OP: 「RULER GAME」 by Fo’xTails
「存在と虚無」 (Sonzai to Kyomu)
“Existence and Nothingness”
First episode exposition dump COMMENCE.
The premise behind Jikan no Shihaisha is simple: monsters are using regrets to feed on human time, and superpowered humans are stoppin’ ’em. There’s a whole lot of expositionary babble about Horologues and Oaths of Time, but boil it all down to its constituent parts, and it’s special humans fighting monsters. With that genre firmly in mind, the following three questions are begged: How are the characters? How are the powers/fights? How is it executed?
The characters are probably the brightest spot, because every moment that got a smile out of me had to do with the antics of the irreverent Victor Putin (Fukuyama Jun)—hereafter referred to as Victo Poutine, because that’s how they pronounce it and thus it’s ONLY RIGHT AND PROPER—and his straight-laced partner/family member Kiri
Putin Poutine (Ishikawa Kaito). Not that it was all roses, I felt they were leaning too hard on the “Victor is lecherous and irresponsible” and “Kiri has a stick up his ass!” schticks, but at least there’s potential there. And damn if FukuJun and Ishikawa-kun ain’t perfect for these roles, even if they’re typecast into them like a sonuvagun. Gotta pay the bills, after all.
The powers/fights are uneven. First of all, the CGI. It’s not the worst CGI, as far as these things go, but it’s clearly noticeable and could have easily been hand drawn (at least for the people; the monsters are fine), which means it’s not the best CGI either. Also, the time powers aren’t terribly interesting, though that comes down to them forcing several special moves down our throats in the first episode. Sometimes less is more, gents. Save something for episode two.
As for the overall execution story-wise, this was a lot of damn exposition all at once, the attempt to show rather than tell came across as overly convenient, and having Victo Poutine start to lose time via super attack in the first episode takes away the potential drama of using it later, since it feels like it’s going to happen all the time. Mostly, though, it was just how they tried to force so much into the first episode that it felt like a lecture instead of entertainment. Which is an inaccurate statement, because everyone knows that learning is FUN.
The bottom line question that all of this is driving at: Is Jikan no Shihaisha worth your time? Honestly, I have no idea. The first episode wasn’t great, but it doesn’t feel like we’ve actually seen this series, so much as three infodump paragraphs stretched out into 23 minutes. What happens when it’s time to get down to some real storytelling? If this first episode, or even just the preview, piqued any of your interest, I’d say give episode two a try. Hopefully the real story will start there.
Ohandalso, I didn’t see the “Victo is Kiri’s father” reveal coming, but I also didn’t really care because we just met these two fools, so REVEAL FAIL. Once again, some things are better left for episode two, gents.
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ED: 「時間は窓の向こう側」 (Jikan wa Mado no Mukougawa) by Yanagi Nagi