dark        

Annotated Anime: Mekakucity Actors episode 7

0

The red-eyed man is king.

In typical Mekakucity Actors fashion, they once again subvert my expectations by actually picking up where the last episode left off. The story seems to be taking a more recognizable form now; having thoroughly explored the tip of the iceberg, this episode suits up for the deep plunge below the surface to give us a glimpse of what this show is really about.

Once again skipping the typical opening credits, we jump right back into the action. This is a very dialogue driven episode, casting a new light on the members that make up the Mekakushi-dan, of the past and the present. Ene's past self, Enomoto, comes to terms with her feelings about Haruka after a pep talk with Ayano, only to be rewarded with a sudden fainting spell that initiates Enomoto's mysterious conversion to her digital self. 

There really isn't much in the way of action or even scene progression, as the majority of the episode takes place in the graveyard the Mekakushi-dan walk into at the end of episode 5. Even though this is the juncture where I desperately want to see the fall out from various currently running plot points, I appreciated the change of pace because it allowed for more lengthy and interesting conversations.

Kano, who played a comedic role in the show as a sub-leader of sorts, is given a more interesting role here. He teases Ene about a similar case where someone was transformed after a black out, a plot point that is conveniently put on hold when they are notified that Shintaro is in trouble. When the group leaves to meet up with Seto and Shintaro, Kano stays behind with Ene to exchange a few more words in secret.

He shows a much more sympathetic and thoughtful side, but when Ene further questions Kano about what he said earlier, he slyly reminds her that Haruka died the same day Ayano did, breaking Ene's pretense and making her face the truth she tried to bury. There is definitely more to Kano than meets the eye, and with the power of illusion and deception, he uses it well here to a chilling effect.

We're finally left with a final scene involving Haruka, who seems to be the "other person" who went through what Enomoto did. His mortality is pushed into a corner, confined to a hospital bed and waiting for inevitable death. A mysterious female voice offers him a chance to be reborn into a new, stronger body at the expense of losing his memories, a cruel offer that he can't refuse.

It's also worth noting the presence of professor Tateyama before Enomoto and Haruka collapse, and the strange figure of a girl with long black hair that we recognize as the heroine of the post-credits storybook sequences makes a clear appearance in the show proper as well. It's easy to think she is some sort of a mastermind behind everyone's unique abilities, but the fun part comes from trying to figure out how and why.

While we can start to see through the once solid wall that separated us from understanding the weave of stories and characters, much of it are still undefinable blurs of moving objects; beautiful but ominous gestures behind frosted glass. The intrigue builds and builds, and the more I watch, the more I wish shows would embrace a storytelling format that invites speculation in a playful and creative way that doesn't feel like a frustrating plot hole that the writers forgot to fill in, but instead feels like a playful invitation to try to build bridges on your own. 

I'm sure there will be more than enough information revealed between now and the end of the show, but a part of me wishes that they will leave some things unknown for the fan base to theorize and contemplate long after the show is over.

[Follow this show on Crunchyroll!]

You are logged out. Login | Sign up

 
 

Click to open photo gallery: