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Tranquil and Adventurous
It’s a new anime season and I’m so behind on the last one that I’m going in even more blind than normal. That said, there’s fun to be had in starting a new anime knowing nothing but the title as was the case with Somali to Mori Kamisama. At first glance it is a visual feast with some beautiful landscapes and a lot of focus on rays of light all accompanied by suitably atmospheric music. Needless to say I had no idea what I was getting into but this first episode left me feeling quite chill.
It almost seems a reverse of If It Was For My Daughter I’d Even Defeat the Demon Lord with a golem finding a human child in his forest and taking care of her rather than a human adventurer finding a demon child. In this world humankind annoyed the other creatures so much they drove them away and there are none left. Whether that means they were killed or simply went back to some separate place remains to be seen but the golem is travelling with the child, Somali, in search of other humans.
It would be impossible to watch this so soon after If It Was For My Daughter and not compare Latina and Somali. They are certainly working the cute child angle here but unlike Latina, Somali is a mischievous and free-spirited girl who doesn’t hesitate to correct her ‘father’ when he tells her not to leave his sight. She regularly gets distracted and wanders off to play and while she has no ill-intent, she isn’t the flawless child that Latina always seemed to work at being. It makes for a somewhat more genuine tone to the relationship even if the golem literally has no obvious emotions and likes to call holding hands an ‘effective means of inhibiting activity’ or something to that effect.
That said, the slice of life label I found on this anime after watching the first episode isn’t joking around. After the opening we simply follow the golem and Somali as they visit a city, eat lunch, stay at an inn, trade, chase a cat and then watch the golem track Somali down and the two leave the town. Everything is charming enough but it isn’t exactly working to build any kind of tension or drama. It just is.
I don’t know yet whether I’ll follow this one weekly, watch a couple of episodes at a time, or just let it go. This season I am going to have a reduced watch list and this one isn’t a really high priority even though it looks like it should be relatively fun to watch. For now I’ll wait and see.
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Images from: Somali and the Forest Spirit. Dir. Kenji Yasuda. Satelight. 2020.