Posted on 7 May 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



This series just surpassed itself. This really was a wonderful episode that wasted no time to get to the bottom of its characters, this episode was all about subtle hints at the background of various characters. We learn about how Matsu met Yaichi, and also that Otake knew him for the longest.

But the best thing about this episode was again the interplay between Masa and Yaichi. The way in which Masa tries to find out more about the Masa who never talks about his past was really well portrayed. Especially when Masa hit the nail on the head: Yaichi doesn’t seem to be doing the kidnappings for the money. The way he throws around money… it’s just as if he’s asking for it to run out faster so that he can do another job.

Then consider what Matsu said: he has really changed. Could it be that this change started when he started the kidnappings? Like Ume said, they haven’t done even 10 of them, and Yaichi was already involved with three of them, so they probably started quite recently. Because of whatever caused him to change, he started getting interested in Masa, and doing stuff that wouldn’t really be important contrary to what he would have done when Matsu first met him. Either that, or Matsu always had the wrong image of him: you never hear the other characters talk about his change.

On another note, it’s a shame that even though Noitamina is currently so well written and produced, with Sarai-ya Goyou and Yojou-han, the tv ratings have reached a depth for the series. 1.7%… that’s even less than Kuchuu Buranko. I have a hard time grasping the cause for this, actually. Noitamina has always been a timeslot that was also popular amongst non-anime fans.

It seems that the best-rated shows of the time-slot play in modern settings. There are exceptions, like the early Honey and Clover and Paradise Kiss, which aired when the time-slot was still young, and Hakaba Kitarou (the best rated Noitamina show ever), which made use of its huge nostalgia factor, but Nodame Cantabile, Moyashimon and Hataraki Man all are about down to earth characters that anyone could relate with. The same with Eden of the East and Tokyo Magnitude: it’s very easy to relate to these characters. And I guess that that’s something that Yojou-han and Sarai-ya Goyou do not have: it’s hard for your average person to sympathize with a bunch of kidnappers, or a ridiculously fast talking loser. This trend is probably going to continue for the next summer. And don’t get me wrong, I’m really looking forward to Shiki, but again: it doesn’t look like the mainstream will have much to relate to there either.

It’s interesting how the people in charge of Noitamina don’t seem to be marketing geniuses. And that’s a shame, because Noitamina is such a great timeslot because it has proven that in order to go mainstream, you can also appeal to adults: instead of trying to win viewers with panty-shots and yelling teenagers, it has shown time and time again that anime is also very appealing for adults. While I love Sarai-ya Goyou and Yojou-han, I’m a bit sad that they’re doing so badly in the ratings, defeating the entire purpose of the timeslot. The thing I’m worried about isn’t exactly Noitamina changing, but rather that the ratings will end up in a downwards spiral, causing it to get cancelled. That’s what I’m most afraid of.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

9 Responses

  1. Joojoobees says:

    “it’s just as if he’s asking for it to run out faster so that he can do another job.”

    That’s an excellent observation. I love the way they really show the personalities.

    This show can be quite subtle. I don’t know if this is causing its problems with viewership. It seems, however the ratings have been awful from the start, so I have a hard time understanding how people could have judged the show (since they obviously never watched it).

  2. theone says:

    they could have watched it from the beginning…

    ALthough I kinda think its the main character,

    hes just being such a pansy for a samurai of that time period that it just turns some people off, even im like *ok its episode 4 … join them already!*

    I mean he even flinched when the woman was in his bed. . .I facepalmed at that, as thats the kind of sht that the *yelling teenagers* in mainstream series would do.

    come on dude, you’re a ronin in the edo period, show some balls ffs

  3. Kim says:

    Yeah it’s a real shame this series is not doing better ratings wise.

  4. c160 says:

    wow,the ratings were that low??I really liked all shows on this time slot and I’ll be one sad puppy if it gets canceled :(

    I think the reason that most of the previous shows were so popular is due to the original source was also quite popular.Compared to the likes of Paradise Kiss,Honey and Clover and Harataki Man,I think not many people heard of the original manga of Sarai-ya Goyou or the novel of Tatami Galaxy before the anime were announced.

    Of course,Eden of the East were all original material(right??),but it was still quite popular.

  5. Johnson says:

    I never understood why people need “relatable” characters. In some settings, sure you want your characters to be relatable. But it’s not always a requirement. If all characters ever were people we could relate to (i.e. similar to people we’ve met), then why the hell would we ever watch TV in the first place? Why not just go out and talk to actual people?

    I mean, Cowboy Bebop is so fucking cool because I know I’ll never meet a bounty hunter from space. Five Leaves is so cool because I’ll never meet a pussy ass samurai. If Five Leaves was about the Edo equivalent of some douchebag yuppie who held a standard job and made an honest living, who would give a fuck?

  6. spoon says:

    I don’t think the 1.7% viewership problem has to do with whether one can relate or make a personal connection to the main character. It’s just that people in Japan the past twenty or thirty years have had a certain fascination concerning Edo-period ronin/samurai and a pussy ass ronin is just not going to cut it. In that sense, the timing of this show is just bad.

    I don’t understand why Yojou-Han isn’t doing better though, unless maybe the millions of otaku who haven’t grasped that rosy campus life feel the show is hitting too close to home for their comfort lol.

  7. Frost says:

    Just like you said, the series surpassed itself with this episode… Its one of those animes that really takes me away into its own world, its entrancing, and you dont want the episode to end

    Right now I think this is already tied with Durarara for best show airing right now

    I mean there are so many good things about it, like the music and the art (and Im still not a fan of the character design)…

    For example that last scene where Yaichi is smoking, it just blew me away:

    http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/5401/mpchc2010050802582865.jpg

    Think Ill have to re-watch it tomorrow, it was just THAT good

  8. Johnson says:

    Well, I was just ranting about something that always bugged me.

    I think the viewership is down because they’re both sort of unconventional, and people in general don’t like unconventional things. For example, the people in Five Leaves are hella ugly, and the art in Yojou-han is sorta wacky (and it’s pretty wacky in general). I mean, no one really watched Kaiba, no one liked Kuchuu Buranko… all shows I liked btw.

  9. Earl says:

    hmm i think il give this anime a shot and see in what side i fall into.. i think the art is okay though im a big fan of shounen so.. haha i prob wont like it?

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