— I can see how Kyokou Suiri might work as a novel, and as I’ve said before, I read the manga and enjoyed it. But can this series work as an anime? See, I’m not sure about that. The upcoming Steel Lady Nanase arc has a little more oomph to it, so it’ll be a little easier to portray visually. For instance, Kuro will have more to do than simply stand in one place. But as I’m watching Kotoko wrap up this current “case,” I can’t help but wonder if Brain’s Base could’ve taken more liberties with the adaptation. Instead of having our heroine explain everything in literally her own words, the anime could’ve been better served by showing us the accused murderer’s perspective. This would be a departure from the source material, but every adaptation is in some respects a departure.
— To make a long story short, Kotoko suggests that the woman was pregnant with her former lover’s child, and in her despair, she had dumped the fetus into the swamp. Realizing now that he never betrayed her, the woman wants to undo such a heinous act. A fanciful theory, but it’s imaginative enough. More importantly, it holds up. Whether or not this actually happened is, again, irrelevant. Ultimately, if you can just tell a good story that lacks logical inconsistencies, most people will buy it. Just look at r/relationship_advice or r/AmItheAsshole. These subreddits are chockful of tall tales, but their readers (including myself) don’t really mind. As human beings, we’re not always in search of the truth. That would be exhausting. On the other hand, we do generally want to be entertained, so we tune in everyday for precisely this reason and this reason alone: we want a good story.
— Any changes from the manga? Well, Kuro inadvertently admits that they’re dating: “You never mentioned helping you eliminate yokai as a condition for going out with you.” That didn’t happen in the manga. Instead, he simply doubled down on not accompanying Kotoko on her many forays.
— With Kotoko’s personality, you can’t tell if she really fell asleep or simply taking advantage of the current situation to lean on his shoulder.
— And now we’re two years into the future. In nearby Makurazaka City, the faceless specter of an idol has been terrorizing folks.
— We finally reunite with Kuro’s ex-girlfriend, who hasn’t gotten over him despite what she would like people to think.
— I do like that the anime placed the incident with the giant serpent before the Steel Lady Nanase arc. It establishes the idea that we are enthralled by a good story regardless of its veracity, which then flows a little more organically when followed by the current arc. For instance, we see one of Saki’s colleague participate in the authorship of Steel Lady Nanase mythos. By retelling these stories in our own words, we not only lend them credence through our own interpretation but we also reinforce them. By itself, a tall tale seems too fanciful and silly to take seriously. If someone tells you that they’ve seen a ghost, it’s easy to write that off. But if everyone tells you the same thing, then you can’t help but take pause: “Hmm, I don’t know if ghosts are real, but something is going on.”
— Saki, however, tries to buck the trend. Even though she knows for a fact that ghosts and yokai exist (thanks to her relationship with Kuro) she refuses to “retell” the witness’s account in her own words; she’s one of the few people in this city who tries to deny their own authorship of the tale. She is only forced to do so in order to keep Detective Terada out of trouble: “If you don’t believe it’s possible that there are beings that surpass all logic and reasoning in this world, you’re going to be blindsided one day.”
— But do ghosts and yokai truly “surpass all logic and reasoning in this world?” Or do we simply assume that? It’s not as though anyone can sit down and study them, so we deem them supernatural.
— Either way, it’s too late. She’s caught up in a current that has gotten far too strong for both her and the naturally skeptical Terada to ignore: “…but ever since the middle of last month, cases involving random attacks and assault attempts have been on the rise throughout the city.” It’s remarkable how quickly a story can gain momentum. Anime has always been in love with this idea that rumors can come true if they are spread far and wide enough. It’s like we have this collective ability to speak things into existence. The internet simply serves as a conduit to help these ideas spread like wildfire.
— On a lighter note, Terada looks way too old for Saki.
— I never really understood why they had to give the ghost such a ridiculously huge rack. Maybe I skipped over it while reading the manga, but it never felt like this characteristic of Nanase was plot-crucial.
— Saki has always known that there is something off about Kuro, and she broke up with him when she could no longer accept that he wasn’t exactly human like her. She started to see him as a monster. Seems kinda cold if you ask me. I mean, I somewhat understand her point of view… She was content to live in ignorance of ghosts and yokai, but Kuro’s presence alone brought her fears into reality. Nevertheless, saps like me want to believe that love should be able to transcend our fears and prejudices.
— Ah, that awkward moment when the current girlfriend meets the ex… actually, I’ve never had this happen. Color me lucky, I guess.
— What an odd thing to say. And considering how Kotoko has been fixated with Kuro for years, I doubt she has ever been deflowered (certainly not by him). Why would she lie? Well, we lie all the time.
— The two woman are quickly accosted by Steel Lady Nanase herself. Saki suddenly decides that now is a good time to confront her fears head on. After all, she’s allowed them to imprison her. Hell, she potentially gave up the love of her life because of them. That’s all fine and dandy, but try to confront a cute, tiny yokai or something. Yo, I’m just saying that it’s probably a bad idea to try and bum rush a ghost wielding a steel beam.
— Saki quickly finds out that her corporeal human existence can’t interact with a ghost. Luckily, we have Kotoko ready and willing to use her tiny body as a human missile.
— I’m not sure if they placed the steel beam in this particular fashion in order to prevent us from looking up Kotoko’s skirt… after all, you could just keep it down (something which the manga certainly didn’t bother with). But hey, nice kick.
— For some reason, Steel Lady Nanase decides to just go away. When Saki wants to take our heroine in for some questioning, Kotoko finally recognizes whom she’s been talking to. She then seizes this opportunity to proudly brag to Kuro’s ex. Not such a smart idea.