kemurikusa. – Anime Preview
Synopsis: A story about three sisters struggling to survive in a desolate world surrounded by decaying buildings and red fog. The story revolves around Rin, a girl with an updo. There’s also Ritsu, the big sister who has cat ears and is always calm, and Rina, the innocent, cheerful one dressed in a maid’s costume. Just what is it that these sisters are after in this mysterious world? (Official Amazon Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: The studio behind the surprising 2017 hit, Kemono Friends, returns with kemurikusa. utilizing the same, unrefined CGI animation style. Already kemurikusa is going to divide audiences between the people that immediately fell in love with this offbeat visual style and those who couldn’t stand it previously. Full disclosure: Linny and I never grew to love Kemono Friends and struggled (perhaps even still do) to understand the appeal. kemurikusa. doesn’t have a lot to love beneath the surface either. It’s writing isn’t very tight, happy to let its characters repeat information multiple times throughout the episode, wasting precious minutes, or wallow in weak characterization that does little more than pepper the production with weak dialogue or annoyingly tropey elements.
Linny: kemurikusa. makes it very obvious early on that these girls aren’t exactly ordinary human beings, maybe they aren’t even human at all. This lends the story mystery, which is further stirred up by the addition of a late episode addition, an average human boy. Unfortunately, kemurikusa. doesn’t do the best job of establishing its setting and employs too plodding and simplistic of a narration style to grab older audiences.The episode also feels very inconsistent tone wise. One second, our male character is running for his life, the next he stops to calmly observe and admire his surroundings even though he is still being chased.Then later on, he finds the mysterious red fog invading the land so hot that just sticking a finger in it has him flinching and yelling in pain. Yet, a few minutes later he dives into the fog to rescue someone while voicing only the most minor of discomfort despite being completely immersed in it. Later he explains that he dived in despite his fear because he was moved by the concern shown for the girl trapped in the fog but even then, the ease with which he walks in the fog seems completely unbelievable when compared to his previous reaction. It’s this inconsistency that really damages kemurikusa. making it feel like the threats established can vary wildly between extremely dangerous or non-threatening, whatever the story needs.
Tom: My biggest issue is how little emotional impact there is. kemurikusa. dumps us into this post-apocalyptic world and while there’s great atmosphere at the start, art-style issues aside, it’s all undermined when an early character death is swept under the rug and undermined emotionally as everyone moves on almost immediately. This gives kemurikusa. that same kids show vibe that Kemono Friends had, where I feel like the target audience has to be below the age of 12. Ultimately for older viewers I don’t think there’s much here to draw you in, unless you were a major fan of Kemono Friends, then I guess kemurikusa. should scratch that itch to some extent.
Linny: The art for kemurikusa. is not amazing to look at and definitely shows that it comes from the same studio as the one that made Kemono Friends. If you found Kemono’s animation ugly or off putting, kemurikusa. is very much the same. It also makes it that much harder to get engrossed in its badly executed plot that has a few interesting elements, yet ultimately fails to sell its characters, making the audience less inclined to watch more.There might be a chance that kemurikusa. will win you over if you were a die hard fan of Kemono Friends, seeing as there seems to be a lot of similarities in its animation style and character designs, but everyone else can safely skip this.
kemurikusa. is available for streaming via Amazon Video.