Another 4-5, Inu x Boku 4

With three deaths in as many weeks I guess the fun has officially begun with Another, but it’s getting a little harder for me to care. The routine doesn’t change in episode 4. Kouichi goes around talking to people (the nurse, the sister, Mei) and he gets cryptic answers and refusals to talk. But the show does help us a little by switching to scenes where he isn’t around, allowing them to talk freely, but that can get just as confusing because they all know the secret (“the most famous secret of the school,” someone ridiculously says) and so don’t bother to fill in details. It’s annoying enough that the show’s usual superb eerie mood never really kicks in effectively this episode. On the other hand, Kouichi is beginning to show more backbone than many protagonists I’ve seen. At one point he saves a girl from dying, or at least a bad injury–wonder if that was supernatural or coincidence, or is there such a thing? And this week’s choice of victim came as a surprise. Well, they did hint that family members are in danger, too. But they better start changing up the routine a little, untangle a bit of that knot of Misakis, or risk having the show get truly dull on us.

And since episode 5 showed up as I was watching 4 I figured what the heck? Let’s have more of Kouichi walking around not getting answers and someone dying, which is indeed what happens. In fact the whole thing gets rather blatant. At one point, when someone who doesn’t agree with the class’s actions decides to tell all, whammo! Heart attack! After that, it’s a total class freezeout for Kouichi; the only real communication he gets is a note slipped in his desk. So it’s a relief when he goes back to Mei and she tells him everything–almost. She doesn’t know it all, either. We learn that the dead were invited to join the class, probably (though it isn’t stated) because of the way they treated the original dead Misaki. I won’t elaborate because you may not have seen it and because it’s a kind of a silly explanation. But the show does one interesting thing. Mei becomes less of a threatening presence, more a normal girl, albeit one with an impeach, a victim, the same kind as Kouichi now is. Considering what the class is doing to the both of them is unfair, it’s good to see them come together like this. I suppose the show will now delve into WHY this ridiculous situation has started and what can be done about it. Why does more than one student die? Why are family included? Why don’t they just bring in an extra desk and chair?

In spite of all its supernatural connections, Inu x Boku keeps going for the silly. Might as well get used to it. And it might not be that bad if they can keep tossing in weird characters like they do in episode 4. First it’s Banri, a self-styled delinquent who has a grudge against Soushi for once calling his cute real form cute. But his bodyguard Zange is more interesting. As well as being smarmy and happy all the time he has the ability to see a lot of things he shouldn’t (apparently to Souchi’s chagrin), like what’s causing Ririchiyo’s irregular heartbeat, as if we didn’t know. Banri and Souchi have some sort of competition that’s only to introduce us to other weirdos working in the building, most of whom are good fun but have only one gag in them. We’ll see. I think next week it’s more of the same. I wonder if we’re going to have an overall arc apart from Ririchiyo’s learning to make friends, or is this all there is?

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