by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Yurei Deco ?
Community score: 3.8
”The Inhuman Cart" dares to broach the most burning mystery at the heart of Yurei Deco, a question that has haunted the show even more the Phantom Zero conundrum: “What the hell is up with Watson, the weird cat…thing that hangs around the Detective Club??” Well, I won't go so far as to claim we get any concrete answers about who—or what—Watson is, but we at least learn some more about what Watson is about so far as the Club is concerned. Chiefly, it turns out that Watson likes to hunt and collect rumors, and there's a doozy of a rumor that has been lingering around Tom Sawyer Island for ages in the form of a ramen cart that apparently serves the most delectable noodles around…if you can find it, that is, and live to tell the tale.
This is another one of those odd Yurei Deco episodes that is ostensibly trading in more social commentary about the power of false information in a digital age, but actually turns out to be more fun when you stop thinking too hard about it and enjoy it more as a simple adventure story. Yes, there is some interesting philosophizing to be done about whether the inherent fun of pursuing a rumor justifies believing in it. Like, I for one love reading about UFO stories and cryptic encounters, but I think it can be unhealthy—and sometimes even dangerous—to fall completely down the rabbit hole of disregarding scientific consensus and common sense in favor of simply wanting something fantastical be true.
That level of skeptical discourse isn't what Yurei Deco is all about, though. While Berry indeed learns a valuable lesson about trusting in the leads of random strangers who swear on the word of their friends of friends of casual acquaintances—and we eventually get some mildly intriguing world-building about the AI Analytica and its connections to the origins of Tom Sawyer Island—the events of “The Inhuman Cart" feel less concerned with theme than they are plot. My biggest takeaways from Hack, Berry, and Watson's adventure aren't any deep reflections on the nature of truth or the impact of human will on what constitutes “truth"; I'm more concerned about the fact that Phantom Zero is apparently immune to Hack's thieving tricks, or the fact that the moon is apparently connected to the bigger conspiracies of this world (not to mention the fact of landing on the moon at all has become a barely believed rumor in and of itself).
Plus, we do get to see Watson in full-on Rescue Cat Mode during the PZ battle, which is another fun action scene to keep the pace of the show going. I still don't know if the cat is even a real person, or simply a high-functioning AI, or even something else entirely, but I'm sure we'll get clearer answers eventually. The same goes for information about Analytica, who was a character that I appreciated more in concept than execution here (was his "death" really supposed to inspire much emotional impact when even our protagonists seem to barely care about what happened to him?). This might not have been the best Yurei Deco episode of the season, but even a middling chapter of this story is still a decently fun time all around.
Rating:James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast. Yurei Deco is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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