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The Fable – 05

I’m at the decision point with The Fable, given that we’re almost halfway through the season. It was on the Patron Pick ballot and while it did pick up votes, it didn’t win (more on that later). So if I cover it, it’s going to be strictly of my own volition. Sunday (my time) is a challenge – I’ve got four shows on that day if I pick up this one and Tonari no Youkai-san. Doing a digest of those two is theoretically an option (thematically strange bedfellows though they are), as is delaying coverage of one or both for a day or two. Is it worth doing that? I guess I’ll see how I feel about next week’s episodes before I make a final decision.

I do find this show interesting, I won’t deny that. Hearing all these Kansai seiyuu have fun with these roles is very entertaining. And while the humor is somewhat hit and miss, there’s a generally absurdist tone to the material which I quite like. Like Fable sleeping naked in the tub and filling it when he wakes up, and walking around all day with a parrot on his head. And Youko naming her hamster “Ooi!” because she couldn’t think of an actual name. It’s not that these people are dumb (well, most of them) or buffoons – they’re just really odd and socially misfit. And I wonder if there isn’t a grain of truth in depicting Yakuza that way.

I think Boss being annoyed with Ebihara makes perfect sense. I won’t claim to know how discipline within these groups works, but I mean, captain or no Ebihara directly defied him so he got off easy. And while I don’t think he ever planned on shooting Fable it would certainly have been a debacle if he had. The notion that there are lots of Fables in that organization is interesting, though I would doubt any of them are as good at their job as this one. Ebihara gets a very clear message to back off, but in a sense the damage is done. Takahashi (one of the exceptions to the paragraph above) is entangled with scary Youko, and Kuroshiro (who knows who he really is) has developed a man-crush on Fable.

Kuroshiro jumping off that overpass indicated that he too might be one of those exceptions. His infatuation with the idea of being a hitman suggests he’s headed for a world of trouble. Meanwhile Fable starts looking for a job, which Youko mischievously “helps” him with. After a series of disastrous interviews with managers who find that Satou Akira’s birthday is April 1st and his hobby is Jackal Tomioka hilarious, he runs into Misaki-san, who’s convinced he’s a pathetic loser who wept and begged for his life on the street. She gets him a job at “Octopus“, the design “company” she works for. It pays an illegally-low ¥800 an hour but Fable doesn’t care – he just wants to taste mundane daily life.

Octopus has potential. The manager is a total lowlife, his designer is in love with Misaki, and it’s an altogether ramshackle organization. As for the family, we have Kuroshiro (sporting a broken leg) and Takahashi working on their COD scam (sending porn DVDs is a pretty clever trick). Ebihara’s brother is out of prison, and he’s played by Tsuda Kenjirou so you know that’s going to be a major thread going forward. The Fable is more potential than actuality at this point, but I’m not ready to stop the clock on it just yet.

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