We’re back with the second episode of In/Spectre and I must say I was really enjoying it. Right up until we got a ‘to be continued’ shot and then the credits rolled right when things were getting really juicy. It is such a cheap plot particularly when it is clear that this story will be…
In/Spectre is a fun show. I like a lot of things about it. If you want to know what those things are, please do go read my discussion of episode 2 with Karandi. We are having fun.
It’s also a pretty good looking show. Not as adventurous as it could be considering the material but I’m a sucker for pretty character designs and seeing Kotoko decked out in what could be Cardcaptor Sakura cosplay this week just brought me pure uncomplicated joy.
As you can see, there’s a sort of neutrality to the look of In/Spectre. The colours are neutral, the designs are subdues and the environments are down to earth. It’s sort of a complete subversion of what the premise would lead you to expect.
But you know, it’s actually a lot like Natsume. There’s a quietness in the presentation that makes those supernatural elements all the more jarring for it.
But you also get a sense of fun. Many of the yokai, as well as Kotoko herself, have very rounded designs. That’s usually associated with cute harmless things. When you contrast them against the somewhat stark backgrounds and stern colour palettes it creates a deliberate expectations gap that carries throughout the narrative. It’s a very small touch but one I happen to appreciate a lot and I think it brings a much more lighthearted atmosphere to the series.
We never see a crescent moon oriented that way. I mean for a reason… It was striking.
It only strikes me just now that the dinner conversation they were having was rather unappetizing. Not that it stopped Kotoko but she is rather desensitized. I assume most gods are.
I did really like the light in these scenes. The way that water god shone actually gave the impression of an outdoor campfire and they were telling gruesome murder stories around it.
Because In/Spectre is so visually even keeled, the few more surreal scenes in the episode really stood out for me. They were blink and you miss them moments, in fact I only managed to get one single screen cap but they made an impact. I’m not entirely sure if I liked it yet. For me those scenes didn’t mesh too well with the rest of the show and seemed to belong to a different series in a different genre.
You know, that boyfriend thing bothered me too when she said it. Not bothered me but I knew Kuro wouldn’t be happy. I like how balanced Kuro and Kotoko are in this shot. The colours are somewhat complementary (not exactly but still close. Her cane brings her from forward while his back pack pushes him back. Her flowy skirt, puffy hat and light colours make her small frame seem a bit bigger while his dark hair, fitted trousers and slight hunch makes him a little smaller. It’s a very subtle yin yang thing. So subtle I may be imagining it….
I do enjoy how In/Spectre looks and I’m looking forward to seeing more.