Tuesday, July 15, 2014

MekakuCity Actors

I recently finished watching MekakuCity Actors.  I have to say, I liked this series, probably because I spent most of it wondering what was going on.  I’m fond of unique plot lines that have me guessing, and this one had that in spades.  Also, it’s just really bright, colorful and pretty much quirky all the way through.  So I liked it. 

The series starts out with two episodes that seem unrelated, and both of which leave you wondering what the hell is going on – and what is this series about?!  The third episode ties the first two together seamlessly and begins laying out the main characters and the plot line.  The main characters in this series are a group of seemingly unrelated kids who each have a special power related to their eyes.   They stick together in a group they call Mekakushi-dan, and watch out for each other.  When they find another kid with a power, they include him/her in their group. 

The members of Mekakushi-dan at the series start are: Kido, who is considered the commander and whose power is Concealing Eyes – the ability to hide herself and other people and things from view; Kano, whose power is Deceiving Eyes – the ability to cause people to see him and anything in contact with him as what he wishes them to see;  Seto, whose power is Stealing Eyes – the ability to read other people’s thoughts; and Marry, whose ability is Eye Contact – the ability to paralyze people when she makes eye contact.  Marry also has Combining Eyes – the ability to merge all the other abilities.  These initial Mekakushi-dan members are missing their original leader who died, Ayano.  Ayano’s ability is Favouring Eyes – which allows her to project the feelings of other and onto others.

 Other kids with powers who join Mekaushi-dan along the way include Momo, whose ability is Drawing Eyes – the ability to focus everyone’s attention on herself; Hibiya, whose ability is Eye Focusing – allowing him to see distant objects from an aerial view;  Shintaro, whose power is Retaining Eyes, allowing him to remember all the pasts, Honoha, whose power is Awakening Eyes – the ability to live in an ideal body instead of his frail one, but without his memory, and Takane whose power is  Opening Eyes – the power of immortality – and she spends the first half of the series as a computer program called Ene. 

Although the kids of Mekakushi-dan seem unrelated which each appearing to have a story, they’re actually all connected.   At the end of each episode, after the ED theme song, is a short vignette about a little monster who roams the earth searching for a place to live and for love and a family.  For most of the series these ending short stories seem totally unrelated to the story plot line, but in fact they are an integral part of the plot.  

The bottom-line plot of this series is actually pretty complex.  It goes like this:

The little monster turns out to be the heart of the plot.   She finds a man in her travels who accepts and loves her and they have a daughter named Shion together.   The nearby villagers don’t accept her and they capture and torture the man to find out where she is so they can kill her.  The little monster feels like the man and their daughter can never be happy while she exists, so she transports herself to a universe of unending torture so they can be free.  Over time Shion has a daughter of her own, named Marry.  Villagers still torment them both, and when Marry and Shion are killed and join the original little monster in her hell, the original little monster gives Marry her power, the power of combining all the powers, and Marry is released back into the everyday world.  She meets a boy who introduces her to the outside world and Marry begins to make friends. 

This Marry is the little girl Marry who is a members of Mekakushi-dan.  The powers that each member has are actually pieces of Marry’s power.  If a child dies on a certain date, they are transported to the other universe and return with a power which is a piece of Marry’s power.   Each of the members of Mekakushi-dan, with a piece of the total power, becomes a friend of Marry’s. 

Also involved with this group is Ayano’s father, who is a teacher.  He is killed with his wife in a landslide, but comes back with a piece of the power.  He is possessed by an evil being from the other universe, who is trying to collect all the various pieces of Marry’s power together (thus the various kids), in order to sacrifice them to grant Ayano’s father’s wish to bring his wife back to life.  If all the pieces of Marry’s power are together, that wish can be granted, but at the cost of the members lives.

Ayano figures this out and commits suicide, being transported to the other universe in order to prevent all the pieces of Marry from being collected.  The teacher/evil being then changes his plans and instead of granting Ayano’s father’s wish, he maneuvers Marry into a wish, that she can stay with her friends forever.   Each time Marry is threatened with losing her friends, she absorbs/combines their powers and resets the world again, allowing the evil being to keep living forever and keep collecting the kids with Marry’s powers.  Ayano, Shintaro and Honoha figure out these plans and thwart them.  In the end, Marry gets to stay with her friends and everyone survives except the evil being.

See?  Complex plot line.  It’s more than a little amazing that they get it all in in 12 episodes.  I suspect I’ll need to go watch the whole thing again to pick up all the nuances I missed the first time through.  It’s easier to pick up on things once you know basically what’s going on, but I do like a plot that keeps me guessing.    And the series is entertaining enough to be worth watching again.  

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