Lately, it seems like there’s (at least) a show every season that I cover and no one much talks about. And this season it’s Noblesse, which seems perpetually to be on the bubble for me but which I can never quite bring myself to stop writing about altogether. It’s no masterpiece, it’s not lavishly produced (surprisingly so by Production I.G. standards), and it doesn’t even especially lend itself to blogging. But somehow it keeps me coming back, for at least another week.
Noblesse is definitely not the series I was expecting it to be. Last week was pretty close, but that was an aberration – at least so far. This week’s episode, the complete opposite in almost every way, is much more typical of the series after 7 outings. That is to say, a cheeky and soft-hearted school life that happens to have a bunch of overpowered immortals and modified superhumans at its heart. And somehow that side of the series is more interesting than the battle shounen I was expecting.
Not a hell of a lot happened for most of this episode, really. It was just Manabu trying to facilitate Tashiro hooking up with Seira, and turning to the absolutely wrong people for help. One aspect of Noblesse I really like is how self-aware it is. Yes, all the badasses are bishounen to a ludicrous degree (apart from Seira of course), but that fact is mined for a lot of humor in episodes like this one. Of course for all their combat ability none of these doofuses is in the remotest capable of giving advice to a lovestruck teenager, but I suppose you can give them some credit for trying.
It’s only in the end that things get sort of serious, as the superhumans break it to the kids that they intend to erase their memories (again). The relationship between Manabu and Tashiro and the immortals/modifieds is pretty unusual in this series, actually – we don’t generally see this kind of interaction. It’s easy to see why the boys are wounded by what’s about to happen – it’s a betrayal from their perspective, and indicative of a lack of trust. But they’re in way over their heads, and Noblesse reminds us of that just often enough for scenes like this one to carry some weight.