As much as I’d like to say that words do not do this episode justice, I feel it’d be a missed opportunity not to talk about how beautifully crafted and lovingly executed this is. The last five minutes of this episode is all you really need to justify why this remake had to be made.
One thing I’ve find to be sorely lacking in anime these days is the ability to convey so much about a character through dialogue. What this episode does is takes two completely different characters converse and exchange their world views in the simplest, most natural manner possible. Chrollo and Neon’s exchange was the calm before the storm. What essentially begins as a conversation about Neon’s prediction, diverts to being about life after death. This spoke volumes about these characters, and its interesting how something changes drastically when you execute the same dialogue differently. The ’99 series didn’t really do well with making Neon likable and Chrollo always seemed detached throughout the series. The thing with the 99 series’ version is that I wasn’t always sure if Chrollo was putting up an act or not. In Madhouse’s take, they’re careful not to show too much of Chrollo’s expressions, but at the same time, they didn’t make it seem like he was just putting up an act in front of Neon.
It is my principle to interpret every scene in an elevator as DEEP. Joking aside, here’s a very interesting way to do your composition. The elevator door divides Chrollo and Neon, and all the while, Neon is facing the viewer as she speaks. Chrollo on the other hand, spends most of his time with his back turned. It’s a little detail that ends up being used a bit in the last quarter of the show as well.
Compared to the ’99 series and the manga, I prefer Madhouse’s take on this part of the story. It creates a somber mood that fits well with the Yorkshin arc. It feels more grown up and sophisticated, doesn’t it? I mean they even have Mozart there, guys.
As sophisticated as a shounen anime with spinning heads and killer vacuums can be, anyway.