Content Warning: This week’s episode of Karakuri Circus features depictions of child abuse. Viewer discretion is advised.

Meeting Date: 11/4/2018

Disclaimer: The Herald Anime Club discusses shows as they’re airing. Naturally, there will be spoilers for a given episode. You have been warned!

Samantha Ferreira: Hi everyone, and welcome to the Herald Anime Club! I’m Samantha, and I’m here with L.B. Bryant and Lydia Rivers.
L.B. Bryant: Hello!
Lydia Rivers: Hiiii everyone!
Samantha Ferreira: Tonight we’re back to the world of murder puppets and beautiful messes with Karakuri Circus. This evening, we’ll be talking about episode 4: “I have some questions!”
Lydia Rivers: You two might. I’m pretty sure I know exactly what happened.
Samantha Ferreira: Oh?
Lydia Rivers: Yeah, and I’m not a fan. Firstly, origin stories are legitimate before beginning the “main phase.”
Experiencing a main character’s defining moments is actually really neat. Or, you know, it could be.
I think this episode was the conclusion of such a thing. But how it was executed was…just…it totally blew it.
L.B. Bryant: I have been told on another Discord server that we haven’t gotten to the main story yet which caught my attention.
Samantha Ferreira: I was left more “What the hell just happened” than “Narumi’s gone. D:”
L.B. Bryant: That was one of the dumbest death scenes I’ve ever seen from an anime IMO.
Lydia Rivers: I can’t even care that he’s gone because he left during such a ridiculous scene.
Samantha Ferreira: I was more confused that all that remained was a BIG BEEFY ARM AND THAT’S IT
Holy shit

Lydia Rivers: His final words were so good, too. But I was sitting there going “are you serious right now?” AND THEN THE FUCKING ARM
L.B. Bryant: And that BIG BEEFY ARM had magic powers that kept the kid from dying of smoke inhalation.
Lydia Rivers: Excuse my language, it’s just that I can’t find any appropriate words lol
Samantha Ferreira: Yes!
I think my reaction was specifically rushing into this chat to scream “WHAT THE FUCK”
Lydia Rivers: I know that it’s a show about murder puppets, but that was too far gone.
L.B. Bryant: Like I said, dumbest death scene I’ve seen in a VERY long time.
Samantha Ferreira: It was SO GOOD up to that point, too! Like… they were hitting the emotional notes, the character building!
Then “ARM =D”
Lydia Rivers: We already knew he was cool. It was so unnecessary. And I was already pissed about how they handled the intimate little moment in the elevator cage.
Samantha Ferreira: Exactly

Lydia Rivers: It was great until after he hugged her. We should have just seen her flashbacks and not much else. I was so sure that she was being built up to be the flower in his cap, just like Asuna and fucking Kirito.
At least Narumi had a couple flaws.
I’m pretty disgusted.
Whoever engineered that scene has never had a panic attack before. “Your arm smells nice :D”
Samantha Ferreira: Exactly!
It’s like… that’s… not how it works
Lydia Rivers: “I mean, it smells nice because it’s warm :D”
Samantha Ferreira: The stench from Narumi’s arm cures panic attacks. Got it.
Keep that arm, Masaru – you have a miracle cure
Lydia Rivers: I can’t take it lmao
We might as well get that ridiculous.

Samantha Ferreira: lol
See, the worst part was they ended last episode SO STRONGLY
Lydia Rivers: EXACTLY
That’s why I’m so ANGRYYYY
I was so exciiiiteed!
Look, I’m whining in text now.
Samantha Ferreira: Haha, we all are!
Lydia Rivers: Thanks, Karakuri.
Samantha Ferreira: It just became DUMB
And like
Not that self-aware dumb, but DUMB dumb
Lydia Rivers: It’s lazy storytelling, to be honest. “How am I going to show that this was an origin story up til now? Hmmmm. * Erases everything but Narumi’s arm. * Ok, done!”
Samantha Ferreira: God
It’s just…
I can’t even call it lazy
Because lazy would just be “here’s a corpse”
Lydia Rivers: ahahaha!
Samantha Ferreira: No this was straight-up “I swear I’m not day-drinking”

Lydia Rivers: That would have been better. To see the kid decide to run out after Narumi saved his butt. Then his charred corpse later or something. Then we’d know for sure.
Samantha Ferreira: Exactly!
God.. If this wasn’t made a decade before Gurren Lagann, I’d say they were trying to turn him into Kamina, but… no – THIS IS PROTO-KAMINA, FOLKS
Samantha Ferreira: EXACTLY!
Samantha Ferreira: Gooood.
Then we have Masaru’s “I can be a master puppeteer by sight alone”
which was a leap

Lydia Rivers: Yeah, we’ll see if he gets to be the Mary Sue I was so happy we avoided
At this point, I’m expecting whatever
Samantha Ferreira: I hope not… I loved how they were broken messes of characters that made stuff work
Lydia Rivers: Yep.
Samantha Ferreira: Now… it’s just…
I dunno.
Like… I genuinely liked the whole “I’ll pay you guys who tried to kill me” bit, and I loved how the guy went to bat at that point
Like… “he’s cheating you.” – Bam – I liked that
Lydia Rivers: That was definitely my favorite part. I was really looking forward to that, too.
Samantha Ferreira: Same. Like..
We had two episodes here
One was great
The other was just this hilariously stupid mess
Lydia Rivers: Two hits, two misses for me total.
Next episode is probably going to be part mourning. They have an arm to bury. And then, as if he hadn’t already decided, Masa will start his crazy training montage
L.B. Bryant: *Cues up Eye of the Tiger*
Samantha Ferreira: You sure they won’t keep the arm as a magical talisman that talks to them at this point?

Lydia Rivers: Maybe, but only until Shirogane is done dripping tears onto it
Samantha Ferreira: Then it’ll be sold as a miracle drug to cure anxiety attacks
Lydia Rivers: Aromatherapy is a thing, but…………………………………………………..
Samantha Ferreira: Yeah
It’s just..
And it kills me – I love the puppets! I love the absurdity! I love Shirogane and Masaru and Arm-kun!
But it’s so uneven!
Lydia Rivers: Ok, I think I’m done soundly abusing this episode.
I dunno.
I bet this is one of those titles where fanfiction is better than the actual show
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed. Or one of those cases where the manga isn’t anywhere as goofy as the anime.

Lydia Rivers: Yeah! Gosh, I hope so. If that’s the case, the manga fans must’ve been so maaaad! Madder than Twitter when Nanbaka got serious!
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed! I wonder what the consensus on the manga versus the anime is righ tnow
Lydia Rivers: I dunno. The only manga I have from around this time is Trigun. I don’t have much to compare it with.
Samantha Ferreira: It ran for 43 volumes
Lydia Rivers: Whoa.
L.B. Bryant: From what I’m hearing, the pace of the anime is way faster than the pace of the manga up to this point.
Lydia Rivers: We suspected as much. I wonder if that scene was cobbled together by the anime crew
the death scene
Samantha Ferreira: That’s what I wonder, too
Lydia Rivers: They could’ve been handed an unreasonable demand sounding like “Fit all 43 volumes into two and a half seasons.”
Samantha Ferreira: That sounds about right
Nevermind that the a 43-volume series like this and, say, Dragon Ball, runs for 300 episodes normally
Lydia Rivers: I should do the math for next time. How many volumes did these four shows take.
Samantha Ferreira: I’m looking now
Samantha Ferreira: OK… So I did some research into this, and I have some things to say
1) We’ve now covered THREE VOLUMES of a 43-volume series
2) They should have shown the second explosion where Narumi literally blows up and is left as just an arm

Lydia Rivers: Welp.
Samantha Ferreira: Just…
What the hell
Lydia Rivers: We did also confirm that the gross elevator scene is more or less correct. Instead of just saying “It’s warm” to indicate her gratitude or whatever, the mangaka did turn Shirogane’s sad backstory into a stroke for Narumi.
Samantha Ferreira: True that.
Lydia Rivers: But an explosion makes so much more sense! And I have completely lost faith in the anime production. If it handles such a critical scene like that so poorly, come ooon!!!
It takes what, 3-5 seconds???
Samantha Ferreira: Exactly!
Lydia Rivers: And they spent all of it on STUPID FIRE?!
Samantha Ferreira: Like… they just needed a good explosion sound effect during the whiteout! Christ!
Lydia Rivers: YEAH, EVEN THAT LOL. Give us something, good lawd.
Samantha Ferreira: Exactly… criiiiipes.

Lydia Rivers: Ok, I’m done haha.
Samantha Ferreira: Haha, same… Just… ahgh. As the studio who did “I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” and Ushio & Tora, I expected better from Voln
Lydia Rivers: ^-^;;;
I can’t say I disagreeeeeee
Apparently I’m not done whining after all, I’m still typing out my elongated vowels.
Samantha Ferreira: Hehehe
I’m not mad, just disappointed.
Lydia Rivers: It’s just evidence of how tickled we were by this bizarre show.

Samantha Ferreira: Indeed.
We want this to be amazing
So yeah… we’re just… it’s tough, lol
Lydia Rivers: It’ll be easier now that I can adjust my expectations. Be pleasantly surprised by the good episodes, and always be ready for MEH.
Samantha Ferreira: True that.
And be ready to see why we have a fire turn a person into an arm
Lydia Rivers: Are…are you suggesting the fire was magic and not the arm?!?!?!?
And this is why Karakuri fanfic based on the anime will be as good as the show.
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed, lol
Lydia Rivers: I think we lost LB
L.B. Bryant: I’m still here.
Samantha Ferreira: Sorry L.B. – we got ranty
Lydia Rivers: I’m seriously done ranting now though. I’m just going to stare through my memory at this episode with squinted eyes.
Samantha Ferreira: Same.
Any final comments?
L.B. Bryant: I’m good for this week.
Lydia Rivers: Final raspberries.
Stay shiny everyone!
L.B. Bryant: Night!
Samantha Ferreira: Have a great night!