「奇妙な来訪者」 (Kimiyouna Raihou-sha)
“A Strange Visitor”
Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin is definitely a show which has some of the more original cast of characters I’ve seen in a while. No matter how many times I’ve seen Juugo, I still can’t quite figure him out. It annoys me how he seems to think that he’s a selfish individual, but deep down, he still wants to help Nanana move on. He’s also not the typical passive male lead that just gets dragged around by those around him, instead he’s the one that initiates. He puts effort into sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong and that’s what I can’t figure out – do I like this guy or not? Does he have ulterior motives? Regardless, I give him points for being different (and some more for being a bada**). Other people like Tensai and Daruku are a little easier to read and one of the few characters who appear more innocent and outsiders in this story. The reason I like them is because they’re not directly involved with the Adventure Club or Matsuri, and every time they do get stuck in the middle, they’re just as lost as the audience… until Tensai cracks the case. I won’t claim that they’re not tied to everything else that’s happening, but for the time being, it seems like they’ve taken a backseat in the story. That’s a shame because Tensai’s relationship with Ikkaku (who still remains anonymous) could be an interesting one to explore.
Isshin feels much less two-dimensional after this episode. I thought he was going to be written off after that stunt he pulled (twice!) but he’s still around and kicking. In fact, it’s his history with the Adventure Club that drives the rest of this anime (given that this is the last arc). Ikusaba Hiiyo (Sugita Tomokazu) being the antagonist for the remaining few episodes, he’s not exactly subtle about it huh? We know that he used to live in the room before Juugo, we know that he’s a dangerous person that scares people and we know that he’s hunting down pieces of the treasure even after leaving the Adventure Club. That leaves me to wonder what happened to everyone else, and what does he want from Nanana’s Collection? If it’s for world domination I will cry – not everyone wants to take over the world. Hiiyo has this vibe that tells me he’s a misunderstood person and perhaps he’s not as creepy as everyone else assumes he is. Sure he makes a few people cry, but I think he actually will have a great back story that might lead to Nanana’s real killer.
A few people have mentioned the possibility that Nanana might not be truly dead in the past few episodes. That doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s ALIVE either though; she could be stuck in limbo, cursed or something in between. I don’t know how likely it is that she can be brought back… in no way am I convinced that she can be a living person in this anime or the next. However I do believe that she’s here in Juugo’s room for more reasons other than closure. She hasn’t said much about the actual enjoyment that she receives from people finding her treasures, but I’m beginning to think that she’s still around because of her collection. When she talked about people finding resolve by utilizing these treasures, it really made me feel like that was her intention. When Hiiyo appeared and called her bell junk, I could feel how hurt Nanana was – not frightened, but upset at the misjudgment of something that she thought could bring someone joy someday. I still think Nanana is a weak character in comparison to the rest of the cast, but I can finally sympathize with her situation. Not being locked in a room, because she doesn’t seem to mind, but more so how misunderstood she is. She must be deeper than that and I feel like that anime could’ve gotten to this point sooner.
This week also brings together a few characters that were previously mentioned but probably glossed over. Konjou Kasumi (Kawasumi Ayako) who was the owner of the diary that Juugo finds in the first episode, turns out to be the original President of the Adventure Club. Not much else is known about her besides a brief look at her face (and her voice) and her residency with Nanana. She’ll likely play a pivotal role in the remaining 3 episodes – probably involving Hiiyo’s plan at the school. Could there be another ruin on the school’s premises? I would think so consider Tsujimi and Yun’s return to the story as well. Honestly, I totally forgot about their involvement in the hunt for Nanana’s Collection until they showed up again. For such a short run, this story seriously packs it full of characters who all seem to play equally important roles.