“Vanakyurā Modanizumu” (ヴァナキュラー・モダニズム)
I must admit for all the faults the anime really has grown on me. Even Haruta is only slightly annoying now. From the preview it looks like we might get to meet his family that he’s so horrified by.
If it wasn’t for the fact that Haruta is a complete snob and so annoying it hurts I’d feel a little sorry for him. He wants to live away from home because his sisters practise their professions on him. I can understand that. His eldest sister is a architect and comes to find him on Christmas Eve because she knows he’s been made homeless so its time to find him a new home.
With the joke that he could always go and stay with Kusakabe if he needs to playing in the air Chika drags Miyoko with her and Haruta to find an apartment and they find a perfect one. Too bad its being sold.
Or is it?
I liked this episode so much more then the others because the mystery was away from the group. The mystery was the house. In the other episodes it felt much more like Haruta didn’t care that people were hurting emotionally and bulldozed through their personal life with no care in the world other then his final plan. He never truly acted like he cared how hurt Miyoko was that her whole family had been with her at a recital when her younger brother died, or that she felt guilty for spending more time practising then with him. He didn’t really seem to care that Maren was upset at his adoption and knowing he had a younger brother. It never mattered and I felt the stories were heavy handed in forcing characters to join the brass club.
It still irks me a little that the characters have just taken to a cold hearted ass hole like Haruta but they have, Maren even offers to let him stay with him whilst he sorts out the apartment.
So the mystery.
People think that a priest died there and when you sleep at night you can hear the bells of his staff ringing in the rooms. The house was meant to have 6 apartments but only has 5. We find out the man who lived there, the uncle of the man who currently owns it, was a bit of a trickster and created elaborate pranks to play on people.
About half way through I kind of guessed that it was going to be a trick. Not only that after hearing the sad story of how the gentleman became estranged from his uncle after failing in business and getting stressed out I was pretty sure his uncle hadn’t just left him a waste of time.
It was nice to see that everyone kind of helped out figure the problem. It wasn’t just Haruta being cleverer then everyone though he was the force of figuring it out. Everyone chipped in a little bit so that he could make his theory in the first place. The whole idea that if people were told that it was the bells of the priests staff if they heard a sound that would be what it is though the sound could just be about anything. The small little hints in conversation towards what kind of person the gentleman who had created the place was like. It all came together for a happy ending.
Of course it was also a beautiful ending as they find the keyhole to open up a secret door and find out that the uncle had been hoarding money inside the walls so that when his nephew took it over he’d have enough money to pay the inheritance tax and everything else.
The image of Haruta, Chika and Kusakabe lying on the money was a strange one I must admit. I’m still not 100% sure with those two what they truly want but its a bit creepy on Haruta’s side.
Plus he might want to learn that his sisters aren’t all bad. Not only did his eldest one help him but she then helped them even more by tracking down a video of Kusakabe at a concert which interests the whole group. Kind of reminding us that there apparently is a mystery surrounding him and the point of emotionally attacking new members is so that they can enter a tournament for his sake.
I still don’t like Haruta much but he isn’t so bad when his attentions are focused elsewhere. I hate when he does pick on Chika, I don’t like his attitude towards his fellow students and really want a huge dose of humility dumped on him but it isn’t all bad I guess.
It just took four episodes to truly make me love the series.