Kemonozume – 9 – Old habits die hard

Still on the run from the Kifuuken, we join the love birds Yuka and Toshihiko aimlessly wandering down vast and empty roads when they are offered a lift by an old married couple. Their journey (squeezed inside a white van) is a chance for them to reflect on their young relationship, inspired by the beautiful and reflective scenery, and of course they can’t help but stare at the old couple still head-over-heals in love with each other after decades of marriage.
Later that evening, Yuka and Toshihiko take a walk down by a rocky beach but return to find tragedy; the old couple, having taken some strange medicine, have transformed into grotesque monsters and are biting chunks out of each other. Toshihiko tries to stop them, but Yuka is attacked and this in turn triggers her own transformation. The old couple end up dead, the medicine sold to them by the Kifuuken. Utterly horrified at having feasted on the old lady, Yuka leaves Toshihiko and runs crying into a near-by forest. Here she bumps into the frog like old man from the Kifuuken. He has a sick, greedy look on his face; grinning widely as if to suggest he has finally found his prey.
There is a lot of talk here about love and what it means to love someone regardless of their physicality. Subverting and repressing your nature, attempting to become something you’re not, this inevitably leads to heart break. Yuka is a flesh eater and she must accept this fact if she is ever to become happy.
This was another fine episode – noted for a particularly symbolic and beautiful scene where the characters find themselves walking on blue sky and fluffy clouds; a completely flat, shallow river that reflects the sky above. The novelty of a 60+ year old woman dreamily discussing sex not withstanding.

2 replies on “Kemonozume – 9 – Old habits die hard”

Thanks for throwing this series up. I’ve been trying to find something worth watching this season (not interested in Death Note, having read the manga, and I really don’t like Pumpkin Scissors), and you’ve actually pointed me to the two shows that I am watching (Red Garden, and now this, Kemonozume). I just watched the first episode, and I’m enthralled – I can’t even believe that I just spent half an hour watching this show, the time flew by. The art style at once reminds me of the style used in that Animatrix short a while back, while the story is at once presented well enough to keep the viewer from being confused. Great pick, and I’m glad to have been able to find this series.

Cheers for the comments Michael, I’m glad you’re enjoying Kemonozume – it’s destined to be a cult show within anime fandom; the "ugly duckling", but it’s actually a very original and enthralling series that goes from weird to erotic to horror within a matter of minutes. I love the art style too – especially the contorted facial expression and the way the characters move.
As far as finding something to watch this season, there is a whole load of good but not great type of shows. I’m following well over 5 new series, but I got sick of blogging the popular anime like Black Lagoon and Death Note because each episode is already reviewed 20+ times elsewhere, it just seems like wasted effort when you think that virtually no-one is even looking at Kemonozume or even Red Garden. Basically it feels more rewarding reviewing something that’s under watched; I’m chuffed I’ve managed to convince you to give these two shows a look! 🙂

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