- Genre : Josei, Horror, Mystery, Psychological Thriller
- Studio: J.C.Staff
Have I used that as a title before? I feel like every single episode review for every single show, I’ve ever written could have been titled this way.
I’ve been trying hard to destroy my blog under pretense of renovating it and as a result I had to get it reset at the beginning of the week. A handful of posts got reverted back to draft in the process and I lost all of your comments from last week. This really irks me because I wanted to bring them up again this week and now I don’t have them anymore.
Oh well, I guess I’m on my own this week.
For better or worse (I hate to say it but mostly worse I think) they tried to start inserting humor into Angels of Death. Now I am normally a big comedy fan so on its face, I would consider that a good move and it still may turn out that way, but I saw a few definite flaws in the execution.
Right off the bat, we were treated to Zack (Isaac’s) creepy goofy shtick and saw him vomiting rainbows in reaction Rachel’s death seeker persona. At this point I was all in. Although I know that the rainbow vomit is sort of a classic anime staple, it immediately made me think of KonoSuba and I ended up liking Isaac more by association. Also having a psychopath seriously creeped out by the concept of someone wanting to die vaguely made me think of my bestie Nagito….Long story, medium length, I was all in at this point. Sure, there was no trace of scary anymore but black comedy works for me. I wanted to see where it goes.
Unfortunately where it went was to that cliched straight man and weirdo routine, with an emotionless, hyper rational little girl and a weird intimidating yet goofy big guy. We’ve seen this pairing a lot. It can be fantastic but it’s certainly not innovative enough to be the only hook.
As I watched the two go through their little schtick I grew considerably less thrilled. It took me a few scenes to realize what was off. To me, there’s simply a total lack of chemistry. The voice actors are quite good in their own right and embody the roles well in my opinion, but when it comes to interacting with each other, they fall completely flat. The banter is stiff and uninteresting, the jokes don’t land and the very few emotional moments feel false.
I was tempted on blaming everything on Isaac’s over the top crazy freak stereotype but as soon as they separated, he became considerably more bearable, while remaining as unhinged as ever, possibly more so. I really enjoyed his laugh for instance and his frantic nervousness seems to be covering up a lot of fragility rather than just being a psycho for plot’s sake.
Accordingly, even the story became so much more interesting once Rachel and Isaac are isolated from each other. Abandoning the standup routine, the plot dove back into slightly ominous mystery. I quite enjoyed the odd and apparently all knowing letters. The personal files in the room. I liked the notion of having all those unfinished, preemptive graves and how badly it was messing with Isaac’s mind. I really enjoyed the cliffhanger ending.
The good news is that chemistry between actors can and often does improve through the run of a show. Moreover, it would be fairly easy to separate the two leads and have them running parallel stories. They seem to be setting up Rachel (the lone sane man) as the most terrifying thing in the menagerie of monsters, which is also a little cliché but nevertheless something I enjoy.
On the other hand, the exaggerated insane maniac role Isaac slips into can get old fast. I believe both Karandi and Raistlin mentioned the villains being a bit too overbearing for their tastes in my episode 1 review (you’ll have to take my word for it), and while I was generally ok with it as long as they were plot devices, not more than set pieces to serve as obstacles in Rachel’s way, it’s a different story if one of them is going to be a deuteragonist. There is potential for an intriguing and complex character in Issac Foster (another super British name I might add) but so far there’s just as much chance he’ll end up insufferable.
As for Rachel, I quite like emotionless characters, not only because I relate to them…However, there’s a fine line between delightfully neutral and painfully boring. She can afford to be rather bland as her role is to even out the outlandish plot and cast but if she is to carry the entire show, there needs to be something there. At least one thing…
So this second episode was a flush for me. It had roughly the same amount of ups as downs and I’m left uncertain as to what to expect. To wrap things up on a high note though, I really loved the lighting in this episode. I think the use of light and shadows was interesting and enhanced the atmosphere quite a bit.
I didn’t realize as I was watching it but somehow all my screencaps ended up looking the same…