I am enjoying Mekakucity Actors a fair bit, so I figured I’d take a minute or two and talk about it.
Note: Kind of obvious, but spoilers from up to episode 4 are contained within.
“I have no idea what’s going on”
Well, it is more like I know what is happening here and now, but I have no idea why it is happening, nor do I know much about the big picture being painted here.
Judging from the first episode, this show likes to present a little bit of information, go on a seemingly unrelated tangent and then loop back to conclude the initial presentation of information.
What happened in episode 4 is relatively clear.
Hibiya met Hiyori in a part and she died shortly after. Then, he redid that day many, many times and tried to save her each time. Unfortunately, he was never able to save her. Realizing that there was no way he could save her, he decided to exchange places with her instead.
Now, the first question we should be asking is why did Hiyori’s death keep repeating? Was it Hibiya doing something that made her death repeat (e.g. him using a power to try and actively prevent her death) or someone else?
Next, we should ask about the cat. Who or What was the cat that always lead to her death?
Another question we should be asking is if Hibiya dying in Hiyori’s place is enough to terminate this loop or will he be resurrected and die repeatedly in her place? This is of course related to the initial cause of the death loop.
In the case of the first question, my guess is that Hibiya has one of those red eye power things and his allows him to turn back time. It is a cliche enough premise, but it seems probable. No idea about the other two questions. Well, I might know the answer to the third question, but only because I listened to the song this episode is based on.
Leaving the main events of episode 4 aside, we still have some other important questions to ponder.
- Who is the girl with the red scarf?
- Who is the monster talked about in the post ending song? Is she and the scarf girl the same person?
- What do Hibiya and the scarf girl have to do with one another?
I am not sure about the above questions, but I get the feeling that the scarf girl and the monster girl are not the same people. There was a short cameo of a black haired, red ribbon wearing girl in the opening. I think she is at least related to the monster and I think Mary (clumsy white haired girl ) might also be related somehow.
Maybe, it is just because I have Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara on my mind, but I think the scarf girl just lent the humans her powers for some reason. She might be the human the monster met (as described by the clip at the end of episode 4).
Anyway, I don’t think there is much point in thinking about it too much. Like I mentioned earlier, this show will probably give sparse, seemingly unrelated details and then join them up later on. Or well, it will try to do that, but cynical me thinks it will likely not do the gluing well enough to be worth the effort.
(I am still going to watch it though.)
The pace is kind of slow
The slow pace was especially apparent in episodes 2 and 4. The anime likes to take its time to do things and it spends a good amount of time just flashing colorful scenery which may or may not actually be relevant to the story being presented.
Now, in the anime’s favor, Mekakucity Actors is an adaptation of the Kagerou Project ( a series of Vocaloid songs and here is the wiki, but be careful of spoilers ). I believe episode 4 is based off of Heat-Haze Daze. Here is a link to the song, but be aware that the end of the song might be a spoiler for a future episode.
When you take a ~4 minute song and turn it into a ~24 minute episode, you are bound to run into pacing things as you try and stretch it out. Though, to be honest, the anime depiction of the song felt pretty well paced ( the song just talks about the repeated deaths ). It was just the lead up that was kind of slow.
(As an aside, the actual song starts playing in the background when Hibiya wakes up and decides on his plan.)
Aside from adaptation related pacing problems, I think the anime is deliberately taking its time to try and flesh out the setting and characters as much as it can. I can see some people not enjoying this, but I have never really minded this kind of thing before.
It is just that when you are watching something week to week and you find it interesting, a slow pace just aggravates you a little ( I wanted more this episode! ).
Episode 3 was wonderful
I might have mentioned this earlier, but episode 3 was wonderful. It’s first great accomplishment was introducing a very interesting bunch of characters. If most of this anime revolves around this bunch and their antics, then I think I am going to enjoy it quite a bit.
The other thing the episode did really well was tie back into the first episode. It explained what happened in the shopping mall counterattack and it did so in a nice, smooth manner. The action scenes (if you can even call them that) were quite tense at times. I really liked that short moment of horror when Mary threw that shower head and it hit that guy. When I saw that in episode 1, I was sure that someone had some kind of mind control power. I never thought it was something as silly as an accidental shower head toss.
Episode 4 had an incredible ending
I might have had minor issues with the slow pacing at the start of episode, but I really liked it when the death loop started and I absolutely loved the final iteration.
Hibiya woke up.His mind was made up and badass was music blazing in the background. All of his actions were decisive and perfectly executed. And yet, his face at times showed concern over what he was about to do.
He didn’t hesitate, but he didn’t want to die either. I liked that.
And that final line?
YouTube Comment on the song: