Oh man, this premise was interesting, but the execution bombed.
Do you remember love? Do you remember when Light Novel was a medium full of neat ballsies ideas? Do you remember how big hits such as Baccano, Fate/Zero, the Monogatari series originated? For the past two years, there has not been any noteworthy adaptation. Light novels has become another one of those safe havens to generate revenue towards a niche demographic. The medium has reached a screeching halt. It is no longer pervasive, no longer experimenting with ideas. In a similar vein in which Nintendo being unable to give up its main money-making Zelda Mario standard fare for new settings and characters (mind you, Super Mario Galaxy was awesome). Why take risks when you are relatively well off by just making romcoms, putting in imouto, personality-less high school lead, some panties and call it a day? The Sunday Without God is a refreshing existence in that respect. A world where nobody dies, just wasting away endlessly. Does it deliver enough to overcome the status quo?
First of all, the representation was abysmal. In a fantasy setting, one would expect more vivid coloration and some degree of cool visual tricks. Everything was so dull, and brown. The backdrop could not have been any worse. The voice acting was incredibly annoying and that just adds to Ai’s overall dullness. I am not big on the anime trend that 12 year-old girls sound absurdly squeaky and just splittingly painful to the eardrums. There was no emotion behind it. To top it all of, some white-haired guy in a badass black cloak shows up. That is as uninspired character design and as lazy as you can get. You do not build a badass or mysterious figure through clothing, you build the personality through gestures, subtle hints and good dialogue.
Speaking of which, the dialogues were rather… juvenile. And they think they were being funny with the little exchange between Ai and Humpy Humping. It’s a girl who shoulders the burden of dead people, so what? She is an orphan, so what? Don’t just tell me about it, show me the ramification instead of Ai making sad faces. I know that is asking for a little too much in the first episode, but they should at least be engaging. The inner monologues were tacky and failed to develop any provoking thoughts, not so different from Attack on Titans. Stating the obvious and overexaggerate the importance of anything does nothing but detracts from the narrative flow. The episode ended on some rather mundane revelation about the Gravekeeper. That gave almost no incentive for the average viewers to come back for the second episode. This is only the first episode and the pacing issue is already this pronounced.
I cannot remember the last time an extremely unmemorable first episode received a second wind in the subsequent weeks. I’ll keep up with it but I will not guarantee that I will make anymore posts. There isn’t much to talk about and I will probably end up repeating myself at some point. Why did I pick this show? Weirdman has Pornomonogatari and Xephh has Dorobaka, both of which had really good first episodes. Pornomonogatari is a sure solid hit, and Dorobaka at least has things that I can write about. But hey, there is Silver Spoon that has yet to air!