「都庁展望室の異世界エレベーター」 (Tochou Tenbou-Shitsu no Isekai Erebeetaa)
“The Parallel World Elevator of the City Hall Observation Deck”
After the whirlwind of pacing that was the first couple episodes, it feels as though Mayonaka no Occult Koumin has finally hit its stride – a nice leisurely jog. As an anime-only watcher, I’d say that it feels as though the writers wanted to introduce Kohaku as quickly as possible to get the audience intrigued, but now they’re stuck in a corner. After all, it’s still way too early to involve him in Arata’s adventures. As far as Anothers go, he’s incredibly powerful, so at this early stage of Arata’s development, his participation in solving the case of the week would either stunt Arata’s character growth or create needless conflict that does little to further the narrative.
Take this case, for instance. Investigating the parallel world in the elevator gave rise to exactly two important developments, though one I could have sworn was outright stated earlier on. For the first, Arata found himself trapped in an Another’s domain this episode, where he naturally tried to reason with her. The reason he found himself in that position was because the Another was stealing feelings of loss in love then erasing the memories of those they belonged to once she was done. Of course, she doesn’t ask permission when she does this, nor does she seem to understand why inconveniencing humans should bother her at all. Her morality and mindset are entirely divorced from humanity, as Seo has quite literally has been warning since the beginning. Arata needed to experience this disparity firsthand so that he could reevaluate the nature and purpose of his abilities.
Losing Arata to the woman with the golden box hit Sakaki hard, especially since it was his feelings of loss (though not the required loss of love) that brought their elevator to her domain in the first place. See, she’s searching for negative feelings and emotions that escaped her box when she opened it. Sound like any Greek myths you know? But, if not loss of love, what is Sakaki feeling? Well, his sister went missing years ago, as we learned before, and he blames himself for her loss, just as he blamed himself when Pandora stole Arata away.
Going forward, Arata will most likely continue to use his powers to solve small disputes among the Anothers, hopefully regain his confidence, and come to accept his role as the mediator between humans and Anothers. As for Sakaki, the last time he got a lead on his sister’s whereabouts was when Kohaku mentioned taking the girls he used in his ritual from an Another that was selling them. This arc is sure to come up again and soon, since Sakaki’s storyline seems to carry the most momentum at the moment. The frustration and desperation he felt when he was searching for Arata was even more gripping than Arara’s conversation with the Another in my opinion, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Also, before I forget about Seo, let me just say that he is always right, and his character arc for the series should be the others realizing that they should listen to him more.
I had mentioned in a previous review that the humor was restricted by the limitations of the character models, but here and now, I would like to retract that statement. This series doesn’t overly rely on sweatdrops or forehead slaps or any of those comedic shortcuts, and it doesn’t have to. Seo’s mannerisms are amusing on their own, the female Another nearly dropping her box then prattling on without a care while Arata texted on his phone brought some much needed levity to their interactions, making her alienness even more impactful towards the end, and Arata’s varying degrees of panic and exasperation when trapped in her space made all of them endearing in their own ways.
Well, that seems to cover Anothers from Aztec, Christian, Chinese, Japanese, Scottish, European, and Greek mythology. The next Another may just make or break Arata’s resolve, so let’s cross our fingers and hope it’s a unicorn.