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:

    @Lyi:
    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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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:38 PM)
    @gedata: For my own sanity after a while I began skimming episodes and following flawfinders posts here and there.
    @Vincent: Must rewatch that one and flags of our fathers sometime, need to get round to soldier of orange also.
  • Vincent
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 10:01 AM)
    Watched Letters from Iwo Jima again. Ken Watanabe is a great actor.
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:32 AM)
    Note that it’s not just regular AIDS, which is definitely treatable if caught early, it’s some dtug resistant SUPERAIDS that the character in question got from a blood transfusion soon after being born
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:29 AM)
    It’s not that the disease being AIDS is really all that important. You could even replace with anything, even Sudden Moe Death Syndrome from Clannad and the emotional impact would still be as blunt and forced.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:02 AM)
    Oh for fucks sake sword art? You put HIV drama into your show?
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:57 AM)
    Pretty much looking forward to the next two episodes and hope it gets more seasons too.
    I also liked how bleak it was.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:55 AM)
    *how twisty
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    . I was told to stay away from story six. Story seven was the most developed and ambitious of the selection but I feel mixed on it and didn’t really get into it until midway or so.
    Still I do love weird tales anthology stuff and this all fit the bill for me.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    The first story even I have to admit was genuinely horrifying, uncomfortable and got under my skin and of the selection it still stands out as having the greatest impact. The second one was good social commentary but doesn’t really give me much I didn’t already know. Stories three and were the most emotionally investing for me. I thoroughly enjoyed who twisty, twisted, truly nasty and cruel story five was and it is my second favourite of the lot.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    I did however feel that some of the dialogue and acting could have done with some very very slight tweaking in parts/some segments.

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