English Dub Review: AfterLost “Affection”

Time for yet another genre shift.

Overview:

This time it’s phantom thieves.

Our Take:

A lot happens this episode, and for some reason, we’re supposed to care about all of it.

There’s a lot of new information that is delivered to us, and it all sure comes out of nowhere. The main thing is that something called ‘Artifacts’ exist, and they are extremely important macguffins. Artifacts also house power the same was Tama-shi do, and in retaining the emotions built up in them by their previous owners, they have a power of their own. Sometimes they can even influence their current holder, which would explain why Yuki’s brother is acting so unlike himself. The particular Artifact in question is the Tsuki’s Tears, which also attracts the attention of a group of thieves that have tried to steal it before.

This show still has the same issue: for some reason, they’re delivering backstory of all these new characters, and yet they expect us to feel attached to them. Especially of note this episode are the phantom thieves and the evil secretary. It’s very telling that I can’t recall any of their individual names. The phantom thieves are connected to a new character that is introduced this episode, so there’s no real emotional stake. It’s not like Geek and his idol girls, since we at least know Geek since the first episode. But we don’t know this magician and we don’t know anything about him, so why should we care whether he’s sad or not?

Then there’s the group of phantom thieves themselves, who must be hilariously bad at their jobs. The gothic lolita girl pulls out a chainsaw in a place where they’re supposed to be discreet– really, how come nobody has caught any of these kids yet? Yet when Yuki’s brother attacks the girl in the group- and not the magician’s brother, who we at least have some vague connection to, but the girl- we’re supposed to feel fearful that she might die. We might want the protagonists to save her, except no, attachment doesn’t work that way. It’s always easy to throw in stereotypical tropes like flashbacks, orphans, sad melodramatic music- easy hooks to get the audience to sympathize, but that’s all on a surface level. If you want your audience to care about the characters, you have to give them a reason to care- and that takes time and nuance that can’t be delivered in a single episode.

This show just keeps being something, huh.

Noelle Ogawa

A writer, editor, and 4th generation New Yorker. An avid fan of comics and manga, particularly psychological thrillers, or featuring sports. Can't stay away from the horror genre. Long-time kaiju enthusiast.

Noelle Ogawa has 460 posts and counting. See all posts by Noelle Ogawa