We are already past the halfway mark of a really good season of anime. I think Demon Lord is my least favourite and I don’t hate it. Everything else has been at minimum enjoyable. And Shadows House is pretty high on that list. I was honestly a bit sad when I found out last week that the manga doesn’t yet have an official translation. If Manga Dex hasn’t sorted itself out, I might have to go hunting. Or maybe this will finally be the push I need to buckle down and learn how to read Japanese already!
Don’t worry, I understand how much work it is. I played an entire untranslated Visual Novel and it was torture. But I figure I will get better at it eventually…maybe…
As much as I want to defend Emilico, she really does have a head full of sunshine. And at times, she may be a bit too sunny for me. I think it offsets the atmosphere the series is going for in a way that isn’t always to its advantage. Though for me, I wouldn’t say it’s too much. I still enjoy both the character and the show quite a bit.
The first thing that struck me about episode 7 of Shadows House, is the soot pigeon. Not the pigeon itself although I did like it. I loved how cool it seemed and the mystic of it dissolving into the message it carries only to be so ungraceful in practice. The important part though isn’t the execution of that particular element (which again, was great) but what it means for the greater story.
And what it means is that Shadows controlling soot seems much more common and accepted than the series had led me to believe. Considering one of the servant shadows was doing it, it doesn’t seem like a skill that marks exclusivity or status. And as the head of the household is also said to be able to do so, it shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of either. And all of that means that whatever bias there is against Kate is due to something else. duh duh DUH!
Both Patrick and John got a bit fleshed out this week. In the exchange between Emilico and John, we got to see that he really is a fairly weak and subservient sort of person. He’s also pompous but without any of the bravado behind it. That was mostly Ricky. And without Ricky, Patrick seems utterly lost. More than any other Shadow that we’ve seen. John is the opposite. He is just fine without Shaun. Which in turn means that he must like Shaun because, well he just likes Shaun. And a shadow that likes his face, is a shadow that likes himself!
Moreover, I found John to be somewhat similar to Emilico. Both are happy go lucky types that leap before they look. Both seem inherently optimistic and a little silly. John isn’t quite as sunshiny or altruistic but he’s not a complete jerk either. And this explains why Shaun became such good friends with Emilico and Rum. I always wondered. Emilico is just that way and Rum had no other friends and naturally got attached to the one person that treated her kindly. Bu Shaun seemed like a smart capable young man with his own social circle. Why was he putting up with the hyperactive Pollyanna? I bet it’s because she reminded him of John and as such her company was just naturally comfortable.
I like it when I’m able to explain motivations like that. It’s really clear, I don’t need to go reaching for some outlandish theories but the show doesn’t cram it down our throat either.
We didn’t get many answers this week. The one that’s been really gnawing at me is what happens if a doll fails? What are the stakes of this debut? Would the pair get separated, but they look exactly alike, it can’t be that easy to replace a doll. None of the observer shadows had their faces. Did they fail their debut and now are just faceless? If so what happens to those dolls? I don’t know and I think it would help me get into the action a bit more if I did. But that’s my only gripe.