On seeing the first four episodes, or, Jumping the Gun Again.
So far, this seems more like Lyre Von Ertiana’s story than Misaki’s. Fine by me; I really like Shelley Calene-Black’s voice, it’s low, cool, alluring and somehow dangerous*. And what we’re seeing so far really gives shape to her character in Divergence Eve. Her scenes with the samurai-ninja guy were affecting without being overt, as was the revelation, late in that episode, of how cruel time-travel can be to a person. Her growing interest in Misaki as a person, not simply an assignment, is also well handled.
This series makes me sad, though. Misaki seems to be an eternal pawn, not only to the Ghoul and Le Blanc, but even to her memories, her need for friends, and her devotion to her father’s shadow. In this time-twisted realm, she seems to be the pin upon which the world rotates. And everyone wants to choose a direction for her. I find that sad because if ever the phrase “sweet kid” could be applied to anyone, it’s Misaki. She really does seem like a nice person, very kind and thoughtful if a bit clumsy. And unlike nearly everyone else, she has no hidden agenda. Maybe that’s why she’s so appealing; she’s all on the surface (except for her unusual heritage, but she seems unaware of that; even if she were, I can’t imagine her using that for selfish reasons).
Sad or not, I have to say, that this series is pretty damn stunning. It’s truly gorgeous in many ways, approaching the level of “Spirited Away” (though from, and toward, a different direction). Some of this is helped by the occasional forlorn piano music, reminiscent of Erik Satie. Satie was one of the pioneers of “ambient music,” meant not so much for active listening but to inspire mood and thought by its quiet prodding. It works very well in that respect here.
And the song that ends each episode, to Misaki running through fog, is unusually low key for these sorts of things. I have to wonder, where is she running? I have the awful feeling that she’s running toward someone else. She seems to need friends, and the approval of her friends to live her own life (“we all have the same cell phone pages” indeed). Even I think she seems like an incomplete person, someone who lives her life for others. Her aloneness defines her…but is not her natural state.
Four episodes in, nearly a third, and it’s really not her story yet. Not that I claim to know what’s going on (this series is a definite head-scratcher), though I have my theories.
Incidentally, yes, this is a sequel to Divergence Eve, and yes, they’re back.
I’m finding the breasts more disturbing this time around. In the first episode, every time Misaki made a sudden movement (or jogged) those things would slosh around like someone put some bacon in a flesh-colored water-balloon with a piranha inside it. (Damn. I’m going to copyright that phrase.) I’m not a mammophobe, far from it, but these things were really bothering me. Fortunately, in the next episodes, they’re toned down somewhat. They’re still there, but not as highlighted.
To be continued.
*Yes, as previously and tediously noted: as far as anime is concerned, I am the ultimate horror, the total philistine, the wrecker of all that is good and pure. I watch the dubbed versions. Sue me.