Boy meets ghost (and it inexplicably turns his hair green)
|Sorry about the somewhat late post! I’M IN DESPAIR. MY EXAMS HAVE LEFT ME IN DESPAIR щ(゜ロ゜щ)!!! …But they’re over as of today, so I guess I’ll be okay now. So yeah, the episode.|
So back to the beginning of the story this week and how Niiya and Yuuko met. It all started when Niiya went to the old school building, got hopelessly lost and then found himself remembering a rumour in school (there are a lot of those) about how there’s a mirror in the old building that you’re not supposed to look over your shoulder when looking in it. Niiya can’t remember the rest of the story, but he finds a mirror and he hears his name being called. He then looks over his shoulder (even though the story explicitly says not to), and he meets Yuuko. Yuuko is pretty forward with the fact that she’s the ghost of the school, but Niiya doesn’t believe her… Which leads to accidental groping to prove that she’s real. Yeah, that’s totally how I make sure people are real too.
School just isn’t the same without dangerous broken glass everywhere
Yuuko doesn’t seem to mind though and she then explains that she doesn’t remember anything about who she was or how she died. Niiya and Yuuko exchange names and Yuuko admits that she doesn’t really care about how she died. Niiya still doesn’t believe that she’s a ghost (not that she has given him any proof), so Yuuko changes into her old uniform that she died in. Niiya accidentally sees her changing in a mirror, but Yuuko is bro about it since it’s not her real body.
The two continue their random wandering through the school building until Yuuko tells Niiya a story about how apparently the school used to be cursed and so to ward it off, a girl was sacrificed by being locked in it. Niiya gets a flash of a girl calling out for help and he then realizes that Yuuko’s body must be somewhere in the building. He then remembers the mirror and runs off to it. After destroying the school’s property, he finds a staircase leading down and he remembers the rest of that rumour: If you look over your shoulder while looking in the mirror, the ghost of the mirror will drag you in there for eternity. Niiya successfully finds the remains, but Yuuko isn’t too happy about it… In fact, she’s embarrassed since her skeleton is the most naked she can get. To make up for peeping on her like that, Yuuko creates the investigations club and forces Niiya to join her.
The next part of the episode, we get to see Yuuko in all of her megane glory, but that’s interrupted by Momoe coming in. After a brief explanation from Yuuko that Momoe can’t see her (since she lacks a 6th sense), Momoe talks about her problem. The extremely abridged version, she was doing this after school ritual where you stab a doll and play hide and seek with it. She used Yuuko’s name, but when she came back, the doll was missing. So now Momoe thinks she’s screwed because the only way to end the game is to tell the doll that the game is over and she claims that she’s being followed. After consulting Yuuko (via ‘cellphone’), Niiya decides to take the case since it might lead to a clue about Yuuko’s past. To tide her over, Momoe receives a Yuuko-made charm. Also, Yuuko was the one who took the doll in the first place since it had her name on it.
So it’s all Yuuko’s fault, but she explains that the entire game is about believing. Nothing ever happened to anyone because of a ghost, but the more powerfully one is convinced that something will happen to them, the more likely it will happen. So Momoe notices that the charm is fake and suddenly, something sinister appears before her. …It’s actually just Yuuko, but what Momoe sees is influenced by her conviction that something’s after her. Luckily for her, Niiya shows up and ‘saves’ her with a charm (which equals more accidental groping), the ‘evil spirit’ is exorcised and Momoe is ‘safe’ once again. Afterwards, Yuuko explains that since Momoe feared something imaginary, Yuuko could easily take the place of what Momoe feared. Sometime later, things are peaceful… minus the fact that Niiya now has a new fangirl in Momoe.
Well that was definitely an improvement over last week. However, while last week’s episode get things off track, it also managed to make other things work better. I mean, we knew from the start that Yuuko was a ghost from the first episode. Where’s the fun in that? Niiya just kind of accepted it too. The only reason that his line of thinking worked in this is because we know that she’s a ghost thanks to that first episode. His acceptance still seems pretty rushed, but at least last episode makes it less absurd. That part with him finding the body was excellent though. Same goes with the whole mirror thing. That voice calling out his name was perfect. A week later, Choir Jail is still amazing, but the ED to this fits well too. …It kind of reminds me of enka. Is it enka? I can’t tell if it is or not, but yeah. It fits Yuuko’s character. …Which is probably why they have her animated to be singing for a lot of it. So yeah, Yuuko is a somewhat perverted ghost. Though you can’t really blame her since she hasn’t been able to touch/interact with people for a while. SILVER LINK is just abusing the crap out of the fact that Yuuko has larger breasts though, which I don’t know if I’m okay with or not… Constant fanservice in a horror-ish show doesn’t really sit well with me. At least they’re classy enough not to have Yuuko in constant panty shots like they did in C3. Though the pantsu flashes stopped in battle for C3, so maybe the bouncing breasts will stop if/when things get more serious.
Momoe wasn’t that annoying (or at least not in the first part of her half) and the comedy was actually funny. The flashes between the real Yuuko and what Momoe was seeing was a good choice IMO, even if it did take away from the seriousness of the scene a bit. …Not that it was all that serious in the first place, but what Momoe saw was serious enough I guess. They also made Momoe’s explanation of the ritual she was doing have a creepy atmosphere. Stabbing anything with a blade is creepy, but they made it work really well with the visuals. But speaking of that, Yuuko’s explanation was great. The power of human delusion is a great and terrible thing… Though Momoe is pretty delusional to begin with. As much as I dislike her, Momoe represents the ‘average’ person in the series. She can’t see ghosts, yet she’s still involved with the supernatural, balancing out Niiya (who just kind of accepts things) and Kirie (who has her own reasons for being involved with Yuuko). Yes, she can be annoying, but she kind of acts as a constant reminder that Yuuko doesn’t exist for most people. …I don’t know how much they’ll play up Yuuko’s loneliness in the anime (they like to remind the readers every once in a while in the manga), but it’s definitely a theme in this (if you haven’t noticed from the lyrics of the OP and ED).
What was great this episode though was that they picked up the pace. This had two stories in one episode, which keeps things from getting boring since it’s faster paced and also lets them animate more of the manga in a season. Don’t get me wrong, I still like the first chapters, but I much prefer the stuff that happens later in the series. Hopefully this will allow them to get on with the plot. …I have absolutely no idea what they were thinking while making the last episode, but hopefully it picks up even more from here.
Preview: …I really wish they would tell us who did these end cards.