My first listen of the indie rock trio Ling Tosite Sigure (“Cold Seasonal Rain”) was actually not by the trio itself, but by it’s guitarist/vocalist TK (Toru Kitajima), in the theme to Tokyo Ghoul, entitled “unravel”. I found the vocals to be an…acquired taste, but one I eventually acquired!
When I rushed to watch the first run of Psycho-Pass before the sequel came out, I heard that distinctive falsetto wail again, this time by the whole band, in the show’s opening theme “Abnormalize”. Not fixing what wasn’t broke, LTS returned for the opening theme of Psycho-Pass 2, with a song called “Enigmatic Feeling” and combined with much of the same dizzying cyberpunk visual style as the first show’s sequence.
I’m not typically one for wailing or whining in my vocals, but even I have to admit it just works here, and admire the vocal gymnastics that are going on in this song. Both TK and Miyoko “345” Nakamura make a male-female vocalization is a perfect match for the dark, brutal, yet beautiful mood of the show, as well as the immense inner and outer struggles the Tsunemori Akane must tackle.
While dark and desperate, there’s also a hefty portion of high tech sci-fi glitz to the visuals, distressed and distorted much like the music playing over them. It’s an OP I look forward to each week. It’s a show-defining sound.
When Riko hears that everyone calls her “Wild One” she starts emulating Maki, acting as cute and girly as possible. A member of the broadcasting club delivers two new questions to the council, asking if guys like “darker” or “chubbier” girls. The council suspects the questions were created by the newspaper association. They investigate and learn that a newspaper contest that only clubs can enter is coming up, so they want to be upgraded back to a full club.
When Riko and Maki confront Minami, planning to stall, she tells them she could publish love research in an underground newspaper, not asking for anything in return, confusing them. Sayori meets with her boyfriend after school, and Nana snaps a picture with which to blackmail her. A teacher catches them struggling in the hall and brings them to her office, where Sayo admits to having a boyfriend but denies the other council members know anything.
First of all, we were disappointed by the use of blackface in a (strangely isolated) 45-second sequence of an anime produced and taking place in the present day. Call it Japanese cultural differences if you must (though this definitely wasn’t ganguro – reference was made to a “soul sister”); if that crap ever appears again, we’ll be dropping the series on the spot; no third chances. For fuck’s sake, when we first heard “darker” girls; we thought they meant ganguro or even EMO girls; why didn’t they just riff on them, or another group not defined by race?
Those 45 seconds marred an otherwise good episode, in which the newspaper association (née club)’s apparent vendetta turns out to be more complicated than originally thought, and in which Mana threatens to expose Sayo’s illicit relationship and ends up actually exposing it, getting her into real trouble. Riko’s temporary turn as the comic (rather than the straght man as usual) was a hilarious change of pace, as was the increasing complex newspaper situation. Sayo also shows depth by not only accepting her estranged BF’s invitation, but by covering for her friends when she’s caught.
Rating: 6 (Good)
- Riko finally finds a way of getting to Sayori: by acting sickeningly cute around her.
- One subtle trick Riko uses in her efforts to look cuter: a longer skirt.
- “Underarm ravines? That’s a new one…
- We got a kick out of Maki trying to throw off Riko’s mimicry by striking one ridiculous pose after another; Riko keeps up well.
- Eno is actually useful this week, finding out the newspaper’s motives from a particularly apathetic teacher.