Our Tokyo public schools have become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. It’s true, it’s true. When the boonies send their people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing sick, nasty games. They’re serial killers. They’re going to NTR you. And some, I assume, are good people.
Here’s another show that looks like ass. In fact, Just Because!’s production values are barely scraping the bottom of the barrel. Just look at this screenshot. I didn’t even cherry-pick this frame from an action scene. He’s just standing there, waiting for a pitch, and the perspective, proportions — everything — it’s all wrong. Luckily, the anime doesn’t have the type of story that really demands any sort of visual fidelity. One of the main characters bumps into the transfer student, and describes the latter as a sleepy-looking kid. That’s also an apt description for the anime. These kids are about to make the biggest transition in their lives. They’re literally on the cusp of adulthood, and yet, everyone’s just going through the motions. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe something about their lives has lost its youthful exuberance, and the Eita’s sudden interjection is the catalyst that all five kids — Eita included — sorely needs. But that’s not exactly a killer premise, is it?
Well… the show didn’t really hook me, but I could still kinda relate to it. I can kinda empathize with Eita as he reminisces on days long gone. It’s funny how easily bonds break as soon as people stop bumping into each other on a regular basis. It’s almost as if proximity was the only reason why the friendship existed in the first place. I experienced this after graduating from high school. I haven’t spoken to my high school best friend since… well, high school. And hell, I’m experiencing this now. I spent two years in one department, then switched to another one just recently. Mind you, I’m still in the same company. Nevertheless, I quickly lost half of the friends I had made in the previous department. In a way, I suppose those people were never really my friends to begin with. So you can look at this week’s episode in two ways. On the one hand, it’s remarkable how old buddies can just seamlessly transition back to the way things were. You wouldn’t hug and dance with a stranger, would you? But on the other hand, where was Haruto the last few years? Doesn’t it seem that — once again — proximity is the only reason why they’re even friends again? The idea is almost enough to make me melancholy.
Oh boy… shows like Ousama Game are like junk food. They seem so damn tantalizing at the start, don’t they? Who’s the King? And how is he killing all of these people from wherever he’s hiding? Why is he killing all of these people? Who’s going to survive? Did you see that kid just explode in a fountain of blood? I can’t wait to see how the next person die! The animation here is pretty bad, but hey, BLOOD! Annoying kids getting their comeuppance! It’s all fun and games. For now, at least. You’ve got tension, mystery, and cheaply animated deaths. And the King seems like a pervert, so sex might even be on the table (yeah, right)!
Basically, to extend the junk food comparison even further, the show is like a chicken nugget. It ain’t 3-Michelin star food, but it’s still tasty. I’d never order chicken nuggets, but meh, if you gave me some free tendies, I’d eat them. Shouldn’t waste food, my dudes. But of course, I know junk food is bad for me. Most people know junk food isn’t good for them. You’re not eating chicken nuggets to get fit. Not only that, junk food often becomes disgusting when you learn how it’s made or what goes into it. Like, y’know, chicken nuggets. And before you say tendies are not so bad, look up chicken farms and their conditions. Mm-mmm, doesn’t it just get the appetite going?
Shows like Ousama Game are the same way. Again, you never really wanna know how a chicken nugget is made. And likewise, you don’t really want to know how the universe of Ousama Game truly works. You might think you do. You’re deathly curious, naturally. I am too! I’ll admit it. But if experience has taught us anything, it’s that the reveal is almost never worth it. Shows of this type almost never pull it off. And maybe Ousama Game won’t ever actually have that big, momentous reveal. Who knows? I mean, I’ve never read the original cell novel that this is apparently based on (I’m told now that it’s actually based on the manga version, but same difference). But if the reveal never comes — or even small, tiny revelations along the way — then the audience will eventually lose interest.
After all, you can’t eat chicken nuggets everyday — some fucker out there is like “Just watch me!” — because the body eventually cries out for actual substance. If Ousama Game is nothing but cheap deaths and tawdry attempts to make oh-so-pure high school kids do lewd stuff, then your brain will eventually cry out for mental substance too. The show is between a rock and a hard place. Show its hand and lose the magic? Or milk as much money as it can before fans move onto the next silly gimmick. Does anyone still remember BTOOOM? Does anyone still remember the flood of “OH NO WE’RE TRAPPED IN A GAME, BUT YOU CAN ACTUALLY DIE” anime series? Well, I’m just here for yet another child-murdering schlockfest before inevitably losing interest when the fall season comes to an end. The truth is out there, but keep it away from me.
Ah well. I do like that the class called our hero out for being a piece of shit. I hope later episodes don’t try to justify his actions, i.e. “I didn’t want to kiss her, because it would officially start the game!” Then again, it does seem as though that’s exactly what happened. But we’ll see.