Episode 7 of me and Irina’s collab reviews on DAKAICHI, I’m represented by the bold text while Irina (from I Drink And Watch Anime) is not in bold.
Hey look Irina, they’ve (kind of) listened to what you were wanting and we’ve got an episode from Junta’s perspective. I’ll admit, while maybe not as vocal on it as you were we were ~really~ needing this! Have you noticed how this show gets better whenever it listens to me? In fact, I have found this to be generally true across the board. Want something to improve, just listen to me!
How about that ambitious first shot though? Going all the way from a satellite view of Japan and then zooming into the neurons firing away in Junta’s brain. Pretty artsy way to start this kind of show, but I liked it! Were the birds flying backwards!!! It was a great scene. Dystopian grim sci fi vibe going through it, it immediately told us that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Junta. I particularly loved how it instantly discarded his hopeless puppy dog persona without resorting to either exposition or shock. I’m not sure if this was in the manga but either the writer or the director has some pretty good visual storytelling chops.
And it’s a flashback episode too—going back to when Junta and Takato first met, I wasn’t sure if there’d be enough juicy material for this kind of set-up but boy was I wrong!
I don’t usually like to start off with general thoughts on an episode (who am I kidding, I always do that—I’m so impatient) but I just need to say this episode was great—easily my favourite so far! Feel free to leave your overall thoughts to the end though. I think I kinda spilled it in my first paragraph anyways. I loved it and I have to say overall the show has been steadily going up in my esteem. This is what I needed. I am finally rooting for *them* rather than just Takato. I like flashback episodes personally. I was a little confused because the first episode really didn’t give us much indication that these two had worked that closely together before but the ending tied in nicely with the start of the series so I can’t complain.
As I’ve said before I love show-biz behind the scenes stuff, seeing movies being made, etcetra and that was almost the entire episode! You know, I wanted to hear a bit more about Junta’s scouting and early acting days. He didn’t seem all that thrilled with the business and before meeting Takato was even starting to sound a little disenchanted already. This less than perfect yet not hellish illustration of the mundane aspects of the entertainment industry is something we rarely see.
Turns out Junta is a good-guy after all! Wanting to come to the rescue of the actress who was being sexually harassed by “pink fish floss”, only for the situation to be defused by Takato. I mean kudos for the show showing this kind of workplace harassment—though a bit sad that no one put the guy in his place for being a creep. Speaking of hellish. I appreciated that the show acknowledged that any actor standing up to the director for being a creep was putting their own career in jeopardy. It’s predatory on so many levels. And it is awesome that Junta is the kind of guy that would step in. Not because he *has* to or that’s what a good guy would do but just because he honestly couldn’t stand watching it. It was a relatable moment. Those points were you have to figure out where the limits of your own values stretch. Even though it was ultimately moot, the moment felt very real to me which in turn made Junta seem more real.
It was interesting to see what Junta was like before becoming infatuated with Takato and that slow realization that he’s falling for him—even if there wasn’t really that much of a catalyst for it, it was more “this guys hot and has sexy eyelashes, I want to bang him and nothing will stop me.” Puts into context a bit of his actions afterwards. See I disagree. I think they built up the attraction very well. (I might be reading into it). To me Junta set Takato apart because he was the only one not fawning over him. This made him different although at that point Junta was just curious. I think the first thing to spark Junta’s interest was seeing just how good an actor Takato is. Before talking about his looks at all, or even the first doki doki moment, Junta fanboys over his delivery and technique in such a loving way. Of course, then there’s Takato stepping in and saving the girl in the most diplomatic and selfless way possible and going on to order treats for the cast to ease the tension. At that point Junta was into hero worship, I mean Takato was perfect. But then, Takato let out his petty childish side and all the sudden, he became a real person to Junta. A beautiful, adorable intelligent and talented person. The eyelashes and sexy body were just icing on the cake.
For reals, this is one of those shows that really logically explained where the love comes from and makes it feel more substantial than “prettiest person in the room”. I’m probably reading too much into it…
I don’t know if you noticed but the incidental soundtrack for this episode was phenomenal—very evocative. Maybe it was like that in previous episodes and I missed it but some of the music choices were top tier. I did not… But I got into the episode and that usually means the soundtrack is doing a good job!
Anything you wanted to add? Takato’s manager is just short Junta with glasses. At this point Takato is going to be the only non blonde in Japan. I am OK with this.
As I said earlier, this was my favourite episode and not just because we finally got to see the relationship (or the forming of feelings) from Junta’s perspective but it was just a dynamic and emotionally satisfying episode. I’m kind of sad that the show is going to go back to, well, how it was previously—that is to say not as good. But maybe they’ll surprise us! I really liked this episode as well. I think they did a fantastic job in turning Junta into an actual character and a complex one as well. This isn’t the jealous airhead mass of hormones we’ve been shown so far. As he certainly must appear from Takato’s point of view. Junta is surprisingly self aware and even has a little bite to him. Now this is a guy I can understand falling in love with. And more importantly, a guy I am interested in seeing more of. Good job show!
Indeed, good job all round! Hope you all enjoyed reading this and look forward to the next episode’s review on Irina’s site next week!
Previous DAKAICHI Reviews:
Cute Boys Doing Each Other – Episode 1 Review
Matt and Irina Stare At Pretty Men – Episode 2 Review
Attack On Tight Man – Episode 3 Review
Where’s The Manservice? – Episode 4 Review
When In Doubt, Add More Hot Boys – Episode 5 Review
All’s Well That Ends Well – Episode 6 Review
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