Standard episode post this time. Usually would save this stuff for the grab bag, but the latest episode of Kanata had alot to talk about considering how much of a fanboy it turned me into when I got to seeing it.
Because work got in the way, I couldn’t watch Kyoukai no Kanata on my break time like usual and thus stayed off Twitter for the most part in order to avoid getting spoiled. All I knew was that it had an idol scene and I was worried a bit, because of how hit-and-miss the comedic portions of the show can be, particularly when Mirai is involved. Also, last week’s episode preview with Mirai in that outfit…yeah. Didn’t realize that this episode would be the kind of comedic shit I eat up, and it’s good to get some of this stuff every once in a while.
I haven’t seen Nichijou yet, but from what I heard, it’s a little too reliant on randomness for its humor. I’ve said before that whilst random humor is my favorite kind of humor, that only applies when it’s controlled, which I’ve heard does not apply to Nichijou and is the reason why I’m hesitant to touch it. Kill la Kill may seem like it’s pulling dumb comedy out of nowhere, but that’s all in keeping with its wacky world and it’s used to further the episode’s individual story, or main story, as a whole. Well, Kyoani proved to me this week that when it wants to, it can do the random comedy right (there’s no way this was in the original LN). Finally, those quick cuts that they seem to be in love with these days are used for good.
Kanata’s comedy episode is more Ranma than Urusei Yatsura in terms of how to execute random comedy since it has to stick to some certain rules whilst something like Kill la Kill is pretty much a no-rules zone other than its basic concepts, thus I didn’t enjoy this episode quite as much as Kill la Kill’s own comedy episode. But that’s not a bad thing considering how epic the formula is. Take a “mundane at first” premise – in this episode’s case, Mirai wanting to hunt a monster in order to get some money – and make it as needlessly complicated as possible. The catch is the monster spouts out a huge amount of stinky liquid if it notices you and unfortunately, it’s senses are really sharp. What starts off as Mirai trying to kill a monster whose only real danger to the human race is that he has the same powers as a skunk cranked up to the max ends up just being mayhem. Beautiful, hilarious mayhem.
Mirai just can’t get close enough to the monster without it stinking up the place and forcing her (and anyone with her) to take a shower, so she and the rest of the cast start concocting scheme after scheme, each involving more characters, more cosplay, and more complications than the last whilst having something increasingly stupid occur to make the scheme collapse. It’s all about the repetition and how you use it effectively really by adding to the formula whilst making sure that it ends the same way: the plan fails and the monster stinks things up. Soon, showers aren’t enough and the characters actually have to wear gas masks and bubble suits in order to function normally. Add in some crazy lines that approach the Donut-speeches in EVOL in terms of sheer absurdity, except they apply to “stink”, and you’ve got yourself some real comedic gold right there.
And how it ends is just damn brilliant. After a week of training, the characters basically pull out a song and dance routine (it’s KyoAni. You should have expected this) to subdue the monster because it’s weak against music or something. Whilst this well-animated thing is going on, we get flashbacks to the training – in stills no less – to make it seem like this is going to be dead serious. Eventually, the monster actually is defeated by this really weird scheme…until people realized no one planned for what to do after the monster was subdued and the episode ends on one of the most brilliant anticlimaxes I’ve seen. I dare not spoil it for you in case you want to see the episode yourself, but let’s just say it ties into the beginning of the episode and all the shampoo runs out.
The capper of all this is that this “filler” episode, in addition to being one of the best comedic moments I’ve seen this year, doesn’t shy away from the supernatural stuff like K-On! did with its music or Railgun did with its superpower stuff. All the comedy is still tied to the premise and that’s what makes this episode so damn great. It’s tied up there with some of the better (not necessarily the best) comedic episodes in Takahashi comedies.
With that said, I am still a little worried, because Chuunibyou also had a brilliantly funny sixth episode, only for it to derail after that. And we’re not even halfway done with this show as of yet, so it can still fuck things up badly from here on out (although judging by the preview of the next episode, it looks like it’s going to be the usual mixture of serious/comedic stuff we’ve gotten so far whilst still keeping to the cool supernatural stuff, so I’m not that worried). It’s sad when previous KyoAni experiences do that to a guy, but that just shows how much I really want Kanata to succeed. So come on KyoAni. Show me what you plan to do from here on next week.