Posted on 10 January 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Night Head Genesis


Night Head Genesis is an excellent arc-based mystery-series. It focuses on paranormally gifted people, with as main characters to seemingly special ones: Naoto and Naoya. When they were children, they were been locked up inside a research laboratory. The researchers may have had good intentions, it still doesn’t feel good to be locked up, especially as a child, so Naoto and Naoya came to hate that place. So then, fifteen years later, they finally get a chance to escape. After that, they get involved with numerous psychic incidents.

This anime has some great points, but at the same time, it gets held back by a few potentially bad points, but first, let me say that it’s got an awesome soundtrack. Night Head Genesis comes accompanied by a highly atmospheric OST, which really contributes to the overall mood. Ranging from the OP to a couple of very sad but simple tunes, the background music is totally amazing.

Now that that’s out of the way, in order to be able to watch and enjoy Night Head Genesis, you must be aware that Naoto and Naoya are quite close as siblings. Especially the first half is filled with “Naoto!” “Naoya!” “Naoto?” “Naoya”. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing (I didn’t mind this myself), I’ve seen a lot of people who became too annoyed with this to continue the series. It’s a shame, as it turns bloody awesome in the end.

Well then, this anime is divided into three parts. The first part takes up the first 12 episodes, Naoto and Naoya get involved with a few rather heavily subjected cases, with themes such as suicide and child abuse. This part starts out amazing, though it gets a bit worse with each episode progressing, and especially the last few episodes in this part aren’t really that enjoyable to see. Then the second part starts, and the good stuff really begins when the cases start to involve both Naoto and Naoya’s history and background, and they start to reference back to previously dealt with cases.

But the really good part starts with the third part, which starts at around episode 18. In there, the show works towards its final goal, which gets accompanied by some amazing scenes. A few annoying moments here and there, a few unexplained moments there, but overall, these episodes were greatly developed and very enjoyable. This also is one of the few series with an actual good and interesting ending.

Overall, Night Head Genesis has been an amazing series, though be aware that it has quite a few moments which can and will get on your nerves. If you can sit through that, you’ll be rewarded with a great mystery-series.

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You know what? I’m surprised to say it, but that actually was a great ending. It’s strange, as I expected this series to fall into the pit of predictability, like so many other series did before it, but no. This actually is the second series, after The Third, that introduces a whole new arc in its semi-final episode, and actually pull off a great ending. Why did these shows avoid the thing that strikes almost every series?

I think a major point is the building up, as strange as it may seem. Usually, a show has one big climax, where the final bunch of episode work towards. Side-characters are sacrificed in order to focus to the main character, tension builds up, and things are starting to look really bad. And that’s where the problem lies. It’s so hard to make something new and fresh out of that, when these three things have already been decided. You really need a series of the calibre of Noein or Utena to really make something worthwhile out of it. Most shows, obviously, don’t have that calibre.

The thing that made Night Head Genesis so fresh was that this ending focused on some newly introduced characters, instead of the usual main characters. Naoto and Naoya are just there, doing their thing to save the world, nothing more. By making the stakes in this episode higher than ever, but focusing on something other than Naoto and Naoya, the creators did make sure that this was an appropriate ending for this anime.

The fact remains that usual endings are just way too limited. Most of them exist to show how much certain characters have grown (Good Witch of the West, for example, or Makai Senki Disgaea). Others show one major character, usually a protagonist, who has some serious issues and threatens to do something stupid (Ouran High School Host Club, NHK ni Youkoso, Magikano). The thing is that this character has to be brought back to senses, in one moment, when the climax is at its highest. That’s obviously not an example of good character development. These things take time. And there is of course the ending where the great evil has to be defeated. The problem here is obvious: the great evil has to be defeated, otherwise the ending won’t be conclusive. It becomes way too predictable. These endings have to rely on how well developed and emotional their characters work. Like I said. That’s difficult.

I loved how this episode didn’t make the worst possible scenario come true. Naoto did his thing, he made sure that the earthquake wouldn’t trigger other earthquakes, and he did this in advance. When the earthquake comes, okay, things rumble a bit, though the tension isn’t as high as when something unexpected happened which would trigger even more earthquakes, but it’s so much more realistic and enjoyable. And not to mention that the creators found another way to provide a nice twist in the ending. Not by having a main character fight for his life, but by actually killing off one of the newly introduced side-characters. Even though he’s been introduced on such short terms, his dying words were great.

And god damn, Shoko. Only now I realize that the creators really “killed off” one of my favourite characters. She really isn’t coming back. That is SO sad for her. While this ending doesn’t beat the endings of Noein, Utena or The Third, this one definitely goes into the file of “succeeded endings”. I’m glad to see that this anime avoided the pitfall that strikes almost every other anime. I’m glad to have seen this series, even though it doesn’t enjoy much popularity.

Posted on 4 January 2007 with categories: Night Head Genesis

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Very interesting, Ark really is gone now. I didn’t realize that after the previous episode, but with Okuhara’s death, they really are gone now. Right now, Night Head Genesis is working towards its finale with its final case. And surprisingly, it even introduces a bunch of characters with just two episodes to go! Was this a good idea, or would it have been better for this series to consist of 26 episodes?

If you look at it from one side, the fact that the creators are trying to cram the final arc in two episodes is a bad sign. They’ve skipped eighteen months, and now introduce the second of the two people (with Okuhara being the other) who predicted the “upheaval” beforehand. She predicted the place where everything would start, and the creators introduced the major characters involved with it locally. This does mean that in terms of development, these characters are far behind all of the others in terms of development and fleshing out. There also are quite a lot of questions left unanswered, and I hope that the creators will manage to cover all of them.

On the other side, if it’s done right, a fast-paced ending really works. If the creators manage to actually know what they’re doing, the ending can become very interesting. I think they have to waste as little time as possible, and introduce Shoko as soon as possible, seeing as it’s almost impossible for her not to be involved in saving the world.

Still, it’s interesting to see how Naoto and Naoya have changed. With 1,5 years passing, they’ve both become a bit more relaxed and concentrated, not to mention that their hair grew a bit. ^_^ It seems that they just lived their lives peacefully during that time. Even though I would have liked some scenes during that time, if it actually does turn out that the creators ran out of time for the final, these scenes would have been the best to be scrapped. There needed to be some time dedicated to the newly introduced characters. After all, even though they’ve been introduced so late in the series, it would have been worse if just some place was pinpointed on the map of Japan, Naoto and Naoya would head there and they’d solve the world’s destruction. After all, there wouldn’t have been anything for the viewer to relate to. And besides, the newly introduced characters might provide a twist or two.

I highly doubt that the final episode is going to equal the awesomeness of the previous episode, unless something really amazing happens. Still, I’m interested to see how this will end, as it’s not your standard ending. I especially like the lack of Ark. You would expect them to last till the final episode, though the final episodes are saved to show how the upcoming upheaval affects the lives of a small amount of individuals.

Posted on 30 December 2006 with categories: Night Head Genesis

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Okay, so what if Naoto awakened again without a good reason? This episode was damn awesome! This is one of the reasons I love shows with lots of mystery. There are just so many things you don’t know, and if they’re revealed in a good way, the results can become awesome. When a show combines good mystery with good character development like Night Head Genesis does, the results become even more awesome!

One of the reasons this episode was so good was because it deeply delved into the minds of its characters. Both Naoto, Naoya, Mikumo and Sakie. Naoto truly had become pitiful in the past few episodes. His power just was one source of destruction, and he was more and more running after Naoya than the opposite. This continued, until Mikumo made him crazy and he died. Then, for a while it seemed that Naoya would indeed take care of Mikumo, and we indeed see him actually go crazy when Naoya doesn’t do what he thinks he’ll do, and he goes berserk. But even then, he executes his plan and takes Sakie away, who just saw her sister with a knife through her stomach, causing the entire neighbourhood in a radius of 25km to delve into chaos.

But then, Naoto actually wakes up and takes care of the guy like it’s nothing. It may have been a one-sided battle, though these kinds of battles can also be great if they’re timed well, just like this one. Okuhara played a role in this as well, when she suddenly realized that Naoto indeed has become a wild element and goes crazy.

Also, the driver with an actual personality was greatly appreciated. You hardly see any goons who don’t look like each other. Most just are bunch of clones with different haircuts, while all they do is follow orders. They’re perfect employees, though not really interesting and realistic. Though making this guy actually comment on the things that have happened, the creators put him aside from all of these other goons.

So, in the end, Mikumo is killed. And before he dies, he has his moment of weakness where he tells about his past. A bit directed, but greatly appreciated. I love it when we see the histories of the different good and bad guys. It gives them so much more perspective.

Then, the final part of the episode features Okuhara, contacting Naoto and Naoya, who are about to wake Sakie. She finally reveals why she did the things she did, and if I had to say so myself, it’s a better reason than you usually see. At least she wants to improve the world, instead of your usual power-hungry guy on crack. Then we se the scene in which a person raises his/her finger into the air again, and some rather unexplained events begin. Okuhara mentions a Great Consciousness, and Naoto and Naoya also have stopped being wild elements in her prophecies. We then switch back to reality, and see a scene which does suggest that Okuhara has died. If I had to guess what happened, then she finally saw a true prophecy about the two brothers, which possibly has to do something with the sparkling ball up in the air. This prophecy had made such an impact to her, that she didn’t mind taking it to the grave. So what exactly did she see?

Also, there’s one more thing I’ve been wondering.

What the heck happened to Shoko?!

Posted on 24 December 2006 with categories: Night Head Genesis

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Now THAT’s more like it! I can’t believe how far the creators would go, as to kill of one of their main characters at this stage. The question now remains: is he really dead, or has he joined Shoko? The episode ended just a bit too soon to be able to confirm this. Speaking of the devil, what’s Shoko been doing for the past few episodes?

Still, this does mean that Naoya’s on his own from now on. This can become really interesting. Surely, Naoya has been growing, while Naoto hasn’t, though Naoto has proved to be handy at times. Still, now that I think about it, that was only in the first couple of episodes. Oh, wait. He did kill the three backgroundless goons. That was useful.

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Hmm, not as good as the previous episodes. It’s probably due to the lack of mystery in this episode, everything was rather straightforward while nothing really was resolved. Still, the new powers who were introduced were interesting. I can understand why Ark needs Sakie, seeing as when you put her under mind-control, some terrifying things can happen.

Mikumo is another one of those guys with mind-control, though his powers are a tad different from Sonezaki’s. While Sonezaki could just take over the minds of random people and make them do whatever he wanted them to do, Mikumo works mostly with visions and illusions. Still, the crazied parents of the dead schoolgirls suggest that he can also make weak people do whatever he wants them to do.

This episode was mostly focused on Naoto. He’s beginning to see more and more how useless he can be, and with Mikumo’s arrival, he’ll never know who he’s blasting, seeing as he almost killed an innocent bystander, mistaking him for Mikumo. It’s the same with the cliff-hanger. We can see that Mikumo his holding a knife to his throat, but what if he just made an innocent bystander do this? But then again, knowing this show, this time, it’s probably him in person. :)

Posted on 9 December 2006 with categories: Night Head Genesis

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Night Head Genesis is getting more and more interesting now, now that its end is nearing. After the events of the previous episode, all dedicated to the main storyline, this episode continues with a side-plot. Still, that does not mean that this wasn’t a great episode, even though it started a bit awkwardly with an extra-long summary of the previous episode, and a perverted teacher who has visions of his students, doing naughty things with him.

Still, the rest of the episode develops this case into a really interesting one. It seems that the guy is running away from Ark, and he has been trying to contact Futami, though failed in this. One of his students also has psychic powers, which can be incredibly harmful if Ark got their hands on it. Futami, therefore, contacts Naoya and asks him to protect this girl.

However, that is not the only problem this girl has, as she seems to be in love with the teacher. Either that, or she has been raped, we have yet to see the full details. Because of that, her fellow-students started bullying her rather extremely. There’s so much mystery in this case. First of all, Tsuzuki (the teacher) went mad at the airport, but later, Naoya sees some ghost form of his running down a busy street. At the end of the episode, we also see Sakie (the girl) lie in the school-pool, along with the classmates who bullied her, with Sakie as the only one left living. We also actually see that woman from Ark successfully luring Sakie out, and doing some strange things to her. What, who, when, where, which and why, we’ll have to find out later. I can’t wait. :)

Posted on 27 November 2006 with categories: Night Head Genesis

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Haha! That was an awesome episode. I can’t believe how good Night Head Genesis turned out. It had a few bumps in the middle, but right now, the episodes have been getting better and better. This definitely was one of the best episodes of Night Head Genesis yet.

The episode has a fast pacing. So many things happened at once, but the great thing is that this episode develops so many different side-characters of this anime. Especially the ones who were introduced in the previous episode. The episode already starts out great with the video-tape. Futami Yoshiki’s case did seem a bit boring when I saw him at the end of the previous episode, but now he starting to tell about himself and his own history, he suddenly turns very interesting. It seems that he has two kinds of powers: to see things at places, miles away from him and to enter the internet itself, sort of like Serial Experiments Lain. He then got caught up in these powers, though Natsuko, the girl from the previous episode, changed this, and turned into his only support. Great scene. :)

Then, Asano-kun comes, and the episode takes a strange twist when he invites them to the Ark-company. Another new character is introduced there, Okuhara Akiko’s assistant. He seems to have the power to cancel all other psychic powers, making him very reliable. He seems to chain the Upheaval to total destruction. Here, Naoya once again displays how much he’s grown when he actually tries to prove the guy wrong. This is something he wouldn’t be able to do at the beginning of this anime.

Overall, it was a very interesting conversation, full of thought-provoking elements and references. But what followed really was awesome as we first see Naoto really get serious with his powers. :) The three antagonists from the Mikuriya-arc play a strange role in this, serving only to be killed off by him. Boy, he looked scary when he did that. Great fight, and it actually gave a lot of answers. Later, the scenes only turn even more awesome when Shoko appears. She’s getting more lost in her powers, and now she even won’t be able to return to the temporary dimensions she creates. I don’t know what it is, but she’s turning more awesome every time she appears on the screen.

The episode closes with another very interesting confirmation. The reason why Ark exterminated the persons they did is because of Okuhara Akiko’s predictions. She saw that they could form a thread, so she ordered their extermination. Surprisingly, Hirose Reiko also possessed psychic powers. That’s probably why she reacted so strongly when touched by Naoya. Great to see how pieces of the puzzle are slowly being solved. :)

Seriously, if the rest of the anime turns out as good as this episode, we’re really in for some awesome finale. One detail I also loved was the balloon. We see it several times in the episode, one time when it’s been stuck on a pole, and during later scenes, we actually see it float upwards in the background. Love the symbolism.

Posted on 24 November 2006 with categories: Night Head Genesis

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Quite a fast pacing. In one episode, the creators ended the parents-arc, eliminated Sonezaki from the main storyline and introduced two new arcs: The Ark-arc and the Futama Yoshiki-arc.

The episode starts like it’s turning back to episode 12 and 13, and it seems like the series returned towards mediocrity again. Sonezaki plays mind games with Naoto, Naoto gets angry, and Sonezaki basically has Naoto in the palm of his hand, the usual stuff. Luckily, Naoya changes this, when he accidentally calls his father “father”, which makes him suspect that he really is her son. Sonezaki then gets interesting when he uses his powers to do something again, but is engulfed by them before he can actually use them. Inside his mind, he gets confronted by a number of people important to him: his mother, his father and even Kariya. In the end, he sees Shouko, before he turns mad.

Still, the damage is done. Naoto and Naoya’s parents have seen Naoto use his powers, and had the same look in their eyes as when they were young. I think that this will be the last we’ll see of them. What follows is a small note from Shouko, passed on through Naoya’s dream. “Men hate conflict, men love conflict. But if you don’t experience either one of them, you won’t be able to overcome the warlike instinct.” An interesting message, though what symbolizes it? What is Ark trying to do?

Then we finally see mastermind behind Ark. It’s an old woman in a wheelchair. She seems to be incredibly powerful. And just when you think that we’ve found our main villain, she claims that a certain “they” will make their move tonight. Does she refer to Naoto and Naoya, or another, third party? The events which followed suggested that the latter, as Naoto and Naoya don’t really have plans for that night.

Posted on with categories: Night Head Genesis

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I started watching episode 17, only to realize that I had yet to see episode 16. Must’ve missed it. In any case, I’m glad I did check out this episode, as it’s a really excellent one. :)

The cross-references this time now take a focus to three very interesting cases: Shoko, Sonezaki and Naoto and Naoya’s parents. The first half of the episode is dedicated to Naoya, who is starting to become like Shouko. When the series started, I remember noting that Naoya’s powers were very similar to Shouko’s, but I never imagined that they’d be this similar. It showed us a good contrast between Naoto and Naoya. Naoya is actually evolving: he’s getting stronger with each experience. Naoto, however, doesn’t have this. Because he’s always protected his little brother, he’s extremely worried about him when something happens to him. Now that Naoya is growing more and more, he’ll face this problem more and more. Interesting. :)

Naoto also tells a bit about the background story of the world. It seems that Atlantis, Mu and Lemuria actually existed, and during those times (102.000 years ago) psychic powers were absolutely normal. Then, these civilizations destroyed themselves, and the world actually got flooded, suggesting that Noah’s Ark really existed. This also can’t be a coincidence: Ark has got to do something with Noah’s Ark. When the Upheaval comes, are they actually planning to do the same thing Noah did when the world flooded?

Part two of the episode takes another strange turn: Naoya reveals that he knows the location of their parents. The first part already was good, though this is even better. Seeing children reunite with their parents almost always works good, though Night Head Genesis goes even further: reality has been altered, which caused Naoto and Naoya to die fifteen years ago, saving a little girl.

Though the best moment of the episode arrived when Sonezaki appeared. The element of surprise is tricky to achieve in anime, especially in the mystery-genre, as you’re already suspecting that there’ll be some twist, though when Sonezaki suddenly walked into the clock store of Naoto and Naoya’s parents, I really was surprised. It seems he’s plotting something again, but what? :)

The past three episodes have really been excellent. Let’s hope that Night Head Genesis can keep this pace up. :)

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