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EP. REVIEW: In/Spectre


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The Scream Man



Joined: 01 Mar 2020
Posts: 19
Location: Sydney, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:49 am Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
meiam wrote:

Unrelated, but did Saki go to university just to end up as a traffic cop? That's pretty sad...


Yeah, I never noticed that. Usually, college or university nets you as a specialist or detective. Traffic cop is starting from scratch.


Her life after breaking up with Kuro may have taken a massive turn that led to it. Its an interesting idea that may or may not get explored, but Im not sure the shows cares enough about Sakis history to tell us.

But who knows? Maybe she dropped out or couldn't complete her course, or just wanted to make a big change to the life she left behind.
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John Thacker
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Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:49 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Again, intentional timing or not, it certainly behooves In/Spectre for it to be airing during an American presidential election year.


True, because it's a time when people in media will spread irresponsible rumors utterly contradicted by all the relevant research, like the idea that social media posts, whether by trolls or state actors, change elections as opposed to fundamentals. Just like how last night demonstrated that money is overrated in elections too.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:01 pm Reply with quote
OMG why was this so slow! I feel like I watched maybe a quarter of an episode stretch over 20 minutes.

Any interesting insight or point being raised about online discussion have all gone out the window, cause now it's about magic user using there magic to change the future, somehow. Can't even say anything interesting about Rikka using the internet for her own nefarious need, since she's literally just using it to see how much BS she can pull with her power, she could have done this any way, she just arbitrarily chose the internet.

So you have a story about how fake rumour are spread on the internet, except the rumour are spread using magic for the benefit of testing magic and the internet is just incidental in the whole thing. So the story is saying nothing relevant... Look Kotoko is a fun character, so the show is still fun to watch, but that doesn't means you can have an entire episode where next to nothing happened, at least have her use all of her option at once (she does know she could create a bunch of account right? No need to just use one option at a time)
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8855
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:24 am Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
So you have a story about how fake rumour are spread on the internet, except the rumour are spread using magic for the benefit of testing magic and the internet is just incidental in the whole thing.

No one's using magic to spread the rumors, only to possibly guide how to craft the rumors to best take root. Internet still required. And I don't believe we've been given a clear motive yet.

I realized she was describing Saki as soon as she said it was a female cop. Still laughed when Saki finally got it.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:54 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
meiam wrote:
So you have a story about how fake rumour are spread on the internet, except the rumour are spread using magic for the benefit of testing magic and the internet is just incidental in the whole thing.

No one's using magic to spread the rumors, only to possibly guide how to craft the rumors to best take root. Internet still required. And I don't believe we've been given a clear motive yet.


Both Kuro and Rikka are using their future shaping power to make the outcome they want (ie either people believe she's a ghost or don't) happens.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:15 pm Reply with quote
That's not what you claimed before. They're not using magic to spread the rumors. They need the internet for that, and Kuro needs Kotoko to put the rumors out there. As I understand it, they're only grabbing at the best future thread that leads to their desired outcome. That's how they predict which rumors to push to make that path become reality.

If they could just pick the future they wanted they wouldn't need the internet or the rumors. They'd just magically make people independently believe or not believe in the murderous Steel Lady.

And again, as far as I can recall, we don't yet know Rikka's motive. I don't think it's merely to test her power against Kuro's.
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gedata



Joined: 04 May 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:19 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The one aspect of this conflict that still doesn't quite click with me is the duel of fates executed between Kuro and Rikka. In the abstract, it's easy enough to understand with the branching paths visual/explanation given to us weeks ago, and it's interesting to think about from a philosophical perspective. While it most closely resembles a way of thinking about free will, it also resembles a writing process. An author chooses one path for their characters, which dictates a further path, which then dictates the next one, and so on and so forth until the narrative is concluded. Writing is a process of experimentation, trying things out and whittling them down to what works best. In the specific dramatic context of In/Spectre, however, I think this neuters the impact of what Kotoko is doing as it relates to online communities.

I don't know about that, the whole idea was to have Kotoko's online musings make a reality where the Steel Lady isn't believed to exist a possibilty while Kuro confirms it, but Rikka essentially cancels out his role in all this. It's a delicate balance for reality manipulation but the strength of the arguments is still vital in all this to create the desired opportunities for both sides to gain the right amount of sway. It's a cool way for Kuro to be relevant besides acting as a distraction so the faceless ghost won't hunt anyone else for the night.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:05 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
That's not what you claimed before. They're not using magic to spread the rumors. They need the internet for that, and Kuro needs Kotoko to put the rumors out there. As I understand it, they're only grabbing at the best future thread that leads to their desired outcome. That's how they predict which rumors to push to make that path become reality.

If they could just pick the future they wanted they wouldn't need the internet or the rumors. They'd just magically make people independently believe or not believe in the murderous Steel Lady.

And again, as far as I can recall, we don't yet know Rikka's motive. I don't think it's merely to test her power against Kuro's.


Not quite sure how that changes anything, the way the show is presenting it, there's a bunch of different future, most are extremely unlikely to happen, but using the future shaping power they can make it so those happen.

So let say Rikka first create the site, the range of future go from no one sees the site to a bunch of people see it. Now something like 99.9% of new site created go nowhere and dies, so that's what would have happened, but instead she used her power to make people notice the site. Most people would just find the site silly and move on, but instead she uses her power to make them believe it (or alter reality so that only people who would believe it visit the site). These people would normally be taken for crackpot and ignored, but again she uses her power to make it so their not and instead they recruit more people to visit the site. And so on and so forth, the rumor spread.

Now Kotoko comes in with Kuro help. At this point the website is frequented by people who hardcore believe the rumor, either because they want or because Rikka power made it so (why would you frequent, create an account and comment on a site about a ghost if you didn't believe it?). So when she comes in and tries to rain on her parade she'd obviously get shoot down (go to an anti vaxx website and try telling their all crazy, you'll get ridiculed and banned real fast), but Kuro uses his power to make people believe her instead.

I don't know how this situation cannot be described otherwise then "using magic to spread rumor". So not only does the show not say anything about how the internet intensify rumor, it's implicitly saying those rumor cannot naturally get spread on the internet unless someone with the power to literally shape reality is involved. Acting like the internet is the important part would be like if someone took a car to a marathon but it ran out of gas so he had to walk the last 10 meters and claimed that he won the race because he technically crossed the line running and wouldn't have been able otherwise.

There's also an immense case of worm about free will that I don't think the show care/realize it's brushing up against which if your going to involve magic, I find a lot more interesting, I doubt it'll be touch on but I'm on open to be pleasantly surprised (that would make quite an interesting angle for Rikka to take).
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:39 am Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
Gina Szanboti wrote:
If they could just pick the future they wanted they wouldn't need the internet or the rumors. They'd just magically make people independently believe or not believe in the murderous Steel Lady.

she uses her power to make them believe it (or alter reality so that only people who would believe it visit the site).

I think this is the fundamental difference in how we're seeing what's going on. As I see it, neither of them has the power to alter reality at will or "make" people do anything. The possible futures are there, independent of Rikka and Kuro. All they can do is try to steer the present onto the future paths that lead to the outcome they want. Sometimes there's no such path, or they're unable to grasp it. So the "magic" they're using isn't manipulating people to do anything, but choosing those paths where people did those things on their own.

As to how that relates to a commentary on internet rumors, to me it's just a device to condense the process of how things go viral, but also just to insert the characters into an existing phenomenon to build an interesting story. Rikka and Kuro don't exist irl, and there are many points at which a thing could catch fire or fizzle out depending on people's choices (among a zillion other factors), and still they do catch on, even without supernatural intervention. The story takes that truth and tweaks it a bit, but doing so doesn't remove the necessity of the internet in the plot, as you originally asserted, because they're using the internet to spread the rumor, not magic. Magic might be the fuel to get from A to B, but the internet is the vehicle. Without it, the magic would just be teleportation. Then there's no journey, and that's boring. Smile
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:22 pm Reply with quote
Steering the future is making it happen by magic. It's possible for a car to turn left, but unless someone actually steer it to the left, it won't happen. Without someone steering the car (ie, Rikka/Kuro using their power) the possible alternative wouldn't happen. If you want to talk about path, that'd be like if someone was driving down a road and, when they'd come at an intersection, I blocked the path they wanted to follow, this forced them to take another path (or hack their GPS to send them down the wrong path). I can't really claim that they chose that path of their own free will and are just following their destined path, can I?

I agree that it's just a device, but it's an entirely useless one that also strongly detract from the main story. Did anyone think to themselves, early in the arc, "Boy, this story sure is boring without an antagonist that personally relate to Kuro and Kotoko and control things from the shadow"? Kuro and Kotoko already had a reason to intervene with the steel lady appearing (that was a necessary device to start the story). Would anyone have found this story unbelievable without the future power? ("Silly rumor spreading on the internet! Now this show as clearly jump the shark. Maybe if they used future altering power It'd be believable, but without those I just can't be engage"). Going by the score, there's clearly no sign that the introduction of Rikka has improved the arc, if anything it's lowering them.

If we're talking about possible, rumor can spread in journal/TV too. Since Rikka has reality bending power she could have used those (say start with a letter to the reader's corner, normally it would be ignored but she uses her power to get it read more than usual, from there she uses her power to make it to the salacious daily journal and in gossip magazine). The fundamental difference of the internet to other form of media is that it makes things more likely because you can have millions of sites running simultaneously versus only a few journal/TV channel. That's like going from A to B in an old slow car, but then you fuel it magic fuel that has ill defined properties anyway so it can go at w/e speed you want.
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Kiskaloo



Joined: 04 Jan 2018
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Location: Seattle
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:59 pm Reply with quote
I was not a fan of Rikka being the protagonist behind Steel Lady Nanase, but I did not realize SLN was the main story and the first two episodes were just setup to introduce Kuro, Kotoko and Saki. I thought SLN would be another 2-3 episode story like the Guardian Serpent arc and then they would move on to something else.

Personally, I don't think ten episodes of SLN would have worked without a protagonist being Kotoko's equal to keep it going that long. And, frankly, having dueling supernatural cousins in Kuo and Rikka makes no less sense then some other "big bad" running the show and honestly, makes more sense as they both have the same power over "fictional narrative" so they at least are equally-matched (if Kotoko and Kuo as a pair compared to Rikka as an individual). Holmes must have his Moriarty, after all. Wink

And I find the overall writing of this show to be more than sharp enough to keep me watching, though I admit in lesser hands I would probably find the setup more eye-rolling and off-putting.

I do think this show would be more "watchable" as a single binge event rather than over three months week-to-week because I admit I don't remember why Rikka created SLN in the first place and had to go back and read the synopsis where it was explained.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8855
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:20 am Reply with quote
Kiskaloo wrote:
I admit I don't remember why Rikka created SLN in the first place and had to go back and read the synopsis where it was explained.

And where was this (and what episode?)? In the review for Episode 8 Steve wrote, "Her exact motivations are still up in the air, so it's possible those will be stupid..." and I haven't seen any explanation since that. So what is her motive (assuming it's been revealed already as you say)?
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gedata



Joined: 04 May 2013
Posts: 510
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:16 pm Reply with quote
I wonder what would happen if spoiler[if Rikka posted a timestamped image of her self to prove she isn't Nanase. Being topless would help drive the point home better too.]
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 539
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:03 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I'd suspect this arc of In/Spectre will work best when digested as a whole, as opposed to dosed out in weekly chunks.

I don't think so. This show was bearable and even good because it was dosified in small weekly doses. Kotoko is just that good.
But I DREAD the concept of sitting through three whole hours of this story putting all its cards on the table before the first hour is over, then spending way more than that going in circles without really coming to anything new or interesting (other than introducing a very unnecesary antagonist) until finally something is done about it.
This kind of overdetailed repetitive stuff works very well for a book but as an animated audiovisual work it's exhausting. Seitokai no Ichizon's very first cut was brilliant, but it goes both ways.
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Suxinn



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 54
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:02 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
As we approach the end, I imagine the most pressing question on most viewers' minds is: did the Steel Lady arc really need to be 9 (10, assuming next week wraps things up) episodes long?

Well, the original LN was basically only the Steel Lady Nanase arc, and Shirodaira Kyo decided to write more only after the manga adaptation got popular enough to warrant it. So I think making the anime up to be mostly this arc is the right thing to do, especially since what follows are mostly mini arcs that take up only a chapter or two.
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