Second Impressions – Yojouhan Time Machine Blues

This episode was only 15 minutes long, but for me it packed a lot more entertainment than the premiere (which was pretty good, mind) did.  This was a much livelier affair, as the plot started to take shape and Morimi Tomihiko’s cleverness really began to assert itself.  This is a fiendishly difficult show to blog – you just sort of roll with the waves of dialogue – but it’s only six episodes so I’ll muddle through.

The funky little boarding house time machine is obviously at the center of events, as Ozu returns and confirms that it did indeed work.  It’s not exactly a TARDIS – the most it can leap is 99 years and you can’t even choose the time of day – but it is, you know, a working time machine and all.  The goofs on the floor have an interesting little discourse about whether to go forwards and backwards, and some very obvious drawbacks are pointed out.  Eventually Watashi convinces them on a test drive to go back one day and rescue the aircon remote before it gets Coked to death, and three janken-chosen students (Ozu, Higuchi, and Hanuki) head back to do the deed.

Things get really lively when Tamaura-kun shows up again.  He’s played quite hilariously by Honda Chikara, who as far as I can tell only appears in Yuasa/Saru projects.  Tamura is a schlump of a kid who reveals that he’s actually from 25 years in the future, and zipped back in the time machine as a lab rat.  Apparently the apartment is still standing then, the time machine was built on a bet, and (naturally) Higuchi is still a student.  Tamura is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, and is blissfully oblivious to the possible consequences of his trip.  He does make the others realize, however, that by altering the timeline vis-a-vis the remote, they could erase themselves and destroy the universe.  Which would be bad.

The real kicker here is that Tamura’s parents are very likely two of the regulars in the Room 209 bull sessions (and there are two obvious candidates), so the cat could really be in with the pigeons there.  Basically this is Morimi having fun with the time paradox and Natsume having fun with Morimi’s words, and that can’t possibly be a bad thing.  These are two guys really out where the buses don’t run talent-wise, so anything they get up to is worth following – bring the two of them together and you really have potential for something good.