「Born This Way」
Could Naka no Hito be at its heart a commentary on how Let’s Players can feel as though they must constantly sensationalize their lives in order to appeal to an audience that’s always watching yet never satisfied? An in-depth look at how the constant strain of performing can have an adverse effect on the psyche?
The answer, of course, is not likely, but that doesn’t mean this show isn’t fun to watch. There’s something about the absurdity and surrealism that’s downright charming, and while Akatsuki hasn’t become any more interesting, the second challenge did provide several side characters with the chance to shine. I particularly liked how vehement the Nurturing Game girl got over taking the challenge seriously, to the point where she flash-grenaded the boys after Kudou made a negative remark and made them sleep in the shed. Given her demeanor and design, one would be forgiven for thinking she was shy and quiet, but get her serious and you’ll find that a fire lurks within. Though it’s not quite enough to call her multi-faceted, it’s more effort than you’d usually find this early when it comes to developing characters.
Surprisingly, the stakes don’t feel any higher than they did in the first episode. At no point did any of the characters feel as though they were in genuine danger. The only real threat was the narcissistic Psychopath-sensei the panda girl needed to woo to complete the task, and even he was quickly incapacitated. Still, the reactions to these absurd events are amusing, which is a big reason why I wish they wouldn’t sideline Kudou Anya (Hatanaka Tasuku). He seems to have the most chemistry with just about all of the cast, but then again, seeing bad things happen to him, such as being dragged away from an all-girls school because he refused to wear the uniform, is pretty amusing in its own right. And then he got that heartwarming moment at the end when he ate the panda girl’s muffin, which only served to further prove my theory that he’s a big ol’ softie on the inside. Everyone has their favorite character archetypes. Mine just happens to be the tough guy with the ooey-gooey- center.
So, that’s it, then. The Let’s Players have solved their second challenge and no one’s dead. I’m planning on reviewing one last episode, just to see how it turns out, but after that I think I’ll probably be switching to a watch-only basis. As entertaining as Nakanohito is, I’m starting to feel as though I’ve already exhausted everything there is to say about it. Still, rules are rules. Three episodes, it is.
ED: 「僕を見つけて」 (Boku wo Mitsukete) by (Fhána)
After the second episode, I was honestly surprised this isn’t more like Danganronpa, or that it didn’t feel more sinister… I got more of a Natsume Yuujinchou vibe from it, actually… but, who knows if that’s gonna continue with the succeeding episodes.
So far violence really hasn’t been the answer. Akatsuki befriended the ghost and in this episode the objective was essentially to forgive someone who probably didn’t deserve it. Still, it was implied in the first episode that kids have died playing this game, so if it stays like this, it’d definitely be unexpected