Jul 16, 2020
In fiction, a MacGuffin is an object, device, or event that is necessary to the plot and the motivation of the characters, but insignificant, unimportant, or irrelevant in itself.

What is the MacGuffin here? The murders, the conspiracy, the ensuing detective work. If these are insignificant, unimportant, or irrelevant in themselves, what matters?

1. Friendship. Real friendship. Until about episode 9, Ishikawa lives a life of total self-indulgence. While his Epicurean lifestyle creates genius-level poetry, it comes at a cost. This cost is burdened by Kindaichi.

Is Ishikawa a bad friend for consciously using Kindaichi? Is Kindaichi a little groveling bitch for deluding himself that Ishikawa is going to change... giving him limitless chances?

Kindaichi understands that he is being "used" for his deep pockets. Although Kindaichi admonishes Ishikawa, cuts him off financially, cuts him out of his life... he always comes back. Is Kindaichi a sucker, or is Ishikawa's friendship worth whatever the cost may be. The 21st century American view would be to "cut that negativity out of your life." But maybe true friendship is worth any cost.

2. Raison d'être. (Or as it was translated in my subtitles "Reason for being born".) Existentialism crises are always interesting; I don't know why.

To be honest, I'm not sure I picked up on any conclusions the characters made. (Sorry!) This could be because I binged the show, or because I am a slow reader. Or maybe its because purpose is always just outside our grasp.

Does the show have anything novel to say about Friendship or Telos? No. But if someone wants to explore these genuinely, I'm not only going to watch it but love it.

(Caveat: I don't know anything about poetry. I'm a person who loves prose; I "don't get" poetry. I know nothing about Japanese poetry. Nor do I know anything about the real people these characters are based upon. I'm not sure the show is any more or less enjoyable being informed, contextually.)
Reviewer’s Rating: 8
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