It’s a bit of a risk, but I’ve decided upon Ookami Kakushi as the second show I plan to write about. Not because there was anything brilliant about the first couple episodes, but because I want to get in on the ground floor for when Ryukishi pulls the rug out from under everyone and turns it into something special.
The mysterious disappearance of
Ryoko Asakura Hiroshi’s former best bud doesn’t seem to have put a damper on his popularity. In fact, it’s just gotten one peon out of the way for the rest of the class to crowd to gather a little closer to him. To that end Nemuru still hasn’t warmed up to Hiroshi either, so it’s pretty much same old, same old as far as the classroom goes.
So I’m going to toss out some random speculation since this is a Ryukishi07 production, and that’s what I do. But the argument between Nemuru and Isuzu seemed less to do with Hiroshi, per se, and more to do with some hand of God that seems destined to punish Hiroshi. We know that Isuzu and her family came from the old village, I wonder if Nemuru has as well (in addition to the wolf-masked killers we saw in the last episode, and at the end of this episode). As a new import, I would guess that there is some punishment or rites of initiation that Hiroshi seems destined for, and Isuzu, already angry at the people of the old town, wants to protect Hiroshi, while Nemuru is trying to keep her from getting involved. It’s never that easy, right?
Kaname is also a newbie to the town. I don’t know if they mentioned this in the show, but I read it on MAL. Hopefully, you don’t consider that a spoiler, because I figured as much, especially after seeing that she’s the only one besides Hiroshi who seems perturbed by their missing classmate. She apparently also has a taste for the occult. Which I’m going to guess is not going to end well for her.
The second episode was as much about character introductions as the first episode. We get a little more background on Kaname, but we also meet Isuzu’s playboy of a brother, Issei. I can’t say that there wasn’t anything he did that felt overtly sexual – the drive, the multiple girls, complimenting Hiroshi’s sister about her beauty – but there was something a bit off about him. I wouldn’t trust him. And this is even before we see the very disturbing scenes for the next episode.
It’s all fun and games when the gang’s altogether. Issei instantly takes a liking to Hiroshi, whose appeal continually perplexes Kaname. But there’s something unique about Hiro that attracts the attention of everyone who’s seemingly born in that village. Perhaps new or old. Does it have anything to do with Isuzu’s touchy-feeliness, and Issei’s deviancy? Shinmaru has a good post that delves further into this thought. It’s perhaps too easy to pinpoint the two of them as villains in this, but there was something decidedly sinister about Issei’s comments to his sister, after meeting Hiro. Hiro is the perfect neighbor? Or the perfect victim? The perfect sacrifice? I couldn’t help but feel like Issei especially was talking about Hiro as if he were a dinner special to be served up.
On the other hand, I’m willing to give Isuzu the benefit of the doubt. I’m willing to think of her advances to Hiro as nothing more devious than young puppy love. Unlike Issei who’s clearly at an age where he understands exactly what he’s doing. I think Isuzu’s simply following her heart, and doesn’t understand that she’s being a little more forward than normal. But perhaps I’m blinded. And if I was in the game, I’d end up being killed by the villainess.
At the end of the episode we see the wolf army take another victim. This time a young woman who seems to have been recently engaged. I assume the guy they show is the guy who she was engaged to and found the body, but it was hard to tell with the lighting.
I’m not sure I understand why people are referring to Ryukishi07 as a one trick pony. For one, Umineko wasn’t very much like Higurashi, except for the time restarts. But even that was handled differently. Ookami Kakushi is two episodes in, and the only explicit Higurashi comparisons I see is that it takes place in 1983 and it occurs in a small town. Who knows, Ookami might turn out similar to Higurashi, but to compare it to Higurashi at this point, and to call Ryukishi a one trick pony because of that, just seems like people making lazy analogies.