Explanations are for the weak.
I’m honestly surprised I’ve seen so little chatter regarding Afterlost (Shoumetsu Toshi). Admittedly, things might go downhill after episode one but that first episode was pretty entertaining in its own way. Of course, a lot will depend on whether they will actually ever get around to explanations that make any kind of plausible sense and anime has a very low hit rate for that in this kind of story.
But, when they get it right, I really enjoy stories that make you guess and wonder and then bring things together.
In this first episode we meet Yuki and Takuya. Yuki’s your standard blue-haired and kind of spacey girl. In this case she’s also the only survivor of a city some tragic event that apparently wiped out a whole city only no one seems to be really sure what happened. As a result, apparently lots of people are after her. Takuya seems to be your standard jaded older male protagonist who has been hired for a job but it seems inevitable he’ll end up personally invested in things.
There’s quite a few chase sequences in this opening episode and really they don’t stop to explain much which for episode one is okay but we’ll need a bit more in follow up or this will get old fast. Also, the chase sequences themselves aren’t as thrilling as they seem to want to be because helicopter pursuing motorbike seems like it should be pretty sensational but it ends up pretty repetitive and even random ghost guys showing up and throwing rocks and things around don’t really add much other than making me wonder who taught them how to aim.
But for all the criticisms I might throw at this, I actually did enjoy it and of all the anime I’ve started this season (outside of Fruits Basket that has amazing nostalgia value) this first episode is probably the one that has made me the most genuinely curious about what they might do with a premise. It might fall flat but it is enough to make me volunteer for the ride.
More running only this time more on foot which actually allows for the occasional pause and talk as well as actual exchanges between characters so while Afterlost is still trying to withhold massive amounts of information from the audience in the hope of suspense, a bit more of a picture of the characters is starting to form. But, it is taking its sweet time about it.
The gun shot at the end of episode one actually hit someone, which was a surprise, but not the person that they implied was being shot, which wasn’t a surprise. Turns out Takuya has history with two of the agents and they decide instead to save him and Yuki, double crossing their employers. Needless to say that puts them on the run and after what I guess is supposed to be a relationship building moment between Takuya and Yuki they try using the subway tunnels to get where they are going.
I actually had to agree with the ‘bad’ guy when they asked if that was seriously all they could come up with.
Doesn’t really matter though when Yuki and Takuya are apparently completely untouchable (though Takuya is apparently going to get injured every episode) and everyone who tries to help them is fodder. Not actually fodder that will get killed off proper, just dramatically taken down in a way that should leave them dead but we’ll later find out they are not.
There’s definitely a lot that could be said to be wrong or at least substandard here, and yet I’m still kind of interested in it and will admit I’ve so far been interested enough in what is going on. The characters could really use some fleshing out and I’ll settle for even a partial explanation of what the agency is at this point even if they want to withhold all the rest of the information, but just something to help give a bit of context to what is going on would be nice. But I’m still pretty enthused for watching the next episode so I guess it is doing enough.
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