Saturday, 27 November 2010

Short Review: Denpa Teki na Kanojo, Episode 1

Denpa Teki na Kanojo

Opening a murder mystery with a dramatic, violent scene is a cliché; I know this even as someone who doesn’t often watch the genre. Grabbing the viewer’s interest is all very well, but not if it convinces them that your show is dull and generic. Denpa Teki na Kanojo wastes no time in doing just that, and first impressions are therefore not favourable, but fortunately, this is where its resemblance to a stereotypical murder story ends.

A string of gruesome serial murders takes place in Tokyo near where the anti-social high-school delinquent, Juu Juuzawa lives. He is unconcerned, until he is approached by the obsessively devoted Ame Ochibana, who is determined that he was a king in a previous life, and she is his knight, bound to serve him. He does everything he can to force her to leave him alone, but as more deaths occur, Juu begins to suspect that his stalker may have something to do with the killings.

“Most likely, there is something that makes them feel nothing about killing.” Psychological illness and trauma are significant themes in Denpa Teki na Kanojo, and the hour-long first episode makes one question one’s morality in interesting ways. Is a murderer ‘evil’ if they were convinced that what they were doing was morally right? At what point can you feel justified in judging someone who falls in that grey area between sanity and insanity?

The theme of multiple personality disorder is reflected in the presentation of the show. Dark, cold terror and heart-warming emotion give way to each other suddenly and unexpectedly. In Higurashi, the obvious comparison, the viewer is tense even through the forced brightness and happiness as they know the inevitable murders will take place. Denpa Teki na Kanojo, on the other hand, presents scenes that make one feel genuine warmth and relief as apparent interludes before throwing the viewer suddenly and unexpectedly back into violence and horror. Only the very best directors can make such transformations convincing.

Denpa Teki na Kanojo is an impressive and original offering. It should be considered essential viewing for fans of suspense, and I would recommend it to anyone else with a reasonably strong stomach, as shock and horror are used frequently by the first episode to convey its twisted message.

No comments:

Post a Comment