12/07/2007

Myself;Yourself 10 - PLOT Just Kicked In, Yo

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And, like every good street racer in anime, Myself;Yourself has jumped four gears from second to sixth and is accelerating at about the speed of a jumbo jet.

As the guy in the shotgun seat all we can do is sit there, whiplashed, and stare agape at how fast things are whizzing by us. And with the end of the road coming up quick it's definitely possible for panic to set in.

There's no way he could make the turn. No way that I'll survive this alive.

Only one thing is sure, and that's that they're not going to let up on the gas any time soon.

Car references aside, Myself;Yourself really did take a turn for the holy shit in its last episode, number 10. It's a combination of plot developments that left many people polishing up their Nice Boats in anticipation.

In all truthfulness, the rumors of impending death, most likely, have been greatly exaggerated, but that doesn't stop the fact that some very interesting and dramatic things are likely to come up soon as Myself;Yourself rushes towards the cliff, Kaiji style, ready to make a flying leap.

Whether it'll make it remains to be seen, but until then let's take a look at the situation, as there's still quite a lot to play for in this story.

The tenth episode introduced a lot of burning questions that with any luck will be answered later on, the first one being "why are all the adults such assholes?" It's something that's contributed to part of the subtle contempt I held for the tenth episode, as the show approaches almost-School-Days levels of "all the characters are jerks", at least with the older group.

Yuzuki-sensei pretty much is the only person standing up for the students. The principal / vice-principal seem to have watched one too many seasons of Da Capo in immediately assuming the Wakatsukis guilty of love-hotel incest.

The Wakatsuki's second mother is a dirty-playing villain who probably contributed to that whole situation - it's quite likely she was the one who wrote in the letter (since she was "tired of the kids")...not to mention, was that another guy she slept with, aside from the Watatsuki father? Who, in himself, is a self-centered person who won't let anything - such as morals or the truth - stand in his way.

Or what of Grandma Kaji? The predictions about her were relatively on-the-ball; the bird and Poe fell to her, and she turned to Shuri, instead of Nanaka, next. While she's not quite the most brilliant criminal - her arc seemed to flash before our eyes in episode 10 - she still managed to make her mark, with a chair, on Asami. Pro wrestler style.

Even Nanaka's uncle is still under deep suspicion. All the signs point to him being a factor in the supposed arson of Nanaka's house five years ago, and I doubt we're going to be proven wrong.

The second question is "Just how messed up is everyone going to end up?" The amount of stress that everyone is undergoing is simply incredible, reaching nearly soap-opera levels at times. Sana's still going berserk at the sign of anything pointy and bloody and probably family problems, Nanaka's got mental trauma and probably family problems, and the Wakatsukis have boarding school, siscon issues, and definitely family problems.

And Asami's busy getting the Sayuri Hospital Makeover.

Only Aoi and Hinako are relatively safe, and that's because we're busy wondering "why aren't they in the plot?" Aoi doesn't seem to have any coherent story in the anime - unless she turns out to be some sort of overarching villain ("I was trying to kill everyone off to get to you, Sana!" *annoying Chiyo screeching*), and Hinako's busy getting Token Appearance Episodes.

And, "whose arc is it anyways?" With time ticking down faster than a speeding 240Z, it still remains to be seen how all the plot will be tied up. Certainly there is a lot being done to consolidate the "side character" plots (Asami and the Wakatsukis), but Nanaka and Sana still have a lot of explaining to do. Even if that explaining is very obvious.

So let's take a look at some of the answers. Or at least what I believe to be so.

Although everyone in Myself;Yourself is thoroughly drama-filled at this point, I have no doubt that Myself;Yourself is going to be end well. As has been stated time and time again it's very rare that a show decides to go 'eff the viewers' and have a bad end; especially so if a show 1) doesn't have a reputation for being gritty and 2) starts so pleasantly and frilly like M;Y did.

As impossible as it seems I'm going to maintain the 'zettai daijoubu' attitude that it's all going to wrap up well in the end. The only question is how and why?

With only three episodes left, it will be tough to conclude everything in a meaningful manner without deux ex'ing or resorting to "go buy the game to find out". But it won't be impossible - if there's anything episode ten proved it's that this show can go very fast and very strong if it wants to.

Where did Aoi and Hinako go? I'm afraid they might be sacrifices for the greater good; with a 1-cour show like this it's very difficult to cram all the arcs in (a difficulty I've heard Da Capo II is experiencing) and so the 'lesser' character had to be shafted in order for the other side characters to be developed.

And I don't regret more time being spent on Shuu and Shuri at all - Shuu is portrayed on the rarely-seen line between "caring brother" and "siscon", and Shuri's character is admirable as well.

It's still a bit sad that Hinako, with an episode and half of solid development as a mature character despite her age, will probably go to waste or only have bit appearances; such is the fate of a character that goes to a different school (and wasn't part of the original 'party'). And it's far too late for Aoi to be anything more than a support to the supporting characters now. Isn't it sad, Aoi?

In the end I'd much rather the time be spent on fully fleshing out the ending and main/side character development. Shuu and Shuri look set for a closing episode, and Sana and Nanaka will pick up the last two. With any luck Asami will get some final thoughts in as well.

So what's to keep in mind as we reach The Bloody Conclusion of Myself;Yourself? (Admittedly it's not going to be the same sense of 'bloody' as the reference would suggest)

The preview sounds like the Wakatsukis might be heading away after all - likely they'll be back before the end of the series, but with the imagery of Sana being manly and chasing someone to a train station, someone's leaving, and Sana and Shuri look to be the best bet.

Doubly so since this could bring up some interesting parallelism between the past, where Shuu ran and screamed something to Sana when he was leaving (episode one, flashback), and the present, where Sana could return the favor, and perhaps remember some things in the process.

"Confession" could mean all sorts of things for the next episode, and if M;Y has any intentions of being misleading it WON'T be the Sana x Nanaka that I'm expecting (since they need to get a move on, even if they aren't stealing the show anymore). It's quite possible that it could be Shuu making the siscon move (he came close, last episode), or Asami trying to grab the spotlight again.

Or it could be a confession in the criminal sense. I doubt that we'll see more of Kaji, but the Wakatsuki family has got bad guys all over the place and it remains to be seen which one of them will crack first.

Sana's family is one aspect that was brought up early in the show and seems to have faded out, a clue that it'll come blaring to front when we least expect it; it's likely to have ties to the whole wristwatch fiasco (/wrists, etc), but the fact that Sana's living alone now just doesn't seem to add up. There's a piece missing here somewhere, and I have no idea what it is.

That's the big question mark for most of the unresolved plot in Myself;Yourself. It's been a predictable show. It's been one that foreshadows a lot. But there's that feeling of unease. That things aren't right, that we're not right.

It looks like Nanaka's uncle burned down the house, it looks like Sana's a cutter, it looks like Asami and Kaji's plot are done, it looks like the Wakatsuki parents are utter assholes...but it's not over until the tsundere girl plays the violin. (Which we should also see a full-circling of later, with any luck.)

Myself;Yourself doesn't pull off a lot of plot twists, which only makes it more shocking when it actually does. It's a very good show for lulling people into a sense of complacency with a light-hearted start, and then it turns the world upside-down with a dramatic second half.

That's what the tenth episode in sense did, except by now it was full-bore drama the whole way. It's something that was a bit jarring and perhaps overdone; but I won't lie in saying that it only increased my interest in the show.

In that lies the biggest parallel I believe can be made to School Days, which was the last anime to emotionally charge me like this. That sense of disbelief, that "it cannot possibly be happening" thought, while it may turn off some viewers, is something that keeps me drawn in, if only because it's so rare for shows to be this raw, this over-the-top.

It's a delicate balancing act that Myself;Yourself is pulling off, that line between gripping and ridiculous.

Somehow, it does feel like auto racing. Some people enjoy the crashing, and some enjoy the displays of talent and skill. Which one Myself;Yourself will end up being, remains to be seen.

-CCY

(Last you're going to see of her. ;_;)

8 comments:

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Spam-looking post from CresceNet (en espanol) deleted. If you would like it reinstated please contact me.

(late comment FTL, sorry)

What keeps me tuning in to find out about M;Y every week is the way in which it does its job. It's akin to cheering on the underdog in a competitive sports movie, because you know that while they're destined to do good, the way in which they do it is surprising and admirable.

The potential trainwreck ending crossed my mind quite awhile back, but since M;Y has proven itself to be a solid pseudo-harem show that can stand on its two feet and do cartwheels if it's so inclined, I'm content with guessing how it will turn out and then letting it work its magic.

For example, Shirukii's blog has been alive with guesses of how a climatic ending with Nanaka being saved from a dramatic hostage kidnapping by Kaji by Sana was feasible, only to have that guess destroyed in less than 5 minutes.

So much for that. The route less taken, especially with the unheard-of and powerful episode of twincest development certainly convinced me it's going to do right. It HAS to, seeing how the only alternative is not resolving all the threads it's laid out before us.

It's unfortunate that Aoi doesn't look like a real character at this point, but the game might just change that. Might. Still, five out of six isn't all that bad, like I said. With that in mind I find myself constantly securing my seatbelt for my weekly rollercoaster ride on Thursdays, so I guess your car analogy works. :P

Pseudo-harem or post-harem now, Owen?
:P

M;Y is turning out to be rather surprising for a show that originally looked so predictable, I agree.

It HAS to, seeing how the only alternative is not resolving all the threads it's laid out before us.

Sounds like kind of an ultimatum, but similar to how I feel about M;Y at the moment - either it's going to be five flavors of awesome wrapping everything together, or it's going to run out of time and go right off a cliff. Let's hope it's the former.

As for the whole "my favorite characters have no plot ;_;" deal, I'm worried about Asami as well as Aoi; so far, she's just looking like a device to Nanaka's story, but with 3 episodes to go, who knows what they might pull on us.

I'd have to go with both, since post- and pseudo- aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, and they mean roughly the same thing.

Asami seems forever fated to be one of those underdeveloped side characters, though the consolation lies in her having a full route you can choose in the upcoming v.novel for the PS2 (Hinako too!). Ditto Aoi. I guess 13 episodes isn't enough for it to shine, but an OVA or two after this could fix things, if there was sufficient demand for it.

Late post on late comment. Pardon.

Well, considering how soundly wrong we were regarding Asami, I just want to go on the record here:

Aoi, after episode 11, I can see going down two tracks, neither of them good: either she has no plot at all, or she'll pull off the kingpin of WTF twists (a tough bar to top in this show). I really can't expect anything to be what it looks like anymore, except for maybe Nanaka's plot. Maybe.

And so, I'm now going to root for Aoi to have no plot at all, just so we don't have a cast 100% troubled by the past. Hopefully she can be the Hisui of the group. (Tsukihime reference, don't mind it.)

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