Afterlost Anime Series Review

Afterlost Series Review

Please, Be Lost

Afterlost, or Shometsu Toshi, had an intriguing premise, came from Madhouse so had a credible studio behind it, and was an anime I was quite looking forward to when the Spring 2019 season started. While some viewers saw the writing on the wall in episode one, I kind of found the opening episode intriguing as they threw us straight into the action with a chase scene through the city and a desperate goal of reaching the centre of some mysterious disaster.

However, just one episode later and that plot will screech to a halt and Afterlost then spent the majority of its run time introducing additional characters and complexities to a mystery that it just didn’t need and ultimately didn’t add anything, before it finally returned to its own main point in the final few episodes.

Needless to say, it was not a satisfying watch.

Actually, it was barely watchable by the mid-way point and the ending doesn’t do anywhere near enough to salvage it.

The truth hurts.

Where the first episode intrigued me with its relatively simple set-up of courier gets hired to take girl to centre of former catastrophe, lots of people chasing her, the story didn’t have a lot more to offer. The villains, such as they were, did have a motive for their actions, but by and large it felt like they took an unnecessarily convoluted path to achieve it and in the grand tradition of villains being villains, they seemed to do each other in more than the ‘heroes’ ever took action.

Afterlost - I'm lost.

Along the way we meet a whole lot of people including a guy who makes a living as a magician, learn about the fate of an idol group that disappeared during the ‘lost’ event and others however none of them have any bearing on the main story by the time we learn what has been going on so largely they are filler, and none of it is interesting enough to be good filler.

The one character whose story we learn that is both interesting and relevant is Yuki’s (the blue haired girl) father. However that comes at episode 9 and I’m just not sure a gap of eight episodes between set up and interesting development is what one could consider worthwhile viewing.

Yep, Afterlost is lost.

The problems don’t end at just the plot being overly bloated and poorly paced. None of the characters ever really make the leap to feeling like a real person or being someone that felt like you could have a connection with them. Yuki spends most of the series in a bewildered state, going through multiple emotional shocks. Takuya, our courier, is always cool and calm, except when he isn’t, but never feels like an actually real person.

Geek and the other supporting cast members all seem to have their one trait and that is more of less all there is is to them so by the time they start dying or just become irrelevant to the main plot there’s little reason to care. For instance, if we removed Geek, other than Takuya needing someone else to fix his bike, and no one caring about the missing idol group, practically nothing would have changed.


When we throw in how Yuki’s brother, Souma, is used by the plot to establish that the villains really do suck and to drive just one more bit of emotional trauma into Yuki, ultimately you realise that Afterlost is an anime that has ideas but no real grasp on how to execute them. It is weird to say that a story that deals with experimentation on children with special powers manages to make that one of the least interesting plot points and yet Afterlost manages it. Which also makes the backstory about Takuya’s time working as a detective and infiltrating an orphanage more or less pointless and dull.


Which means we should probably actually address the ‘powers’ being thrown around in this story.


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Live a Live – RPG Game

Like… no. So Yuki can sort of glow and she at times summons Akira, who was some kind of bodyguard who died or disappeared during the lost, to defend her and he has like a lot of guns. Only when he gets hurt it seems like Yuki does as well so not sure if he is protecting her or not.

Other times there are explosions or objects moving around but it is difficult to know exactly what her power, her brother’s power, or any of the characters that use powers do. It isn’t just that they aren’t explained. I’d actually happily take an anime that just shows us how power works rather than explaining it in minutia anyway. The difficulty here is that it seems inconsistent, or not that spectacular.

The end result is some characters glow pretty colours and stuff happens. Not always the same stuff. Also, toward the climax expect lots of stuff to happen and most of it won’t make sense or seem to have any purpose but it looks weird and so must be cool.

Yep, still don’t know what or why this is happening.

Ultimately, the character designs are nice, if you watched the first episode, skipped to like episode nine while reading a basic outline of the main events prior to that (it won’t take long) and then finished the series the story would make more sense. Courier takes girl to centre of Lost. Stuff happens. Which is a much better story than courier starts taking girl to centre, decides to not do that right now and they go a bunch of other places and do stuff and meet people who do stuff, and then they go to centre and stuff happens.


For me there ended up being little that was really appealing about this anime. The fact that I finished it was more out of stubbornness than any enjoyment by the mid-point. So no, I do not recommend it. And given it actually only has a 5.53 score on MAL, I’m clearly not alone in that regard. Still, there are some viewers who enjoyed it and I guess if you find the characters a little bit interesting then there is more to enjoy. I just wish it hadn’t wasted so much time and had actually just focused in on its core story rather than filling time with pointless characters and plot threads that went nowhere.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episode 12


Definitely no bread crumbs at the end of the bread crumb trail.


Shoumetsu Toshi Episode 12

Okay, they never really had a clue what caused any of this or what was actually going on. It all came down to will power, friendship, and an individual choice with no context given as to why any of those things mattered or would have any impact on reality. Afterlost is a meandering mess of a tale right until the end, but they didn’t forget that Yuki wanted green curtains so I’m glad they got the important details right (sarcasm).

That will fix everything.

There’s really little positive to say about this final episode other than it is a final episode. One way or another the character that has been playing the role of the villain did not succeed at finishing Lost and saving all the people from his universe. Still not sure how that happened or why but I think there was something involving a magic bullet… Doesn’t matter. Not even slightly.

Don’t even ask me what is happening here. I just don’t know.

We did get one sequence of what life would have been like if Lost had never happened. For a brief horrifying moment, I thought Yuki might actually choose to undo it all which would make it even worse than pointless. Like one of those ‘it was all a dream’ endings. Nothing worse. Fortunately Yuki decided against that. I’m not entirely sure what she chose given she never actually articulated it but the world just kind of kept on going.


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I am going to do a full review of this anime but it won’t be for a few weeks so I’ll save you the anticipation. Just pass.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episode 11


The Slow Descent Into A Climax


Shoumetsu Toshi Episode 11

Right, so we’re finally entering Lost. That doesn’t mean we won’t waste half an episode right off the bat showing what all the minor characters are up to, even those we don’t remember. These guys are breaking into a server room so Geek can do some hacking thing in order to communicate with those who enter Lost. These other guys are doing something. These ones blew up some cars. Honestly, if I remembered any of their names it would make this easier but most of these characters have had literally no development and barely any screen time.


Even the girl who has been working with the villains who seemed all big and bad earlier in just kind of gets dropped. We get a few moments of flashback to realise she really doesn’t like the bad guys, she’s just helping them so that she can get revenge (like that ever works), then she pulls a gun on the big bad and next time we see her she’s bleeding on the ground. Not even worth shooting on screen.


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Lost itself turned out to be disappointing as it is mostly like they dove under water and then we wasted the next half the episode with various scenes we’ve already seen with minor variations as Lost attacked Yuki and Takuya’s memories. It wasn’t overly satisfying to watch given they’ve never really done much to make any of these moments matter in the first place let alone on replay.


All and all, it feels like an attempt to delay so that the confrontation with the big bad can happen next episode and we can end on a cliff-hanger. Honestly, Afterlost had some great ideas but no clue about execution.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episode 10


Dragging Things Out


Afterlost Episode 10

Here we go setting up for the final stretch of the story. And it really is a stretch as Afterlost drags out he characters having their final preparations before heading into the Lost. Given we started this anime with Yuki and Takuya heading to the Lost the fact that we’ve gone around in a circle to come back here while making little ground in between is a little disappointing.

Sorry, you just jinxed it. You are not getting that DVD back.

Likewise the fact that this episode just launches us straight back into the story from the end of episode 8 as if the flashback episode in between didn’t happen. The very first scene has Yuki still on the ground where Souma died and regularly makes a point of showing his broken necklace that Yuki ends up integrating into her own, but no one actually makes mention of the fact that he died (other than one casual reference from the antagonist). It is like the writers realise how insignificant he really was and that no one actually cares so they’ve just moved on.


Speaking of the writers, whoever they may be, I get the distinct impression they are the only ones taking Afterlost seriously. With episode titles such as ‘fate’ and ‘decision’ it is like the weight of the world is in every single one and yet the episodes continue to be a lot of meandering around very little. Sure there’s a mystery here but it isn’t all that compelling.

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However, no matter how poorly developed, every character of kind of note needs to be seen this episode and their current state of mind after the previous events have played out revealed. So we see plenty of regret and sadness and frustration while Yuki broods in her bedroom and Takuya lies about the scooter needing more maintenance to delay the final push forward. Giving the antogonist’s time to prepare to get in their way again and to stretch what little story remains to the final episode even if it isn’t partiuclalry interesting.


But that’s okay. Eat a tomato. Afterlost seems to think they are delicious.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episode 9


Prepare for the Flashback


Afterlost Episode 9

Goodness, an episode that is entirely a flashback and yet one that finally tells us who and what is responsible for the Lost event occurring. Only nine episodes in? How nice of Afterlost to finally decide to tell us.


The problem with the reveal here is that it isn’t confirming what we knew or building on clues or ideas, it just throws an entirely new idea at us and yes it makes sense but it isn’t exactly a satisfying reveal because there’s no ‘ah ha’ moment where all the little bits and pieces click into place. What’s even worse is that the anime leaves us with a whole bunch more questions because even though this explains the main antagonist’s goals there are all these other characters doing things that make no sense and there’s no real connection between them and this reveal.


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Still, we go back to before Yuki was born and see her father rising up in his research, through various means, and the truth and plots behind it all. We also see him grow fond of the woman who would become Yuki and Souma’s mother. I’d say we see him fall in love but it really doesn’t seem like there’s enough emotion going on for that.


I enjoyed watching this episode but, like with most episodes of Afterlost, feel like it is mostly lost potential and it just doesn’t do enough to tip it into the arena of actually being good.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episode 8


Little Brother Goes Boom?


Afterlost Episode 8

On the surface, episode 8 of Afterlost actually seems like a step forward. The characters are in a perpetual state of movement as all the main players finally push forward with a plan to reveal the machinations of the evil chemical company and the episode ends with a spectacularly close call to a second Lost event occurring. But then you think back and realise not one new bit of information came to light, with the exception of the fact that the only reason Souma didn’t blow up earlier was because his sister was hanging around him.


I’ll give Afterlost credit for that. It managed to keep things feeling like we were getting closer to something big and while on the surface it looks like we got it, really this just consolidates what we already knew. The conspiracy is vast and even with the public being let in on the information, with confessions from key players, with everything needed to end the farce, in walks in the commissioner and lets those who are apparently responsible walk. More than that, bows his head to them and apologises for the inconvenience.


They are however going to need to offer some real information soon. Like why Souma started turning into a monster just because his power was unstable and why that may have triggered a second Lost, and what actually happened when Yuki got there. Also, how was Akira back this week grabbing Yuki when she, once again, got thrown off the scooter? And why does Takuya keep riding that thing around without a helmet given the sheer number of times in the last 8 episodes he’s been tossed off of it?


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On the brighter side, I did enjoy this episode more. It didn’t leave me looking at the clock and seeing when the episode would end. I had a sense of satisfaction and forward momentum even if the reflection afterwards made me realise we hadn’t really gotten anywhere.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episodes 6 + 7


Frustrating to say the least.


Episode 6

In episode 6 Afterlost tries really hard to build a solid emotional climax with the older brother being one of the ghost things and being used by Souma before being ordered to kill his younger brother. Of course the power of love prevails, the artefact controlling him erased and then we get a touching brother flashback before older brother disappears.


The problem is that Afterlost hasn’t really earned this emotional moment it is aiming for. In fact, not even close. Souma isn’t much of an antagonist and we don’t really know how or why the artefacts work or the impact on the Tama-shi ghost things of being called or used. The younger brother, the magician, we barely met, and the few glimpses of back-story weren’t enough to build any kind of connection with either of these characters. Likewise the rest of the crew that were for some reason still involved.

This guy is fighting, though I’m not sure it matters.

With the main pair being more or less sidelined during this particular fight there’s no connection for the audience with the events. We still don’t know how this plays into the larger story or even if it does and honestly, watching Yuki crying and screaming as Akira is skewered by icicles just left me unmoved and mostly impatient for them to end this fairly pointless encounter on the roof and actually get around to something resembling plot at some point.


This anime is apparently 12 episodes long and we’ve now burned through half of them but it barely feels like we are at the end of a second episode in terms of things we actually know. Fair enough if the characters are interesting or compelling in their own way but I couldn’t honestly say that I even remember all the character’s names having to look them back up each week just to review the show. Other than that, my knowledge of each one would fit in a very short dot-point list and it wouldn’t be overly interesting reading.


So with no clear plot connection and no character connection, episode 6 of Afterlost rings hollow. The story of two brothers torn apart by the lost, more signs of conspiracy given someone clearly sent the older brother into the path of the disaster, and mysterious power boosting artefacts aren’t enough to make this compelling viewing and that is definitely a problem.

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Episode 7

Takuya, the magician guy, and some random detective that we met a couple of episodes ago are now visiting an academy looking for clues to connect to the agency. This is all so far removed at this point from the original get Yuki into Lost to find her father that I’m struggling to care at this point about the intrigues and conspiracies. I’m sure it is all very clever but they’ve given me no reason to believe it is important.


Part of the issue is the agency is still completely without any kind of stated goal or intent. We’ve seen a few faces of the agency, and even those who might be in charge, but there’s no actual motive which makes them difficult to really feel anything for or about. There isn’t even an implied motive other than ‘science’ which is really becoming a lame excuse for  people to act irrationally in the pursuit of some kind of knowledge in a Frankenstein/Prometheus cautionary tale kind of way.


Sorry, that rant was probably directed at a number of other movies and shows I’ve watched where the actions of characters have been equally inscrutable and then the plot has summed it up as a desire for some knowledge as if that makes all the craziness in any way logical.

Why it particularly rankles here is we’re moving at a snail’s pace to nowhere. At the least, Takuya does mention to Yuki at the end that there’s something he wants to do before taking her to Lost, but that’s the first time he’s even mentioned trying to get back to Lost with her in episodes. Why he suddenly feels the need to apologies for putting off something he’s been putting off for a fair while is not addressed.


Much like with the idol group earlier, we meet a group of people who were caught in Lost who are trapped in some kind of memory. Just like the idol group, while this does give us some more information about the agency and the conspiracy, it just doesn’t feel like it needed a whole episode and I couldn’t really connect or care about the characters we only just met when we already knew they wouldn’t be hanging around.

Afterlost continues to be a frustrating watch as I do actually want to know what happened but the story is taking the slowest and least interesting path to get to that revelation.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episode 5


Is It Padding Or Set-Up? Time Will Tell.


Episode 5

No bread.

Okay, no bread yet. Still just crumbs and pieces of ideas that might come together.

Afterlost shifts its focus this week to the magician we saw briefly earlier and a criminal group that are stealing artefacts that may have his brother in them and somehow or another Takuya and crew get talked/coerced into going to the scene of what should be their next heist to… I’m not sure. Reunite the brothers?


Of course it isn’t that easy with Souma showing up and essentially being a bit of a jerk and then we’re left for the set-up of another round of Souma versus Yuki where we know she is stronger but not all that in control, plus she doesn’t want to hurt her brother, and where he’s just a bit crazy and will probably do more or less anything for reasons that are yet to be made clear.


I’m in two minds about this at this point. I had fun watching the episode but then I’m left wondering what happened to the whole needing to get to Lost thing. It feels like the characters just abandoned that idea. I’ll admit, they had good reason to rethink the plan, but it doesn’t seem like they’ve bothered to give us a clear sense of what their plan B is. How episode 5 ties in with Yuki finding her father or finding out what happened with Lost is really not outlined or even hinted at and ultimately it just kind of feels like a filler complication with additional characters to flesh things out and distract. Then again, perhaps there is a link and we just haven’t got there yet.


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Really, Afterlost works well enough but it is still all riding on whether or not this story pulls itself together or whether it ends up just a convoluted mess with padding. I’m hoping it comes together but I’ve been disappointed before so I’ll hold off on making any judgements until I get a clearer picture of what this one wants to become.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episodes 3 + 4


The conspiracy grows.


Episode 3

This was a bit strange, which is a weird way to start a review about an anime that wiped out a whole city and has ghost like people and helicopters chasing motorbikes. And yet, Afterlost continues to be a bit of a perplexing story mostly because I’m still not entirely sure what story I’m getting. The supernatural search for the truth makes sense, the buddy/journey thing works, the mystery might eventuate into something that works and the action elements, while not awesome are fine enough.

But this episode we got something else again and I guess it adds to the overall mystery, I am just not sure what.


Geek, Takuya and Yuki are still heading toward Lost and Takuya is conveniently on the phone with the red-head from last week. Convenient because it means we can cut the phone off in a blast of static to show where they have crossed into the most recent phenomenon. And what is that? Well, we’re in a closed space with a time loop because an idol regrets breaking up with her group.


I’ve been wondering for a bit what the idol group have to do with anything given they’ve had a presence in the previous two episodes, but even after we spent most the episode on them, I still legitimately have no understanding of what they are contributing here. Two things did come out of this clearly. The first is that the group definitely disappeared during Lost and the second is that it seems like their producer knew they were going to disappear before it happened. How and why, who knows, but it is just another piece of information to process.


However, Takuya and Yuki then part ways with Geek who is mourning the fact that changing things inside the closed space didn’t actually change the past – good reason to bail on your friends – right before Takuya and Yuki are attacked by Yuki’s brother which results in her making things go boom.

It is difficult to say if I like this or not but at this point I’m intrigued. That said, it is intrigue that could easily tip into frustration if it is all disjointed without any gain so I guess we’ll see what episode 4 brings us.

Meanwhile, I’m going to ponder the tag for this anime: Where I End and You Begin.

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Episode 4

And now we’ve clearly moved into police procedural story as we follow a plucky lieutenant who had follower her father into the police force investigate the events surrounding Lost mostly due to personal interest with her father having been caught up in it. This is actually a pretty interesting episode as she gathers bits and pieces of information and ultimately links a chemical company to Yuki and Lost. However, we were warned members of the Agency were everywhere at the start of this episode, and that is proven true by the end.


On the bright side, okay it is a pretty dark kind of bright side, Takuya didn’t instantly bounce back from his injuries. He’s actually taken some fairly critical damage this time after being thrown off his bike, yet again, and then psychically beaten up. I’m amazed his arm is still functional but still he isn’t exactly brushing this one off without a scratch given he spends most the episode hospitalised.

Yuki also has some things to think about. You know, her thought to be dead brother being alive and psychotic, her existence leading to Takuya being injured, herself being used for medical experiments among other things. Honestly, Yuki is coping a lot better with all this than a lot of anime characters would and certainly significantly better than most people. However, once again we see that pretty much everyone who comes in contact with Yuki ends up in trouble given the police girl didn’t really have any leads left until Yuki opened up to her.


I don’t feel like this episode got us any closer to actual answers but it did do a lot to consolidate bits and pieces we’d heard before and dropped just enough new titbits to keep me wanting to know more. It is very effective at this whole bread crumb game. Though I’ll end up sorely disappointed if at some point I don’t end up with a loaf of bread.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episodes 1 + 2


Explanations are for the weak.


Episode 1

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.

This explanation makes as much sense as any other.

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.

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Episode 2

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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Karandi James