In the latest episode of Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist, we get to taste a darker flavor to the world of Ramune. More than just the troubles of gyoza, the newest patient to enter Dr. Ramune’s door has demons to face. And there's a high price to pay if they fail.
Minor spoilers ahead!
The episode starts with Dr. Ramune sweeping the floors of the temple he lives in when he meets Rio, a lonely boy with a lot of troubles and a wish. He’s constantly praying at the temple in the hopes that someone could answer his one request. Almost like a coincidence, Dr. Ramune’s newest patient steps into his door. And lo and behold, the patient just so happened to be the mother of young Rio. And this is the set up for the darkest story in the series so far.
“My mom is now suffering from a strange disease.”
The entire episode plays out normally as all previous episodes have. There’s the patient with the weird (and for some reason, food-related?) illness that contemporary science and medicine can’t explain. There’s Dr. Ramune being childish and wickedly intelligent as he immediately dissects the situation and what’s wrong with the patient. And there’s the mysterious tool to save the day. At least, that’s what the show wants you to think.
The whole episode unfolds like a well-wrapped present, topped with a bow. Each scene as funny and entertaining as what you’d expect, like the folds of wrapping paper or the knots of a bow. But as the episode keeps playing, like a present slowly opening, you notice the small imperfections that become too big to notice. Like when a corner is a little too crumpled, or when the edges of the wrapping paper look like they’re torn rather than cut. Or when the bow-tie looks dirty under the light. Or when the box with the gift smells of something horrifying. This is the entire episode, a pretty piece of candy with a sour and sinister center.
Here, in episode 5, the show finally takes its first dip into new territory. Because, unlike before, there’s sort of… ominous undertone to the story. It’s seen in the quiet moments that happen more often, the knowing glint in Ramune’s eye, the desperation in Rio’s voice as he asks and asks for anyone to help. Even the color palette in some scenes mirror the darkness lurking underneath. Something is definitely wrong with Ramune’s latest patient. But unlike before, where there’s a simple sin with a simple solution, this one demands greater care. And provides a fiendishly good time for audiences wanting more from the story.
“The one who hasn’t figure it out is the patient herself”
This was honestly the most exciting episode so far. While the first episodes focused on making a light-hearted comedy, the newest episode provides the necessary thrills to make people return to the series. Which is a welcome addition since repeating the format of “Dr. Ramune acts like a jerkish therapist and solves their weird problems and issues” will get old very quickly for some. But some fair warning, the episode does not hold back with the ideas. Like at all. Get ready for a shock, because this latest episode shows no fear, but you definitely should.
When it said dark, it really went DARK. And whether this is something others would want is a big issue. So far, a lot of fans of the show seem surprised at the sudden change in tone to the series. While it’s easy to be placated by the knowledge of an episodic serial story like Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist will not stick to the dark path it chose for this episode, there’s a question for some fans of the bubbly comedy if the show would dip into something like this again. While there are those who enjoy the fresh take and a break from the monotony, it’s also far from a good time. Manga readers might not be surprised by the show’s sudden change since the series has so far followed the story, but the concern is probably the same. Will happy-go-lucky Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist let out its fangs once again? And will the audience enjoy it?
“First, you have to pay the price”
For those of you who did enjoy it, it’s easy to agree that they made a good choice. The way the episode built up to the twist of what caused the disease, what’s actually going on with the patient and Rio’s family and the whole mess of secrets and surprises was very fun to watch. It is very unlikely that the word “shocking” or “nail-bitingly intense” are words to describe the Dr. Ramune. But they seemed appropriate as the final scenes played and the audience is left wondering. In a way, Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist has solidified itself as good entertainment.
In summary: WATCH. THIS. NOW.
Dr. Ramune Mysterious Disease Specialist Episode 6 will be released on Sunday, 14 of February at 1:30 am JST.
What do you think is gonna happen in the next episode? Comment down below!
Official Anime Website: Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist