Being alone sucks. But in the 10th episode of Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist, loneliness can be deadly.
“I see strange things, which means I’m sick”
Kuro has always been the level-headed mature one. But what if, once upon a time, he was just another lonely boy with a problem he couldn’t figure out. That’s how the episode begins, with a little Kuro telling the story of the things he could see in the air. Or rather, little “Toru”, a boy with a big family full of love and support, but with the inability to understand what he was. Toru shows how different he is from his family; from the glowing things he could see to the intelligence he possessed. And because of how different he is, he’s been silently living a life of misery. And as they say, “misery loves company”. But it’s the type of company it attracts that puts Kuro in a very difficult position. And it’s only a question if Ramune can save him in time.
Minor spoilers below!
“Tell me. Your heart will feel lighter.”
This new episode takes a bend and finally turns the lens inward. Instead of focusing on the exploits of another citizen with supernatural ills, we finally get a double whammy character-driven and world-building extravaganza. Giving us the necessary peak behind the curtain of who really are the characters we’ve been rooting for the past 9 episodes. And it’s a surprisingly improved take that actually manages to surprise in minor ways.
There’s the reveal of who exactly Kuro/Toru’s family is. There’s the whole story of how Ramune and Kuro/Toru meet. Yet there’s also a reveal of other groups who are more than just the run-of-the-mill bad guys. Though whether this is just based on how the episode structured itself or how it’s actually written, we’ll get to see in the next episode.
Regardless, the threat still feels real enough that it leaves the episode on a nice tense note. This goes great with how tonally balanced the episode is for once. It’s still mostly humor, with greater reliance on sheer awkwardness and Ramune being a man child, but the moments when it wants to feel tenser actually feels tense. It could be because the patients we’re rooting for are the most developed ones so far, and therefore there’s an established connection that explains why seeing them in pain hurts more. But it’s still done in the light-hearted shounen-Dr.-Ramune way where you know that it won’t be a terribly lasting thing. All in all, it’s solid as an episode.
"Is staying here really the right choice?"
Probably the wisest choice the series has made so far was to make this and the next episode as the season enders. With the last episode fast approaching, there’s a question of how far choosing the repeated “illness of the day” format can go. And while the show has deviated and given more time and space to tell the nuances of its stories more, there’s still the difficulty of stringing them together up properly when there’s no true overarching theme or goal.
Unless you count the minuscule moments of character development sprinkled throughout the beginning and only picking up pace at the latter half. This could be the biggest reason why the stories have to go for cliffhangers every other episode to keep some viewers still hooked. And while it makes for a great mental reprieve, it could reduce the show to another forgettable seasonal. This is a shame since Dr. Ramune is a wonderful piece of fiction that deserves getting attention, at the very least for its wild concept.
Dr. Ramune Mysterious Disease Specialist Episode 11 will be released on Sunday, 21 of March at 1:30 am JST.
How'd you like the episode? Comment down below!
Official Anime Website: Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist