「不思議なよそ者」 (Fushigi na Yosomono)
“The Mysterious Stranger”
I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to continue coverage for Yurei Deco, however, this episode has certainly wained all doubts. I’ll come out and say it, the characters are lovingly rendered and animated with clear intent in every movement. The story is solid and fast-paced, I never felt like it dulled, while at the same time it advanced with enough force to keep the episode moving and not feeling stale. There were enough foreshadowing moments for future events to come that kept me interested and wanting more. The only thing that impaired me from wanting to cover this series is the visuals. Where’s the color? Buildings are grey and stale, with a clear juxtaposition for the holograms, I mean if that’s what they were going for then it’s great. If all buildings look the same, then there’s no way people are going to find originality or personal freedom and are going to be kept in line. The architecture of the show sort of reminds me of the coffin-cages homes in china, the cul-de-sac in Florida, or even still the Infonavit buildings in Mexico. All three examples are projects created by the government to house those in need (to my understanding).
And it certainly feels that way to me at least, after the love attack, a group of soldiers or armed assailants show up, these goons feel like they’re police, but they don’t follow any typical rules that would mark them as such. It felt more like they were part of the company that is controlling the masses with the love points. The first words out of their mouths were about the love points being stolen and how they were being manipulated by means that broke the ToS.
And so they go in search of Hack, and even though she’s using some type of invisibility cloak, they are able to see through her as their Deco’s are suited with means of doing so.
But let’s rewind a little bit, as I want to talk about the fight between Berry, Hack, and Zero. Hack uses her paper airplanes to go against Zero, and steal some data. Which she pours into the flowers. It’s all very exciting. As they search for an exit, Zero tries her best to not let them escape, however, Hack uses some type of slime worm, probably in reference to a computer virus or something, and it spreads across the custom hyperspace. Mapping out the area, revealing the exit. That’s how they are able to get out of there. Hack distracts Zero and a portal tube opens up that lets them travel back to the real world. This fight I found incredibly dynamic and at the same time full of interesting ideas. There was so much creativity, it was hard to ignore. I’m a big fan of fights that don’t necessarily need contact to work. And Yurei Deco seems like it’s going to be filled with these!
Back at school Berry and her friends discuss the new puzzle game that is dropping, that magician fox guy is apparently the game master and some sort of riddler character. Berry on her way to the optics searches along her path and wonders to herself if she was maybe in some sort of beta test. But she soon heads to the optic, where we learn that Deco’s must be used by all citizens whether they like it or not, it’s the law. And those that don’t necessarily want to get eye surgery, can use glasses. Berry is about to be stabbed in the eye but remembers that her broken Deco is what helped her see Hack in the first place. So she bails out of there.
At home she tries her dad’s Deco and goes into his workplace, the mystery is solved in case you had any questions about what they were doing deleting data and approving it. Turns out they are some type of content moderator. Much like the one Facebook uses to scan through all the clutter of videos that get uploaded to the site. She gets grounded however she quickly breaks that rule and uses the flower to find Hack. But as she searches for him, she comes across a guy in a Neko outfit, and another character that looks like a woman but as he spoke we find it’s actually a guy. His name is Finn (Irino, Miyu) this character has been slowly teased. And now finally he’s here, I wonder what type of dynamic Berry and Finn will have?
Yurei Deco is doing a great job at presenting its world and easing us into all of the technicalities, slowly making sure we understand them while at the same time not overwhelming us with all its techno-mumbo jumbo. The techno-gods moving the masses with invisible fingers from across the veil are certainly coming on quite well (the feeling that is). While at the same time, the story of Berry, Hack, and now Finn is extremely interesting. There are so many things this show reminds me of, Blade Runner is one of them, with the floating faces and holograms all around. I do wish that the city itself could have also been a character, a gritty backdrop for all the things that are happening in the story. But you can’t win them all. And the neon signs could have been better implemented. That being said I quite like the use of CGi in this show as it’s the most beautiful aspect of it. And the lore and story are most compelling.
Full-length images: 39.