserk. I swear Guts’ entourage has grown so numerous and colorful that they’re almost like a traveling circus. I didn’t even remember that Roderick and a whole bunch of other people are also on the boat.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:06 PM)
    I enjoy Rickert but this chapter made me remember how better the story gets when Guts is back in the picture. This was a primer chapter and spent most of its time touching bases and getting the story back on track, and it did that wonderfully and humorously.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:01 PM)
    I was tryna stay spoiler free, but you’re goddamn right they got there! Few months back when Miura got it running again I said I believed that if Guts didn’t get to Elfhelm before the next hiatus then the series will probably never end. I really did feel that way and had little hope, but alas, rejoice indeed.

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