AA: Mekakucity Actors episode 5


Mom, I've made friends!

The events from last episode, I'm afraid, will have to be resolved at another time. We're transported back to follow the events from episode 3, after the gang return to hiding, dragging the unconscious Shintaro behind them. Waking up in a unfamiliar room, he gets introduced to the Mekakushi-dan in the most awkward and chaotic way possible, as is the norm with our fellow band of misfits.

After the flurry of introductions, Shintaro gets inducted into the Mekakushi-dan and the group promptly plans a trip to the amusement park, at Ene's delight. Unfortunately, the vacation is cancelled when Shintaro's paranoid-ridden self breaks off unannounced, walking around the city aimlessly by himself. There he crosses paths with Konoha, our white-haired mystery man from the previous episode.

As expected, Konoha's been wandering about the city, looking for the two lost kids Hibiya and Asahina, and solicits Shintaro's help. When Shintaro reluctantly agrees, they witness two children being kidnapped that look exactly like our two lost leads from episode 4. Here we get our first look at Konoha's power, which seems to be superhuman strength, prying open the locked van and saving the children in the nick of time. But before we can even get a handle on what's going on, we're jerked around for another disorienting loop.

Bizarre imagery and an abrupt cut end that thread suddenly, snapping us back to the Mekakushi-dan; making their way to visit the grave site of their beloved former leader who committed suicide years ago. An extra wrinkle of intrigue closes out this episode when Ene of all people recognizes the deceased commander as Ayano.

It seems like the pieces placed on the board are beginning to shift around, giving us more connections and theories to play around with. The playfulness of the early episodes is back in full force here, only more enjoyable now that everyone is more familiar with each other.

Ene was a sight for sore eyes as the cheeky digital mascot, brought to life by fantastic voice acting by Asumi Kana (also voicing the eccentric Tensai from this season's Nanana's Buried Treasure). Ene's presence alone encourages humorous situations, with ludicrous imagery and unpredictable gags catching me completely off guard.

While a purely transitional episode, it was an entertaining jaunt, taking us deeper into the Mekakucity world. We get a good bit of back-story and exposition through casual dialogue, shaping the universe further and getting us more acquainted with the sizable cast of characters. With large ensembles it's inevitable that not everyone will be fully fleshed out, but they should take care to establish enough for us to care about them, which I think this show is well on its way of accomplishing.

On the narrative front, invisible threads are starting to take color, already revealing a few unexpected connections and having us try to guess how all the pieces laid out so far will intersect. As we see our multiple stories take shape, I'm sure there will be more than enough questions and mysteries to obscure the full picture -- whether they plan to reveal it all by the show's end or not.

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Dae Lee
Dae LeeContributor   gamer profile

I can't stop watching anime, listening to idol music, and playing video games. It's a wonder I'm still alive. Do the twitter thing @NewSchoolDae more + disclosures



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