When the fall season first started, I was hesitant about watching this show. From what I had seen, it was to be a mindless/shallow action show against demons, and the main characters were all wearing orange jumpsuits. It just didn’t look like the kind of show I would get into at the time. Well, I eventually talked myself into watching the first episode, and at first it looked like I was right. We were given a main who lost a loved one to an evil shota with glowing blue butterflies. They introduced the demons by category, and of course showed off how the group of mains did a much better job of kicking ass. Really the first thing that actually intrigued me about the first episode was the motorcycle, I mean that was just EPIC.
Then the episode is coming to a close, we’ve had a long string of class C, a B, then an even larger B. The mains are taking a break, drinking coffee or something, and it looks like we might be getting some exposition finally on what is going on…. Instead a high school girl with a sword shows up, is called a Class A, and then utterly kills everyone. Leaving me going wtf at the first episode, this show was crazy. By the time the second ep was available I decided that I would come back to the show later but only after it had finished so that I could just marathon the show.
So the show ended, I downloaded it, and proceeded to watch it. The first ep was still the same level of wtf, and I seriously want a bike that awesome in more shows. And immediately moved onto the second ep, which was a much more constant level of wtf throughout as we watched everyone getting killed by Yomi. Then the episode ends again with several people dead and the only other girl with a sword calling Yomi her sister and is about to receive a death blow.
Third episode is here to save the day, sending us to the past before all this crazy shit happens. The story starts to actually make sense now, it’s all about Kagura and Yomi with how they meet and what all happened to lead us to where the show started. After Kagura’s mom dies and her father inherits the strongest of all demons, Kagura is adopted into Yomi’s family. Yomi instantly becomes a caring older sister to her, if not a loving mom. From there the show becomes a coming of age story for Kagura as we watch her grow and mature into the role she is to play.
The show continues it’s trend of being a bit crazy, with one episode dedicated entirely to being a high school comedy love story, and a following episode that features a horror story with the female victims wearing nothing but swim suits(definitely the best way to do horror). Weapons used in combat range from one of a kind swords, drills, briefcases, umbrellas, steam irons, and a new personal favorite wheelchairs.
Music was also a high point, with plenty of good music that fits what was going on, I’m actually pretty excited over when the OST will come out. The animation for the show is also above par, there isn’t much to complain about. I thought it slightly weird how they chose to censor some of the more graphic blows, one of the worst is what looks like a yellow colored spray effect from paint, but otherwise things worked.
I’m still not sure why the first episode existed, all it really did is introduce the bad guys and the world a bit, all but one main didn’t even have screen time, and none of the mains take center stage till the second ep. But that sure didn’t stop this show from being awesome. They did a great job with this show, having just enough time to properly tell us a full story. The ending is depressing, and it’s clearly not all resolved thanks to this show being a prequel to the manga(which is still going, and I’m currently downloading). I can only hope and pray that there will soon be a Ga-Rei anime.
I think I might be a bit of a sucker for shows that start with the end, for example Banner of the Stars II started with Jinto dying in Lafiel’s arms and both of them were speaking Abh without subtitles so we had little idea what the hell was actually going on, and it wasn’t until the last episode when we saw this same scene play out and fully understand what was going on. So through the entire show the viewer is left waiting for the end to come, and then when it does it plays out you now fully understand the situation. So when things don’t end like you thought it would, it feels great. But that of course only works if you can get us to care about the characters, so while the first episode of GRZ might have left me a bit dazed, they saved themselves with the great character building and story during the flashback episodes.
Now I’m off to read the manga Ga-Rei. ^_^ I like how it starts at exactly the same point the anime ended.