Musings and Reflections – Summer 2016 Week 3

Orange (Ep. 3)

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   I wonder when Kakeru will get a green uniform jacket. Yes, a black sweater works well making Kakeru look still a bit of a stranger to the group and marking him as having troubles, as much as suicidal thoughts as the later part of the episode showed. Another quite bothersome thing definitely is Naho and her letter reading. Is it too difficult for her to read everything at once and memorize the key events or if she doesn’t have faith in her memory writing everything down like a ‘to do’ list? By the way, I find it a bit weird how many regrets older Naho has and thinks all of them are worth mentioning to her younger self and being mended. I already mentioned that the show doesn’t stray very far from usual tropes of anime high-school romance but that doesn’t really bother me. This time happens the same thing – romantic relationships of teenagers doesn’t usually last that long and Naho will probably have many chances to approach Kakeru, not to mention that only a start of dating don’t really set anything in stone. Somehow, all this stuff doesn’t feel that cheap and overused. I don’t know how they do that, but I still quite like it.

Tales of Zestiria the X (Ep. 2)

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    A bit more balanced episode this week. Unlike the OVA that was all action or the first episode when things happened but it was quite difficult to care about them. Now the majority of the episode covered just talking and becoming acquainted better with Alisha and Sorey. The fight scene felt very cohesive and, well, just the thing Ufotable is capable of. The general direction of the story felt very predictable and already used countless times. Of course Sorey has to follow Alisha and become a Shepherd. That’s the point of the whole story. Also, I understand that Alisha can’t see or hear the Seraphim (and why Sorey can and how he ended up with the Seraphim is another interesting topic for the anime to cover) but how did she not notice that Sorey was talking not only to her? Well, maybe the guy just has talking with himself problems, apparently having lived all his life alone. Not to mention that one guy probably couldn’t take care of the whole village. Anyway, this week even if nothing outstanding happened, the flow of the episode seemed just right and I just hope the show will not tarry too much until Sorey will become the Shepherd and the real story will begin.

Amaama to Inazuma (Ep. 3)

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     I’ll probably say nothing new as slice of life shows often don’t have anything specific that can differ from one episode to another and just work by creating a pleasant atmosphere. Amaama to Inazuma is no different in that aspect. The first half was memorable only because it portrayed a pretty childish conflict as seen by adult and as there aren’t that many anime that deal with parenting issues, dealing with problems of children is not the most common sight, and showing something like that is always welcome. As a side note, Tsumugi with her hair covered with her sweater looked very much like a person with a Daifuku mask (or whatever that hilarious thing was) from Nichijou. That and some more serious family bonding matters ensured many smiles during the episode. I think it would be about time to introduce some new character and that should not be the problem since the OP features number of them.

91 Days (Ep. 3)

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    Starting from the end, the soundtrack still remains spot on. The funeral scene certainly did add some gravity to the show. Vanno as a character didn’t appear that interesting but it’s good to see that the effect of his death depends not from his role in the show but from his relationships forged some time ago – the show gets some points for realism. Everything else – I got to admit that sometimes it’s still difficult for me to remember which character has one name or another and that doesn’t enhance the enjoyment of watching. But hey, it’s far from being as confusing in this aspect as Baccano, so that’s ok. Another slight drawback seemed to be animation at certain places. Generally the show looks really good, but sometimes you just can’t not notice frame rate dropping almost to the ground, and when it’s paired with just sketched out faces of people that are farther away you don’t get a very pleasant experience. Anyway, the situation between the mafia families gets hotter and hotter, especially with some not very stable guys around, so all those things beg to be overlooked.

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Musings and Reflections – Summer 2016 Week 2

Orange (Ep. 2)

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   The show picked up just were it left last time with all the vigor and general atmosphere. The initial stages of the romance are pretty ordinary (making bento and stuff) but somehow I don’t mind that. The sincerity with witch everything is done can compensate for many things. All the other gang members beside Kakeru and Naho feel very natural, their chemistry so far has been pretty amazing. Yet, I’m beginning to be concerned about the letter Naho received and its writer’s intention to withhold some information. Looking from perspective of Naho (the younger one) wouldn’t it be more natural not to invite Kakeru to hang around during the first day if she knew exactly why? Writing only something like “I have regrets, change it” sounds pretty unconvincing and, coming from a person whom Naho does not really know, it sounds almost like an arrogance. Writing down all the details with grounded facts would have been more effective. Not to mention the accident in which Kakeru apparently dies. How does Naho prevent it if she knows basically nothing about it? Anyway, the show remains very enjoyable and that’s what really matters.

Tales of Zestiria the X (Ep. 1)

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   So apparently the previous episode wasn’t the first but rather zeroth. As far as I know it’s not that usual to put an OVA before the main series in the same airing time. And I must say that the zeroth episode felt more like the starting point of the series, all the spectacular action and stuff. This one looked more like a second episode when much money is already spent and the staff who previously thought only about the starting of the show finally remember that it also must go on after the first episode. I hope that the Princess will feature heavily in the future because otherwise this OVA would feel only as a cheap bait for the viewers. Turning to the story, everything still felt quite video game-ish. The Princess randomly wanders into old ruin and is randomly attacked by random bugs (while being helped by a random well, creature? I’ve no idea who or what he is and what he was doing there), randomly cracks a wall and ends up as a damsel in distress before the protagonist. So far Sorey didn’t leave any impression and felt just like a typical protagonist material. I wonder when all the other characters featured in the OP will start turning up and heating up everything.

Amaama to Inazuma (Ep. 2)

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     Amount of cuteness for the week acquired. I know it’s not that type of a show when you need to think a lot but I’m interested into why Kotori wants to help so much. Unless her dream is to save her mother’s restaurant but in that case she probably should have already learned to cook something more than just some rice. Another interesting thing is that Kotori’s VA Saori Hayami also voiced Shirayuki and it’s very difficult for me to see Kotori as a new  and different character and not just the already known one with just dyed hair. Especially when they seem to have not that dissimilar personalities. Overall cooking was featured more prominently than the last time, some quite entertaining humor was sprinkled here and there and generally it was just a very heartwarming and healing episode. I wonder if the show will continue ‘a meal an episode’ scenario for a while or (and that I probably prefer) will cook up (pun intended) something different.

91 Days (Ep. 2)

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   That felt like The Godfather. I know the setting and all the mafia stuff are the same but especially the scene with the wedding when the head of the family sits alone in a dark room with his closest family brings back the memories. Another quite similar thing is portraying how some people might remain very strongly religious and still do killing and other similar business for living. Some of the events may have been not that easy to predict like Fango’s escape – why would you kill such a villain right from the start – others not so much as Angelo (or Avilio – I’m not sure which name is more suitable) turned against one of his family’s murderers. That is if the letter he got said the truth. Three families, one guy thirsting for revenge and numerous business entanglements should make up for at least a decent story and so far 91 days has delivered. Still, there’s a long way to go deepening all the conflicts and telling more of Angelo’s dealings to come, but it looks as promising as ever.

Musings and Reflections – Summer 2016 Week 1

Orange (Ep. 1)

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     That’s the way to start a new season. The energy of the show just streams through and with a little bit of mystery (well, possibly sci-fi) it makes quite a start. Of course it requires a bit of faith to believe that all the letter and basically the future timeline stuff will be explained well enough but so far it seems to be a worthy investment of time. Even though the character designs a beautiful beyond any doubt, not every cut does them justice and I can only wonder what will happen later on if even in the first episode that by convention should be the hook to catch as many viewers as possible with the best the show can offer, we still get some stills in place of characters walking albeit they change pretty quickly. Other than that, I’m quite impressed. One of other positives is Azu. Yes, there are plenty of genki girls in anime but this time I think it’s done unconventionally realistically – Azu type of girl could easily be found in probably every high-school, being without too much childish or cartoonish that your typical anime genki girls are often known for.

Tales of Zestiria the X (Ep. 0)

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     As expected, Ufotable (pretty much being my only reason for watching the show) tried a lot to make everything shiny. I just don’t think everything worked as well as they expected. Standard animation looks as polished as always, but CG constantly made me wonder if I was watching a video game cutscene. I don’t think CG water or CG towns (almost like something from Total War series) look bad per se, I just don’t find it that compatible with 2D characters. The tornado with very roughly done flying rocks made me remember the Studio Deen Dragon. The dragon of this show appeared later but it was certainly better. Just the whole 2D and 3D clash still needs time to settle in. The story also resembles a game very much with going, asking a question, getting an answer, going on, getting in a fight and so on. Not to mention the same feeling of stuff happening and just needing to be done but without much engagement of the viewer (or player). As I’m not familiar with the source, I can’t even guess anything about the story, but without one (and a good one) the show seems to be just another example of why games don’t usually make a good anime.

Amaama to Inazuma (Ep. 1)

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     That was beautiful. I’ve come to the show fearing it had many opportunities not to be to my liking and so far I’m very glad I’m mistaken. It seemed to me that to only be of the same level as Usagi Drop would be an enormous task to accomplish, plus I’m not that fond of anime that heavily features cooking. Even Tsumugi’s character design looked a bit too flamboyant not to mention it’s really hard to make a believable and realistic enough child character with all the quirks but not beyond the level of annoyance. The episode somehow tackled all those challenges surprisingly well with a fair share of light humor, beautiful backgrounds (especially those of the park with blooming sakuras) and heartwarming moment of characters tearing up because some rice – the simplest of all foods – after all the microwavable stuff seemed so good. The relationship between the teacher and the student later on may begin to cause some troubles but for now it was just a beautiful and a very heartwarming episode.

91 Days (Ep. 1)

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     Another pretty strong first episode. And it looks like the niche that last season was occupied by Joker Game this time will provide something more entertaining. The general feel of the show just can’t not remind me of Baccano, and that’s a really good thing, – the same time period, mafia stuff, some over the top characters, a bar fight… Not to mention that studio Shuka previously did Durarara and that’s basically a cousin to Baccano. Still, this show so far seems a bit tamer and without any supernatural elements. The idea of someone trying to revenge some past sores may be not the most original but here in anime community it looks quite fresh. It’s hard to say much about the characters though it’s really going to be interesting how Angelo may need to cooperate with Nero who belongs to the family Angelo’s determined to get even with. The presentation certainly suits the show and immediately pinpoints the time period while the soundtrack seconds it also really well.

Musings and Reflections – end of Spring 2016

     It wasn’t a bad season and even if no show managed to charm me as Rakugo of a previous one did, still it was pretty good. Probably the biggest hit (that I haven’t watched) besides Boku no Hero Akademia was Re:Zero that really looks good enough but I’ll refrain from any comments and intentions to watch it (or not) until it ends. Of other shows that didn’t catch up my eye at the start of the season probably only Tanaka-kun sounds interesting enough to try it out. Speaking about the shows I did watch…

Sakamoto desu ga?

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     I went into the show expecting a few things and Sakamoto desu ga? delivered that. Basically it was just one cool guy acting cool, and when some other people in the show saw that and though “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we make him do something uncool?”, it actually made the protagonist look even cooler, if that’s possible. The formula with slight variations remained for the full cour, but I can only applause the mangaka for thinking up many very different scenarios to tell virtually the same thing. Personally I just didn’t find all the jokes very funny and the whole repeating idea, even if very diversely portrayed, after several episodes ceased to be that interesting – pitting anyone against Sakamoto was doomed from the start since the result was always very clear. Sakamoto being this perfect guy didn’t really make me care about him and hardly any other character was interesting or at least not too simplified. These and other things make me think I’ll just forget the show next week even if it had its moments.

     Sakamoto desu ga? receives the award of the most memorable character (guess who) of the season.

Joker Game

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     Who doesn’t fancy a cool looking show from the period of WWII? One of the better aspects of watching anime is that you can approximately see how people lived in Japan during certain periods of time. Joker Game grabbed the idea and sometimes made it really interesting to watch but those pleasant moments were diluted by other not so good stuff. Spy stories generally are a very captivating thing to experience but the show managed to keep the viewers fairly bored. Changing the whole cast nearly every episode is a very dangerous gamble at best of times and that paired with stories that don’t form a cohesive and engaging narrative or some plot armor for the good guys doesn’t look like a mix for a good show. Not to mention that all the spies looked pretty much the same. And come on, if you have some cool dudes, why wouldn’t you use them all together? Composition of Joker Game wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen. After the second episode all the episodic stuff began quite unexpectedly with all hopes for a single but good story fainting, the ending felt like a random episode from the middle of the show and it itself wasn’t that great. I guess even Production I.G sometimes blunders.

Koutetsujo no Kabaneri

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     Koutetsujou no Kabaneri was fun. Certain elements of many aspects of the show had flaws but how couldn’t it be fun to watch people running and slaughtering zombies even if they form some enormous piles hugely reminiscent of Titans of a certain other show. Things that deserve applause are plentiful. Let alone the artstyle from character designs to lush backgrounds, no shyness of blood and gore, maybe not the most original but nonetheless quite intriguing setting. The first half of the story did surprisingly well introducing everything and especially portraying mistrust and fear based selfishness to the point of stupidity among people that must worry almost every second about their lives. Later on the villain that had gone nuts was introduced and that felt pretty generic considering all the available possibilities concerning the setting. Ultimately if more battered, all the important characters felt pretty much the same after the first half and after the whole show. Looking how much effort was put into the show I guess the staff are hooping a green light for a second season and well, if they get one and come up with some engaging story, I’m all in.

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri  receives the award of most impressive scenery of the season.

Flying Witch

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     It’s not that often that a show grabs me right from the first second (especially with the soundtrack) and practically holds its place the whole time. Flying Witch did exactly that and I’m quite amazed it did. It’s very difficult to make a slice of life show have that special healing ingredient, but I believe the mix of mundane tasks, setting in a countryside (and mainly not in a high-school for once), and a bit of friendly magic tricks works perfectly. As the genre suggests, everything goes on pretty slowly and all the details about dealings of everyday life steal much time from potential expansion of all the magic stuff. Again, that either tells to go and find the manga or just hope for another season. To be frank, the show feels a bit like an introduction to all this world with witches and stuff and one or two extra episodes about exactly that certainly wouldn’t have spoiled anything. But I can’t complain. Interactions between characters that genuinely feel like a true family with everyone’s little quirks, likes, dislikes and preferences make a very compelling work of art.

     Flying Witch receives the award of favorite OST  and favorite anime of the season.

     Favorite OP without much thought was that of Sakamoto desu ga?. The animation without much sophistication emphasized once again who’s the best guy, but the chosen style and very unpredictable song stood out among all the other OPs.

     Favorite ED must be that of Koutetsujou no Kabaneri. I’m definitely not alone who just enjoys the voice of Aimer. Flowing peaceful images pretty much worked as a contradiction and deepened the effect of all the bloody events of the show. Plus you can’t be amazed by the quality of the images, especially that of Mumei. Even if it looks almost like a very elaborate fan art.

Musings and Reflections – Spring 2016 Week 14

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Ep. 12)

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     I expected some flashy ending and, well, I kinda got one. Everything fell into places though I can’t really say I’m absolutely happy about that. Monster that had Mumei at its heart as well as Ikoma stopping a train with his bare hand (and superpowers) certainly looked cool but I guess I thought that as spectacular as the whole show was, the finale should have used a Michael Bay kind of performance. Well, it needed to wrap everything up so that used much time. Both Mumei and Ikoma remained alive despite the stakes not at all being at their favor. Somehow “and they all happily rode into the sunset” ending don’t really fit a show as bloody as this. Yes, Takumi died earlier and Biba received the same fate but especially for the villain it didn’t make much impact. At least for me quite for a while it was almost obvious that he will end up dead, as he was introduced pretty late, I doubt many people will remember Biba after a week or two. Anyway, I can’t deny that the show was enjoyable despite any possible nitpickings and flaws. On an unrelated note we learned one serious truth – whenever you want to charm a girl forever you just need to talk about rice paddies.

Sakamoto desu ga? (Ep. 12)

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     The show just ended and that felt quite weird. Well, just like “oh, we got a new transfer student”, “oh, he’s cool”, “oh, he’s really cool”, “oh, he just left us”. Yes, all those faces covered with pies behind the window and lots of tears make up a feeling that something’s about to end, but it just as the whole show didn’t really affect me emotionally. What of those other characters that no one really cares about? Anyway, Fukase tried to remain his type of cool but it looks like even he was finally subdued, though I just don’t understand how leaving the hall in a bit humiliating way can change things – he hasn’t graduated yet, if he’s so powerful to use inescapable suggestions and mind games, why would he change anything in his life? Acchan got nothing for his showing off. I guess everyone just made peace with the fact that he’s an idiot who can be easily manipulated and that’s not his fault at all, apparently he’s also a victim. So yeah, the show ended though it felt like a finale only marginally. Nothing really substantial resolved, only shown that one particular guy is cool. A bit underwhelming.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi – hardships of living up to the hype

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Alternative title Erased /
The Town Where Only I Don’t Exist
Studio A-1 Pictures
Genres Drama, Mystery, Supernatural
Source Manga
Episodes 12
Season Winter 2016
Director Tomohiko Itou
Music Yuki Kajiura

     Boku dake ga Inai Machi was probably the most notorious anime of Winter 2016 season. Sometimes it just happens – a story that clearly has potential gets an anime adaptation by a famous studio, the staff also seems to be at least decent or even very good (yes, it’s especially Yuki Kajiura I’m speaking of), some people become interested and that gives a chain reaction so that the hype climbs sky high. Yet, some viewers cool off very quickly and even start to despise the show, while the majority still retains the opinion that it’s really great. Come to think of it – Boku dake ga Inai Machi is truly well made, but still some details restrain me from calling it superb.

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     The first episode wastes no time and introduces us to Satoru, not the very brightest or that successful 29-year-old guy, who has to work as a pizza delivery man because of being unable to start a profitable enough mangaka career. What’s so interesting about him? Well, he appears to have an ability to travel back through time a few minutes and change his behavior so that some ill fortune would be evaded. That’s what became clear after the first episode and sadly even after the last one we don’t know virtually anything more about this ability. There are some implications that it may activate when Satoru becomes very shaken emotionally but that’s the most what can be speculated about it. Of course, it’s a better choice to leave it at that as sort of a natural thing and don’t pursue any half-baked explanations but I just would have liked to know at least Satoru’s own ideas about why does he have such a power and what exactly it is. Now it remains only on a level of quite a cheap plot device that activates when it’s convenient. Not to mention that one day Satoru’s ability unexpectedly throws him back to his school days when he was only 10 years old. Now in a kid’s body, Satoru decides that this means that he must save his classmate Kayo who was kidnapped and murdered at that time to prevent the cause of why his ability activated (ooh, it’s difficult to evade spoilers). Well, it sounds alright, but when you think of it, if Kayo was so important, why didn’t Satoru’s ability activate earlier so that he wouldn’t need to live pretty much useless two decades? On the other hand, Satoru could have gone just a few minutes back through time in the first place to avoid that certain event that started everything. Not to mention pretty unjustified notion that it’s namely Kayo’s fate that Satoru needs to change.

Excerpt from the OST: 'Reasoning'

Anyway, our protagonist ends up being a kid and having to befriend Kayo and in this way save her from the murderer. Because of his ability, Satoru is not just a child, but a child with a mind of an adult, though that is handled in a pretty heavy-handed way. One second he may use his life experience to think of ways of dealing with the murderer and then another just start asking his teacher some advice how to become friends with people. Come on, you are a 29-year-old guy, dammit! Also, Satoru is portrayed as having at least a bit infatuated with Kayo, on the verge of it being romantic, and I really don’t feel very comfortable knowing that a 29-year-old guy stammers and blushes and goes on a date while holding hands with a 10-year-old girl. I didn’t really appreciate the composition of the show either. All the stuff to do with Kayo went on for the majority of the series but when that arc wrapped up, Kayo was just packed away to appear only in the very end. Well, I think that the developing connection between her and Satoru (well, not the romantic side of it) was one of best things in the show and it would probably have been better to either extend this arc to the whole season (and opt for another one to deal with the rest of the story) or shrink it somehow because after Kayo left the spotlight, Boku dake ga Inai Machi just lost a lot of its appeal to me. Yes, the story went on, but it was nowhere near as impactful as Kayo’s part was. Apparently original manga version tackles this and other issues a way better, but sadly the anime didn’t profit from cutting much of the material. Another thing connected with the composition is multiple time-travels. I guess if you add such an ability to the story, you try to use it as much as you can, but this time it felt like it broke the already established continuity and added very little to the plot. Speaking about the ending, it felt quite anticlimactic. As this is apparently more of a mystery anime, the true killer was actually pretty easy to determine and when the main guys have also done it, everything just ended without much emotions or consequences.

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     I already addressed my problems with Satoru being an adult and a child at the same time. Well, it can be argued that all his life Satoru remained pretty childish – to the extent of running away when not knowing what to do, even if it works against him and could have easily been solved just by talking. Most of the other characters cause far less problems, being pretty much normal kids and adults. Apart from Satoru and Kayo I don’t think anybody received many developments, though that wasn’t something absolutely necessary. Yes, there is that one ridiculous and very random backstory element when a wife left her husband because of an allegedly stolen chocolate bar, but everything else makes more sense. That is till we encounter the villain and his motivations. That is if he had any. Some explanation is given about some hamsters and stuff, but does it feel satisfactory? Clearly nope. It almost looks like the villain’s motives were left to be included for the last second and that was done with the mindset of “oh bugger, no time for anything decent so this will make do”. Another probably more personal dissatisfaction was caused by the way the show treats the characters, more precisely all the numerous red herrings scattered here and there. I believe a good mystery can use them, but only in order to weave a number of possible strings of motives and actions of several different people that would enable to list them as suspects. The joy then is to find false leads and one after another eliminate them. In this case all the red herrings we get are limited to a single scene, say, a shot of an ominously enlarged knife next to a person who might be not that clean. And after that? No elaboration whatsoever, all those scattered scenes just suggest a suspect once and that’s the end of the story. Why would you waste a shot to tease the viewers with some sinister glance and then practically forget that?

Excerpt from the anime; animation by Takahiro Shikama

     What A-1 Pictures really can do is to deal with all the artistic elements. And here? Well, it kind of worked out. For me character designs needed time to settle in, especially Satoru’s mother’s lips – it was a very long time since I could overlook those giant things that were looking almost like a moustache. Apart from that, everything looks quite polished most of times, though there were moments when far standing characters’ faces looked more like quickly drawn sketches and not finished products. More people versed in cinematography pointed out numerous scenes that had some metaphorical meaning, but you don’t even need that to simply appreciate the looks of the show. Interestingly, segments when Satoru was in his 10-year-old self were made to be in a ”letterbox” way. I believe it was a nice decision as it showed another overarcing theme of films as memories as well as the caged world between the stripes of black showing that Satoru himself is not comfortable in that time and place and has to deal with some serious problems. That’s all good and well, but what the show lacks is subtlety. I understand a wish to show some color symbolism but it’s a bit too much when every time someone acts like villain, their eyes just turn red. The main antagonist, once revealed surely must don his typical villainous smile, how else we would know he’s a truly bad guy? Even if the name of the OP song shown as a graffiti on a wall in the last episode is a nice touch, I doubt it should have taken the spotlight so much. All the already mentioned red herring stuff also adds a bit to this argument.

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     Yuuki Kajiura was responsible for the soundtrack and that says a lot. Being quite a fan of her I just wished her music would have had more time to emerge from other background sounds and talks. There clearly were some shiny tracks but much was left covered with many layers of other stuff. Not knowing that it was her I would probably have not noticed the soundtrack at all for the most part of the show. Still, the composer knows how to create a very suspenseful atmosphere (basically similar to Kara no Kyoukai films). In that regard the soundtrack is definitely good, but it clearly doesn’t go very far beyond just being functional. The opening deserves a special mention for its song was Re:Re: by Asian Kung-Fu Generation. I’ve known the band for some time but namely this opening lead me to investigate them a bit more and oh well, I’ve got another band to add amongst my favorite ones. Check the band out if you will.

Excerpt from the OST: 'Only I am missing'

     All in all, I think Boku dake ga Inai Machi at least deserved all the fuss around it. Production quality was good more times than not (no wonder when the director has worked under Mamoru Hosoda if I’m allowed not to mention his job with Sword Art Online), the premise was pretty unique, even if less time jumps would have been sufficient. It’s interesting how after this show the amount of anime with time travelling elements appears to be increasing so we can talk about some influence. Nonetheless, series composition, numerous conveniences, problems with subtlety and generally unsatisfactory ending drops the enjoyment not that high after all. Many people think the show’s great and it probably did a splendid job adapting all the material with all the means available. That said, all the nitpicking thoughts somehow prevented me from getting invested emotionally very much and while I certainly appreciate all the effort, I can’t say that my opinion of the show is very high.

     I believe, this anime

1

Could’ve been worse

     I guess you should check the show out (though most likely you have already have – Boku dake ga Inai Machi can boast higher popularity than such grands like Trigun or Mononoke Hime). Don’t believe that it’s the best mystery, time travel or drama ever and you’ll probably have a good time for the most part of it. A-1 Pictures assembled some very talented creators but the end result wasn’t as good as it might have been, but it’s still worth a watch. Unless you haven’t seen Trigun or Mononoke Hime.