Recycling Weekly: Kuragehime and Shigofumi

(Originally written around July 2014)

Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish)

Kuragehime pic 01

This show is more standard than the aforementioned shows. It’s fairly trashy in its comedy, not unlike most harem and non-harem romcoms you see every season. In terms of plot, it’s kinda like Watamote, except the main character doesn’t actually want to be popular. What sets this show apart, however, is the fact that it’s based on a josei manga. This means that the character interactions are fairly different. The humour is much more self-deprecating on all fronts and it passes the Bechdel test on several occasions(almost all of the time, in fact).

(Fast forward a week or so)

Not much to add from last week. Cool show that does romantic comedy in a slightly different way, though there is hardly enough romance to call it a romantic comedy. Some of the characters started getting annoying by the end of the show, and there was no real conclusion, so I think it could’ve been better, but all in all, it was a decent show.

 


Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed

Shigofumi pic 01

In short, this is a magical girl show. The premise is simple: When a person dies, they’re given the opportunity to write one final letter, a Shigofumi, to whomever they choose. This letter is then delivered to the recipient by the main character(the magical girl). And so the story unfolds. Because the show necessitates that people, who are sometimes characters that get a fair amount of screen time, die, the show is somewhat episodic. That’s pretty much all there is to say about the premise.

So far, I’ve noticed that the main character usually gets less screen time than the people who die or the recipients of the Shigofumi, who you might call “episodic main characters”. And I like this, because I think the magical girl aspect of the show is quite weak compared to the individual stories and character relationships between the episodic main characters. These are the people who make the show really morbid. Basically, the show tries to showcase various kinds of non-accidental causes of death as well as the events that lead up to the death and the reactions of people after the death. This is not a fun show, though there are occasional moments of comedy(that feel very misplaced, in my opinion). It’s a tragic and often frightening show. I enjoy watching the show, but it does occasionally make me feel like throwing up.

I hope this show keeps doing what it does until the very end, however. A tonal shift is, in my opinion, not necessary. It’s good the way it is.

(Fast forward a few weeks)

My opinion didn’t change much after that, except for one thing. There was a story arc that felt very misplaced. I won’t spoil anything by going further into it, but I will say that it was an example of what I was afraid of after 5 episodes, i.e. a change in tone.

As a whole, this show was very good. Not enjoyable in the regular fun kind of way, but enjoyable nonetheless. I applaud it for being able to make me both very sad and very happy, as well as nauseous. In addition, this show was refreshing due to interesting usage some of the more common tropes. If I recall correctly, there’s little to no fanservice(just conversations about love). There are characters who go to school, but unlike most shows, school is actually relevant in this show.

Funnily enough, the problems I had with this show were the moments when it tried to develop its main characters or create a grand story of some sort. These are things that I usually look for in shows, but for some reason, it just didn’t work here. I would’ve been happier with 12 episodes of only episodic short stories.

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