Let’s just say this, there is an interesting story at the beginning and at the end of the episode, but what lies in between may not be something you can be sold on. At least this early on.
Centuries ago, the human race was in a great war which, due to their loss, led to an almost complete annihilation of their race. Yet, there remains one. One soldier, known as Willem, who has ever since lived in exile and kept things low key. He works with scavengers to keep money in his pocket and hides the fact he doesn’t have horns or fur to keep from being harassed. Yet, when a girl named Chtholly falls from a railing and later Garick, a friend of Willem, helps him secure a job with the military, he finds himself drawn closer to a life he’d rather have kept in his past. Yet, may very well be in his future.
There Is An Emotional Foundation Set
In the beginning and end of the episode, it is made clear that humanity was beaten to the point of extinction. Something which, more than likely, with being the lone survivor, is difficult for Willem to live with. After all, he probably feels responsible and based off the way he interacts with Garick, it seems he is still grieving.
Though what may really make this a heart-wrenching piece is there is this vibe that he lost not only someone close to him, but perhaps his daughter(s). Now, in most anime we are dealing with kids and teens, not full on adults, so the idea that we may get a semi-mature man dealing with loss sounds like a refreshing spin on an old tale. Especially since he is now tasked with being the caretaker of one teenaged girl and at least 4-5 children who already adore him. Making the need for them to be protected in a world featuring oddities quite curious. So maybe, sometime in the future, Willem may get the opportunity to redeem himself.
On The Fence
The Majority of The Episode After The Human Race Was Defeated
So, what can you do?
If this was just about the fall of mankind and Willem’s part in it, I would be sold, no question, put it on the calendar! However, the whole period of watching Chtholly fall from a railing, then straddling Willem, it led me to fear we were about to have an ecchi moment. You know, one of the kind where the guy tried to be a good person, or ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time, and then gets smacked into unconsciousness for it.
But, that doesn’t happen. Instead, while she does get a little flustered as he checks if she is okay, it doesn’t go beyond that. He just takes not she isn’t from around there and gives her a tour of the town and takes her to its highest point. All the while some beautiful music plays and you realize you are ¼ of the way through the episode and aren’t sure what it is about really. Hell, even as Garick gets Willem a job and you meet this troll who speaks about eating him and learn his task will be taking care of a handful of children, you are still lost and bewildered. Almost to the point you forget how cool the opening was and feel like, as Clockwork Planet did, you got tricked into watching something you’d never take an interest in.
That is until it reminds you of that sense of loss after the credits. Leaving you willing to give this one more chance. If only because you hope the darkness of the beginning and end will eventually creep into the almost comedic tone which, for a while, may fill most of the episodes.
Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)
If it wasn’t for the beginning and me sticking around after the credits, I’d mark this as mixed and forget about it. Yet, thanks to Seasonal Prattle’s take, I want to at least see if this show may not just use its serious moments at the beginning and end with you suffering through the middle. For I’d like this to be something which really explores what it means to be the last of your kind, alongside being a soldier, a father, who failed everyone you knew. Yet, for reasons not explained, for centuries you are forced to live with that guilt.
Hence the mixed label. For the whole plot dealing with Chtholly is by no means remarkable and surely doesn’t make this program an easy sell. However, what happens in the beginning and the end are silver linings surrounding what, for any other program, would make for a passable experience.