Last episode on Tasogare Otome, we had the school’s culture festival, complete with a real haunted house. Well, I guess it wasn’t really a real haunted house, it was just a classroom dressed up to look like a house. But it was really haunted. I wonder what anime cliché episode 6 of Tasogare Otome x Amnesia will be built around!
…thirty minutes pass…
She’s a ghost. What are you gonna do, slap ethereal handcuffs on her?
The cliché they went with was “mass hysteria and ritual human sacrifice”. Things got a little darker in this episode, they’re starting to live up to their billing as a member of the horror genre, which was a bit of a jarring change from the previous episode. I dunno, it seemed a little implausible that the school’s students would get worked up over a simple rumor to the point of committing kidnapping and murder in the middle of the culture festival. Like, spooky ghost stories get told all the time, for good and bad reasons, and people hardly ever carve each other up with boxcutters. Maybe its a sign that the mysterious second ghost of the school was manipulating them? She seems to have some power over fear, considering the way she absolutely traumatized Kirie when Kirie saw her. If both Other Ghost and Other Yuuko were pushing things forward, it’s easy to understand how it might have gotten away from what Other Yuuko predicted.
The art style also got a little darker in this episode (pictured above). This episode’s animation was highly stylized, and I don’t think it worked out well. For one thing, there were still some lingering remnants of the previous silly fanservicy harem episode, so you had ridiculous stuff like kemonomimi girls desperately holding back a crazed mob (pictured below). But for another thing, the animation studio either doesn’t have the skills or doesn’t have the budget to pull off the stylized look. It works for Shaft because Shaft is a high-quality animation studio; Silver Link is kind of mediocre. You have to be able to draw a horse that looks like a horse before you can become Picasso. A perfect example of this is when Same Yuuko is going around the festival with Teiichi eating all the foods, which apparently she can do even though she’s a ghost. Maybe especially because she’s a ghost, it means she doesn’t have to watch her weight? Anyway, she has a wad of cotton candy, and she takes a bite out of it, and that should be cute, you know? What could be more visually appealing than a cute ghost girl taking a big bite of cotton candy? But it’s not pictured below, because the animators blew it. It looked awful. The cotton candy looked flat, lifeless and unfluffy; Yuuko was unconvincing at eating it. If I can’t trust you to draw a ghost eating festival food, how can I trust you to handle a girl getting murdered by her friends who have been driven insane? I hope they step the animation quality up, if they’re going to step up the drama level, or at least if they’re going to try to use stylized animation to represent drama, instead of dramatic writing.
Bonus Image Corner:
Hard to take it seriously as horror when it looks like a magical girl show. OK, Madoka managed it, but Silver Link is not Shaft.