The disappearance of Shusei puts everyone on edge as they wonder what'll happen next.
What They Say
Cry of Despair
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The disappearance of Shusei naturally gets to Hotsuma the most and he's ready to go out hunting him down at all hours without stopping. It's not exactly the best way to do it of course, but he's quickly desperate to find him. So much so that Takashiro steps in to put him in his place with little actual dialogue and just one well placed hand motion. That doesn't stop the concern of others who thinks he may have been taken by a Duras rather than just wandered off by himself. Takashiro shows off a bit more of his skills this time around as well by sealing Hotsuma in his room so that only Hotsuma can't get out of it.
Shusei's story takes him to an interesting place where he discovers quite a few young men of similar age who have gone missing with credit going to World's End. They're required sacrifices of some sort for a nefarious purpose, one that starts to become a bit more known when Shusei is visited by Ashley, a pretty young girl with Lolita like clothing and a creepy humanoid bat creature that flaps around her giving unwanted commentary. Ashley sets up a fairly straightforward plot device in order to gain the God's Light by sending Takashiro and the others a video of Shusei hanging on a wall looking rather worse for the wear. It's a nicely dark little scene that puts Shusei in a bad place, but one that he's able to muddle through with a bit of his pride and dignity as well. Rebellious to the very end when it suits him to be that way.
Takashiro's plan to deal with Ashley leads him to sending people over to Yoshino's to try and suss out what's going on and that leads to a nice little action scene that gives a few more hints towards what's really going on. The action side of it is fairly creepy as it features some cackling larger than usual children's stuffed animals going after them with a definite glint of evil in their eyes. Like a lot of Uraboku so far, the action is relatively quick, nicely stylized but lacking in any serious impact. They're flashy little nuggets in the overall nature of the show. All of it does lead to a rather nice ending scene where they definitely make you want to check back with the next episode with some amount of anticipation. Uraboku hasn't really managed that throughout the first nine episodes so it's nice to see it finally happen.
Ten episodes in and Uraboku is still working and capitalizing on its atmosphere and mood, along with the whole gaggle of pretty boys. That's going to appeal to its core audience and they'll love the little added bits of drama and cruelty that gets mixed into this episode. It even ends with the first really strong tease of the series I think that makes you want to come back again, just to see whether they truly follow through with it or not (we're gambling on not). I still have a liking towards the show because of the elements that do work and because the sudden introduction of a larger storyline doesn't seem quite so jarring as a certain other show airing around this time has gone through. We're getting some meat here but it doesn't feel like we just stepped into another series to get it.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.