Sakurako-san no Ashimoto – 04

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This week’s mystery is provided by Officer Utsumi, whose friend Fujioka believes he’s under a curse that will soon claim his life. Sakurako grudgingly agrees to meet with this Fujioka, if only to tell him he’s full of it. After all, despite many of his male family members dying relatively young and suddenly, a big part of the logic Saku operates under states that correlation is not causation. Humans sometimes make connections where none exist.

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This is an interesting variation of the cases Saku has worked on so far; the “victim” as it were, remains alive, albeit convinced his days are numbered. Fujioka comes from an otherwise financially lucky family, and lives in a giant modern black box of a house with gunslits for windows with his wife and infant daughter.

And that’s why Utsumi wants some sense talked into his friend: Fujioka can’t live in constant fear of dying; he has a family to look after; everything to live for. Yet gray clouds suffuse the setting

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There’s also a dog involved; a white dog we’e seen in the OP, whose owners have one after another come to untimely ends. Hector, as the dog is called, warms up instantly to Saku, no doubt attracted by her regular proximity to death. Saku and Hector have at least one thing in common: they both love bones.

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Much of the episode is Saku and Shou sitting in Fujioka’s living room hearing about his life and his various possessions (including one strange painting on display and another believed to be as cursed as the dog in storage).

As his thirty-sixth birthday is nigh, he steps out to pick up his cake, but we see him converse with a man about carrying out some kind of “plan”, causing me to suspect he’s being manipulated, perhaps by someone after his family fortune.

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Throughout their interactions with this young family that should be perfect and happy, we see the deleterious effects of the “curse”, whether it’s an actual thing or not. Considering how logical and practical this show has been thus far, I’m loath to believe anything supernatural is afoot. But there is a sense Fujioka is fixating on his supposed curse out of a desire to escape the “prison” of his life, which may not have turned out the way he thought it would.

That assertion is supported by the fact Saku seems to have figured something out, and if it were something not explainable by science, she wouldn’t look so pleased. Unfortunately, time of this leisurely-moving episode runs out before she can elaborate. Until next week…

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Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

3 thoughts on “Sakurako-san no Ashimoto – 04”

  1. This episode was very good. I get the feeling that all the elements for Sukurako’s denouement next episode have been set up for us in this episode. I think I know how it will play out but I’m not so smart as to make a prediction. I will predict however that Sakurako will end up adopting Hector the dog, and that the “devil dog” will play a role in the coming explantion. I found this a very elegant episode that once again follows faithfully the tenets of good detective fiction, in that all the elements for the solution are there in the story so told and in the characters’ environment. Preston has given this a 7 but I would rate it an 8, just because of how well structured it was. :)

    1. This episode felt more drawn out to me than previous self-contained episodes, while lacking their satisfying conclusions.

      From the beginning when the title card indicated this was “Part 1” I knew it would not be a self-contained episode, but I felt like the show has achieved a lot more in single episodes, setting up in the first half then paying off in the second half.

      Finally of all the cases Sakurako has done so far, I felt like this was the one least deserving of a two-parter. That’s not to say I’m not intrigued by a more “upper-class” case for once; just that it wasn’t as emotionally compelling, especially with the aforementioned lack of resolution within the confines of this episode.

      For those reasons, I withheld higher than a solid 7 (Good) rating until I see where this setup leads, and if stretching the case across two weeks was indeed a prudent choice.

  2. You are right we have to suspend a certain amount of judgement until we get the denouement. I’m torn between thinking it will be quite a simple solution or one which sets the story off down a twisty path. With the clues at hand, either option may be possible . :)

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