A beautifully odd show that feels like what would happen if Studio Ghibli decided to make something Shounen/Seinen instead of their usual fare of kids' shows.
Story - We follow our Main Character Caiman through his journey of discovery and remembrance as he tries to find the spellcaster that turned his head into a Lizard head and made him lose his memories. Accompanied by his favorite restaurant-owner and only friend Nikaido, together they track down Sorcerers and look for clues to Caiman's past. Now, the story itself here is actually fairly bare-bones and straightforward, as far as stories go; it's a classic tale of a Hero with a mysterious past seeking the macguffin that will restore his memory, and encountering random side-advantures along the way. In that regard, the overall Story is frankly the weakest aspect of this anime. Where the storywriting really excels is in the *setting*. The city (world?) of Hole is a beautifully grungy cyberpunk-esque dystopia that's full of rich character and presence. Contrastingly, the city/world of the Sorcerers is a near-pristine fantasyland of castles and villas, where even the most run-down slum of a dormitory still looks elegant on the outside. Together, along with with the mechanisms for how magic works, these set pieces dramatically boost the interest level in following the story simply because it drives interest in finding out more about how these worlds work. 8/10; A bit standard on the surface, but full of interesting things to ponder.
Animation - Surprisingly a good application of 3DCG. I feel that Mappa really did a good job of blending the 3D model's appearances with the art styles of their 2D animations/backgrounds. In fact, I feel that the 3DCG actually enhances several moments in the show, where characters' movements have much more personality to them than a traditional 2D animation might be able to convey. Beyond the 3D aspects, the art and designs of the world and envoronments is absolutely stunningly gorgeous. I haven't felt this enraptured by a simple panning shot of a background in a long time, and I think it's fair to again draw the comparison to Studio Ghibli; the level of detail and attention to aesthetic is insane. 9/10; There are still a few rough spots with the 3DCG but the rest of the show is flawless visually.
Sound - The intro is just as weirdly beautiful as the rest of the show, and sticks in the mind pretty well. The rest of the OST isn't quite as memorable, but fits the scenes perfectly. The sound effects are always on-point, and the voice acting is superb as well. 9/10; All around great stuff.
Characters - Easily the strongest point of this show. Every important character - and even some less important characters - is given special care to show not only what their personality and motives are, but also good demonstrations of *why* they are that way. Everyone believes they are doing the best they can do, and it just so happens that these opinions make them clash. Characters are given plenty of opportunity to demonstrate their moral compass under difficult circumstances as well. 10/10; I absolutely love every bit of the character writing.
Overall - One of my favorite anime that I've watched this year. I'm thoroughly impressed by nearly every aspect of the show, and I enjoyed every moment I was watching it. 10/10; Definitely hoping for a Season 2.