The last few weeks have been a bit of a trough for this series, but with the “Class 3-4” arc it seems to have found its footing – all the more important since this seems likely to be the story that will take the anime to the finish line. We still have the same bewildering sense of being dropped into the middle of a story, but I’ve come to accept that as just one of Kaminai’s foibles – and the journey itself is much more interesting that the last couple have been. Plus, thanks to Alis, shit actually gets explained! I thought I was watching the wrong show for a minute.
Alis has grown on me as a character. He always had a bit of an old soul quality to him, but the reason is now apparent – he’s actually about 30, not barely 16. In this post-abandonment world where anything seems possible and no one the age they appear to be, it’s hardly surprising. It seems he was trapped in a time loop with the rest of his 3-4 classmates, a world created by their own wish (or one student’s wish, at least) which resets itself after a year or a major disruption. What I like about Alis is that he’s developed a sort of perversely stubborn persona – chainsaws, handguns, explosives – this is a guy who doesn’t accept the status quo, doesn’t like being caged, and will do anything not to live as a prisoner in someone else’s fantasy.
What all this means isn’t necessarily clear – this is still Kaminai after all, and I’m not sure even the author knows what the rules are. But Alis’ “destroy the world in order to save it” comment certainly now makes sense, and he’s recruited the Scooby gang for just that purpose. As usual the series does a wonderful job with the world-building – like every setting in Kaminai, this one has a distinct and evocative identity all its own, both in its apocalyptic and preserved forms. The most disturbing element of this thread is perhaps Dee, who escaped from the loop with Alis but lost her corporeal form when she did. The implication seems clear enough – she’s dead (perhaps her death – by falling out that window which seems so crucial, I’m thinking – is directly tied to the wish itself), and the continued existence of the looping wish-world inside the barrier is the only thing keeping her around.
I think it extremely unlikely Kaminai is going to grace us with any sort of definitive ending for its larger story, but it does seem likely Alis’ story will get one, and perhaps the series finale will tie that in with the larger mythology. Kaminai has a sense of incompleteness to it, as if the mythology itself is indistinct and blurry around the edges – but in a way, that’s actually part of the appeal of the series. It’s a strange world we just happened to have wandered into to spend a few hours, and once we’re gone it’ll continue to exist in its strange niche between waking and dreams.