Posted by psgels on 24 May 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews

After the fun, light-hearted and brightly coloured Kero Kero Chime, the obvious next thing would of course be a mysterious dark and gritty horror-series. Enter Gilgamesh, a series that fits this description perfectly. Ad in the end, Gilgamesh turned out to be an excellent series, and a great recommendation for any Japanese-styled horror-fan.

In Gilgamesh, it’s not the storytelling or the dialogue that stand out (they both do their job, but they’re nothing extraordinary), but instead the story and characters themselves are the highlight of this series. A large part of the series is a character-study, backed up by an excellent story that knows how to build up and back up said characters. The characters are surprisingly down to earth and aside from some of the lesser important “villains”, every character is fleshed out and developed. This series continues to get better once it hits its second half, but the first half also has a couple of pretty memorable moments.

One thing I like about mystery-series is their ending: they’re either complete flops or pure excellence, depending on how creative the scriptwriters are feeling. As for Gilgamesh: you’ll either love or hate it, because the ending is unconventional to say the least. I personally loved the final episode, but if you prefer your endings to be along the lines of “Hero saves the world and gets the girl”, you won’t be too happy with it.

As for the bad points: the animation. The character-designs are actually gorgeous, and they will make you think that a good guy is actually a bad guy when you first see him (or her), but a number of shots in the first half have characters walking around like a bunch of thunderbirds, and this series also gratefully likes to re-use animation of previous episode. The storyline also has a few bugs here and there around the middle: in the world of Gilgamesh, computers are supposed to have stopped working, but at one point a character suggests to look up some information on a computer, but this is nothing major.

I also feel that the background of the lead children could have been a bit more elaborate. Don’t get me wrong, their backgrounds are complete, we just hardly get to see anything of it apart from a large number hints here and there. I guess that this was done to give these kids an air of mystery, but at the moment I’m still edging to know how Tatsuya’s mother changed, and in what kind of mess Fuko and Madoka were before the story began. Overall though, I had a great time watching this. I often had to force myself to stop watching in order to do other things, because the cliff-hangers kept making me hungry to see more of the storyline.

11 Responses

  1. Autonomous Monster says:

    It’s been a while since I watched Gilgamesh, so my memory’s a bit hazy, but… my problem with the show is that the plot never really went anywhere. It gathered together all these elements and then did nothing with them. It just ended.

    Compare with Saikano, a show with a similarly depressing finale. Where Gilgamesh left me nonplussed and vaguely dissatisfied, Saikano left me emotionally distraught in a way that nothing else has really come close to matching. Maybe if the Mai Hime guys had manned up and actually gone for the Pyrrhic victory… but eh.

  2. Archer says:

    i have this anime for quite some time in my to watch anime list and i heard it is very similar to Red Garden which i liked,the story also seems to be something i would enjoy so i really have to start watching it sometime and i will,however i don’t know when its time will come

  3. Kurisu says:

    I agree with Autonomous Monster, it never really went anywhere. I think it’s one of the first series I regretted wasting my time with. The dark, gritty atmosphere was very promising in the beginning but then it just drags on and in the end it makes “poof”. This would have been nice as a 4-6 episode OVA. Then it might have been a hidden gem like “Hitsujia no Uta”.

    I stopped watching Red Garden after 8 episodes or so because it developed far too slow for my taste. In that way and with respect to the mystery factor these two might very well be comparable. Likewise with respect to the unconventional (and somewhat questionable) art style. I find the rating 87/100 is extremely generous.

    By the way, I liked the opening song of Gilgamesh quit a lot back then despite being a total mismatch for this show. As far as I remember, the background “music” got painfully stoic and repetitive after some time.

  4. Zerozaki says:

    I distinctly remember the ending completely making up for how deliberately baffling the rest of it was. Behold the power of irony! Which seems to have gone over a lot of people’s heads, but they are probably stupid and not worth listening to.

  5. Kurisu says:

    “The king has no pants” goes over a lot heads, too, but people who feel the need to offend others’ for their differing tastes are probably stupid and not worth listening to.

  6. ebisu says:

    I just saw the first 3 chapters of this series a long time ago and find it quite boring, so I stopped watching it. I think it’s overrated, the second half must have been very good to supply the weak start.

  7. omo says:

    Wow, someone who gave Gilgamesh a positive review.

    There must be some reason why I read Star Crossed after all this time :)

  8. Saki says:

    Somehow, with all its flaws, I really like Gilgamesh. Especially the ending. Yes, the ending. Although I cannot say much about the animation. Hmm… but it’s just my taste, liking dark, mysterious, multi-layered stories like this. So, you’re reight, it’s really either love it, or loathe it. I chose love.

  9. Blue says:

    Just finished this anime yesterday and I must say while at the beggining I felt the anime had a lot fo potential it ended up just being pretty medicore. BUT! Then ending made up for this series HUGE. It was just a nice(Haha) change of pace from the convntitional endings and really hit me hard, specially what happened to the blind girl =/. Overall I’d say the rating you gave it was pretty good and glad you enjoyed the ending as much as I did.

  10. saed says:

    Hated the animation but loved the story.
    One of my favorites.


  11. Commenter says:

    Interesting setting and story, but this show often travelled through the lands of mediocrity. I think it was a problem with the plethora of characters and the painfully slow pace of the overall story. All in all I certainly enjoyed this show for its good moments, but I really wished this was a shorter and more compressed series.

    For those interested in rather unconventional series like gilgamesh: be sure to check out texhnolyze. These two are birds of a feather.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:31 PM)
    I’m trying not to get my hopes up however, given that it wouldn’t be surprising if he gave us another filler chapter like he did with that pointless flashback.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:26 PM)
    I enjoyed this chapter of berserk and it made me immediately think “Finally now we’re getting somewhere”. I have been flicking through older chapters of the manga and wow, this really has turned into something fairly different. Bam is right about Gut’s reason to go to elfland. I think its impossible now to get a satisfactory ending out of berserk though we’ve been waiting too long.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:14 PM)
    The alternative is that Miura wants to bank on this till he dies; can’t blame him cuz you can always bet on black (swordsman).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:13 PM)
    @Aidan: I think the point was originally to heal Caska (hence Farnese showing hesitation in fear of losing Guts when Caska is back) but then so many people tagged along that I don’t think the party knows anymore why they’re going there, just that they were supposed to. I have said before but I’m sure that either Miura doesn’t know what to do or has serious doubts about the ending.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:52 PM)
    Fairy dust, stargate, riding dragons, ruby slippers…anything to get Gut’s back on track to taking revenge. Miura needs to end this. He’s sick of making it and we are sick of waiting yet he drags the thing to high heaven.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:48 PM)
    It’s been so long I can’t even remember why they were going to elfhelm in the first place. Also was that a one piece joke?
    I like his art but yes, going simpler for moving the story along would be a better idea. Even if he needs to downgrade to the level of one punch man webcomic standards to bring weekly releases.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:14 PM)
    I just hope they teleport back to Midland or something, or ride faeries or whatever, I don’t Gove a damn, just anything but the boat. #NoMoreBoat
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:13 PM)
    The artistry remains incredible, with every frame filled to the brim with details, almost to the point of tiring the eye. It looks great and all, but I wouldn’t mind some simplicity for the sake of more frequent Berserk. I swear Guts’ entourage has grown so numerous and colorful that they’re almost like a traveling circus. I didn’t even remember that Roderick and a whole bunch of other people are also on the boat.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:06 PM)
    I enjoy Rickert but this chapter made me remember how better the story gets when Guts is back in the picture. This was a primer chapter and spent most of its time touching bases and getting the story back on track, and it did that wonderfully and humorously.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:01 PM)
    I was tryna stay spoiler free, but you’re goddamn right they got there! Few months back when Miura got it running again I said I believed that if Guts didn’t get to Elfhelm before the next hiatus then the series will probably never end. I really did feel that way and had little hope, but alas, rejoice indeed.

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