Seeing as I had no confidence in the summer season, I decided to invent a backlog of shows to watch from one of three different areas. The third show on this list was The Severing Crime Edge a show that aired in the spring of 2013, and was a show that I had previously dropped. I went back and marathoned it, and these are my thoughts on it.
Having just completed all 13 episodes of this show, I could only really come up with one main thought on Crime Edge. Why did they make this as though they thought the audience was composed entirely of fools who can’t comprehend plot subtleties?
Crime Edge is a horror/suspense series about a cursed girl, the “Hair Queen” Mushiyanokouji Iwai, doomed forever to have constantly growing hair and Haimura Kiri, a boy with a fetish for long hair and a desire to cut it. They have to deal constantly with enemies who are trying to kill Iwai because her death will grant the murderer any wish they want. Kiri and the people after Iwai all have “Killing Goods” which are enchanted tools that grant powers to their owner and also drive them insane with the urge to kill as they have been passed down through generations of murderers.
With that explanation out of the way, the first thing I noticed about Crime Edge was that for a show about murderers and people being driven insane by an urge to kill, the actual on-screen death count was a mere 3. Not even enough to make the vidiprinter spell out the number of deaths, but I digress. There’s an attempt to explain this early on by saying that the Killing Goods owners, known as Authors, have partners to act out against, called Insteads, so that they don’t go around committing acts of murder all the time. It still didn’t get away from the fact there was a constant push to hold back on the violence inherent in the premise of the show.
I watched this on a certain popular legal streaming site, and the need to censor parts of the action was constant. So blackness covering 80% of the screen, black instead of red blood, freeze frames that do nothing to hide the sound of what was happening and random beams of light to…cover up an improvised blood transfusion?! were just part of what was blocking the action. The sound engineers at work on this show definitely earned their pay in the process of having to convey what was happening.
As far as the execution and flow of the series, I thought it was very poor. It felt insulting to my intelligence in the way that most mass-produced Hollywood blockbusters are these days. They introduce a new enemy, run around for a bit explaining the plot to each other, there’s a fight and then they become friends. Rinse and repeat that a few more times and that’s the plot progression up to the final episode. That’s when Kiri goes through a “training montage” of watching a guy cut open some bodies from a first-person view and them has super-berserker powers against the final loli boss.
The sad thing is I was actually beginning to find a groove with this show and sort of beginning to enjoy it when Emily was introduced for the final arc. It ended up turning way too much on its head where Iwai’s father became the nicest man in the world to hang around with shady people and also made Kiri’s victories against earlier opponents appear utterly improbable. They only had to turn to his meeting the original holder of the Crime Edge and transforming to overcome a skilled assassin character with years of training in many martial arts.
Also in another bit of the show’s decline, the guardian of Emily, Violet Witchy, who really should be considered an antagonist, just turns into a pure fanservice flirty character with Kiri at the end. Her first appearance was wearing a formal gown at a ball, and by the end, she was wearing clothes that left little to the imagination.
Finally, I’ll wrap this up by talking about the most interesting aspect I found in this show. There is a filler episode that is only meant to introduce the Author Nakajima Seigi (this show has a thing for catastrophic puns for names). In it, the cast of characters go into a small lounge just off of an alley which is run by a couple that happen to be Author and Instead. The former Karuko, is a blind woman that plays a piano that kills anyone who hears a complete song played on it. It just struck me that it was sort of romantic that she ended up together with a deaf man. The two playfully enjoying their lives and still murdering people with sound and disposing of the bodies together. Ah. Also, the episode introduced a police officer named Zenigata. Such is the influence of Lupin III that even 4 decades later it feels necessary to pay homage.
Next Week: Severely dating myself as I dive into the original Bee Train “Girls With Guns” series
P.S. This show wraps up with a preview of a 2nd season that will probably never happen.