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Migi to Dari – 11

However unhinged I thought Migi to Dari was, it wasn’t enough.  I’m hard-pressed to remember another series that embraced the bizarre in real-life with such complete abandon.  It really is glorious to watch, especially given how miraculously the ship holds together through the crashing waves of insanity.  And, it must be said, Paku Romi (really one of anime’s great actors) is delivering a boffo performance here.  She’s a big part of why Reiko comes off as simultaneously horrifying and hilarious as she does.

I really should stop trying to categorize a series that defies categorization, but I can’t help myself.  There’s surrealism her to be sure, some absurdism, obviously black comedy.  Maybe satire as much as anything.  Maybe it’s its own genre, though I can’t imagine too many writers trying to follows in its footsteps, and sadly we won’t be seeing any more works from the author.  I do know that if Sano Nami didn’t completely buy in to the madness, and director Mankyuu didn’t double down on it, this wouldn’t work.  It’s an all or nothing sort of show, and it would never have worked if it had aimed for half-measures.

Take the introduction of Metry, for example.  Did that vacuum bit have to be played as grotesquely as it was?  Of course not – but it communicated so much, and established so much uneasiness in the mood.  However weird (this is a theme) I guess Metry’s actual story was, the reality topped it.  Okay, you figured she was the Ichijou’s maid, and she had the twins with Akira.  She even developed a seemingly strong relationship with Reiko.  But then – forced surrogacy by “fooling” her husband?  Reiko’s phone was clearly off the hook all along, and she was just waiting for the trigger to really go over the edge.  And boy, did she ever.

I guess Migi and Dari must have inherited their brains from their father (who don’t me wrong, is utterly clueless), because Metry doesn’t seem to have been the sharpest pin in the cushion.  I’ll say this much – it’s totally understandable that they grew up to be as strange as they are, given their circumstances.  And just as much that Eiji grew up to be the twisted soul he is, because he – unlike them – had to actually share his life with Reiko every day.  As for Karen (who’s faking every symptom in the book to keep Akira occupied) I still don’t quite get who her parents are.  Obviously Reiko is no one’s mother, but she implies that Akira isn’t her father either.  Did Reiko force another maid to surrogacy, or steal Karen from someone based on the idea that as a baby, she looked like their child?

The three boys being triplets was definitely a twist I didn’t see coming.  That casts a spotlight on the already widening chasm between Migi and Dari, who react to this along the lines you’d expect based on their development.  Eiji – who might just have been faking his infantilism all along – winds up pushing Reiko just as he did Metry, just not far enough of a drop this time.  Eiji in his diaper speechifying as his batshit mother climbs the walls is truly one of the most delightfully bizarre spectacles I’ve seen in anime for a long time.  And Maruta’s “official boyfriend” English line delivery absolutely had me on the floor.

Eiji’s descent into darkness (beautifully depicted symbolically) is pretty much complete when Migi and Dari tell him their mother is dead.  I think he determined to kill Reiko and then himself right then and there, but the one thing I don’t get is her appearance when the others found her in the “re-education” room.  Did she just spread the blood from her head wound around and fake it, or had Eiji already stabbed her?  Or did she give herself a gut wound to make it seem more realistic?

Where does this all end?  Well, we have two eps left, and by God it’s pretty clear Migi to Dari can fit a tremendous amount of whack into two episodes.  The outro of Eiji burning down the house by burning down the house, to the strains of “Clair de Lune”, was a set piece of true genius – the cherry on top of an episode that would have been a delicious sundae of madness even without it.  I’ve given up trying to outthink this series at this point, and I’m just going to enjoy the ride.

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