Black Cat – episode 2

November 6, 2005 on 3:25 pm | In Black Cat | Comments Off on Black Cat – episode 2

“A Bewildered Cat”

Black Cat Episode II: The Service Begins.
What happens here is Black Cat has several scenes with a girl who wears a yukata. This sort of undermines the whole “serious” vibe he’s got going. Meanwhile the series gets more supernatural and starts busting out wild colour schemes.

Black Cat (real name Train Hartnett [I’m getting this out of the way now so I don’t burst into laughter later]) meets a girl who wears a yukata atop the roof of a building. Over several nights they grow a weird sort of rapport. Yukata Girl decides to take on a bounty who rapes and murders women and melts everyone he touches because his body is made of a corrosive substance.
Meanwhile Sven is hired by a blonde woman to save her little sister from terrible fates. The director doesn’t even pretend that this woman – real name Rins – is not at all what she seems.

This episode makes only one important revelation about the society in which the characters live: it’s a bounty driven society, and those who chase bounties are known as “sweepers”.
I didn’t really want to make this comparison in the last entry, as I am loathe to make comparisons between programs, but the use of the term “sweepers” of course reminds me of City Hunter. It is not just the term, but the character mentality: both Sven and Yukata Girl classify themselves as sweepers, and both carry weapons, but neither of them believes that killing is the right thing to do and they like to bring down their quarries in their own fashions. Although Ryo in City Hunter was originally a killer, he learned through time that there are some things that are unnecessary most of the time.
It should be noted that in City Hunter the term was actually “sweeper” (that is, an English word in a sea of Japanese) while Black Cat‘s term is “souji”, which can be accurately translated to sweeper … the point is that it’s a lesson for Black Cat to learn.

All of the Sven action sequences, be they Sven beating up vagabonds or Sven spitting geysers of coffee, are obstructed by a horrible blur filter that makes Black Cat just that much more difficult to watch. I could not tell you why this would happen, because the Yukata Girl and Black Cat action sequences are perfectly clear.
Yukata Girl taking on Preta Ghoul was pretty well done, with some excellent use of colour and background. It was more stylish than functional, and my brain almost exploded at the shots of the character climbing up a stair case to nowhere, but on the whole it was dandy.
In other news, this Rins character gets both a jiggle shot and a shower scene in this episode; I believe a precedent has been set.

Altogether, this episode had far too many shots of yukata girl drinking milk. Team up and decide your tone, Black Cat: that’s all I ask of thee. Next episode looks good, though, because Sven tries to slap some sense into Black Cat.

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