Momiji has new tools and allies in her ongoing battle with the fortunate one, Ichiko!
Binbougami trudges along for its fourth installment of the series. Last week was a great change of pace for the series and allowed for it to build some characterization for Ichiko. With the introduction of a new supporting cast mate, I’m hoping some light can be shed on Momiji, whose been a mystery up to this point.
It’s raining dogs. No cats. There wasn’t enough in the budget for that.
This week Binbougami Ga! continues its streak of introducing new characters. Moumo is an old friend of Momiji, summoned to aid her in the battle against Ichiko’s fortune. Having a masochistic fetish for ropes, gags, whips, boiling water, iron maidens and a generally good beating, Moumo is an interesting dog god who’s fiercely loyal to his Goddess mistress. The BDSM angle feels fresh at first but quickly gets annoying. There is no nuance to his idiosyncratic tick. Our little Inugami seems to derive pleasure from just about anything. To draw humor from his personality, attention needs to bounced from the cuter aspects to his more carnal desires. Duality is the key to creating memorable comedic characters. But instead were seeing another one-dimensional throwaway much like our horny priest.
Eat your heart out Goku!
Most importantly, Moumo is a missed opportunity. Sure this was his first time on the stage, but his presence didn’t really teach us anything about Momiji. What we know is that their relationship goes back some time and that’s about it. There is nothing really unique to set their friendship apart other than the whose BDSM bit which is a pure comedic device. What should have been an exercise in advancing one of the female leads is instead the debut of a character that ends up being uninteresting at best.
Can you say no?
Moumo brings a weapon that the Binbougami’s arsenal was missing: cuteness. He uses his puppy charms to try and seduce Ichiko to take him into her home. While this plan seems to be fool proof, her fortune derails the tiny god time and time again. Unfortunately for most of the time they spend together, they’re not exactly interacting. During most of their exchanges, Ichiko is asleep, which effectively removes one personality from their scenes. Dialogue and scenes basically pan out as one-sided affairs. It’s a shame considering the interaction of the two could have reaped some great chemistry, hinted at the end of the episode.
Down in the dumps…
The series continues its painstaking efforts to try and instill Ichiko with some redeeming qualities. Yet again to calls upon Suwano to help uncover the heart his mistress must have. She spends the entire night at the dump to find the mementos of he substitute father. Seeing the silver-haired beauty diving through mountains of waste does drive the nail through the head that she cares about her former butler, it doesn’t really mean that much anymore. Binbougami Ga! has made this point repeatedly. We’ve heard you loud and clear. Yes Ichiko has had a lonely childhood. Yes it can be the explanation to why she’s so bitter. And yes we don’t really care. Last week the episode hit a home run on developing her. This week it returns to the same tepid form of storytelling.
I know I’ve had a lot of negative things to say this week but that doesn’t take away from the series’ strengths. It’s still funny as hell and is one of the more enjoyable programs in the summer lineup. Dragon Ball Z references never get old. But after the steps forward the series took last week it’s sad to see it digress back to its old habits. This anime is only slated for one cour and it’s already showing the signs of age. Reoccurring gags are feeling stale, writing is favoring the mundane side, and sometimes it feels as if the jokes are reaching for straws. What should be a show bursting with ideas, it’s already giving the impressions it’s running out at the tank.