There’s a period in any anime series where it steps over the line and decides that it is not only good fun, but a ‘serious entertainment.’ Usually this involves painfully melodramatic overacting, screaming, introspection, sad moments from the past (and any anime character’s psychological hang-ups can be traced back to just one moment), and people reevaluating each other. It is always ludicrous, and part of the reason anime is so much fun to watch.
Well, here’s the start of that sort of thing for Don’t Leave Me Alone, Daisy, but it was done in a less than obvious way. Techno has decided to take some clues from romance manga, and is going to take Hitomi out on a group date. His group consists of just himself, a kidnapped Yamakawa X (who spends most of the episode frozen after his trip in the stratosphere) and Hitomi, later joined by the oblivious teacher.
The story, such as it is, is kind of perfunctory and the jokes are pretty obvious – this isn’t one of the funniest of the Don’t Leave Me Alone, Daisy episodes. It is one of the few that allows us to feel sympathy for Techno. He’s taken the group to Siberia via nuclear rocket, and since he’s run out of rocket fuel, he needs to borrow some from the local secret lab.
There he finds a shut-in, a scientist who has isolated himself and who has kept working even though the rest of the lab has been abandoned. Hitomi recognizes him as a parallel for Techno, and how he might have turned out had he not fallen for Hitomi and decided to infiltrate society. Techno, not so self-aware, finds himself inexplicably angry at this weird old man. When Techno shows him a mirror to prove to the old man that he’s not young anymore, and he doesn’t recognize his own face, it is oddly touching (made less so by his incongruous, perfectly trimmed mustache, which distracts a little from the emotion of the scene. Just a little).
Hitomi is warming to Techno here – she starts to see him less as a random freak than as a freak with personal issues. I wonder if maybe she’s just got a touch of the good old Stockholm syndrome, as Techno crosses the line between admirer and stalker again and again. So is DLMAD still as morally repugnant here as it seemed around episode 5? Probably not. Just wish it was funnier.