Kamisama starts with such an interesting premise and loads of potential. A destroyed world that god has abandoned where the living and the dead have to live together. The world is a desolate wasteland where the remnants of humanity both living and dead have created their own insular societies. It's a great premise, much like Kino's Journey it's a chance to explore different aspects of humanity in an extreme environment. Unlike Kino's Journey, Kamisama never makes use of its premise. Instead it keeps throwing up new ideas and new characters without bothering to develop any of them adequately.
There isn't really a plot to this anime, instead it's split up into a few different arcs chronicling Ai's journey through this wasteland world. The story arcs themselves are rushed and not very well developed any deeper themes are lost in a morass of bad comedy and even worse character drama that obscures any greater point to the people/societies that Ai meets along the way.
The problems with this anime start with the very first episode. It starts with a bleak somber tone that is immediately ruined with silly comedy and the overly cute main character being cute just for the sake of it. It's immediate shown that she is very naive, but instead of having her learn from her experiences the anime seems to actively encourage her naive ideals and then has her push them on other people. Worse yet, anyone that doesn't buy into her naivety are always shown to be misguided no matter what their reasoning is. It's quite sickening to watch her preaching her empty words and then treating them as meaningful in some way.
The firs arc is very rushed, and yet very glacially paced where I didn't feel like much of anything was actually going on in the first two episodes only to have the third episode be a hilarious plot hole filled cheese fest with a saccharine sense of sentimentality. That third episode was the one where this anime became really unredeemable train wreck. The story of Ai and her father makes little sense there are so many coincidences and stupid little inconsistencies it boggles the mind really. Her father is carrying around a picture of his wife and child but somehow doesn't recognize Ai and even worse Ai sees the picture is somehow unable to recognize her mother until the very last second. It's beyond stupid and the only reason is like that is to create false tension when there shouldn't be any. Again and again the character's actions don't follow any sort of logic but instead just serve to move events forward.
The second arc is an even bigger sin. It starts out well. It actually uses the premise of the series. Ai finds a city of the dead. A society of dead humans for dead humans. Exploring the city and how these sentient but slowly rotting corpses live their day to day life would have been very interesting. The dead in this world retain their memories and reasoning capacity for all intents and purposes they are the same person they were when they were living. However, before even starting to explore this premise the show derails into stupid drama involving a princess and her tutor. There's also a subplot with the tutor that involves magic and a bunch of other things that don't fit in with the series, including a strange he/she hybrid thing. All of this distracts from the premise of the series. Instead of playing out as a dark fairy tale to explore humanity, it becomes all about the boneheaded drama, and even the drama is ruined by the stupid comedy moments. The climax of the arc involves Ai naively getting involved with the princess's life and trying to force her beliefs onto the princess. Nothing gets resolved other than Ai meddling where she didn't need to.
The third arc is where things really go off the rails as at that point Kamisama stops pretending to even care about its own premise. Instead Ai finds herself at a Professor Xavier's For Gifted Youngster only with forced labor instead of learning mutant powers. This arc is barely even worth talking about. It involves an escape plot that several of the students had legitimate reasons for not wanting to escape back into the destroyed wasteland of the world where they were unsure they would be welcome anywhere. Ai however once again badgers the students that don't want to leave basically making them feel guilty until they decide to leave rather to listen to anymore of Ai's whinny ranting.
The third arc introduces the characters for the 4th arc which once again has nothing to do with the premise of the anime; instead it throws in an entirely new concept that doesn't gel with anything shown previously. However, instead of talking about the specifics of that arc, I'll say that it made the one theme Kamisama has very clear. The anime is about dispelling illusions or people's delusions, or at least it wants to be. However, the way the anime goes about it is very offensive. Given the situation of a lot of the characters; they might be living in a situation that they have to tell themselves is okay, but when the only other choice is to live in a post apocalyptic wasteland were the few societies are small and rather insular, it's pretty arrogant to tell people that they just need to buck up and deal with it. The people that Ai comes across are living happy little existences for the most part so who the fuck is Ai to come along and them "no,no, no, you're living the wrong way." And the thing is the anime totally supports Ai. It never takes into consideration other people's view point. Yes, the students at the school were forced into labor, but for the most part they were taken care of and they were unsure about being accepted anywhere because of their special abilities. They were comfortable at the school with their own relationships, but Ai told them they were wrong to want to live like that. And that fucking pisses me off. I hate her preachy holier than thou tone and I hate that she meddles in people's lives telling them how to live. Especially when she talks in such a naive way with absolutely no substance to anything she says. Her words are all meaningless platitudes. She claims she wants to save the world but she never defines what that actually means. It's like whatever she does she justifies it as part of her naive desire to save the world. Save the world by doing what? Forcing people out of their happy existences into wasteland of the word? Are they supposed to thank her for that? Is that going to make god come back? Fuck, no. She has no plan or idea of what she's talking about.
Ai seems to get her naive idealism and meddling nature from her father Humperpiety Whateverthefuck. Humpandpump has this whole belief that he should just kill the dead because they are being delusional, and he just plain doesn't like it. Honestly, fuck this character. Humpanddump goes around destroying the dead who are just trying to get along in a world that won't let them die. He can't even put them to rest, just tear them apart so they can't move. It's beyond cruel what he does and yet the anime treats it like a good thing. As Ai while not destroying the dead, takes on his attitude that people should live the way she wants and anyone that doesn't is wrong.
The rest of the characters in the anime hardly matter. The other people that travel with Ai aren't particularly interesting, get little to no development and are mostly pushed to the side. It seems like they had their own stories but they got cut out of the series for more of Ai's horseshit. The single arc character never get much of a chance to develop and they barely get time to give any kind of argument with Ai's beliefs, instead just getting pushed along in her direction. The characters from the last arc Alis and Dee get a bit of screen time. However, Alis is as single minded as Ai and while Dee tries to provide a counter point but her voice is drowned out in the anime. She's ignored to the point of being irrelevant until the very end and a retarded twist makes her change her mind. The last arc is also the most fucked up because the people in it are living a happy existence that they chose to wish for, but nnnooo, that's not good enough. They are doing it wrong because Alis and Ai say so. And to that I give them a hearty fuck you. People should be able to chose how they want to live and as long as they aren't hurting anyone there shouldn't be any problem with it. Instead Alis and Ai are forcing these people to go into a world that may very well may not be able to sustain them. It may be doing much more damage than good.
The art and animation are the only high points of the anime. MADHOUSE gave everything a very nice look. The OST is pretty forgettable. I doubt anyone will be listening to it outside of the show. The voice acting isn't bad but Ai's shrill voice will probably start to piss you off as you listen to her non-sense drivel over and over again.
Overall I hate this fucking anime with a burning passion. Not just because it wasted its really interesting premise, but because of it's stupid preachy tone which really just tries to hammer home it's own stupid message with no substance. Avoid this shit like the plague.
Warning this Review May Contain Spoilers-
So this review is for Kamisama Inai no Nichiyoubi also known as Sunday Without God. Which is a fantasy anime based around a young girl called Ai and her journey trying to find the truth about the land with ‘God’ apparently abandoned or so they say. Ai is a grave keeper and has to technically put people who have died where they belong, the dead people are slightly like zombies, they can’t die until a grave keeper buries them so ok…slightly unique. The story was emotionally developed quite well however rushed die to the shortness of the anime, because it is only 13 episodes. It is really detailed and it surprised me in a good way, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.
The opening and ending animation was spot-on, I don’t think that there was much to say other than that. The character designs were unique in their own ways and they all had interesting element to make them all different. The music was unique and it is surprising that Eri Kitamura sang the opening after hearing her voice characters like Yui, it was pretty cool. The voice actors were chosen perfectly and I couldn’t really say much about that either other than it was amazing. The ending like normal isn’t as catchy as the opening but that is just that.
The characters match their designs pretty well however like the story they weren’t developed much, come on people they had to get rid of one of the best characters in episode 3, what’s that all about. 3 episodes isn’t long enough for a good character development at all, this was slightly disappointing but even still I like how they kept Ai until the end and some of the other main characters. Other than the whole 3 episode thing the characters were pretty well laid out in a way, so they were quite good.
In conclusion Kamisama Inai no Nichiyoubi is good for a 13 episode anime which we all known are always the best in emotional development. If you haven’t watched It you should check it out but be prepared it can get emotional.
Here we are with another show with a very interesting setting and a very dull and randomly written plot. The premise is about God abandoning the world, which in the context of the story means no more people can be born. It also means no people die when they are killed *smirk*. They turn to zombies who act normally for awhile and only those with special powers can put them to eternal rest. Enter Ai, our heroine, an oblivious loli traveling the world looking for answers to all this mess.
… And that is literally all there is to it. It is one of those slow burner shows of the likes of Cashern Sins or Kino’s Journey where the atmosphere is more important than plot or characters. And for the same reason it is quite boring too if you expect action, suspense, or shocking revelations. It is also quite retarded if you try to make sense of it.
At least the atmosphere part is done right, as it makes good use of the premise and it’s not there as background decoration, like some shitty Dog Days variant. Most of the plot is dedicated to showing you how people are trying to cope with this new way of life (or should I call it unlife?). It also does that by having a balance between sad and cheery; meaning, not depressing and inhumane like Technolyze nor goofy and trashy like Neptunia. It stays true to its gloomy premise and makes everything to feel sad and even elegiac in a way without resorting to the overused goth fad we had a few years ago. Forget that macabre style of Nightmare before Christmass everybody was ripping off for almost a decade. It actually looks quite bright and colorful with the only indication something is off being the moody background music and the dull way everybody acts or lives. It even does a good job at keeping you wondering what is going on with this whole “God has left the building” issue as means to keep watching.
Aside from the atmosphere though everything else is barebones. The characters lack any real charisma and pass as too obvious plot devises to care about. They are also contradicting themselves every 5 minutes. It is also questionable if you can even tolerate Ai for more than 10 minutes, since she is yet another oblivious loli that is occasionally presented as a fetish for pervs.
As for the mystery part, the show is only 13 episodes and most of it is spent traveling to different places and meeting different people instead of focusing on fleshing out the main characters. That may feel like placing a lot of focus on world-building but only manages to leave the cast as empty shells and the setting as random ideas with no continuity. Meaning, there is nobody at the epicenter from which we can see the world. Ai has barely any personality that goes beyond that of a stupid girl going alone in dark alleys full of crooks. She is not worthy to cheer for and worths not even SE Lain’s pinky finger. The rest of the characters don’t even represent some ideal or mentality, since they change their perspective on live completely every 5 minutes. You can find several scenes per episode where a character says one thing, only to contradict it a few minutes later. Even the mystery which seems so strong at first fades away fast when you realize nothing is making sense.
What gives the gravediggers the power to kill the undead?
It can’t be God, that’s for sure, and there is no other reason given. “Ah, but they will explain it later” one may say but even then that means you are supposed to believe anything they tell you. If the whole setting is a mystery and you are supposed to gradually learn about it, you have no other source of information past what the characters are telling you. And they are almost deliberately contradicting themselves as means to confuse you and by the end of the episode not really telling you anything. Here are a few examples:
Ai: I am a gravedigger. Actually, I am not. Actually, I am a hybrid. Actually, I am too one of a kind to explain what I am, so just take it as granted. Humphrey killed all my friends and beats me up all the time. I guess he is my new best friend. Let’s have fun together.
Humphrey: I can’t die. Oh, now I can. Gravediggers are emotionless robots. But Ai’s mother was a kind woman. And she was also a gravedigger. And gravediggers can’t have babies. But she could. I want to kill Ai. No, I just want to beat her up. No, I just want to give her a piggy ride and do silly comedic stuff with her 5 minutes after I killed all her friends and family.
Yuri: I want revenge. Actually, I want to die. Actually, I am fine and don’t want revenge or to die, so let’s travel the world together.
The above mood swings don’t happen gradually throughout the show. They happen within the SAME episode. How can the viewer be interested in a mysterious setting that is changing every 5 minutes? There is no truth to look forward to if they are constantly trolling you like that. There is nothing to accept as granted and no time is invested on something for you to care about. And even if you manage to make sense of it all in the end, there will be no reason to wanna revisit such a series that is mostly trying to fool you with red herrings and fake claims. It is essentially making you feel like an idiot and it’s a very good example of bad storytelling. Also it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the answer to most of the mystery is Ai herself since she was born special; so again I am not made to feel I should care about the revelation if it has to do with a sexualized plot devise.
The show is not even being subtle about its topics to the point it trashes them, despite the good balance in atmosphere. It does not try to integrate the everyday lives of its main characters to the main conflict; since they are always on the move and their goal is to basically kill any undead they meet instead of using them as means to offer a steady way to learn about the world. And the themes are way too heavy and edgy, as they have to do with rotting corpses and occasionally mutilation while occasionally switching to Ai doing some moe-moe nonsense. This is nowhere near the masterful way Haibane Renmei used to show some really deep themes through basically nothing more than everyday life.
Bottom line: If you want to watch a show with good atmosphere, this one is a good pick. But everything else from characterization, to excitement, to subtlety are quite weak.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 7/10
General Artwork 2/2 (nice details)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (detailed)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 5/10
Voice Acting 1/3 (silly and confusing)
Music Themes 2/4 (mediocre)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 4/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 0/2 (very slow and with no links between arcs)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (nothing much)
CHARACTER SECTION: 3/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 1/2 (simple to the point it doesn’t exist)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 0/2 (random)
Catharsis 0/2 (nothing solid)
VALUE SECTION: 3/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of too little plot)
Memorability 2/4 (good concept but nothing to make it memorable)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 2/10
Art 1/1 (looks elegiac)
Sound 0/2 (sounds meh)
Story 1/3 (good concept handled poorly)
Characters 0/4 (they are plot devises)
This anime started off great! I was really intrigued by the story - god has abandoned the world and now people can't die even when lethally injured so insted they turn into the deceased. Now the living and the deceased have to try to live together and the only way for them to really die is to be buried by the gods final gift to humanity - the gravekeepers. Sounds like a really promising plot right? Well, this anime does nothing with this interesting setup and instead we are introduced to our main character - Ai. She is very bland and uninteresting, and if you watch the dubbed version, the voice actress for Ai sounds like she has never been so bored in her entire life. It just sounds like she's half-asleep throughout the entire series.
There really is no story...the whole anime is just a few characters interacting with each other, traveling around the world, interacting with other characters and calling it ''saving the world''. Along the way there are countless cringe moments and ''plot twists'' that does not make any sence. The weirdest moment for me was when the gravekeeper Scar was not feeling very well and the doctor with two faces (don't ask) diagnosed her with ''phantom pregnancy''. In the meantime Ai ''saves'' a princess of the city of the deciesed. Out of nowhere the princess informs them that she has a twin sister who's been asleep since birth (she has not aged aswell for some reason. She still looks like an infant while the princess looks like a normal twelve-year-old). So Scar just walks up to the twin-sister and says ''this is my child'' and just claims her as her own. That's it. No one ever questions it and just let's her have the royalties baby which she abandones one episode later...just WTF.
The animation is great! Everything looks lively and colorful, the effects are great, and when there are some action scenes, they look intense and exciting. Sadly - the great visuals get overshadowed by the awful story.
The sound is also prety good! The background music is doing it's intended purpose and the opening song is really awesome! As I mentioned - the only problem is the english voice actors. I recommend watching it subbed.
The characters are weird and don't think rationally. Everyone's always gotta do something without explaining anything and saying ''when the time comes, you will understand'' and when it's finally explained it's a really lame ''plot twist''. Also everyone has to sacrefice himself so that others can be safe, even though there's really no need to do so because of the million plot-holes. The worst has to be Ai because all she talks about is how she is going to save the world but does absolutely NOTHING to do so. Another face-palm moment was in episode ten where she says ''I want to save the world but I don't know where to start''. That's great right? We're only like 80% into the anime and the main character finally starts to think about how is she going to do the thing that she was supposed to do since episode one. Overall - the characters are poorly written...that's it.
There might be some people who enjoy this anime and that's perfectly fine. For me it was too simple-minded. I could not enjoy the non-existant story, the weird character interactions and decisions, the lame plot-twists and the unsatisfying ending. The only thing I enjoyed was the opening song ''Birth'' by Kitamura Eri. Thanks for that ^_^
No Spoilers (only mild sass)
Overall: Good (Possibly Great) idea, poor execution.
This show had some fantastic potential and the main character's, shall we say uniqueness brought a lot to the table, but goodness nothing really happened. This type of show does mini stories, which you can see by the titles of the episodes. Although they're in a chronological order, they don't necessarily have information between the storylines. Not necessarily a problem mind you, just a point to consider as the writers have given themselves the potential to jump around to any point in our lead's journey. ...Hint they don't take advantage of this. There are some plot twists, but I wasn't enthralled enough to care. To be completely honest instead I ended up rolling with the punches of it like "oh, neat... what's next..." Honestly the reason I'm so disappointed is because they have such a great set up and it's so poorly executed. I mean they talk about death vs. life and such throughout it but don't draw any conclusions, they talk about deadly things and what happened but don't go into any details or turmoil that ensued from it. AND most of all, with all these bad things that can happen, we assume can happen, they've dropped hints that they have before and may happen now, our little protagonist is fantastic at finding good, wonderful people and the shining light on all. TRA-LA-LA! So this could've gone way different just by adding contrasting character who are actually disagreeable. I'm not even mad they didn't make this a zombie apocalyptic thing, but they didn't even focus on the people affected all that well either (which I assume was their point, focusing on the humans left)...
Instead of following a path to discovery, we follow a path to confusion. By which I mean dreams and ambitions of main characters become uncertainties. Mind you this could be beautiful (question life, come to conclusions, face the world, philosophies, etc.), but it isn't really presented that way. There may have been an intent to question our thoughts and get all meta up in here, but they don't... I mean our main character is 12 years old sooo you get the idea. Please keep in mind the Hulu mature audience thing is a really just because we're talking about God and stuff. Nothing sexual, Ecchi, bloody, or heavily violent in the show so don't let the disclaimer step up some expectations.
Characters are the real focus of the story. We explore and watch the characters grow, yet there isn't much visual growth. Our protagonist, for example, is a curious and questioning person (of course never questions the audience would ask, but instead character development questions) from the get-go who provides comments that are unusually insightful towards the person they're speaking to so you can't really grow from that. Some characters I enjoyed more than others, and you'll probably find yourself in the same boat. Some backgrounds of characters are glossed over so we "don't care" as much about changes yet the writers cover their tracks on personality traits. This can get kind of annoying since you want information, but you get nothing really because they just want it to be fact. Finally on characters, all the characters who we take the time to get to know are good in some form. Like kid's movies are more forwards with HE.IS.BAD concepts, instead all characters have some (heavily) redeeming quality.
Animation was cute, but nothing special. It actually has some similarities with early 2000s style even though it's 2013. MADHOUSE usually does produced clean works and some trademark detail work so it certainly is done well and appropriately. Sound was not my favorite. It didn't hurt the show, but I didn't make me glad for it either. Voice actors were normal as well. Common matches so nothing too special either.
Soo I'm disappointed, but I liked the concept. So it got some solid points for concept, but man, oh man did they miss the mark on this one. And the first few episodes are such a bait and switch!