Friday, 28 March 2008

Shigofumi - Episode 12 (Completed)

Shigofumi has proved to be a tough old series to pigeon hole during its run, in terms of both style and quality. At times, it has delivered fantastically dramatic episodes and storylines, almost delighting in the disturbing twists given to those stories, yet at others it's fallen flat to a huge degree - Perhaps given the episodic nature of the first half of the series, this shouldn't be surprising.

Episode twelve finally brings the show, and its focus on Fumika's internal struggle between herself, Fumi, and her 'imaginary' friend Mika, to a close. But, to be honest, it's a cop-out. While the story was set to go one way or the other with regard to which of Fumika's split personalities would win out, and despite not being afraid to court controversy throughout the series up to now (with two episodes requiring last-minute edits for content), the show's writers have instead opted for a 'happily ever after' ending - Nobody dies or disappears, and everything is left more or less exactly how it was before... Even Mikawa Kirameki continues to have his books published, despite the knowledge of his child abuse becoming public.

Considering the near-relish with which Shigofumi has shocked and disturbed, to go down this route is hugely disappointing, and while I never cared too much for the main Fumika storyline as some of the Shigofumi delivery plots that got their own episodes, I at least hoped that there would be a strong and somehow positive resolution.

Overall, this closing episode perhaps perfectly sums up Shigofumi as a whole - Some moments of excellence (those opening two episodes will live long in the memory as a fantastic work), let down by an inability to carry that potential and ability through to its logical conclusion. At the end of it all, Shigofumi is the kind of show that would make for a perfect 'Best Of' DVD - Pick out three or four episodes from the twelve that made up the series and you'd have a body of quality work, but move beyond that and you end up with a far more diluted end product.

No comments: