I turn around and DARKER THAN BLACK becomes a completely different show.
Wow… I’m all for keeping things fresh and keeping the viewers on their toes, but I feel like I’ve just gone from watching a somber show akin to REQUIEM FOR THE PHANTOM to some bonkers, feel-good genre mash-up like ABENOBASHI. This is elation I’m talking about here, people. Relief. It’s like some a backpack full of dumbbells has been taken off my shoulders and I’ve been let loose to go jump on the trampoline.
That’s not to say I wasn’t enjoying the darker (than black?) tone that’s characterized the series up until this point. I just find tonal shifts like this to be a hoot, when done right. I’ll have to make an obscure reference to illustrate, but it reminds me of this olllllllllld silent film called SUNRISE. Look it up. It’s directed by F.W. Murnau, the guy who did NOSFERATU. The whole first act looks like it’s going to be a very maudlin “message” drama about murder and infidelity. Then, the characters makes it to a carnival and literally all conflict is forgotten for the rest of the movie. Maybe that didn’t make for good structure, but the hell with it… breaking the rules of drama that time felt as a fun as skipping school.
While I’m piling the comparisons on, I’ll add that I’m amused by how far the superheroes comparisons are extending. Not only do we get a new, mind-snatching villain who reminds me of the X-Men’s old foe Proteus, it seems like we’re going to be getting some revolving anthology storytelling that recalls George R.R. Martin’s WILD CARDS book series. Worlds are colliding!
As for the episode itself? I like this Kurasawa dude. Not only has he made some classic samurai movies, he’s unique amongst detectives for making up in charm what he lacks in brains. Seriously, hasn’t this dude watched DOUBLE INDEMITY? He’s walking right into a set-up this lady and her big boobs are laying out for him.
Watch this episode "The Scent of Gardenias Lingers in the Summer Rain... (Part 1)" below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.