Sunday, 20 December 2009

Kūchū Buranko - Episode 10

As Kūchū Buranko hits its penultimate instalment, so we meet Mitsuo Tanabe, a man who it initially appears shouldn't have a care in the world; incredibly rich, the head of a successful newspaper firm and owner of a top baseball team - what's not to like?

However, as with every patient of Doctor Irabu's, Tanabe has a problem - He's started suffering from panic attacks, belying his usual calm demeanour when faced with press swarming around him and causing him to basically black out. So, what is the cause of these attacks? Needless to say, Tanabe's need to "find himself" to discover the root cause of the problem beyond the fact that it's triggered by darkness is the main focus of the episode.

To be honest, I'm actually not too sure what to make of the way this particular episode of Kūchū Buranko handles itself - It's revelation regarding Mitsuo Tanabe's problem is certainly a clever twist in the tale that was hinted at but otherwise pretty difficult to see coming, and I can only respect it for that, but at the same time the way the whole thing was revealed felt oddly unsatisfactory to me, as though we weren't exposed to enough of Tanabe's journey to really appreciate why he became stuck in the rut that he did.

It could just be that I was expecting something different from this particular episode, but the upshot of all this is that I felt a little detached from the whole process in a way that I haven't with previous episodes of Kūchū Buranko. That isn't to say that there weren't some great moments of humour to enjoy, but this instalment as a whole simply feels less memorable than some of what has come before.

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