Ah, the grieving process. Its depiction is always so problematic in a story like this. Hop over it too quickly and your hero’s emotional journal will seem inauthentic, at best; callous, at worst. Linger too long on it, though, and you’ll turn what’s supposed to be riotous entertainment into a muggy downer. It’s an awfully specific comment to make - - though this column’s all about specificity, no? - - but I’m impressed by how they’ve handled Ganta’s feelings in just these past couple of episodes.
The scenario’s so absurdly over-the-top, and the “ghost” he’s carrying around with him is so horrific, that these brief flashbacks find an delicate and surprisingly-nuanced balance. You get the very viscercal sense that all this madness has been going so quickly for the kid that he’s barely had time to even process it all.
(And that more-than-likely means that he’ll be suffering through years of PTSD if he survives this and gets enough time for the adrenaline to wear off. Har har).
Again, there’s a self-awareness to this conceit which I appreciate in all the scenes where the other characters have to snap Ganta back to reality while his mind’s wandering. Actually, my favorite instance of that was the brief, slightly-meta jab at Sam’s most hated trope - - the angst-ridden internal monologue. Maybe you blinked and missed it, but the brief moment where Shiro gets bored because Ganta looks away and loses himself in thought was a wickedly sarcastic gag.
I really haven’t said enough about that girl, by the way. I love her. She’s almost like a psychopathic middle finger, waved at both the Manic Pixie Dream Girl and all her blogging detractors. Much like Ed from BEBOP, she has the sort of behavior that would be quick to annoy in most other series, but hits the mark most or all of the time here. She even gives you a demented-yet-profound insight on occasion.
Who'd have believed that a show as big and loudas this is getting all this small stuff so right?
Watch this episode, "G Block” below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.