Sunday, January 19, 2014

Anime Review: Sunday Without God

Well, I've got a few reviews lined up. Finished watching R.O.D. both the OVA and the TV series, and also watched the latest masterpiece by Mamoru Hosoda (The director of The Girl who Leap Through Time and my personal favorite Summer Wars) Wolf Children. I also have just beaten Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers and am currently making my way through Kirby Mass Attack (I wanted to put a game in between Soul Hackers and Etrian Odyssey Untold so that I don't burn out on First Person dungeon crawlers as fast). But first this Sunday is going to be a Sunday Without God... Because that's the name of the anime I'm reviewing , not because I'm an Atheist or anything... I mean I am an Atheist but... Yeah, let's just get on with the review.

Who knew the end of the world would be so pretty... and Adorable.
One day, God abandoned the world. There was no fire or brimstone nor any revelation or word from God, it was just another day like any other, but on that day everything changed. No child was born after that day, and even the dead can continue living as their minds and bodies waste away. The Gravekeepers appeared with nothing but a shovel and empty smiles as they are the only ones able to bury the dead and let them find rest. The wishes of many people where granted that day, though those wishes have caused some to suffer. One day, God abandoned the world, and the world continued on without God. 15 years later, a young 12 year old Gravekeeper named Ai is living out her life in a small mountain village until a mysterious young man appeared before her and shattered the life that she had. Gravekeepers are not born, they just appear, and no child has been born for 15 years, so how can Ai be only 12 and a Gravekeeper? The mystery of Ai's birth gets unraveled as she embarks on a journey across the world God has forsaken, in hopes of finding a way to save it.

"Excuse me, are you-" "No, I'm not that guy from Devil Survivor!"
Sunday Without God is a really hard anime to try to describe, because any way you try to describe it it sounds depressing as all hell. I mean, we are dealing with an end of the world scenario with zombies, but even with that we have several instances of "Be careful of what you wish for" and the stark realization that humanity is pretty much done for as things stand. However, even with all that taken as FACT, the series is surprisingly optimistic. The series comprises of 4 short story arches with one stand alone episode tying two arches together, and while each story arch showcases a really grim aspect of this world (for example, one of them revolves around a Necropolis where only the dead may enter and Gravekeepers, like our little Ai, are kill on sight) things consistently turn out alright with the most depressing outcome being bittersweet.

It's so beautiful, yet sad.
I really have no qualms with the series, but to anyone who is about to watch it be prepared for several emotional roller-coaster rides. This series will forcibly rip your heart out with it's tension and dread, only to lovingly place it back with care and kisses by the time the resolution to the story arch begins. The one consistent emotion I feel throughout this series is frustration out of both how sad things are and how optimistic it all is and being unable to figure out which one has more weight to it, and it was the good kind of frustration as the series managed to make me feel such strong yet conflicting emotions about the exact same thing.

Sunday Without God is a hard anime to try to describe. It has a bleak premise, but is hopeful throughout it. It is about the end of humanity, but it often showcases the best of us even during our darkest hour. It is both sad and happy at the same time. This leaves me with a hard time trying to find a word to qualify what the series is like outside of the word: Beautiful. It manages to mix such contradictory premises together in a way that is both emotionally draining, but also renew all that it has drained away. The series has my highest recommendation just for that. If you haven't seen it yet, Sunday Without God is a Must Watch!

Sunday Without God can be watched on Crunchyroll:

Until next time,

-Crescent, And Ai goes off doing her best Holo impression.

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