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Caligula – 02

OP2 Sequence

OP2: 「Paradigm Box」by Ritsu Shikishima (Chiharu Sawashiro), Shougo Satake (Shunsuke Takeuchi)

“Anxiety, Irritation, and Other Such Negative Emotions Spread to Others.”

「不安, 焦燥などといった負の感情は他人を巻き込んでいく。」 (Fuan, shousou nado toitta make no kanjō wa tanin o makikondeiku.)

Carrying on from last week’s craziness, this episode did a fantastic job of slowly revealing things without letting the cat entirely slip out.

13 O’Clock

From what we’ve seen so far, I’d wager to guess that the normal folks are people trapped inside a Matrix of sorts, which seems to be highschool on repeat. This virtual reality isn’t particularly stable, since glitches occur all over the place. And even though μ doesn’t harbour a shred of malice and intends to make the realm a utopia, she’s clearly being manipulated. The Ostinato Musicians are the people who are really in control and they use brute enforcers to clamp down on any potential rogue elements, turning paradise into a totalitarian nightmare. With these heavy dystopian elements combined with Atlus’ creativity, vibes of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise are evoked. A quick look at the game’s staff confirmed that the scriptwriter, Satomi Tadashi, actually wrote stories for the earlier Persona games. Does that make me hyped? Hell yeah, I am utterly psyched!

Id, Ego & Super-Ego

One of the hallmarks of the older Persona/SMT games were how a gritty psychological approach was interconnected with grey morality. I’d say Caligula is an absolutely intriguing show, made in a similar vein, that manages to tread down psychological pathways with a great deal of philosophical scepticism. If you have 17 years worth of memory that you realise is riddled with inconsistencies, backed up by reality going out of whack, how would you respond? A rational person would quickly conclude that either they themselves were crazy or the entire world was crazy. For the vast majority, it is more likely that you’d go through every check to confirm the situation, before taking a plunge that entirely dismisses everything you’ve ever known. To that end, Ritsu acts like any reasonable person, carefully assessing his circumstance without making a rash decision. While he doesn’t immediately trust Shogo and Aria, even though it seems really obvious to the viewer that he should, it’s not like he blindly trusts his friends either – a double edged doubt that arguably pays off.

But the penny finally drops, when everybody comes to the dreadful realisation that they are trapped. There’s an outer limit to the reality which they can perceive, and when the world inside transforms into an infernal hell, there is no way of escape. Now we’re left with many questions. What the heck is going on? What exactly can these poor sods do? More importantly, who are these Ostinato Musicians and what is their ultimate end goal?

Concluding Thoughts

Judging from last week’s comments, maybe I’m the only one around these parts who is thoroughly enjoying this series. But screw it, I’m a stubborn bastard and will try to convince everybody else that this show is bloody fantastic. For me at least, Caligula is the dark horse that continues galloping into the night, and I’ll be remaining seated on this wildly exciting ride. Thanks for reading my post, and see you folks next week. Giddy up, Caligula!

ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「Hypno」by Kotono Kashiwaba (Rie Murakawa), Naruko Morita (Ari Ozawa), Mifue Shinohara (Rie Takahashi), Suzuna Kagura (Minami Tanaka)


April 16, 2018 at 1:56 pm
  • April 16, 2018 at 2:30 pmYanDaMan

    From the few hours of the game I’ve played, I definitely enjoy the story and the way its going, but the gameplay is so bad that I had to drop it. Im glad this anime exist as now I can enjoy the good part of Caligula, so far I think the anime is doing a decent job.

    • April 17, 2018 at 6:57 amZaiden

      From what I’ve heard, the game was ruined by unintuitive gameplay mechanics. I suppose that you don’t have to deal with that kind of stuff in an anime, which means you’re going to experience the story in a pure format.

      Let’s hope that Satelight continue on this trajectory, because it’s nothing short of promising.

  • April 16, 2018 at 4:17 pmHikikomori Baka

    Papyrus!? Don’t you know that any computer design class would demand that you avoid this Comic Sans-tier font at all costs? I am deeply disappointed, Zaiden-sensei.


    • April 17, 2018 at 6:36 amZaiden

      Nani, you noticed my easter egg?!?

      Sorry to disappoint, Hikikomori Baka. Papyrus was the default text on photoshop, and I didn’t bother switching away.

      • April 17, 2018 at 2:45 pmHikikomori Baka

        Oh little do you realise… I notice everything you do. ಠﭛಠ

      • April 17, 2018 at 3:59 pmZaiden

        Of course you notice everything I do. When I’m unable to interact with the upvote/downvote of your comments, which is something I can do so for everyone else’s, that can only mean one thing… :3

      • April 17, 2018 at 5:47 pmHikikomori Baka

        Why obviously I, a sentient computer program, was installed on your PC. So here I am, now in correspondence with you through Random Curiosity.

        You should come join me in here, I’ll build us our own virtual paradise! ಠﭛಠ

      • April 17, 2018 at 5:50 pmZaiden

        No thanks. I’ll stick with Moebius for my choice of virtual paradise, thank you very much :P

        μ > Hikikomori Baka

      • April 17, 2018 at 5:53 pmHikikomori Baka


  • April 16, 2018 at 5:12 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

  • April 16, 2018 at 5:35 pmChoya

    It wasn’t until you mentioned Tadashi Satomi’s involvement when I started to connect the dots. The initial induction ceremony from this series feels reminiscent of Persona 2 Innocent Sin’s Kasugayama school festival where the Masked Circle starts creating shadowmen. There’s also a match between the corruption of μ and the Circle’s use of a Muses concert to finish an incantation in P2 IS.

    So far, it’s looking promising. It builds a nice bit of mystery, yet also creating some good action and suspense.

    • April 16, 2018 at 6:27 pmKarmafan

      Originally this series reminded me of Chaos:Head where random confusing stuff happened and was all jumbled up until more episodes slowly revealed the story.

  • April 16, 2018 at 9:12 pmBoo

    I’m one of those who imported the Japanese version and finished the game, and really the main problem with the game is the game flow more than anything.

    Story is not all too groundbreaking but it certainly is not bad. The main quality of Caligula comes from knowing the characters cause they have such interesting stories and if the anime could weave it naturally into the main plot, I think we’ll get a winner here.

    It’s sad how this anime gets overlooked because people think the game is mediocre. Good thing the plot and character episodes are good and the anime should fix the game’s problems.

    • April 17, 2018 at 10:28 amZaiden

      I’m not expecting the story to be groundbreaking, mind you. However, people who think that Caligula dabbles in pop psychology clearly haven’t done a background check on the kind of portfolio that Tadashi Satomi can put forwards. The guy is a master of his trade, and I look forwards to seeing the psychological loops and mindfuckery that our characters will be taken on, with a generous sprinkling of grey morality.

  • April 17, 2018 at 2:14 amRichie Kim

    I’m glad this episode has exactly hit the right spot in avoiding complicated vague explanations while still explaining how complicated the world Mobius is. (if anyone gets what I’m saying here…)

    I barely know the Persona series, but I can say that I’m getting some vibes of Lostorage ever since the glitches and μ being Tama’s twin?! Tell me I’m seeing things! +_+

    I wish there are more balance toward some light humor but I’ll appreciate Aria’s appearance in her chibi form for the time being. http://randomc.net/image/Caligula/Caligula%20-%2002%20-%2011.jpg

    But this show still needs some light humor to avoid anymore gloominess among the characters though negative emotions are the main premise of this show.

    Not overload info all at once which is a good thing; otherwise, I’ll drop this series by now.

    Hope the next one gets better.

    And remind me again if Pop Team Epic’s creator(s) are involved in this show…or are they in charge of the preview cards? http://randomc.net/image/Caligula/Caligula%20-%2002%20-%20Preview%2001.jpg
    Hope they don’t ruin the emotions I’ve after watching every episode…

    • April 19, 2018 at 7:00 amZaiden

      With Tadashi Satomi’s style, you might not have a lot of luck with less gloominess, although I’d expect there to be lighter interactions between the primary cast. The original Persona games were somewhat nihilistic, with the odd sprinkling of fun interactions here and there.

      I think I’d just turn off the episode before hitting the previews, so that you avoid getting your feelings rained upon. I did that a lot with Clannad After Story, because the ED starts off in such an upbeat way.

  • April 19, 2018 at 6:31 amornehx

    I gotta admit I really love miu’s voice
    Anyone know the artist or seiyuu for miu’s songs?

    • April 19, 2018 at 6:50 amornehx

      Ah its ok found out, its Ueda Reina. Gonna stalk her music now

    • April 19, 2018 at 6:53 amZaiden

      You might want to check out the people who wrote the songs. They’re a bunch of famous Vocaloid artists.

      • April 20, 2018 at 12:01 amornehx

        Thanks Zaiden. Ah no wonder the music is so catchy.
        But I am really captivated by Ueda Reina’s voice, just so beautiful, calming and yet powerful in it’s own way. Kinda like Mei Ayakura if u know her

      • April 20, 2018 at 8:29 amKeep Refrigerated

        I’m looking forward to how the music is going to play into the story since they’ve picked up some big name Producers. Even some of the characters that are going to show up have “P” names.

  • April 19, 2018 at 2:01 pmKarmafan

    I wonder how many people stopped watching after that 1st jumbled mess of an episode? With this 2nd episode the series is making more sense and looking to be a good one.

    • April 20, 2018 at 9:39 amZaiden

      I don’t think Episode 1 was a jumbled mess. It was meant to establish this sense that there wasn’t something quite right about the world without fully explaining it. Confusion =/= jumbled mess. Not everything has to be clearly spelled out, else it would completely ruin the mystery premise.