Friday, March 23, 2012

Inu X Boku SS - 11

[HorribleSubs] Inu X Boku Secret Service - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.16_[2012.03.22_14.23.44] [HorribleSubs] Inu X Boku Secret Service - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.14_[2012.03.22_14.35.42] [HorribleSubs] Inu X Boku Secret Service - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.00_[2012.03.22_14.43.47]

If I was to point to one Winter series that’s less like any other, it might be Inu X Boku.  It’s certainly unique, for better or worse.

Judging by how many viewers guessed (or are manga readers and good liars) what the big “secret” that Kagerou kept trying to force out of Soushi was, it can’t have been too much of a shock to anybody.  Indeed, my initial reaction definitely falls into then”BFD” category.  Ririchiyo certainly isn’t stupid, and she knew there was no way Kagerou had written the sensitive and heartfelt letters she’d been receiving for all those years.  Whether she knew it was Soushi I suppose is another matter, though logic implies that she did know it least subconsciously.  Given that there has been a much ado about nothing quality at the heart of this series anyway, I suppose this anti-revelation fits right in.

With that said, I’ll give David Production credit for lending the whole episode an air of gravity that probably exceeds anything I reasonably expected, largely thanks to the patient, measured pacing, the BGM, and the performance by Nakamura Yuichi.  It almost had the effect of an act of hypnosis, as I was initially somewhat bored by the narrative but was slowly drawn into it until the whole story took on a very real quality.  The darkness that exists under the generally whimsical tone of this series has always been perceptible, so it was no surprise that Soushi’s life story turned out to be as grim as it was.  A prisoner in his own family compound, a seducer as a pubescent boy, a manipulator and liar.

It was the with the addition of Kagerou’s mother Ayame (Shinohara Emi, “Sailor Jupiter” herself) that things got really interesting.  She was the first one who saw through Soushi’s advances for what they were, and rejected them – yet helped him anyway, which I see as a sort of unsung hero act that the story largely glosses over.  The culmination is the letter-writing campaign, of course, and while the emotional peak of the ep is supposed to be the moment when the elevator door opens and Soushi hugs Ririchiyo, for me it was the moment when Ririchiyo recognizes the honesty when Soushi writes his first letter as “himself” – it was as if that was the first moment he realized he existed as his own person, and not a construct for the benefit of others.

I suppose in that light, his behavior through the first ten episodes is all the more irritating – but that’s water under the bridge now I suppose.  It was also interesting to see Kagerou apologize in his own boyish way, an act which surely seems out of character for him.  It looks as if this episode is probably about as far as the anime is going with the main storyline, as next week’s finale looks like an overall reflection on the events of the series – including a major role for Renshou, who’s been sadly overlooked for almost the entire series despite making a wonderful first impression.

[HorribleSubs] Inu X Boku Secret Service - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.39_[2012.03.22_14.35.07] [HorribleSubs] Inu X Boku Secret Service - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.44_[2012.03.22_14.39.30] [HorribleSubs] Inu X Boku Secret Service - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.38_[2012.03.22_14.41.25]
[HorribleSubs] Inu X Boku Secret Service - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.54_[2012.03.22_14.42.41] [HorribleSubs] Inu X Boku Secret Service - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.44_[2012.03.22_14.45.31] [HorribleSubs] Inu X Boku Secret Service - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.51_[2012.03.22_14.45.37]


7 comments:

  1. You know Enzo, if your are curious and/or interested, after the series is finished you might give the manga a look and compare the series with the written source. Be kinda interested to hear your thoughts on comparing the two, but it might be interesting for you as well if the series has really kinda wormed it's way into your heart. :)

    - Flower

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    1. Hmmm, is the plot different? Anything that stands out?

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  2. The manga is sad very sad...

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  3. Inu for me is an underappreciated gem, I don't see it being given the recognition it should have. I really would like another season.

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  4. This was a great episode, and it could easily have been a great final episode as well.

    We finally get to see Soushi's backstory and what all this "deceiving" was all about.

    Glad to see Ririchiyou was clever enough to figure out that those letters weren't written by Kagerou.

    Still, Kagerou did the cool thing by apologizing (in his own eccentrically silly way) and stepping aside for Soushi and Ririchiyo.

    I think nearly wept when Soushi embraced Ririchiyo in the elevator.

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  5. Kagerou is likely an over-grown child. I think he's actually mostly harmless. Karuta is likely the far more dangerous of the two, when they're together. Oh, and "Peking Duck!", haha.

    I actually went and watched eps 1-11 after skimming this post previously. I thought this was a fetish send up series, so I'd skipped it. I was pleasantly surprised. There's not much plot, but the world & characters are interesting. Looking forward to ep 12.

    Soshi's out-of-character question in ep 10 makes a lot more sense now. He was actually jealous of Kagerou and the time he spent with Ririchiyo. Obviously, jealousy is not an emotion he's used to either hiding or dealing with. It came out about as well as Ririchiyo expresses her normal emotions.

    It does set up an interesting symmetry in the characters, though. As our main couple are both the only people to really see the "true" person before them. (With an assist to Kagerou's mother, of all things) It also explains why Soshi can see right through Ririchiyo, yet she can't see much of anything about Soshi. Very nice direction by the staff there, really. They ended up using the actual nature of the letter writing as the frame work for the main relationship.

    Look forward to the ep 12 and series reviews!

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  6. Oh, and when mainlining this, Soshi really isn't that creepy, as I keep reading in discussions of this series. You don't have time to dwell on all of his actions and his odd/endearing moments stick with you.

    Also, it's obvious there's a serious history involved between them, so you're curious. And Ririchiyo's complete inability to express emotions is pretty damn funny.

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