First Impression: In/Spectre S2

Supernatural entities exist all around us. Just like humans, they often come into conflict with one another. But when those conflicts become dangerous or threaten to flow over into the world of humans, Kotoko Iwanaga becomes involved to resolve the situations. She is the ayakashi’s goddess of wisdom, having exchanged her right eye and left leg to for the role. She is a strong and intelligent young woman, but as an ayakashi who is frightened by a possessed doll is about to discover, her boyfriend, Kuro, is an even more powerful being, as worthy of respect as his goddess and far more terrifying than the doll he fears.

In/Spectre returns in all its phantasmic, quippy, soporific glory! Episode one of the new season is a perfect sample for viewers new to the series. It captures the very essence of the show, a microcosm demonstrating both what’s engaging about it and what isn’t. In/Spectre is a supernatural mystery, and this opening episode not only reintroduces the characters but puts Kuro and Iwanaga on a small case. Relatively inconsequential and easily solved, Iwanaga nonetheless goes on endlessly about how this mystery was unraveled. But wait! Even after giving the explanation to the requesting spirit and his friends, the story hasn’t completed! She told the trio that the supernatural wasn’t actually involved, but the truth is that the doll is real and powerful! And so, Iwanaga drones on for several more minutes before Kuro fights the doll in a violent battle typical to the series (his power is the ability to die and come back to life, each time selecting an outcome closer and closer to the most successful one). End of episode. And there’s your sample platter of In/Spectre: Iwanaga goes on and on and on about cases that aren’t worth the long exposition, interrupted by some humorous banter and bloody, bone-crunching, face-smashing fights. Although I find Iwanaga charming and her relationship with Kuro hilarious (he seems to disdain her until the point she’s put in danger), I’ve slept through enough episodes of season one to just leave season two be—unless, that is, I come down with a case of insomnia that needs a sure-fire remedy.

In/Spectre S2 is streaming on Crunchyroll.

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