June 19th, 2011
I’m not feeling very creative this morning.
Unsurprisingly, this felt extremely rushed and more than a little bit disjointed. It was particularly disappointing how they didn’t really solidly address the Youji-mind’s relationships with any other characters until the post-credits scene too, and even that was in a little sequence that was a callback to the very first episode’s opening montage of panty shots and breast jiggles. It would have been a lot more meaningful to see him interacting with the main girls who have the strongest relationships to him and them seeing that all the different parts of him are still there instead of all the other random people. The introduction of yet another new character didn’t help matters either. She nearly looked like a conglomeration of the heroines in both appearance and personality, but really… I have no idea why she suddenly appeared and ate up screentime.
The abuse thing was also felt a little contrived in presentation and resolution. I’m not surprised that Youji running away in his mind was the result of his mother abusing them, but all it took to fix him was him remembering it and then Kobato telling him that he protected her. This should have been built up to much better throughout the show instead of sprung and resolved in a ten minute span. The imagery and the way the ‘flashback’ was shown through jump cuts of crayon drawings with different tones and styles was nice though, even if it did annoyingly remind me entirely too much of that godawful Doctor Who episode, Fear Her.
Overall, it was an ending that resolved Youji’s issue, but didn’t really do a great job of addressing any of the character interactions and relationships in the show, which were one of its most attractive traits. The show still feels like it’s just begun, which is probably on purpose since yada yada, Youji’s new life, but particularly just ending in the middle of what was literally the show’s opening scene really doesn’t help anything feel more conclusive.
Final thoughts at the bottom.
The show certainly started… interestingly… but after the rather spastic first episode, it settled down significantly and became much better. It wasn’t until the reveal about all the different persoanlities being the same person that it really felt like it gelled though, and I honestly don’t know if I would have been as interested in the show in the beginning had I not known that. I hate to use the word, but through most of the run, it was a very intriguing show that mostly took a very light touch to the plot and didn’t beat you over the head with what was going on. It did do that occasionally, like the scene where Chitose and Narita sit around and explain the MPD, but admirably, it was usually content to actually visually show the disconnect between reality and his fantasy while the episode continued uninterrupted. This was probably one of the best directed shows I’ve seen in a long time, full of visual cues and imagery that support the writing instead of supplant it.
Speaking of the writing though, while it’s one of the show’s strengths, it’s also its main weakness. Particularly at the start, the show simply screws around too much. As enjoyable as the OreTV fanservice intro segments were once I understood what was really going on with them, that was time basically spent on meaningless T&A. Most of the characters and humor were strong enough to carry the show without all the panty shots and what-have-you, and I’m sure Nomad probably alienated a significant number of people because of them. Before we get into any arguments about whether or not the show needed more episodes, it needed to be able to use its alloted time efficiently, and those segments were anything but.
Overall, and I hate to use the term because I’m well aware of how meaningless it is through overuse, it was an intriguing show, and one that I felt I could actually spare a few braincells to analyze now and then and it wouldn’t be a giant waste of time, but with a little more development and overall buildup to the ending, could have been much better. It’s not a bad show by any means, and it ended up probably being my favorite for the season given the uninspired writing and direction plaguing almost everything else. Aside from Takeshi, almost all of the characters were fun to watch and the focus was always on character interactions instead of doling out the complexities of the situation. It was probably too light of a touch, but that’s a very different and welcome problem from most shows since anime tends to have the subtlety of a sack of bricks.