That was… amazing. Seriously, talk about a powerful episode, this series is just getting better and better with every episode.
The pacing was slow… but this really allowed the characters to show their best sides. After only five episodes it’s astounding to see how much the creators have already fleshed out the characters. The conversations here felt natural: it felt like Ume and Matsu talked about their pasts and problems, rather than it just being exposition for the story. It really was a chance for the characters to get to know each other better. It’s really one of the things I love about this series: screw exposition, every sentence is meant to give these people a richer character.
I also love how the creators handled Masa’s sickness. For once it isn’t the dreaded “anime cold” that’s over within a day, and instead of trying to create cheap drama with it, the creators focus on Ume and Matsu and the rest of the cast instead. Yaichi hardly played a role either. Matsu’s part in particular hit me, with how genuine it felt from the otherwise so distant guy that the previous episodes showed him as. Even when he got saved by Yaichi.
What’s also interesting is that Ume has also become a lot kinder to Masa, compared to how cold he was in the first few episodes. And yet Masa himself hasn’t changed yet: perhaps hampered by that sickness of his, he’s still the guy who hardly says anything.
You know, this season I’ve really been hard-pressed to point out my favourite. There are three shows that equally excel for me: Yojou-han, Sarai-ya Goyou and Giant Killing. With this episode however, this series has set the standards really high for the other two. While it has the disadvantage that it’s only got 12 episodes, it’s really not wasting any time to bring life to its characters. And while these two series have their unique points that Goyou doesn’t have, I’m getting more and more confident to say that Sarai-ya Goyou has the best characters of the entire season.
Rating: *** (Awesome)