Cuticle Detective Inaba Episode 5 – The Hot Spring Truce
One fetish to rule them all.
Now that Hiroshi has found his brother, he more than keen to reconcile with him and bring him back. There is a new danger on the horizon, and her name is Noa, the alchemist/doctor genius that is keen on getting her hands on Hiroshi’s body. When the Cuticle Detective Agency goes to investigate an abandoned hospital, they encounter Don Valentino. After yet another unsuccessful capture of the goat, both NORA, Noa, Valentino, and the Cuticle Detectives decide to call a truce during a hot spring holiday.
For all the weird things that happen in this show, I’m actually minding the chibi faces a lot less as the show goes on. For a show that doesn’t take itself seriously, it’s not afraid of taking on the genres and implications that anime operates in. With all the guy-on-guy action that goes on between Ogino and Hiroshi, the anime creators are totally putting their bets on the character relationships (or lack of it). The leash on the neck for Hiroshi is not so bad, because it’s a running joke for the show, continuing from the cosplay jokes last time.
Did anyone say fetish? I feel that Noa is the embodiment of all the fandoms and fetishes that otaku can have, but instead of keeping them to herself, she lets it all out. From kidnapping Hiroshi with robots, ripping his clothes off – and that moment where Valentino bursts into the room while she’s “inspecting” him – you can see the general direction of the show. But even with the lightness of how everyone takes the situation, there are lot of questions about how gender is handled in anime. Hiroshi makes the statement that he “won’t be able to marry” after he’s been violated, which says a lot about how anime really likes to imply the “virginity” of its characters. With the AKB48 shaved incident this last week, people really have to ask these kinds of questions. The upside is that Cuticle Detective Inaba takes on both sides of it. Gabriella is the “bombshell” type, but she gets angry Glasses doesn’t react to her in a towel.
Among the various other “fetishes” acknowledged in the episode include brother-action between Hiroshi and Haruka, the girls locking themselves behind a paper door to talk about “sizes,” calling the guy “Glasses,” Noa fixation on impeccable man bodies usually only found in bara comics…it was a good episode to watch and think about.
The best part was that everyone got along for an episode to hang out. Gabriella punching Glasses’ face in, an explosive game of ping pong (decided by the power of retorts), a pillow fight, it was a brilliant hot spring episode. I really, really hate hot spring episodes in general, but this was a great reversal, with the episode mostly defined and controlled by the girl characters. The female characters are fleshed out and defined in a way that makes them more than “just” supporting characters. I feel really invested in everyone.
LORENZO TAKES HIS MASK OFF – BUT HE JUST PUTS ANOTHER ONE OFF FOR HOT SPRINGS. I feel like he’s going to take it off in a later episode. he would be a total bishie, and his backstory is that his face is too beautiful, so he must cover it, like the Red Kamen from Haunted Junction. BUT WE’LL SEE.