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Kyou no 5 no 2 – 01 »« Kemeko Deluxe! – 01

GA-REI -zero- – 01

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「葵上 -あおいのうえー」 (Aoi Ue -Aoi no Ue-)
“Aoi Above”

First Glance:
Sharing in the same premise as the GA-REI manga, GA-REI -zero- brings us supernatural action of a different flavor with a completely new cast of characters. Produced by AIC Spirits and asread, the series should benefit from the former’s previous work on another supernatural anime—Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou.

Aside from the existence of evil spirits that can’t normally be seen by the naked eye, it’s a bit difficult to assess where this rendition is headed; however, the first episode did an awesome job in grabbing my interest with scene after scene that could only be described as “intense”. I mainly attribute this to the excellent use of music throughout, which had me looking up who actually composed it. As it turns out, the music is done by Agematsu Noriyasu, whose only other work I’ve heard something from was in Girls Bravo (barring opening/ending themes). I can’t say the music in Girls Bravo was very memorable, but the usage of Noriyasu’s work here really establishes the tone in GA-REI -zero-. There’s also a lot of foreshadowing via a recurring flashback thus far, so my interest is piqued enough to want to see how things turn out. What throws me in for a whirl though is that all of the main characters were killed at the end of this episode (with plenty of censoring), leaving me wondering where the next episode will proceed from since there was no preview. There’s always the possibility that this first episode is actually the last in the series chronologically, but I seriously hope it’s not as I’m not a huge fan of this storytelling approach. (Omni mentioned that this was used in Touka Gettan.)

From what I’ve seen so far, I have no complaints about the production quality since it looked consistently good. What caught my interest the most though were the characters. In particular, the heroine of the series, Kasuga Natsuki, whose ability to fight evil spirits with a sport bike is as unbelievable as it is amazing to watch. Played by Kitamura Eri (Otonashi Saya in BLOOD+), Natsuki has this cool-calm exterior that I want to see a lot more of. It doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes either. The main protagonist, Kanze Tooru, on the other hand is played by Maeno Tomoaki, who’s still relatively new but starred in Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~Natsu no Sora~ last season, plus Toshokan Sensou the season before that. He does a really good job portraying a Tooru here, so I’d actually like to see more shows he’s involved with down the road. Support cast also features a nice assortment of seiyuus, with the likes of Koyama Rikiya, Yahagi Sayuri (who took over as Mami for Fukuen Misato), and Kakihara Tetsuya (who’s actually not annoying when he’s not playing anyone named “Kazuki” or “Kouichi”).

Supernatural horror action has never been a genre that I really look forward to, but GA-REI -zero- has started off with a very strong first showing that will surely keep me around for at least another episode or two. In fact, I somehow get the feeling I’m going to end up watching this one all the way through just to have something different from all the other series this season. Anyone else ready for episode two already?

 

Notable Cast:
- Kanze Tooru (観世 トオル) : Maeno Tomoaki (前野 智昭)
- Kasuga Natsuki (春日 ナツキ) : Kitamura Eri (喜多村 英梨)
- Shindou Masaki (進藤 マサキ) : Kakihara Tetsuya (柿原 徹也)
- Kusuno Kudou (葛野 クドウ) : Koyama Rikiya (小山 力也)
- Konparu Kiriya (金春 キリヤ) : Miyamoto Mitsuru (宮本 充)
- Izumi Mami (和泉 マミ) : Yahagi Sayuri (矢作 紗友里)
- Isayama Kousen (諫山 黄泉) : Mizuhara Kaoru (水原 薫)

October 6, 2008 at 1:57 am
53 comments »
  • October 6, 2008 at 1:59 amfoosh

    this show looks really cool. im going to have to check it out

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:01 amExia

    ill give it a try

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:01 amPutang

    hmm o_o I wonder if this has any relation to the manga Ga Rei… I remember reading the first chapter only and it started out way different… but then again it does have “-zero-” in it…

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:06 amSmerpy

    Started out completely different from the manga.

    The animation looks good though

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:06 amAlyssa

    It has absolutely no relation to the manga…the anime has a totally diff storyline…

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:08 amOmni

    This first episode blew my mind. I’m still trying to get over what happens at the end, and the kicker is that the villains look somewhat like the manga villains.

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:16 amAlice

    It’s completely different, I was hoping for something with more relation to the manga. Guess I’m quite dissapointed, but I’ll give it a try.

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:19 amChimasternmay

    Ya this episode was mind blowing for me to, i mean come on first episode and that stuff happens… also we already have a cliffhanger. that was awesome. ya i only read like 3 chapters of this but i already saw dif’s, but who cares right now (thats what im thinking) and Alyss maybe right that the anime is a totally dif story, i mean first of all the names were not the same for the main’s got to checkout next episode… hum maybe this was like the a near last episode that they just showed first. whatever… i think im gonna read the manga and watch this. and if they are different then that just means 2 new things for me to watch and read lol

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:26 amChimasternmay

    “There’s always the possibility that this first episode is actually the last in the series chronologically, but I seriously hope it’s not as I’m not a huge fan of this storytelling approach. (Omni mentioned that this was used in Touka Gettan.)”

    ya i don’t like too, cause it gives me the feeling “of ah wtf i just watched the last episode and this happened wtf is their a point for me to watch the prequel episodes, i don’t care when i already know this is going to happen.”

    However, i don’t stuff like Rental Magica or Haruhi…

    lets hope its not reverse chronological… or else ill wait till they finish the series and watch it from the last ep to first…

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:28 amChimasternmay

    up there its i dont *hate* stuff

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:37 amRyvius

    Holy shit, this looks really good!
    Check out my anime music blog: http://worldofanimemusic.blogspot.com

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:40 amAznCoffee

    jesus, you people comment fast… >.>

    and aww… censors?

    *sigh* when will they learn?

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:41 amdivine

    While I didn’t clearly state it in my post, I’m under the firm belief that this is a completely different story from the manga, but may end up being a prequel to it.

  • October 6, 2008 at 3:00 amRandom muser

    This certainly looks interesting. It looks as if its been airing for a wile now and is already half way through its run. Might follow you on this one.

  • October 6, 2008 at 3:11 amdementedchris

    Read a few volumes of the manga and liked it enough that I ended up looking forward to the anime. I was a bit disappointed when I first heard that it wasn’t going to cover the manga, but reading this and seeing the caps made me feel much more hopeful. Will be keeping tabs. Thanks for the recap, Divine!

  • October 6, 2008 at 3:52 amlucky_huh?

    well that’s xtrange they change the cast, to one that does not have anyting to do with the manga but they very well keep the villans from the manga, 100% sure that girl with the katana is yomi and the dude is a prominent figure in the manga on the bad guys side. but more then foreshadowing i got the impresion of a flashback on those parts though, Mmmmmmmmm i am not a big fan of dead sweethearts >:/, somehow i feel gonzo-ed with this but hey expect the worst and hope for the best as a manga fan, it work for me after the disaster of linebarriel.

  • October 6, 2008 at 3:52 amkeralie

    I don’t get where you guys are saying it doesn’t relate to the manga when two of the manga’s characters already showed up. It might not have the exact same storyline, but there’s nothing preventing it from being somewhat of a prequel to the manga (yet). For those of you who do remember, the fact that ‘she’ killed all of the characters corresponds with what happened in the manga, albeit the lack of mentioning of such divisions as in the anime.

  • October 6, 2008 at 5:38 amVendetta

    1st episode looks good though I haven’t read the manga version. Anyways, the show’s concept of “evil spiritual beings” seems somewhat similiar to that of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within although this being just the first episode & i’m sure more will be revealed as to the background of these “beings”. >.< But i don’t fully understand japanese…is there a fan-subbed version of the show? Would really appreciate if someone could provide a torrent or link.

  • October 6, 2008 at 6:38 amLevy

    Aw Sh*t, it’s ALMA!

  • October 6, 2008 at 9:09 amlinkinstreet

    @keralie: yes. It was never shown the massacre in the manga, but was just a fleeting mention as it does not really fit the lighthearted theme of it. And the title “Zero” itself does tend to suggest it’s a sequel.

  • October 6, 2008 at 9:12 amDaramaDoc4U

    my theory is that i’ll watch any show as long as it isn’t a gonzo production in any way, last one i gave a chance was blassreiter and i loved the entire series till the finale where they pulled the cheesiest and most stupid ending for a tragedy series trying to make it all giddy-giddy at the end…. -_- THAT effectively has made me hate gonzo and refuse to watch anything with their label on it…

  • October 6, 2008 at 9:35 amanonymus

    I liked when it was called “Final Fantasy : The Spirits Whitin”

  • October 6, 2008 at 11:52 amsetsuke

    Wow this is really worth watching, I mean in 1 episode all the supporting character and main character were killed what a surprise. It’s hope that really not the last episode and some explanation will be shown next episode cause if it’s really airing like what divine say that would be confusing and the series will get bored soon. And i thought that Omni will be interested enough to blog this series instead of divine.

  • October 6, 2008 at 12:58 pmIrie

    Really cool animation! That ending has everyone talking. My guess we got a premonition dream sequence. There are so many flashbacks, it makes sense. No one’s menioned it but this episode was heavily censored blacking out the killing and gore sequences. Expect alot more gore in the dvd release.

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:43 pmsacchi

  • October 6, 2008 at 5:26 pmJustiX-NL

    Awesome tnx for pointing this one out I was planning to read the manga but the scanlation stop guess iam going to follow the anime then ^^

  • October 6, 2008 at 5:29 pmDZero

    What would be cool if it started using the source material next episode and this was all just to get everyone excited.

  • October 6, 2008 at 9:27 pmlinkinstreet

    @Justix: it didn’t stop. Just that they are still waiting for the tankoubans to be released

  • October 7, 2008 at 12:50 amTsubasa Ryu

    Yay! love this manga so lets c how great the anime is! is it just me or is there a previous season of this?

  • October 7, 2008 at 1:55 amsuper_evil_alien

    I love the manga.Pity no one translate it now.Lets see whether the anime can be as good as manga.

  • October 7, 2008 at 7:11 pmPeet

    seems like Elfen Lied

  • October 8, 2008 at 5:15 amKiltMaster

    wth just happened there?

  • October 8, 2008 at 9:16 amRoger Fong

    Wow, I’m not sure how they continue this if the protaganists all die o.o

    And to the others asking about the manga and anime, they are 2 seperate stories.
    Currently noone is translating the manga

  • October 8, 2008 at 9:33 amaapmens

    i think it goes to dif characters? “Freshman Nimura Kensuke has the ability to see ghosts, and his life changes when he meets Kagura, a girl with the power to summon a “Ga-Rei” called Byakuei. The two work together to find evil spirita and devour them with the Ga-Rei.
    [Taken from ANN ” what anidb says

  • October 8, 2008 at 10:52 amSora no Kaze

    Wait a moment guys, could this possibly be the Prequel of events that happen. After all, that girl with the sword looks familiar to Kagura’s sister Figure. SPeculation only though. I definetly remember her wielding a sword and killing a bunch of people from her section. I don’t even remember if she was given an actually name. I could be wrong. Well if a name was given and its not the girl who killed everyone name, then fuck I’m wrong lol.

  • October 8, 2008 at 11:44 amRaz

    Just watched it, WTF happened there in the end lol. Looked more like the ending of a show to me, where they kill of everyone. Real curious to see the next ep. Looking good so far.

  • October 8, 2008 at 1:08 pmZeiro

    No, not a sequel, but a prequel.

    From a post of mine in a certain forum:

    Ok, it’s cool, but this actually got me confused. (And got me to read the manga again. Stopped at the end of 2nd volume.)

    “When I started watching this anime, I was expecting the dog-dragon (those furry dragons look like dogs to me) and the two main characters in the manga. (Never really watched the trailers.)

    So the anime is actually a prequel to Ga-rei as implied by the name “zero” and Yomi in schoolgirl outfit, atleast I think so. ANN’s reports are all saying that this will follow the manga, which doesn’t seem like the case.

    The first episode had all the characters dead… so is the 1st episode chronologically the last? D:

    Because, I also went to their official site, and saw none of the people in the manga… instead only those who were… killed… in the first episode was there.

    And also, the site mentions that Kanze Tooru is the protagonist of the story, and Natsuki is the heroine. So, there really isn’t any mention about the manga characters, except from Yomi (who appeared in this episode) and that boy who gave Yomi the sesshouseki.

  • October 8, 2008 at 4:18 pmv

    is that butterfly guy the same one from the manga that gave Yomi her jewel that made her evil?

  • October 8, 2008 at 4:38 pmdivine

    For those who haven’t realized it yet, the information submitted on ANN is wrong. Someone thought that the anime will follow the manga and submitted a synopsis of the manga.

  • October 8, 2008 at 4:41 pmBobzorXD

    OH MMMYYYY!!!!!! GOD! What just happened?!

  • October 8, 2008 at 9:50 pmAVI

    I SAW THE FIRST ONE THAT CAME OUT AND IT SEEM THE THE WHOLE SHOW ENDED IN ONE EPISODE BECAUSE ALL OF THE GOOD GUYS DIED

  • October 8, 2008 at 10:08 pmlinkinstreet

    Well we have to wait. It looks really like Yomi, and Yomi’s family name was Isayama which is in the animu.
    Anyways, the mango DID not stop. Just that the tankouban takes a long time to be released as the chapters are monthly, not weekly

  • October 9, 2008 at 4:17 amkippei

    yeah, it does look yomi and kazuhiro, and with yomi’s background of killing someone’s dad.. and this series being titled “zero”.. iono.. a prequel to the events of the manga?

  • October 9, 2008 at 6:14 amaapmens

    maybe they come back as spirtis :P

  • October 9, 2008 at 5:40 pmM_samurai

    Love the show, specially the end.
    Hope they can keep the awesomeness level up.

  • October 10, 2008 at 3:08 amExia

    not a big fan of future episodes being shown first but the action was nice. it just sucks that now we will know what happens to those guys later. and if that doesnt happen, wtf was all that for?! a dream? that would just kill the suspense kinna.

  • October 10, 2008 at 3:19 amdx-nwo

    All I know is that the chick looks hot. Who cares about the dudes or ghosts…

  • October 10, 2008 at 6:37 amMatt_D

    The butterfly wings makes me think we’re dealing with an antagonist that can play with memory or reality. Which can always end in fail – but it can also be epic, it really depends on the skill of the writers.

    The bike was awsome – and unique, there’s alot to like in the series.

    From what I’ve read the show is set in the same world as the Manga but that’s about it.

    But talk about a gripping ending! I don’t think we’ll see any answers soon.

  • October 10, 2008 at 1:24 pmnyamo

    the girl with sword…looks like ..yomi before she become evil

  • October 10, 2008 at 3:03 pmLizzie

    …I’m so SO confused

  • October 11, 2008 at 2:50 pmKeishajl

    Awsome review from epi 1!! Congrats!!! =D

    yeah! i really like the epi 1…but…has you said, i hope this epi is not the final epi in the all story… I’m not a huge fan of this storytelling approach, to!
    Dammn the Natsuki Kasuga ( all most say, Natsuki Kuga XD ( bike etc…)…oh my…i love the way she fight with bike!! just love it!!

    One thing i know: i wanna see more! XD

    take care! o/

  • October 12, 2008 at 3:03 pmFukiri

    Damn those producers!! They didn’t even put a damn preview, now anything can happen…
    I really hope that this episode reefers to the massacre part in the manga because if it is just a dream or illusion, it will be an epic fail. >_> Besides. I really wanna see Kagura and Kensuke in action.
    Either way, even if it won’t follow the series and it was just a dream or whatever, I have to admit that the last 5 minutes of the episode made me say “wtf” at last three times and think that if I was watching the non-loli version of Higurashi. Definitely looking forward to episode 2.

  • January 27, 2010 at 3:42 pmLoll

    First Episode looks like the final Episode