Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Special A - Episode 6

I'm not sure why, but it seems that however average it may be, the longer Special A goes on the less inclined I am to criticise it. Although it continues to meander along at a not particularly engaging pace, and frequently features plots that really don't particular make sense at all (something which could certainly be levelled at this episode), I... well, I kind of.... like it. Just a bit, mind.

In episode six of the series, Hikari gets invited to a birthday party alongside Kei by his brother - A party that Kei only very reluctantly allows Hikari to attend. It's never made explicitly clear why Kei doesn't want her to tag along, on the one hand it seems to be due to her much lower societal status compared to those at which the party is really aimed, but on the other it could simply be that Kei wants to protect her from the party's host, Yahiro. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere inbetween, but in all fairness to the script writers they don't overly suggest either option, leaving you to decide for yourself.

Indeed, the more I think about, the more this could be Special A's hidden treasure. While many shows of this genre seem to feel the need to spell out every action of the main characters in every way short of semaphore, this show never overdoes it, preferring to keep things far more ambiguous. Thus, it's often hard to decide whether Kei's criticisms of Hikari are joking or serious, or whether his protection of her is for her sake or his own. Again, the truth is probably somewhere inbetween, but this does at least add a little depth to both story and character, especially compared to other current shows of a similar ilk like Itazura no Kiss.

So, while I can't really get excited about this series even half a dozen episodes in, I'm starting to build a grudging respect for it - It doesn't get everything right by a long, long way, but somehow it just seems to have that little spark beneath its otherwise mundane exterior that keeps me from simply walking away. Thus, my feelings for this series are much like Hikari's for Kei, I would wager.

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