Monday, March 17, 2008

The Skull Man, episode 2

Set in an alternate history Japan that doesn't seem to be too divergent yet, The Skull Man comes across as Batman from the other side: a reporter returns to his home town on the trail of rumors about a "Skull Man" who attacks people in the night, leaving a trail of bodies behind him. Aside from a brush with the mysterious figure during a brief fight, it has yet to get very supernatural or even feature much of the titular character. Instead we follow the reporter as he tries to track down leads on the vigilante and runs across a variety of people with their own agendas and interest in whatever is going on in the town.

Being a BONES show, it is of course wonderfully animated. The designs feel a bit retro, but work well enough and are really the only thing that really the only thing that seems vaguely "alternate history" so far, inconsequential backstory notwithstanding. So far its been content to build rather slowly, however, and hasn't been particularly flashy.

That relatively reserved pace means that there is little to gauge the show on so far, but it's been pretty solid, again, like most BONES shows. It remains to be seen whether it will ultimately come together better than many of their past works or if it will end up feeling like a bit less than the sum of its parts, full of great characters (often with the supporting cast being far more interesting than the main characters) and bad-ass fight scenes but never really quite gelling for some reason.

For now there is some novelty to be had in having no information about the vigilante and his quest for vengeance, learning everything along with the reporter. The characters have shown glimmers of depth beyond their archetypes as well, and BONES is always good for a ride at least, so I'll give this some time to play out.
based on 2 episodes : ANN : Wikipedia : YouTube

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