Kuragehime – 05
「私はクラゲになりたい」 (Watashi wa Kurage ni Naritai)
“I Want to be a Jellyfish”
How quaint that it would be raining outside my windows, as this week’s showing of Kuragehime had rain pouring throughout. A symbol for the depressing nature of the contents coming within the next twenty minutes, but somehow something I did not realize until it was all over. I suppose Chieko’s mom selling the complex without much of Chieko’s say in it should have put up a flag, but it did show that the story is not slowing down. What with last episode’s pure character development, I foolishly thought we were in for a slow trudge through several lifeless episodes of randomness (like most anime), but how delightfully wrong I was. I mean, it should have been obvious with Kuragehime only having 11 episodes total, as doing any dragging around would be biting their own ass, but it’s nothing that hasn’t happened to other shows before.
Having had a taste of normalcy, dabbled with a twinge of love, the loss of blissful ignorance coupled with Shuu’s own has sent Tsukimi down the spiral of depression that sadly, I know all too well (but that is a story for my personal statements *shakes fist*). This time, instead of just seeing the jellyfish, Tsukimi wishes to be one herself, jealous of their simple nature with no troubles in life (for comparison, some pet owners wish to be their cats or dogs in times of stress). They laid it pretty thick with the whole metaphorical thing, but it is interesting from a writing standpoint, given the medium of the source material. Manga doesn’t usually try different styles in telling its story from chapter to chapter, but there are some that dabble in it at times just to switch it up (can’t really think of a good example). So far, we’ve had a different narrative, and now we have an overarching symbol/metaphor, which makes me wonder if the chapters went like this as well. Whether the metaphor was contained within one chapter or over several, it deserves some props for “challenging” the medium. But man, this episode got pretty damn depressing until Kuranosuke showed up, which had me so relieved he was part of the show (even though he’s the co-protagonist). Imagine if this show was JUST Tsukimi and Shuu. The emotions and frustrations I would feel might just tear me to pieces (and I’d drop the show lmao because frustration is probably one of those feelings that you just don’t want in a show, ever.)
Anyway, a new character is introduced, namely Shoko Inari, played by Kitanishi Junko, apparently a “new” seiyuu. I can’t tell if she’s new or not given her age, so maybe being a seiyuu is just her side job. Boy, this show seems to be a vehicle for sparse seiyuu doesn’t it? Anywho, Shoko Inari, a woman who has perfected the art of beauty (probably being born with it), uses it to reel in men to rid them of their property, and possibly going so far as to even having sex to seal the deal (implied or not). So how does this devil woman come into the story? Akuma Inari plans to woo Shuu (lolrhymes) in order to get the demolishing of the Amamizu-kan to succeed. BUT WILL THIS WORK? NAW, SHUU IS TOO IGNORANT. Shuu’s totally being played up to be the “innocent bystander” in this love triangle, but there’s just no way he can overtake Kuranosuke. As the story is right now, I’m still rootin’ for Kuranosuke. However, the preview shows Shuu without glasses, and he looks badass (srs), who knew?!
Towards the end, everyone’s near given up on saving the Amamizu-kan, but of course Kuranosuke comes in and saves the day. Deciding to fight fire with fire, Kuranosuke finally sets out to do what he wanted since the beginning by giving everyone makeovers. Fighting with beauty to win against those who judge by it, that being just about everyone, and basically using society’s shallowness against them, is mindblowingly awesome and a new perspective that I have never thought about. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a show using beauty to overcome plot in this particular way, so massive points for something “fresh”. In contrast, Akuma Inari also fights with beauty, but for a much eviler reason. Coincidence that this was the episode she was introduced in? I think not!
With comedy that makes me laugh every single episode (something that only a handful of shows could do), a growing plot that never bores, and characters that I never thought I would get attached to, Kuragehime’s rough exterior is slowly but definitely becoming polished into that shiny diamond.
“Oh it’s Banba’s turn. Well how the hell is he going to style Banba’s hair, it’s impossi-HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG”