Saturday, 16 August 2008

Kyouran Kazoku Nikki - Episode 14

Episode thirteen may be unlucky for some, but it at least brought Kyouran Kazoku Nikki back to the average episode quality that we're used to after a poor twelfth instalment. Episode fourteen moves on to finish up this two-part story, by way of a similarly mediocre offering.

After seeing a handful of people turned into half-person, half-animal hybrids last time around, things get ramped up hugely this time around as everyone gets turned into a "beastman" (shouldn't that be "beastperson"?)... except, of course, all of the show's major characters, and the handful that we saw in episode twelve who make a rather pointless little cameo.

From there, the story becomes a mix of another appearance of Dr. Gebok coupled with the splitting of the Paranormal Phenomena Bureau of Measures into two distinct camps... or is it? That particular aspect of the episode becomes (deliberately) a little confusing, making it difficult to decide who is on the side of our 'family' and who isn't. Thankfully Dr. Gebok's contribution is far less open to speculation, as he simply serves to play the generic evil bad guy once again, causing the family to pool their resources to defeat him.

This is one of those episodes that is hard to criticse in any particular way, while being equally impossible to praise - It's the kind of episode that just flows over you without causing any particular emotions one way or another. Much of the craziness that perhaps set this series apart earlier in its run have now become second nature, and thus rather tired to the point where you don't even notice it the vast majority of the time. That leaves the show to rely heavily on its plot, which to be honest is pretty wafer-thin when exposed in this fashion, with all of the major points feeling like the kind of thing you've seen done before... Only often rather better.

Perhaps the one positive that comes out of these last two episodes is the attempt to build more of a backbone to the series as it moves into its second half, which it's really crying out for if we're honest. For a while, it seemed like the whole 'Children of Enka' problem that created this family in the first place had been forgotten, so it's about time we returned to it. Will they be able to meld such a madcap series with a 'big picture' storyline? I wouldn't bet the house on it given the show's quality so far, but we shall have to wait and see.

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