Posts Tagged ‘quentin haag’
If you were lost before these episodes will lay it all out for you as Red Garden prepares for its climax.
In episodes sixteen through nineteen, all four of the girls have a brand new reality to deal with. Herve has told the truth to Kate that if the two cursed books are brought together all of them will lose their memories of everything essentially erasing them. They won’t remember who they are or even who their friends and family are. All of them deal with this in various ways. Kate and Claire become more philosophical as they think about the little things that they will miss. Rachel withdraws more and more and Rose spends more time with her estranged father.
Meanwhile during these episodes, the police investigation into the missing girls intensifies. As the two detectives learn more about the missing girls, their lives will be put on the line as they search for the truth.
Herve and Emilio have lost everything. Their families have succumbed to the symptoms and they are both convinced that the only solution is to bring the books together. They will go to great lengths to force the hands of the family members and experiments they oppose getting Lise and Kate more involved than ever before.
Good and the Bad
In this volume, Red Garden brings out its latest round of plot twists to keep the audience guessing and interested in seeing more. As with the previous four volumes, these four episodes will take the audience in directions that they won’t expect. I know this because I kept waiting for the series to go where I predictably thought it would only to have it go in completely new directions that I hadn’t even considered.
Starting right away in episode sixteen, the volume starts slow. The very first episode after the death of JC slows down the pace considerably starting with Kate dealing with the first to know the truth. This episode really sets up the running theme for the volume well.
The idea of the girls losing all of their memories is really hit hard on this volume. Repeatedly hard to be honest. All throughout these episodes, the girls will almost always be dealing with this reality in one way or the other. Some will go visit family; some will spend time with friends or just think really random things out loud. But the bottom line is that this plot point is obviously deeply important, if not to the audience than the staff.
If you’ve been into this series since the beginning, this can’t help but create a little excitement in you as an audience member. While it does get a little repetitive by the end of the volume, Red Garden does an excellent job with creating strong hype for their finale. Obviously the staff has something big planned for the final three episodes.
The supporting cast is really well used in this volume as well. While Lula tends to sink into the background, Emilio and Herve are well purposed. The story of Lise and the continuing investigations finally see some well deserved screen time in these episodes. While Red Garden has never done a lot with the detectives and their investigation into the girl’s suicides, this volume finally gives them something to do and makes their scenes completely worthwhile.
Then again, some of these supporting characters come across as awkward on this volume. Paula is the best example of this with the scene she shares with Kate late in the volume. In this scene, Paula comes across as nothing like she’s been in the past. The dialogue here is a little awkward at best and you’re never quite sure how far the staff is going to push it before it finally ends.
The animation in this series continues to look amazing even after nineteen episodes. While in previous volumes Red Garden has used a variety of scenes to highlight the animation, the girls’ interactions with scenes and backgrounds really are well highlighted here. A late night visit to Lise’s grave segues easily into a very nice scene with the girls standing in the snowfall. The perspectives shown during this scene were really well chosen with a great view of the snow falling down onto the girls from below. All of the elements that made up this scene really put together really well creating a very memorable scene.
The pacing of the volume starts very slow but gradually speeds up quite well. The first half of episode sixteen really drug by as Kate and Claire open up the volume. Gradually though Red Garden finds its footing again and keeps the audience moving right along with the action of the series.
The real saving grace (no pun intended) to Paula’s big scene with Kate is the background music that plays with it. The soft harpsichord tune comes across as awkward at first but once the dialogue really starts to move forward, the music seamlessly works its way into the scene.
The music continues to come across clearly with no drops in sound quality. The music is still one of the more powerful aspects of this series. The instrumental tracks are all so powerfully composed that it would be hard to imagine this series without them.
Dub vs. Sub
Both the English and Japanese tracks come across strongly in these episodes. The dub script, written by Kaoru Bertrand, inserts a lot more cursing than you see translated in the subtitles. Most of these curses come from the detectives as they are investigating but the extra curses seem to add little to the plot or story thus creating waste dialogue.
One big change that fans may notice is that Jose Diaz is replaced on this volume by Quentin Haag in the role of Herve. While I’m not familiar with the details behind why Jose exited the cast, Quentin does a great job stepping into the role. The change wasn’t even something that I noticed as I continued to watch through the series. It will be interesting to go back later and further nitpick the two performances though and see what subtle differences I can find.
While the cynical members of the audience are going to worry about the ending not living up to the hype, the rest of the audience has every reason to be excited to see the final episodes. The characters have all had their chance to express how they feel about where they’re headed and now it’s time to get there. In the final three episodes, it will be time for Red Garden to answer all the questions that fans have. This is a series that continues to get better and will be hard to let go of when it ends.
Final Grade: A-