Oh, a locked room mystery? No…. Things are far stranger than they first appeared.
What They Say:
Episode #4: “The Mystery Hidden in Lake Yasogami”
Kyoma and Mira end up at a village with a dark past after Albert asks them to investigate the mysterious death of novelist Shijuro Sakaki.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
My least favorite mysteries are locked room puzzles. This episode of Dimension W starts out with one, in a haunted hotel on an island in a man-made lake. The pieces of a traditional murder mystery are in place. There are three suspects, an old owner, a manager, a rival detective, the dead author and of course, a secret past where many people lost their lives in accidents. Kyoma plays the skeptic and Mira the innocent believer who ends up being attacked wearing nothing but a towel. (I’ll forgive the focus on her backside this time because this is a horror mystery, you need the woman in the towel for maximum horror effect.)
This episode takes some time to bring in some side characters. We do get confirmation that the reason Al survived the explosion in episode one because he is a former super-soldier. Kyoma casually kicks him out a third story window and Al sticks the landing. He’s also on a far more casual relationship with Kyoma than first appeared, and he’s still a hard one to pin down. He’s not the obvious bad guy that the first episode made him look to be. The new gothic-lolita style girl with the English name that shows up is also a collector, there for the same reasons as the other two. She is currently just a strangely dressed anomaly who doesn’t match the style of the others, but we know she’ll be important going forward because she’s in the opening credits.
This episode lulls you into a typical rhythm. At first, it appears a robot might have been the culprit. We get some information on what governs the rules of robots in their world. You begin to expect that things will play out in the typical fashion. Al and Kyoma’s exposition filled conversation causes your mind to drift until you actually take in what the two are saying to each other. There is a number coil involved. That accident in the past may relate to the still in development technology at the time.
By the halfway mark this episode takes a hard turn into the weird. This show wasn’t going to just do a locked room puzzle. The supernatural goings on might not be ghosts in the traditional sense, but when magical science is at work all bets are off. We’ve already seen some of the strangeness that illegal coils can cause, and that dimensional instability can wreak havoc on reality in strange and grotesque ways. Mira discovers the overlapping past and present in the worst possible way while taking part in a horror movie trope at the same time. The suspects launch an attack, people are in two places at once, reality seems to be overlapping. What you thought was going to happen is thrown out the window.
Dimension W was about to lure me into a false sense of security. This episode opens like any other stock, locked room mystery that I would expect of almost any series. This whole setup is one clever bait and switch. By halfway through the show suddenly reminds you that we’re dealing with alternate dimensions and all of the weirdness and horror that comes with it. Suddenly the stakes are raised and stuff gets really strange and interesting. Even the visuals kick it up a notch. The cliffhanger leaves some very strange questions to be answered next week.
Episode Grade: B +
Streamed by: Funimation
Review Equipment: 27” iMac running OS Yosemite, via Safari 9, FIOS connection. Your mileage may vary.