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EP. REVIEW: Woodpecker Detective's Office


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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 4:03 pm Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
Although I wonder if it's less Christianity itself and more as a sign of Westernization - the black ships got a direct mention and Ishikawa wearing the western suit at the end when he's otherwise only been wearing traditional Japanese clothing, plus the whole thing with the magic lantern and the skyscraper last week could all be tied together as a sign of impending change that not everyone's happy about or comfortable with.

Maybe both? I just can't help but wonder why Otaki was made to be a Christian, in a pause-or-you'll-miss-it way (and I still wonder about Kayo), if it's just about encroaching Westernization. Bringing it into the story this time would've been enough to make only that point.

If Otaki hadn't killed herself, then I'd say yeah, maybe the murderer is killing people who've been "contaminated," but otherwise there must be (or should be) a point to her being Christian that so far hasn't been revealed. It's not like the Ainu were being converted wholesale.

It's interesting to me that Kindaichi is being so strongly coded as gay, with his seeming aversion to women, his body language, and his open declaration of love (platonic! right?) for Ishikawa. He did get married right after Ishikawa's death, (his son was born in 1913), not that that means he couldn't have been gay or bi, but I wonder what his grandsons think of this? It must be really weird to have a famous parent or grandparent who gets fictionalized often. Smile

Btw, I ran across this translation of Ainu Shinyoushuu, by Chiri Yukie, an Ainu woman who worked with Kindaichi to record the yukar she had learned as a child from her aunt and grandmother (actually it's more like he worked with her. He inspired her, but she did most of the work). She died at 19 on the day the book was finished, and Kindaichi published it posthumously. I haven't had a chance to read all of the stories yet, but the ones I have were wonderful. Anyone who liked Golden Kamuy should definitely read it.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8913
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 4:38 am Reply with quote
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Almost nothing is made of the fact that Otojirou was attracted to dolls and that Kiku's glass eye is what drew him to her; she's clearly made out to be in the wrong while almost nothing is said of his preferences.

I think Yoshii's reaction to the dolls he found at the murder scene kinda pointed out that they thought he was pretty weird, not to mention the visuals behind Ishikawa's explanation of his motivations. It seemed more like she was in the wrong for trying to hide what happened and willing to compound that with more death to keep the truth hidden, than she was being blamed for fighting back. And the images of the attack also did not paint the attacker in a blameless light. But it wasn't made clear what she should have done, since we don't know from the story how her actions likely would've been viewed had she come forward. Also, we're told why he targeted her, but not why she felt obliged to come when he summoned her (or if anyone besides her lover even knew she was ever there). That's a non-trivial omission to me.

I was confused when they went to the doll exhibit to see Kinginka (not "Kingiko" btw) since Kiku told Yoshii that she was missing, and still out wandering the streets. Was that a bad translation or what? While I'm still enjoying this series immensely, I'm feeling like it's not as tightly written as it needs to be for what they're trying to do. Too many details left out or left unclear, which distracts from the fine character work they're doing.

Thanks for the interesting bits about the flowers. And lol at Kyousuke skittering around in all the backgrounds. He's such a good guy.
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Meongantuk



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 6:30 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:


I was confused when they went to the doll exhibit to see Kinginka (not "Kingiko" btw) since Kiku told Yoshii that she was missing, and still out wandering the streets. Was that a bad translation or what?.


I think the line was supposed to be "The doll still escapes the Kugutsukan and wandering on the street," We see the doll during Ishikawa and Yoshii's visit during the day, but not during their visit at night (presumably the manager hid it, while he strolls around as Kinginka).
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1909
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 6:45 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Kinginka (not "Kingiko" btw)


Argh, and I was doing so well with the names! It would probably help if I had written it down without the cat sitting on my paper, but still.Embarassed

Quote:
Thanks for the interesting bits about the flowers.


I have to admit, I was surprised to open up the flower language section of Our Deportment and find so many similarities between 1880s American flower language and 1910s Japanese flower language. It's a cross-cultural influence research project for when (if?) I have more time.
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blameitonStarBlazers
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 12:13 pm Reply with quote
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it was also nice that he essentially spent his reward money on Kindaichi, even though we could just as easily say that blowing 500 yen he could really have used on a batch of fake money to trick his friend is just Ishikawa being up to his usual spendthrift ways

My theory on this (for now, at least) is that Ishikawa knows he’s dying and wants to get as much enjoyment out of life as he can before the end, rather than waste time with niceties like paying back money he owes.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:52 am Reply with quote
I had figured out that she was the murderer last week, but didn't say anything because I couldn't quite put all the pieces together (since we didn't have them all last week), and I didn't quite see how she would be involved with the other Accuser X cases. I'm still a little fuzzy on that, but I guess they were all his business associates, which makes sense, since the capitalist rich are as incestuous and exclusionary in their interdealings as the nobility in their intermarriages to maintain power.

I also feel there was an unaddressed/unfair red herring last week, since it seemed like Ishikawa heard someone in the attic, which made him look up. If she had looked up first or otherwise directed his attention there, fine, but she didn't do more than eliminate obvious possibilities for how the stalker knew her life. Since there was no stalker, what did he hear? How did she pull that off?
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:48 am Reply with quote
As irritating as Ishikawa is, and as difficult as it is to understand why Kyousuke puts up with and enables him, this episode really drove home how much this series' success or failure rides on Takahiro Sakurai's stellar performance. Whatever he's saying, what I hear in his sad and gentle delivery is, "Yeah, I know he's a jerk, but I can't help how I feel, and I'm ok with that." He sounds tired, but the unconditional love still comes through. It makes me want to try to understand what Kyousuke gets from this friendship instead of just throwing up my hands and thinking he's a doormat. Usually my tolerance for such forbearing and seemingly spineless characters is low, but not this time.

I ran across a YouTube video of all the cast doing one of their promo things, and even without being able to understand more than a word or two of it, it was still fun to watch. I couldn't help thinking they did a great job of making Sakurai look like Kyousuke, with his haircut and round glasses. And every time I see that desiccator on the table in the cafe, I chuckle, because they used it as a prop in one of their silly games. If you're bored, give it a watch, even if you don't speak Japanese (I'd kill for some subtitles on it). If you've only got a minute, you can still see the comparison of Sakurai and his character here.
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blameitonStarBlazers
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:27 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I ran across a YouTube video of all the cast doing one of their promo things, and even without being able to understand more than a word or two of it, it was still fun to watch.

Thanks for the link. That video was fun. Yes, I especially liked how they all tried to incorporate the look of their characters.

FYI, YouTube will let you turn on CC and select English. That gives you auto-translated subs, and while they are often laughable word salad, it gives you enough to get the general idea of what’s going on. Give it a try.
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shosakukan



Joined: 09 Jan 2014
Posts: 165
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:17 pm Reply with quote
Rebecca Silverman wrote:
...1912, the year that Ishikawa's novel Sad Toys was published...

Actually Sad Toys is a collection of tanka, which also includes 'A Dialogue between an Egoist and a Friend' and an essay 'Various Poems'. Not a novel.

Rebecca Silverman wrote:
...Tarai...

Perhaps you mean Hirai Tarō?
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:47 pm Reply with quote
My bad, I used the wrong word; I should have called it a collection, not a novel. And yes, my brain and hands had a...difference of opinion on writing Hirai Taro! Embarassed Ah, I love how my brain (doesn't) function...
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8913
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:11 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The story appears to begin and end in 1912, the year that Ishikawa's novel Sad Toys was published

The first episode explicitly says it's ten years after Ishikawa died. So I have to assume it just took Kindaichi a decade to return to the boarding house and he brought a copy with him, rather than his returning immediately after publication as a sort of celebration of its being newly published.

I was pretty satisfied with the finale. It wrapped up most things pretty well, and seemed to accomplish what it set out to do.

@ blameitonStarBlazers: I never knew you could select other languages in the cc tab! I'm not sure it gave me enough sensible phrases to really get the gist of anything, but it did let me get to where they whipped out those lovely promo posters, which I somehow skipped over before. Do want.

(click for larger image)
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blameitonStarBlazers
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:44 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
@ blameitonStarBlazers: I never knew you could select other languages in the cc tab! I'm not sure it gave me enough sensible phrases to really get the gist of anything

Yeah, it’s not the most helpful. Maybe it works better for different language families, who knows. I only just discovered you could do it from reading the comments for some video I was watching (maybe that Princess Tutu AMV?). But it did help me understand that they were pulling fan questions out of that container on the table. I was able to get the gist of one or two of those, at least.

I was glad they didn’t make us actually watch Ishikawa‘s death. Bad enough he looked at death’s door for the last two episodes. I’m sorry more people didn’t enjoy this anime. I know it was slower and more contemplative than the usual shonen fare, but I love a good mystery.
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