Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

8 October 2006: Innocent Venus

Joe and Sana
A turning point in Joe and Sana's lives.

Innocent Venus is shaping up to be a pretty good series. I initially gave the series a casual perusal merely because it involved futuristic mecha fights and good guys on the run. It didn't seem to be anything special, but was a good enough way to pass the time.

I nearly stopped watching on more than one occasion due to the fact that Gora is stupendously irritating. I'm glad I kept watching, though, as the last few episodes have been pretty interesting.

I'm not the first person to call Gora the Jar Jar Binks of Innocent Venus.

There are a number of revelations and one major twist in episode eight (that I won't spoil) that are good enough to elevate the status of Innocent Venus as a whole. Normally I would consider the big twist of episode eight to be a mere ruse, simply for the fact that such big twists in other shows have almost always turned out to be red herrings. Still, there are indisputable facts that seem to support the genuineness of the Big Twist, since there's nothing else to explain the matters of (a) Sana's father, (b) the tears (or more accurately, the lack thereof), and (c) Sana playing the piano until she collapsed.

Now, I did say I wouldn't spoil the major plot twist of episode eight, but it's going to be pretty apparent to anyone capable of putting two-and-two together. I.e., if you're watching the show, and you read the rest of this entry, you're going to figure it out, yo.

Joe and Sana
Joe and Sana in a flashback.

I'm going to be pretty disgusted if Innocent Venus backpeddles later and resets everything it accomplished in episodes eight and nine. Perhaps my optimism is unwarrated, but I remain hopeful that what started out as a mediocre series can keep getting better and better by not listening to convention, and instead exceeding its viewers expectations. I'm referring here to the rise of Joe's character from taciturn background sidekick man to hero status. Barring some contrived reset, Innocent Venus will have taken a bold move by suddenly making Joe the new lead character two-thirds of the way through the show. I sheepishly confess that I, too, jumped to conclusions early on by assuming Joe's crying was a mawkish attempt at making him mysterious; it didn't even occur to me that he was normal—that it would only be odd if he didn't cry.

I hope the final three episodes of Innocent Venus don't disappoint. The best thing the series has going for it is the recent unconventional turns. It would be a damn shame if some misguided insistence at orchestrating a happy ending prevented Innocent Venus from taking the brave path towards being different.

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