Mekakucity Actors: Episode 04

“Heat Haze Daze”
“Kagerou Daze” (カゲロウデイズ)

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Mekakucity Actors have reverted to the confusion and heightened level of abstraction as the first two episodes, but there was something incredibly stunning, beautiful and horrific about this episode that I really enjoyed. There was a kind of maturity to this episode that the previous ones didn’t have, making it doubly disturbing because of just how young the main character, Amamiya Hibiya was, and the rather awful things he had to experience in the latter quarter of the episode. Much craziness to be had.

Hibiya’s the sharp-tongued, little bit bratty kid that we met a couple of episodes ago when Momo dragged him along for a ride when she was being chased after a crowd when her powers were accidentally turned on. This episode follows on from right after, as Hibiya’s just been given the chance to spend time in the city with his childhood friend, Hiyori (Koiwai Kotori) whom he’s got one massive crush on. Unfortunately, she’s a bit of a brattish princes herself and condescends any kind of affection he shows for her. It does make for a pretty funny dynamic since the things she says really are quite cutting! The best part of the episode for me, though, due to my adoration for Miyano Mamoru, is the very pretty – very white – soft-spoken and mentally absent Konoha. He’s got a hard time remembering anything, even recalling the two kids’ names after they’d introduced themselves; he doesn’t really seem to have any idea of what’s going on around him, but seems perfectly harmless and really quite adorable. His massive appetite while Hibiya and Hiyori are having a bantering session across the dining table was the focal point of that scene because for someone so skinny, he sure did eat a lot! Also, the fact that his eyes are actually pink was really cute too, in my opinion.

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The rest of the story was much darker, though. Hibiya awakens from what seemed to be a dream and starts walking around the city towards a park where Hiyori is lounging about. This black cat appears out of nowhere and she goes to follow it, trailing after it onto a road where she gets in the way of an oncoming truck. There’s a moment where she turns around and says something but we can’t make out the words before she’s hit. From then on, Hibiya awakens again and each time tries to save Hiyori but the black cat always makes an appearance resulting in her death one way or another, and Hibiya getting more desperate each time. On the final time, though, he’s perfectly composed, and when Hiyori steps in front of another oncoming truck, he twists her out of the way and just looks at the cat, and says, “Screw you, cat” before getting hit by the truck. The amazing part about this entire scene is the fact that we’re not quite sure – without any background information – how much of it is a dream, where he wakes up, if he’s woken up at all, or whether his eye power is one that lets him go back in time.

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The art was also really sharp and stunning in this episode and I especially liked the block colours in the background of all the telephone and electric lines as it really gave a creepy feel to the episode, without any themed music. The latter part of the episode had a very subdued atmosphere, which really added to the creepiness of the show that made me feel a little uncomfortable and scared without there being anything that horrific apart from Hiyori’s continuous death. Very interesting episode, even if I didn’t quite understand it, but I’ve sort of come to expect that from Mekakucity Actors at this point!

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