P4GA- 04 The Mayonaka Ohdan Miracle Quiz
Emotional resonance, here you are. I’m so happy to see you again!
Call the amnesiac character set up what you will; it’s working well in this show. So far.
Gone are my sentiments, and I would argue the show’s Direction, that Marie is little more than fan-service bait. I am unsure how long they can effectively draw out Marie trying to reclaim her memories, and it could be that her breakthrough about making new memories starting now is the conclusion to that part of her story.
As an aside, it would be interesting if that was the case and it would free up the creative team to explore new material.
Regarding how poor the content of this series milking the amnesia might turn out, the original story drew out a murder mystery for a very long time and kept me hooked by showing the characters’ growth and interactions with each other. Now that we seem to be over the fan-service bait, the characters have been given premission to unsheath their hooks and grab me with them. I am invested in Marie’s story wether she is she-Kuma, Margaret Jr., related to the mysterious contract boy for Persona 3, or just another aspect of the pysche given human form.
The humor sprinkled throughout was mostly subtle (read: good) and the drama of Marie getting lost in the mall was nice, if how it happened was a little off-putting. The scene in the weapon’s shop when she was overcome by the pain of trying to remeber didn’t play well, but her reactions to hearing the horrible truth about combs was really solid. The discussion of the comb and how it brings about separation and suffering is a fascinating cultural insight and was an inspired bit of storytelling. The thematic echo of Marie being separated from her friends and then feeling persecuted by the mall cop was a near seamless call back to what Mrs. Tatsumi had said. The friendship forming around Marie is compelling to watch. The Fools are a neat group of kids and it is really fun to watch them try to help someone for whom they care. What makes it even better is that they have only known her briefly and it has been as Narukami’s friend. This is a great group of kids; they are nice people and its good to see them reaching out to help someone since they’ve each self-actuallized a bit and are now equiped to do so.
Regarding those steamy 2-D bods and how this shopping trip went, I submit that the framing of this shopping trip proves the previous one was meant to sexualize the teenage girls participating. The composition of the shots with Rise and the others in this instance are eye level and put all the characters on equal footing. Rise still asks for Narukami’s input, but it is clear she cares what he specifically thinks of her; he isn’t just any guy giving her value, because that is how women receive their worth. They have a relationship and that context informs her desire for his opinion. Moreover, the scene allows her friends to check out what she is wearing, but doesn’t put her on a platter for the viewers. On the other hand, the bunny suit and speedo do serve up Rise and Kanji for the viewers. I won’t carp about this, because though it bugs me a bit, the events of the scene are so sweet and positive that they counter almost all the negativity coming from the exploitative outfits. The scene would have been no less effective had they been dressed differently
This episode marks a new standard for the show and I give it 4 out of 5. If you want to get into the show and dislike poor representation of other-than-male characters, sex humor and horny boys chasing tail, you can skip all of episode 2 and at least the first half of episode 3 and I doubt your viewing experience will be marred.