Brand New Animal: A Rollercoaster Ride of Quality
An Unexpected Downfall
In the world of Brand New Animal, Episode 5 proved to be a disappointment after a promising start. We initially praised the show for avoiding the characteristic over-the-top style typically associated with Trigger animations. However, it seems we may have tempted fate too soon. This episode was a clear departure from the show’s previous quality, attempting to be funny but falling short and crossing the line into genuine stupidity. Furthermore, the visuals were noticeably cheap-looking, a stark contrast from the visually pleasing episodes that preceded it.
A Lackluster Subplot
One aspect that significantly contributed to the overall decline in quality was the unnecessary baseball subplot introduced in this episode. While standalone episodes can be enjoyable if executed well, this particular subplot failed to impress. The only highlight was the evident homage paid to the Bad News Bears through the design of the Bears’ uniforms. Alas, this small comedic reward wasn’t sufficient to make up for the 22 minutes of subpar content. Previously, Brand New Animal had built credibility with its complex and intriguing premise, but much of that goodwill was squandered here with an absurd and ludicrous plotline.
An Episode Best Forgotten
Fortunately, the disposable nature of Episode 5 allows viewers to easily disregard its existence. Episode 6 seamlessly picks up where the canon storyline left off, making it feel like a suitable replacement for the lackluster preceding episode. The series manages to find its balance once again, with silliness taking precedence over mindless stupidity. The puzzle of the story begins to come together with the introduction of Hiwatashi Nazuna, a character whose link to Michiru becomes evident.
The Intricate Puzzle Unfolds
A Shared Fate
Upon closer examination, a significant connection between Hiwatashi Nazuna and Michiru is revealed. Though it may seem coincidental, both characters were injured in the same accident, leading to their subsequent transformation into “beasts.” This correlation suggests that the accident itself was likely not a mere coincidence but rather a calculated opportunity seized by Sylvasta for their research purposes. The fate of these two girls is inextricably intertwined and undeniably intentional.
An Unexpected Reunion
Nazuna reappears in this episode as the figurehead of a group of Ginrou worshippers making their way to Anima City. However, it soon becomes clear that she is not a white wolf but rather a fox. The true identity of Ginrou, which seemingly aligns with the name Shirou, may be a clever misdirection from the creators. Michiru, thrilled to see her best friend again, even under these peculiar circumstances, decides to join the cult in order to spend more time with her. However, the reunion turns out to be more of a convenience for Nazuna than a heartfelt moment.
An Opportunity for Social Satire
Once again, Brand New Animal presents an opportunity for Nakashima Kazuki to explore thought-provoking social satire. This episode skillfully combines both definitions of “idol,” offering a cutting commentary on societal obsession. Though anime often shies away from fully exploring such themes, it would be refreshing to see a writer take the bold route and see where it leads. The success of Brand New Animal will ultimately hinge on how aggressively Nakashima exploits the satirical aspects of the story and how much he veers away from Trigger’s typical lowbrow pandering.
A Tenuous Future
As we approach the end of the “preview” block of episodes, it remains to be seen if Brand New Animal can maintain its initial appeal. The hiatus until the seventh week of the spring season leaves us with unanswered questions about the direction the show will take. It is during this break that we will determine whether we should continue investing our time in this animated series or explore other options.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will the baseball subplot be further explored in future episodes?
No, Episode 5’s baseball subplot appears to be a standalone episode and does not contribute significantly to the overarching storyline. It is unlikely that this subplot will be revisited in future episodes.
2. Is there a deeper meaning behind the connection between Hiwatashi Nazuna and Michiru?
Yes, the fact that Nazuna and Michiru were both injured in the same accident suggests a deliberate connection. Their subsequent transformation into “beasts” was not a mere coincidence. The true intentions behind this connection are yet to be fully revealed.
3. Will Brand New Animal continue to explore social commentary?
Brand New Animal has presented opportunities for social satire throughout its episodes. While the extent to which Nakashima Kazuki will explore this aspect remains uncertain, there is a chance for thought-provoking commentary on societal obsessions and idol culture.
4. Is there a chance that Shirou is not Ginrou after all?
Though it appears apparent that Ginrou and Shirou share a connection, it is possible that the show is employing a misdirection to keep the true identity of Ginrou a mystery. We eagerly await further revelations in future episodes.
5. Will Brand New Animal be able to maintain its initial appeal?
As we near the end of the preview episodes and await the series’ return, the ultimate judgment on Brand New Animal will be whether it can sustain its initial promise and captivate its audience. The hiatus provides an opportunity for reflection and evaluation of the show’s direction moving forward.>