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While running away from some shady men trying to capture Nai, Gareki and Nai run into the Circus folk again, including Yogi and his army of mechanical sheep. For the sake of common interest, Hiroto convinces them to stick with the Circus, although Gareki does not seem as pleased with this arrangement as Nai.
I know that I was rather harsh on the first episode, but I feel that the second episode, while not without some flaws, was a definite improvement in terms of pacing. I did like that they did not completely forget about Mine, and it’s helped soften my incredulity regarding why Gareki was at Mine’s mansion of all possible places that he could rob. In general, I enjoyed this episode a lot more.
There were quite a few laughs to be had this time around. Mostly thanks to Yogi and his ridiculous cat suit, as well as the robotic sheep. Man, they’re cute. If marketing don’t bring out a plushie version, they’re missing out on a serious cash cow. I could watch an entire episode of Gareki getting pushed around by those things.
A sparkly, glitter-filled treat in the midst of the episode was a glimpse of Circus...at the circus. I do hope that we will have more circus scenes. Judging from how pretty those scenes were and what a colourful cast of characters we have, it would be interesting to see more of their acts. Talking about all things sparkly and glitter-filled, I know you’re circus folk but guys, that ship isn’t exactly...inconspicuous. Especially when you’re harbouring people you want to protect, it’s not a good idea if enemies can see your ship from a hundred miles away. Why not just have a huge neon sign saying ‘Attack here!’
Despite relatively enjoying this episode of Karneval, I have a few small gripes with this episode. Small being the operative word. One is how easily their enemies back down. I was never a fan of watching grunts run away because it always feels so cheesy. The first time it was sort of funny considering the situation...the second time I don’t think it would have hurt if they killed everyone. I mean, they had Gareki et all at their mercy. Yes, their target had disappeared but if they disposed of the others then and there it would be much easier to nab Nai the next time around. In short, I wasn’t buying their retreat.
Secondly, I’m afraid to say that I’m still not a big fan of Nai. I think this is purely a matter of taste as I am not a fan for his kind of character archetype. Naivety is one thing, but stupidity is another. Gareki says don’t go anywhere so what do you do? You wander off and get spotted by the enemy. Everyone tells you to run but you stay and make a pathetic attempt to throw a rock at the enemy. Come on, Nai!
It should come as no surprise to viewers that Karoku is questionably evil, or at least shown with imagery that denotes a questionably evil character (blood, creepy bright red roses). The show is definitely setting itself up for some Nai vs Kuroku tension once. It would be nice if it wasn’t something that has already been done so many times. Still, the devil is in the details, and I look forward to seeing how this Nai/Kuroku version works out.