Children of the Whales Ep. 4: Deep into the whale

So what does the Council of Elders choose to do in the face of murderous clowns? Give up and die. How pathetic is that? Children of the Whales has always been a bit heavy-handed in its storytelling, and the latest episode merely continues the same trend. A bunch of old fogeys decide for everyone that their community has absolutely no means to resist their enemies. They also decide that sinking the mud whale will allow everyone to die with dignity. I’m not even sure what that means. Apparently drowning to death in the sand sea is dignified whereas a swift death via a blade is not. Still, the heavy-handedness doesn’t really bother me too much. Rather, I’m frustrated by the story’s insistence on drip-feeding important information. It’s not a crime to withhold key plot points from the audience, but at least due it in a natural and organic way. Alright, alright, why are we being hunted by these emotionless jerks? Our ancestors were exiled for committing a grave sin. They have now decided to execute us for said grave sin. Okay, what was the grave si–… no, no, no, it’s time to move on! We shan’t answer anymore questions for the rest of the episode!

For defying the Council of Elders, Suou gets knocked out and locked away within the bowels of the ship. The fogeys then turn to Neri to commence with the rest of their Jonestown homage. Not-Neri seems to be a conduit for some sort of spirit, though. She later appears before Chakuro and sends the hero on an acid trip. First, he is seemingly able to see and communicate with the dead. As soon as Sami’s ghost sees him, she plants a big one on his lips. Welp, the only time you get to kiss the girl in anime is if she dies. He despairingly wishes to follow her into the afterlife, but she tells him he still has a duty to fulfill. She is then replaced by Lady Taisha, who urges Chakuro to continue his role as an archivist lest the people of Falaina are forgotten by history. Afterwards, Chakuro sees the bad ends for Ouni, Suou and Lykos in that order. I suppose Ouni loses himself to bloodshed, Suou continues being a caged bird, and last but not least, Lykos is brainwashed back into being a child soldier. What does all of this means? Not-Neri explains that Chakuro is special — of course he is — and as a result, he has the ability to see into people’s hearts. He must therefore unite everyone or they’ll assuredly perish. Ah well, typical chosen one plot-line. Still, I can’t help but wonder if Chakuro actually saw Sami’s spirit, or if he is merely being manipulated by Not-Neri.

Well, it’s time to get the gang together in order to break Suou out of prison. From this point, the show seems to swing wildly from serious to not-so-serious, and I’m not sure these tonal shifts are to my taste. Of course, scenes with Lykos and Ouni are angsty. I expect that. But then we have a scene where Ginsha suddenly turns on her SDF buddies just because Chakuro is cute and calls her oneesama. Apparently, she had heard from others that only two people out of the entire island were able to stand up to the enemy clowns. Chakuro happens to be one of them, and she’s suddenly taken an interest in him. She is particularly interested in his cuteness, and whines when he slips out of her site. I’m just like… wha…? This is random? Did she even take much notice of him at all in previous episodes? I’m not going to bother rewatching those episodes, so I’m just gonna leave it at that. I just find the whole thing really silly and not in line with the rest of the tragic story whatsoever. Y’know, the same story where children get murdered left and right? A similarly goofy moment occurs a bit later. Everyone decides to split up: one group will explore the bowels of the ship and discover what Falaina really is, and the other group will locate and free Suou from his cell. How is the latter group going to manage that? Why, with this comical invention! Sorry, but these moments just take me out of the show.

Let’s wrap this post up. The bowels of the ship looks certainly more high-tech than the muddy exterior would have you believe. I find it kind of curious that none of these secrets have ever been leaked. If experience has taught me anything, people are blabbermouths. Chakuro asks Lykos if she knows what they’re looking for. She reveals that the ship has its own Eldritch-like creature. If you’ve forgotten, Chakuro and Ouni had touched some pulsating, emotion-eating lifeform back in episode two, and it allowed Chakuro to see glimpses of Lykos’s past. But back to the present, what should the kids find at the end of their mini-adventure? Some giant creature in a rocking chair. It looks kind of like a coral-crusted mindflayer to me, but hey, we’ll find out soon. I hope. Neri is also there. Mysterious beings always communicate through waifs. Kick-ass rocking chair, though. I wonder how they managed to build that. Children of the Whales continues to be gorgeous, but as we slowly peel the layers back on the story, I’m finding myself less and less excited to see more. I’m not connecting with the characters, and I feel like these kids get over a bloody massacre way too quickly. At the very least, I don’t think the hijinks are really doing the show any favors on that front.

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One Reply to “Children of the Whales Ep. 4: Deep into the whale”

  1. Each to their own, but I tend to dislike heavy-handedness even if I agree with the message that is being conveyed. It’s not a complete deal-breaker and obviously not all heavy-handedness are equally bad. It’s just my default stance and unfortunately for this anime, I don’t count it as one of the tolerable ones. This anime is squandering all of the f*cking potential of its setting and also my good will.

    I mean if we exclude its setting because this anime squanders it, what does this anime have to make up for all the heavy-handed shit? I’m not big on its characters. Their designs and personalities just don’t appeal to me. The storytelling isn’t just heavy-handed. Its tone is also unnatural and inconsistent as f*ck. Anime should learn to stop trying to have a cake and eat it too at this point.

    You can’t go bloody massacre and then do badass anti-hero shenanigans and moe moe happy fun time fantasy adventure moment like nothing ever happened. The entire “contrast between cute characters and moments with grimdark blood and gore” crap is just overrated as f*ck. The entire idea itself isn’t exactly that good in the first place. Just pick one. You can’t do Ghibli and Berserk at the same time.

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