Friday, 5 November 2010

Kuragehime - Episode 3

Although we're now more than used to the idea of black sheep of his political family Kuranosuke's cross-dressing ways, Kuragehime's first couple of episodes were yet to explain just why he'd suddenly made this lifestyle choice.

This soon becomes clear in episode three however, as it turns out that Kuranosuke is largely just trying to remove himself from the political life enjoyed by both his brother and father, as he figures that doing something "perverted" like cross-dressing should prevent him from ever being made to enter the political arena.  The second reason for his tendencies is equally clear-cut, with Kuranosuke taking more than a passing interest in fashion; something he demonstrates with aplomb during this episode by dressing up Tsukimi impressively to turn her into quite the princess, no jellyfish required.

Microsoft's Kinect went down a storm in the Koibuchi household
Indeed, this session of "playing dress up" opens up a whole raft of new angles for the series as our dazzling (not to mention escaping) Tsukimi bumps into Kuranosuke's brother, thus prompting a "love at first sight moment" from him before his attempt to meet her again by return the clothes and glasses she left behind in Kuranosuke's room leaves him meeting an entirely different Tsukimi, to the point where (of course) he doesn't even recognise her and dismisses her as some kind of weirdo.  Throw in some brief mentions of the planned demolition of the "sisterhood's" residence, and you have plenty to chew on.

Despite all of that however, this episode doesn't forget its sense of fun at any point, be it Kuranosuke's decidedly dodgy uncle, Kuranosuke saying the wrong thing to her new otaku friends pretty much every time he opens his mouth, and topping the bill a bedraggled, half made-up Tsukimi's look being mistaken as some kind of vampire doll cosplay by her housemates.  Dig a little deeper beyond those easy laughs however and you have a genuinely multi-layered piece of story-telling so far which attacks you from so many angles it's hard to know where to start.  Aside from its obvious comments on the generation gap between the "baby boomers" and their children, and how society has shaped that gap, there are also all kinds of thoughts floating around about love, prejudice and gender roles within society that could easily fill a book or two.  A romantic comedy anime that's also thought-provoking?  That's Kuragehime in a nutshell at this point, and it's making for quite a heady mixture of elements.

No comments: