Since I haven’t had much (bordering on any) contact with the anime blogging world in the past 2-3 months, I have no idea which shows are “hot” and which are “not”. Therefore, I went ahead and decided on my own which shows to check out without the buffer of kneejerk criticism I normally get from Twitter reliable sources. It still seems like a season of slim pickings though; that is, until I found Trapeze, a show that seems to be on a permanent LSD trip.
From all the promos previews and, most noticeably, the art style, for me Trapeze has all the trappings of something Lain/Kaiba-esque. I was expecting the show to contain endless speculation on what it is to be human or dialogue and direction supremely hard to make sense of. For a while I was even looking for some sort of subtle hidden meaning behind recurring motifs in the show (i.e the calendar, the vitamin shots, thinking the three forms of Irabu represented the Id, Ego and Super-ego).
But, although I don’t claim to understand every choice made by the director, there’s nothing here that comes off as having hidden meaning. Strange as it may seem, things are almost always as they appear in Trapeze. A teenager is addicted to his phone because that’s just a phase he has to go through; a salaryman has destrucive urges because he’s been repressing his emotions. Irabu (eccentric as he is) helps his patients as best he can, and usually succeeds. It’s almost completely transparent, in the best way. I don’t mind complex shows, but every once in a while it’s great to watch something that isn’t too mentally challenging.
At the same time, while being easy to understand, it’s nowhere near being fluff. While looking at psychiatric disorders from a surreal and comedic perspective, Trapeze still knows how to give some depth to each episodic character. They’re all archetypes, people who we’ve known, hear about or perhaps even been able to relate to on a personal level. And, as with most cases, the more connected to a character you are, the more you’re able to enjoy the ups and downs they experience. The balance between comedy and empathy is handeled very well.
Trapeze is better than most other shows I’m watching at the moment because it’s the only one that has me completely engaged from the second it starts to the second it finishes. Partly due to the fact it has the best OP/ED this season as well.
One last thing…
That’s just a damn shame.