Posted by psgels on 19 June 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews

When judging first episodes, I always try to look at the potential for the rest of the series. Kurokami had a fairly generic beginning, but I saw potential for the rest of this series. I believed that the Dopple-liner system, in which every person has two clones living somewhere, with these clones destined to die when they get too close to their “Root”, definitely had the potential to become interesting later on. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

As a typical Sunrise-series, Kurokami is all about action: every single episode is really written for the battles, which use the aforementioned Dopple-liner system as a shounen-esque base to explain the various superpowers that appear through the series, but it’s all fairly generic: the side-characters all have interesting powers, but the lead characters and villains don’t have any fighting style other than “lots and lots of power”. Still, the battles are what made me keep watching this series: they’ve got this sense of despair when Kuro (the lead character gets beaten over and over again. It’s fairly formulaic, but especially in the beginning it’s strangely watchable.

But all goes down the drains in the second half. Up until the halfway point, despite the formulaic battles the series had actually done a fairly well job in letting us get to know the main characters. The story was finally coming together… until the writers completely jumped the shark with a string of the most blatantly obvious Deus ex Machina. The storyline that was up to that point at least fairly layered turns into a dumb “beat the bad guy”-storyline and turns completely ridiculous. My biggest gripe was with the episode that revealed why the major villain of this series became the bad guy. I won’t spoil it, but let me just say that those plot twists feel so incredibly contrived that they really destroyed any suspense of disbelief I still had for this series.

The characters are mostly just okay, but the male lead character is such an annoying character. He only has two personalities: an emo one (“leave me alone! I don’t want to fight!”) and a fearless one (“Let’s beat them, Kuro!”). I was hoping that he would change over the course of the series, but unfortunately he only got more and more generic as the show went on. So in the end, the only thing that this series did well is its pretty pictures. Sunrise is behind the animation, so at least the action looks solid and consistent, and the background art is very stylish.

Still, I really don’t recommend this series for anything. There really is much better stuff out there, and this series fails to stand out in any way aside from its Dopple-liner system, which it never really goes in-depth with anyway. The story is full of holes and power-level inconsistencies, battles are written so that Kuro wins them at the last possible moment and overall, it just smells of mediocrity.

Storytelling: 6/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 6/10

15 Responses

  1. Avatar AKI says:

    Such a shame…I remember stopping at EP10 because of the lack of subs and went on to finish other stuff. From your review, I think this one is better being dropped and my best guess is that I’ll continue reading the manga (which others say is better) than continue with the deus ex machina.

  2. Avatar senerikfred says:

    ‘Doppel-liner?’ I read some of the manga at one point, and the scanlations, at least, understandably used ‘doppelgänger’ to refer to clones and such.

  3. psgels psgels says:

    senerikfred: while I’m not sure of the exact spelling, the anime definitely used the term doppel-liner. Don’t ask me why they found it a good idea to change that.

  4. Avatar Nomus says:

    It started as clone it died as clone. Something like Fate/stay Shana no shikabane index,etc. They weren’t even trying to make sence by the end.

  5. Dropped this series very early on due to medicority and that fact that I’d seen it all before, but I can tell you right here right now that this was anything but your “typical Sunrise series” otherwise I probably would have liked it.

    Hopefully now they’ll be putting their funds to something more imaginative like I’m used to seeing from them.

  6. Avatar TJ says:

    I actually thought the second half was better. At least the production values went back up, and the dumb twists were still a lot better than the story going nowhere and Keita being emo.

  7. Avatar john says:

    you know they deviated from the manga right from the first episode, right? and that sunrise has horrible story making up skills lately, as demonstrated by Code Geass?

  8. @john: I love it when people trash on other people’s writing skills when they can’t even convey a coherent thought in less than a couple sentences. I mean seriously, “story making up skills”? Does such a thing even exist? Doubtful, and thus I think it’s safe to say that Sunrise can’t be said to be doing that badly if they lack “story making up skills”, especially since they actually have good creative writing skills instead…just not in the case of Kurokami The Animation.

    The staff team that worked on this show should probably be given some other lesser tasks to do from now on.

  9. Avatar ryvrdrgn14 says:

    Yes, it was very bad. I ‘forced’ myself to watch the first eight episodes and I was skipping through it also.

    The male lead very well fits the description of ‘bad acting’ in anime. His character seemed so superficial and ‘fake’ that it was like ‘Ugh’ whenever he tried to talk to look serious.

    Um… grats on seeing it through and condolences as well for time wasted. Let this be a warning to all who read your review. o_O

  10. Avatar Taxy says:

    I can’t agree with the most of you. I see Kurokami as a classic action-series, which never intended to make new inventions or beeing unique. It’s true, that I also like original new stuff with never-seen storys or anything else, but this one isn’t for those who want to see something new.

    Which can’t mean, the series ist completely bad. There are generations which can’t say from themselves, that they’ve seen that a thousand times earlier, so please consider, that there is a audience, which appreciate this series as a well-made action-series. Especially the high productions value keep me watching this with no complaints. It’s just a fun series and annoying maincharacters, which turn to be more mature, is a classic theme for stuff like this.

    It’s a just a matter, if you compare that series to so many others out there *and* your own experiences with that.

  11. Avatar ryvrdrgn14 says:

    At least for me I wasn’t even comparing it to anything in particular. I would just have to say the male lead was so bad that I couldn’t appreciate anything else in the series. o_O

    The art and animation quality are good, so I’ll agree there. I really tried, but after 8 episodes I ended up more annoyed than when I started. o_o

  12. Avatar Aetheus says:

    Kurokami … was somewhat hard to swallow at times, but I thought it was overall OK. The “new” Keita is a lot less of an arse than his manga counterpart, but ironically, this removes the one interesting quality Keita had in the manga – character development. Keita in the manga was much nastier to Kuro (and just about everyone else) during the start, but gradually grows fond of her (and starts being a bit less of a dick) later on. Also, I dislike how the ending was. I don’t know how the manhwa/manga handles it, but I sure as heck hope it ain’t similar to the anime’s version of the ending. Not only does it not make sense (so the big evil curse that plagued everybody for centuries is solved by isolation? Wasn’t that the point of the big pointy rocks in the first place?), Kuro’s fate is also rather sad, and it only makes me loathe Keita all the more for it.

  13. Avatar TS says:

    I dont think i have ever read a review on an anime i loved and read positive feedback :(. if yall dont like this kinda stuff what the hell do yall like?

  14. Avatar Rika says:

    Overall, I thought this anime was decent, and strangely, the ending was what captivated me the most. Excluding the recaps of Ep 23, the last few minutes were quite well done I would say.

    Though they could have cut the scene and put it in place of the ending of Ep 22. It was a waste of an episode, imo =/

  15. Avatar rhys says:

    i dnt see why it should get such bad remarks yeah the story was a little weird and messy but i still think this is an amazing series and the pictures are not the only descent thing about the series and to be honest i dnt know why people listen to this stuff because it doesnt matter what anyone else says if you like a series then you watch it but the way you make it sound will make people not even give the series a chance so no offence but i dnt agree

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

9 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Dororo – 23 [The Story of the Demons]

Welcome one and all to the penultimate episode of Dororo. We have brutality, we have drama, and we have a boatload of philosophy. Its everyone Game of Thrones Season 8 said it would be, but wasn’t. Is it too late to make that joke? Regardless, this was a good week for Dororo, so let’s jump […]

Mix – 11 [Try Pitching]

Good news for all you Mix fans out there: the show is likely to be two cour, as the Wikipedia page for its timeslot doesn’t have a replacement listed until October. That means three more months of baseball, romance, and mystifying Japanese puns before Hero Academia S4 kicks Mix off the air for the fall […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 11 [Tsuzumi Mansion]

Welcome to another episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba! This week we finally meet the rest of our leading group, find a new Demon and deal with some… odd tonal issues. Lets dive in! Starting off, Zenitsu. I have to say, whatever Yaiba is planning with him, so far I am not impressed. The man was […]

Fruits Basket (2019) – 11 [A Really Wonderful Hot Spring]

Fruits Basket gets a bit better this week, though not by a wide margin. This week is a return of Momiji, the most childish character we’ve seen so far in this show (until we learn that he’ll reach high school next year). The White Valentine approaches, and he wants to bring Tohru to the onsen […]

Sarazanmai – 10 [I Want to Connect, but I Can’t]

The body count keeps rising up in the final stretch of Sarazanmai. With this episode we get to the end of Reo and Mabu’s pair, and it’s certainly a bittersweet experience. As it turns out, we eventually learn that Mabu sacrifices his “desire” to Reo in order to physically stays behind him. So it’s Reo […]

Carole & Tuesday – 10 [River Deep, Mountain High]

“Do the gravity bounce?” Once again it’s GGK’s performance becomes my favorite of this week, and Angela’s style still is too mainstream for my taste. With the pacing of this episode I am more certain that this Brightest Mars competition is gonna take up the first half of the series. Things don’t look good for […]

Serial Experiments Lain – 7 [Society] – Throwback Thursday

Hello all and welcome to another episode of Serial Experiments Lain! Apologies for the lateness and brevity on this one, was/am feeling rather sick as this week wrapped up. Oddly enough, the addled state of mind may have helped me understand Lain better. As this week we get a lot of answers, the Knights become […]

One Punch Man S2 – 9 [The Ultimate Dilemma]

Sigh, it was nice having a free week of no OPM. No disappointment, not falling opinion of an acclaimed manga series. Just free time and no post I had to write. Now we are back though, and JC Staff has once again screwed it up. So join me as this week we talk music. For […]

Dororo – 22 [The Story of Nui]

Another week, another episode of Dororo. This time we follow up with Nui, the mother, Hyakki falls off the deep-end and Tahomaru gets one up on his brother. Lets dive in! Starting off, recently I have been skipping the production portion of these posts. 22 episodes in, you know what your getting at this point. […]

Latest Reviews

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 Anime Review – 87/100

Upon finishing this series, the only question on my mind was how many animators did Bones sacrifice on ONE’s altar to achieve this. Following their prior season, Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 continues Bones adaptation of webcomic and manga author ONE’s 4th work, Mob Psycho 100. ONE has also authored the critically acclaimed One Punch […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai Review – 84/100

Anime draws on many different media types in its endless search for properties to adapt, but manga is still the king of the bunch. And why not? It’s a distinctly Japanese art form, their main demographics have significant overlap, and manga’s panel-based layout means that some of the anime staff’s work is already done. Plenty […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Anime Review – 93/100

Recently, sports anime have become a bit of a dying breed. Falling into the same hole as Mecha, aside from a passionate base audience, most are overlooked. There are the occasional hits like Haikyuu, Yuri on Ice, or Darling in the Franxx for Mecha, but those are few and far between, often taking years. Even […]

A quick and dirty review of Garo: Vanishing Line

What it claims to be about: A secret order of knights and alchemists, the Makai Knights and Alchemists, fight horrifying creatures called Hollows who prey on human weakness .Part of the media franchise spanning anime and live action shows, this iteration is set in modern metropolis and concerns the attempts of Sword, the strongest Makai […]