「海賊娘」 (Kaizoku Musume)
Two more characters have joined the party.
Character Introduction Episode, Again
This was another character introduction episode. The first introduction: Atui (Hara Yumi), the Kansai-ben speaking princess who’s in love with love (and the falling thereof). The second: Kiuru (Murase Ayumu), the overly-formal (and a little baka) archer in Oshutoru’s employ. Both of them are promising characters. I liked how Atui didn’t seem to fall completely in love with Haku, though her moving in next door would seem to indicate she has. But at least she wasn’t as head-over-heels with it as Rurutie was. It’s more that Atui is signaling interest, and during the date she was getting swept up in the moment, which fits what we’ve learned about her. As for Kiuru, he’s mostly just a change from the endless parade of possible haremettes, plus I laughed at his fumble with the mask.
My complaint is that we keep getting these episodes that are clearly designed to introduce specific characters, and nothing more. They’re not being written to entertain or to further the plot. The to-do list is “1: Introduce Atui. 2: Introduce Kiuru. 3: Wank and a nap.” Which is not the preferred method of storytelling! There’s a saying that goes, “life happens when you least expect it,” and that’s how storytelling is as well. Introductions and character development should happen while the rest of the story is happening, not in a vacuum. If it’s something that has to be done before the story can proceed, then at least get it all done in a rush. Five episodes in, I do expect more movement than we’re getting, even if the series has two-cour to work with. It’s not about having the time. It’s about needing to earn our attention each and every week, and while building up for a punch is a legitimate strategy, you’ve got to give us something in the meantime. Without even a concept of what that punch might be, we’re hoping for greatness based on a name, and hope will only take us so far.
Haku the Righteous [Odd-Job] Man
If anything hints at the plot, it’s Ukon’s hiring of Haku and Kuon to be his secret agents. I’m just kidding, they’ve become members of
their school’s the capital’s Sket Dan. They’re doing odd-jobs! Which, while admirable, and wise on Ukon’s part—if a bit small potatoes for a general, it must be said—isn’t particularly enthralling. Not all stories need to be about conflict and war, but there’s a reason a lot of stories are (even if the conflict is internal, or sports-based, or centered on love). It’s compelling, and odd-jobs aren’t particularly compelling (though 32 volumes/77 episodes of Sket Dance would seem to suggest they can be made so). So, uh … what are we doing here, fellows? And by fellows, I mean the staff and writers of Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen.
Looking Ahead – Let’s Get A Move On
If it sounds like I’m reaching for things to say, you’re right. Itsuwari no Kamen isn’t giving me a lot to work with right now. I like the slow build, I really do, but right now it doesn’t feel like we’re building. It feels like we’re not only laying down the foundation, but we’re getting every tool and raw material that’ll be needed for our story-house ready before we start. Which is all well and good, but you can get some of those tools when you need them, or hit up a home improvement store when you need some 2x4s and a box of nails! These are options, Itsuwari no Kamen. What I’m saying is, get on with it. It’s not that I’m not enjoying the show, but a successful franchise isn’t a signal that you can break the rules. You have to earn our attention, or that name will lose its luster.
Original Utawarerumono Marathon Update (through episode eight):
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Say hello to Atui and Kiuru. That’s pretty much all that happened. That and shoujo sparkles! #utawarerumono s2e5
- Isn’t it interesting how thick princesses are on the ground in our fiction? Not even princes can match it. That probably says something interesting about modern human society.
- Kuon might not be interested in particular Haku right now, but she’s at least a little interested in all kinds of crazy things, ufufu~
- It’s hard to find as good of a bromance as Haku & Ukon are developing. In anime or in real life. Highly suggested. See, anime? It doesn’t have to be all about harems.
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