What’s the show? Caligula, Episode 9.
So how’s this episode? I don’t know, kind of wasn’t really feeling it this week. Like I was kind of almost dreading writing this review because I didn’t think I’d have enough to say to fill out a blog and make it a worthwhile read? (Edit: Turns out I had plenty to say!)
Then why didn’t you put it off and make next week a double-episode review like you’ve been doing for Hinamatsuri? Well I figured I owed it to the people who are keeping tabs on these reviews to at least give my impressions of the episode and why I wasn’t ‘feeling it’.
Oh? What did it do—or rather—what did it do wrong? Not any one thing drastically wrong but rather a lot of things ~slightly~ wrong. Forgoing complaints about animation as I never like to talk about superficial things like that (and it’s never been the best looking show anyway), there’s a lot of odd choices throughout this episode. The characters kind of feel like secondary window dressing to a plot that’s going on around them and that they have very little impact on. Nothing really gets accomplished other than to put doubts in your head about characters motivations and there’s some mediocre incidental dialogue that felt like they were padding for time.
So what is the central plot point of this episode? Basically, the Musicians are angry, specifically and especially Shadow Knife, who we get some tragic back-story about before he’s killed. A plot point that kind of only exists to let the main cast of characters know that if you die in Mobius—you die in real life. An overused plot device for sure but one that at least ups the stakes? Or at least would if they didn’t all survive an explosion on top of a skyscraper mere minutes beforehand—totally unscathed.
Uh-huh, stakes without stakes. Anything else? Protagonist Ritsu is up to something. Which will end up being a red-herring for sure, they just needed something ~interesting~ to end the episode with…
Wow, sounds like you’ve really soured on this show and quickly too! This show has always been inconsistent week-to-week, some weeks have high quality storytelling and literary references and whatnot and other weeks scrape the creative barrel with Alice in Wonderland-esque plots. I’m not writing off the show entirely, the show is great when it’s more intimate with one-on-one scenes between characters talking about the nature of reality and what it means to be happy and all that juicy philosophical stuff. But it doesn’t seem to know how to do ensemble scenes as well. This show has too many characters but I don’t think is brave enough to kill any of the ‘main ones’ off. Time will tell if it will end high or low but right now the chances are 50/50.
Previous Caligula Reviews:
Episode 1 Review
Episode 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
Episode 4 Review
Episode 5 Review
Episode 6 Review
Episode 7 Review
Episode 8 Review
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3 thoughts on “Caligula Episode 9 – Anime QandA Review”
Without having watched the series, it sounds like it needs to take a cue from Juni Taisen and just kill a main character off every week. Might liven things up? 😸
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Haha, yeah maybe!
So, who do you think Wicked it? Why didn’t we get to see her face?
“I don’t know, kind of wasn’t really feeling it this week.”
After the first time I watched, I had the same feeling. The second time through? I had the same feeling, but stronger! I thought there was a fascinating delicacy in the previous episode with how the narrative showed the growing despair as the Ostinato Musicians were losing their supports — basically, losing their coping skills. I found that really relatable! But the theme this episode (to the extent I can identify it), bullying, wasn’t given nearly the same subtle treatment.
I really hope this episode turns out to be an a fluke. Like you said, I really enjoyed the characters “talking about the nature of reality and what it means to be happy and all that juicy philosophical stuff.”
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