Posted by: Dante Sangria | January 8, 2009

Kurokami Episode 1

NOTE: Terribly sorry for the "pause" symbol on all the screenshots. I had no idea in Linux (which I’m using right now) those got screencapped too – you won’t see them again after this. Blogging in Linux sucks. Period. To the point that I am using a Firefox extension but finally succumbed to VirtualBox with XP.

Summary

Kurokami Episode 1 was released recently, and as we all know it was originally a manhwa. Translating literally to "Black God," Kurokami gave me a very… different concept yet a very familiar mix, for some reason. However, I hold that the story holds up amidst this, because it could be quite interesting. (That is, I haven’t read the manhwa/manga, which is good because I’m assuming if you’re watching the anime, you haven’t, either… or….) Altogether, it kind of reminded me of a bunch of different anime: Higurashi, NHK ni Youkoso, and Toaru Majutsu no Index which I’ve decided not to review Episode 13 because it’s already too old. (Gunna jump on 14, though!)

Details

The episode opens with a girl running away from pursuers, and showing a man flash an evil grin as we see a character bearing resemblance to the protagonist, face up on pavement, blood oozing out from underneath him.

Our hero aka "the protagonist," Keita-kun, is called by his friend Akane who is late on her way to work. After a rush, she misses the train. Apparently she’s quite the klutz…. Keita downs some milk and steps out of his apartment as he’s greeted by Mayu, a little girl who he knows. They and a bunch of other people in their apartment building are watching as Mayu’s friend’s mother gets loaded into an ambulance after being rear-ended by a slowly reversing car.

Keita’s got a date later that night, and cancels dinner with Mayu and her mother. He remembers the image of his mother lying in a puddle of blood as he rides his bike to school, meeting his friend Yamada Risa on the way by chance. They pass a convenience store with an apparently super high-tech camera that scans a 3d image of a customer’s face that was apparently being searched for. Satou Tatsuhiro was right!

陰謀だ。。。!!!!!

INBOU DA!!!

陰謀だ。。。!!!

 nyways. So, we see Keita get invited to go out with some of his friends. He declines with an alibi of watching a neigbor’s kid, but he goes out himself, and is alone everywhere he goes. Apparently, in the manga he wasn’t so unsociable, and older, too. Lastly, he goes to an under-construction highway area by a body of water, glowing and glittering in the pink and purple sunset kind of like 5 Centimeters per Second. Apparently it’s his "alone" spot that he goes to, because it’s scenic and he gets to see all the lights at the right time of day.

On his way home, he sees a woman who is a splitting image of his mother board a train….

Meanwhile, Risa is at a concert, and, what do you know? She sees her twin…. Another splitting image. How curious. The scene flashes to a desparate Keita racing alongside the train with his mother’s likeness, and we see the evil smile again with a flashback of her dead body, and then the car that killed her as Keita, still a child, and Akane, watched. On the phone with her in the morning again, she cooked for him…. The day after they met, his mother died.

Risa relates the existence of "twin fantasies" to her friends the next day. Especially seeing the likness of his mother, he grows worried at this. He waits at the train station that day at approximately the same time. Afterward, he goes to his usual ramen shop where a strange girl appears, unable to afford even a cup ramen, and begs from him. With some reluctance, he hands over his noodles. Index, anyone?

The strange girl jumps into a conversation with Keita, revealing to him the truth of multiple existences (where three people with the same appearance have different fates, but two of them disappear from the earth, and the remaining person is the "original," absorbing the others’ fates). His mother was apparently a "filler," and not this "origin."

Suddenly, a strange attacker appears, smashing the girl off the ramen stand stool and assaulting the shop owner and Keita, who come to her aid. Following is a confusing-at-first kickbox-chick-vs-brute force-baseball-bat-man, who are apparently not human. Fueled by her revenge for the important bowl of ramen, the girl eventually kicks this guy’s ass…. We now discover that this girl’s name is Kuro, a "Mototsumitama," and her dog is "Puni Puni." I guess Kuro is to ramen as Shana was to melon bread. She turns to leave after introductions, and Keita asks where she’s going: to kill her brother. The police arrive, a little too late, seeing as the attacker left.

Keita is back at his apartment where he lives alone, Akane (his childhood friend) voluntarily taking care of him. In the background, an accident where three people were killed, including Risa, was reported on his (very nice) TV.

At school the next day, Risa’s class mourns her death, and, running away from school Keita goes to his private spot and screams. But on his way home, he encounters Mayu-san, who apparently also met her "double." With a sudden wide smile she runs into the street – right into the way of an oncoming box truck. In a gruesome and very unexpected (well, to me) scene, it shows her smeared trail on the road, her bookbag lying open. From behind Keita, Kuro approaches, mentioning with a very Jigoku Shoujo-esque monotone voice that Mayu was not an original either. Shocked and in fear at the rapid pace of events, Keita begins to question fate….

Feedback

A very eventful and filled episode indeed, but by no means bloated, "filler style." Lots of event development, much more rapidly than the manhwa/manga, if you’re wondering. (Which may or may not be good for the anime – we have yet to see.) I can’t tell yet if I’m looking forward to it or not, but I’ll probably end up writing about it anyway.

Also, who is that weirdo in the preview for the next episode that looks like a crossdressing child of Iceman (of Batman fame), Zaraki Kenpachi and Ryuk (Death Note)?!

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