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EP. REVIEW: In/Spectre


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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2577
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:01 pm Reply with quote
pharmboy23 wrote:
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.


I can't really evaluate her skill has mediator, or at least if I was in the snake position I'd laugh at her and ask that they send the real mediator in instead of this practical joke. But the snake accept it, so that works I guess...

What I'm not sure is, was the audience suppose to buy the explanation she gave and feel sucker punch in when she reveal that it was all bullshit. Or were we supposed to think "gosh this snake sure is a dumbass, good think she pull the wool over his eyes with this over the top explanation". It's hard to judge because some show genuinely have this kind of bonkers explanation, but there people will accept it because they have a bunch of facts presented to

Are the Yokai kinda simple minded (or can't understand human at all) and so to them this complete non sense of a story was totally believable? She did mention at the start that the Yokai recruited a human cause they were too dumb to think for themselves, but the way it was phrased made it seems like it was the very specific Yokai who grabbed her (I think she says they were small simple Yokai).
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pharmboy23
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 05 Oct 2018
Posts: 139
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:06 pm Reply with quote
I always took it to mean that the yokai as a group needed someone more clever than them to help with these matters - I don’t think the snake is being terribly smart with half his arguments as it is, but that’s just my view Smile. None of them seem particularly bright.
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bennyl



Joined: 06 Apr 2019
Posts: 44
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:00 pm Reply with quote
I try to give anime more chances than I would Western television just because I wonder if I don't get it due to cultural differences. I was about to write this one off until the scene from the screen grab. That bought another week from me.
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NeverConvex



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 910
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:04 pm Reply with quote
The description of Kotoko as primarily a 'mediator' doesn't really comport with what we've seen her do so far. She seems, instead, to be primarily about easing any and all worries (albeit in her own unpersuasively directionless way), even if the yokai in question (like the snake) doesn't appear all that awfully distressed.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8709
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:33 pm Reply with quote
NeverConvex wrote:
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. ...
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?

It reminded me of Conan, where Mori will declare, "X is the killer! <knockout> ahem...is what seems obvious, however..." and everyone just goes along with it. Smile So maybe I've just been primed to accept that sort of storytelling. In this case, there's also the factor that youkai don't think the way humans do, and have different goals. I don't think the snake cared what the truth was, it only wanted an explanation that was plausible, something it could live comfortably with without abrasive inconsistencies getting under its scales as a constant irritant. And Kotoko provided what it needed. How she created it wasn't important to the snake.

As for how we're supposed to feel when she readily admits it was mostly bullshit, I don't think it was intended to be shocking, since we watched her fabricate the whole thing from the start. I think it was just some character-building time, to get us more in her way of thinking and her methods and her practical attitude toward her job. Like her story wasn't entirely spun out of the air on the fly - she researched it and even sent a spirit to check out the woman. She had the bones of a story going in, and from there the final form was a collaborative effort between her and the snake, once she got a feeling for what was actually bothering it.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 4663
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:47 am Reply with quote
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this, because I bought 2 volumes of the manga and my first impressions of Kotoko was not positive, particularly the way she pushes herself at Kuro, insisting they’re in a relationship without his consent (& nearly starts before his breakup). Kuro’s stoicism doesn’t make their partnership seem reciprocal... She just made me cringe. I’m glad I gave it a shot anyway, because the animated depiction of their extended meet-cute comes across as way more playful and evenly matched. Once I got over the main relationship feeling one-sided and forced, Kotoko is fun to watch—honest to a fault, smart with a sharp wit, almost too confident and self assured. I do hope when we see Kuro again, they’ll be signs that he’s as into her as she is to him, or at least, at similar wavelengths. That whiff of desperation of the only 2 humans who know what it’s like to deal with yokai is not a good foundation for anything healthy. (And talking about “healthy”, it’s not supposed to be painful, Kotoko! Or author. Or whoever insists on the old wives tale that a young woman’s first time with a man is “supposed” to be painful.)
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 3134
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:35 pm Reply with quote
Were any other Kitarou viewers as surprised as I was to see Ittan-momen ("Rollo-cloth") appear out from under Kotoko's skirt in episode two?

Wikipedia reports on the history of ittan-momen, which was originally thought to kill humans by strangulation. The version of Rollo seen here and in Kitarou was conceived by that story's manga-ka Mizuki Shigeru; the traditional version had no eyes or hands.

Japanese passengers on the shinkansen have reported seeing ittan-momen flying alongside the train.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ittan-momen
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a_Bear_in_Bearcave



Joined: 14 Jan 2019
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:25 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:

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.

I think the Youkai used some "magical" means, in the hospital scene from her flashback doctors said her leg wound was so cleanly cut and eye removed in a way it wouldn't cause any further harm like pus etc., so I assume yokai might have anaesthetize her somehow, like do it in a dream maybe.
What a thing to say to someone who turns out to be your BFs ex...
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:03 pm Reply with quote
Well, episode four was once again a lot of fun. Saki and Kotoko had another great bickering conversation, and Kotoko reveals she may not have been telling the truth about her relationship with Kuro after all. Next week we get the crime-fighting team of Saki, Kuro, and Kotoko. Watch out, Nanase!

Terada telling Saki that she needed to read the files and summarize them could be interpreted in multiple ways. First off, did Terada himself actually read the files, or is that work that he thinks should be handed off to a (female) assistant? Perhaps he has read them and has his own ideas what to make of the information therein and just wants to get a different perspective from Saki. I'll just remind everyone that Saki works in the traffic division; solving potential murders and preventing new ones is a bit above her pay grade.

I wonder why the ED was cut this week. Yes, there was a lot of dialogue, but there's a lot of dialogue in every episode of In/Spectre. Wonder what Miyano Mamoru and his agent thought about this decision. Hope the ED returns next week. It's one of my favorites in quite some time.
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michizure



Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 88
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:08 am Reply with quote
I really love this series, but I have a very small peeve: the animators keep forgetting about or ignoring Kotoko's prosthetics.

I'm not really talking about the action scenes, where her prosthetic leg moves as easily as the real one -- until it doesn't. That's in the source manga, which the anime seems to be following pretty closely. It's things like Kotoko riding a bicycle: possible, maybe, but shouldn't there be some awkwardness involved? Riding the bicycle comes from the novels (I presume) and is depicted in the manga, but the aesthetics of putting it in motion are the responsibility of the anime staff.

The one that really got me was at 17:06 in Episode 4, when Kotoko comes to a realization and her pupils react in classic anime fashion -- both of her pupils. Keeping her right eye the same while her left eye reacts would have been a very small change, but weird and uncanny at the same time. It's disappointing that the staff either forgot or decided to skip that distinction.
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Probablytomorrow



Joined: 04 Aug 2019
Posts: 47
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:44 pm Reply with quote
michizure wrote:
The one that really got me was at 17:06 in Episode 4, when Kotoko comes to a realization and her pupils react in classic anime fashion -- both of her pupils. Keeping her right eye the same while her left eye reacts would have been a very small change, but weird and uncanny at the same time. It's disappointing that the staff either forgot or decided to skip that distinction.


I would be shocked if the staff actually forgot that detail. The eyes are such an important part of anime, so it must have been a conscious decision.
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 338
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:42 am Reply with quote
Probablytomorrow wrote:
michizure wrote:
The one that really got me was at 17:06 in Episode 4, when Kotoko comes to a realization and her pupils react in classic anime fashion -- both of her pupils. Keeping her right eye the same while her left eye reacts would have been a very small change, but weird and uncanny at the same time. It's disappointing that the staff either forgot or decided to skip that distinction.


I would be shocked if the staff actually forgot that detail. The eyes are such an important part of anime, so it must have been a conscious decision.
I have sympathy for that decision, because the whole "tiny pupils" thing is entirely an affect of animation in the first place. Eyes don't work like that, but anime eyes do to exaggerate the visibility of emotion. So when they are making the decision on how to animate that moment, they have to take into account that they are already doing something that is unrealistic but expressive, and to treat the false eye differently from her real one would ruin the actual expressiveness (it would look goofy and more like she's going crazy than shocked) without in any way reflecting what reality actually is.

Having her leaping around and riding bikes and otherwise use her prosthetic like a bionic limb is still an odd choice that I've noticed several times, myself.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:26 am Reply with quote
michizure wrote:
...her pupils react in classic anime fashion -- both of her pupils.

Both pupils remain the same size relative to her irises. What changes is the size of her irises (and their pupils) relative to the size of her eye sockets. Since eyes already take up too much face space in anime, changing the size of the irises is about the only way to indicate widening eyes in surprise or fear without nearly eclipsing the face. They become smaller to imply opening eyes wide and revealing more white, rather than indicating that her irises actually got smaller (which is not a thing that happens irl). Since she's surprised with both eyes (i.e., in a real face both eyes would open wider), changing only one wouldn't make sense within this standard representation of emotion.

If only the pupil size changes within a steady-state iris, that usually indicates that the pupil actually changed size, due to light, drugs, arousal, changing focus, etc. Were that to happen to Kotoko, then yes, only one eye should respond.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2577
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:44 pm Reply with quote
Unless there's more we haven't been shown yet, aren't they kinda overselling Saki trauma and Kuro impossibility of getting a normal relationship? Baring his childhood trauma with his grandmother, Kuro power are 100% positive with literally no downside. Why exactly would that give Saki PTSD to the point where she throw up when she eat meat?

If they really wanted to go this route, at least give Kuro some real issues, like maybe because he can shrug off any injury he might be prone to extreme violence, because in his mind stabbing someone is more minor than a small scratch, since everything is fixed in a few seconds, right? Then have Saki trauma be from Kuro just casually stabbing someone at a restaurant because the meat was undercooked or something. Cause as it stand, her trauma comes from him shrugging off scratch and that one time a Yokkai was spooked seeing Kuro, a bit weird, but not trauma inducing. And certainly not something that would force Kuro into only being able to have a relationship with Kotoko. It should be pretty easy for Kuro to get into a relationship with someone and just hide those details, how often do you cut yourself severely? It'd be trivial to hide it "Oh don't worry wasn't a bad cut, see doesn't even bleed anymore" and since Yokai aren't commonly accepted in their world, that means most people never even encounter them, shouldn't be hard to avoid repeating the Kappa incident.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 4209
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:20 pm Reply with quote
Trauma inducing,

Finding out the person you have been with for four years, is a vampire or a werewolf.

She's had the double whammy, in finding out the supernatural is actually reality, and that supernatural creatures are scared of her longtime boyfriend.

Did Kuro explain how he got his powers or abilities to Saki, that might explain her meat phobia.

Really, if you quite clearly saw the Creature from the Black Lagoon in your community pond, wouldn't that be something life altering.
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