「降臨の日」 (Koorin no Hi)
“The Day a God Descended”
Youta is some random high school kid studying for his college entrance exams. But one day, a pink hair girl in religious attire proclaims herself to be the god Odin, and ominously tells Youta the world is set to end in 30 days. At first, he does not believe her. But as the day goes on, she correctly anticipates almost every incident – including the onset of rain on a sunny day, the fact that traffic would hold up a bus, and the exact order in which horses would finish in two televised races. He might not like to admit it, but maybe there is some truth to this girl’s words. Maybe she is a god, and perhaps the world will come to an end in 30 days.
If I was told that the world was going to end in 30 days, on top of the fact I could have any wish granted, it seems rather obvious what the wish should be. To prevent the world from ending in 30 days, no? In other words, Jun Maeda’s back at it with another PA Works collaboration. Angel Beats remains an incredible classic to this day. Charlotte was alright. And years later, along pops out Kamisama ni Natta Hi. As always when it comes to Jun Maeda shows, the visuals look noticeably pristine even by PA Works standards, demonstrating the love, care and respect those at the studio have towards his works. And in terms of music, he’s back at it again with Nagi Yanagi, collaborating with her to produce both the OP and ED theme.
In terms of the first episode’s substantive content, I really disliked how loud and obnoxious Hina was behaving. The jokes weren’t hitting their marks, and her mini tantrums rubbed me the wrong way. This really surprised me, since I’d always remembered dialogue to be a traditionally strong aspect in Jun Maeda works. However, the dialogue improved as the episode went on. Her loud and obnoxious behaviour progressively tone down, and she became increasingly introspective, ominous even. And that tonal shift helped convey this sense that a supernatural element could be at work, when it came to her predictions. Her bickering with Youta also became funny, because she broke down Youta from being this cool-headed young man to a heartbroken boy rejected by his crush. These two might just grow on me. Who knows.
Seeing the shift in their conversational dynamic, where he behaved like he held all the cards conversing with a little kid, to being at the mercy of her frighteningly accurate prophetic whims proved to be quite a reversal in fortune. That said, Youta is a bit of a flat and uninspiring character. While I found his miseries amusing – especially the baseball scene and failed confession, I couldn’t really care less about anything he got up to on a personal level. It’s hard to remain invested in the mystery premise posed by this series if I’m struggling to engage with the characters. So I hope they’ll sort out some quality character development in due course. Otherwise it will be rather difficult to continue watching this show.
So, what is there to unwrap here? Here are some questions I want answered. Why is the world set to end in 30 days? Who is Hina? Where does she come from? Why does she have these prophetic powers? Why did she choose to associate with Youta? Do other deities like her exist? If so, do they have the power to stop the world from ending? As usual, Jun Maeda shows lead with many unanswered mysteries (The Winged Maiden in Air, Yuuichi’s Lost Memories in Kanon, The Little Girl and the Robot Doll in Clannad, The Secret of the World in Little Busters) – that I expect to be highly relevant to the plot and continually resolved as we work our way towards the end. Maybe my expectations are unreasonable, but considering how high Jun Maeda has historically set the bar when it comes to packing an emotional wallop into his stories, I will be pretty disappointed if I haven’t cried once by the time Kamisama ni Natta Hi reaches its conclusion.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you next week!