Thursday, 29 May 2008

Kyouran Kazoku Nikki - Episode 6

Kyouran Kazoku Nikki has, in turns, amused, moved and entertained me, but it would only be fair to say that episode five really didn't float my boat due to its lack of humour and rather contrived emotional responses.

While episode six, which concludes that particular mini-arc, was something of an improvement, at its core it contained many of the same complaints for me. Although it managed to wring a wry smile out of me on one occasion, it was otherwise devoid of anything truly funny, with most of its madcap pacing seemingly just there to add 'flavour' rather than any real humour. On the other hand, while the episode was veritably dripping with emotion, in again boiled down to the same tired old talk of family as the answer to all life's problems. While this family-centric focus worked really well in episodes two and three, it's all become a little same-y now and consists of little more than repeating the same old mantras over and over in an attempt to make a coherent and sustained point about the important of surrounding yourself with those you love. Yes, I'm a cold-hearted bastard for not gushing about this stuff, now let's move on.

All of this is without mentioning the absolutely monumental deus ex machina that gets invoked at the end of the episode - I simply have to mention it because, despite clearly claiming to be there for comic value and to add some mystery for future episodes, it really just felt lazy to me.

Overall then, I'm disappointed, as I thought that this series might be able to lift itself beyond saying "Hey, look at me, I'm crazy!". Ironically, it does manage that, but only with a surfeit of contrived emotional content that really doesn't work for me. On the positive side though, it does (for my money) have the best soundtrack of any series I've watched this season, not least courtesy of its insane opening theme which I've mentioned my love of before. Some likeable music really can't make up for those other pitfalls though.

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