Meeting Date:  10/31/2020

Disclaimer:  The Herald Anime Club discusses shows in a generally unmoderated format. Naturally, there will be spoilers for a given episode. You have been warned!

Samantha Ferreira:  Hi everyone, and welcome back to the Herald Anime Club. I’m Samantha, and I’m here with Anthony to talk up Ikebukuro West Gate Park Episode 4:  “A Very Special Episode.”

Anthony Simpson:  So, before we being I do have to make a correction about something I said last time. I said that episode 1 had a different writer than episode 2 and 3. Episode 1-3 had the same writer. Episode 4 had a different writer this time the director of the series. Episode 5 seems to have a different script writer as well.

Samantha Ferreira:  Ah, interesting. That would explain how we went from YouTuber eating onions to this

still from Ikebukuro West Gate Park episode 4, depicting an older man with a goatee who smiles at the camera.

Anthony Simpson:  Going from YouTube creators to my son was killed and also a bad person is something different that is for sure

Samantha Ferreira:  Right? It just went dark this week, but that’s not a bad thing? I mean, they really worked the material well.

Anthony Simpson:  Yeah, episode 4 is probably the strongest one yet, and no, I was hoping the show would get a bit darker.

Samantha Ferreira:  Indeed, it is. It was so good

Anthony Simpson:  Which is interesting since the director of the show has two other shows they directed. Zoku Touken Ranbu Hanmaru and Helpful Fox Senko-san!:   two shows I would not exactly say were dark. What I enjoyed was that there was so much packed tightly into this episode.

still from Ikebukuro West Gate Park episode 4, depicting two menacing men dressed in red.

Samantha Ferreira:  Truth. The writing was fast and snappy, the characters really shone.

Anthony Simpson:  The taxi driver I felt so bad for in the end. Meeting the person who killed his son because he attacked her husband and finding out his grandson isn’t his.

Samantha Ferreira:  Likewise. I mean, that was just heart-wrenching

Anthony Simpson:  Those last few were heart wrenching for everyone involved.

Samantha Ferreira:  Truth.

Anthony Simpson:  It all just felt so organic with how everything played out and leading up to.

Samantha Ferreira:  Right? I mean… this is what I was hoping for when we started it. Just human drama. Instead, we got Wacky Weed, Scumbag YouTuber, and the genuinely strong episode about worker’s rights

Anthony Simpson:  I mean the workers’ rights episode was good and I did get a few kicks from the YouTuber episode. This one just chef’s kiss.

still from Ikebukuro West Gate Park episode 4, depicting a black and white scene of a gang of people standing over a man who is holding his mouth and glaring angrily.

Samantha Ferreira:  Yeah. It feels like they’ve been getting better with each episode, now that the requisite drug episode’s out of the way

Anthony Simpson:  If I had one complaint about this episode, I would say it would have to be with the fight scene. It started we heard things then it was over

Samantha Ferreira:  Agreed.

Anthony Simpson:  What benefitted here was that there was a different script writer for this episode. Episode 5 per ANN has a different scriptwriter, so I don’t know what to expect there.

Samantha Ferreira:  Interesting

Anthony Simpson:  So, I wonder if we are getting a bunch of different script writers for each several episode(s) I wonder how that is going to affect the quality overall?

Samantha Ferreira:  That’s my question. So far, it’s been pretty uneven

still from Ikebukuro West Gate Park episode 4, depicting a brown-haired woman, who frowns pensively

Anthony Simpson:  Per ANN, episode 5’s script writer is Masahi Sogo who has done scripts for Bleach, Fairy Tail, Full Metal Panic, and GTO just to name a few

Samantha Ferreira:  That could be worth watching

Anthony Simpson:  Not having read the source material or have it available in English I don’t know how closely they are sticking with the novels.

Well the YT stuff for episode 3 would be anime original since YT didn’t exist in 1998.

It could be that they are using the characters and the setting from the books and writing original stories around those a la like how Mighty Morphin Power Rangers did with using materials from the Sentai shows they were based on. Using the monsters of the episode and then writing a completely original story around said monster or how Rage of Bahamut was made.

Samantha Ferreira:  That’s very possible. Especially given how dated the series would be for modern audiences if it were set in ’98 still.

Dammit, this would’ve been even more compelling if it was contemporaneous.

still from Ikebukuro West Gate Park episode 4, depicting a black-haired man laying face-down on a stairway, as blood spills from his head.

Anthony Simpson:  That would have been something to have to books set in 1998. I don’t know exactly what time period the books are set in if it is in the time period it was writing or not

Samantha Ferreira:  True enough. I mean, if they keep up with the human drama, though? I’m game.

Anthony Simpson:  Same

Samantha Ferreira:  I do wonder, though, if this is building up to something. So far, we’ve seen four very disparate stories with four very different guest protags.

Anthony Simpson:  Maybe it is building up to something or maybe this is going to end up like anthology series.

Samantha Ferreira:  Not gonna lie:  I’d be happy with either.

Anthony Simpson:  As long as don’t get any more drugs are bad mkay episodes

Samantha Ferreira:  Yeeeah. That was just not the best way to open the series.

Anthony Simpson:  Otherwise I am yeeting someone to the Sun.

Samantha Ferreira:  But did you not know that weed is the devil’s lettuce, good sir?

Anthony Simpson:  Don’t get me going on flashbacks of the Wacky Weed this bad PSA.

Samantha Ferreira:  But it’s bad enough to make someone utterly DISAPPEAR from good society, my good sir!

OK, I can’t keep that up. That was just hilariously bad.

still from Ikebukuro West Gate Park episode 4, depicting a brown-haired woman who smiles sadly as she looks off-camera.

Anthony Simpson:  It was

Samantha Ferreira:  More like this dark Christmas episode, or the Worker’s Rights episode, please!

Anthony Simpson:  Yes!

Samantha Ferreira:  The characters are great! Let them be themselves!

Anthony Simpson:  Yes say it again for the fans in the back!

Samantha Ferreira:  Haha

Any final thoughts this week?

Anthony Simpson:  More human drama PLEASE!

Samantha Ferreira:  Yas! And with that, we’ll bring this week to a close. Til next time, remember:  if you’re going to take a taxi, take a jazz taxi.

… or just take a regular taxi with a jazz cigarette. Have a great night!

Anthony Simpson:  Good night