There’s some fitting symmetry here. This is the second long-form shonen serial I’ve watched all the through (to the latest episode, at least). The first one, of course, was YU YU HAKUSHO. Two series by the same creator. One demonstrates the positives of the genre. The other showing the negatives.
The only compliment I can make here is that the show did answer my complaint in the last write-up about the latest, twenty-odd episodes lacking real stakes. Nukes go off! Thousands of innocents are threatened with mutation! Reality itself seems to implode in on itself!
...And I couldn’t be more nonplussed.
In all the time I’ve been doing these write-ups, there are few moments more disenchanting than when I get thrown out of the implicit handshake deal I make with these shows. I know it’s all mumbo jumbo. I know it’s all silly. But let me at least pretend to be serious about it.
I can’t do that when I’m watching moments of tense, dramatic conflict involving a red, talking octopus with bushy eyebrows, cherub-like chibi’s and an old man in a bike suit who actually has a special attack where he makes a heart with his hands. Togashi’s game has always seemed to be about him making you feel pathos for inherently ridiculous characters. That game got old a long time ago. There’s no sense of humor about these characters. The shows seems to be taking them seriously. Whether it’s failed drama or failed comedy, it’s just too silly to watch.
The biggest shame about all of this is that the “Chimera Ant” arc started so promisingly. I never indulge the assurance that I should power through lame episodes because “it gets soooooooo good after episode #57,” but I decided to give in this time. Episode by episode, I went through material that never felt like A-content, always hoping that it would build to something. Well, it never did. I can’t wait for anything, anymore. It never came.
As far remakes go, this makes FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: BROTHERHOOD look much better. And as far as Togashi fight shonens go, it makes YU YU HAKUSHO look significantly better. I'll probably do a post-mortem on this in a video later.