Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Shigofumi - Episode 10

After going off the rails last week as it deviated from its tried and trusted formula just a little too much, episode ten of Shigofumi broadly goes back to basics, leaving Fumika with only a minor part to play so that the story could concentrate on a young girl called... err, Fumika. It appears that Fumika's are like buses in this show, turning up en masse when you least expect it.

Anyhow, the sweet little Fumika in this episode is little more than a vehicle to introduce us to the real focus of the piece, Takehiko - a thirty-something otaku who has just been diagnosed with cancer. As you might expect of Shigofumi by now, it's hardly cheerful subject matter, but despite its plot holes what follows is a really rather poignant episode. It's the kind of thing that's been done before plenty of times for the medium of television, but in this case I have to confess that it left me with a lump in my throat - I can't quite put a finger on it, but the feel of the episode just worked its magic on me, I guess it's just a case of my sympathising with certain aspects of Takehiko's life.

The final seconds of the episode deliver a big (albeit inevitable) moment that promises to shake up the series and bring the storyline back to the 'real' Fumika once again, so as per usual who knows what the next episode will hold. Will it be genius? Will it stink? Such is the variable quality of Shigofumi that I wouldn't want to bet money either way. Regardless, episode ten is another mark in the 'pretty good' column for the series.

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