「かつて神だった獣たちへ」 (Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e)
“To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts”

In between complimentary Canada Day beer beverages and fireworks preparations it’s easy to forget the summer 2019 season has officially started, but never fear, because Pancakes is here to remind you (and himself) of the fact. Slow start though it may be, Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e is determined to make the most of it, and, well, I dare say the show has succeeded. After all, who doesn’t like a bit of glorious 2D monster mashing?

As described in laborious detail in the RC Preview, Kemono-tachi is pretty much the MAPPA version of Fairy Gone. We’ve got human soldiers equipped with some very beastly abilities, the accompanying political situation just begging to let them go hog wild, and all the fun which comes with a society terrified of the results they’ve unleashed on the world. Sure it may not be the exact same in terms of setting—there’s a surprising American Civil War aesthetic at play here which becomes quite funny once you realize the geographic side these anime Confederates are fighting for—but it’s hard denying there’s more similarities than differences gracing this work.

The main difference between Kemono-tachi and Fairy Gone of course lies in the premise. In this one our beastly weapons called Incarnates aren’t just some former soldiers possessing illegal material—they’re legitimately ticking time bombs of destruction. Equipped with their powers through whatever procedure took place (guaranteed we’ll be learning more about it soon enough), their transformations apparently eat away both physically and mentally at their humanity, eventually leaving a monstrous aberration seeking nothing but annihilation. This as seen at the end will serve as Kemono-tachi’s central premise, where putting down rabid Incarnates before they can breed too much trouble in a postwar world is the raison d’etre of our main cast. It’s pretty much your quintessential character driven story, although its success will naturally come down to the strength of its characters, which so far at least is looking up. Hank (Konishi Katsuyuki) and Cain (Nakamura Yuuichi) for example are about as generic of hero and villain as you can get (particularly that utter lack of immediately discernable reason behind the latter’s actions), but there’s at least some semblance of depth to Hank’s tribulations, and when combined with the fun to be had concerning the totally not dead Incarnate creator Elaine (Noto Mamiko) you can bet this ride has plenty more to give. We may still have to be introduced to our real main character in Nancy and discover just what this show will be specifically about, but a taster so far at least Kemono-tachi is structurally hitting all the right notes.

Whether or not Kemono-tachi can successfully keep building on what it’s created here obviously remains the question, but so far at least this is one summer show that’s certainly made me curious seeing what the next episode brings.

 

Preview

21 Comments

  1. This anime prologue episode is original to the plot sequence. It’s made up of later manga chapters flashbacking to Hank’s history as incarnate commander.

    https://randomc.net/image/Katsute%20Kami%20Datta%20Kemono-tachi%20e/Katsute%20Kami%20Datta%20Kemono-tachi%20e%20-%2001%20-%2042.jpg

    Character and emotional developments should happen in the next episodes after the plot introduces the above girl and meets up with Hank. She’s the true protagonist of the series.

    Fun fact – the creators of this manga also made Dusk Maiden of Amnesia (got an anime in 2012) and the ongoing Kekkon Yubiwa Monogatari/Tales of the Wedding Rings (Crunchyroll’s translating the manga).

    zztop
    1. Funnily enough I didn’t think it was all that rushed. Condensed yeah, but they could’ve easily crammed more in if they tried—i.e. that main character introduction we’re getting next week.

      1. Tropes have been repeating since ancient Greece and its comedy, it’s not a matter of repetition, it’s a matter of how much bloat and how much creativity there is divided by how much anime cost and how greedy are merchandising overlords given its otaku audience, who are the ones who spend on the industry.

        Also the fact that the otaku gross shit and themes are more in contact with everything thanks to internet and everyone can autopublish their own manga. Things like the calling openly slut to an enemy and the humilliation in the scene of the shield hero nowadays it’s pretty popular. Not that I’m a prude or something like that, but to see shit like that in a general teen audience left me atonished because that’s the kind of shit you would only see on an hentai a decade ago. And let’s not talk about the edginess for the sake of it of shows like kakegurui and the isekai cess pool.

        Things have been always more or less like this, but certain lines would not be crossed before, nowadays it doesn’t matter if it gives money and the forum dwellers are happy with it. I suppose there is the fact that I’m not a young man anymore and I have seen too much of it and I’m burned.
        I should be happy of having more material to choose, I suppose.

        cvb
    1. I dunno. I kinda feel like this year in particular has been really lacking so far. There’s only been a handful of truly great shows. Now, in Winter and Summer, there usually is less top shows, but that had been changing (starting back with Durarara and Bakemonogatari), and even ignoring those, Spring was really, really, lackluster.
      There’s still a lot of premiers left for Summer, so I’m not writing it off yet, and we still have Fall, so here’s hoping we can get some really entertaining shows with what’s left.

      hjerry2000
    2. To be fair it’s not all that bad yet. Derivative as hell yeah, but at least we have a tighter story with fewer characters and political plot lines to deal with than Fairy Gone. That’s already a leg up when it comes to capturing and keeping interest. As mentioned though we’ll know more once introductions are finished next week.

  2. The manga could be best described as True Grit meets The Lost world (The Arthur Conan Doyle novel, not the Jurassic Park sequel).

    If that sounds interesting to you, you’ll like the story and should be looking forward to the next episode, even if you didn’t care for the anime “prologue”.

    The actual fights in the manga take a back-seat to the emotional development and broader story.

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