Kubikiri Cycle – How Much Is Too Much? (Rant / Thoughts)

Just finished the Kubikiri Cycle, figured I might as well write about it!

The thing is, I actually watched the first 7 episodes, then proceeded to watch 30 episodes of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, before coming back and watching (skimming) the final 8th episode.

And you know what? That says a lot about how I feel about Kubiriki Cycle.

Kubikiri Cycle spoilers ahead.
Also, Kubikiri Cycle rant ahead.

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I thought Kubikiri Cycle was a mystery anime. What type of mystery did it end up being though? An “in your face” mystery anime? One of those “let’s come up with the most convoluted and ridiculous situations conceivable and frame it as a mystery” stories? Yes.

The anime provides you with a “solution” on episode 7. After that, I lost motivation to finish the final episode because, what’s the point? I now knew who the killer was, and how they did it. What value was there in continuing?

“Solution”

There is one piece of the “solution” in particular that bothered me. And that was the whole “jumped off the shoulders of a corpse to reach a window that looks way too high” portion. Let’s be honest here, you wouldn’t have to cut the top of someone’s shoulders off to be able to jump off of them. I don’t think cheerleaders have to wear flat shoulderpads or anything to climb onto each other’s shoulders. So if the killer could somehow manage to get the corpse standing upright, that’s all they needed.

So the whole, “jump off flat shoulders because of the way the head was cut off” part just seemed too frivolous to me. It wasn’t necessary at all. Felt like one gimmick too many. It’s what turned me off to the anime – “it’s just trying too hard” I thought while watching.

I also wasn’t a fan of how the killer escaped the room through the window (on their own). The anime purposely shows the window as extremely high up, to the point where I don’t think ANY viewer would even CONSIDER jumping to it a possibility. I know mystery anime / stories sometimes do this, it’s just something I’m not too keen on. I prefer a mystery where it’s actually possible to predict the solution, both the identity of the culprit(s) and how they did it. I don’t need 100% of the details; but I’d appreciate if the anime didn’t make something look impossible, and then proceed to make it possible later on.

I was fine with the body swap and definitely thought I should have considered it. Danganronpa fooled me once, and Kubikiri managed to fool me twice with that trick! That part was good for sure. The anime even mentions it as a possibility too! Well done.

And that’s a wrap, right? We learned the identity of the killer, as well as HOW they did what they did. Curiosity satisfied, no motivation to watch episode 8…

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Episode 7 – “Let’s just quit while we are ahead…” Episode 8 – “Hold my beer.”

Episode 8

To be perfectly honest, I only watched (skimmed) episode 8 so I could write this post and mark the anime complete on MAL. The episode just seemed pointless.

And after watching (skimming) episode 8, I still think it’s a pointless episode.

“Here’s some extra details about that mystery that was already solved”, yeah, thanks anime. So the killer was actually the person who was murdered, pretending to be the person who was the killer? Sure. Why not?

Just like the whole “flat shoulder” thing, episode 8 of Kubikiri just felt like a “here’s more excessive details” episode. I guess the anime just didn’t have enough “in your face” pointless information already. It needed an entire episode dedicated to more senseless details.

So yeah, episode 8 didn’t do it for me at all. It was essentially 45 minutes of exposition providing the viewers with just more details about the mystery, and how the “solution” from episode 7 wasn’t enough. It was enough for me, enough for me to not care if some minor details were off.

I wasn’t exactly shouting at my screen asking “But what about X?”, eager to find out the TRUE solution that answers every single loose end in the mystery. The major reveal, that the killer and the first victim were pretending to be each other, didn’t really matter. It’s not like we would ever see either character again, considering episode 8 is the final episode. Just a solution of a solution. Excessive.

“Oh yeah! And that girl who was Ilia the entire anime? That was actually her maid. They switched places. Why? No reason. Just wanted more excessive twists to throw in your face.”.

But why stop there? Let’s just keep going! Maybe the entire island was actually an illusion, and they were on a ship the whole time? Or maybe all of the geniuses were actually fakes.. How about this? The corpse was fake, and the whole murder was just a joke. Can’t have too many of these excessive developments right?

I guess that’s the word that best describes how I feel about Kubikiri. Too excessive, tries too hard, too “in your face”, too convoluted for no real reason.

Personally, I think I would give the anime a higher rating if it ended at episode 7.

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Aikawa

Aikawa was basically the embodiment of senseless detail in the anime. All anime long, Aikawa is played up as this genius detective who will show up on the island and solve the case. To the point where it almost felt like the entire anime was just “waiting for Aikawa to show up”.

I enjoyed the fact that the mystery was “solved” before Aikawa showed up. It created this situation where you didn’t really know whether the characters would solve the case in time or not. A little mystery in it’s own sense. That is, until Aikawa didn’t show up at all and the mystery was “solved”. Which was fine, but after that I knew the type of character she would be: pointless.

“Wait a second, that’s not the REAL solution! Let me explain the REAL solution to you over the course of 40 minutes, with pointless visuals of us driving around the whole time.”.

Aikawa Jun & episode 8 in a nutshell.

Protagonist

I forget his name. Not going to spend too much time writing about him. I just wanted to point out that he felt very monotone and boring. The anime spends all this time developing him to be this lonely, average character amidst a crowd of geniuses. I’m not really sure if any of that was necessary though. Very forgettable.

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End Rant

If I had to recommend Kubikiri, I’d only recommend the first 7 episodes. Save yourself the time and skip the last one.

Anyways, that’s all I’ve got to say about Kubikiri. This sort of turned into a rant. I guess I just don’t like when an anime that is going well just kills itself in the end. I was enjoying the mystery, the characters. I enjoyed trying to figure it all out. I just didn’t appreciate parts of the initial “solution”; I didn’t appreciate the anime “solving” the mystery, only to “solve” it again right after for no real reason. Tried too hard to be “deep”, but was a pretty shallow anime in the end.

Just too excessive for me.

That’s it.
Back to Legend of the Galactic Heroes!

Until next time.
Thanks for reading.

7 thoughts on “Kubikiri Cycle – How Much Is Too Much? (Rant / Thoughts)

  1. Hahaha! 3deep5you!
    Well, since the better bits of Zaregoto will never be adapted, there’s not really any point in explaining what the point is…
    But Zaregoto is all about failing to understand other people. It’s about mediocrity, and it’s about genius. The answer in episode 7 was all a mediocrity could manage, and you know what- it was serviceable. Everyone would be happy and feel better if it ended there. Isn’t that life for the most part?
    But then episode 8 happens, and we find out the truth- and we’re left with one question. Was the truth worth it? If it only made the reader and the protagonist feel worse at the end- leaving them feeling frustrated, incompetent and even cheated, then what was the point in learning the truth?
    That’s the single feeling that seems to define the protagonist. The feeling that any efforts he makes will be rendered pointless “Zaregoto” when compared with the genius around him. They can do everything he can do and better… Ain’t that depressing?
    Simply put, Zaregoto is an anti-mystery story. (and that’s why I didn’t want to spoil you)
    Sorry if you didn’t like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure the LN did a better job with everything.

      The problem is this: past the conclusion of a story, there was nothing to motivate me to have a vested interest in continuing the story. How does it go? Climax, falling action, conclusion…? Then what? The biggest issue was the structure. Maybe I would have enjoyed episode 8 if the anime gave me a tangible reason to watch it in the first place.

      So it’s not frustration that the first 7 episodes were “pointless” or whatever. It’s more that episode 8 failed to keep me interested as a viewer. And because of this, I was not interested in the “real truth”. That’s why it was excessive to me. If the entire point of episode 8 was to feel like a waste of time, then I guess it’s just not my cup of tea. There was no way I could have finished it without skimming.

      I guess I can see the anti mystery thing, because the anime basically just throws a ton of stupid “twists” at the viewer that are irrelevant. Now that you mention it I can see why the anime did that, poking fun at mystery stories. Also explains why the story used such a convoluted “solution” to the case that would be impossible to predict, even with all of the information provided prior to the reveal.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alright, to clear the waters, I will admit that this story is thoroughly pretentious. This story rests solely on your idea to both comprehend and enjoy its ideas… and even if I explain them, that won’t make them enjoyable.
        But when I say that it was an anti-mystery, then I don’t mean that it just parodies mysteries. I mean that the MC, our detective, sucks at his job. The main conflict of the story is him battling with his own inferiority and difficulty connecting with people- not him trying to solve the murder mystery. Since you didn’t want or care about the real truth, I’m surprised to say that you ended up feeling the same as our main character! (all hung up on the external conflict, since you’re not him- you didn’t internalize the failure as hard)
        The mystery’s solution is convoluted to the reader and detective, but not to the people involved. For example- the decapitation had two intents, the shoulder thing and to confuse the body’s identity. The main character failed to understand this, but this utility is no accident from the perspective of the ‘genius’ murderer.
        The final episode goes to show that the protagonist only leaves the island feeling worse than ever. Once again, he failed to really understand people, and this time it was abused and manipulated. He was a minor but important figure in Ibuki Kanami stealing the identity of Akane Sonoyama. In the end, his efforts led to the conclusion that Kanami wanted… but his only qualification is his ignorance of people.
        Everything wasn’t pointless. It had results. But in terms of the protagonist growing as a person? Everything he did was useless, from his perspective. Invalidated by the excessive answer, not by his own failures- but the knowledge of those failures. The gap between him and genius is even greater than he imagined. And that’s a pretty subversive message!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It IS pretty clever. I don’t think the anime really did a good job at getting me to that point.
        I’m sure the LN does a much better job at developing these ideas and keeping the reader on board though.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t blame you. This is why they should’ve skipped right to the second book! Kubishime Romanticist is way more action-y, and the twist is much more cathartic! Since it was much more external with it’s conflict, it would’ve made much better anime than Kubikiri Cycle! The second one is definitely a book worth your time if you can get your hands on it! (Got mine at a Barnes & Noble)

        Liked by 1 person

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