When a fellow 'Blogger tipped me off that this episode of Ryoko's Supernatural Case File was about a killer mangrove, I wasn't sure exactly how literally I should take that information given our often light-hearted discussions about the latest anime. Well, it looks like I should have taken it serious, as a killer mangrove is almost exactly what this episode of the show is about.
Quite frankly, there's probably not a lot to be said beyond that, as this kind of plot idea is the kind of thing you'd expect to see from a bad black and white B-movie being ripped to shreds on Mystery Science Theater 3000, not a 2008 vintage anime series. The crazy plot idea might be forgivable if there was any real feeling of menace or peril during the episode, but somehow it all feels pretty tame, and the feeling throughout that lighting a match to said mangrove would do as good as job as some kind of ancient engraved stone is validated when the episode ends with the whole thing being napalmed. Really, they could have just done that at the start of the episode and regaled us with a list of stupid plot ideas that were binned by the script writers for the rest of the duration.
After episode six was as dull and stupid, and episode seven followed down that same path, I'm beginning to wonder why I'm watching this series. It's managed to cover a couple of stories well in earlier episodes, but I'm starting to wonder whether it's run out of steam already. I have nothing against the whole supernatural idea (it worked for the X-Files for years), and it can be done with some borderline ridiculous stories if you don't take yourself too seriously and offer up some good characters to help it on its way, but to be honest Yakushiji Ryoko No Kaiki Jikenbo is increasingly proving that it can't do either of those things with any consistency, and at the end of the day that's going to be its downfall.