I’ll be the first to admit that horror isn’t really my thing. I’m good with avoiding getting freaked out as much as possible. But that doesn’t mean I can’t respect or get into shows that have a good mix of that in their premise. This was honestly a solid first episode with a nice little twist at the end that establishes the dynamic between the leads. It does leave me feeling various degrees of sympathy for the characters and makes their future actions understandable. The show having 2-cours to tell its story at least leaves it enough room to make an impact. It is adapting an ongoing manga so there isn’t going to be a true conclusion here, but it should be good enough to be satisfying.
The ending of the episode was great for establishing who these characters are. Keitaro’s quirk both makes it easier to enjoy seeing him be put into these situations and gives his actions logic beyond “well he’s a pushover.” I kind of like that he’s getting a kick out it. That part of him loves being terrified. Now that’s not completely unusual since…people do watch horror series. Getting scared for some can be fun. Of course, nearly getting killed by it is another thing entirely. But if Keitaro has developed a severe addiction to terror then things fall into place. Whether he was like that before his friend was harmed or not is unclear. If it developed after, then it might be a sort of survivor’s guilt. A desire to be scared in punishment for his part in what happened.
Eiko was also interesting in this. I’m not sure if she’s technically a yandere, but she’s frightening in a way. She seems fine going along with all this not simply to help her cousin, but because she truly believes that Keitaro enjoys it. At least I think that Eiko does genuinely care about him. Eiko did put in a lot of work to help bring him out into the world again after he closed himself off. She doesn’t want him actively to get hurt as shown by her legitimate panic when he was getting strangled. But Eiko is fine with him doing this sort of thing if he’s really enjoying himself.
Yayoi of course is the star of the show. Even the OP understood that. It was kind of funny how she was all over the OP and occasionally Keitaro showed up to remind us that he does indeed exist. While she’s doing some messed up things, I can get it. This girl physically lost her family and lost her mother’s soul. There’s no way a person could forget the sight of their mother’s spirit being…taken away in that manner. That sight…not much I’d want to say about it. That’s the kind of horrible backstory that spurs a revenge story. I honestly have no idea if there’s anything left of her mother’s spirit at this point. But if they are doing something with her then maybe there will be something left for Yayoi to find by the end.
With that horrible experience at her core, it’s no wonder she’s basically hunting down evil spirits and using them. The fact that they are evil spirits clearly leaves her with zero sympathy to use them in her Kodoku. I’m not sure what her plan is exactly. But one would think she’s trying to create some insane curse that she can use to kill whatever has her mother. It’s still unsettling watching the shadow visual of her getting ripped to pieces. She wasn’t a good person, but that’s certainly brutal. First, she got murdered and then her spirit was destroyed. But I guess that’s what happens when you can’t let go. An ironic thing to say of course since Yayoi can’t possibly let go of her own grudge.
Keitaro’s life is going to be stressful though. Right now, he’s an incredibly effective lure. Yayoi has lost her ability to be one. Spirits will run away from that kid on sight. Powerful ones might still act, but they’d probably be at least cautious. Honestly there’s two ways this can go. Either Keitaro remains an intensely strong lure that Yayoi can use to further her plans or the spirits wise up to the situation and stop reacting to him. The latter wouldn’t even be all that bad since on the surface he doesn’t want to get into situations like this. The desire to get scared out of his mind does seem to be there. It seems like Yayoi will be the sole main attacker, Keitaro the bait, and Eiko emotional support/transportation/motivation for Keitaro to participate.
I think this was a good start for the show. All the cast members make sense to a degree. I suppose Eiko might be the most out there, but one must presume she really cares about Keitaro. If being scared is what truly makes him happy then she’ll make him get involved even if he says he doesn’t want it. How powerful Yayoi is and will become is something I’m more curious about. Will she just be using crowbars and stuffing spirits into stuffed animals to choke them out? I guess we’ll find out! She certainly has a comedic streak with her using Eiko’s stockings as a finishing touch for the “protective statue” that she gave to Keitaro. I probably won’t cover this show past here, but this was fun enough to talk about.
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