I generalized this review to contain no spoilers for those who haven’t watched but are curious. However, you don’t need to read my review for me to tell you to go watch this anime right now. Just go.
Yes. This is what stories are supposed to be about. They are supposed to dig deep into the crevices of the world, exploring topics that are sensitive to human nature and will never stop being discussed. The stories that make you think and make you want to talk about things that mean something are the best. The setting and circumstances of this anime’s world are genius. It takes a few episodes for the story to pick up because at first, reflecting the main characters’ cluelessness, the viewer isn’t sure what’s going on even though many things seem suspicious and mysterious. By the time you realize what you’re in the middle of, you’re wallowing in so much brilliance that you can’t crawl out until everything is finished. This anime picks up quickly after the initial journey, swooping you into a world that might just be insane. It is a wonderful experience. I don’t usually watch many episodes in a single day, but I just about marathoned the second half of this anime because I physically could not stop watching.
Vibe: Animation + Sound [9.5/10]
Erratic, but perfect. At times things are solemn and dark, with drab colors and simple animation. Then the next episode may be filled with flashes of vibrant dreams or visions, crazy animations of forces and beings dancing across the screen. The animation and colors change with what is necessary to translate the current message, which works perfectly with the disorientation of most of the characters. I often don’t pay much attention to music, but during the last few episodes I instinctually had chills run up my arms during some of the intense pieces of sound. That is rare. The vibe of the anime says a lot and paying attention to it helps you stay in tune with what the characters are experiencing.
The characters are somewhat secondary to the story. They play an important part and they’re pretty fleshed out, but a few of them could easily be replaced with somewhat similar people and the anime wouldn’t take a hit. The story drives the characters and they play their parts. That doesn’t mean they are only props, but the progression of circumstances is mostly the thing that shapes them rather than their individual personalities and decisions. This process works well for this anime, given what it was going for. I still found an attachment to the characters, especially our main girl Saki.
This was a great ride. I was not expecting such brilliance when I first began watching and I was continually surprised by each turn of events. In the beginning it seemed a little slow and I wasn’t quite sure where things were going, but it paid off to be patient and let the anime take its path. I enjoyed this story thoroughly, my fascination only increasing with every episode. Even at the very end, I took a big breath, smiled, and thought about how great the whole series had been. It activated my brain and raised some deep questions about life, some of which I still don’t have a concrete answer for. Watch it, no matter who you are or what you like. I feel like this piece of work is universally Good.