Okay so if ever there was a show going downhill it would be Hitori no Shita.
The detailing was shoddy, the arrangement of peoples faces changed almost frame-by-frame, sound effects were non-existent, emotional and physical responses were not realistic at all if they were even attempted, and the frame rate was dropped like its hot more than once. Those, and the poorly paced scenes lasting well past their time just made this episode so hard to watch. And it sucks because plot wise, this show is fantastic.
Plot wise, information wise, its got it all. The lore, the character backgrounds, the mystery, the betrayal. Granted some writing parts are iffy, but those are mostly surface/temporary/inconsequential information parts. The lore behind the zombies is solid, and I want Kenken, the Xiaxia Danshi Practitioner to have a larger role. So far she is rather airheaded, and in the end is betrayed, but its done in such a way that she will probably search out Chulan and Houhou and join their team.
The information revealed this episode is pretty damn good, and this show is kinda turning into a Chinese Taboo Tattoo-esque show. There is the ‘Company’ who employs Outsiders, and they have searched out the powerful protagonist and recruited him. Granted that is a plot for various other animes, such as Strike the Blood, but since Hitori no Shita and Taboo Tattoo are both happening in the same season its easy to make the comparison.
So the ‘Company’ or the faction that Houhou and Jo San are apart of, is a carrier delivery service. Whether this is a front or something, what it has to do with the supernatural Outsiders they employ has yet to be revealed. We only know it as ‘the Company. It is the Company’s workers who rescue Chulan and the others, chasing away Ro Ryou, Natsuna and Kenken. A character named Saru was also involved, but he kinda disappeared after his little half-scene in the limelight. I am very interested in learning more about the Company and what it does, whether it is philanthropic and on the ‘good side’ by housing/employing those who cant be employed safely otherwise, or if they employ Outsiders to recruit them for other work, making use of their abilities.
Houhou and Jo San seem to be the highest ranked members of the Company we have met so far. Jo San is confused about why Chulan calls Houhou Master, so perhaps those types of contracts are not common in their Company?
Houhou does attempt to cheer Chulan up after being rescued. Despite being saved, he still looks upset. He flashbacks to his grandfather warning him about bad things happening in the future, all because of something he did, meaning all of this is his grandfathers fault. Granted Zensei is looking for his Grandfathers Legacy, so its believable that its his grandfathers fault. A few episodes ago there was also a flashback of his grandfather warning Chulan about dangers in the future.
Chulan is upset because his luck sucks. He wont find a girl because his luck sucks. Luck is supposed to be like a wave, crap luck, good luck, up and down. He assumed that Kenken liking him was good luck, but this whole mess has him convinced he has the worst luck imaginable. Houhou sets him straight.
He is not loved, not because is unlucky, but because he is stupid. He is not in dangerous situations, because he is unlucky, but because he is stupid. This scene dragged on for an eternity too long. This scene could and should have been a few seconds, not more. It wasn’t even really funny.. At this point the characters, Jo San included took on a comical/Chibi appearance, and donned a Sgt Frog expression. It was strange and out of place. Granted the detailing wasn’t too different from the standard for this series, but the oversize head was not needed.
Relationship wise, something has happened in Natsuna and Jo Sans past. The sexual tension between those two was like that of scorned lovers. He seems to know her power level and acts to prevent Houhou from being hurt by her. Oh, and Jo San is a telekinetic. Im not sure what Houhous Outsider power is, we don’t see her with an energy/aura/Kinkou, but her reflex’s and knife skills are pretty damn cool.
So this series is a mix of good story but bad execution. When someone is holding onto the back of a truck, they shouldn’t be able to shout, and be heard by the driver. Its small details like these that you’re disappointed in. Granted a lot of this could be the source material. The inconsistencies in storytelling may not be the anime, but the manga. And then do you criticize the manga or the anime. If sticking to the source material brings these amounts of flaws, should the writers take their control and alter it? Would that be taken well by the audience? God knows if you mess with the book to make the movie the fandom will rain hell upon you, so it’s a bit of a difficult position. That being said, its extremely unrealistic and painful to watch.
To read my previous posts on this series, check out the links below!