First Impressions Digest – Sengoku Choujuu Giga, Occultic;Nine

Sengoku Choujuu Giga – 01

Japanese writers, damn – you be crazy.

If you thought you’d seen Sengoku warlords reimagined and anthropomorphized in every possible way, you were wrong.  ILCA (a studio I’ve never heard of) has recast them as the animal characters from the “first manga”, the Choujuu Giga, in a minimally-animated version of the original scrolls.  It’s actually pretty funny – very snarky and dark – and in fact it’s already been renewed for a second season this winter.  Go figure.  Obviously at three minutes with about 500 Yen worth of animation per episode it’d be wise to keep expectations modest, but for a brief distraction on a busy weekend Sengoku Choujuu Giga might prove a nice option.


Occultic:Nine – 01

Wow – try too hard much?  If you’ve been looking for that Fall show to truly hate rather than just be bemused or annoyed by, Occultic;Nine may be just the ticket.  And there are talented people involved here, too – I mean, as much as I ended up loathing Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, it was the material that I loathed, not the direction.  And it was created by the guy who created Steins;Gate, Shikura Chiyomaru.  But this…  It was like someone distilled everything I hated about Shaft series and their imitators and made a series out of it.

This isn’t a great season, and it really seems as if so many of the dismaying trends in anime over the past few years – incessant CGDCT shows, bad LN adaptations, Shaft and shows trying to be Shaft – have made a big comeback.  And 2017, from a distance, looks even worse.  But there’s some decent stuff out there – the problem with shows like Occultic;Nine is that they remind you of why the overall trend in anime is creative decline (and the fact that there are seemingly smart people behind it is that much more depressing).  I hope it’s not the case but the increasing weight of evidence suggests that the pretty good Spring and Summer anime seasons were like a few unseasonably cool days against global warming – they don’t signify a change from the overall trend, only a brief aberration.



  1. h

    Occultic:Nine was visually stunning,first episode was okay,gonna give it more chance,imo two good shows per season,counts for me as a successful season so with haikyuu and yuri on ice,I’m pretty delighted so far
    I have one remark on your comment ((Occultic;Nine is that they remind you of why the overall trend in anime is creative decline)),I know you mean the writing and direction *I still think it’s pretty early to make such a claim plus my disagreement on your fixed opininon on that style of direction,hey, I like that style for a change,)),but what I want to point is that ,there is another side of creativity,specially when we are taking about anime,it’s the visuals and on that front.Occultic nine was very creative,as an animation fan,I was pleased ,I know they can keep that quality up.probably for two episodes *same as Boku dake ga Inai Machi*
    and over all,for me,with mob psycho,boku no hero,Haikyuu and Boku dake ga Inai Machi ,getting 4 titles who are high on my list makes 2016 a pretty successful year for me

    why is 2017 worse,so far,in winter only you got ACCAJusan,Ao no exorcist and witch academy with promised return of boku no hero,one punch and attack on titan (I know you arent a fan of AOT),2017 looks pretty good imo

    unless you mean the lack of original materials not adaptations

  2. J

    O;9 is a LN adaptation rather than a VN, correct? It looks like they’ve tried to adapt a whole volume into one episode – there were Victorian maidens whose waists were less compressed than that episode. That’s the only plausible reason I can think of for introducing so many characters with such little care.

    I’ve been quite fond of the “Semi-colons” since checking out Steins;Gate, so this is a big disappointment.

  3. s

    there was a very simple way to make occult; nine an interesting watch:

    This one is really isnt a must (it would help make the situation more sensible) but they could have made the lead characters college students. Gamon could have been an intelligent, yet slightly (key word on slightly) eccentric college student trying to make ends meet with his blog. While working on his latest story in his apartment, his female best friend since middle school, Ryouka (who has normal sized breasts) uses a spare key to his apartment to come check on him. Gamon would talk to ryouka about his latest blog piece and how he debunked the paranormal phenomenon and then their attention would switch over to the tv discussion involving the paranormal expert. Throughout the episode, we would learn that ryouka is a smart aspiring inventor who has invented the laser beam gadget she used in this ep. We would get to explore gamon and ryouka as people, understanding what they mean to each other, how they interact with each other (you know, establishing your characters aka the emotional core of your story) and the world that they live in as well as being introduced to a few extra cast members. We would see glimpses of what the other cast members were up to but the focus should stay primarily on gamon an ryouka. Finally, the ending would hook the viewer with the scalp placed inside the mailbox of the loli hex lady and bam you’ve intrigued your audience. Episode 2 would continue to expand on the story, but focusing primarily on the other cast members while still giving us a window view as to what our two main characters are up to. While keeping the focus on the other cast members, the events of ep 2 would overlap with some of the events that have already occured last ep, playing with the chronology and keying the viewer on that subtlely. By ep 3, gamon discovers the body of the dead paranormal expert and we can truly confirm that the order of events have been played around with. We learn that the loli hex girl discovering the scalp happened either after or around the time gamon had found the body. We see that the drama occurring with the other cast members also coincide with the murder; the story would have officially taken off and we would have an interesting, well thought out anime…not what we are getting.

    I think they tried to do something like this but 1. they forced all that in one episode i.e HUUUGE MISTAKE and 2. the characters had no sort of emotional presence or relatability to them so its hard to give a shit about them. 3. the writing was shit….in case it wasnt obvious. And why are ryouka’s tits that large??? what does it add to the story or her character? it’s not even titillating (no pun intended)…it’s just stupid.

  4. It took a while for Steins:Gate and Robotic; Notes to grow on me so I will watch a couple more and see. Right off the bat I hated the way everyone talks so incredibly manic/fast and the size of the breasts of one of the girls was just ridiculous. I did like the quirky cast they are starting to build and like how the episode ended with something bad happening to make me wanna tune in next week to see what happens next.

  5. s

    I can understand why (even tho i completely disagree) why people may find occult;nine’s first ep as fun or intriguing but i find it funny how those who didnt like it are being told by some people who did like it that “oh, you just didnt get it” or “it’s a different style of storytelling”

  6. R

    Your amazingly harsh condemnation of Occultic;Nine actually made me curious so I looked up the first episode.

    And I understand. I think I felt sort of exhausted with the show within the first ten minutes. The visual style and shotgun pace dialogue (christ BREATHE people) by itself isn’t actually a turn away for me most of the time. The problem is the subject and premise it was paired with. I think this would actually had been a LOT more interesting a show if they just…chilled. It’s actually a relatively neat premise. I think that’s the disappointing part. Take away the episode itself and just give me a summary of what transpired and I actually would be interested in the series. I really like occult focused shows in anime, there’s so much you can do with them.

    That and the boobs girl. I have a high threshold for fanservice, super high. And that was amazingly suspension of belief breaking. Again, not actually because of the gag boobs, but because of the setting this character decided to pop up in. If she showed up in a harem comedy I probably wouldn’t have bat an eyelid. Such a shame, I feel like I could have really liked the show too.

  7. Maybe she is hiding something interesting under her shirt other then boobs and it will come out later in the series (like a conjoined twin or something)?

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