Thursday, 28 February 2008

Shigofumi - Episode 8

So far, Shigofumi has managed to impress and disappoint in equal measures, starting out with a fantastic two-parter before losing its way somewhat, and then finding its form again in the last two episodes. Episode seven left us at a real cliffhanger, with Fumika shot by her father - This leads us into part eight, which devotes itself almost entirely to explaining everything we needed to know about Fumika, the girl in the hospital who is also Fumika, why she shot her father and so on.

While I can't really fault the episode itself, which I enjoyed, I have to admit that I'm not all that convinced about the dual Fumika explanation issued in this episode. I know I really shouldn't be trying to apply logic or reason to a show about dead people who deliver letters from other dead people to the living, but the concept of why 'Fumika' is a Shigofumi just rankled with me on account of its implausibility. Perhaps things will be explained in a more satisfactory way later in the series though, so I'll let it pass me by for now.

What worries me more about the revelations of this episode is the way that they hint at a change of tone for the series as a whole - From the darkness of those opening episodes, it now seems to be shifting towards a far lighter, more positive 'happily ever after' second half. I could be wrong, and to be honest I hope I am, as the idea of Shigofumi as slice-of-life comedy doesn't really strike me as a particularly good one.

Finally, episode eight of this series was, as per its third part, struck by the content editors - Although this was done in a less drastic and hastily carried out way as that earlier edit, it still did a disservice to the scenes which had the edit applied. Making blood black to reduce its gory impact is all well and good (well, it isn't, I hate censorship of any kind, but I digress), but when those scenes also feature copious amounts of black ink, you're only serving to confuse everybody.

So, I'm left in two minds at the end of this instalment of Shigofumi - I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, but am now a little hesitant regarding the back story, and even more concerned about the direction for the remainder of the series. Only time will tell whether my worries are justified.

1 comment:

Karura said...

This was definitely the sort of arc you'd expect to see at the end of a series, but despite the hot springs scene in the preview and my overall uncertainty as to where it will go, I'm going to stick with cautious optimism until we get our hands on the next episode.