What a wonderful episode. The danger with these slice of life series is to have them too much about nothing, or to not put any creativity in the scenarios that the characters find themselves in. This however was an episode that confronted Masa deeply, and it as well mirrored Yaichi’s past (at least, I assume that he’s the kid in the flashbacks, right?). The creators have chosen two wildly different ways to flesh out the two of them: Masa gets explored because we get to see exactly who he is: what motivates him, in what way he’s such a loser, et cetera. Yaichi on the other hand is being portrayed as dark and mysterious: the guy with a dark past who turned into a confident criminal, who mainly gets fleshed out by his words, instead of his actions. And who knows what can lie behind those words? Unlike Masa, this guy hides plenty of things.
I’m wondering about Matsu’s role in all of this. The side-characters all have their own great and subtle characterization. The thing is however that they’re probably going to have to make way in terms of development, in order to let Masa and Yaichi fully shine. The length is probably going to be the biggest issue for this series: did the creators put enough thought into making the best out of the length of this series? I’m having faith in Tomomi Mochizuki, however. He has experience with changing stories from their source-material, in order to make them fit the anime format perfectly (just look at Touka Gettan and Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito, and I also refuse to believe that Porfy no Nagai Tabi was 100% faithful to its novels), and I’m really counting on him to put the same skills to work here.
In any case though, this episode was really well animated. It’s really series like this that use their animation to get the best out of the characters, bringing them to life. I’m in love with the saturated colours here, and especially that flashback looked beautiful.
Rating: ** (Excellent)