The Human Chair (Part 2)「人間椅子(後編)」
This episode was just.. whoa… warped is an understatement which only spells a great series ahead!
Whoa #1 – So as it turns out, the real murderer wasn’t 13-year old Kobayashi but his 14-year old classmate Hoshino. As the news report at the beginning says, how is it that children can be murderers? Over love lost in this case. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned right? Except this girl isn’t angry at all, which makes it all the more scary how she meticulously plotted the death of her ex-lover i.e. her homeroom teacher (student-teacher relationship being whoa #2).
Whoa #3 – There are crazy enough women out there who are willing to be dismembered into human chairs out of love for the teacher?! I mean, being with him forever is one thing, willing to go as far as to cut short one’s life so as to be with him physically forever is just plain crazy. And surely these victims would’ve seen the other human chairs so how is it that anyone with the right mind would think that even if she could physically be with the teacher forever, he’d stay true to that one chair? Gee… and then turned out Hoshino was upset enough to turn her ex-lover into a chair because he wouldn’t turn her into his chair! Madness!
Whoa #4 – The teacher had the hots for 13-year old MALE Kobayashi after all those women?! Just wtf? How? You don’t just suddenly like a boy or do you… I suppose since he’s crazy enough to turn his girlfriends into human chairs, anything’s possible. Strangely though, we see Hashiba blush not once but thrice when Kobayashi gets close to him whispering (sweet nothings heehee) into his ear and then praising him for his help afterwards. Why is Hashiba blushing?!?! Oh dear…
Gratefully, the core plot of this show and the narrative was strong enough to brush aside Hashiba’s blushes and focus on the mystery at hand. I really thought it was the new teacher whudunnit because of that reaction she had from looking at the phone. Who knew that the hint was in episode 1 back when Hoshino talked about “shape of the chair” when describing her ex-lover. Clever little details like this are what makes for a great mystery show so bravo! Another detail was noticing how the previously blanked out characters were drawn in whenever Kobayashi’s not around, only to revert when he showed up in school to catch the real murderer.
As expected of our MC, he barely passes Akechi’s test with sheer luck that Hoshino would come right out to reveal herself so easily, so now the kouhai gets the key to Akechi’s mystery-solving work space (take your shoes off!). Let’s get that jukebox playing and no bets that Hashiba will be tagging along unwillingly from here onwards. Kobayashi’s enthusiasm scares me still but we’ve got 9 more episodes to go so let the mystery unfold. Director Kishi seems to have borrowed the look & feel of his other work Danganronpa for the 3 min autopsy report – I’m not a fan of Danganronpa and its whacky violence but Minami (Fujita Saki) the coroner and Shitai-kun (Yamaguchi Kappei) do such a fine job in their voice acting that the short change of tone isn’t altogether unwelcomed.