Sunday, January 31, 2016

10 Second Anime - Dimension W - Episode 4

Mabuchi and Mira's next Collector job leads them into a classic mystery tale at a secluded hotel with dark secrets.

File.04 - "The Mystery Hidden in Lake Yasogami"


I got the feeling the writers were showing off their skills. The pacing, the background characters and the setting felt just like an Agatha Christie short story. We didn't have Mabuchi talking about his little grey cells, but we did have Mira "filling in the blanks" of all the data she had collected.

The last featured character in the opening credits made her appearance. The little vampire goth loli was another Collector named Elizabeth Greenhough-Smith. Mabuchi's and Mira's first impressions were in synch: she's small!

There were many little scenes that emphasized that Mira is a normal girl who just happens to be an extraordinary robot. Freaking out from ghost stories, getting snuck upon and startled while reading a scary story, being told to "act like a robot." It was all good.

Albert confirmed that the receptionist robot at New Tesla we saw last week looked exactly like Mira. I wonder if that will become important later on.

Albert and Mabuchi make a great comic duo too. If this were another kind of story, I would have no problem watching those two as crime stopper partners. Of course, they have a long history together too.

We saw that Albert was tough when he survived Professor Yurizaki's black hole implosion in the first episode. Mabuchi kicking him out of a three story window was the best and funniest way to explain that they both used to be in Grendel!

Albert was the other "Beast of Grendel" that the COO Skyheart was talking about last episode. He wasn't there when Mabuchi's unit had that strange incident with a Numbers coil. I wonder who else wasn't there, because it seemed like that big guy in back was there in Mira's video file of when Mrs. Yurizaki was murdered.

Mabuchi likes doing detective work the old school way too. He told Mira not to just download the books from the internet, but to read the ones at the hotel because even just having them as a reference could be an important clue.

In a flashback, Mira's way of learning from Professor Yurizaki was much different than most instances of Artificial Intelligence I've seen. Part of what makes real intelligence is imagination, inference and induction. She was taught not to leave blank holes in her understanding of an image or concept, but to fill them out with what she had learned before. How very human!

Also very human, Mira does her best thinking in the shower.

A wrinkle to Mira being a robot powered by a coil was that she could be trapped in a dream-like world standing between the real world and Dimension W. It was confirmation to me that this story is going to treat W as an alternate dimension instead of an actual dimension orthogonal to the other three with some untapped 4th dimensional energy that is going to have terrible consequences in using it. Well, maybe it will be both. Certainly the "dimensional collapse" we've seen from illegal coils still points to the 4th dimension interpretation.

The ending was a great cliffhanger. We saw from multiple perspectives that the murdered author was the same person as one of the Dimension W "ghosts," but younger looking. Was there a fractured personality 10 years ago? How is his sister's dreams related other than inspirations for the author's horror books? Are we going to see more of goth-loli Elizabeth and her bats? Just great story telling here.


Since Mira likes cogitating in the bathroom, it was a good excuse for fanservice. However, I want to point out the meta way censorship was used to reinforce the idea that Mira is a real girl who had to pretend to be a robot. If she just had her robot doll body, there wouldn't be genital areas to worry about. But nooo! Real girls need to cover up in mainstream anime. This was just as effective as her internal dialog keeping her robot eyes on the surface and repeating, "Act normal. Act normal."

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