I don’t know how many of you even see my header images. And I do know this series isn’t exactly very popular so I wouldn’t be surprised if n one at all sees them. And even though I already know the answer to the next question, I’m still gonna ask. Have you noticed that I change the background colour of the central textbox to something in tone with the images chosen.
That’s it. That’s my big designer flex for te day. It’s o.k., you don’t need to applad. Well if you insist!
The backgrounds, especially the ones featuring the city, remain one of my favourite aspects of this show. I just cant get enough. I could easily see half of these images in fancy frames looking all sophisticated. And this episode really spoiled us in that regard.
Most of the action took place on a rainy day so the colours were all dim and the contrast was brought down. Yet somehow, that made the town even more captivating to me. Actually I shouldn’t say that. It looks amazing in dazzling sunlight as well. It’s more that in order to properly establish the dreary mood the episode was going for, there were a lot of outside shots, lingering on the drench buildings and muddy streets. We really got a very good look at everything and it was beautiful.
And it might be a bit late in th game to mentions this, but ‘m digging the blue outlines. Generally speaking, I like coloured outlines. I find they make characters pop while softening the overall presentation. The combination of these blue outlines with the grimy washed out rainy day colour palette just did it for me. It created a nice if slightly depressing visual harmony.
Which was carefully matched to the tone of the episode.
Episode 8 started a bit dreary and depressing. Ishikawa is a little distraught at his illness although he does seem to be feeling better. The thing is, we don’t actually know what the doctor said and only have his word for it. And Ish s not exactly a reliable source. His existential crisis would make sense if the doctor had told him his illness was much more serious than he lets on. Which is most likely the case.
So these opening scenes are all grey and the outlines are a lighter blue than usual. Everything is a little washed out and just a little less solid. As if reality or meaning is getting somewhat fluid. I was relieved that these scenes weren’t more painful. Sure Ishi was moping around and Kyousuke is a ball of worry but the presence of always delightful Kay broke up the tenson nicely and the arrival of Kayo’s friend added a touch of mischief and mystery which stopped things from getting too dour.
And Kayo’s friend, whose name I forget because I forget all names, s actually a pretty good foil for Ishikawa. One of the bes the show has had. It evens him out a lot which is helpful.
But as the episode progresses the colour palette gets expanded. Warm colours get worked back in along with the action that revs up. The outlines get darker and a little sharper. the episode stops waxing philosophical and gets back to the business at hand and the visuals become crisper in response.
The episode itself was the set up of the next mystery. Only this one isn’t exactly like the ones past, in that the crime hasn’t been committed yet. Yes there was a death but so far everything points to an actual accident. Those happen even in murder mysteries! But the aftermath of this death seems to have stirred something up and threatening letters are being sent out. Ishikawa has to find the sender.
The episode even tels us who it is. There’s no real mystery. The idea here is how to set a trap to capture the culprit.
Of course, my old mystery watcher instincts tell me not to listen to what the episode was saying and that there is going to be a twist revealing the author to be someone completely different. Still, Woodpecker Detective’s Office is using all the same mystery series building blocks to create a different type of narrative and I do appreciate the effort. There was ven a romantic subplot which I kind of like. I know, I’m shocked too. Maybe I’m sick? It’s just that the couple works so well together. I can see it!
The episode, like the series in general, did take a minute to reflect on the intrinsic value of art and literature in general and the specific place of poetry in a working society. These are somewhat high minded musing that could feel out of place in a show like this. And the series offers no answers, even in as far as they exist. Stil, I appreciate being asked the question. It’s nice to think about something outside myself once in a while.