So the one to keep the entire detective group together can’t even break her own chopsticks evenly. Is this going to be a sign of another promising J.C. Staff show that will eventually fall flat on its face (e.g. Yumekui Merry, Ookami-san), or will it rise to the top by the end of this season as one of the most involving and deep mysteries whose underlying story will eventually surpass its already top-notch visuals (e.g. anything by P.A. Works as of late)?
Durarara!! meets Gosick, sprinkled with a little bit of Welcome to the N.H.K. and a hint of Eden of the East, except there’s no Ikebukuro, it’s now the 21st century where cell phones and computers dominate as sources of information and communication amongst people, and it seems to be somewhat of a cool thing to be a NEET with 20+ monitors, computer towers, and a slew of stuffed animals on your bed (if you’re female). The diverse character pool is similar to DRRR!!’s cast in that their personalities differ enough to compliment one another when they all decide to work together. Coupled with main heroine
Yuuko’s Alice’s big pushes as ‘captain’ of this NEET team and you have what seems to be a thrill ride to determining the solution to whatever mystery case she decides to chase after.
In the case of a series opener, I was delighted (albeit a little on-edge) that the show decided to use such a heavier topic to make its impact bigger on the audience. In this instance, teenaged prostitution was used as a means to drive home quite a few serious points about its consequences, as well as to develop the characters surrounding the disappearance of the main victim. Those involved with her in the past act as emotional queues for the NEET detectives to soak up and eventually find a resolution. I would think that prostitution as a plot device is never easy to cover, and I can only think of one other show that did this successfully (e.g. Samurai Champloo and its brothels), but I applaud J.C. Staff for their delicate execution on the matter.
Still, it was sad to see another person fall to the pressures of societal perfectionism whilst being accompanied by those who look up to those caught in the middle of it. Shouko’s futile attempts to tarnish her name ended rather tragically, which brought about the one of the episodes chillier scenes shared by Alice and Miku as Alice revealed Shouko’s true whereabouts on top of a ghostly female chant for background music. And the interesting aspects of Satoshi and Miku holding two sides of Shouko’s true personality coin didn’t help justify Shouko’s fate, but it did serve as a good way to round out the final development of her character.
In light of all the seriousness, characters like Narumi and Ayaka help break up the tension, especially when Ayaka’s lighthearted antics and teasing Narumi from time to time. I wonder if, at some point, she’ll get thrown into the mix of mysteries at some point, or if her bubbly personality is what it is and nothing more.
Yuuko in goth-loli transformation? Despite having blue eyes instead of green, I’d say she’s either the spitting image of a modern day Victorique de Bloise, or at least a direct descendant of her, especially with how Gosick just ended recently. All she’s missing now is a pipe and more frills.
In any case, it looks like I’ll be sticking with this show for as long as it holds its end on the storytelling side. So far, the first episode set a nice benchmark for itself, so I have nothing but high hopes that the mysteries will stay fresh and suspenseful.