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Steel Lady Nanase // In/Spectre Episode 4

Steel Lady Nanase // In/Spectre Ep. 4 Review

Episode 4: Idol Dies by Steel Beam; Alternatively: Ghost Idols Cant Melt Steel Beams

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Its a royal rumble in In/Spectre episode 4. Saki Vs. Kotoko Vs. Steel Lady Nanase. First to blink loses, which is disadvantageous to the one girl still with both eyes.

While Saki takes Kotoko back to her simple to animate boring apartment, the two connect together with their shared history of Kuro. Saki slowly unravels Kotoko’s mistaken belief that she is Kuro’s girlfriend. Without Kuro around to actually confirm or deny the existence of a romantic relationship, its still pretty clear Kotoko’s imagination is running rampant. Her incessant lust over Kuro is still being hilariously presented, and I love it.

The Life and Death of Nanase Kirin

After their get-together, Kotoko and Saki go there separate ways in their investigation. Saki is focused on the origin of the incident. Uncovering details about Nanase’s life before the rise to stardom. The investigation uncovers some telling things.

First thing discovered in both investigations is the untimely death of her father. The show insinuates the idol’s father took advantage of her money by quitting his job, only to find himself out of luck. Its convenient that Nanase’s father is removed from the picture not too long before her own untimely demise.

The second thing discovered in the investigation is the nature of Nanase’s final demise. Its the death of her father that pushes her into hiding, and eventually into the position of being crushed under a sizable pile of cold hard steel.

Nanase Kirin the Mahou Shoujo

Outside of the more useful details of the mystery, Saki uncovers some of Nanase’s career. This is the highlight of the episode. Halfway through In/Spectre episode 4 there is this cut to a seemingly generic J-pop song. The fake anime opening in the middle of the episode is hilarious. At first it feels like the studio hobbled together. Except it just keeps going.

The opening song for the show within the show is a hilarious overture to the mahou shoujo genre. If you look at it from a certain point of view, In/Spectre is a non-traditional mahou shoujo. This extended sequence in the middle of the anime is an homage of sorts to the more classic, albeit generic, J-pop anime openings of the past

Kotoko VS. Saki

While both Kotoko and Saki are after an explanation for the Steel Lady Nanase incidents, both take a slightly different approach. Kotoko’s investigation doesn’t get particularly far. She needs Saki’s access to police records of the incident, including incidents possibly involving the malevolent ghost. Of course Kotoko is not one for giving up on a grudge that she has apparently held for over five years and now has the opportunity to act on it.

I like the antagonistic approach Kotoko has for Saki. Even from the very beginning of the episode she is gunning for Kuro’s old flame. Knowing full well that Saki is intimidated by even the most harmless of yokai, Kotoko begins sending messages and vague threats to Saki via the various local tree spirits. Its hilariously vindictive.

For being the man both women are passively aggressively fighting over, Kuro is conspicuously absent through most of this episode. His appearance at the end fighting Steel Lady Nanase herself is something to chew on until the next episode.

[Sources and Further Reading]
[Image via Crunchyroll]
[Read More on In/Spectre]