So I’ve been gone for a while partially because of work, school, and my political activities, but also because I wanted to try approaching how I review in a (hopefully) interesting way. I’d be interested in hearing your feedback on this, as I am trying to inject more of my own personality into the way I write while avoiding the pitfalls many face in their attempts to write. Anyways, back to the review.
So as a person who grew up in the early 90’s with comedy classics like the Addams Family, a love for satirical humor is something deeply ingrained in me as a person- watching the adults freak out over the latest Marilyn Manson album was hilarious to watch, and even more hilarious when my parents heard me blasting that music in my room. So when I got into anime during my early college years, I quickly noticed a lack of satirical humor, but more specifically, comedic variety in the medium. While there definitely were the antiharems and the romantic comedies, none of them were the hard hitting, alternative humor I’d been blessed with from so many other movies and cartoons. So when a show like Gugure! Kokkuri-san follows most of the standard comedic conventions yet still manages to stand out just a little bit, I definitely have to talk about it.
The Addams Family
Now, am I saying that the show is an excellent example of satirical humor in anime? Because it’s not- the humor falls falls short quite often and some jokes simply fail to connect with anybody as far as I know. But what I am saying, however, is that it is different to that degree to which it becomes refreshing to watch, while injecting a little bit of that comedic variety that I’ve been craving for a long time.
The quirky characters are definitely a positive on an otherwise average show
These past episodes were full of surprises which I’d been mistaking all along as inconsistency- this show revels in the fact that it can change from deadpan, dark, satirical, and observational comedy with each scene and it does this with mixed results. This is where the flaws that I previously mentioned set in, but this show, so far, has a little bit of something for everybody- quirky characters, dark humor, deadpan humor, prime meme material, etc, all because of its decision to embrace a wide range of comedic forms. If you’re thinking about watching this show, I’d recommend pushing through the numerous unfunny sections of the anime because there is real value through all of its flaws here, at least compared to most in its genre. The fanservice is only present in one episode so far, and the cast of characters is one of the best in this season.
Genderbent Kokkuri-San and Shigaraki
However, I have to talk about the numerous reoccurring problems I’ve seen in these last four episodes, and those include the lack of continuity in between episodes, lazy narrative, static characters, as well as the laughably boring parts.
This is a gripe I have with some 4koma anime adaptations- the producers get lazy and translate the manga into anime with almost no sense of continuity and as a result, each episode doesn’t feel like an important part of the story. This is true in Gugure!Kokkuri-San, albeit to a lesser degree. Take, for example, episode 8, where we got some romantic development between female Kokkuri and Shigaraki only for the producers to ignore all development in episode 9 and 10. While we can definitely expect the characters to address it in later episodes, that doesn’t excuse the fact that the viewers expect a change when something that drastic and unexpected happens. So while not all 4koma adaptations need a sense of continuity as the original writer may not have intended them to have one, this show clearly wants to tell some kind of story. While this issue is generally restricted to episodes only after 8, it only feels like so large of an issue because the romantic development was simply brushed aside- made even worse when you have romantic development between two characters without so much as a hint of it in the previous 7 episodes.