Welcome all, to week 3 of Migi & Dali! This week our lovable twins go outside, make some friends, case some houses and beat a child senseless. Did that sound like it escalated? Good, because that’s what the episode did. Without further ado, lets dive in!
Overall I thought this was a good episode, I’m continuing to enjoy Migi & Dali quite a bit. Something about its odd balance of comedy and unnerving horror, how it infuses every scene with this sense that something is wrong, just does it for me. Take this episode for instance. Ostensibly it’s about the twins trying, failing and then lucking into, making some friends. There’s some classic anime bullying, it’s par for the course. But when looked at through the larger lens of the series, something you’re forced to do as every episode starts and ends talking about the murder of their mother, it becomes much more… eerie. These kids don’t actually want friends, they want to sneak into houses to see if any match their memories. They aren’t naïve, they know about the bullying, they just don’t care because it’s a means to an end. It’s… creepy. I love it!
As an example of what I’m talking about, lets dive into the first half of the episode: Boy scouts. As I said above, this is supposed to be about the twins making friends. On the surface they are so desperate to do so, supposedly because of their loneliness and orphan upbringing, that the other kids notice and begin to mock and deride them for it. Bullying them, giving them impossible tasks with their friendship on the line, never once planning on giving it. On the surface, this is rather sad and tragic. Yet we the audience know this isn’t the case. Yes, they are desperate to make friends, and yes, they are being bullied. But not because they are lonely, not because they want companionship. Rather they want into their homes, like invaders, to sniff out clues. They are danger that any intelligent person wouldn’t want in their home, and these bullies are avoiding it for all the wrong reasons. It makes it… eerie to me. Just how close to danger these kids are coming.
Yet despite all of this, despite their desperation, they manage to make a genuine connection with someone, with Akiyama Shuunpei. He see’s their desperation, their determination to achieve their goals, their loneliness self imposed or not, and connects with it. It’s a misunderstanding, yes. But on his part it’s completely and utterly genuine. And as their time together goes on, as Dali continues to listen to him, to buy Migi time to snoop around his house, that connection only grows. It’s a fake relationship, one Dali doesn’t care for at all, but which seems to mean so much to Akiyama. And when he inevitably discovers the truth, figures out they are two rather than one, that this connection is fake? It can only end in tragedy. But neither of them, not Migi/Dali or Akiyama know that. Only we, the audience do. It’s like watching the beginning of a train crash, one we know is coming but won’t see for many episodes down the line. Again, it’s great.
Moving in to the second half of the episode, here we sort of get the inverse. Maruta isn’t a genuine soul getting caught up in their deception’s. He’s just an asshole looking for an easy target to pick on. And because of their desire not to stand out, to not rock the boat, they can’t really push back at all. Of course they don’t take this lying down, as much as they want to keep quiet the brothers still care for and defend each other. And that was really cool! I loved seeing how upset Dali got at Migi being mistreated, how far he was willing to go to protect him. But this also showed us just how different these twins are, where they start to diverge. Dali is the much more violent and aggressive one while Migi simply… Isn’t.
This is cool for a lot of reasons. Remember last week when I talked about cracks forming in their unity? How the one was becoming two again? Well what we got with Maruta, and throughout the entire episode really, was another step of that. We get to see their independent thoughts, how Migi resents Dali a bit for always giving him the “bumpy road”, how he doesn’t take the same joy in putting Maruta in his place, how he enjoys the food and the family and the friends. Of the two, Migi seems much less invested in finding the killer, more interested in putting it behind him and living a normal life. Like I said last week, this is really cool! I really want Migi & Dali to push this, to commit to it. Because while the murder is interesting, this is engaging.
Why is it so engaging? Simply because of the amount of things Migi & Dali could do with it. What if they start to split and Migi doesn’t let Dali be the public face as much, pushing him into the shadows or cutting him off entirely? What if Dali starts to push Migi into doing things he’s uncomfortable with and they end up in this sort of cold war, neither able to reveal the other but still competing. They could even end up leading two separate lives as the same character “Hitori”, with separate friends groups and such. There are just so many options available to Migi & Dali, any and all of them could be great. Plus we’re only 3 episodes in! And you know the best part? This is a completed series. We might actually get a full adaptation. How amazing is that?!
So yeah, all in all I quite enjoyed this episode of Migi to Dali. It’s like nothing else I’m watching this season. From the weird humor with a backdrop of tragedy and horror, I find everything about it enthralling. Sure, the production isn’t incredible. This isn’t the best looking thing this season. But it doesn’t look bad. And the way it’s shot and boarded does a lot to emphasize the unsettling nature of the show. The fact that it’s complete as well, meaning there’s a good chance we get a complete story here, makes me even more excited. Without question, Migi to Dali is my dark horse of the season.