THE NIGHT BEYOND THE TRICORNERED WINDOW EPISODE 2 REVIEW — BINDING

Hello! Welcome back to my hottest takes on this season’s “Gaybusters” anime, The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window. My excitement is still pretty much the same about the series, and while I struggled a little about some parts of my review today, I’m glad I chose this series to review! Hopefully, it’s a fun read for you as well.

Yesss, expose him.

To briefly summarize the episode, Mikado gets a request from her co-worker to check out whether a fortune teller is a scammer or not because he’s been a bit too accurate. While Mikado isn’t thrilled about getting another scary gig, him not being the one for subtleties and getting caught staring at her boobs leaves him no choice. In the second half, the duo visits a high school, and Mikado visits a celebrity’s house with the new fortune teller guy Keita. And all of these separate events seem tied to our main case, Hiura Erika and the curse. 

To start with my notes on production, I still think the musical aspect of the show is a bit lacking. I’ve read that the reason behind taking the sound out of sakuga videos is that sound can fill the gaps where animation is lacking. And with a seemingly limited production like Tricornered could really benefit from it. After last week’s review, I had a lovely conversation with a Twitter friend, Sarah, and she informed me of the artist behind the scores used in the series, Evan Call. I paid more attention to sound this week, and while the scores themselves are really good (I listened to the soundtracks he made for Violet Evergarden and Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin, I LOVED them), they get cut off in the parts where they are supposed to continue building tension. We could use a bit more spreading, but still, can’t wait to listen to the OST album as a whole!

I love Mikado for this xD

The episode continues to build the characters up, and I think we get a clearer picture of who the main characters are. Hiyakawa is a child-in-an-adult’s-body who has no idea how to form a relationship with others and this puts his strange possessiveness and lack of respect for Mikado’s boundaries in a context. Both the voice acting and the subtle, sinister tune do a good job of portraying the bounding scene as creepy, rather than a romantic one. Meanwhile Mikado’s love/hate relationship with exorcism and his dilemma with wanting to help others while still being scared shitless finds more ground. He has a bit more variety in his expressions and reactions. I also love the parts on Mikado’s sexuality/preferences blending in.

I mentioned before that I’m from Turkey, and looking at the shapes formed by the leftover coffee grounds in your cup and interpreting them is very common here. While I’m sure some people strongly believe in these things, more generally it provides a way of confiding in, getting advice, bonding, or just a fun pass-time between friends or neighbors. One time, a friend wanted to go to a cafe that you can get your fortune told for fun, and similar to how Keita hated Mikado for being too analytical about it, I was similarly told off myself because I wasn’t giving out the reactions the teller was fishing out for. A lesson on reading the room: learned.

I used to do this for others when they asked me because honestly, looking at shapes and making up stories as you go is quite fun!

Although the narrative flow stumbles here and there, the show still managed to make me curious about what kind of different ways the duo will come up with to exorcise the supernatural, or what’s the deal behind Erika now that we learned that she’s a high schooler. Did something traumatic happen to her? Or was she possessed due to someone else cursing her? I’m also curious about the way Mikado’s feeling. At first, I thought he felt less scared in the classroom because he got somewhat used to working with Hiyakawa and now his presence is calming him. But then he says both the first time he met Hiyakawa and now meeting Erika, he feels drawn to them and feels more captivated than scared. Is that related to their spiritual energy being strong? Or, adding Hiyakawa’s curse munching last week to the equation, does it have something to do with curses? Or does the hint lies in Mikado? Can’t wait to find out in the following episodes.

I debated over adding this paragraph or not because I’ll probably do a bad job of elaborating myself but here I go. While the sexual innuendos are quite obvious for everyone to pick them up easily, I personally didn’t read the whole exorcism ritual (?) as a direct metaphor for sex itself and more like a relationship as a whole. I’ve read quite a lot of people mentioning the ritual as a dub-con sex scene, which is a very valid way of reading and a trope BL incorporates often. But because I’ve taken it in a broader context, they were less of a “sex scene but make it appropriate for TV” and provide more of an uncomfortable dynamic between the two where Hiyakawa constantly plays around with Mikado’s boundaries. 

You might ask, so? Is there even a difference? Hard to explain, but one of the views frames it as just sex while the other as a wide range of behaviors, like keep on making a joke your friend might find cringe and tell you to stop, to, of course, unwanted sexual advances. This doesn’t change the fact that Hiyakawa is pushy. He isn’t portrayed as a good, charismatic colleague, but up until the contract, Mikado looked like he was working with him on his own volition and was able to handle him. So overall Hiyakawa’s actions, for me, didn’t have a similar weight compared to what others thought. I don’t think I explained it well, I’m not even convincing myself but I’m out of words. 

In the end, I’m not trying to pull the no-homo buddies card on them but look at the whole thing more broadly.

What did you think of the second episode? Were you able to warm up to the cast a bit more as I did? What do you think is behind Erika’s curse? Did you like the OP and ED themes? Let me know what you thought about it, and see you around!

Me too, get in the line.

The rest of my The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window reviews:

  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 1 — Encounter
  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 2 — Binding
  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 3 —
  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 4 —
  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 5 —
  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 6 —
  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 7 —
  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 8 —
  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 9 —
  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 10 —
  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 11 —
  • The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 12 —

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