Caligula Ep. 6 – Looking forward doesn’t equal progress on its own. Understanding one’s situation is also an important step.
Whelp, I guess the one’s with the most patience are also the ones who snap the hardest. Poor μ. So this was a big episode. Everyone is finally together together in the aptly named ‘Go-Home’ Club, everyone has acquired their own catharsis effect, and we are moving on to the meat of this series. Ritsu clearly wasn’t normal from the start, but now that we know that he is probably an actual inhabitant of mobius and he is, at the very least, acquainted with μ we can finally see where we’re heading.
I’m glad we finally got to focus on the Musicians side of things a bit more. It really felt like we were being left in the dark on that end so finally getting a chance to watch Thorn and μ’s interactions provided some solid relief. It was clear that μ was being manipulated to some extent. She definitely didn’t know that the musicians were ‘being mean’ to the rogues. While Thorn is definitely leaving some details out in their daily conversations, it does seem like there is a layer of genuine friendship and care between the two. How deep that layer goes is something that remains to be seen. I’m still waiting on the reason why they can’t just let out the 5 kids out of an entire high school rejoin reality. Especially since their negative emotions, and the clashing between the musicians and them, is causing so much distress to μ and the world she’s created.
Also, what was up with that 180 turn halfway through the show? I think it was only 5 minutes in that Aria told them they weren’t ready for their own catharsis effects yet, but then 10 minutes later literally everyone got one. The catalyst is apparently letting out the negative emotions you’ve been feeling and channeling that into the weapon. Makes sense. They’ve kind of been doing that for a while now though, no? I felt like I was watching a Dragonball Z episode when everyone had to scream to power up. Well, except it didn’t last for 3 weeks worth of episode. I have to admit, that was a pretty cool scene. Mass transformation. An all-time high for intensity from a show that I really didn’t think had it in them.
Now that we’ve hit the half-way point, I briefly wanted to talk about my likes and gripes with the show so far. This episode we finally got to see some action which was a breath of fresh air considering the very inconsistent (and sub-par) tone of the show so far. Kotaru screaming ‘Ora, ora, ora’, or anyone screaming that really, is always fun. They weren’t that great at it though… the whole fighting thing. I think it was 6 vs. 4 or something like that and the rogue squad still was getting their asses handed to them. Maybe a training montage, or a deeper level to their power unlocked through stronger emotions, is in store in the future. Incorporating more action is something I’m not opposed to.
Getting back to tone, this show isn’t unique in this, but I’ve definitely had to adjust expectations. Despite a heavy start in the exploration of psychology and the show even being named after a psychological phenomenon, it feels like that route has been trashed. Personally, I think that’s a shame since I was kind of waiting for the next in-depth mind-breaking show. Alas, calling this a psychological show this far in is like calling those shows where the protagonist dies in the first 30 seconds and gets reborn in a fantasy world an isekai. It’s technically true, but the spirit just isn’t there. I’ve mostly come around despite that. While it didn’t go in the direction I wanted I still think it’s very entertaining and I have to give it credit for its pacing. A big concern will always be trying to fit too much complexity in a plot into a small amount of time and losing the point along the way. In that regard, Caligula has really maintained itself well.
It’s also just a compelling watch. Even when I love a show, there are some weeks where that internal dread comes around and I find myself basically forcing my finger to hit the play button. Not the case in this scenario. I’m always excited to watch the newest episode. As I get older it gets slightly harder to watch all of these middle to high-school themed shows where the main conflict is miscommunication. The message of Caligula has still hit home pretty hard. Actually, now that I think about it, outside of mobius a couple of these people are probably nowhere near the high-school age. Props to the show also for how they’ve done a good job of diversifying the personalities of the cast. Each character is pretty unique and of the ones we’ve actually come to learn about in detail, they are pretty complex. As they should be. Cause, you know, humans and everything. That’s just how we be.
To summarize my probably incoherent rambling, the show has some flaws but, hey, what show doesn’t? It’s fun, the characters are interesting, and the plot’s good enough to keep me invested week to week. I don’t think there’s much more that I could ask for. As a final thought, I’ll leave you with the pleasantries of μ’s emotional breakdown.