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Ordinary People #01 — Let’s All Be Boring


Fitting way to end the day.


By about minute two of this show, I was certain that unless somebody got run over or stabbed out of nowhere, I would be very, very bored. No, I still haven’t forgotten the ending to the first episode of Shigofumi, but that was a lot more poignant to start, even before the stabbing. There are so many things that this kind of anime does so wrong when you’ve got a billion British dramas, all named stuff like Longchester, Vicar Pastor Thames, or Upton Snodsbury that they could be cribbing from. Normal/Regular life is not the same as detatched world-weary existential philosophizing. In teenagers. Teenagers in a platonic aromantic relationship, because they are super committed to being as existentially mundane as possible. Now that’s character chemistry. Of the kind you get by dropping two slabs of concrete next to each other.

I think most galling is the dialogue. People don’t actually converse in these shows. They say things, and then wait an equal amount of time and dead space for the weight of their words to sink in, which makes it stilted, padded, and laborious, especially when 2-3 seconds of silence is followed by “huh,” then another few seconds of empty space until “yeah.” It clearly considers itself deep and meaningful for having a character stand in the wind and say “we are the normalest, que sera sera,” while their expression and the setting flips rapidly. It’s not actually meaningful, but boy, does it want to pretend that it is. And then there’s the mystery of the week too. Someone swiped a purse. This was discovered 8 minutes into the episode. Two minutes later, the mystery had been solved, but we still needed to spend the next six goddamned minutes explaining the who, how, and why. That’s right, the whole mystery and ‘investigation’ portion took less time than it would to microwave popcorn, while the explanation of it lasted a third of the episode, which just contributes more to how actually superficial all of its overtures towards thought and insight truly are. It is not the destination, it is the journey. And whinging on for half an episode about the former does not mean that any development, things of interest, or story, actually happened.


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