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Final Impressions: Mekakucity Actors

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Is this the real life? Is this just Mekakucity?

To take a collection of narratively contained songs, light novels and manga and spin it into a television series makes this show a anthology about a unique group of characters connected to each other in the same (and perhaps multiple) universe(s).

 

Having not read or seen the source material in depth, Mekakucity Actors really knows how to toy with expectations to the point where predicting the next episode becomes impossible. The fact that I was actually surprised that the cliffhanger story thread of the previous episode was followed through in the following one shows how gleefully these short narratives like to trade off without your knowledge, without any regard to sequential storytelling.

As a result, it's been a wild ride. As effective as Shaft's toolbox of visual tricks are, Mekakucity Actors stands out as a spotty production to say the least, ranging from horrifying CG to beautifully composed shots. The strong voice cast and art design do a good enough job of masking imperfections overall. 

The final conclusion finally brings all the players into one space to face off against the snake which has plagued Mary's family and her friends all their lives. With the last entry of this season wrapping up, there are still a fair amount of character development and glaring questions to be answered. Like any good mystery, much of the fun is in the journey. Being given fragments and speculating on how they fit together was satisfying, and each small revelation motivated me further.

Even if the conclusion was rather hastily put together and merely ties up the ensuing dilemma, the main elements that stick with you are the characters. Well realized and eccentric, the Mekakushi-dan stand out as a great ensemble cast full of lovable goofballs. 

Having just finished watching the series, there's still plenty of things left for my head to wrap around; maybe a little too much. With all the quick cuts leaping forward and back, even existing in different ethereal planes, it has a perplexing "End of Evangelion" styled sequence of events that I'll probably need a few re-watches to piece together my own interpretation.

This will undoubtedly be a massively divisive series. Not only is it an adaptation of a wildly popular collection of various mediums, but Shaft's signature style is its own small controversy by itself. If there's anything to take away from this, it's that there's a plethora of material out there -- more songs, music videos, books, and manga that will further piece together the mythos and stories of the Mekakushi-dan and its strange characters. 

It's a flawed show with production and pacing issues, but it still comes across as a bold, confident show that tackles and tough project and somehow managed to scrounge together a entertaining series in its own right. 

[Watch Mekakucity Actors on Crunchyroll!]

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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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