OP: 「獣の理」 (Kemono no Kotowari) by「東京事変」 (Tokyo Jihen )
Based on an upcoming mobile game, coming later this summer. D_Cide is about creatures called ‘Desaria’ entering our world through portals called ‘Traumerei’s’. In the other world, you can jump like you’re on the moon, and have superpowers that mold to the mind of whoever is calling them up. Orange lights fly in the atmosphere to signify the appearance of otherworlds.
The monsters are certainly unique, taking a page from the python of boss designs. The hand with an eye, but here instead of an eye, it holds a zipper that opens to its mouth. Crack the zipper open, and a tongue comes out. As gross as that might sound, the monsters are more on the cute side, featuring soft round paws, and dog-like bodies. almost to the point where it becomes squishable.
The anime starts in media’s res with our protagonist and bishounen boy, Oda Ryuuhe (Azakami Youhei) heavy downpour falls on him, he’s just a small boy, the city is covered by a dark veil, he looks at a dreadful scene in shock, a strange symbol of a sun circle made with blood.
He doesn’t understand. Why did this happen? People clamor around him, looking at the appalling scene. Years later Ryuuhe lives a normal life. We see him interact with his childhood friend Mouri Rena (Itou Ayasa) a possible love interest maybe, but as soon as Rena is surrounded by friends, Ryuuhe takes the importunity to spring to his friend Murase Yoshichika (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu). He’s already surrounded by girls, so that means he must be super popular. (It’s just his facade, I bet.) They talk about an e-sports thing called Ruler of Dragon, which later becomes important in the episode. Rena asks Ibusaki Eri (Kouno Marika) a long-haired black girl who happens to have a shy demeanor if she wants to come with her to Karaoke.
Rena is the one who initiated the invite, but her group of friends is dubious about it. Rena asks anyway, and we learn Eri has to be back home before her curfew. Is she experiencing abusive parents? Or at least that’s the conclusion I’m jumping to. Yes, it’s good to be worried about your children, but they’re in Japan, where 10-year-old kids are encouraged to get to school on their own. And they’re in the heart of Toyko, Shibuya no less. It just doesn’t make sense, it’s probably something that is sure to come back as a plot point of her character.
We then learn Ryuuhe is good at kickboxing, it’s important because it helps him fight the Desaria, he’s not just your average run of the mil, I have to defend Tokyo because monsters are attacking. There’s a little bit more meat and bones to his character. Even if it makes him a little bit more simple. Yet I think he’s meant to fulfill that role, the Genki-Baka-boy who doesn’t know anything about anything and helps us learn more about this world lore and story. He’s our conduit to the narrative so to speak.
Later he has a dream about the otherworld and it’s our first introduction to the environment of the Traumerei. His dreams manifest as reality later in the episode when the Traumerei come into Shibuya itself, because the ostensibly top player of Ruler of the Dragon, gets toppled, and he grows so down in the dumps that he fits as a sacrifice for the Traumerei. Two more characters get introduced during the second half, Clayborn Jessica (Yuuki Aoi) the one with the minigun. And Fushibe Aruto (Horie Shun) the one with the cool skates. They don’t have much of a presence this episode in terms of story, they’re just here to help Ryuuhe awaken his powers. Which come with a spiffy magical boy transformation sequence, probably my favorite part of this episode.
It comes with the territory, if you haven’t watched D4DJ: First Mix then you’re probably. Why should I care about another CGI anime? It’s not just another CGI anime, it’s made by the same people of that show I just mentioned. And the animation delivers, SANZIGEN has been using computer-generated graphics for quite a while, working on such projects as Black Rock Shooter, and even holding a helping hand on the Promare film. This first episode blew me away with its crisp butter-like smooth animation. There are moments where 2D linework is mixed with CGI to wonderful results. My problem with most CGI anime is that it’s treated like it’s 2D, but 3D is a different art form and should be treated as such. Also, this style never forgets that it’s anime, one example is how hair strands have transparency to show the eye beneath them.
SANZIGEN knows what they’re doing and proudly shows it off. I loved this first episode, and can’t wait to watch more!
ED: 「BLACK LOTUS」by (RONDO「燐舞曲」from D4DJ)