December 17, 2010

The World God Only Knows Flag 11: Let It All Out

Posted in The World God Only Knows tagged , , , , , at 12:06 am by meotwister5

If you never speak your mind, then how are you supposed to try and make people understand?  Being all quiet and shy about things clearly doesn’t help, and when you have something you really think is worth fighting for, then you really need to let the world know just what it is you want to say.

Standing in the library, Shiori’s inability to speak has led her to do all sorts of crazy things.  If only she had the courage to try and speak, then people would have understood.

This is her domain.

Driven to desperation due to her inability to speak up for herself, Shiori goes beyond all usual reason and barricades the library with her demand that the books not be thrown out like yesterday’s garbage.  She is both sure of her convictions but unsure of methods, but believes that this may be her only way to save the world of books that she loves.  As she digs in for the inevitable assault, Keima also makes his moves to “support” her in his attempt to free the spirit inside as Shiori’s mental state slowly spirals into despair.

She was quiet even as a kid.

One of the things that has truly stood out in this series, and especially in Shiori’s arc, is the liberal use of anime-original content that really manages to further flesh out the backgrounds of the characters Keima is helping.  We now get to see just how Shiori’s love for books began and the library’s solitude beckoned to her.  There are times where I still get the feeling that this is intentional on the part of Wakaki as part of foreshadowing of some sort but I’ll stay away from spoilers.  Suffice to say that the anime manages to really bring out the character of Shiori into full understanding for both viewer and manga reader.  She isn’t just some introverted shut-in who’s afraid of people but someone who really just wants to make herself heard, but is always afraid of what people think of her, so she thinks that people won;t bother to listen.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Oh yes oh yes!

The standout performances in this series has really been both Shimono and Hanazawa.  Shimono may not have had the grandiose megalomanic voice that other VA’s could have brought to the character, but he also brings in a more regular and everyday humanity to Keima’s character that more high profile VAs probably couldn’t.  Likewise, while Hanazawa might be rather typecasted to soft-spoken characters, there’s no doubt that she voices such characters fantastically, and the way she brings out Shiori’s inner monologues to give credence to the inner strength she possesses to fight for her beliefs is truly convincing.  She’s becoming one of my favorite VAs to date.

It's only hard because you think it is.

Manglobe has used a lot of freedom in presenting the concluding events in Kanon and Shiori’s arcs with creativity and originality that has really surprised me.  In the spiraling despair of Shiori, the library spins out of control as she finds herself literally buried under the pile of books as she struggles to find her way out, to find a way to connect to people.  She has found this ability inside both herself and in Keima, and Keima gives her the final push (or pull) to bring her out of her shell.  The collapsing library was a fantastic choice presentation to show Shiori’s inner struggle in the library within herself, culminating in the final kiss that awakens the young librarian from her despair.

A kiss while it's raining books is strangely romantic.

With the end of the Shiori arc it seems that we’ve come to the end of the spirit capturing for this season.  The final episode for this season apparently will give us none other than Yokkyun.  A strangely appropriate ending for a really good season that feels like the introduction to the much larger story yet to unfold.  Tune in to next week and next season to find out!

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