OP Sequence

OP: 「no one」by KOY

Summary:
Kouta is a fifth grader who’s constantly being made fun of by his friends because of how much he hangs out with classmate Mai. Even though he doesn’t have to, he walks her home every day. This particular time, the two find an abandoned kitten in the playground. Mai immediately takes a liking to it, but Kouta reminds her that they can’t bring it home. Mai’s determination wins out, and the two decide to keep it at the local shrine. Mai then hears the sound of a bell, but Kouta attributes it to her imagination. Mai names the kitten Blue because of this color of his eyes. She dubs Kouta the father and herself the mother, with Blue as their child.
During a break at school, Kouta is reading up about cat food when his friend Saiki invites him to go play soccer. Saiki doesn’t take it very well when Kouta turns down the invitation, and Mai overhears him teasing Kouta. She later encourages him to play with his friends and apologizes because she thinks that he walks her home because of the time that she collapsed. However, she then starts coughing, so Kouta gives her an oral spray. It seems that she forgot to take her medicine during lunch. Mai takes his hand and the two walk home together. A girl clad in white watches them from the roof of shrine.
Mai has an examination one day, so Kouta goes to take care of Blue alone. At first, he’s scared because Blue is missing, but then the kitten reappears. Over dinner, he asks his mother for a raise in his allowance, but she dismisses the notion. At school the next day, Saiki lends Kouta his homework to copy after Kouta forgot to do it. The two seem to have become friends again, and Kouta promises to play in their soccer match that afternoon. Mai is ok with it because she had left Blue up to Kouta alone the day before. As the afternoon goes on, it starts to rain, interrupting the game. Kouta returns home, where he hears his mother get a call from Mai’s mother asking where Mai is. He rushes off to find her at the shrine, but only Blue is there, covered with Mai’s handkerchief. In the end, all he sees is the ambulance carrying her away. Standing in the rain, Kouta hears a bell ring.
At school, there are white flowers on Mai’s desk, symbols of her passing away. Kouta takes Blue back to the playground where he and Mai had found the kitten. He blames Blue for what happened, but he suddenly hears the bell sound and a voice ask if it’s not his fault. Behind him stands a girl dressed in white carrying a scythe. With her is a flying black cat who says that Blue would die if left in the rain. The girl introduces herself as the shinigami Momo. She’s supposedly here to take Blue’s life, and Kouta says that he’s ok with it. However, at the last moment before Momo’s scythe hits, Kouta saves the kitten. Momo reminds Kouta that taking care of Blue is also for Mai’s sake. It seems that Mai had regrets when she died about Kouta and Blue. Kouta feels that he can’t do it alone, but Mai appears before him to tell him that he can. She had seen Blue as a reflection of herself and asks Kouta to take care of him. After Mai disappears, Momo comforts the crying Kouta and tells him, as the father, to do his best. She also disappears, and left alone, Kouta hugs Blue. Watching from above, Momo is also crying for the sake of the dead people who can’t cry anymore.

ED Sequence

ED: 「White Messenger」 by KOY
I don’t particularly like or dislike the OP or the ED. They’re a bit bland to me. The fact that the entire OP is in engrish doesn’t help it at all.

So after having watched this episode a second time, I appreciate it a lot more than the first time through. I think part of the reason that my initial impression wasn’t as positive is because I get too carried away with Otome whenever Thursday comes around. And maybe because I watched it again, I was able to connect with the characters more. Though I still think that there’s a lack of attachment to them, aside from Momo and Daniel (the black cat), because of the stand-alone episode format. Momo seems to lead a kind, but sad existence, and I’m most interested about how the series explores her character rather than the people from episode to episode.
In looking over the credits, I realized that this series has a lot of people in common with Zettai Shounen, including various directors and voice actresses for Momo, Daniel, and Mai (Kobayashi Akiko, Shimizu Ai, and Saito Chiwa, respectively). Like Matthew, I had also noticed the odd camera angles and focus on body parts. I just hope there’s not a huge amount of feet and leg shots like there were in ZS 😉
And while I am apprehensive about the short length of this series, that same short length is part of what’s keeping me watching this series. I hope for this to be about on par with HanTsuki (which I thought did pretty well for only six episodes).

17 Comments

  1. Just by the screenshots you can already tell exactly how this episode went…and I’m already turned off. The artwork and story I’m sure are more than satisfactory, but I don’t like sad stories.

    At all.

    Kuya
  2. As another blogger, Hashihime pointed out, it’s almost like the reverse of Jigoku Shoujo – one-shot stories with only two main characters; the person sending people onto their (pleasant) afterlife and her sidekick. I’m GUESSING we’re supposed to identify with Momo because she’s finding the job somewhat depressing… and cries for her clients the way they can’t anymore. And, of course, leaving us with the bereaved as well.

    I guess we’ll see how the rest of the series goes, soon enough. It can’t be any worse than Tactical Roar, can it? 😀

    Haesslich
  3. I really liked the rampant symbolism in the episode. From the snow (winter, death) in the beginning, to the progressively darker palette, to the chrysanthemums in the rain, and finally the rain stopping after Kouta met the Shinigami.

    Although I’m not happy about this being a kind of reverse jigoku shoujo with a monster-of-the-week flavor. The next episode preview has a boy that looks like a grown up Kouta, though, so if the series is about Kouta growing up and having a parade of girls die before him… this may be interesting.

    Eleutheria
  4. Hey! Salut a vous les anglais! Eh bien, quel joyeux forum que vous avez la!

    eh! moi ossi je connais momo. Et j’aime, I love los Shinigami, comme vous dites ^^ Rassurez vous, je ne suis pas bien méchante juste un peu tarrer sur les borts. Vous ne comprenez pas? C’est normaaal! je suis française! hahaha que de joyeux compagnons vous faites.

    J’aime les mangas! Youpi! Et je rajouterais: Pinson, gazouille, nigaud!

    céline

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