「カゲロウデイズ」 (Kagerou Deizu)
“Kagerou Days (Heat Haze Days)”

Let’s start this week’s review with a really bad analogy.

My own personal journey through this show has been as follows. I’m sitting in a five star restaurant with a guest chef serving me and my friend personally. Today, I’m treating them to this restaurant, which makes the best meat dishes in the nation. I’ve been to this restaurant a few times before and boy, were they excellent. Having checked with the chef beforehand, I personally get to know that today’s menu would be made from the legendary kobe beef. I decide to keep the theme a secret from my friend to see his reaction.

However, when we are served our meal (quite quickly in fact), we are simply given two hot dogs. My friend bites down and is really happy that it’s the best hot dog they’ve ever had, but I just sit there in disbelief. I take a bite out of the hot dog in goodwill to see if this was some new-style hot dog, but alas, it’s just a hot dog…made from kobe beef. I wonder if my friend, oblivious to the capacity of this five star restaurant or to the true potential of kobe beef, would taste things differently if they saw things from my perspective. I try my hardest to rate things positively as to not stifle the mood of my obviously happy and satisfied friend, but all that I can muster is a forced smile and nuanced compliments, and acknowledge that they are justified to enjoy that hot dog, just as much as I am justified to complain to the chef and the restaurant after my friend leaves.

If you really want me to explain the analogy, I can entertain that request in the comments, but the above sums up my experience thus far with MEKAKUCITY ACTORS. With the passing of the most significant plot segment of the entire series, I can safely say this–what I have said these past three episodes will apply to every episode thereafter, including this one. Hence, for this post, I will refrain from being overly focused on the negatives (as a side note though, Hiyori…what did they do to her…).

First, let’s focus on the symbolism. An interesting theme that isn’t seen in the music videos for Kagerou Days is the usage of telephone cables. Interestingly, there’s one scene in particular where all the phone lines meet where Hiyori is, indicating perhaps a convergence of all the timelines that Hibiya has to travel through. Considering how complex each set of phone lines are, it highlights the facts that no matter how many times he tries, the end result always focuses on Hiyori, albeit through a very different route each time. It’s a nice touch that the show added, though on my first watch through, it was easy to miss. On closer inspection though, a larger number of symbols can be found, including the stop signs, the red lights, the crows, all of which heavily indicate a sense of futility and death. Even the transition from a blue color scheme to a red one was very nice in order to see how the blood Hibiya has on his hands accumulates as he passes through each time phase. It’s interesting to see how the entire series is also dominated by construction cranes too, as if each timeline continues to construct itself, perhaps at a pace that’s always planning ahead of Hibiya. Heck, even the gears that sneak themselves in to the background give a hint as to the clockwork and futile nature to resist destiny.

Second, the song itself that was featured towards the end. The cover for the song was done really well and affirms itself as of my favorite musical segments of the entire Kagerou Project. It tells such a succinct story in a compressed amount of time that can really take you by surprise if you weren’t expecting it. Although it could’ve been tied better to the animation, the fact that they at least included it was a relief. Who knows how many heads would’ve rolled if they had chosen to omit Jin’s most popular song.

However, on focusing on these positive traits, I’ve realized something. The majority of these pluses mainly come from the song material itself, rather than what the adaptation had to add to it. Oh yes, there are some nice symbols added here and there, but the positive effects of those hints are seriously lost among the various flaws. The most enjoyable parts of this series to me are not based in the core 19 minutes. The OP and ED sequences are excellent, the preview and end cards are pretty, and the insert songs as always, are well done. These fringe positives however simply don’t mesh well with the actual show, just like how the story is leaving a good number of people in absolute confusion.

It saddens me a lot that a good number of people watching MEKAKUCITY ACTORS aren’t familiar with the roots of this show, namely the PVs. Those music videos are what brought the initial magic to the project–they are irreplaceable by this show by far. With that in mind, I’m making a decision that I’ve been thinking about over the weekend. I’m confident it’ll be more productive for all of us.

To refrain from repeating my commentary again and again, and to contribute meaningful commentary to the Kagerou Project, I am dropping MEKAKUCTIY ACTORS, but in its place, will be instead covering the songs and music videos of the Kagerou Project. These posts will come around every weekend in place of MEKAKUCITY ACTORS’ post release slot

Again, I repeat. MEKAKUCITY ACTORS is dropped in favor of its music video counterpart.

There are various reasons why, with the foremost being–it’s not fun. It’s simply not fun to point out all of the series’ flaws while trying to be as balanced as possible. It’s a chore, and I have learned from experience that my morale will drop significantly if I force myself through this series. However, I do see merit in the Kagerou Project as a whole, and where I see it shining brightly is in its music videos. It will be a much more enjoyable and productive experience to show people here the stories interwoven in the 22 songs that make up the original story. As the anime progresses, I hope that we’ll be able to dissect what Kagerou songs were used in-depth, and why exactly that was important to that week’s episode. Thus, I look forward to dissecting music videos, lyrics, and characters with you in the upcoming weeks. I apologize for those of you who are disappointed, but I hope these next few posts act as both a different perspective to the series, as well as a complementary discussion to read alongside the series as it progresses. This way, I rip less, praise more, and more people learn more about the series!

Next week, we’ll be catching up with the series by covering both the songs Kisaragi Attention and Blindfold Code, which were featured in episodes 2 and 3 respectively. Hope to see you then!




End Card


  1. This was a lame episode.

    I remember somewhere that this anime made you “think” and this episode was “legendary.”

    Not on here of course. But it isn’t.

    I can tell that Episode 6 will most likely give an explanation to this, in a way that still manages to bore me. Almost nothing worthwhile about this episode.

    Hiyori was irritating. Hibiya just as much. (I have a strange obsession over Konoha though so of course he’s perfect. But honestly at this point if I weren’t so obsessed I probably would be bored.)

    At this point I’m just watching for completion’s sake.

    1. It’s very interesting to see what kinds of group flavors one can get about this show wandering through the internet. Reddit’s /r/anime loves this show a lot, but if you hop onto MAL, there’s a much more lukewarm response. It’s always a surprise to see how various parts of the aniweb react to polarizing shows such as this.

      Edit: so please, share your opinions! Let’s hear what you guys felt about episode 4!

      1. Since this will be the last post for the anime counterpart, I will rant a little.

        It definitely is in my opinion “Biggest Disappointment” so far this season !!!!

        But combined with exceed expectations from no game no life and 777, this season is still good as it is 🙂

      2. Considering how downvoting works on reddit, especially in episodic discussion threads, if you see negative threads not buried, it means things aren’t bad, but terrible.

        Mekakucity Actors in particular has a whole bunch of users coming off of tumblr and who aren’t regular participants in the subreddit.

    1. I was avoiding looking at the PVs for Mekakucity Actors. I had high expectations for the show, being done by Shaft and all, but this episode and your link tipped over my curiosity too much. So yeah, now I know what could have been. And it disappoints me how this is anime is being executed. I’ll still watch it though, hoping it will get better.

    1. Almost right, but the date is off. Kagerou Days came out on September 30th, 2011. I can see why you would make the comparison to Steins;Gate, but time travel to save another isn’t a new concept. Girl Who Leapt Through Time in 2006. The Butterfly Effect in 2004. Just two examples to illustrate. I’d give the benefit of the doubt and say that S;G wasn’t a direct influence for the song.

  2. Zanibas, I really liked your analogy. It explains my feelings about this episode quite well. While I was listening to the song and reading lyrics, I have felt chills running down my spine. I hoped that I would feel something similar to it during this episode, but there was nothing. I support your decision to cover songs and lyrics instead of MEKAKUCTIY ACTORS because they are simply better.

    1. I’m already getting some slack from certain people that I should cover an actual series, but we’ll see. It’s already getting late into the season, so it might not be possible at this point 🙁

  3. I debated whether to write anything, and I post this knowing I will be downvoted. But to be perfectly honest, your decision feels incredibly unprofessional.

    Not the decision to drop the show, mind. That’s fair enough. Sticking with something you clearly don’t enjoy is a pointless exercise. But choosing to ‘cover’ music video counterparts which are frankly nothing new and half (to my knowledge, anyway) fanmade – that feels like a passive-aggressive version of ‘source is better, screw this adaptation’.

    The show isn’t perfect. I have my own issues with strange pacing (the scene with Hibiki’s father went on far too long, for instance), gratuitous insertions of the original songs in odd places, and a number of other jarring points – which is why someone dropping it isn’t a surprise. But the impression I’m getting is less than you’re judging it on its own merits and flaws, and more than you judge it wanting because it isn’t what you thought you were going to get – and thus are going to just promote the ‘source material’ instead. And that feels off-putting, to me.

    1. Is it so bad to promote what you truly believe is great material? Oh yes, I’ll openly admit that I believe it’s superior material, but I guarantee that wasn’t my intention when not deciding to completely abandon ship. Passive aggressiveness implies that my goal is to deface this anime through indirect means. Rather, it’s the opposite–I want to show a different face of the story universe by directly showing its source.

      I’m coming from a perspective where I really do want to share the beauty of the music videos, because I really believe that they’re worth sharing. If people enjoy the anime, that’s fine! I just want people to also see what else the Kagerou Project has to offer. Seeing as how there’s a lot of upvotes by your post, I hope that people can recognize that my move isn’t ill-intentioned, but rather one that wants to seriously share joy rather than hate.

      You also imply with your air quotes on ‘cover’ as if there is no merit to covering fan-made legacy songs/movies. If you’re already familiar with the songs and the movies to the point of analyzing each one meticulously, then I apologize–these new series of posts aren’t meant for you. A large part of Kagerou Project’s success actually derived itself from (hue) covers and fanart, as well as the beautiful story each song and movie painted in around 5 minutes. Just because someone didn’t pay these guys to make something doesn’t make it any less valuable.

      As for age, true this project started in 2011, but I am here to spread the word to those who don’t ALREADY know about the songs in detail. It’s surprising how many people haven’t been exposed to the songs themselves, so I wish to spread the word to them in good faith.

      In the end, choosing this decision was gratifying in that I get to write about something I truly love (and not out of spite, I swear), as well as doing my part to spread the word about the Kagerou Project.

      I hope this clarifies things. If you still have doubts, I’m sorry that I’m unable to convince you :(.

    2. Corin – “But to be perfectly honest, your decision feels incredibly unprofessional.”

      You surely couldn’t be suggesting that this Zanibas blog is unfit for Random Curiosity. You really can’t be suggesting that Random Curiosity was wrong for posting this work because it is below their normal standards. After all, that’s what unprofessional means.

      Considering you spent your entire post actually talking about Zanibas possibly having favor towards other materials, that may possibly cause some feelings of distrust. Having a bias if you will. I would certainly hope you mean this and not the former.


    3. When I watched MCA first eps, I didn’t expecting anything since I never heard the word Kagepro before. After I watched it, I can only say it’s so-so, I don’t understand what it is about for the most part, the only thing get me interested is Ene who resemble Miku(yeah, even I know about Miku albeit my ignorance of kagepro). And then I read Zanibas’s post, introducing me to Kagepro in such detail without spoiling anything(thx Zani) thus making me a bit interested on the show. For episode 2, I’m getting more confused since the story focused on a different character than the first episode, so once again it’s so-so for me. And then came the third episode, my favorite episode so far. I got the idea what this show is about more or less, it tied all the loose thread and so much(not everything tho) got explained. I got excited for the next episode, especially after I read Zanibas and some people commenting about how the fourth episode is a game-breaking/important episode. And when I watched the first few minutes of episode 4, I’m not confused anymore since I already get through this pattern at episode 2, but when the second half coming, I got so bored that I oversleep myself. Seriously, I talk to my self “is this what everyone talking about when they said this episode is an important episode?” There is no doubt I’m dissapointed about this episode, but I don’t plan on dropping this show because I’m still hoping for a comeback episode like episode 3.
      And then I read Zanibas’s MCA 4th eps post. I don’t mind Zanibas’s decision for dropping coverage of this show but instead covering the music videos. I saw it as Zanibas way of trying to keep people like me(who never watch the PV or knows about kagepro beforehand) from dropping the show and telling us the exciting part about Mekakucity so we have a pleasant experience when watching this.

  4. Sometimes I feel that I am the only fan that actually likes the anime. I been a fan of the Kagerou project for 2 and and half years now, but I just can’t find any big problems with Mekakucity Actors that would make me hate the anime to the point of dropping it. Sure the pacing and animation can be off, but I see that in a lot of anime adaptions? Why is it getting so much hate in Mekakucity Actors?

    Another thing that confuses me about people who keep saying they hate Mekakucity Actors is the fact that Jin -THE CREATOR- is in charge. Sure the animation can be a little bad at times (its shaft so it will probably be way better on BD/DVD), but the characters portrayed in the anime are how Jin wanted them to be portrayed (like Hiyori for example). How the story progress is how Jin wants to the story to go. To call that horrible is to say that Jin – once again, the guy who made all the songs- doesn’t know what he is doing with his own characters or how is songs should be adapted to the anime.

    1. Honestly I think it’s because nothing makes sense with this show and the random jumping around is getting annoying. First episode was fine, you’re introducing things and the main duo in that episode were entertaining. Then the next episode was way too much focus on this idol character which was a step back. Then the third episode seemed to pull it together. And then we have this random focus with a bunch of characters that aren’t particularly likable.

      As someone unfamiliar with the source material this series is just not being put together well. Certainly a point of note that the creator is involved, but that doesn’t mean it will turn out great. Just because you originally made something good doesn’t mean you actually know how to accurately translate that into a different medium.

      1. It’s fine if that’s not your thing, but other popular shows have done something similar and gotten away with it. Baccano is the biggest example I can think of. That’s basically a more extreme version of what you described. Haruhi also did it to some extent although it’s a bit different since it’s just episodes out of order. The thing is, as long as the story comes together at some point and makes use of this set-up, which I believe the show has done and is doing, I don’t really see the jumping around as a problem.

    2. Even though Jin has major roles in the script, it doesn’t change the fact that some people don’t like the result. Imagine if J.K. Rowling was directly involved in the Harry Potter movies, and instead rewrote the entire plot and made the main trio of characters a whole lot more negative in their character. The same situation applies here. There have been some significant changes in how each character is portrayed and how they act, and the reception to those changes has been polarizing.

      However, as I mentioned above, there are plenty of places where you can find groups of others where the majority are wholeheartedly supportive of the show. Although Metanorn isn’t up to date with releasing the latest episode, the community there is very supportive. Reddit’s /r/anime is also quite supportive of the anime. Oh and of course you can hop onto tumblr too. Sorry that this place makes it seem barren of support, I hope you do find people who share your opinions so you can both heartily discuss the merits of the show :).

      1. In a continuation of your first paragraph, the easiest example would be George Lucas and both the original and prequel Star Wars trilogies. After releasing the originals he went back in and edited some scenes so they either didn’t make sense (Han shoots first) or made characters act OOC (Vader screaming “NOOOO!” when dropping Papatine). In the prequels, he turned Yoda from a wise jedi master into a blind fool. Also Jar Jar Binks and midichlorians. But hey, there are plenty of people who liked the prequels.

        Basically the same happened here. People got the original source material (Kagerou Project and the original Star Wars trilogy) and loved it, only to later get something that changes key aspects they loved about the original (characterization and focused storytelling) through the continuation/adaption of the source (Mekakucity Actors and Star Wars prequels/reedited original trilogy).

        Seems perfectly reasonable to be disappointed in the adaptation, and even more so if the original creator is behind it.

  5. The story up to this episode was typical “the same story from different angles”. This episode, however, was a stand-alone that made a 2/10 or 1/5-worthy plot into a zero. I had misgivings over the entire storyline given the Wikipedia entry for it, but I’m dropping Mekakucity Actors now. Something on the order of Gatachman would have been preferable. This long, drawn-out plot has killed my interest.

  6. Being a complete newbie to Kagerou Project and having not heard/watched any of the songs, I actually like the anime so far. Maybe for fans of Kagerou Project it failed to meet their expectations because they’ve watched the videos before. Sure, this isn’t a perfect anime, but as I’ve heard it was directed by the creator JIN himself, so why all the hate?

    1. You’re off on your data there: the series is being produced and written by JIN of course, but the director is Shinbou Akiyuki, like with any other SHAFT production.

      This is JIN’s first ever anime, it’s his big break, and it’s all thanks to Shinbou. He’s probably very excited, very nervous, and saying too many times “yes” when he should say “no”. Shinbou is notorious for inserting his vision in SHAFT projects all the time, and while it worked on Madoka because he created the franchise himself, it doesn’t work on other stuff. Notice how MCA looks an awful lot like the Monogatari series? That’s Shinbou. Notice how the characters behave like Monogatari characters? Shinbou. Notice how the setting and the story are getting slight ‘retouches’ to make it similar to Monogatari? Shinbou.

      It’s likely that Shinbou is being JIN’s mentor in how to make the transition to anime. It’s likely he’s giving JIN advice on how to make it more appealing to their fanbase. And in doing so, he’s seizing control of the project, like he does with all SHAFT projects, and making it his own.

      I think it’s time we took a second look not only at this show, but at all of SHAFT’s lineup, and realize it’s just one pretentious guy trying to make “masterpieces” out of everything he gets his hands on. And while I prefer Shinbou over, say, Yamamoto Yutaka, it doesn’t mean I like Shinbou much.

    2. As I’ve explained above, just because Jin has a heavy role in the project doesn’t mean it’s an automatic stamp of approval. He took a risk in deviating from all three of his source materials, and now he has to face the rocking boat of polarized audiences. Perhaps this was actually part of his vision the entire time, but his ideas are not immune to scrutiny and criticism just because it came from his head.

  7. Someone told me that it’ll get “better” and after giving another episode a go, I think I’ve had enough.

    The plot is disjointed with no direction at all, characters have no appeal (sorry, I’m not really fond of edgy, pubescent teenagers doing chuunibyou BS), the pacing is just utter garbage, newcomers are thrown into disorientated setting where majority of people have no idea what’s going on etc etc…

  8. Mekaku City Actors is an odd beast for me, as it did, following “Kisaragi Attention” lead me to the original music videos, which I have recently grown to love. That being said, I cant say that the series is overly enjoyable to watch, especially in comparison with the source material in the videos (I have not read the manga, nor the LN). However, I believe the adaptation to be a good fit between project and studio. A lot of the things – quick cuts, static images/text, use of screentone, etc. – that viewers usually ascribe to SHAFT were present in the videos long before the adaptation. It’s as if the Kagerou Project was made for SHAFT, but the end product in Mekaku City Actors is an incredibly lazy one. I don’t have a dog in the fight between fans of the studio and fans of the original source material, but I cannot understand why they chose to animate this project when they obviously didn’t have the money for it. From what I have heard (and please correct me if I’m wrong) Japanese Kagerou Project fans are incredibly unhappy with the adaptation, which does not bode well for DVD/BD sales. Additionally, while Kagerou Project could be a rich mine for merchandise, I have yet to see much of it pop up. This leaves advertising for the original material only, which I suppose works, but seriously limits the amount of money one can make from the property, especially with the videos themselves free for anyone to watch.

    Regardless, I’ll always be grateful for Mekaku City Actors for introducing me to a neat multimedia project.

    Creative Self
  9. If there’s anything that I don’t like about it, it’s that this is a multimedia project and I have to devote time into other outlets to really understand the full story.

    Other than that it’s entertaining and I can understand what’s going on. I’m already in love with Hiyori, so I think I’ll be sticking with this show.

  10. I feel kind of sad that you are dropping this, to be honest. I’m fan of this series for a year now, and i am pretty much satisfied how they are doing it. I read all novels, watched and listened all songs (and to reply, 15 songs have official music videos by Wannyanpu and Shidu), and i also read manga. I’m up to date with everything so far. And it’s amazing how much details *which you don’t notice until you watch it few times and know story beforehand* and metaphors they put. Alas, this could be off putting for new fans, which is why many people complain about. But, this is anime just like ergo proxy, durarara!!, baccano! in ways of storytelling. I don’t understand why people judge it so harshly when it’s not even half through it and real story begins in next or episode after it. Sure, shaft is doing a bit messy job on animation, but so far, im really satisfied how they are executing it. So, for an experienced fan, i am quite satisfied, and i am also satisfied that i convinced my friends to give it a chance too and they are all waiting for next episode because they want to know the mystery behind the plot *fact they all like it*. So yeah…

    Anyway, im still sad that you, Zanibas, are dropping it, but maybe you should watch it again when all episodes are out.

    As for the songs, songs have been analyzed by many people on tumblr and on other sites, and they can only be correctly analyzed if you previously know what happens in the novels and manga *especially in 5th novel, which covered very important plot of the whole universe.

    And jin said so himself, anime/manga/songs/novels aren’t meant to be stand alone, they all form a complex world and have such amazing characters. That’s why it’s a project. As for the old fans, i am disappointed that they are not satisfied with it. But they keep forgeting that jin, the creator, was the one who wanted this studio and also wrote script for it. I love his storytelling, his novels are great.

    To everyone else who is watching this anime, and does not know anything about it, the best choice for you who are confused, is to either watch songs, and then proceed with anime, or any other media, or just wait until anime is over. But key scenes are in the novels, which are not so long, and they also provide a lot of useful information *and they have been translated by people on tumblr*

    1. I appreciate your stance as an experienced individual, and it’s true that a lot of the metaphors in the series can be overlooked by those unaware. However, this sort of synthesis, while also very rich for those who can piece it all together, is also a great bane for those who are either non-acquainted with the project, or who happen to only know one part of it.

      It’s quite a high expectation that for people to ‘understand’ the project, they have to immerse themselves in all four mediums (perhaps several times) to understand it. In reality, that’s a really bad goal to have, especially considering how the anime will be the first foray that people have into the Kagerou universe. Oh yes, you’ll get people who love the mystery of it all, but at the same time you’ll get a group of people who are more put off by the perceived disjointedness. It also just doesn’t help that the production values are on the down-low for this show as well, which may not satisfy every audience looking for certain levels of quality.

  11. And as fast as potential is seen Mekakucity Actors throws its chance back into the fire. This episode was nearly as bad as episode 2, it dragged along in a very boring manner and failed in its primary goal of introducing new characters. There was no connection between these characters and the ones introduced earlier, nothing to help place this episode in the wider context and make it immediately understandable. Symbolism is not an excuse for a poorly constructed series that lacks the threads necessary to grab a hold of and maintain the interest of viewers; the producers and especially the writers have failed to grasp this and instead let their specific, personalized image overrule structural requirements. All of this simply adds on top of SHAFT’s rushed animation and inability to use their budget to its maximum extent. Perfection was never expected, but the studio definitely cut corners which could have been better hidden (not unlike how Trigger handled it’s resources for KLK). I’ll watch it until the end to see if anything improves, but as of this moment getting anything above a 3-4/10 (poor to below average) is going to require some effort.

    Overall not surprised you have dropped this Zanibas, but IMO you should instead blog one of the new series this season rather than the music videos many here have already seen.

    1. We’ll see if I cover another series, but considering how most episodes are already at episode 5, I don’t know if that’ll be possible to do at this point. We’ll see how staff and reader discussions pan out in the next few days. I thought this would be an okay compromise to introduce newbies to the songs.

      1. @Pancakes – At 5 episodes in, it would be hard for him to cover another series sufficiently if it was a one cour show. I’d rather he keep working with what he has, and not overwhelm himself again like he did with Nobunaga and Golden Time.

        @Zanibas – While I’d prefer you introducing me to more of the other materials (as a newbie), I understand if the majority and yourself eventually decide to watch a show instead. Either way, I’ll continue to read (so long as you writer ;D ), so keep it up.

  12. What I always wonder reading comments about how Hiyori and Hibiya are like that in the anime…is how many people know that they’re both actually like that. That’s how they’re portrayed in the novels (specially the third one).

    Sure, it doesn’t show in the songs, nor it hasn’t been shown as much in the manga, but the characters are originally like that, nothing is being deviated in them.
    There are people who have read the novels, know the characters and just don’t like them much, but it’s not the case that they have been changed or been made less likeable, as one could say, in the anime.

    There’s also a reason Hiyori acts that way, which will probably be explained later and in the novels as well, but it comes from what Jin stated once about both her and Hibiya.

  13. I am so happy with your decision to drop this series, and I’m glad that you’ll be covering the original pv’s so that people unfamiliar with the Kagerou Project can get the original (and frankly much better) interpretation of it. This was one of the few series which I was really looking forward to; the pvs were emotional, catchy and satisfying and the manga did a very good job of weaving the characters into a cohesive storyline that became stronger with each passing chapter. This adaptation by Shaft definitely wasted a lot of potential. I was forgiving with the first episode as it at least retained some of the characteristics found within the other adaptations, but after this episode, I really do not see how it can get any better. Shoddy animation is on thing (my god was the animation terrible here!), but seeing how they’re ruining all of character’s personalities by making them overly sarcastic and snarky is pretty annoying. Interestingly this seems to afflicted the female characters the most; I mean Hiyori and Momo seem pretty indistinguishable personality wise in the anime which to me just screams lazy characterization. I’ll maybe watch an episode here and there until I see their rendition of Suozou Forest, and then just drop this to finish catching up with its far superior manga counterpart.

  14. This is excruciating for me. I stuck up for it the first two episodes, with hope that once it got rolling it would keep rolling. Unfortunately I have to put this down, as the adaption is doing no justice to the songs, if not actively making them look bad. SHAFT/Shinbo and Kagepro seemed like a match made in heaven since Kagepro itself is very… Shaft-y. However, the animation is clearly lackluster, and the pacing. Oh sweet Yesus. This episode would have been saved if they had essentially stretched the MV into a 30 minute episode, thereby giving us a clearer idea as to what was happening.

  15. It saddens me a lot that a good number of people watching MEKAKUCITY ACTORS aren’t familiar with the roots of this show, namely the PVs. Those music videos are what brought the initial magic to the project–they are irreplaceable by this show by far.

    For what it’s worth, I’m a first-timer to the Kagerou Project with this series. I picked it up because I love Shinbou’s work. I’ve been biting my tongue each week after reading your negative reviews, since I’ve been enjoying every episode. After making it this far, I was inspired to seek out more information on the original music project – not out of a desire to find the “true” iteration of the series, but in an effort to dig deeper into a universe which had already captivated me. The result is that I’m completely hooked on Kagepro. After watching about 20 versions of Kagerou Daze on Nico Nico Douga, steadily creeping through the manga, more music videos, and pages and pages of lore, and seeing how much more there is to consume, I can already tell this is my new obsession. The project is operatic in scope, and the artistry needs no further praise here. I can’t wait to read your posts about individual videos – they’re so dense with imagery, poetry, symbolism that I’m sure there will be plenty to discuss. RC doing music. Awesome.

    But I’m here because of the anime series. Y’all can call it a trainwreck if you want, but for me it’s a gateway to the rest of the project. And no matter how the directorial interpretation differs from what you wanted/expected, it’s getting new eyes on this story. Isn’t that a good thing for everyone? It shouldn’t be saddening, it should be exciting. I’m pretty excited for more music videos, more animated episodes, more manga, more Kagerou in any form.

    1. Glad that it was a gateway for you, but I can see a lot of people seeing this adaptation and after disliking it not seeking its source material. If the tv series of Game of Thrones had a bad adaptation and that was the viewers first experience with something with Georg R R Martin’s works I doubt they would seek anything else of his. Sure it this series is getting exposure, but not in a good way which can alienate new viewers unfamiliar with the lore of Mekkaku with its leaden pacing and average (at best) animation, while infuriating those familiar with it knowing that this adaptation could have been so much more than what it is now.

  16. Maybe since I’m not familiar with the source material whatsoever, if I check it out after this series finishes, maybe it will make the music videos that much better?

  17. If anything comes out of this show I’m hoping it’s that it’ll allow people to see more of what it is that I’ve grown to dislike about Shaft over the years. The meddling of Shinbo, the putting their idea of art ahead of just telling a damn story (again probably Shinbo), the strangely mean-spirited tint they seem to like putting on characters that doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose other than for banter, the one director one vision thing. I kind of feel sorry for the fans of the original PV’s (I saw the one for this and felt it was fairly creative and worked well enough for what it was) and Mekaku City Actors situation as a literally low budget cash-in adaptation on popular property just makes me all the more wary of Shaft.

    I genuinely hope they never get the opportunity to adapt anything I particularly care about as unlikely as that would be.

    Kaioshin Sama
  18. I feel that the reason this is a weak anime adaptation is because the source material isn’t that strong in the first place?

    I read the bits covered in the anime. It was basically the same? Other than the style, SHAFT didn’t really deviate from the source material. Their visual tricks are annoying but I feel it isn’t their fault. The story’s just bland.

    The PVs are creative & a great watch but didn’t really make a lot of sense (collectively) which gives me the impression that Jin doesn’t really know where his own story is going. When it’s just 4 minutes long, the problem seems less obvious… But when you try to expand on it, there doesn’t seem to be anything there.

    Of course, I didn’t read the full manga & I didn’t bother to watch all the pvs & try to make sense of everything so hopefully, Zanibas will prove me wrong that this REALLY is a 5 star quality story.

  19. This episode is good in my point of view zanibas-san. Actually the first half, i was wondering what gonna happen with the two of them and the second half truly blowing my mind. It’s f**ked up, but it’sf**ked up in a really good way.

    Kinda disappointed if randomc didn’t cover this instead cover mahouka. To be honest, i’m more entertained by this kind of show than that mahouka everyone raging about. Please don’t drop it zanibas-san. 🙁

  20. Ewwww I am completely disappointed with your decision to drop the series. I honestly enjoy the series as first-timer and need some legit reviewer to increase my enjoyment.

    But again, seeing a painful review every week is not enjoyable either, I rather see author reviewing what he likes, so yeah, fair, no harm. I will just need to seek warmer environment anyway to enjoy this Mekaku;monogatari , ups, Mekakucity Actors I mean, I stuttered.

  21. That analogy… strikes a bit too close to home. But in the end, I can only thank you for this decision. No one wins when the writer doesn’t enjoy the topic he writes about, so I look forward to reading your AMV posts. That’s especially true since I’ve been urging myself to watch them all, but the sheer volume always makes me put it away till another time. Reading about them on RandomC, on the other hand, makes them part of my daily routine, breaks them into nice ten-minute chunks AND gives me more context to appreciate them, since I’m going to watch them after the corresponding anime episodes. So yeah, big thumbs up from this anime fan over here. The only AMV I’ve watched so far is Jinsou Enemy, and the differences between it and the first episode are pretty extreme, so I hope you’re going to cover it sooner or later, as well.

    As for the episode itself, I admit that the dissonance between the first and the second halves is off-putting, especially with that dog scene that felt like it lasts forever. Maybe if we had a chance to see more interactions between Hiyori and Hibiya to have the second half make a bigger impact, it would’ve lived up to its fame, but alas, we only got so much. Because of that, it feels to me that this episode isn’t that important in the big picture (not as important as the last one, for example), and that is apparently much worse than everything they’ve done to the source material so far.

  22. I can relate. I really love the art and OST of MCA, but the pacing is too bad. I felt like the 10 first minutes of this episode were just dragging forever, and then the “meaty” part just came up randomly. It could have been so much better.

    I wonder if someone will make a more interesting abridged cut of this show.

  23. Actually happy they actually showed the Kagerou Daze bit. Special props to the staff for adding the whole thing about the bridge since, as far as I know, that was only shown in the FanVid. Now, just one thing propels me to continue seeing the show (aside from completions sake):
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Show Spoiler ▼


  24. I will say that watching the first four episodes, I have been very confused. I had to go spoil myself on wikis because I couldn’t exactly grasp what was going on.


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