Okay, enough complaining about the bishounen style and the shounen-ai themes running through the series to date. Looking back at the manga, I can see why the story was divided the way it was. That's the way it was written. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that that's how it should have been done in the anime. This third episode further emphasises the uneven distribution of time alotment for storyline development as we see very little story in this third and concluding episode. Was it really necessary to have Tsuzuki and Muraki go out shopping and for tea in order to drag out the minimal story present?
More than anything, I feel like I've stepped into a yaoi doujinshi version of this story. We have an episode which has little for climax for the most part, has no point to the story, and has little meaning to the development of the characters. The only positive aspect to this third episode regarding story is the character development and background information we get on Hisoka. However, we're still sidetracked by too much fan service a la Tsuzuki and Muraki.
The direction in this third episode is a touch better than in previous episodes. While not particularly unique or imaginative, all-in-all what little story there is does come together reasonably well.
The voice acting is starting to settle down a little more, and I have to admit that overall, Muraki's voice acting is decent. A shame that there's no story to take advantage of it. Miki Shinichiro's depiction of Tsuzuki, on the other hand, bothers me. Sometimes well done, other times he sounds too stiff like he's reading his lines.
Unfortunately, the animation quality has slipped noticeably. Particularly painful were scenes where Gushoosin is bobbing around in mid-air (I'm sorry it just looks sad, bird-like critter or not!) and having Ouryuu completely unmoving and looking somewhat flat behind Muraki. Lots of limited perspectives as well as empty backgrounds dot this episode.
The one positive aspect of this third episode is that the music is actually much better and is tolerable. While it still won't win any music awards, the melodies do suit the overall feel of the scene and no longer hampers viewer enjoyment of the episode.
It must be a fungus. This series is starting to grow on me with this third episode. What's worse (?), the more I re-watch this story, the more it grows on me. Even though the fan service and shounen-ai aspects of the show are still very annoying, the hints of moving into more of a story now is starting to catch my interest. As a fan of the manga series, I'm curious enough to see what they do with the rest of the series as it progresses, for now. However, if I weren't, I probably wouldn't bother beyond this first story.
- JYN, 2001.04.24