“Kaien Panzermast (Showtime Loudspeaker Pole)”
“Kaien Panzamasuto” (カイエンパンザマスト)
I loooooved this episode and it feels like every week Mekakucity Actors gets more and more colourful and more and more hilarious and in this episode, we can say finally, everyone’s met everyone else in some capacity. Also, the mystery of the girl with the red scarf who’s always talking to Shintaro at the beginning is finally semi-solved but with that comes a whole new array of questions that need to be answered. This show gets so much better week after week and it really is one of those gems that you either love or hate and I do believe my sentiments about this show are pretty obvious.
So, carrying on from two episodes past, Shintaro has finally met the Mekakushi Dan, though not in the best of circumstances as he’s just one of those guys who can’t seem to catch a break. It feels like the moment he stepped out of his door, he opened up another door into a world where people seem to gravitate towards him by chance and he doesn’t even need his sister’s eye power for it. He makes a less-than-ideal first impression with Marry, ending up in his underwear and begging Ene to tell him where he is, whose room he’s in and why he’s here. Ene’s one of those semi-irritating-semi-lovable Pucks, who’s always getting Shintaro in trouble but it does make for a hilarious introduction to the rest of the Mekakushi Dan and his sister who is embarrassed and belligerent when exposing her brother’s faults in front of everyone. There doesn’t appear to be much of a relationship between Momo and Shintaro, but we do learn that she’s the only other person he speaks to on occasion, besides Ene, so that must count for something. Basically, he’s joined the gang by default and without any say and that is not okay with him, if his storming out is anything to go by. Still, the dynamics between all of them is something to enjoy in this episode and the fact that we get so many group shots is nothing short of cool. A really awesome scene was when Ene and Kano have a virtual battle to see who’s got the most authority by exposing embarrassing things about their friends. Those two are a riot. Another aspect to this episode that I really enjoyed is the fact that Shintaro is so obviously overwhelmed by the sheer number of people – not to mention people with big personalities and unbelievable powers – talking to him and expecting things of him. As a partial hikikomori I can totally sympathise. Nevertheless, Momo assures everyone that she’s never seen him seem so happy. <3
While Shintaro’s storming away in a huff, who else does he meet but a very lost, very pathetic and sweet-looking Konoha, whose name he recognises but can’t quite place. And oh man, these two are such a comedy duo with Shintaro’s begrudging altruism and Konoha’s ditzy adorableness. Konoha’s apparently looking for Hibiya and Hiyori and having a real hard time of it until he hones in on Shintaro and practically swoops down upon him like a vulture on his prey. It’s hilarious and really makes me laugh to see Miyano Mamoru playing such a different character to usual. He’s such a soft-spoken puppy or so he lets us believe. Just when Shintaro’s getting impatient, Konoha spots Hibiya and Hiyori being pushed into a van by a bunch of thugs – in the middle of the street, no less – and Shintaro starts panicking about how they’re being abducted. Konoha’s appearance and personality changes the moment he realises that “That’s bad” and whatever his eye ability is, it turns on and he jets towards the dodgy white van and makes the abductees scatter. Unfortunately, just as he’s about to reach for the kids’ hands, a truck veers towards them from behind with Shintaro watching on helplessly. There’s one of those abstract scenes where it looks like Shintaro’s trying to run towards the van – again, automatic altruism – in an attempt to save his new acquaintances, but the scene cuts off. Things to mention? Konoha is a badass and Shintaro is a hero in the making. We move to Kido, Momo, Marry, Kano, Ene and Seto, who have been making their way towards the grave of the founder of the Mekakushi Dan, who committed suicide a couple of years before and whom they all describe as a really nice person. We get to the grave and Kido puts a picture of the group on her phone before the grave but the moment Ene sees it, she freezes, recognising the other girl in the picture and calling her Ayano, who, believe it or not, is also the girl who’s been talking to Shintaro at the beginning this whole time, and the girl whom he can’t seem to remember. Whoa. I don’t know the direction of the plot at this point but I am so intrigued to find out how both Shintaro and Ene seem to know Ayano and why Shintaro’s forgotten about her.
The ending scenes with the ‘monster’s’ story are really beautiful to watch and this episode was no exception. The monster has so far been driven out of her home, been pushed around and marginalised by society and thereby rejects all company, preferring to live alone. That changes when a boy sees her in her forest and begins badgering her about getting to know her and becoming friends. While at first she’s mistrustful of him, over the years she slowly falls in love with him and he with her. I adore the way their story is told because it’s so much like a fairy tale and is read so sombrely and hauntingly that it makes me wonder whether their story has a happy ending. Whatever happens, though, I think the ending scenes are underrated and should really be paid more attention to because even if you’re not interested in the story, unlike myself, they can really be appreciated for the gorgeous art and the glass-stained window-like colours. So much prettiness and drama in this episode and I do believe things are going to pick up from here on, so I’m looking forward to the next episode!