You know your show has problems when the drama is more hilarious than the comedy.
Virtually none of the creepiness or intrigue present before is present here. Subtlety is pushed out the window and foreshadowing is rarely present, revealing that the core content is extremely goofy despite some gruesome details and dark themes. Yumiko and Sachi might be responsible for stabbings and school bombings, but one amounts to a daddy issue and the other amounts to a contrived family death. Michiru’s arc has an interesting theme about losing one’s identity for the sake of satisfying others, but it’s displayed in a backstory that’s shoved towards the climax of her arc; an arc that starts with the appearance of a dead friend’s identity inside her, triggers suicidal trauma when witnessing a dead cat, and gets resolved by digging out of her grave after 3 days underground.
Of course the melodrama is a small stain compared to the pacing. The only reason why I gave more detail to Michiru is that she’s the only one of 3 heroines so far to get more than one episode, and her first episode is mostly a gag reel. Backstories are shoved into 2 minute flashbacks, character phases go back to back, relationships start from one event, mundane situations become extreme a second later, and plot points used for build-up are immediately followed by the climax, only to shove a solution planned by Yuuji by the end that was never hinted at before. It gets to a point where the characters involved in these stories feel unimportant even in their own stories. They’re all treated like stage props, having their emotions and actions dictated by what the story demands from them. And unlike any good puppet show, it doesn’t know how to hide the illusion by letting the plan develop.
So aside from poking fun at how laughably bad the drama is, is there anything left to recommend about the show? Well aside from the characters still being likable, the visual presentation in this show remains impressive. The crisp animation and varied lighting mix seamlessly with the more cinematic aspects, especially during the flashbacks and towards the end of Michiru’s arc. The feeling of isolation, claustrophobia, and uncertainty in that one moment proved that this show still has the potential to be dramatic and chilling. If it weren’t for the writing becoming so goofy, the visuals alone could carry the show’s creepy factor.
All of this leads to the inevitable question: Is this show still worth watching? I would say no, but it’s worth finishing at this point. The potential that was shown in the first episode still exists in small moments, but it’s hidden between a bunch of hilarious missteps. So if you’re willing to laugh at its blunders while giving a thumbs up to its occasional hits, keep on continuing. I know that I will.