Kannagi, episode 14 – Better memories than the actual OVA

Kannagi has a special place in my heart as the show that compelled me to start blogging. Back in those days, I was nothing more than a new-born baby, with no clue what I was doing. Now I’m jaded, awash in a mountain of cigarettes and working on my 4th marriage. Man it’s been a rough 6 months. 😛

Kannagi had a great bunch of characters, and was unfailingly hilarious. I think back over the past year, and I still feel like it’s the best slice of life/comedy in recent memory. So when it returned with episode 14 (or OVA 1 or the DVD special, whatever you want to call it), I was eager to dole out the Kannagi love. So it’s rather disappointing to report that my memories of the show are better than the actual episode, which was pretty boring except for a couple parts towards the end.

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Takako and Shino find 10,000 yen lying in the street and decide to use the money to make a movie with the money. I swear this is how doujinshis start out. Things start to go down the X-rated route when Zange-chan pulls off one of her mysterious appearances and flashes some skin to get Takako to give her the lead role with Jin. Takako, slave to the flesh, of course acquiesces to Tsugumi’s dismay. The group then tries to figure out what kind of movie they’d like to film. Takako ultimately gives Akiba the responsibility of meshing the multiple different genres that everyone wants to do, and writing a cohesive script. Akiba, apparently writes a brilliant script that gets the group zipping through a variety of emotions. However, we’ll see that he decided to disregard everyone else’s suggestion and write his own “billion-yen” science fiction masterpiece.

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Akiba, the director, shows an flair for interesting camera angles, as they start filming his strange mix of mahou shoujo and alien sci-fi flick. The Tsugumi Mikuru Beam was brilliant. Otherwise, it didn’t make any sense, and wasn’t that entertaining to watch. I don’t think lack of budget was Akiba’s problem. I think Akiba was Akiba’s problem. While lo-budget fare, it lacked the natural quirkiness and the smarmy narrator that made The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina so much more amusing.

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Rain spoils the party to create a different party of sorts, as Takako forces everyone to switch from their rain-soaked school uniforms into suzumikus. Again, this felt like a lost opportunity, as there weren’t any laugh out loud scenes, but I always get a kick out of the Tsugumi-Zange scenes. And well… this was really nothing but an opportunity to stick in some DVD-friendly fanservice.

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The final third, in which Daitetsu, Akiba, Jin and Nagi return a DVD in torrential downfall, was the most amusing part of the show – relatively speaking. I admit, the flash flood out of nowhere cracked me up, but again the whole scenario was underwhelming. And I feel like the characters were flat and not very engaging. I mean, that’s the best part about the show, the way the characters engage and create hilarity. If this were Hollywood, this would’ve been Ocean’s 13. You know, the movie where everyone’s mailing it in and just going through the motions and the director has to cut in and say “once more. This time with feeling.”

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My displeasure with this episode notwithstanding, I still want to see Takako take that stack of money and use it to create a second season of Kannagi. This OVA didn’t reflect the best of Kannagi, but I think there’s still plenty more storyline to explore, and hijinks to be had. Plus moar Tsumugi is always a good thing.

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