Monday, 12 May 2014

Mekakucity Actors - Episode 5

Another episode of Mekakucity Actors means that we shift perspective once again this week, as our focus returns to Shintaro Kisaragi as he awakens following the whole kidnapping incident at the shopping centre.

Unsure of where he is when he wakes up, and not exactly assisted by his smartphone app-cum-AI Ene, Shintaro doesn't exactly make the best first impression in front of his sister's new buddies - nonetheless, they seem to take to him well enough on account of his powers, and also seem plenty interested in what Ene can bring to their collective to boot.  Thus, Shintaro is offered a place within the Mekakushi-Dan... however, it seems that he'd rather do a runner to avoid this prospect of human contact, even if it means leaving Ene behind.

Giving up on him for the time being under Momo's assertions that he'll return soon enough judging by how happy he seemed at the invitation, the rest of the gang head off to a nearby amusement park, although not before making plans to stop off at the gravestone of their former commander and the group's founder, who committed suicide some two years previously.  Meanwhile, Shintaro finds himself running into yet another oddball in the form of a seemingly lost and confused Konoha, who ends up showing a little of what he's capable of as we witness things surrounding Hibiya taking an unexpected turn.

Following on from last week's episode, it really feels as if Mekakucity Actors has lost its way - its sprawling story of interconnected individuals isn't a bad idea (witness Durarara's ability to weave a similar narrative web), and its focus on the interactions between characters could also be a valuable way to tell its tales (a la Monogatari), but the trouble is that this show simply isn't any good at the things that either of those examples proved to be so delightful at leveraging.  There are certainly some interesting things going on within the show's narrative, but it takes so long to reach them via tortuous diversions (and its ever-present low-grade animation quality) that it's hard to care by the time they arrive, and most of the witty repartee between the cast has proven to be anything but for the most part.  There's still time for Mekakucity Actors to pull itself together and weave its elements into a coherent whole, but after showing some promise it seems to be heading in entirely the wrong direction again.

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