OP Sequence

OP: 「時の向こう 幻の空」 (Toki no Mukou, Maboroshi no Sora) by FictionJunction
Watch the OP!: Download,

 

「嫦娥町」 (Jougamachi)
“The Town of Jouga”

I wasn’t actively looking for signs that this PSP video game adaptation had Ryukishi07 working on it, but similarities to their popular Higurashi series became more apparent as the episode unfolded.

First off, we have Kuzumi Hiroshi (Kobayashi Yuu), his wheelchair-bound younger sister Mana (Fujita Saki), and father Masaaki (Fujiwara Keiji), moving to the town of Jouga. Upon arriving, a girl named Tsumuhana Isuzu (Katou Emiri) quickly latches onto Hiroshi under the pretense of love at first sight, giving both him and us (as the viewer) a false sense of security. This is compounded by how friendly his classmates are in welcoming him, until one Kushinada Nemuru (Ise Mariya) puts a stop to it and tells Hiroshi what a bother he is. That more or less put a rift into the whole happy atmosphere built up thus far, but only when Isuzu mentions the local hassaku oranges and the town-wide festival for the wolf god involving them, did I really start to get some Higurashi vibes. The cold open showing Hiroshi and Isuzu being chased by occult-like figures in masks already gave me the impression that there’s some creepy ritualistic thing going on in this town. My “messed-up town” sensor only tingled more when Hiroshi and Asagiri Kaname (Fuchigami Mai) expressed interest in the old part of town, and Isuzu simply shrugged it off as a place they shouldn’t go. Apparently the people living there are resentful of outsiders coming in to expand the new part of town, which doesn’t sound too different from outsiders coming in to take over the land and build a dam.

A key difference though is that the deaths are actually depicted, as we got to witness their classmate Ogasawara (Shiraishi Minoru) get hunted down by the occult-like individuals in question, led by a scythe-wielding white-haired girl. Whether or not this is some sacrificial ritual involving possessed townsfolk I don’t know, but it’s disturbing to see how everyone just shrugs off someone’s sudden and unexpected “move out of town” as nothing. Evidently Nemuru knows what’s going on since she reported it to the class, but so does one other individual it seems, who looks like he’s monitoring the activity in the town. Considering the town’s unwritten 8pm curfew and the other obvious cues, I felt this first showing did a good job keeping me intrigued about the darker side of things that are going on. The seemingly superficial treatment Hiroshi got from his classmates irked me a bit (as do the guys’ sailor uniforms for that matter), but it was all put into perspective when Nemuru put a stop to it. I mentioned above how this all gave off a false sense of security, which I find particularly effective for these horror/mystery type of shows.

Production-wise, this is the only series AIC is working on this season, so I had to check it out regardless of what it was about. We don’t have Studio DEEN working on a Ryukishi07 project for a change, which is probably for the better when you consider AIC’s work as of late. Much like last season, they continue to impress me, so I have no worries about Ookami Kakushi looking good until the very end. I’d imagine that most of the story will go according to Ryukishi07’s original concept too, so everything looks good on paper at the very least. The most pleasant production additions however, are FictionJunction performing the opening theme and Nanri Yuuka (of FictionJunction YUUKA) performing the ending. It’s a shame we don’t have Kajiura Yuki composing the music for the series as well, but I’m not complaining when she’s involved in some way (Yuuka as well). I’m indifferent to the series’ actual music so far, which is composed by Ozawa Takumi, but always look forward to Yuki’s music, soundtrack or otherwise.

Anyway, I don’t foresee this being a rehash of Higurashi, nor do I want to make repeated comparisons, but some of them were probably justified here. I definitely plan to continue watching this series, but I’m up in the air about covering it regularly. The fact that this post is out three days later than I would’ve liked should say something about why that is.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「月導 -Tsukishirube-」 by Nanri Yuuka (南里侑香)
Watch the ED!: Download,

 

29 Comments

  1. i think this looks interesting (despite the fact that i don’t really like the character designs, and the two main characters are really irritating)

    my theory is that Ogasawara and the rest of the villagers are werewolves or something similar, and the guys in masks are the werewolf police who hunt down and kill the ones who are about to go mad and start eating people. Ogasawara and Isuzu (in the opening) had the glowy red eyes.. Hioshi’s classmates are creepily nice to him because he’s, in effect, fresh meat.

    panda monium
  2. panda monium:
    Sounds like that could be the case, since Ogasawara looked like he was possessed by something. Also, I don’t see Nemuru being an antagonist in all this, even though they kind of want us to think that way for now.

  3. I dunno, I really liked the small similarities between this and Higurashi. They were what made me love Higurashi in the first place, so I’m excited to see this sort of tense and crazy atmosphere continue.

    Phosphatide
  4. Nemuru at some point will be made to look like she’s on the side of good (whether she finally ends that way is an entirely different story), as R07 always love to have their twists.

    Jaysus
  5. I got the impression that everyone in the class except for the black haired twin-tail girl and Nemuru were not human, and that was why they were being so friendly. It would also explain their fear of Nemuru who makes sure that these “wolves” aren’t out past 8pm hunting the regular humans. As for the yandere girl, she can go off somewhere and croak, she is the main reason I was annoyed with this show, but that was probably deliberate.

    Adrian
  6. Will watch a couple more. There are no evil ookami, ask Horo 🙂 they are just too young and baka. Let the master put them all in line and maybe it won’t become a blood fest.

    Island Esper
  7. Looks promising and even when I haven’t see Higurashi I think this series could be at the same level, story wise of course. By the way, thanks for blogging this, I’ve been waiting for yours or omni’s opinion about this series.

    haseo0408
  8. I’m waiting for this series… not so much for the series…
    But because of Yuki! 😀

    Yeah, FictionJunction, Kalafina and See-Saw (dunno if it’s still active this last one) are so cool! And Yuki is superb! 😀

    Well, just because of that, i’m going to watch this series, from beginning to end.

    Xanathos
  9. HEhe! The OP is so cool! Watching this and BakaTest on the same day makes a great combo. I did. The contrast of both animes is very refreshing. I never saw Higurashi, only it’s sister anime Umineko.

    The Return of the Enigmatic Moonsdoggiebuiscuit
  10. Ogasawara was killed for expressing his forbidden love, and it looks like Blond Nozomu is being punished for not saving it until marriage. Nemuru dislikes Hiroshi for corrupting public morals. That’s just how they do things in orange country.

    m

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