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Karakuri Circus (TV).




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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 11407
Location: Earth
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:59 am Reply with quote

Karakuri Circus (TV)

Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Shounen
Themes:

Plot Summary:
Quote:
Masaru Saiga is a fifth-grade boy who aims to become a puppeteer. After Sadayoshi Saiga — the CEO of the giant home telephone maker Saiga and Masaru's father — passes away, Masaru inherits 18 billion yen. Masaru is targeted for his wealth, and is saved by two people. Narumi Katō is a man who has studied Kung-Fu and has a weird illness called "Zonapha Syndrome," and Shirogane is a silver-haired woman who controls the puppet "Arurukan" (Harlequin). Together, Masaru, Narumi, and Shirogane get thrown into various conspiracies by those who would try to steal Masaru's fortune. (from manga)


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Manga adaptation of the same name.
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1651
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:36 am Reply with quote
#1

I'm watching this with zero foreknowledge, but it's got a few interesting hooks to keep casual viewers interested. Narumi has one of the weirdest diseases I've ever heard of, while Shirogane (Silver) and her mastery of the inherited war puppet is an interesting enigma herself. I've never known humans to have silver-coloured sclera, so if she turns out to be not quite human herself I wouldn't be the least surprised.

For a first episode, there's lots of action scenes and hardly anything to go on in terms of plot. From what little is shown, an individual or organisation really wants the little boy Masaru and will do anything to achieve that goal; even if it means derailing a few passenger trains to do so. Masaru himself has quite the pedigree with puppets, so if he's going to be more than just the focus of protection between Masaru and Shirogane he'll probably have to prove himself useful on the Karakuri puppet field. Still early days though, but this series is supposed to run for 3(!) quarters and is apparently a well-established series in its original format so there should be no shortage of material to adapt and entertain with.
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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 11407
Location: Earth
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:58 pm Reply with quote
Episode 1:

One of the better premieres imo for the season.

It captured the mood of the show well in terms of presentation. The character designs similarity to Ushio to Tora is also noticable considering it's by the same creator. This show has some unusual humor that I think works overall. There's emotional moments too already from the first episode.

Then, there's Masaru and Narumi, two prominent characters that we get to know. I wonder how much background story will be focused this season though as it's fairly important. But I think the first episode is quite promising. The theme songs are also great. Bump of Chicken delivers again.
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DuskyPredator
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 13026
Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:51 am Reply with quote
What is it that shows like this can seem to get pretty positive response, and I don't care for it at all. I am seeing that it shares a creator with Ushio & Tora, and that could explain the similar feeling I have about it lacking. I have previously gone into quite a bit of detail in my thoughts of that show, maybe things that feel like I am nit-picking, but bother me.

Is the boy character meant to be really caring? Because he laughed when it looked like a bear mascot was suffocating. That is like setting up that he is a psychopath or something.
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1651
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:24 pm Reply with quote
#2

A combination of action scenes, fast paced storytelling and character exposition all rolled into one episode. Masaru is not the rich kid he's made out to be from last week, while Narumi's illness is explained along with a surprising childhood background for someone of his physique.

The overarching plot appears to be control over the heir of the vast Saiga fortune, but there's probably more to it if the visuals from the first episode are any indications. There are a surprising number of puppeteer mercenaries for hire, so I'm wondering how much potential Shirogane has with the Saiga grandfather's legacy.

As it stands, Narumi is probably safe from asphyxiation for the time being provided he does his impromptu comedy act with Shirogane every so often. Did she work as a tightrope walker or a contortionist at the circus?
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1651
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:02 am Reply with quote
#3

Typical Katou Narumi approach to insurmountable obstacles is to bash through it head on and wait for reinforcements to show up. Fortunately it works a charm as he buys enough time for the Killer group to join up. The puppeteer clan is an interesting one; it's odd that it has to obey the whims of the clan which manufactures the tools it relies on to make a living. Coupled with Masaru's revelation about his role in this game of "capture the heir", it appears the Saiga clan is not as innocent as it was first portrayed based on Masaru's recollection of his grandfather.

I was wondering whether Shirogane was human after the first episode. It turns out she is, albeit in a biological sense. It seems Eleonora has been groomed from birth to be a puppeteer and she has to assume all of her tool's characteristics to be the most effective manipulator there is. Masaru's grandfather merely provided her an extremely potent tool to practise on prior to her commission.

Now that Masaru is fed up with being a helpless weakling and has a spine, I'm interested to see if the Killer group does take him up on his offer. Legally he's the heir but he's not supposed to be old enough to touch the money, so how is the Killer group going to take him up on the offer when they aren't getting paid? If Katou and Shirogane eventually reunite him, what happens then?
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1651
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:16 am Reply with quote
#5

After the breathless pace set by last week's episode, is it really a surprise this week is all about the aftermath?

No change in the OP, it's only in the final scene that the reason why is given. As for Saiga Masaru, he's been through hell and back for someone so young. Bullying from kids physically larger than he is really isn't that big a deal anymore especially when he has an idol he'll look up to and never forget for the rest of his life. Although Shirogane told him to blend in and be inconspicuous, showing off the burns and scars on his body is another very effective way of getting bullies to back off.

I thought Shirogane wasn't human from the way she made her entrance back in episode one, turns out I'm wrong and she's just insanely flexible and talented. She could multi-task as a contortionist, tight-rope walker and trapeze jumper without breaking a sweat. Seems a little unfair she's also acquired incredible puppeteer skills through years of hard training as well. Her inability to smile at least is a levelling factor, for now at least.

I wonder what role the run-down circus is going to play over the next few episodes. The two men aren't half bad as a musclemen trio, but what will the girl and the old man do in a performance?
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1651
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:35 am Reply with quote
#6

First episode without Masaru and his guardian, but it's got plenty of action for what is essentially a world-building and character introduction episode.

Having amnesia after a life-threatening accident isn't the most original trope ever, but it's useful in this case since Narumi with his memories would have tried to escape the hospital to return to Japan. Since he's forgotten about the pair, the story can continue with him serving under the Shirogane trainers. The old lady looks to be the same one who rapped Eleonore's knuckles when she was young and undergoing training, while the male Shirogane looks like he went through the same program as Eleonore but stayed behind to serve under his trainers.

For a fictional disease, the ZONAPHA illness has a nasty kick behind it. Those who survive phase 2 and not die are doomed to an eternal hell as living dolls. Considering it's spread by a Midnight Circus operated by automatons, the disease having the characteristics it has is probably not just for the sake of irony.

I wonder if news of Narumi's exploits in the short time he was with Masaru and Eleonore reached the ears of the Shirogane creators, otherwise why choose a Japanese male with ZONAPHA illness when there are skilled candidates who are far easier to obtain? Not sure if this is going to be answered further down the road, but plenty of questions this week and hardly any answers for now.
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1651
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:21 am Reply with quote
#8

Initially I'm wondering where the action is going to come from when the show starts with Eleonora earning even more money for the fledgling circus to actually host a show. There's a bit more exposition for the hitherto unremarkable "animal tamer" and more insight on what Eleonora is like now compared to the start of the series. And then the scene switches to a plane en-route to Shanghai with the two Shirogane on board...

Putting aside how a small platoon of automata managed to get past airport security to board the aircraft, this episode highlights to what extent the Shirogane organization and its members will go to hunt down and destroy their Automata prey. Although a little disconcerting to see Guy's fingers bent into shapes that would leave normal humans incapacitated with pain, his ability to throw out quips and put-downs to Narumi really emphasises the point he feels no pain. His stunt with Olympia later in the skies is well choreographed, but is that the last viewers have seen of him and his puppet? Another question: Is Narumi going to end up like Guy now that the same Aqua Vitae runs through his veins (and most likely Lucille if her head in that last scene is any indication.)

Bad luck for the Nakamachi circus in putting up close to the crash site, but Masaru and Eleonora have tantalising glimpses of their saviour and are almost certain who he is. Odd of him to simply disappear instead of staying behind, but he has a job to do and is focused on accomplishing it with the stakes even higher.
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1651
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:45 am Reply with quote
#9

For the first time this series, there is NO action whatsoever. A quick overview of the aftermath of the crash and then Masaru getting impetuous and leaving the circus is the sum total the audience gets to see of the circus troupe this week.

Instantly the scene shifts to China, the audience is introduced to two more cast members and then the rest of the episode engages in a very detailed expository flashback featuring two puppeteers from China doing work in Prague. No one can fault this series for wasting time or smelling the flowers, the pacing is rapid.

It's probably not a coincidence Francine looks so much like the Eleonora of the present while Yin looks like a modified Katou Narumi (different voice actors though). I wonder what role the jilted Jin is going to play now that the final scene suggests he's gone permanently off the deep end.

I like the coincidence the brothers ended up in Prague to do their alchemy studies. In addition to the series doing the tilt on it being the centre of alchemy, Prague was (and still is) famous for its puppets and puppet shows.
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Ryuji-Dono



Joined: 26 Apr 2018
Posts: 48
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:16 am Reply with quote
One thing that bothered me of Bai Jin's sudden insanity was that how instantaneous it was...like, you're not gonna explain what made him feel entitled to have Francine just because he had a crush on her first? Does the manga explain why?
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:21 am Reply with quote
#10

Part 2 of the origin story behind Aqua Vitae and the Midnight Circus. The time skip of nine years is a surprising one, but the pacing is so fast viewers have just enough time to digest why the two brothers developed the Shirogane super formula as well as the motive of the Midnight Circus in its relentless infection of unsuspecting populations with ZONAPHA.

Jin completely lost it, even if the reason behind his insanity seems rather trivial. Animators do not explain how he managed to create that doll so perfectly and what materials he used to recreate it, but the revenge he planned also served as the genesis of the organization that has continued to seek the destruction of the Circus.

I don't know if the final words of Francine and Narumi's Master will have especial significance further down the series, but emphasis was placed on the lines despite the pacing. Whether it's for something else besides dramatic emphasis remains to be seen.

Now that the background origins of two key concepts in this series have been dealt with, what's up next?
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