Episode 11 – Bucchigiri?! – Anime News Network

How would you rate episode 11 of
Bucchigiri?! ?

Community score: 2.9

If I had to exemplify the problems with Bucchigiri?!‘s storytelling in a single sequence, I’d pick a particular edit late into this episode. We’ve just finished a fight scene where Zabu has futilely attempted to stop Matakara on his ongoing parade of violence. Bloodied, barely conscious, and without a hope of making any meaningful difference, Zabu still clings to his friend’s leg, desperately trying to call him back to his senses. He’s dedicated to the upstanding person he knows Matakara is, and doesn’t want to lose him. Shaken, but unwilling to break from the path he’s chosen, Matakara storms off, breath shaky, gaze uncertain, leaving his friend face-down in the street.

Smash-cut to Arajin lounging on his bed, doing nothing until a character he barely knows rushes in and physically drags him back to the plot.

It’s not just that this is a jarring shift in tone. It feels like in any other scenario, these positions would be reversed. Arajin is the character we’ve spent time with, and his relationship with Matakara is what every dramatic stake in this story arc is built upon. Yet he has now spent three full episodes ignoring the plot, holed up in his house and only occasionally interacting with the rest of the cast when he’s forced to. Zabu, meanwhile, is barely a secondary character. I had to look up his name twice to make sure I wasn’t getting him mixed up with the other belligerent blue-haired guy in this show. His relationship with Matakara is informed to us but exists almost entirely off-screen. Yet here he is, putting his body on the line in the most dramatic fashions because of how much Matakara means to him as a friend.

The worst part is that we know as the audience that Zabu’s doomed, even though he demonstrably has more of a personal and intimate relationship with Matakara at this point. The laws of dramatic narrative dictate that our protagonist is the only one who can save his fallen friend, never mind that said protagonist has spent more effort avoiding Matakara than anything else all season. That’s the kicker to all this. No other character is allowed to be the one who gets through to Matakara, so their sad flashbacks and tragic failures only matter so much. That would be alright if Matakara and Arajin had a stronger connection, but the first half of this show utterly failed to sell that. So instead we’re left watching better, more developed characters try in vain to assert their worth, while waiting for Arajin to finally get out of bed.

It’s the big, glaring problem that sabotages every attempt at drama in this story. Zabu’s relationship with Matakara is simple, but it’s sincere and presented with just enough heart to get you to feel something. Kenichiro’s desire to take care of Matakara in place of his brother is a great way to humanize a stoic joke character and gives this story a more thorough sense of history. On their own, these are solid ideas that work despite the increasingly frayed action animation. So it royally sucks to see both of those stories play second fiddle to a relationship that is way less meaningful and far more lopsided. No matter how well these might work in isolation, it’s hard to connect with them when we know they won’t be allowed to accomplish anything.

That’s the lot we’re stuck with, but at least the next episode will necessarily have to close out this whole story, at last. It’s sad to see Bucchigiri?! limp to the finish line, but that’s the break when you spend the first half of the race farting around, suddenly try to sprint to the end, and cramp up miles from the end.


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