Anime Best in Show

Review: In/Spectre Episode 1 Best in Show

Quick Summary

In In/Spectre episode 1, “One Eye, One Leg,” Kotoko Iwanaga took one look at Kurou Sakuragawa and fell in love. She even saved his life, which you’d think would give her an advantage on the battlefield of romance. Unfortunately, Kurou was already engaged to a woman older than Kotoko. So not only no advantage, but no dating, either. However, later something happened — and Kurou was available. What happened? How did it connect to Kotoko? Why does she walk with a cane? And just what does she have to do with the goddess of wisdom?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Best Moment in the Show

Kotoko seems to see right through subterfuge. I respect that in a character! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I think I’m going to like this show…

Kotoko had been pining for Kurou for about two years. Every time she came to the hospital for a checkup, the news was worse. First, he was serious about his girlfriend. Then they were engaged. Later, he had met her parents. Then all of a sudden, he had broken up with her. He was again single.

Now was Kotoko’s chance.

As my Best in Show moment, I almost chose how up-front and honest she was with him — especially about her feelings. She came right out and told him she’d been waiting for him and that she wanted to date him. She bluntly asked him (6:14), “Would you consider dating me with marriage in mind?”

I mean, how could I not choose that as my favorite moment?

The answer is that there was an even better moment — again, coming from Kotoko.

She had asked Kurou to tell her his break-up story. So he told of the time when he was taking a romantic walk with his girlfriend along the side of a river. Suddenly, a kappa stood up in the middle of the stream, a fish in its mouth. Kurou’s girlfriend was absolutely terrified. Shaking, she clung to Kurou.

Kurou told Kotoko that he wasn’t worthy to be her boyfriend. But his statement shared more than he’d intended. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

When Kotoko asked for more details, Kurou ruefully said that “the coward” (8:58) just ran off, and his girlfriend said she couldn’t abide someone who was like that. He said he wasn’t worthy to be Kotoko’s boyfriend and started to walk off.

This is where it gets seriously cool.

Showing the astute intellect I’m beginning to appreciate in her, she asked (9:46), “Please clarify the subject of your statement. Who, exactly, left Saki-san there and ran off?”

Just as the narrative intended, I thought that Kurou had panicked and had run from the kappa. But that’s not what happened at all. Yes, Saki-san had clung to Kurou in terror. But it wasn’t Kurou who had run in fear.

It was the kappa. The kappa ran in fear. From Kurou.

Isn’t that cool? It sets up the the also very cool ending.

I think I’m really going to like this show…

What did you think of the reveal at the end? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Review: In/Spectre Episode 1 Best in Show

  1. Actually, in your favourite moment, I did get that the show wanted me to believe Kurou ran off, but I was slightly disoriented. I didn’t guess that the Kappa ran off, but I thought I’d missed something, or wasn’t paying attention, or something about the translation was sub-optimal… So when the reveal came, I had to collect myself and rewind and re-watch. And only then did I realise that it was supposed to be a misdirection from the get go.

    This was probably the surprise of the season. The show had me when Kotoko compared Kurou to a goat. There’s a worldview in this unexpected comparison.

    1. I felt a bit disoriented, for the same reason. I knew I hadn’t drifted off, because I found the scene interesting. It was such an interesting sensation that it contributed to me choosing that moment.

      I’m still not sure about the goat comparison. After watching the show, I did a couple of Google searches and learned that some parts of Japan consider the male goat to be a sign of masculinity and vitality. I guess that makes sense in context! I really like it when a show uses cultural perspective, but sometimes I can only appreciate it after the fact.

  2. That’s was my favourite moment too. I loved a little bit later how she did something similar with her story. Either she was a goddess to the yokai or it was a coping mechanism for the horrific things that happened to her while she was missing, but which one? I think we know, but I liked the way she cast doubt on her own story.

    1. “or it was a coping mechanism for the horrific things that happened to her while she was missing, but which one?”

      That’s a good point!

      I like an intentionally unreliable narrator!

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