Shinigami no Ballad – episode 4

March 29, 2006 on 9:27 am | In Shinigami no Ballad | Comments Off on Shinigami no Ballad – episode 4

“Autumn Magic”

This time, Shinigami no Ballad offers the story of a dead mother. I much preferred this episode to the previous as it fired on several levels.

After Chiaki’s mother died, Chiaki decided to assume the role of mother for her little brother Fuyuki. Unfortunately, this sense of duty came at the expense of her own happiness. When Chiaki hears Fuyuki talking about seeing a shinigami and a shinigami cat, she begins to worry …

Chiaki was a headstrong heroine with ideas above her station, but these ideas served only to show that her heart was in the right place. While Momo and Daniel are instrumental to this episode, it is the “guest” characters that carry the story. Chiaki’s one woman show and fierce independence made for a story that seemed very centred; everything in her life but herself was periphery, even as she dedicated herself to the ideas of righteousness that she had formed in her mind.

The scenes of Daniel looking after Fuyuki were funny, and Momo showed exactly the right level of tenderness. I got the sense that Momo is somehow “gratified” by these experiences; I suppose that, as she can’t read minds, her reaction to the quite touching final revelations of Chiaki were natural.

“Autumn Magic” is a good examination of allowing oneself to become careworn through too much effort: an ironically natural tale of a girl who tries to go beyond the natural.

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