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EP. REVIEW: In/Spectre


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BSW



Joined: 22 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:19 pm Reply with quote
I think the somewhat ugly main girl is an interesting choice. But maybe that's part of the reason they could focus on actually solving some mystery (which was almost intellectually stimulating). So the second episode felt alright, but sadly they're gonna switch gears next episode from what I've seen, and "finally" the fanservice characters start getting screentime to sell this show...
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Yttrbio
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:33 pm Reply with quote
It's definitely reminiscent of Blast of Tempest's mystery solving episodes on the hill where spoiler[it literally didn't matter if he was right.] Knowing it shares the same author has easily made this my most anticipated episode each week this season.
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pharmboy23
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:51 pm Reply with quote
Kotoko is one of my favorite characters, partially for reasons you describe. I especially like that she’s not held back by the loss of her body parts. She’s mostly the brains of the operation, but she’s not an invalid.

Having read the manga released in English to date, I will say my only quibble is that I think she gets treated a little shabbily in the overall narrative in terms of her thirstiness. The rest of it is fun and despite the ridiculous appearance of the character in the previews, I really enjoyed this storyline coming up.
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:31 pm Reply with quote
In/Spectre has been so far my most pleasant surprise of this season. I hope it continues to be good and enjoyable. And Kotoko is a great character.
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VerQuality
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:38 pm Reply with quote
I'm really glad ANN found a reviewer on staff who really gets the appeal of this series. It feels like it would be very easy to write off a lot of what this series is doing as a failing, but it's really great to see Steve diving into the series and what it's trying to accomplish. I was already looking forward to the anime, now I'm looking forward to the reviews as well.
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gedata



Joined: 04 May 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:51 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The episode preview makes it deliberately clear that In/Spectre will not be picking up on this cliffhanger next week, and I wouldn't expect it to ever reference that cliffhanger again.

I'm sure it will, they already went through most of this little story, shouldn't take more than a few minutes to wrap it up.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:09 pm Reply with quote
^ Yeah, that's what I was thinking. She'll reveal her solution before the OP and they'll move on. I'll be surprised if they just leave it hanging.

I really like both of these characters so far. I'm curious about the other youkai meat Kuro ate and why he won't talk about it. We probably won't find out until late in the game, if then.
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Radrappy



Joined: 11 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:31 pm Reply with quote
Great review! I immediately latched onto these characters and was intrigued by them. While Eizouken is the obvious "best" anime of the season, this one is already my favorite.
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 342
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:53 pm Reply with quote
This show feels very much like one that I'll have to give a half season or more, then reflect on how much I like it afterwards. I was really excited by episode 1, which focused more on the pair of characters we'll actually be following all season, whereas ep 2 I admit dragged for me. The review brought up an interesting perspective that it was more a commentary on how people consume stories than a mystery in its own right, but even granting that I think the actual narrative could still have been better and more engaging, at the very least "playing fair" by giving us the relevant outline up front so that we could guess along rather than just expositing new details at the same time that the characters are explaining the next twist.

The review says, "stories are about things" to criticize the kind of nitpicking that the snake god is doing, but after all is said and done, what is the story from ep 2 actually about? The characters are thinly drawn, I'm having trouble seeing any thematic parallels with what we know about the main duo so far, and the story itself isn't interesting enough to say much of substance that I can see.

But yes, this is over-analysis of a show that I'm enjoying purely on the strength of ambience, fun dialogue, and a feisty MC for now. Like I said, I'm hoping that 5 weeks from now I'll look back and realize that this comment was missing the point of the show, and that it's really come together. Good review, fun show, looking forward to reading and watching more.
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XerBlade
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Joined: 11 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:09 pm Reply with quote
Steve Jones wrote:
the snake god is a metaphor for CinemaSins. Theirs is a boring, A-to-B misinterpretation of storytelling as an airtight reproduction of reality.


Um, CinemaSins is a parody series written by comedians making fun of that type of people by always looking for something to be angry about, even if it's complaining about there NOT being a lapdance in a scene, or inadvertently making them think about a worse movie merely by virtue of doing a thing better than that worse movie did (seriously), or just nothing in particular because I couldn't think of anything to actually complain about so HEAR ME COMPLAIN ANYWAY.

I hear people who seem to not understand that for some reason complain about them all the time, though. I get the distinct impression that a bunch of that is just people continually feeding on the information that is going on, who aren't in on the joke due to never having actually watched their videos. And in this case, all of them are film snobs. The type who can't help going out of their way to show off their film snobbery to the point where it shows just how shallow they really are. Basically, some people memed about it, and others took the memes at face value without questioning it, because that's just how stupid the internet always is.

tl;dr CinemaSins already is the metaphor.
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VerQuality
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:59 pm Reply with quote
XerBlade wrote:
Um, CinemaSins is a parody series written by comedians making fun of that type of people by always looking for something to be angry about...[/i].

Cheap cynicism wrapped in a layer of irony is still cheap cynicism.
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 342
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:23 pm Reply with quote
Okay so ep 3 had the resolution f the story be "ahh who knows I just made it all up because I knew the snake god was gonna keep annoying me about it otherwise", followed by a time skip?

I continue to be worried about the pacing of the story here. The first episode was good, but the only thing that the show has done since then to set itself apart from other yokai stories is to be incredibly obtuse in its presentation.
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NeverConvex



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:50 pm Reply with quote
I'm pretty enchanted by this show. Most of that's probably due to the sheer personality of the characters that Steve notes, but even during the rather meandering snake-v-girl discussion in episode 2, I never found myself bored.

Though I think I find Steve's interpretation of that scene uncompelling. I thought the snake yokai's critiques weren't, for the most part, minor quibbles, but fairly trenchant holes poked in the candidate explanation. Never entirely decisive criticisms, I guess, but certainly enough to cast considerable doubt that the explanation just pitched is likely to be the right one. And each criticism was conceded -- repudiated, even -- immediately & thoroughly by Kotoko, not challenged in any way.

That inclines me not to view their exchange as some kind of extended, superficial prodding at people for expecting too much internal consistency, or attachment to a coherent fixed truth, or any such thing, in storytelling. But, I'm still not quite sure what to make of it -- or, even just looking strictly in-universe, what to make of Kotoko's role in the spirit world, exactly. She was introduced as the yokai's goddess of wisdom, primarily resolving petty disputes among them, but the snake-yokai episode makes it feel more like she just generally does whatever she can to ease generic anxieties. And she seems quite happy to have at most a casual attachment to any fixed star in doing so (to the point that I have to wonder if she's actually any good at her job -- I mean, in the snake-yokai's .. er, shoes .. would you find Kotoko convincing by the end of her long sequence of pivots from one superficial explanation to the next?). I wonder whether we'll see any sort've clear juxtaposition between her whimsical, meandering stabs at whatever happens to satisfy the latest yokai, and Kuro or his ex's interactions with the spirit world, once those go beyond one side being terrified of the other.

Minor asides (spoiler'd, since small Episode 3 spoilers and that review's not posted yet):

spoiler[- We're told Kotoko supposedly doesn't have any superstrength or other particularly overwhelming supernatural powers, but, based on the few fights she's already been in (and particularly the one with the Steel Idol in Episode 3), she's certainly one hell of a battle-acrobat despite her one leg and one eye.

- Not sure if I'm excited about a love triangle popping up so immediately, although somehow I think I won't mind it if it is as forthright and hilarious as the show's treatment of romance has been so far.

- I thought it darkly ironic, and funny in a kind of gallows humor way, that the arrested woman in Episode 2, according to Kotoko's version of events, threw one body into the lake to try to fish up a second one. I was also more than a little shocked that 'baby fetus' was where Kotoko decided to go with her spun yarn; before she did so, I was definitely expecting some more common, simple symbolic trapping of a relationship, like a wedding ring. I wonder whether that spoiling of expectations was intended?]
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:07 pm Reply with quote
The resolution of the snake mystery was... weird, to say the least. Are we suppose to take away from this that yokai are kinda on the dumb (or maybe more weird) side? Cause her explanation was all over the place, based on 0 evidence and really overall wasn't convincing at all, "Oh, well maybe she was pregnant but had an abortion and needed the cop to find the baby corpse" that makes sooooo much sense. Rolling Eyes

I didn't dislike it, she's a great character and I like that she just admit that she was bullshitting him, but I'm not quite sure what the audience is supposed to get out of this. I also think they could have resolved this in just one episode, no need for the additional half an episode.

As far as steel Nanase, I just wish Saki was out investigating the case when she'd meet Kotoko, rather than the two of them meeting coincidentally, would have made the story tighter.

Oh also, maybe I misread it (or translation was weird) but did she say losing her virginity was literally the most painful experience of her life... Considering she lost an eye and a legs and had probably had to go trough a lot of trouble getting adjusted, not to mention she got into a couple of fight with monster, I dunno if it can be said she has an healthy sex life.
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pharmboy23
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:27 pm Reply with quote
In/Spectre is a very different kind of ‘detective’ story, inasmuch as often times it’s about having a solution that fits the facts rather than THE solution that IS the facts. The snake yokai wanted to be appeased; Kotoko is a mediator, she presents a solution that satisfies him and he calms down. Her job is done - she’s not there to solve a crime, she’s there to keep the peace.

That’s an important distinction and key to enjoying the show, I feel. The snake god accepts her account so for him that IS the truth, regardless of actual events, and it’s case closed (but not mystery solved).

This current storyline is a huge one, I won’t be surprised if it’s most if not all of the entire cour, and you haven’t seen anything yet in terms of Kotoko being damn good at her job.

This is really a brilliant little show. I wasn’t sure it would translate to animation well, but I have to say it’s trucking along well and I love the little flashes of animation. Kotoko’s brief action sequence was fun stuff.
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