Home > Episode by Episode > Karneval ep3: so does this mean man’s best friend… is a boy?

Karneval ep3: so does this mean man’s best friend… is a boy?


I would have gotten my thoughts out faster, but I was too busy laughing at this episode’s twist!  It’s not often that a show gives me such a convenient target.  Cute and stupid?  Oh Nai, put on this bulls-eye t-shirt.  I’m going to be taking shots at you for the rest of the season!

After Karoku’s mind screw on Nai last episode, the kid’s been left in a bit unconscious.  So while some goofy doctor in a top hat (are top hats standard issue for certain people in this Circus group?) surveys his vitals, he has a trippy dream.  For someone who appears to have abandoned Nai, once they make contact again he seems very interested in the boy.  Karoku knows about Gareki and it seems very hostile towards him, giving Nai veiled threats towards Gareki’s safety.  He really comes off like some jealous boyfriend, or the creepy A.I. from .hack//SIGN.

Nai seems to get the message, because once he regains consciousness he attempts to push Gareki away. Nai then starts balling like a scolded child.  I thought this scene was a bit weird just because Nai and Gareki hardly know each other.  And there hasn’t been much in the way of conversation.  All Nai talks about is Karoku; and all Gareki talks – well, he doesn’t talk so much as make snide remarks and observations.  His conversations with the doctor this episode are a good example of that.

The doc himself is busy giving the top hat guy, Hatori, the results of his diagnostics on Nail.  The results are interesting, and very entertaining.  At first it appears that Nai isn’t human, but later on in the episode it’s clarified that he’s actually a mix of human and Niji DNA.  He’s apparently a friendlier, more well put together version of the monsters they’ve seen.  And the creature he’s based on looks to me like some sort of unicorn rat pegasus hybrid.  And just like Hatori, I found this discovery utterly hilarious! I don’t know why.  It just seemed extra ridiculous to me, much like how I find it ridiculous how male characters in this show like to touch each other’s faces so much.

Gareki gets the news as well, and is pretty embarrassed by it for some reason.  I don’t really watch a lot of josei material, so I don’t know what the tropes and accepted teases are in these shows.  But I suspect he was embarrassed because- NO! No, I’m not going to go there. I’m not gonna act like some sort of fujoshi, linking male characters left and right.  The important point is that he wants to get to know why Nai has suddenly started acting weird and pushing him away.  Nai is pretty up front and tells him more about his link with Karoku and the dream he had recently.  Gareki asks some pretty good questions here.  But because Nai is a bit of an idiot, and quite ignorant of his circumstances, he won’t be getting those answers any time soon.  But like I said, they were good.

How does Karoku communicate with Nai, when they can’t even find each other? (I’m guessing they may be similar beings.)

Why does Karoku talk to Nai now and not before?  (This I’m stumped on as well.)

The conversation makes Gareki quite interested in meeting this hostile “friend” of Nai’s.  And I’m not sure how much of that interest involves curiousity, and how much involves him wanting to knock Karoku’s head off.

Nai’s newly discovered origin is cause for the big gay stealth bomber to make a detour to Circus’s Research Tower.  There we’re introduced to what looks like a rival team of operatives,

including a needlessly b*tchy little girl.  I’ll remember there names later, when they actually have some plot significance.  And the meeting with whom I assume are the heads of Circus

goes off in a somewhat hostile fashion.  There’s a push to have Nai immediately dissected, since Nai is even more of a miracle than anyone suspected.  But Circus’s head pink-haired scientist (easily identified as the guy who creeps the goofy Akari, the hell out) thankfully stops that.

Despite how annoying Nai is, I have to agree.  It doesn’t make much sense to take a living miracle and just kill it for research.  Morons.

The agreed upon course of action is to study the myserious island where Nai’s creature of origin originates.  I love how nonchalant everyone is about this mysterious island.

We then get a scene involving Nai and Gareki talking again, and him talking a bit about his past and the people he left behind.  And then some stuff about being filthy, and the other filthy people.  It was mostly boring so I’ll move on with the plot.

Gareki, Nai, the pink scientist and Akari all head to the mysterious island, known for its optical illusions.  Nai’s super hearing is what’s used to help navigate the island.  There they find a burned down house, a cave, and a lot of trouble.  Akari takes up defense, and mostly does an admirable job until Nai exposes himself.  And in a bit of a surprise we see the dark gooey evil creatures actually attack Gareki and take him away.  I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the ex-boyfriend is behind this one.

I’ve gotten into a good comfortable groove watching Karneval, despite the creepy bunnies and what seems like lots of girly fanservice.  And I’m having fun playing up this “jealous boyfriend” angle, at least in my mind.  My guess is that Karoku and Gareki will kindle a bit of a rivalry in the next episode.  As for the yaoi jokes, I’ll save them for later.  I gotta pace myself.

Note: for some reason those white bunnies are even creepier than the black ones.  *shudder*  Seriously Japan, what’s up with the love affair with making cute things creepy or dangerous?  Is it part of your national identity, sort of like how no one understands why my country loves guns so much?

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  1. April 21, 2013 at 20:00

    I’ll be honest, I’m now continuing to watch this show because of it’s amusement factor and nothing else. Okay, and the yaoi jokes – you got me there.

    • April 21, 2013 at 22:15

      I’m no different. I don’t find the characters, plot or setting compelling. But it’s just an easy fun watch.

  2. striffy
    April 22, 2013 at 09:14

    I’m pretty sure Gareki (the one you refer to as Gay Stealth Bomber) was embarrassed because up till then he’d been treating Nai as a regular person; you know, taking him seriously, maybe even deriving some pleasure from Nai’s open gratitude. But finding out that he’d been talking to an animal the way he would a human was probably really embarrassing, as a pride thing which I totally understand– no fujoshi stuff going on there…

    And yes, sadly being annoying isn’t grounds for dissection so Nai’s safe for now.
    I’m also watching it simply for the amusement factor. And the yaoi jokes. I’m looking forward to the Battle of the Boyfriends (Gay Stealth Bomber VS. Guy Who Makes Out With His Ring.)

    • April 22, 2013 at 14:53

      LOL! Actually, the big gay stealth bomber is the nickname I gave their ship. But if I apply it to Gareki, it’s even more hilarious, and makes just as much sense. It also makes sense that he’d be a little embarrassed with all that pride of his.

      I’m still debating on whether I personally want to view Nai as some sort of anthropomorphized Pokëmon (again kinda funny), or perhaps as an actual person with perhaps some mental handicap.

      • striffy
        April 22, 2013 at 15:05

        Ahaahha the Gay Stealth Bomber was the ship? Looks like I screwed up somewhere… So I guess Gareki’s straight for now.
        dude I think I’m going to stick with Nai being a pokemon otherwise I’ll probably want to throttle the kid. Also, I’m incredibly glad we actually have a reason for what seems to be some sort of mental handicap. I swear it’s like a breath of fresh air to have a retard with an actual reason to being a retard other than KYA SO MOE~

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