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Summary:

Our main character is Takao Kasuga, an odd boy of sorts.  He’s your ordinary high school student who does average in school, and is actually sort of a loner despite having a few friends he hangs out with.  He also loves reading, especially strange or obscure books such as Baudelaire’s “Les fleurs du mal.”  He also hides a dark secret: he has a somewhat creepy, and possibly unhealthy obsession with Nanako Saeki, who is a model student in his class.

This show’s animation definitely takes a while to get used to, but once you do it’s not so bad.

The backgrounds are so detailed in this series that the human characters look out of place; though I think that was intended.

This series should just be renamed “background eye candy: the anime”

Apparently, he isn’t the only odd one in his class, as there’s a girl named Sawa Nakamura who sits behind him.  She radiates a scary aura, and has a foul mouth and acts very strangely.  One day, Takao accidentally leaves his book behind at school, and runs back to retrieve it, only to find that Nanako has left behind her gym bag, with her gym clothes still in it…

Damn you, my weakness for beautifully drawn backgrounds in anime!

Yeah, you don’t really wanna mess with Nakamura…

My Opinion:

Let me get this out of the way first: this series seems to be a very slow-paced series.  Extremely slow-paced.  So far, I guess it isn’t too bad since it does help build up a very solid and unsettling atmosphere throughout the episode.  But I’m a bit worried as this episode only covers half of the manga’s first chapter.  Hell, even the summary for this series tells you more than what this episode did.  I don’t necessarily want this series to progress at breakneck speeds, but I think it could do with some slightly faster pacing, otherwise I’m predicting that this series may drag out for many episodes.

Biggest turn-off for this series is definitely its animation style.  It looks like people took some live-action film and drew and animated over it.  Thus, the humans are stuck in sort of this uncanny valley of looking somewhat realistic but not realistic enough.  The backgrounds are really gorgeous, though; with lots of detail.  So yes, it does get a bit jarring at times, but I quickly got used to it by the mid-point of the episode.

Negative points aside, I just really love the atmosphere building in this episode.  They don’t state it outright, but you can definitely see that Takao is a kid with some (serious) issues.  This series is gonna be dark.  And things will probably only get worse once Takao actually interacts with Sawa Nakamura.  I ended up reading three chapters of the manga after watching this, and… let’s just say that things are going to get more unsettling from here on out.  (Well, this anime IS labeled as “psychological” for a reason.)

Having said all this, I think this is a solid series.  It’s definitely a bit more unusual than most anime I’ve seen.  If you’re sick and tired of the usual harem anime and the like, this anime would probably interest you.  However, I think it’s just a little bit “too out there” for me to enjoy.  It reminds me of Nazo no Kanojo X in a way, except it somehow manages to be like five times creepier.  Fun fact: when I first tried starting this episode on a streaming video site, the episode played at 10x speed.  It scared the shit out of me.

So I don’t think I’ll be reviewing this.  This seems like it could be handled far better by someone else.  Plus I don’t really want something so heavy and dark right after having finished reviewing Shin Sekai Yori.  As lovely as Shin Sekai Yori was, it was honestly a bit draining.  Here’s hoping that this series does well, though.

Out of five:

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As unsettling as the ED theme for this series is, I had to laugh at this. Nakamura is apparently Kyuubey.

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