Kemurikusa Has An Interesting Plot, But Is It Enough To Become Popular?
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Kemurikusa first impressions is part of my Ultimate Guide for the 2019 Anime Winter Season. A guide with more than 100 pages with a first impressions to every Anime coming out in the Winter Season. You can get your own here (it’s free!).
Title: Kemurikusa (MAL Page)
MAL Score: 6.02
Genres: Sci-Fi | Apocalyptical
Number of Episodes: 12
Broadcast: Wednesdays (JST)
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Kemurikusa happens in an apocalyptical world infested by monsters called bugs, where water is scarce. The story follows 3 girls who are able to get special powers by eating leaves from a specific tree. However, to do that, they need to make sure that the tree gets water on a regular basis, as also the girls.
One day, while they are fighting for their lives trying to get water from one of the islands, a strange boy appears. They can’t figure out if this boy is dangerous or not, but they decide to take him with them through their trip to a new island where it is believed that there is a huge lake with enough water for them to live for an eternity. The problem is that, for them to get there, they will have to pass through many dangerous zones.
The first 3 episodes were more of an introduction to the world itself than the actual story, so I can only imagine how things are going to go. For now, I think they did a decent job in setting the plot. I mean, you can clearly understand the world around and how much of hostility there.
However, there are some parts that still need explanation. For example, there is no explanation in how the world came to be the way it is right now as also there is still no explanation where the guy came from. This last one is even more intriguing since he seems like a normal human.
The thing is, I’m not sure if there is going to be any kind of explanation regarding the world. There was a prequel launched in 2018 which have around 6 episodes and were launched on Twitter (Yes, if you want to see that prequel it’s on Twitter, or at least, that’s what I read). Although I understand is a nice way to create hyper around Kemurikusa, I think there is a small problem with having this kind of information in a prequel like this… It’s not something of common knowledge, that I know of, and having the episodes on Twitter is just a little putting the show story a little bit everywhere and hard to find.
Nonetheless, for now, the story seems to have a nice premise and it will depend hugely on how they will execute it. At the end of the day, this is going to be an adventure in a hostile world, so, unless they are able to create something like Into The Abyss, I believe it may fall a little bland.
When it comes to characters, there are 4 main ones that appear right from episode 1. I’m not sure if it will appear more in the future, but for the sake of post-apocalyptic and loneliness that the world makes you feel, I hope not.
I have to say that none of the characters has much depth to it, at least for now.
First, we have Rin which you can see as the fighter of the group. She has a strong loyalty to her sisters and her main goal is to protect them and save them. Because of this, she does not trust anything or anyone outside of their circle. However, it is strange that she fell in love with Wakaba so quickly… Even if she does not understand what she is feeling and actually thinks that she is poisoned.
The other girls still had not much screen time, or at least, they have not got much attention when it comes to character evolution. You have Rin, the smaller one which has the power to multiplicate. Rin, or the various “Rins”, are used as the scouts. So, basically they are the most curious ones and they end up putting themselves in danger because of this. Then you have Ritsu, who seems to be the oldest and is the one who is more close to the tree. I mean, her power is to able to grow roots and scan the area around the group. She is basically one of those characters who is the kindest and the most mature of the group, always with good advice to give.
Last, and not the least, we have Wakaba. For me, Wakaba character is not really that well constructed/designed. He ends up in this unknown world where he does not remember who he is or who he is coming from. However, he conveniently remembers his own name… From the start, I see this as lazy writing. But, my main problem with him is that he’s always saying that he is scared, but most of the time the character does not really show to be that scared overall… In fact, most of the time is just interested in understanding all the strange things he’s seeing… Which, makes sense in one way, but completely takes off the part they want us to make believe that he is scared.
The animation is in 3D… And, no, it’s not the best 3D I’ve ever seen. It’s on at the same level as Revisions or Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai. However, it does have its own sense of design, different from what we are used to watching in recent days. In other words, it’s not as good, but it works.
When it comes to the character design, I feel that it’s a little too bland for me. I mean, with so few characters in the play, it would be nice to see a little more detail attached to it. As it is, the character design is missing some depth to it, something that the Anime would benefit a lot.
The background of destruction is well made though. You always feel the vibe of an apocalyptical world where everyone has disappeared from the face of the World. At the same, you can always see the destruction that the bugs are creating in the world. So, in this way, it shows what the Anime is going for which is these 4 characters being alone is a destroyed world.
The best thing about the audio is, without a doubt, the soundtrack. First, let me start when there is no soundtrack at all. Contrary to most of my reviews where I’m always saying that there should not be so many silent scenes, Kemurikusa is quite the contrary. Since we are watching a story inside of a world where everyone is supposed to be dead, it actually makes sense, and gives more depth to the story, when there is no music playing in the background. Of course, this is only possible with decent sound effects.
Nevertheless, there are some scenes where we get to listen to some background soundtrack. Usually, it is done in specific scenes that makes sense to have music, in my opinion. Most of the soundtrack is always in the mysterious and enervating type of music. Something that works very well with the Anime we are watching.
The voice acting is pretty decent. I do feel that Wakaba’s voice have parts that do not feel natural. What I mean with this, is that you can sense that the emotions the character is supposed to be having are being a little pushed on the characters’ voice instead of actually having the voice actor feeling those emotions. Does it make sense? Probably not, but we all know that I’m terribly explaining things >.<
The intro song is nice! However, it does not really speak the vibe of the show. It is more of a J-Pop kind of song (and a nice one), but it would work better to have a song with a darker and more mysterious tone.
There are Anime shows that are not really that bad, but they are also not interesting enough to actually put them on the front of our long watching list. Kemurikusa is like that! It does make me a little sad since the show is not horrible and it deserves some love… But, it’s not something that I would say it’s a hidden gem.
It’s just this average Anime which will probably remain in the shadows of popularity… Unfortunately. However, I wouldn’t really tell you to stop everything you are doing and watch this…
Final Score: Average!