Posted by psgels on 14 December 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope

This is the episode in which the creators decide to reveal the past, and what happened to Zakuro’s mother. It’s pretty much the episode that explains it all, right before the final climax of this series. And with this episode, this series got even more solid than it already was.

This episode was both very tragic, as surprisingly deep. The role of Zakuro and her mother turned out to be much more at the centre of the entire story than I thought, with Zakuro’s mother’s existence even being the reason that these half spirits exist in the first place, all thanks to these disturbing corrupt practices that were going on in order to try and use her powers. I mean, this episode never explicitly stated it, but it’s pretty obvious at this point that Zakuro’s mother was raped multiple times in order to attempt some good off-springs.

There is a bit of the romantic cheese: Zakuro was born out of true love and therefore has inherited some incredible powers. This is obviously a bit of a flaw, but after this backstory I don’t mind, because this episode brought more than enough to make up for it. Especially Omodaka became a much better villain after this episode: after this episode I really hate this guy as an asshole, rather than this cheesy shoujo villain.

I’m also glad to finally see an actually justified hints at incest. Anime with incest nowadays are nearly all of the type “hey we have a boy who has this hot sister. Let’s make them fall in love with each other!” Zakuro’s family in contrast is so completely broken; Omodaka has been corrupted by his father from the start, he now turned out to constantly lust after Zakuro’s powers. It’s miles away from the lazy and shallow incest we usually see.

In any case, in the end this series did turn out to have just 13 episodes, which thankfully means that Mari Okada only has three series to worry about in the upcoming fall season. She’s an amazing writer, as shown by how well she treated Otome Youkai Zakuro, so I really hope that she can give all three of Hourou Musuko, Fractale and Gosick enough justice instead of rushing through all of them. Only once I’ve seen a more extreme version, this was in the Autumn Season of 2007 when Natsuko Takahashi wrote a whopping four series at the same time. The results were still good, but really unbalanced at times (but then again, that’s pretty much Natsuko Takahashi: she’s either really solid or makes really strange design decisions).
Rating: ** (Excellent)

6 Responses

  1. Hogart says:

    Yeah, I’d rank this one among the rare “not-too-annoying shoujo” – I’m pleasantly surprised that it doesn’t go too far in any direction, despite it being chock full of obvious tropes to begin with. A bit of restraint goes a long way for shows like this (wish more of the shounen airing lately would try this approach).

  2. Lyi says:

    Is it just me or does Omodaka have a seriously twisted Oedipal complex? He turns his mother in after seeing her “disgrace” herself with a man, but practically keeps her body enshrined. Since getting with his mother is not an option, he opts for the next best thing – Zakuro. In the previous episode he seemed to be lamenting the lack of resemblance between Zakuro and her mother. It just seems that for him, wanting Zakuro is less about who she is than whose daughter she was.

  3. Solaris says:

    I still don’t get what’s about all of those so said “shoujo cliches”. Maybe i just watched too little shoujo stuff to get it, but this show was indeed pretty solid from the very start, wasn’t it?

    By the way, i’m not sure half spirit girls come out that way cause of Tsukuhane’s own power. I got they just kidnapped random pregnant girls to perform that horrible ritual, except that when they tried it with Tsukuhane to actually punish her, it turned out with Zakuro just inheriting her mom’s power.

  4. Moonhawk says:

    I got the feeling he didn’t hate his mother in the first place but went looking for her only to find her kissing with a “filthy” human.
    I guess he felt really hurt and humiliated that moment. Add the twisted way his father teached him and you get the Omodaka we know today….

    All in all I’m really amazed how good this series turned out to be or rather that id didn’t disappoint my expectations for it. I really hope they can keep this up throughout the finale but I’m pretty optimistic. Seems like they know pretty well what they’re doing with this series.

  5. Sapphire says:

    Solaris is right, women were being spirited away before the bad guys even knew Tsukuhane could have such a powerful half spirit baby.

    Omodaka keeps repeating how Zakuro looks just like her mother, that’s what draws him to her. A huge mother complex and a lust for power (which he learned from his father): that’s why he’s after Zakuro.

    I never thought this series could turn out this good. I have great expectations about the finale!

  6. boo says:

    I’m rather pleased about how this show turned out to be. I also had high expectation for it title, because even when Hoshino Lily wrote her yaoi there was always something intriguing and atypical about her stories, especially the longer series she did. What I find peculiar about this show is people insisting on this whole “shoujo” theme. Why? Because of the flowers?? Personally, i see very little shoujo in the way the romance/couples are played, with the most prominent fact being the twins sharing a guy. If that’s not a male-oriented fantasy, then what is?

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:56 AM)
    That said I don’t trust whitefox when it comes to pacing.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:51 AM)
    Not sure how I feel about the new Utawerumono, I have vague memories of the first season but enjoyed it alot. Though this second take on it does have some similar setup, it feels goofier than the first season (which I remember taking itself more seriously). Still I’d like for this season to make up for some of the faults of its predeccesor.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:48 AM)
    @Rats: From What I heard its going to be a movie although one with a new story.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:36 AM)
    lol wut? a third season for SAO? I thought they already covered all the material from the light novel. Like only the first half of the 2 seasons were okay. The 2nd half of it was pretty meh
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:13 AM)
    Oh what a (not) surprise, a third anime for sword art.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:03 AM)
    I’m taking a look at the onepunch man manga here, the one with the updated art and I feel that the artists drawing ability almost makes it seem animated even though its just on paper.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 04:27 AM)
    God I hate it when subbers hardcode the subs into the video. Makes getting screenshots all the harder.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Oct 3. 2015 09:00 AM)
    It did have some grit to it though.
    Aidan if you have not read akumetsu I would say to read it, however the main plot takes a bit to get going, the ending isn’t great. But I thought it was a pretty exciting/crazy read and I liked the whole stand against the government thing. Good art style as well.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Oct 3. 2015 08:54 AM)
    Some might take issue with the goofy bit with the female lead and think this episode a bit overdramatic. From watching those other takes on the character I was intrigued by him and wanted to know more so based on that I’m looking forward to more of this origin story.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Oct 3. 2015 08:54 AM)
    . I don’t think this’ll top the 90s Dezaki blackjack movie its got a chance of being better than black jack 21. Theres something tense/dramatic about a medical themed show that I like. I don’t know if it’ll get as office political as Team medical dragon.

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