While there aren’t any fish cake body parts or mayonnaise tears, Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist episode 3 instead gives us a better look into Dr. Ramune and Kuro, and finally delves more into the world of the mysterious.
“What will you do?”
The episode begins with Ramune shenanigans of convincing Kuro to join him to a “mysterious tools shop”. There, Kuro and the audience are introduced to another layer to the world of Dr. Ramune. There’s more than just weird supernatural diseases happening. Even the tools the doctor uses have a story. And the episode focuses heavily on the consequences of the tools, and that they’re more than just simple magical objects.
Benching the episodic-obscure-illness-of-the-day plot, the episode gives the audience a peak to the other layers of Ramune’s personality and core traits. While definitely an adult, we get to see his heart of gold and desire to help, pretty typical of the shounen protagonist. He rushes into things without much thought. And while the first two episodes managed to show his smarts despite the childishness, we get to see a less reliable side to him when faced with an obstacle that he couldn’t outwit. Not that this is a bad thing, but it’s nice to see the others able to flex their smarts.
This isn’t a major source of drama though, since the episode seems more interested in laying the groundwork for future episodes and complications. Specifically, world-building and the role of other characters in the story. Two new characters are introduced to the audience, and they play a major role in the business and life of Ramune.
Minor spoilers ahead!
“It’s like an antique shop”
A grandma who isn’t your typical old woman and her grandson are the newest members to the show. With their experience in the mysterious, they are responsible for the creation of the tools Ramune uses. This is how the show introduces the second layer of world-building with the objects. While some can be powerful and useful, they always come with consequences.
This becomes a major plot point for the episode since they have to deal with one tool that goes a little out of control. It has less of the “moral of the day” vibes of the previous episodes since it’s interested in the main characters and their abilities. Which was a nice departure, since having a lecture every episode would get grating on some. Kuro gets to show off a bit of his sharp wit, and the new members of the cast are fun and have cool ideas behind them that could spell for wicked entertainment in the future. Though that depends if the show develops them beyond side characters.
“It’s foolish right?”
A weird choice was made in making the 8th chapter of the manga as the 3rd episode of the show. While it is important in showing that there’s more to the story than a man solving mysterious problems, it’s placed very oddly since the other chapters of the manga still follow this episodic approach. It could make the pacing messy for future episodes.
This episode actually takes its time introducing concepts and there are hints of other characters and dangers present. A good thing since it finally introduces a narrative. But it’s all background noise and dispersed. It isn’t focused and runs the risk of falling under the radar for most viewers. While it’s formula no doubt works, it isn’t taken to the ridiculous extreme (like Cells At Work! Or The Way of the Househusband). Neither does it have the nuance to its themes. It’s feeling more like a typical supernatural-adventure-shounen. And while this necessarily isn’t a bad thing, it isn’t going to be a long-lasting story and could risk fading into obscurity.
There’s also that the animation behind it isn’t really spectacular either. While the manga art is certainly fun to look at, the animated show doesn’t have any glimmer of uniqueness to its approach. It doesn’t take any wild risks to supplement the story. It all puts Dr. Ramune in a difficult position to prove itself as more than your run-of-the-mill forgettable seasonal show.
“He’s still got a long way to go”
It is just the 3rd episode. The show has 9 more episodes left to turn things around. And seeing weird disease is still fun, despite not being narratively cohesive. Fans can still enjoy this new episode, and it could be entertaining. If the show takes better steps in the coming episodes, there’s still a possibility of wild madness to enjoy.
Dr. Ramune Mysterious Disease Specialist Episode 2 will be released on Sunday, 31 of January at 1:30 am JST.
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