「お兄様、ご武運を」 (Onii-sama, Gobuun o)
“Brother, Good Luck”
For every high there’s a low, every mountain a valley, and in Yuutousei every success a stumble. While I don’t expect glorious things from a spinoff which has proven itself more fluff than fleshing out, it’s still a little disappointing seeing episodes like last week capped with the stuff of this one. Might just be nitpicking on my part at this stage, but it’s nitpicking with a purpose.
Much like the Blanche arc at the start of this season, Yuutousei has apparently decided to follow the similar script of belatedly introducing key events, organizations, and personae and simultaneously leaving them as little more than offhand mentions floating in the breeze. The No Head Dragons are the case in point here, being the main baddie of this arc, and yet only now officially seeing the light of day. The problem isn’t how they’re being treated (you wouldn’t expect a Rettousei emphasized group to get much attention in Yuutousei), but rather how they’re being introduced; as with Blanche, something like this works best when you tease or cameo it early on and give tidbits to let the audience fill in the blanks. The results might be fine for Mahouka fans, but for anyone here who hasn’t seen Rettousei (which if being honest is probably few at this stage) it’s incredible rushing even for a budget-conscious adaptation. Not game ending, but certainly something a bit of imagination and adaptation liberty could’ve handled better.
On the other side of things were the usual character features and here the stumbles kept out of the way. Besides the fun and joy of detective trio doing detective trio things – otherwise known as Shizuku soloing the groupwork as the team decides on strategy – Miyuki finally returned the fore in preparation for the last big hurrah of this arc. The scenes and interactions on display aren’t particularly stupendous through any measure of the phrase, but they at least continue to showcase a side of things Rettousei often failed to do. Stuff like First and Third School tag-teaming to save the day, Miyuki laying the groundwork for her faceoff against Airi, or even certain Miyuki-isms do wonders for fleshing out various aspects Rettousei only dealt with in passing. Again, nothing amazing overall, but something I appreciate getting for how it helps smoothen an otherwise technical-focused story.
Considering next week deals with Yuutousei’s titular centerpiece, such an approach can only further help things along.
Watching this is like watching the side stories and not watching the main season. While it has its own story to tell, its filling in holes and background plots that didn’t need to be in the main season. Your supposed to know the main story already, so things that have already been shown there don’t need to be fully retold here or hinted at because you should know about them way ahead of time already.
The problem with that is, the gap between this Spin-off and the original run where it’s supposed to be based off of is within a whopping 6 Years. I’ve seen a couple ‘returnees” of the series who’ve watched the first season years ago but are confused if they should rewatch the original or just proceed with this spin-off. And some are even confused if this is a sequel spin-off or if they should watch the 2nd season as well.
I think they’re doing a decent job of not keeping the introductions of past events too short or too long for both ends. But reception for this is mostly Mixed. Some who have just recently watched the original might see it as bothersome since they already know what happens next. It can also be confusing for those who only have vivid memories of the past events in the oroginal, making it look rushed as a whole.