This is the first episode yet that I can unequivocally say I was disappointed with.
Lack of Tension
This episode was one of the most fucked up parts of the manga. Yet in the TV show, they’ve managed to turn it into a fairly generic high school detective mystery. The main tension comes from wondering if our intrepid detectives will survive the traps Yuno has set, not any concern for their actual goal.
In the manga, we knew that Yuno was torturing Yukki, chaining him to the chair and staring at him in her underwear with the skulls like we saw briefly at the end. And she did this for weeks, if I remember correctly, not the span of hours that it felt like in the anime (please correct me if I’m wrong, it’s been a few years since I read this).
This is the point in the manga where Yuno ascends to a completely new level of insanity. It made everything Yuno had done up to this point seem relatively mild by comparison. Yukki had to be rescued or he would die a terrible death. In the manga, the readers were made to care deeply about Akise’s search because Yukki needed to be saved!
Yet the anime completely skips over what happened to Yukki, aside from a few seconds at the end of the episode. It just leaves things so it seems like Yukki and Yuno went on a lovey-dovey trip to the mountains in the morning. Why should we care if Akise can find them? There’s no hurry. They think Yuno took Yukki against his will, but it’s not entirely clear why. We feel no urgency for Akise’s search.
Those Meddling Kids!
These detectives are taking stupidity to a whole new level.
So… Yukki has been kidnapped by Yuno? And they get a text from Yukki telling where he is… and immediately run there alone? Come on. It even took a while for Akise to figure it out? And somehow, his reactions (maybe it’s just the translation) don’t serve to elicit much fear:
What a deadpanned reaction.
Then there are brilliant lines like this:
Yes, abandoned buildings tend not to need water or electricity… That was probably the most emotionally delivered line of the episode, though.
Then this stupid friend is given one task by Akise: to stand outside and guard the door. So what does he do ten seconds later? He walks in and lets the door shut behind him! Come on, even idiocy has its limits!
The backgrounds of the town really bothered me. Usually I don’t get caught up in small details like this, but look at this bridge:
It defies the laws of physics! (look at the cords near the center, it was more obvious before I shrunk the image)
Now look at the two walkways in this image. Something looks wrong to me. I don’t know anything about art, but I want to say something is off with the perspective projection?
I don’t know what’s going on here, but something is definitely off again. The staircase looks wrong, the way the two walls connect looks wrong… It’s like they used a 2D texture for the rocks, and put that A frame in front of it, but it doesn’t look like the stone wall itself has any depth to it.