by Rose Bridges,
How would you rate episode 20 of
Classicaloid frequently defies my expectations. When I work on these reviews, I often plan out my comments ahead of time, only to find they don't apply by the end. Still, none have left me as confused as this episode. What exactly happened here? How did the events of the beginning lead to the end? I'm truly at a loss. That's unfortunate, because this episode clearly wants to do some serious character work with Mozart. I could say that it didn't accomplish that, but I really have no idea. I'm only left with "what did I just watch?"
On the surface, that's surprising. This is a show that's turned its characters into fishes and mandarin-headed zombies. Classicaloid is no stranger to the weird and usually wears it well, but this is weirdness in execution rather than premise. Episode 20 is an oddly structured episode that seems more interested in throwing stuff at the wall than telling a coherent story. Even its stranger premises usually result in consistent storytelling.
The premise is actually pretty standard for the show, trying to develop one of its characters beyond their core trait by exploring their behavior as far as it can. In Mozart's case, this is his love of pranks. He's addicted to pulling jokes on everyone in the household, but this causes problems when everyone inevitably gets sick of it. Kanae issues an ultimatum, and Mozart tries to be a well-behaved boy. That inevitably falls apart, since it's just not in his nature, and he's burning with temptation for pranks. When everyone gets furious, Mozart takes off in a hurry, and this is where the episode gets weird.
It's not implausible that Mozart would take off on a journey of self-discovery. That's common in character-focused episodes, including on this show. Schubert's introduction was his aimless wandering. What's weird is that, instead of using this to dig around in Mozart's head, the episode shifts away from him and refocuses on the other characters, all overreacting to Mozart's behavior. Classicaloid has each character bring up their bizarre theory about him, and then runs with it. It gets the most mileage out of one about "Motes Panic," suggested by Pad-kun. "Motes Panic" means when Mozart is distressed, random bad things happen to everyone around him—beyond his usual pranks. We get a montage of this that leaves the characters rolling around in exhaustion. It's funny, but not nearly as interesting as whatever Mozart thinking. It's frustrating to get that set-up and not have it delivered on!
Classicaloid then tries to explain Motes's wandering, but this leaves us further confused. Kanae is the only one with enough energy to approach Mozart at the end. She follows him around town, until he finally admits that he's been watching a genius elementary-school basketball player and then mentions going off to be with his "lover of seventeen." The others witness and milk the possible scandal, but of course it's not what it seems. Mozart's referring to a symphony he wrote when he was 17, not a person. He milks it for Musik spectacle, and then the episode is over. This just left me sputtering: How did we get here?
It makes sense that Mozart is off reconnecting with his Musik. That's a perfectly plausible outlet to deal with his angst. However, it resolves none of the dangling plot problems, including Mozart's own. His pranks still aren't welcome at the mansion. The other characters are still concerned about his wandering, even if Kanae is reassured that he's coming home. (Okay, but what will you do when he comes home and continues to prank you?) Also, what's the deal with the "Motes Panic" in the first place? I assume it's one of those weird inexplicable Classicaloid things that has no answer. Still, it's strange that it's dropped after it took up such a huge portion of that episode. It was prioritized over Mozart's emotional journey—surely it deserves a more satisfying resolution?
This would all be different if it was the first of a multi-part arc, but based on the preview, it's not; next week shifts to Schubert's journey. If Classicaloid plans to make a series of character episodes, I hope it does a better job on the next one. The show is usually great at joining its seemingly disparate plot elements, but it dropped the ball this week. I'm crossing my fingers that this is a weird anomaly, not a pattern. At least this confusion is still entertaining in typical Classicaloid fashion.
ClassicaLoid is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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