A thoughtful response to current anime.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia – Episode 5

Last episode on Tasogare Otome x Amnesia we got a look at the horrible loneliness of Yuuko’s existence, and also at the girls in swimsuits.  That’s all well and good, but I’m thinking it’s about time for the real plot to start.  We’re getting close to the half-way point of the show (unless this show is planning to run for multiple seasons, but it’s sufficiently low-rent that that doesn’t seem likely) and we still know very little about the circumstances of Yuuko’s death and the sinister second ghost haunting the school.  Let’s see if they start getting into details in episode 5 of Tasogare Otome.

…thirty minutes pass…

Hi there! Let’s be pals!

So yeah, this show is kind of a dumb fanservicey harem comedy, and the cool occult mystery I was hoping for doesn’t look like it’s going to show up.  But that’s ok.  I can enjoy this show for what it is.  This episode was  the culture festival episode, and compared to the swimsuit episode we had last time, a culture festival makes perfect sense in the context of the show.  They have an actual ghost on their side, so they are uniquely well-placed to host a haunted house.  It would have been cool if they had subverted that and done a cafe instead, and had Yuuko spookily serving omerice with her poltergeist powers.  You turn your head away for one second and suddenly there is a skull drawn on your meal in ketchup, but nobody else is there!  Spooooooky.  But logically, scaring people in a haunted house is the perfect use of Yuuko’s abilities.  I also really enjoyed the episode’s running gag, where Momoe and Kirie go to all the ordinary expected culture festival events, like goldfish scooping and candy apples and whatnot, but they have this anatomical model from the science room in tow the whole time, and nobody comments on it.  It would have been a pretty lame gag if they had played it up at all, but they just let it happen understatedly in the background without calling attention to it, so it worked well.

I guess the point of this episode was to explore Kirie’s insecurities, but I’m not sure I really understand what they were getting at.  She thinks she’s not as attractive as her dead relative?  She’s worried about turning into her dead relative?  You can say, oh, she’s just jealous of the attention Teiichi gives Yuuko, which is normal for a second-tier haremette like her.  But it seems like things go deeper for her.  I would say that it seems likely that the feelings she has about Teiichi are informed by her feelings toward Yuuko more than the reverse.  She seems to have some sort of complex related to her grandmother, or to ghosts in general, and her romantic feelings toward Teiichi are perhaps more out of spite toward Yuuko than anything else.

It seems likely to me that what Kirie saw when she was alone in that room confronting her insecurities and deciding whether to grow out her hair was not, as she believes, actually Yuuko.  It seemed way meaner than is in character for Yuuko, and plus, wasn’t Yuuko manning (womaning?  ghosting?) the haunted house full-time?  It’s not much of a haunted house without its haunt, after all.  So this is probably the work of the school’s second ghost, taking on the form of Yuuko to torment poor Kirie.  Things probably didn’t go according to plan when it actually led Kirie to grow as a person and become more comfortable with her own identity.  Or maybe they did?  Maybe the second ghost is actually really nice!  We only have Kirie’s word to go on that the second ghost is malicious and spiteful, and we know Kirie has some sort of grudge against ghosts in general.

Bonus Image Corner:

Not much, just hangin’ out with half my skin flayed off.

Now That’s What I Call Anime Facial Expressions Volume 43


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