Mekaku City Actors, Episodes 3 and 4: Mekakushi Code and Kagerou Days

It’s not uncommon to hear people say that you must watch up until the third or fourth episode of an anime to be able to tell if it’s any good or not. With that in mind, I watched these next two episodes knowing that if they were terrible, most people would stop watching.

Episode 3: Mekakushi Code

Happily, Mekakushi Code didn’t disappoint me in the least, which surprised me, since the song by the same name doesn’t have any sort of complex plot (though it is very catchy) and I didn’t especially care for this part of the manga.
Momo Kisuragi

The episode begins with Momo being confronted by Kido. Momo thinks she’s one of her fans, and so is understandably a bit nervous.
Kido introduces herself, and then sets out to recruit Momo to the Mekakushi Dan.

Kido Tsubomi, actually. Kido, Kano, and Seto all go by their family names.
Kido Tsubomi, actually. Kido, Kano, and Seto all go by their family names.

 

GOOD QUESTION. Why must all secret societies be so secretive that they only confuse those they want to recruit?
GOOD QUESTION. Why must all secret societies be so secretive that they only confuse those they want to recruit?

Unfortunately, she’s very vague about it, and decides that the best course of action would be to demonstrate her own eye powers to Momo. This was probably not a good decision, as seeing someone turn invisible, talk as a disembodied voice, and then suddenly reappear is apparently not a very reassuring experience. Momo faints.

The creepy implications of what would happen if someone couldn't control their invisibility powers are acknowledged at last.
The creepy implications of what would happen if someone couldn’t control their invisibility powers are acknowledged at last.

 

Go ahead, freak her out to prove your point. It'll work great!
Go ahead, freak her out to prove your point. It’ll work great!

Ashamed for having scared Momo far more than she meant to, Kido brings her to the Makakushi-Dan’s hideout, which has apparently undergone the same sort of transformation as Shintaro’s room. I suppose we have SHAFT to blame for that.

I wonder if bringing up the painful backstory means it'll actually come into the anime.
I wonder if bringing up the painful backstory means it’ll actually come into the anime.

 

Nope, that's your brother's destiny.
Nope, that’s your brother’s destiny.

When Momo wakes up, the members of the Mekakushi-Dan introduce themselves and try to explain to her who they are exactly.
In short, all the members of the Mekakushi-Dan (five as of this episode) have some sort of super-power, which is often related to their eyes, and their eyes turn red when they use it. Momo and Kido’s powers are opposites, with Momo having the power to attract attention and Kido having the power to avert it.
Welcome

Marry's ability.
Marry’s ability.
Watch it, Kano. That ball of fluff is an important plot point!
Watch it, Kano. That ball of fluff is an important plot point!

The purpose of the Mekakushi-Dan is vague at best, but they promise Momo that they can help her learn to control her powers. At the idea of being able to walk around easily without attracting crowds, Momo accepts.

Well, that was a convenient accident.
Well, that was a convenient accident.

Due to a clumsy accident on Marry’s part, Momo’s cellphone is destroyed soon after her acceptance. This leads the Mekakushi-Dan to go on a trip to the store, which leads to…you guessed it.

Remember when Shintaro ran into an odd person? Well, there were some invisible onlookers...
Remember when Shintaro ran into an odd person? Well, there were some invisible onlookers…

So, to anyone who didn’t figure out due to them having the same last name, Shintaro is Momo’s older brother. Finally, we get to see some of the events from behind the scenes of the first episode.

Mekaku City Actors
I loved this episode. If all the rest of the episodes could be like this one, I would be content. I loved the witty dialogue between Kido and Momo. I checked the manga, and it was not nearly as good. Since Jin is writing the script, I assume that this is an improvement on his part, which is nice to see. It wove seamlessly into the plot of the first episode, and the characters were great. I felt like they displayed Kido’s power with originality that I haven’t really seen used in invisibility powers before. I was impressed.

Episode 4:Kagerou Days

At last, the one we’ve all been waiting for. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the songs, Kagerou days was the most successful song of the Kagerou Project. I was anxious to see how they worked it in, since it focuses on a completely different plot from the first one.

This episode is from the viewpoint of Hibiya, the kid Momo ran into in episode two. His name is Hibiya Amamiya, and he’s in the city for vacation with his cousin, Hiyori Asahina, who is staying with her brother-in-law, Kenjirou (That’s Momo’s teacher from ep. 2, in case you were wondering).

Apparently some people find her more annoying than Ene. I'm not entirely sure I agree with them, but she's certainly less likable.
Apparently some people find her more annoying than Ene. I’m not entirely sure I agree with them, but she’s certainly less likable.

Hibiya has quite the crush on Hiyori, and begged his parents to let him spend the summer in this city under the guise of studying purposes so he could be with her. Unfortunately for him, his feelings are largely unrequited. In addition to being a cold person in general, Hiyori is infatuated with the mysterious white-haired Konoha, Kenjirou’s foster child.

Isn't he charming?
Isn’t he charming?

 

I'm not sure why it says "niece", because from what I know, he's her brother-in-law. But maybe they decided that was too much of a spoiler.
I’m not sure why it says “niece”, because from what I know, he’s her brother-in-law. But maybe they decided that was too much of a spoiler.

 

Poor Hibiya. How was he supposed to know that some random girl he met was a famous singer?
Poor Hibiya. How was he supposed to know that some random girl he met was a famous singer?

On August 15, the next day, Hibiya has a dream. Actually it isn’t a dream–but never mind that for now. He goes for a walk, talks with Hiyori. The cat Hiyori was holding runs onto the street. Hiyori chases it, and gets hit by a stuck. Hibiya wakes up, goes for a walk, talks with Hiyori. Hiyori ends up dying. Rinse and Repeat.

Notice the light on the floor...I wonder where we've seen those colors before?
Notice the light on the floor…I wonder where we’ve seen those colors before?

 

If you've seen Steins; Gate, you'll know how well this tactic works
If you’ve seen Steins; Gate, you’ll know how well this tactic works

I had mixed feelings about this episode. There were quite a few things that it took me a while to figure out if I liked it or not. In the end, I’ll say this: If this episode confused you, go and watch the song by the same name. It explains the situation much better.

Part of my problem with it was with the portrayal of the Heat-Haze. I’m quite certain that a lot of new viewers think that Hibiya is dreaming, and if that’s so, then they are, unfortunately, mistaken. Hibiya and Hiyori have been trapped in the Heat-Haze. which is probably too spoilerific for me to talk about.

There wasn’t really too much in this episode to talk about, I suppose, which is fine. Even if it seems blander for its simplicity, crowding too much information in would probably just make the ending have less of an impact. But I’m concerned as to how they are possibly going to fit the entire story into twelve episodes, especially considering that the next episode doesn’t appear to be named after any of the songs in the Kagerou Project.

I am tentatively hopeful. The third episode was amazing, and the fourth episode, while not as good, wasn’t really a step backwards either. At least Red-Scarf-Girl is appearing fairly often, which means that they are probably going to show my favourite part of the story.

In closing, I hope you all are waiting to the end of the closing song to watch the story-book style part about the little monster. She’s kind of important.

But hey, it's not like this disjointed backstory could be significant or anything, right?
But hey, it’s not like this disjointed backstory could be significant or anything, right?

Murasaki Lynna

Stories have always fascinated Lynna, whether they are told in books, anime, music, or doodles in the margins of her accounting homework. She hails from Canada, and when she isn’t busy with life or obsessing over some anime or webcomic, she is working on writing her own stories, so that she might one day unleash them upon the world.

One thought on “Mekaku City Actors, Episodes 3 and 4: Mekakushi Code and Kagerou Days

  1. Sounds interesting! This anime wasn’t on my radar (then again, very few anime are on my radar this season – I’m still getting reoriented to anime things after a busy semester). I’ll have to check it out.

Leave a Reply