Ousama Ranking: Yuuki no Takarabako - 04
I confess I was sort of fooled about what Ousama Ranking: Yuuki no Takarabako was going to be by the first two episodes. They were pleasant trifles, no more and no less. But the past two weeks have been something close to a monumental step up. And not only that, but a reminder of what this series can be - a fascinating mythology brought to life with gorgeous animation and art by a great studio and staff. We don't know what the remaining six episodes will be like of course - are we experiencing a trend, or a split personality?Ouken was one of the great tragic figures of the first season. A kind man brought low by the curse of immortality foisted on him by his evil father, Satun. It was clear that the tragedy of Ouken had a profound impact on his elder brothers Despa and Desha - that it in fact was one of the few things about which they didn't disagree. There were gaps in Ouken's story, how he came to this terrible state - and that's where this episode comes in (the first of the season to be a single chapter, and rightfully so). And that's exactly what a season like this should be doing - how it can add something of value to a series' canon. [photo1] [photo2] [photo3]
ldn't say anything we learned this week comes as a surprise to me, but it was brought off really well, in a fashion that felt consistent with the parent story. And I can't ask for more than that from what are effectively extra chapters. As presented here the Ouken we saw in the first season was a product of his father's mad ambitions - "failed" in his older brothers, but successful in the youngest. However the old king was not able to execute the final step of his plan, to take over Ouken's body on his own death (at Desha's hand, as I'm sure he expected).There are still some unanswered questions here - was there more to Ouken's final descent into darkness than a growing obsession with death? For now, though, this is a good reminder that his arc is one of the great tangled threads of Ousama Ranking - one it will surely address if and when it returns for a second season of manga material. As with last week's Hilling-focused episode, this was a very effective exploration of a very strong character who has more to offer than the first season allowed them to display. May the rest of Yuuki no Tarabako be as successful.