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.

    Later.

  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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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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