On Otome Youkai Zakuro's foreshadowing
I may be wrong as usual, but I expect the opposing human-youkai team to appear and maybe some conspiracy to rule the world thrown in, which is what the 3 couplings of bumbling lovers are going to face. Heck, I'll guess more: the dude in the mask is probably the adjutant guy who we saw in the beginning of the 1st episode.
The adjutant (he's briefly named as Hanadate) reappears in the second episode as the Lieutenant who saves the day by defusing the situation our heroes have gotten themselves into (by throwing around Army resources, which apparently he can speak for). If one wants more signs that villainy is in the air, there's also the mysteriously ill-tempered lightning beast from the first episode; anime has taught me that any time a normally well behaved creature inexplicably goes berserk, it is due to enemy action.
Sadly this is one of the weaknesses that I grumped at Zakuro for, because the good Lieutenant Hanadate sure feels like a cliche. My immediate reaction to him in the second episode (even before I realized that he was also the adjutant) was that he was so clearly too good to be true that he was probably going to turn out to be a villain, just like a whole string of similar characters before him in other shows.
(Just to be sure, the show gave him the smarmy villain look.)
I hadn't paid enough close attention to the opening and ending sequences, though, so I didn't really notice the bits that Author did. The masked man does seem to have hair that's pretty similar to Lieutenant Hanadate's, including bangs (sort of visible in the unmasking section of the opening), although I don't think we've seen Hanadate with his hat off yet.
This 'too good to be true, turns out to be a villain' thing has gotten to be such a cliche in anime that I groan every time such a character turns up. Just once I'd like them to actually be the genuinely nice people that they appear to be, instead of villains who lead the protagonists on and betray them later on. (As it happens I have a theory for why this keeps happening, but it doesn't fit here.)
PS: to be clear, I'm not surprised by the existence of villains in Zakuro; it was plain from the opening that there would probably be antagonists, given that they suggestively showed us extra characters (in shadowy lighting, just to drive it in). It's the fine details I didn't spot, which shows that Author has a better eye than I do.
Written on 15 October 2010.