Random Curiosity

Snapshots: Persona -trinity soul- »« Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de – 01

Snapshots: Shigofumi

shigofumi 1a thumb shigofumi 1b thumb shigofumi 1c thumb

High school romance with a paranormal loli and her talking staff turns into shocking horror! Sound interesting? Make sure you check out Shigofumi (シゴフミ), Saturdays at 25:35 JST on CTC spanning 12 episodes.

Despite only having 3 volumes out since it debuted in 2006, Amamiya Ryou’s light novel series Shigofumi is already being turned into an anime. This animated version is handled by director Satou Tatsuo, merited with the classic Martian Successor Nadesico, cry festival Stellvia and more recently Tokyo Tribe 2. The script’s in very good hands – Ookouchi Ichirou dazzled us just last year with Code Geass, but he was also man behind the fantastic Planetes, and has worked with the director previously on Stellvia. The production company should also be quite familiar with light novel adaptations, considering JC Staff has already given us Shakugan no Shana and Zero no Tsukaima.

There are two main characters: Fumika, a mysterious and quiet girl who delivers letters from dead people, and her sidekick Kanaka, a talking staff which also functions as transportation. The letters in question are called “shigofumi”, and are written by the deceased after time of death, where they supposedly get remarkably honest. The first recipient we get to know is the anime-only arc’s amateur rocket scientist Shouta, whose secret crush Asuna gets a call to inform her of the discovery of her father’s corpse. Fumika soon arrives at his workshop to hand over a letter from the girl’s father, as it is addressed to “Asuna’s lover”. Yet learning that Shouta is not quite at the “lover” stage yet, she proves reluctant to give him the message, and Shouta presently decides to realize his relationship by professing his love to Asuna by completing a successful launch of his rocket in order to qualify. But how did Asuna’s father die?

Animation and character design are both good, giving the show a nice look, especially in combination with the pleasant character design. Unfortunately image quality suffers from what appears to be low resolution, but perhaps MXTV will remedy that problem when they start broadcasting in a couple of days. The music’s also astonishingly good, composed by Nanase Hikaru, credited with everything from Galaxy Angel to Zettai Shounen. Voice acting’s done by Ueda Kana (Yumi in Maria-sama ga Miteru) in deadpan loli mode for Fumika, while Kanaka’s perky and talkative voice is done by Matsuoka Yuki (Osaka in Azumanga Daioh). Standing in for this arc are relative newcomer Yonaga Tsubasa (Mihashi in Ookiku Furikabutte) as Shouta and Sendai Eri (Triela in Gunslinger Girl (1st season)) as Asuna. In short, there’s little to complain about.

Let me stress that this is, despite my fluffy plot summary, not a happy and cheerful show. It is in fact the opposite, but I’m trying to be nice and not spoil you too much. The impression I got from the website before the anime aired was favourable, and the show more or less lives up to it. It’s quality through and through, and definitely interesting enough to keep me glued to the screen for another few episodes. The question remains whether Shigofumi will manage to make Fumika into a unique character rather than some sort of mix between Kino and Rei, because I think we’ve seen quite enough of her type. I’m also uncertain about the format the series will take, but from the preview I’m guessing it’ll be 2-4 episodes bunched up into standalone arcs.

January 6, 2008 at 12:19 pm
26 comments »
  • January 6, 2008 at 12:32 pmanonimus

    hmmm… looks very interesting… love a good horror once in a while… i’ll check it out

  • January 6, 2008 at 12:41 pmbenihime

    Think i might watch this sue to the talent behind it. That, and there’s very little I want to watch this season so i have time…

  • January 6, 2008 at 12:41 pmWanderer

    I already wanted to watch this… Now learning Ueda Kana is doing Fumika?! This is definitely on my list of “must see”s.

  • January 6, 2008 at 12:46 pmanoo

    looked like shinigami no ballad at first. guess i will be following this one too.

  • January 6, 2008 at 12:47 pmanoo

    oh btw, is the op/ed any good?
    will you be posting them too??

  • January 6, 2008 at 1:05 pmTotali

    This was like the best thing that aired on Saturday. Omni seemed interested? ;)

  • January 6, 2008 at 1:07 pmHoho..

    so… this series is gonna be like jigoku shoujo??
    i have watched the first ep.. it’s going to be interesting..

  • January 6, 2008 at 1:37 pmbanzemanga

    Yes, another anime that caught my attention. Poor guy though.

  • January 6, 2008 at 1:40 pmHudson

    What is this Negima? Asuna, Fumika. Who’s next? Haruna? Sheesh. This series doesn’t have much potintail as i see it. Sure the animetion quality is good, but i can’t see this show getting any better.

  • January 6, 2008 at 2:15 pmfunguy19

    Easily the best and most stylish show of the season so far (even above Zetsubou Sensei, imo). Take Shinigami no Ballad and Jigoku Shoujo, and add great animation, stylish artwork, and heavy violence, and you get Shigofumi.

  • January 6, 2008 at 2:31 pmkarasu

    It’s not really horror, more like …just plain dark.

  • January 6, 2008 at 2:34 pmGP

    While this is interesting, I’m not really looking into a show that’s basically the same sorta death mystory bit over and over for I don’t know how many episodes. Unless there is something else going on with Fumika besides delivering letters. But if it’s just 2-4ep standalone arcs till the end, then I don’t think I can keep watching.

  • January 6, 2008 at 3:11 pmtamahome

    This is really weird but the whole “letters from dead people” makes me think of Silent Hill 2. :P Erm… anyway, I think I’ll probably watch this when there’s more than one episode out that’s subtitled. I don’t like waiting!

  • January 6, 2008 at 3:25 pmJin

    Hurr, watched this yesterday =w= But the ending to the first episode was rather shocking o3o; At least shocking enough to keep me watching haha.

  • January 6, 2008 at 3:42 pmewok

    might watch it, sounds interesting

  • January 6, 2008 at 4:26 pmUnknown Voice

    Hybrid between Jigoku Shoujo and Mononoke. Talking staff looked…wtf. Hoping that next episode will be better, although this, together with Persona had best premieres out of all others this season…

  • January 6, 2008 at 4:32 pmgolthin

    the ending really surprised me!

  • January 6, 2008 at 5:47 pmRembr

    Show Spoiler ▼

    But yeah this series looks promising.

  • January 6, 2008 at 7:00 pmDantekottai

    Shigofumi ~Stories of Last Letter~

    Director: Tatsuo Sato (Martian Successor Nadesico, Stellvia)
    Series Composition,Script: Ichiro Okouchi (Code Geass, Planetes, Azumanga Daioh, King Gainer)
    Original Character Design: Kouhaku Kuroboshi (Kino’s Journey, Allison to Lillia)
    Assistant director: Katsushi Sakurabi (Tsukihime, Yomigaeru Sora – RESCUE WINGS -, Asatte no Houko)

    This is a original animation. Light Novel’s one is a link of media franchise.

  • January 6, 2008 at 7:42 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    “paranormal loli” hahahahahaha

  • January 6, 2008 at 9:14 pmdivine

    Very good first episode. In addition to having a good plot/pretense, having Ueda Kana and Matsuoka Yuki starring in it just makes the show so much better (for me at least).

  • January 6, 2008 at 9:17 pmdivine

    I forgot to add:

    Very nice end theme by Snow*. The song is title 「Chain」. I’ve uploaded it on youtube here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW5HGQ94Fw8

    Note: the first episode skipped the OP scene, so we’ll have to wait until next week to see/hear “Kotodama” 「コトダマ」 by ALI PROJECT.

  • January 7, 2008 at 7:56 amraimaru2880

    So she’s sending deathletters to those who are bound to die in a short while??

  • January 9, 2008 at 1:15 amstrider87

    In that last screen shot (the girl and guy silhouette one) is it depicting Asuna stabbing Shouta? If it is I think I have the first episode figured out without having seen it yet. I’m guessing Shouta was the Asuna’s father’s assistant and he some how caused her fathers death. I’m thinking he probably made a mistake on the rocket and due to this mistake the girls father died during launch; or since it was stated above that Asuna got a call to inform her about the “discovery” of her fathers “corpse”, her father was probably murdered, which going with my Shouta’s fault idea he probably got into some type of trouble and Asuna’s father paid the price for it. The letter from Asuna’s father probably has this information in it, and when Asuna reads the letter she becomes enraged and kills Shouta. Also since it’s a dark anime I’m guessing that the Shouta is not the “lover” that the letter was for Asuna has been screwing some other guy.
    Am I right about any of this or am I completely off on my predictions?

  • January 11, 2008 at 8:50 pmVallen Chaos Valiant

    “Am I right about any of this or am I completely off on my predictions?”

    You are completely and utterly off on your predictions. :P
    Subs! Come quicker please!!

  • January 12, 2008 at 11:55 pmWashi

    Hey Patrik, thanks a lot for doing this snapshot, which instantly got me into the series (thanks to Satou Tatsuo’s and Ookouchi Ichirou’s involvement).