My header gif is very subtle this week but I quite like it. Do you? I think it has something comforting about it. I hope I can find a way to reuse it. And because it’s so subtle, it doesn’t take long to load. So yay!
I hinted at it last week, but I’m not the biggest fan of this little two-episode arc. It was a couple of chapters in the manga as well and I found them… well I wanted to get back to the adventure. Don’t get me wrong, these episodes serve a purpose. An important one at that. We have some great development for Shizuka. Her tragic origin story is pretty cliché but there is something delightfully cynical about a father who just wants their child to be quiet and obey, naming his daughter “silent”. I know Shizuka is not an uncommon name and I’m probably not only reading too much into it but lacking the proper cultural background to get it but still. It added a bit of bite to her story and went from cliché to so on the nose that it’s almost subversive, you know?
And of course, it was a throwback to Akira’s workplace trauma and if you’ve ever had a soul-sucking job that you hated, you can relate to that feeling. It really does turn you into a zombie. I remember sitting on a bus and just not being able to register anything around me because my job had worked me into a dull stupor and I knew I had to quit. I did. I don’t have Akira’s patience. But I still felt it for a bit and I sympathized.
Yet, despite this, I am still not a fan of this mini-arc. It’s very cliché in a show that to me has largely managed to use the expected tropes to create something new. And it’s also kind of repetitive at this point. It feels like we just took a step back.
But that’s o.k. because I haven’t mentioned the most important narrative purpose of this arc, in my opinion. To me, this marks the end of the beginning. Or of the set-up… I guess it is kind of late in the season for the introduction to finally end but good things take time. It’s just how it goes!
You see, if the anime follows the source material, this is where we largely abandon the traditional urban zombie horror movie genre and all of the characters’ hangups and start-up on a buddy road trip comedy with zombies. It’s the point where the characters can at last largely (if not entirely) let go of their pasts and start really looking to the future. Or to put it another way, it’s the point where that bucket list becomes more than just a hasty collection of juvenile fantasies and starts to be more about true aspirations and an earnest examination of what truly matters in life.
Oh, and it’s when the best character shows up. I honestly thought I would hate her. I rolled my eyes at her entrance. I am a dumb dumb girl…