Kamisama no Memo-chou Review
Kamisama no Memo-chou Series Review
Seeing as to how this series has just ended last week, here is a my review and thoughts on Kamisama no Memo-chou.
Narumi Fujishima is an ordinary high school boy who remains isolated from his fellow classmates. One afternoon fellow classmate Ayaka Shinozaki invites Narumi to join the gardening club and introduces him to a reclusive detective named Alice. Alice hires Narumi as an assistant and puts him to work solving the strange mysteries of Angel fix, an illegal drug. Little does he know it could put him and Ayaka in serious trouble. -ANN
The general consensuses for this show is that the rest of the episodes never lived up to the what the first episode had promised this series to be. Instead, it went down the road of being more character driven than plot driven and each mystery pretty much lacked substance. Another general consensuses that you will hear around the net would be that the last case would be the 2nd best case of the season (with the first case being the best).
This is a 12 series episode series and out of all the series this Spring, I felt that the show that disappointed me the most would have to be Kamisama no Memo, then again, it is a toss up between this and another Kamisama series that has yet to end – Kamisama Dolls.
The show starts off strongly with the first case incorporating a nice balance of slice of life, semi-intriguing and untypical characters along with a realistic mystery set in a well-animated present world. Sadly, no show is able to escape the clutches of fan service and the only ridiculous thing about the show was the moe character – Alice (but I shall leave that for the character part of the review).
However, with each passing case (and passing case-related characters), we start to realise that this show had probably used up all its magic in the first episode and is desperately chasing after its own shadow. The cases never managed to balance itself out to be as engaging and the atmosphere always seemed lacking. Also, not all of the main characters were fully developed during the span of the series and the series simply did not seem to know what it wanted to focus on.
The funny thing about the series was that the best episode (1st) was not even written by the Novelist/Creator but is an anime original story. (source) Now, I am not sure what happened after the first episode but they should have stuck with the formula that they had at the beginning of the series.
Another ridiculous instance with this show is that with only 12 episodes, they manage to squeeze in one filler story and one semi-filler case. Why this was necessary? We may never know.
However, despite all my complaints, the show does has its redeeming moments during some of the cases and no case is absolutely terrible.
The series in general seems to take pride in itself in being as close to reality as possible when it comes to the general atmosphere, character development and its cases.
So, somewhere along the way, the show turned into a very character driven series focusing on the development of the main character Narumi and his relationship with certain selected members of the group.
All in all, Narumi is a normal human being who basically grows from being a wuss to being somewhat of a man. If one were to contrast his attitudes from the beginning of the series to the end of the series the biggest change would be his outlook on life. From being a person who views himself as simply being one of the billions in the world to someone who actually understands that he can make in the world. Thankfully, the series does this development tastefully and progresses at a constant pace which means that you won’t see any sudden changes in attitude nor anything unbelievable when it comes to character personality.
On the other hand, we have Alice. Oh Alice…. she makes me want to slap her around. I feel like kicking her pompous ass into the next century. (Sadly, that might hurt my foot.) The best part of the series for me was when someone actually told her to shut up (apparently the writers were feeling irritated as well). The main point of her character seemed to be data collection via the computer (although she does not do all the data collection and relies heavily on many others), oh, and lets not forget that she is meant to have the brains that allows her to speaks for the dead (which is a cryptic way of saying that she solves the cases). Her trademark characteristics would be her inability to speak like a normal human being without beating around the bush in a cryptic manner, hates to shower (and probably stinks) and love to treat humans like trash.
As for the rest of the characters, I really love the Fourth’s character and his clan of yazuka’s who seem to be like overgrown misfits. The rest of the NEET team is left in the shadow during the span of the series without any cases revolving around them and they only seem come in handy when the writers feel like giving them the time of day. This is quite sad as I would have rather the cases revolve around the NEET team rather than Narumi + Alice + Outsider since the show is meant to be about the NEETs.
This is the redeeming factor of the series. I believe that we are very visual people and it is surprising how lenient one can get when judging a show when the animation attracts us. We can watch a series with a mediocre storyline if the animation suits our taste but struggle to watch shows with funky crazy/terrible animation even if the story is meant to be amazing.
The animation is one thing the show did right. The semi-detailed textures used to create the world of Kamisama no Memo-chou help to build on the realistic and somewhat dreary atmosphere of the series. The pastel tones and crisp animation with the especially nice use of lighting in this show makes it entertaining and pleasant to watch.
Sadly, this show has a habit of being incomplete in its execution and throughout the series I have complained about the lack of background music.
With all the work that the animators had placed into creating such a pretty world you would wonder why there are so many scenes without background music to help elevate the atmosphere. It felt like the show was happy being mediocre did not want to aim to be something more. Maybe it is the suffering animation industry which is compromising the quality, but it does not change the fact that those moments of silence destroys the good work put into the scene.
I do like the piano segment of the OP song since it was nice and quite memorable. However, this falls into the category of series using OPs that sound nice rather than OPs that create the tone/mood for the episode.
Despite all my complaints this show is consistent each week. You will probably never find a case in this series that would satisfy your craving that the first case had created but you will not be too pained by the show either. The closest the series has come to the first would be the last case but the ending for that case destroyed what could have been good.
If you are looking for a mystery series, this might not be the one for you. It is more Slice-of-Life than <ystery in my opinion and the cases are not that great nor all that mysterious. However, if you are looking to kickback and relax and just need something to watch, then this would be an easy and light watch for you. Apart from Alice’s rambling (which you can zone out on) the show itself is not mentally taxing.
Series Rating: 6/10