“Something Wicked This Way Comes”
Suspense to the Max:
When the action gets going in Kiseijuu it’s truly fantastic. Madhouse have sacrificed some of their budget when it comes to the scenes of lesser importance, but when the conflict is fast and the fights are rolling everything comes together wonderfully. Whilst you could classify Kiseijuu as a horror, it’s not the scariest thing I’ve ever watched; you might argue that the horror lies more in its body horror. Saying that, this episode had two scenes that were packed with enough suspense to make them have a real sense of danger to what was going on.
The first of which went down in the underground car park – which turns out is one of designated parasite feeding areas. From the random stranger following under to witness a murder, to Shinichi and the investigator returning to the scenes for inspection, I was on edge. The cinematography in was particularly on point, whether it having us distanced far away from the victim as he is strangled, giving us the sense of helplessness to the situation; or the opposite, having us so close up to Shinichi’s face that we can practically hear his breathing; or having him brought right into the middle of the action. Everything was framed to perfection, resulting in one of the best fights of the series to date. You could also say that there was a fair amount of spilled blood left behind.
The other tense scene comes in the last few minutes as Shinichi tries to distance himself from his school to keep them safe from the three approaching parasites. As it turns out though, those three entities are all within Miki (Namikawa Daisuke), which promises Shinichi his deadliest match yet. The whole build up in the taxi, the running, the pick up truck, and then finally in the middle of nowhere only helped seal this as a fantastic cliffhanger.
Final Villain in Question:
Outside of Shinichi’s troubles we get to see Gotou (Inoue Kazuhiko) playing the piano in his speedos. I don’t know if there is any particular reason behind this… was it just manservice? I can’t imagine it in a series like this, but if I do say so myself I think he pulled off the look quite well. What’s important here though is that despite how ridiculous the scene was, there was a real sense of danger and intensity coming from who I presume is now confirmed as the final villain of the series. Before now it’s been difficult to get a proper impression of who he was, but stripping him off and painting the scene in cold colours was enough to establish this man as a threat – an informed, calculating threat. Who plays the piano well.
Overview – What’s Next?
I liked that we got more from Shinichi this episode than just him freaking out and making crazy faces. We certainly did get that, but mixed it was nicely woven with scenes like his dream with Migi (I presume it was Migi by the voice?) in some bloody and barren landscape. It was random and a little jarring, but like the rest of the episode, the effective art direction was different enough from the norm that it worked. There’s also Murano to consider as well – I don’t blame her for running away after her last moments with Shinichi. Having him return with a wave and a smile felt very forced and totally awkward. Their relationship isn’t going wonderfully… I just wonder if she’s ever going to find out about parasites at this point.
One by One: