Posted on 28 May 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



Oh my god… Tomomi Mochizuki might actually be surpassing himself with this series. Within seven episodes, he managed to put as much meaning into its characters as what Porfy no Nagai Tabi took 26. He’s got such a great sense of realism and character-development, and it also really helps that aside from directing he also did the series composition so that he could really put forth his vision of the manga. And on top of that it’s just awesome to see what a great manga he got to adopt. After having seen two of her stories now I really have to say that she’s a genius at characterization.

This episode again: from the outside the scenario was just about a few mundane tasks: Masa running away from a fight, him starting to train under that other older samurai, etc. From just those sentences it looks like a cheap shounen series, but just about every scene in this show was focused on putting as much meaning as possible in these events. A simple plot of Ume gets a ton of extra side-effects: it was his way of getting Yaichi to pay a visit to Masa. Yaichi knew very much that Ume was lying about Masa’s condition, but went anyway. He knew that he would be recognized, but at the same time he knew that it wouldn’t be that big of a problem since the old man wouldn’t tell much. And yet hints about his past were bound to be dropped here. It’s like he’s getting Masa to learn a bit more about him… but only a bit, nothing too much.

The characters here are nowhere near stupid. They’re very observant about each other. Masa himself knew very well that Yaichi had to have some sort of criminal past, and not just as some rogue bandit. You can really see him trying to get through to Yaichi, whether this is out of admiration, fear or something else still remains a bit of a question. Yaichi on the other hand can really notice Masa’s mood change as he gets to know more about him, and thus more afraid.

At the same time this episode was also very much about Masa’s self-loathing, or perhaps that’s a bit too big of a word. Either way, he’s being held back of an interesting career because of his personality, and knows it. The fight in this episode at which he ran away also really showed that he’s a guy who really keeps clinging to the past. As this is in his case a rather bad past (he had to cope being a samurai with that personality of his), he has a ton of anxieties, especially when alone and there being no reason for him to actually be tough.

This episode also gave a very interesting dimension to the older samurai and the graves he visited. The anecdotes he told about the people he lost were interesting yet down to earth, not to mention that that cliff-hanger was an interesting one. It’s obvious that there can be more dogs called Scruffy, but it is one gnawing cliff-hanger nevertheless.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

One Response

  1. Chapbook says:

    HI PSGels,

    I found this ep hard to watch only because I felt so for Masa. It was gut-twisting to watch his humiliation. I have seen psychological explanations for his problem on other boards; they seem plausible. The sticking point is him being watched by others in non-life threatening situations. Being alone doesn’t seem to be the central problem, rather being observed as he trains or duels. I truly hope he can overcome this even partially.

    I got a chill watching him and Yaichi prepare to duel. I wonder if that is foreshadowing for a future event in which Masa feels he must fight Yaichi. How I wish this had 26 eps, though I love the slow pace of characterization.

    Cheers,

    Chapbook

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 11:09 AM)
    @Witchy: nope. He came and visited us in San Fran a while ago, but last thing he said he was boarding to head back home. He’s still getting over his anime ebb probably, or trying to catch up with a bunch of shows.
  • bakanishi
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 10:35 AM)
    alright Kuroshitsuji it is! thanks guy :D
  • Witchy
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 10:26 AM)
    Has anyone heard anything about psgels…?
  • Jane
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 09:45 AM)
    Agreed, definitely choose Kuroshitsuji. It wasn’t actually my kind of thing, but it’s pretty popular. PH was a mystery that raised more and more questions as it went along only to suddenly end without answering any of them.
  • Anon
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 07:51 AM)
    @baka Black Butler. Pandora Hearts will let you down :(
  • bakanishi
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 07:47 AM)
    LOL hahaha. I’m deciding between watching Pandora Hearts or Kuroshitsuji- any thoughts?
  • Bam
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 06:51 AM)
    @bakanishi: ok, I’ll push it up the queue based on the approval thx. (I read your name as baka Shinji automatically due to mental autocorrect lol)
  • bakanishi
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 06:50 AM)
    time of eve is awesome!
  • Bam
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 06:38 AM)
    @Emma: downloaded Time of Eve but never had the chance to watch it. It honestly kinda looked too romantic for my taste, but will check out. That’s funny to see Patema in Irish theater; I happen to see Short Peace in a weird hipster theater in midtown Sacramento. The experience was cool, the movie itself … not so much.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 06:01 AM)
    @Bam: Have you seen time of eve?
    Patema inverted, I was so glad to see that in a cinema, just the weird idea of an Irish cinema of all things showing an anime, the idea is wonderful.

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