We all have our down days when we just wanna lock ourselves up in our rooms, but some people have super down days when they lock themselves in their rooms because they’ve been possessed by a haunt. It’s the job of Yugen Tojinbo to exorcise these malevolent spirits, and he comes to the Falbion Private Academy for Girls to investigate the case of one girl who inexplicably started skipping a month ago.
He’s not very likable. In fact, everything wrong with this one-shot is because of him. His life’s mission is to find his soulmate, which there’s nothing wrong with, but he’s a horndog about it. If you surgically insert a vagina onto a telephone pole, he’ll hit on it. He’s also rude, at one point calling the lead heroine ugly. Generally, it’s a good idea to give a character faults, but if those faults make someone a douchebag, I’m not as inclined to root for them when they go up against trouble.
The Inner Beauty:
There’s a catch to Yugen’s playboyness, and that’s that his willingness to hit on a middle-aged custodian is because he can see the inner beauty of an individual thanks to his medium powers and that outward appearances don’t matter to him whatsoever. This is a fine and dandy lesson, but it’s used as a poor excuse to redeem Yugen. “Here’s this guy who’s kinda a jerk,” the one-shot says, “but he’s not all bad, ’cause he only cares about what’s on the inside.” Yes, that’s wonderful. But just because a man helps an old lady cross the street means he redeems himself for murdering the local jogger.
The Food Wars! Callback:
This isn’t a point of praise or criticism, but something neat in this one-shot is its homage to Food Wars! A great trait of Food Wars! is the wacky, frequently sexy, reactions judges and cooks have when tasting a delicious dish, and this one-shot slips one in. It’s tame in comparison, but you see it and think, “Ah, yes, this makes me erotically nostalgic.”
Since I read and wrote about Food Wars!, I thought it would be neat to go over that series’s creators’ latest work and offer my two pennies. The artwork is crisp, the storyboarding is on point, and it has some interesting concepts which can be expanded upon in a plethora of deliciously dramatic ways, but I have one reservation about a full series serialization, and that’s Yugen himself. He’s the embodiment of a Hollywood hero who’s a pretty terrible person but whom we’re supposed to cheer for for one or two contrived reasons, and unless a full series reels him back or just replaces him with Soma 2.0, I’m not looking forward to a full series.