First Impressions – Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

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Summer season, start.

LiA kicks off the season with another “earlycast” from Niconico, with the usual craptacular quality.  If I decide to stick with Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi it’s going to be a similar decision to RDG: watch the netcast and blog, or wait for the HD releases?

That decision is still a ways off, though, and I can’t say for sure whether it will come at all, though based on the premiere I’m cautiously optimistic.  In a season short on sleeper candidates this was one that struck me as a possibility, and while the first episode wasn’t captivating it was solidly entertaining.  It’s hard to tell from the Nico stream but the visuals are pretty eye-catching as well.  I’ve liked the premise from the moment I heard it – a world abandoned by God (“On Sunday, God forsook the Earth”) where the dead cannot die and children are never born.

I wasn’t too favorably disposed to heroine Ai-chan (Toyasaki Aki), the little girl who’s been told by her village that she’s the Gravekeeper – the one responsible for preparing graves for all the undead villagers.  The details on how all that works aren’t clear yet, but Ai comes off as pretty much a stock loli character, and Toyasaki is putting on her most grating voice for the role.  She’s the weak link so far, but things get much better (as they usually do) when Namikawa Daisuke arrives on scene as Hampnie Hambart the self-described “human toy”.  Turns out that’s the same name Ai-chan’s dead mother (still no explanation for that) told her was her father’s, though Hampnie tells Ai the name is one he made up, taken from a toy that runs on springs and never stops moving.

Hampnie is the driver of events in the premiere – he uses a shotgun to blow the heads off the villagers.  Ai accuses him of killing them (including her guardians Youki and Anna) but he says he merely “stopped them from moving”.  He also tells Ai that she’s no Gravekeeper – real Gravekeepers aren’t human and don’t have parents but “show up from nowhere, like flies” (we apparently meet a real one at the end of the episode).  It’s not clear why the villagers lied to Ai or even just what a Gravekeeper is, but as usual Namikawa brings a restless, dangerous energy to his role – he commands the screen as few seiyuu can.

Like the cast, the pacing of the episode is a mixed bag – there was moments that felt a bit draggy, but it generally held my interest.  It’s just too early to say whether there’s enough here to power an interesting series – I definitely see potential, with an agreeably dark tone and commensurate shadowed visual palette.  The premiere was engaging but not engrossing, very much in the conventional scene-setting mold – a fair amount of unexplained exposition being the main thrust of the narrative.  I’ll check the episode out in HD to get a better read on the visuals, but I see some decent stylish flair from director Kumazawa Yuuji.  Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi definitely slots into the “maybe” category for now.

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10 comments

  1. H

    Really, you felt some parts dragged? I felt the pacing was going at breakneck speed. They covered 6 chapters of the manga in the single episode, I think the content should have been stretched to two episodes at the very least.

    Now the interactions between HH and Ai make even less sense than the manga.

  2. M

    Well technically Madhouse is adapting the LN not the manga and anime adaptions of LN (mostly) have a different sense of pace.

  3. l

    I get being 12 y/o means that you won't be the smartest quickest tool in the shed unless the character is designed to come off as a genius – but taking FOREVER to blurt out "who are you?"…really. That was one of those drag on forever moments to me.

    And am I meant to ship her and Hampnie? She's 12 – even if she has the weight of the world on her shoulder's it's still weird to think I'd ship her with anyone unless they are 12 too and he has the same name as her father and the first thing she blurted out was "your handsome"…disturbs me if that kind of shipping was intended even if it shouldn't surprise me.

    I have to admit…I was pretty interested to see the concept but the first episode didn't pull me in and disapointed me and your right..her voice doesn't make it easier – I might follow your blog posts to see how it unfolds.

  4. I don't think the series is overtly shipping Hampnie and Ai – just standard loli fanservice.

  5. l

    Jeezuz, what's up with all those blooming effects? >_<
    …and what kind of name is Hampnie Hambart? Sounds like a biscuit brand that won't sell.

    So this only gets a "maybe" eh? I'll keep it on hold then. Might watch it if I find time during the weekend.

  6. E

    "My eyes! My eyes!"
    The loli and bishounen seemed to have very good design, but it's hard to tell from the cancerous quality. I am going to wait for HD release next time.

    Yes, it's still very early to make judgement, there are too many unclear things. It seems that a gravekeeper has a special ability that is she can make the undead people dead for good, by burying them. However, something is off:

    Why didn't they cremate these 'dead' people?

  7. L

    As with RDG, I'm expecting to keep up with the Nico streams—but if the visuals are actually really superb in the tv version, I might just watch that instead.

    So if the girl isn't a true Gravekeeper, she may not have been burying the "dead" completely, unless she's supposed to be some special Gatekeeper-with-a-soul type of character. Otherwise, those people are still alive in the coffins. Now that's a Gen-worthy twist. :X

    The music stood out to me as very, very close to the Shiki soundtrack from 2010. When she was on the hill at the end, I decided that I'd watch the series for the soundtrack, if everything else turned out for the worse.

  8. A

    I have to admit the name Hampnie Hambert amused me every time it was uttered.

    In future I'm going to be waiting for the HD release (like I did with RDG), but there was enough there that I'm intrigued by how it will develop.

  9. Yeah, me too – it made me think of "Lolita" at first but it is a great sounding name that fits the gothy atmosphere.

  10. M

    I went ahead and read the vol 1 of the LN and can't believe how fast this episode went by. There's so much more details in those first chapters, not sure how Madhouse will adapt this one but will continue to watch to see.

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