Kurokami - The Animation - episode 1

Kurokami - title

New season, new anime to see. Since a certain guy kept me telling wonders about Kurokami (黒神), a manga serialized in Young Gangan by Dall-Young Lim and Sung-woo Park, two Korean artists, I decided to give a go to the animated version, produced by Bandai Visual, which has just been out.

The episode opens with the main character, Keita Ibuki, wondering about philosophical questions while he’s dying. We don’t get to know more, as the opening kicks in and once it’s over, we’re presented with another situation, presumably before that event. What we get to see is that Keita seems a rather introverted person, supposedly after a shocking event that happened in his past. His days seem to follow a precise routine: school, then a go towards an unfinished/collapsed highway on the sea, ramen in the evening at a certain place.

Kurokami episode 1 - #1A few exceptions are when a little girl, son of a person who lives next door to him, approaches him. Meanwhile, the spectator is informed that something is going awry: disappearances and deaths occur throughout the city, and they’re apparently linked to people seeing an exact replica of themselves (Doppelgänger): when this happens, one of the two identical people dies within days (and we learn that something like that has happened to Keita’s mother as well).

Kurokami episode 1 - #2And that’s what happens to one of Keita’s schoolmates, who has seen a replica of herself at a concert (although the encounter was probably planned by someone behind the shadows). Of course Keita is saddened greatly, and he vents his frustration when he’s alone. During the evening, while he’s eating ramen, he meets a strange girl who’s starving. He lets her have his cup, and during the conversation that ensues, this girl seems to know a lot about the replica affair. She mentions that, out of the 2 or 3 replicas that exist in the world, only one is the so called root, and the only one who will survive when he/she meets the others.

Kurokami episode 1 - #3It’s not like she can tell more, because a scary-looking person with a bat arrives and hits her on the head without any hesitation. The owner of the shop tries to act, but is hit as well. The newcomer says a few things without much sense and proceeds to hit the girl more. “Of course”, Keita decides to run to her defense but the outcome is rather predictable, and he gets a spanking as well.

Kurokami episode 1 - #4That’s when the girl steps up and shows to be quite apt to fighting. She and the other man exchange blows for a while, although the girl is at disadvantage and has her head smashed against a car’s screen (ouch). The man mentions that he has “to take her alive” (as if someone would survive the beating she had), and that’s when she gets up again and treats him with a lightning fast series of punches and kicks (it reminded me of Ryo Sakazaki’s super move in Ryuko no ken / Art of Fighting games), sending him against a fence and knocking him out.

She then complaisn about the spilled ramen (?) and leaves shortly afterwards, before the police comes, but not before introducing herself as Kuro. The other guy disappears as well. The following day, Keita meets the small girl from next door again, and she says she has met another identical girl the day before. You know what’s going to happen now: she gets run over by a truck in front of Keita’s eyes. And then Kuro is next to Keita, talking again about the replica stuff, mentioning that the girl was obviously not the “root”.

That’s when the episode ends. What can I say about it? It looks good so far, with a promising storyline, but knowing Sunrise’s previous “accomplishments”, including Code GEASS, I’m still wary. The number of episodes, also, will determine how much the story will be rushed or not.

Animation and sound wise we’re at good levels, although Kuro’s final “combo” looks more like an animation stunt than something that’s really needed. The opening theme, “sympathizer” is decent enough, and coupled well to the images (that should be taken for granted, but according to what I heard about Gundam OO’s new opening, one can never know).

I’ll be keeping an eye on this series and see if it keeps on doing well.

Dialogue & Discussion