Posted by psgels on 26 March 2010 with categories: Ookami Kakushi

Of course I was excited when I learned that a new series written by Ryukishi07 would premiere this Winter Season. His work on Higurashi and Umineko was brilliant. Well, as it turns out, the only similarity between Ookami Kakushi is a bit of a similar setting. Apart fro that, it’s completely different. And yeah, I agree that change is good, but it still feels like I’ve been wasting my time with this series.

And sure, there are some good ideas in it. The whole story about a divided town in the middle of nowhere, in which everyone acts so creepingly nice towards the main character who just moved in there. It has definitely potential to get somewhere, but this series never uses it and instead opts for a watered-down plot that gets less impressive with each progressive episode.

There are many culprits for this one, but my biggest problem with this series are its main character and main villain. Let me start with the former. Even though he’s the central character to the story, this guy… just doesn’t do anything. Seriously, every time something serious happens, he just stand there and looks. He never acts, he never tries to think of something, he never accomplishes something. He’s just… there. His central role in the series makes no sense and feels artificial at best. On top of that, the worst thing probably is that we never get to learn anything about him. At the end of the series, I knew as little about his life as at the start.

The villain, on the other hand, is ridiculously stupid. His motivations are cheesy and are just explained with one lazy line. His plans are full of holes and not clearly thought through. In fact, most of the adults in this series degenerate into complete idiots by the end of the series, just in order to have the various kids of the series in the centre of the conflict. As a result, the ending just makes no sense and is stuffed with a bunch of ridiculous plot twists.

The final nail in this series’ coffin for me was the acting, which was mediocre at the times where this series needed to deliver the most; especially the final third of this series suffered from rushed acting that failed to convey any emotions beyond the cheesy. While I feel like I cared about the characters in the beginning, but eventually they lost all believability due to the lukewarm execution. I guess that Ryukishi07 wanted to try out the shounen genre in this one, but he pretty much failed at it in my opinion.

Storytelling: 6/10 – Cheesy, never gets more interesting after its introduction.
Characters: 7/10 – Some characters have potential, but the lead character is useless, the lead villain is a paper bag and the adults are complete morons.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Hardly any animation errors, but nothing special.
Setting: 8/10 – The concept is nice enough. If the execution was right this could have had a lot of potential.

20 Responses

  1. PL says:

    I know this is a pretty low score for you, but 72 still actually falls into your “watchable but nothing special” category, and this show really wasn’t watchable. I kept on and on with it because I wanted to like it so badly due to ryukishi07’s involvement. Higurashi and Umineko are masterpieces, and especially if umineko ever gets that second season it so badly deserves. Every time a major plot twist loomed on the horizon, I thought, “Ok, here’s where the complexity is going to step in and surprise the hell out of me” and then it didn’t, over and over for 12 episodes. Well, actually 11 because I gave up on anything happening after the main character’s corny, cheesey speech about everybody loving each other or whatever. “I learned to respect people who are different from me” blah. yuck. ookami kakushi is not bad enough to be good and not good enough to be good either. It just muddles around in this vanilla, boringness that wasted about 4 1/2 hours of my life. And that sucks, because I really had high expectations for this one.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    I guess that the difference with me is that my expectations were pretty much gone after about four episodes or so. Despite the good start, I quickly saw that it wasn’t going to be as good as Higurashi or Umineko, especially because of its incredibly short length. When you don’t have stellar expectations, it still had its enjoyable parts in around the first half, and a number of the side-characters weren’t half-bad.

    I can understand your point as well, though. When you expect something as good as Higurashi or Umineko for every single episode, then yeah. This show is going to end up as one heck of a disappointment.

  3. PL says:

    I have a bad habit of getting excited about something because the first episode rocks (ie. sacred blacksmith) or the people/company involved in the production (Ookami kakushi, every sucky movie made by Mamoru Oshii–who has a surprisingly crappy record despite also having made at least two of the most brilliant anime films ever made) and then holding out hope way after its been dashed to the rocks…

  4. Alec says:

    it had an interesting first ep, but the rest are all pure BS…an anime not worth watching. an anime easily forgotten

  5. would says:

    “it still feels like I’ve been wasting my time with this series. ” – that’s something I realised with first two episodes. I’m surprised you managed to watch all episodes of this “something”.

  6. mds says:

    so,the main problem here is not with the Okamoto’s lousy adaptation ,but with the original material itself?

  7. Meep says:

    Amen to this review. I didn’t bother watching most of the last episode..there was just nothing more.

  8. cx says:

    you actually finished that.

  9. Acylia says:

    I second what cx said. I’m amazed you managed to finish it! It probably would’ve gotten a much lower score from me. xD

  10. m says:

    The show’s writing was almost consistently mediocre so my expectations for it were that of a serialized, cheap mystery thriller. I think that it mostly lived up to those, though the final elements weren’t as interesting as I had expected. After the suspense was depleted it continued through the motions until its inevitable ending, and even threw in a cheesy monologue at the end*.

    The protagonist was weak and mostly useless, and even he and his family realized this and it was supposed to be a crowning achievement for him when he manned up, but that still fell flat. However, I think anime leads in general are usually really weak and non-threatening or annoyingly self-righteous, so this character flaw wasn’t that special to me. If I had to choose between uni-dimensionally single-minded idealism to a non-threatening kid that displays hardly any bravery after moving to a town where people are regularly murdered by magic, then I would choose the latter because it’s less annoying.

    Plus, who didn’t get a laugh when the protagonist and his generic female human comrade don’t nod their heads at each other when they decide to follow the wolf pack to chase the villain, when the others have superhuman speed and he’s completely useless? That was pretty hilarious, right? There’s no need to fear, we’ll help save the day!

    I thought it was watchable, at least in the sense that I watched it, and I only really watched three shows** this season. If there had been something that looked as good but was written well I wouldn’t have bothered, but when the pickings are thin, a forgettable show that looks good*** is acceptable for disposable television.

    Now I wouldn’t suggest the show to anyone, I am not inclined to buy the discs, and I hope beyond all hope that I manage to forget that I watched the show by this time next year, but I have seen much worse. Plus, while I still can’t stand Umineko, the repeated references to Higurashi no Naku Koroni forced me to sit down and watch all of that and Kai (but not Rei), and that had some reasonably entertaining parts. It shares some of the key defects of Ookami-kakushi, like a really poorly-motivated villain, a weak protagonist, and some plotholes, but it was less prominent within a much more imaginative setting with an edgier story, and full of misdirection so it was much more interesting. Besides the limited time available to him in Ookami-kakushi, I don’t think the author is very good at linear storytelling, and that this is just less obvious in his preferred setting of repetition with deviation.

    * I have no intention of ever watching the final, post-storyline episode.

    ** There are some better shows running, like FMA that I follow the manga of, and only watch episodes irregularly along with the occasional OVA or episode of something else.

    *** Except for the really lazy curve parametrization used for any object deemed a vehicle. Those paths are terrible.

  11. Solaris says:

    After all i can’t defend this show. I expected a lot from R07 and Peach Pit, but alas, we this show has too many flaws. Of course there’s a lot of better stuff out there, but yet the show wasn’t that terrible. The fault is to blame on the direction rather thab on the plot in my opinion. I guess the original VN is sure somehow much better.

  12. Bummer…After watching Higurashi, I was hoping this one would be just as good, if not better.

  13. AKI says:

    It’s not the material; Peach Pit’s mangas are goodie good (Rozen Maiden, Zombie Loan). It’s the adaptation that sucked. I was already expecting it to be bad right after the second episode. Guess I’m a masochist since the last episode’s still queued at my BT. Good luck to me.

  14. temperus says:

    It’s in the Railgun tier for me, stuff that really drops the ball every way imaginable but has just enough to it to prevent it from being a total catastrophe despite being quite mediocre.

    But really it was only slightly worse than the other junk airing this season, like Woto, Bund, LadyButt, Todoke and BakaTest.. but at least those had other “redeeming” features for their intended audiences and should find more apologists than naysayers.

  15. Firechick says:

    I was considering watching this show before it aired, but I never got the time for it. Now I know I won’t be watching it.

  16. chounokoe says:

    The anime is at fault here!!
    It’s a real pity that most people will never get to read the original material as it really avoids most of the flaws that this adaption did.

    I would almost claim that among all recent Visual Novel 12 episode adaptions (Chaos;head, 11eyes and Ôkamikakushi) this one is definitely the worst.
    They cut out almost all character development, we never learn why Kaori is sick, how Mana got into her wheelchair, why Isuzu fell in love with Hiroshi, why Nemurus father is so damn old…heck even most stuff about the Kamibito isn’t even explained.
    Have a look at this ( alone to get an idea what the anime left out.

    The anime made up it’s own continuity and failed HORRIBLY.
    So I can at least say, while Ôkami might not have been his best, Ryukishi at least did a solid job on the VN…sadly this will go under.

  17. jose says:

    well this anime wasn’t a masterpiece but at lest it was entertaining for me ,i am glad i watched this and i agree thia isn’t the greatest thing in the world but finally it was quite interesting with enjoyable moments of slice of life and that was enough for me

  18. PL says:

    “It shares some of the key defects of Ookami-kakushi, like a really poorly-motivated villain, a weak protagonist, and some plotholes”

    I’d say the protagonist in Higurashi is never nearly as weak or vanilla as “Hakase-kun” and when he mans up in the latter half of the show, he really freaking mans up. The scene on the rooftop with Reina still gives me chills… Plus, watching him go completely insane in the very first arc gave some really interesting development to his character.

  19. constanryuk says:

    i finished the series and found nothing special too…what i don’t understand is that why is the sound effect before the execution like that? it sounded as if there were lovers trying to kiss each other but ending not because other characters are interfering…can somebody please explain to me the urban legend of those wolves?

  20. iamachessaddict says:

    i liked the art and the music. i could also see where they were trying to go with this concept so i liked the series until about the last 2 plot-based episodes. the fact that a dam randomly appears out of nowhere just ticked me off.
    i think the series had potential but people got lazy.
    the series is analogous to a poorly executed joke. you get the joke but the person told the joke so poorly that you don’t laugh.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:45 AM)
    It takes a true magnificence to propose such a grand question as: What dot life?!
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:42 AM)
    @Kaiser: the show does vary in quality, but for the first season they generally crank up the insanity with every episode until a very remarkable season finale where Xavier faces his worst enemy.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Bam: Oh in symphogears case, I certainly laughed but I wasn’t supposed to.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:39 AM)
    @Bam: While it didn’t always work, that first episode of renegade angel was amusing, I particularly liked the part where he went on about Aids being invented.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:22 AM)
    and don’t be fooled by the simple graphics, the crudeness is completely intentional.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:21 AM)
    @Kaiser: as far as Xavier goes I implore you to download and watch the first episode to get the gist of it. That show is the pinnacle of absurdist and meta humor. It’s strangely adored within the animation circles, getting very high praise from the industry, but it’s very dense and bizarre so people either love or hate it. If you’re anything like me it might become one of your most beloved shows.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:17 AM)
    @kaiser: If Symphogear gets as bad as Valvrave then we’re talkin. Few companies make entertaining trash like Sunrise does.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:54 AM)
    *At first I thought it would be like nanoha
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:49 AM)
    I read a comment stating that season 3 of symphogear got so bad that it came off as along the lines of “worse than a Mari Okada melodrama”.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:36 AM)
    @Bam: That renegade angel thing looks off the wall, haven’t seen an episode but my thoughts from looking up the show is “I’m not quite sure if this is a good/bad thing lol”

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