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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  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 04:42 AM)
    Even Anno admitted that Evangelion’s success was heavily reliant on Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s unique and attractive character design. It was familiar but still original. Rei and Asuka’s designs as well as the plug suits and the look of ye Evas had a huge impact in the industry and inspired a whole slew of future animators. You could’ve done the same exact series with a cruder art style and it wouldn’t have been nearly as good.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 04:19 AM)
    @Aidan: art-style is integral to the overall quality of a product, that’s why it irks me so much when Type-Moonies endlessly praise Nasu and underappreciate Takeuchi as if he didn’t contribute all that much to Fate’s success.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 02:38 AM)
    @Bam, it’s a rough style admittedly. But mate I played Umineko with the original artwork. It’s hard to find anything worse than that…expect Higurashi’s artwork…(shivers)
    Ryukishi, great writer but not an artist.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 12:24 AM)
    You guys made me want to go see Fury Road in IMAX now.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 10:13 PM)
    @Aidan: you know I tried looking into Muv Luv since it’s supposedly a seminal LN, but that character design is horrendous. The story sounds interesting but there’s such a divide between that and the art style that there’s no way I can get into it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 02:04 PM)
    Another Muv luv spinoff gets an anime adaption. Sure, lets adapt everything except the work that made it famous in the first place.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 04:10 AM)
    Muthafuckas cancelled the Constantine tv adapatation…
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:45 AM)
    Come to think of it, Tsugumi’s personality at odds with her monster design. I’m getting reminded of that mech from zone of the enders dolores that had the personality of a young girl .
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:43 AM)
    @Aidan: The bear will be explained as it was done so recently enough in the manga, Ochiai remains however a very dull villain.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:27 AM)
    You know when grabbing screenshots Sidonia really does look better when you look at it in still images. I really do think that if they just gave the models more natural movement then it would look metric tons better.

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