Saturday, 5 December 2009

Kūchū Buranko - Episode 8

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is on the menu once again for Kūchū Buranko's eighth episode - This time around, the afflicted patient for Doctor Irabu is Yoshio Iwamura, a reporter who simply can't stop worrying about things he might have forgotten to do that could cause injury or inconvenience to others - Leaving the gas on, not putting out a cigarette (the guy smokes a lot for someone constantly worrying about fire), leaving the water running and so on.

While we all have such concerns from time to time, most of us learn to quickly put some matters to the back of our minds - Not so for Iwamura, who worries about such things to the point where he has to drop whatever he's doing to go home and check whatever is concerning him. Needless to say, this isn't really good form for a reporter covering a big baseball game or in mid-interview, causing him some real problems in his everyday work which sees him turn to Irabu for help.

Except of course, and as always, Doctor Irabu isn't really that much help at all - Although he quite rightly points out that Iwamura takes his worries too seriously, he also takes him to a rival hospital to throw stones across the car park, which probably isn't in the manual for relieving symptoms of OCD I would imagine.

As is the way with most episodes of Kūchū Buranko however, it all comes good in the end, despite Iwamura not finding a cure for his disorder - Perhaps this is a good thing, as it is his dogged persistence and fretting about detail that ends up with him bagging not one but two big scoops in one go, results obtained in a fabulously hilarious manner to boot which suggests to me that this series is really starting to find its comedic feet too. Finally, with this recognition that Iawamura's disorder is also a source of strength of sorts (something I can actually relate to, as someone who is relentless in trying to think of every angle when it comes to my own work, to the point where it slips into your own life in some occasionally over-bearing ways when worries begin to build up) he also appears to find a potential path to some peace in his life, making for a nice little ending to wrap up the episode.

While this instalment was neither the outright hilarity of the last episode, nor was it quite as sharp in terms of the story told as some of the other arcs shown here, I genuinely liked this episode on a personal level thanks to a protagonist I could empathise with on at least some level and a story that was well-paced while also proving to be perhaps the best example yet of how Kūchū Buranko enjoys inter-weaving its leading characters together every episode. Again, above all else it remains something very different from the rest of this season's (indeed, the rest of this year's) fare, which in itself makes it highly enjoyable as well as something that gets you pondering your own life and behaviour in some quite subtle ways.

No comments: