Posted by psgels on 24 October 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Ayatsuri Sakon


Ayatsuri Sakon is another one of these unknown series that nearly nobody has heard of, and which still is quite good. It’s an arc-based series, tackling murder mysteries. The main character is a pretty interesting one: he’s a puppeteer (Sakon). On his own, he’s really shy, but when he wields his favourite and most cherished puppet (Ukon), he becomes quiet, serious and quite cool. To make matters even better, he’s so good at ventriloquism that his puppet looks just too much like a person. Ukon is loud-mouthed, rude and nearly the opposite of Sakon’s personality, but together they form a solid base for this series to work with.

Basically, the arcs in this series consist out of three or four episodes, and in each of them, a person is killed and Sakon, who happens to be in the neighbourhood, has to solve them. These mysteries go far beyond the “Scooby-Doo”-murders, they’re committed quite carefully, and it’s very often that only the smallest details will give them away. The murderers themselves also often have quite some interesting reasons for their actions. As an added extra, because Sakon is a ventriloquist, the entire series is deeply rooted in the ancient Japanese puppetry, giving this series a unique look.

There is, however, one problem with the set-up. I’m personally a huge fan of arc-based series, but they’ve got one major drawback: the quality between the different arcs can fluctuate heavily. With Ayatsuri Sakon, it’s the arcs in the middle of the series that are a bit lacklustre, and not that interesting when compared to the other ones. It’s often obvious who did it, and they do a bit too little to really stand out.

Still, to make up for this, there are a number of astonishing arcs around the beginning and end. Especially the second and the final arc are true masterpieces in storytelling, and just about everything went right for them. These two arcs managed to become very emotionally charged, with great results.

There are a number of recurring characters here and there, and I’m glad to see that all of them get sufficient development to be more than just a two-dimensional one, and nearly all of them have an entire arc dedicated to them. Sakon is also an excellent main characters, who can, together with Ukon, perfectly carry the weight of the series. He may seem like a static character in the beginning, but don’t worry: as the show goes on, he’ll get enough development.

Overall, if you’re a fan of murder mysteries, you just have to give this series a chance. Don’t be scared away by the lesser middle part, both the beginning and the end contain some remarkable stories. It’s a shame nobody talks about this, because Sakon is definitely getting less attention than it deserves, and it’s a real underrated series.

2 Responses

  1. Archer says:

    i really love mystery in a anime and this one is perfect for me,i really enjoy watching it
    so far i watched 7 episodes and i don’t see why people gave this anime such a low grade or just avoid it because it does deserve a chance since from what i saw so far it had very complex story’s and the characters are almost all very interesting so at least i am glad to see someone here who liked this one to

  2. Kaamio says:

    I just finished watching this, it’s pretty old anime but I just had missed it earlier… I must say, it was great and very original. Characters are very well portrayed and dialogue between them is well written. Sakon is humble, down-to-earth guy but shows healthy ambition at the end of the series. I wish there were more series like this (or maybe there is and I just haven’t found those yet).

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  • hal
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 09:21 PM)
    I can also say, that there may be some romantic feelings by some of the companions of her later on, but honestly it’s more admiration and respect than actual love. And she also has no romantic feelings for the other characters (Though I assume there will be development with hak in the future)
  • hal
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 09:18 PM)
    @Vincent: As a manga reader of Yona I can definitely say, that the romance isn’t really the main point of the story. It’s a fantasy adventure story. With hints of romance, but up to where I read (ch48) there was no romantic development. At all. Yona grows into a strong independent woman throughout the story. She really is a well written character.
  • Vincent
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:58 PM)
    @ninjarealist I saw the reverse harem within the first 10 minutes. Tbh, the reverse harem isn’t my gripe. The characters are so boring. If you’re going to rip-off K-dramas, at least do it right.
  • Vincent
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:55 PM)
    @Bam you know it. I just cannot stand to watch Akatsuki when I have four dramas on my watch list.
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:31 PM)
    @Vincent The first episode of Akatsuki no Yona was definitely the worst. The second was OK but the third episode was the best one by far. I’m still not sure what to think. If there are a lot more episodes as good as the third one then it could be a really good series. If there are a lot more episodes as mediocre as the first one, then it’s going to be a very mediocre series indeed.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:24 PM)
    As much as I liked Parasytes manga, I needed to read up to volume three before I really properly got into it.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:23 PM)
    @Bam:That woman who showed up in this weeks episode ends up being one of the best characters in the series.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:22 PM)
    Parasyte 03: it was decent. This monster of the week might be getting a little stale, but I believe they are using it to set up the plot and open the story by introducing some pivotal characters. The body transformations remain pretty entertaining. This show plays a lot of its tropes straight, but at least does them in a competent way.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:18 PM)
    Cross Ange has pretty much ascended to the most anticipated show of the season.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:08 PM)
    @Vincent: like Jumong m8? ;-)

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