Posted on 28 September 2013 with categories: Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

God?! Screw God! We’ve got a timeloop story that we need to wrap up!

But granted, that ending was really quite good. It again made use of this show’s weird talent make random characters sympathetic from out of absolutely nowhere by suddenly blaming the source of the timeloop to be the classmates of Alice (yes, Alice, don’t ask me why he has a girl’s name) and Dee.

Perhaps basing your story on a misunderstanding isn’t the strongest, but for what it did, the series wrapped that subplot up really nicely. It wasn’t about the misunderstanding anyway. The main issue of the arc was escapism: fearing change, people stayed in the timelooped world because it was safe. You could really see that with Scar and Yuri: the environment felt so safe and trusted to them.

What made this ending was the point at which it was time to move on for everyone. The time to head back into the real world again after 14 years. Alice ‘surviving’ was a bit of a cop-out, but yeah: that’s a bit the premise of this series: he’s still dead, he just lives as a ghost and Ai ust doesn’t bury him.

And there the series just ends. I would have preferred some sort of epilogue, but at this point I think that the ending here is that eveyrone just keeps living until they die, and then keep wandering around until all of the gravekeepers have buried everyone. Quite a bleak ending there if you look at it that way.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 14 September 2013 with categories: Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

One of the things I love about this series: it’s like this big road trip. People travel togeter and people lack purpose in this world so some of them just go along for the ride. That’s quite rare for travelling series like this. Also, when one of the main character runs off for a few episodes in the spotlights, off screen development happens for the rest of the cast. Also very appreciated in making this cast come alive by showing that they do more than what you see on camera. Episode 9 was a wonderful example of this where the focus of the episode just kept changing. This series perhaps jumps around, but it’s being very creative in doing so.

Yeah, things come out of nowhere. I don’t care. The proposal of episode 9 was awesome. It’s bizarre: whenever this show pulls something out of its ass like that, it feels like it fits. Like, scarily well.

Also, why did the time-loop in episode ten decide to reset everything on my birthday. I’m scared now….

Now, let’s talk about the big picture now. For a long while the show dealt with many different people and their stories relating to the setting. Right now, we’re getting character development. Alltogether, this makes for quite a rounded series. Both the setting and characters are really intriguing, and are well developed; very charming. This series obviously uses the vague type of storytelling: it doesn’t tell everything and you need to read between the lines for a lot of stuff.

But yeah… as for the actual concrete story… I’m not sure whether we’re really getting to the “saving the world”-part. My big fear will be the ending here. Please dont make “god” some kind of evil end boss or something.

The biggest downside of these four episodes? The start of episode 07, which somehow succeeded in bringing in a school and a bath scene again… are we nowhere safe?
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 14 August 2013 with categories: Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

It took me a while to realize and all, but Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi actually has a very good soundtrack. Its dreamlike tunes are just the perfect touch that this series needs on top of what it already does right: its thought-provoking themes and charming characters.

This series really does its random stories right: it makes them count, rather than make them just boring filler. In these two episodes, it explored its themes even further, now that the characters are in the city of the dead. At this point the creators have twisted the meaning of “death” so much, that people are seeing it in a completely different way. Especially now that living is so harsh, there are more and more people who willingly choose it, now that it’s not final anymore. Sure, you’re a zombie and all, but actually knowing that you’ll be fully conscious after you die makes a pretty big difference here. It’s different from reincarnation, though: this series really stresses that if you die, you don’t get a second chance at living. You really become a zombie aside from the fact that you don’t need brains or don’t lose your mind.

It uses all of this to be very heart-warming. What’s really weird about this series is how Ai collects her travel companions. Every single time, it’s like out of nowhere: oh hey, we’re travelling together now, without any prior hints whatsoever. The last part is what gets me the most: not even a bit of foreshadowing? It’s also a bit weird that they just “handed” that baby over to this random gravekeeper who didn’t really do anything throughout the entire arc. Still, three characters who vaguely met each other: I can actually see them just end up travelling together in this kind of world. For comfort, at the very least.

I think that loneliness is a big underlying theme in this series. It’s never mentioned fully, but this series is full of characters who are alone: they are fundamentally different from the people around them, living people stuck among the dead, or dead people stuck among the living (nt to mention those gravekeepers who are neither of those). Then there is the way in which no children can be born anymore, destroying the wishes for people to have children. This episode showed the way out for a lot of people: a place in which everyone can just blend in and get rid of loneliness.

When you watch this without paying attention, it will feel like a bad show. But seriously, when I start thinking about it I really realize how solid this storyline is put together!
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 30 July 2013 with categories: Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

This series could have gone wrong so easily. Seriously, from the outside it looks like your average show with a bishie and a cute girl, but it’s just consistently interesting. What this show is really good at is playing with the motivations of its characters: everyone here has this interesting backstory. And it just keeps getting better.

What this show is very bad at is making its action scenes believable. I mean I know she got help and all at the end of that third episode, but a 12-year old should not be able to smash through a bunch of well-muscled adults so easily. Even if they are zombies. But yeah, I can’t really stay critical at that scene, because everything else really had me charmed like no other. I did not expect that turn of events, let alone that that guy died!

And then there was episode four. I mean, at first it was a bid dodgy what the creators were trying to do there with the characters traveling around and all, but they really wasted no time to further explore the setting. This episode was most likely unrelated to the plot and all (aside from perhaps the last part), but it continues to use its setting really well, with that huge city full of dead people, showing how the walking corpses try to deal with the fact that they’re not alive anymore.

But yeah, this is a great mystery-series: it makes you hungry, it brings the kinds of twists you don’t expect, and the revelations are predictable, yet they are brought in a fresh way that you still don’t see coming when they do.
Rating: 5,5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 16 July 2013 with categories: Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

Okay, at this point I’m pretty sure which series I’m going to blog this season. But first a few short comments about the ones I’m not going to blog:
– Free is well made for a bishie series but I don’t trust the creators to actually use the characters well enough.
– Gifuu Doudou hilariously camp, but ultimately a one-trick pony
– Inu to Hasami is badly produced
– Servant X Service is great, but I already know that I don’t have inspiration to write full entries about it.
– Dagan Ronpa… I’m going to decide whether to blog that one after episode 3 where I can see how the creators handle the detective part, because I don’t trust that yet (this also depends on how fast I can catch up to Uchuu Kyoudai…).
– Fantasista Doll is oddly interesting, but I don’t have enough inspiration to write about its bland parts.
– Stella is just entertainment, not really the right show to blog every week.
– Blood Lad is fun, but I miss substance which will make it a bit hard to write about.
– Gen’Ei is too bland and tries too hard.
– Watamote seems like too much of a one-trick pony, which is not good to write about every week.
– Kimi no Iru Machi is together with Dagan Ronpa the one that I’m the most doubtful about. Both have the potential to become really good, or really, really bad. Do I want to watch enough to find out about that?

In the meantime, this is the third Kamisama-series that I’ve blogged, and the fifth Kamisama-series that I’m going to watch, after Kamisama Dolls, Hajimemashita, Kazoku and no Memo-Chou. And that’s a good way to describe this series: a mix between stuff that has been done before, together with new and fresh stuff.

Let me get back on Gen’Ei wo Kakeru Taiyou in particular, because it does bear some similarities with Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, in the way that it puts a little girl and forces these very dramatic things upon her. In this show it works, in Gen’Ei, it doesn’t. Why is that, even though both are pretty dramatic and use their protagonist being young as shock factor.

When I looked beyond, I realized the difference is that in comparison, Gen’Ei is bland. On one hand you have a young girl who grew up in the middle of zombies and has taken the task upon herself to become a respectable undertaker. On the other you have a high school girl who finds a bunch of girls who fight for her and that pretty much all look the same. Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi spices up its story: it comes up with creative twists and sides to both the setting and the characters, and that actually makes it very interesting, whereas Gen’Ei to mee seems to rely just too much on its shock factor without making the rest likable. Shock factor is supposed to be used as a condiment, not the main course.

I often go on about series repeating themselves too much, but there is also such a thing as “stealing well”. And to me, that goes to this series. The idea of there not being children? Been done before. Old guy (32!?!) travelling together with young girl? Been done before. Zombies? Been there, done that. However the way in which this show uses these themes is new, and it doesn’t feel like it copied these things out of laziness, but rather because it was a good way to get to the ideas it wanted to explore. I mean the concept of God just saying “screw it” and refusing to kill people. That’s pretty damn interesting!

This show does have flaws so far. The biggest so far is that a lot of the characters seem just devices to tell the story; their acting still feels wooden and they are used A LOT for exposition. That needs to improve, this series needs a bit more of “show, don’t tell”. The big challenge for this series will be to correctly explore its themes throughout its limited airtime. Create interesting stories around this setting, instead of just randomly filling up time.
Rating: 4,5/8 (Good)

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