Posted on 5 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Satsuriku no Tenshi

This isn’t the end of Satsuriku no Tenshi as there are still four more episodes to come though this show has certainly been taking it’s time for the past few episodes. The general focus has been on Zack getting mortally wounded and Rachel traveling back down the floors to find medicine for him. All the while being tested by the priest who looks to be using this journey to judge her character. While the journey up has been a show of Zack and Rachel growing as people, the journey down for Rachel is much like the degeneration of her mental state, hinting that her true character is of a much darker nature. The priest points out to her that she doesn’t truly care for anyone other than herself and many of her actions supposed to help Zack are really all for herself. All culminating in Rachel’s faith in god getting destroyed and effectively deciding that Zack is her god. I had hoped that the journey down would serve to characterise the floor masters better as they all tended to be fairly onenote and cartoonishly over the top but sadly they remain one note and over the top. It’s a bit hard not to see the last few episodes as a slog considering that not much truly happened in them and all that was really accomplished with Rachel having a slight change of mind and saving Zack. I will say though that I rather liked the flashback of Zack and the old man that took care of him as it reminded me heavily of Frankenstein where a blind old man took care of Frankenstein while being completely unaware of what he was.

Episode twelve is where things feel like they are moving again as we have a floor that looks to be built to look exactly like Rachel’s family home. Something which causes Rachel much distress because the priest planted the idea that “God” does not like unclean things and she worries that if Zack were to truly find out who is is then he would abandon her. The final revelation is something which doesn’t come as much of a surprise at this point with all the foreshadowing it’s been doing but Rachel looks to have killed her parents gruesomely and potentially was a floor master like Zack who killed anyone who enters her floor. it does make me wonder just how messed up Rachel is with her sewing her parents together but considering how this series has handled people in flashbacks so far i have no doubt that Rachels parents were also one dimensional assholes with no moral compass. There is also the revelation that the priest built this place in order to test people which seems to hint that this show takes place in reality and that would make a lot of things highly questionable. The thing that excuses a lot of the game logic and unrealistic aspects of this show is the hint that this may be taking place in some kind of purgatory or afterlife. If it actually takes place in reality then a hefty amount of plot holes are going to appear and i hope this show avoids that conclusion. For one the amount of blood Zack shed was enough to kill twenty people so if it turned out this was actually reality then that would be pushing anime logic too far.

While this isn’t the end of the series, this would be a good time to look over my opinion of the series as a whole which hasn’t changed too much from previous assessment. Again, Satsuriku no Tenshi is interesting but deeply flawed. I like what it is trying to do and what it is trying to be but it’s execution is certainly lacking. While the main characters have nice chemistry and decent depth, the rest of the cast is just insane to comical degrees or unabashedly evil. The story can’t hide the moon logic of it’s source with it having puzzle solving with supernaturally constructed puzzles and Rachel sometimes turning into a makeshift Macgyver just to push things forward. Now while i do say this show is interesting, it is more from a objective perspective rather than personal interest. This show can be rather dull sometimes and as episodes went on I felt more and more detached to the goings on of the story. But I do really like the flawed moral nature of the protagonists and a willingness to drop into darker subject matter.(When it doesn’t go too far and just becomes silly.) I would like to see an anime attempt this again with something that maybe isn’t so tied to Rpg Maker gameplay and more surreal in its approach to horror. For as flawed as this show is, at least it’s trying something different (and not completely failing at it like Occultic;Nine) that the other shows like “I’m a high school boy isekaied to a fantasy land to become a magical overpowered mage and idol singer with everyone bowing at my awesomeness and wanting to mate like rabbits while in a club with cute girls drinking tea. ”

Posted on 21 August 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Satsuriku no Tenshi

These two episodes felt like Zacks time to get a little development as we get a bit of a look at his childhood. I will admit that this series has a particular problem with showing it’s villains as any villain shown so far has been quite one dimensional. Now I hear that later episodes will address this with the floor masters at least but Zack’s guardians in is flashback were equally cartoonishly evil. The idea is solid however in that Zack his averation towards being treated like a tool do to his caretakers making him bury the dead bodies of other children at the home. Zack did seem unaware of what it was he was buring and upon discovering a skull in the ground he copped on to just what his caretakers were making him do. I don’t like that he got the idea to kill them from a slasher flick playing on tv as well, it seems to be reinforcing that notion of violet media creating serial killers. Still it does explain to a degree why Zack acts like a slasher villain and you can say that it was far from the only factor in his decision. So Rachels gave of making Zack relive his childhood and having Rachel unwittingly torment him by telling him what to do was a delightful bit of psychological torture.

The death of Cathy was certainly satisfying. Not because she was any kind of interesting character or anything like that but more due to not having to listen to her annoying laugh or voice anymore. She certainly was hateable so I suppose it worked to a degree. She certainly knew how to press Zacks buttons with how she pushed him to take a drug to push him berserk enough to kill Rachel. Only to have him attack himself to stop himself, pissing off Rachel as she wanted to be the one to punish him. Her end was certainly cathartic in getting wounded by criminals and then shot death by her own judgment miniguns. So with Zack mortally wounded it looks like he’s out of the story for a while with a priest like character taking his place. To save Zack Rachel must descend the floors again and revisit each one. Which in turn does look to be a descend into a darker mindset as she is not allowing anything to get in the way of saving Zack.

The third episode is the most emotion we have gotten out of Rachel since episode one. I particularly like that the more we delve into Rachel, the more messed up she becomes. The hallucinations she experienced during the episode really painting her quite differently from her initial appearance. In particular it’s worth nothing that Rachel broke when she heard her parents were dead and originally it was through that was a driving factor towards her deathwish. However in this episode she has a hallucination of her parents which painted them in less favorable light and she got out of it by cutting open the painting they came out of. Heavily suggesting that the one who killed her parents was Rachel herself. In fact there have been several hints towards Rachel being quite unhinged, seeing as she keeps a gun in her purse and the look she gave the “Zombies” when she activated the miniguns to mow them down. Not to mention that to ascend a floor she had to take their nameplates and place one in the shute, throwing away the sinner. Rachel threw away her name plate without telling Zack, labeling herself as the sinner. Which you really have to consider, what did Rachel do that she considers herself worse than a serial killer?

Posted on 1 August 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Satsuriku no Tenshi

We hav sixteen episodes to work with and yet the pacing of this anime is almost breakneak, but admittedly that doesn’t quite feel rushed. It could do with a few more moments of slowing down and letting the atmosphere speak for itself or even just some back and forths between Zack and Rachel. So after alleyways, a hospital and s sewer with a graveyard we are brought to a prison with a new floor master who is keen on punishing those that enter. Unfortunately this new villain falls under the same problem as many of the others as being rather one note and going so over the top crazy that it’s hard to take her seriously. But I do like that she presents herself like a tv show host when talking of her plans to execute the two of them as it sort of eludes to the nature of executions being used as a form of entertainment in early humanity. Even prison executions has a audience and the idea of some bubbly host girl presenting the whole thing like a game show is rather novel. The theme of this floor is very much on punishing the wicked or excessive punishment as the traps the two encounter are all elaborate forms of execution.

Zack getting strapped into an electric chair is quite cathartic but I admit that I find Rachels extremely delayed reaction to releasing him rather frustrating. It is rather odd for how quick witted she’s supposed to be to not think of the factor that Zack can’t kill her if someone kills Zack. But admittedly there is the question of just why it has to be Zack that needs to kill her. The question that was brought up time and time again last episode was that if the goal is for Rachel to die then anyone could kill her. The only point that gives Rachel undying loyalty to Zack is that he swore to god that he would kill her. So let’s examine things. Rachel wants to die but she does not want to commit suicide. Thus she cannot give up and let others kill her as that would be a form of assisted suicide. Of course the big contradiction her is that once they get out of that place and Rachel lets Zack kill her then that too would essentially be assisted suicide. The only differentiation being the oath to god. Therefore I see this, Rachel wants to die but she does not want to be punished for taking her own life, or that she does not wish to be sent to hell. A point of interest as while it may have been a figurative taunt, the doctor in the first episode also stated that her parents where in hell. So could it be that Rachel doesn’t actually want to meet her parents and that is the reason she has an apprehension towards the idea of suicide? Because it would send her to hell where she would be reunited with her parents? Or it could be that she has a apprehension towards suicide because she already committed it? The opening does show a girl hanging from a noose which could very well be Rachel. Speaking of the opening I did find it amusing that Rachel and Zack had to take the same mugshots they were posing for in the opening in order to proceed.

This show is still weird but interesting but I do admit that I am having difficulty with Zacks voice actor. The problem is that having watched A certain Magical index subbed, every time this boy speaks I hear Accelerator. Word on the net is that most hear Bakugo in his performance but for me I hear more of Accelerator and that admitly takes me out of the show a bit. So seeing as the first episode of the simudub came out I figured this would be a good time to get some use out of my funimation subscription. I got to say that the dub for this show is really quite good, better than the sub in my opinion. I feel the english actor for Zack captures the goofball aspect of Zack a lot better than his Japanese and the small little dialogue changes add a lot more. If i had not chosen to blog this I would have likely watched this dubbed but admittedly I said I would watch Steins;Gate 0 and Hinamatsuri dubbed and yet fell behind on both. Watched High School DxD Hero week by week to completion yet fell behind on those…I am actually disappointed in myself for that.

Posted on 25 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Satsuriku no Tenshi

I still file this anime under the category of interesting but flawed as it does hold elements that make it stand out but there are significant cracks forming in regards to the characters and lack of context for the setting. Rachel, or rather Ray as she was nicknamed in this episode, has officially run her suicidal gimmick into the ground that even Zack is wondering why she keeps reminding him to kill her. T his episode did bring out an interesting point in that she doesn’t want to be killed by just anyone and for some odd reason seems to place her trust in Zack. But the really interesting factor was that what made her ultimately decide that Zack was the one to kill her was that he swore to god that he would. This has been a bit hinted at before but it seems that Rachel is very religious, in that she stated that she cannot kill herself because God deems it wrong. Likewise here Zack didn’t seem to put too much thought into the statement but Rachel latched on to it with a maddening degree. I am interested in just who Rachel was to provoke these responses but her character as it stands now is still a bit one note.

Ever since losing her will to life she has based the entirety of her persona around being suicidal and while this has opened up a nice dynamic with Zack, it basically means that she reacts to everything with deadpan stoicness while only showing emotion in regards to anything that could lead to her death. So when Zack is out of the picture and it’s only Rachel and the newly introduced Psychopathic Edward talking, the dialogue felt it was running in circles. A constant back and forth of debating whether Edward has permission to kill Rachel or not that just kept circling and even when she finally made up her mind Edward just kept hammering the point home of how much he wanted to kill her. This kid wasn’t all that interesting character wise but I do feel like there is underlying symbolism in his desire to give her a grave. Going through each floor there does feel like there is a connecting theme and I do love that the grave he so miraculously prepared was where he was killed with his casket being closed by a falling tombstone. If I had to make my own theory I would say that each floor represents a place of death and Rachel is unknowingly conquering death so that she can finally die.

The game logic of the world is once again at work with what looks to be a clear boss encounter as well as some rather game like moments such as Zack breaking a human sized hole in the wall. Which certainly is odd what he had to use a pickaxe to break graves in the last episode because he didn’t want to break his scythe. Rachel’s logic when she comes up with solutions for problems certainly feels less like human ingenuity and more like a player with a walkthrough. How exactly did she know that the kid has a remote as I certainly didn’t see him press anything to make the lights go out. Not to mention I just already assume these characters have some supernatural control over their floor as we haven’t exactly established ground rules on what they are capable of. If you were to analyse it you can certainly start poking some holes in this series and I fear it may go down the route of Fate/Extra last encore where it depends too much on the mystery of the setting to engage you while the characters remain rather underdeveloped. Well in that regard this series isn’t at least shoving paragraphs of expository speeches down our throats and Zack still remains a pretty fun and interesting character.

Posted on 14 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Satsuriku no Tenshi

This is a very strange show. I may regret choosing to blog this but with the second episode I still find it quite fascinating and I really want to see just where this leads. I will however say that it isn’t because of excellence that this show has caught my attention for at the moment it’s very much on a level of half working. Now the first episode very much portrays this to be a horror anime with a focus on a surreal environment but this episode flips that on it’s head as we are rather suddenly met with the introduction of comedy. Zack has gone from being a hammy villain to as goofball ally and I rather like this change. Before he was a villain that just felt like the author was trying too hard to make intimidating but with this episode fleshes him out a bit by revealing that Zack literally was trying too hard. Zack is like some edgy teenager chuunibyou who wants to be seen as the next Jack the Ripper but thanks to Rachel losing the will to live and actually being able to interact with Zack we can see that he’s not actually insane and has at least some degrees of humanity to him. Of course he is still an actual serial killer who has killed quite a number of people from the looks of it but it remains rather amusing to see him try to play up the insane serial killer angle only for it to fall apart due to his own stupidity.

Rachel has also made a radical shift from the first episode, one which may not be as positive as Zacks for in the first episode she was more like an ordinary girl but since losing the will to live has now become completely deadpan. On one hand this does make her an excellent foil to Zack as he doesn’t want to kill someone who actually wants it so it makes the interactions between the two quite amusing as Zack tries to pull some humanity out of her so that he can enjoy killing her while Rachel tries to find some way to convince Zack to kill her. However this change does make her character rather one note as her responses are either deadpan snarking or monotone statements. So in order for Rachel to die she needs to regain the will to live, but if she regains the will to live then she will no longer want to die. It’s the immovable object vs the unstoppable force paradox which pushes these two to work together to get out of this strange dimension and I adore the dynamic. But it isn’t this aspect which makes this anime so strange but rather the world these characters are in for the anime has chosen to keep the game aspects of this RPG maker game which shows our characters solving puzzles to progress through the world. In this aspect it just makes the surrounding ethereal and otherworldly for this place runs on its own logic. Nothing is realistic and the characters themselves don’t question it but rather just accept it as normal. Almost like a dream where you just don’t think about what is happening around you but rather just follow the flow, in retrospect the way which this series cuts around our protagonists traveling to other areas is just as disjointed as dreams themselves.

Do take heed that this is still very much early thoughts on this series and that I may just be letting preconceptions cloud and bias my thoughts. This series has problems and can very easily slip up and become something bad. Yet I find it’s kooky weirdness endearing and I feel it has massive potential. For when I start a series I often as least have another anime series which I can use as a point of reference to get across a general “feel” of the series. As an example if I was to say this show was like Evangelion they you can at least make a connection of “Okay, so this series has mecha battles with psychological elements topped off with heavy handed symbolism and dark themes.” I admit that is very much a weak method of conveying what a show feels like but for those familiar with the series I reference it makes for convenient shorthand. When it comes to Satsuriku no Tenshi, I have no comparisons for quite frankly I cannot think of a single anime which this show is like. It is it’s own beast and in that regard could very well birth an entirely new genre of anime. But again that’s very much reaching as it assumes this show will reach a level of excellence that would make it noteworthy to imitate which is very much an unlikely possibility.

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