The first episode of this series is a double-length feature clocking in at 44 minutes, just FYI.

The Red Queen.

Summary:

The episode begins with a blonde girl escaping some kind of heavily secured research facility. It’s quickly shown that she has supernatural powers, which she uses to aid in her escape. Unfortunately, she is weak; and nearly gets recaptured again. A mysterious girl with powers similar to her own helps her escape, and she is able to teleport to the city of Shinjuku.

Once there, she happens to meet with an old man named Zouroku. As a result of their meeting, Zouroku is dragged into a supernatural altercation between the blonde girl and two twin sisters. They are all eventually detained by the police, but not before causing a ruckus in public. The blonde girl again manages to teleport away, while the twin girls are collected by some mysterious entity. Zouroku is also released due to “lack of evidence.”

I like that their power manifests as these pretty crystal structures.

During dinner at a restaurant, Zouroku again meets with the girl. Although he’s annoyed by her presence and haughty behavior at first, he becomes a bit kinder to her after she reveals her past. She tells him that she and the other children with special powers like her are called “Dreams of Alice,” and the research facility that she escaped conducted horrible experiments on them.

This is the best shot of Zouroku that I got because I ended up taking way too many screencaps of Sana, whoops…

After dinner, Zouroku and the girl take a walk and stop by a shrine. She finally reveals her name as “Sana,” and tells him that she doesn’t remember anything about her past before being taken in by the facility. Defeated, Zouroku decides to house Sana for a while. The two visit his shop, where it’s revealed that Zouroku is a florist. Afterwards, the two head to Zouroku’s home, and Sana quickly falls asleep.

What appears to be the main antagonist of this series.

My Opinion:

People seem pretty split on this series, which is a shame because I thought it was a pretty solid show so far. Admittedly, the plot is rather cliched. Super powerful psychic children being experimented on by an ~evil organization~ is somewhat old hat. And admittedly, the animation is not super great. The animation is already quite simple, but the animation quality seriously dropped after the ten minute mark. And yeah, that CG car chase sequence was… pretty bad. But despite that, I’m really intrigued by this series. I have a gigantic weakness for anime featuring a kid and an older character, in a non-creepy way. Heck, my past reviewed series were Barakamon, Gugure! Kokkuri-san, Sweetness and Lightning, and Poco’s Udon World, after all. So even though the animation wasn’t that good, I felt the story so far more than made up for it.

Okay, so the plot of the series is still pretty cliched. But it’s Sana and Zouroku’s interactions that made me like the show. Zouroku is an amazingly down-to-earth character, who gives no shits about anything. His personality nicely contrasts with Sana, who is haughty, brash, and immature. The people who like this series mainly like it for the “slice-of-life” stuff, and I also agree. I can’t wait to see Sana grow as a character after being taken in by Zouroku.

A lot of people disliked the series because it was “boring.” This episode does have a lot of quiet moments. While there is action, it’s fairly spaced out. To be honest, I actually really liked the pacing of this episode. I sound like an old fart, but I enjoy when an anime has some well-timed “calm” moments. Which makes me so glad that this episode was 44 minutes long; because the pacing would have been too hectic had this just been a regular 22 minute episode.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this episode. I feel that this sort of anime shows that even “cliched” plotlines can be given a fresh and interesting spin. Obviously, this sort of series is not for everyone; and I understand that the 44 minute run-time for the first episode can be daunting. Still, if you do watch the first episode, I recommend sticking with it at least until Zouroku appears. Things really pick up after that.

Out of five, I give:

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Out like a light.

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