I'm ready to say that the greatness we've seen from Dansai Bunri is no fluke - this show knows exactly what it's doing, and it's doing it brilliantly.
Misumi Kashiko (Yasuno Kiyono). Or rather, that of her family, as Kashiko seems disinterested in carrying on the family trade despite the fervent wishes of her mother. Kashiko spends her time modeling when her mother isn't forcing her to practice on hapless classmates like Naruto Kotarou (Shimazaki Nobunaga, giving us a reunion of the Tari Tari boys). Kashiko seems to be a Muggle, as there's no evidence she's connected to any cursed goods - but she does immediately notice the strangeness of Iwai-chan's hair, which she says is like a baby's. All hair ages, she says, even that of a child like herself - but that doesn't seem to apply to Iwai. Kashiko's role in the premise is still TBD but she makes a good (almost) first impression with her poorly hidden delight when Iwai and Kiri call her beautiful.
escaped Author and his hammer on the loose. Yamane tells Kiri that it's likely the killer has become a "soulless man" - someone who lacked an Instead and as a result completely succumbed to the evil of his killing goods - and is thus killing randomly, rather than seeking out the Queen in order to free himself of his curse.
eventual confrontation between Kiri and Hammer-man is a thing of grisly beauty - once again switching to monochrome when Kiri falls under the influence of his killing goods.
expresses a willingness to follow in the footsteps of his ancestor in order to protect Iwai, he still hasn't killed anyone and seems quite connected to reality. "I want my heart to be strong like an iron scissors. And my soul to fear nothing." It's a statement that lends itself to open interpretation, and leaves a cloud of ambiguity hanging over the character (quite intentionally).
awkwardness between them as he stays at her house is totally believable and normal, and it's juxtaposed with so many strange and edgy moments - like the scene where she flees into his arms, naked, after the power is cut. Kiri strokes her hair, an odd smile on his face, and it seems for a moment that for Iwai her cursed kami is an erogenous zone. Then there's the moment when, in fleeing from the Hammer-man, a terrified Iwai wets herself, and Kiri is the soul of compassion and love - comforting and consoling her even as his own potential death is bearing down on him. They're a remarkable pair, wonderful together as a unique and mystifying couple - and I can't wait to see more of them.
visuals that grab you first, and this truly is an astonishingly beautiful series. I noted the TTGL connection in my post on the premiere, and it's no less obvious, but Crime Edge isn't a visual clone of that show - it's very much a style unto itself. We don't see a marriage of character design, backgrounds, cinematography and fluid animation like this very often. It's hard to see how Gokumi can possibly maintain the animation quality and detail at this level for the entire run, but there's so much talent on display here that I suspect the show will always look great even if those aspects become inconsistent. If you're on the fence with this series I urge you to give it a try for any of the myriad reasons I've discussed - it really is that special a show.