Spiral Disc 3: Shooting Fallen Stars
Young Ayumu’s older brother, Kiyotaka, left in pursuit of the mysterious Blade Children. He has not been seen or heard from since. Now Ayumu is being dragged into the web, drawn into the mystery that caused his brother’s disappearance. But young Ayumu is dedicated, resolved to be reunited with his brother. The third disc in the series picks up with the beginning of a sort of sudden death ‘game’ between Ayumu and the Blade Children. His friend, Hiyono, has been kidnapped, and the only way to ensure her safety, as well as his own survival, is to outwit his opponents.
Episode one: only one wise action
With the game underway, it is up to Ayumu to devise a plan to save Hiyono, save himself, and capture the evidence against the Blade Children. Things started off on the wrong foot, and it will take plenty of luck to get them out of their predicament.
Episode two: goodnight sweetheart
With Ayumu’s victory over the blade children, he has an opportunity to inquire about his brother, but the responses aren’t quite what he was looking for. It becomes clear that Kiyotaka is somehow working behind the scenes, and having some part in the blade children’s activities.
Episode three: dry eyes
It is almost Christmas, and the disappearance of Kiyotaka is weighing heavy on both Ayumu and his sister-in-law, Madoka. The Blade Children have their own problems, as they receive news of hunters pursuing them, ready to exterminate them all. Their fate seems to rest on Ayumu’s shoulders, although he can hardly see it.
Episode four: overture
As Eyes prepares for his piano recital, Ayumu must decide whether he will team up with the infamous blade children in order to save Eyes’ life. The hunter makes it known that he will kill Eyes at the recital and Ayumu alone can stop this from happening.
The progression of this disc is somewhat slow as the characters had already been fairly well developed, and there was not much storyline to speak of. The threat of the hunters was the only new development in the four episodes, and though this is important, it didn’t fill the disc well.
The sounds of Spiral are still impressive, even after 12 episodes. The character voices, the new as well as the old, are spot on with the characters they are portraying. The mood of the show, and the disposition of the characters are very well represented in the voices of each character. The voice acting, however, is only the beginning. The music of Spiral lurks behind the show, it rarely takes the forefront. The rhythm of the music is woven into the scenes, rather than being a driving force.
The animation is still fairly standard anime, it hasn’t had much of a chance to develop yet, but it may begin to distinguish itself in coming episodes. It is certainly nothing detrimental to the series, but it doesn’t really stand out on its own. There was previously some very nice symbolic imagery, but they seem to have gone another direction on this disc, a less subtle approach.
The extras were similar to disc two, including an outtakes reel, labeled ‘image gallery.’ As last time, this was hilarious. It’s always fun to hear your favorite characters mess up their lines or start giggling spontaneously. The trailers and textless songs are pretty much standard at this point, but there were two character profiles which further explained and gave more substance to these rarely seen characters.
The sounds were once again incredible, emphasizing the mood and setting in every scene. The animation was nothing extraordinary, and they seem to have abandoned the symbolism of the earlier episodes which had grabbed it a few points. The extras were beyond the standard expectations and provided some comic relief with the outtakes.
The plot seemed to grind to a halt after the first episode on the disc. Once the game was won, there was an entire episode before the hunter was really introduced and still another before he entered the action. The last episode was pretty awesome though, it didn’t quite make up for the rest, but it helped a lot.
A mystery series, Spiral lacks action scenes, but there is generally much to make up for it. Though this disc is a little slow, it is a bridge in the series, hopefully leading further into the mystery of the blade children. A question posed since the beginning, and left ambiguously hanging over the viewer’s head: What are the blade children?
Episodes: only one wise action, goodnight sweetheart, dry eyes, overture
Extras: 5.1 English Surround Sound, English and Japanese Languages, Character Profiles, Textless songs, Image Gallery, Trailers