First Reactions: Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 6

Kyoukai no Kanata’s 6th episode was very heavily reliant one particular scene, repeated, many, many times. And, fortunately, to great effect.

Kyoukai-6-1

I’m 100% behind an episode where the cast manages to fail in increasingly hilarious ways. In comedy, there’s a big gulf between the skill at which people can tell the same joke over and over again. This style of joking can go South real fast; when a writer is bad at repeating his or herself, you get a formulaic example of characters running through the motions, something that ultimately comes across as an episode that could as well be cut from the series. It’s the prototypical filler episode, and nobody likes it. But that’s not what we saw here; I had a lot of fun with the group’s attempt to take down the pus-spewing roof vegetable with eyecandy and sneak attacks that proved futile for a cornucopia of reasons..

When a good writer is repeating a joke, you get a rhythmic barrage of combinations, which might end the same way but feature a number of variances within, and above all get a little funnier each time. The final product is more the prototypical OVA episode that everyone likes. Whether that’s because of escalation or because of more subtle mechanics of a joke isn’t important. What’s important, if you’re going to tell the joke a lot, is to make sure you’ve mastered its nuances. At least this week, Hanada Jukki’s copy showed a firm grip on those nuances.

That, and it’s worth noting some particulars that dance scene at the end. Primarily because it did a great job of exaggerating the emotional investment of the main four while leaving the punchline (that everyone was dancing, so no one could go in for the kill) in broad daylight. But also because it was a particularly noticeable scene that saved on budget without sacrificing entertainment value. Look, KnK is going to go down as one of the lower 50% of shows on the market this season. But it’s worth noting that this tweak was as dynamic an attempt to roll with that as I’ve seen in some time,* swapping out a high-flash dance scene for a picture montage without losing much in the way of the overdramatic-comedic effect the scene was going for. Props to Ishidate Daichi; a penny saved is a penny earned.

*I’m assuming that it was, based on what I know about the timescales for anime production finishing about 4 weeks before their airdate. I could be wrong, but it’s a spitball that fits what went on screen.

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