Sometimes those who you trust to back you up are the ones stabbing you from behind. And Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist makes Kuro remember that lesson or die trying.
“Once this is over, you’ll be freed from all suffering”
In the last episode, Dr. Ramune left us worst for wear when the last thing we see is Kuro trapped underground by a crazed cult with no way to reach the outside world. With only a man-child Ramune to save him, it’s only a question of how they can pull this off. There’s pain, sacrifice, a family feud, and Ramune getting kicked more than once. Can family pull through in time?
Of course, the thrill really isn’t in the ‘will they make it?’ and more in the ‘what insanity are they gonna do to pull this off?’ since this is a flashback to Kuro’s origins story in a way. It’s all about the style, all about the journey of their wonderful friendship. In typical Ramune fashion, it involves a lot of some of the same old drama and teen angst mixed with funny shenanigans to balance all the bad vibes. It’s not really deep, only giving shallow levels of drama.
Compared to the set up of the previous episode, the pay off doesn’t carry the same emotional weight with how it rushed through a lot of the points that should have taken more time and care. It’s such a shame to since the audience is finally introduced to other aspects of Kuro, a major player in the story that we’ve only known as a genius loner with a knack for hanging out with weird doctors. But seeing him in a more vulnerable light and watching how he recovers from the traumas would have been interesting.
The most interesting part of the previous episode was his struggle in finding a solution to his mysterious problem, all the while trying to juggle his normal life. And while it wasn’t as deeply written as it could have been, it still had potential if given proper pay off. Which wasn’t really the case. This episode was just a happy ride that provided all that you expected and did not surprise one bit. Not bad, but just disappointing. But the episode isn’t full of faults though.
“They’re called the ‘mysterious’”
It’s easy to see where they put the budget. One fight scene in particular seemed smoother than usual, almost like the build up of animation culminated to the few seconds of crisp animation. That or the lack of immediate need for high budget fights didn’t demand a lot from the studio. Either way, it was fun to see if frustrating with how short it is. But of course this isn’t the thing to love the most.
Finally, after so long, Dr. Ramune finally provides the back story for its world. The source of the mysterious objects, the reason why mysterious diseases exist. In a few phrases, we’ve finally got our answers. Was it satisfying? Yes it was but also not. Because the audience is only given a bare bones explanation, just a simple causality and history lesson. It leaves a lot of room for growth, but also makes questions of its own.
There’s still a big gap to the many questions and reasons of its world. How many mysterious doctors are there? What about the origins of the ‘mysterious’, the backbone of its fantasy setting, are some of them still existing? And so many other questions and possibilities that make future seasons ripe for lore cultivation. The building up of its world is honestly the strongest factor that can push the series forward to make it more interesting and to keep it alive. Of course there’s also the relationship of master and student that also provides some heart to the story.
“Pissing off this family is a super bad idea”
One of the major good points Dr. Ramune has is the way it subtly handles the relationship dynamic of Kuro and Ramune. It’s not really new, and it’s not really exciting, but it approaches their friendship and familial connection with enough delicacy that warrants a special mention. Which is only magnified with this 2-part episode special, though not by a lot. While the two get the most screen time and the most chances of development, it isn’t really done well. Only bits and pieces of changes and stringing up the two together. Whether the final episode or future seasons can provide further depth to their relationship, we can only find out.
In the end, the 11th episode of Dr. Ramune is like every other episode, and is a fun time for Kuro fans.
Dr. Ramune Mysterious Disease Specialist Episode 12 will be released on Sunday, 31 of March at 1:30 am JST.
How'd you like the episode? Comment down below!
Official Anime Website: Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist