「死骸博士」 (Shigai Hakase)
“The Corpse Doctor”
One week after the post-Christmas break, we have new opening and ending themes as expected. The story gets back on track about Gauche too, thanks to the highly misunderstood and misperceived doctor/biological specialist of the Bee-Hive, Dr. Thunderland Jr., a.k.a. the corpse doctor.
It was only a matter of time before someone took notice to all of the peculiarities surrounding Lag again and acted upon it. Spirit amber left-eye, dingo of legendary Maka blood, and the odd-looking creature that sits on top of her head. Well it turns out that Steak is some extinct species known as a Kapellmeister, and the resident corpse doctor has an obsession over dissecting things (much like a certain Dr. Stein in SOUL EATER). For those very reasons, Thunderland (Ishikawa Hideo) drags him off to his “Hell’s Kitchen”, so Lag and Zazie go after him to prevent Niche’s head ornament from becoming a real steak. Humorously enough, Niche merely understands this as her food being stolen, suggesting that she still plans to eat Steak one day. Most of the episode involved a mini chase into the doctor’s lab, where Lag’s shindan ends up revealing that Thunderland’s a friend of Gauche’s and quite sentimental towards the corpses he studies. Once the doctor learns of Lag’s ties to Gauche, he gives up on Steak and Niche for the time being and thinks of how he can entrust finding Gauche to Lag.
Fairly simplistic progression this time, but Thunderland was surprisingly refreshing with his quirky/obsessive behavior. That was nice to see, in conjunction with the Gauche-related story elements that have been absent as of late. They were somewhat minor, but reminded us of how Gauche’s mysterious disappearance is still the focus here. Other than that, it was interesting to see them bring up the stray cat from the Christmas episode, which Zazie incorrectly assumed Thunderland had dissected when he actually quarantined it due to a disease. From that, we officially learned that Zazie’s shindans are fragments of the malice within his heart and that shooting shindans at humans makes them experience the emotion/desire inside. In addition, Aria demonstrated her shindan’s ability to heal people via her violin’s music, something that Lag needed to recover from overusing his own shindan.
As for the two new songs, the second opening is much more mellow than the first. When combined with its sequence, it makes the series come off as cheery and hopeful despite depicting how Gauche is still missing. As such, I find that it’s a nice contrast of emotions. For those wondering, Seira’s song is titled “Instead of a Love Letter, I Have This Poem” to give you an idea of what the lyrics are about. On the other hand, “Memories of the Light” by Angelo sounds really good as an outro to each episode, much like HIMEKA’s song did. It’s mostly due to that mellow/surreal feel it and the sequence give off, which I tend to associate the world of Amberground with. I already like both songs after the first couple of listens, so I only see them growing on me more over time.
The next episode looks somewhat filler-esque, but I’ll reserve labeling it as such until I actually see it.