Posted 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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  • K-Off
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:03 AM)
    @Bam I’m guessing you liked Telltale’s Jurassic Park?
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:03 AM)
    @K-off: Don’t get me wrong, I heard good things about it, but flight simulators just aren’t my thing. It seems to have a slow learning curve as well, which might be the thing keeping it niche.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:00 AM)
    @Emma: if you have access to any type of computer right now then there really isn’t any excuse left not to, as it has aged very gracefully. The heavy noir jazz-fueled adventure in a 1950s south American land of the dead never really gets old and just oozes with style, witty dialogue and tons of charm. A timeless masterpiece of the medium by far.
  • Yuko
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 09:59 AM)
    @K-Off God damn, that sounds like hell.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 09:56 AM)
    @Yuko People who want the ultimate sandbox experience. It just comes at the cost of your time, effort, and knowledge, which is why KSP is a great game.
  • Yuko
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 09:53 AM)
    Who in their right mind, would play a game as hard as Kerbal Space Program??
  • K-Off
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 09:50 AM)
    @Emma Yeah, Binding of Isaac was a pretty drab game I couldn’t bring myself to finish. The weird shit gets old surprisingly quickly.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 09:48 AM)
    I watched my brother play super meat boy, cave story, binding of Issac.
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    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 09:48 AM)
    At the very least I can remember articles/screenshots about grim fandango when it originally came out, but at the time I only had Nintendo and sega consoles.
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    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 09:47 AM)
    @K-off: yeah but most adventure games (specially indie ones) are pretty approachable and designed with the casual crowd in mind. A space flight simulator is another thing entirely.

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