To drop, or not to drop? To be honest I pretty much knew that decision would be upon me sooner or later when I saw just what a crime scene Hoshi no Samidare’s adaptation was going to be. It’s not an easy one, given the importance this series has in my anime psyche. This is more than a series, it represents a watershed moment for me as a fan. And that makes the decision all the more difficult.
That makes the conundrum worse, no question. I could take the approach of asking whether it’s something I’d be covering if it were an original series, but of course I can’t possibly know how I’d feel about it when I have so much personally invested – my imagination isn’t that good. I suspect I’d think there was the germ of something really interesting here, but that it was buried underneath one of the most uninspired productions I’ve seen in years. Would I blog it? Almost certainly not. Would I watch it? Maybe. Maybe that interesting undercurrent in the writing would be enough to keep me curious enough to stick around.
In a vacuum, the last couple of episodes have been better than the first two. Hangetsu is a good character, though the depth of him doesn’t really come across here. Nor does Yuuhi’s anti-hero nature, I suspect, though I know him well enough to see it anyway. That’s the essence of Biscuit Hammer, really – Mizukami presents a series of genre tropes, then proceeds to subvert all of them in subtle and devious ways. And that’s the problem with a tone-deaf, prosaic adaptation like this – all the subtlety is lost in transition. And without the subtlety, what’s left over appears to be the tropes themselves without the subversion.
My advice to anyone else would be, ditch it and read the manga (and make sure you read Spirit Circle afterwards). But how to advise myself, that’s not so easy. I don’t want this to be a series of premature post-mortems, detailing the cause of death for each subpar episode that fails to capture the life of the manga. But I’m not sure what they should be instead, if I keep writing about it. I was prepared to drop the series after this episode, but in the moment that’s so deflating that it’s harder than you’d think to actually do. I’ll see how I feel next Saturday, I suppose, though it’s hard to imagine a whole lot is going to change.