What a damn beautiful show.

If you’ve ever thought there aren’t nearly enough anime set in Kyoto, you may be happy to know that Kyoto is the setting for this one. Or rather, an alternate version of Kyoto inhabited by three tribes – the humans, the tanuki and the tengu, who coexist to some degree of ‘peacefully’.
Yasaburou is one such Tanuki who is particularly proud of his shape-shifting abilities, preferring to go around as a highschool girl. His master is the elderly Tengu Akadama…however, unlike most Tengu, he isn’t able to fly. On the other hand, a human woman known as ‘Benten’ seems to be able to.  While Benten used to be close to Akadama, who is in love with her, she now rarely sees him as she is busy with a strange group called the Friday Club, which was involved in something called the ‘Demon King Cedar Incident’.  Also, they apparently eat Tanuki…

I love everything about the art direction and angles in this show so far.

This synopsis sounds complicated – and to tell the truth, the story kind of is – but not to the extent that things are difficult to follow. There’s just an awful lot left in the dark about this world and its 3 clans of inhabitants, and what their relations to each other are.
However, this is a show that is beautifully done and a serious contender for this season’s best. Featuring the writer of Tatami Galaxy (a series I still havent watched but have been meaning to forever) and the character designer of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, this episode manages to set up a convincing and intriguing world that looks great to boot.  It’s definitely going to get even deeper into the japanese mythology aspect, which Kyoto is really one of the best settings for(On that note, Kyoto looks very true to life and makes me want to visit again.) which I look forward to because like most mythology, Japanese mythology is awesome.
Yasaburou is, so far, a likeable protagonist, although we still don’t know a great deal about him. To be honest, we don’t really know a great deal about anyone, and that’s probably my only complaint with the show so far. Everything is still in the crytpic ‘here’s a few tantalizing details, are you interested?’ stage, so it’s absurdly difficult to judge the show just now….or even know what to say about it. I’ll have to give it another episode to decide whether I want to blog it or not (it’s going to be a difficult choice when it comes down to it because I’m leaning towards Free! almost solely out of the obligation I feel to bask in more manchild tears) but this first episode was definitely captivating enough to ensure that I’ll be watching the second. Here’s hoping that these characters are going to be as fascinating as they’re letting on.

The night backgrounds are lovely, too.

Out of 5,