Ryukishi07’s back! And this time his murderous (probably) characters are cuter than ever!
I have to admit, it seems like a lot of people disliked Isuzu, but I liked her a lot. She was obviously cute, and I have a soft spot for expressive and affectionate girls. Hiroshi on the other hand, I’m not terribly thrilled with. Clearly he’s a lot more trappy than the undeniably GAR Keiichi and Battler, so getting Yuu Kobayashi to voice him does make some sense. She does that feminine boy voice well. But it doesn’t exactly raise my hopes that he’ll be a good enough lead. For all of Keiichi and Battler’s faults, their GAR-ness and willingness to "be the man" (well, moreso with Keiichi), helped drive the story forward. And Souchirou Hoshi and Daisuke Ono were two excellent choices to exemplify that spirit. But I doubt Yuu Kobayashi will ever be able to reach their levels, which leaves me zetsuboushta for the fate of Hiroshi.
But despite all that, I think this is going to be a fun ride. Ookami Kakushi follows the typical Ryukishi pattern. Silly, slice of life moments in the initial episode, with just enough things slightly off-kilter – whether it’s the welcome fitting for a war hero, or the instantly deredere Isuzu – making you think that something’s not quite right. The start of Ookami Kakushi feels even more like the typical eroge/VN start than either Higurashi or Umineko. Heck, with the little tinkling bell (what is up with the popularity of those bells lately?) and the deredere love interest, it’s very 11eyes-esque. But here’s where I’d say, keep faith. These clichés are merely lulls that will eventually suck you into some terrible, terrible tragedies… that will be addicting to watch. Through trial and error, I’ve decided that Ryukishi is the only one who earns that benefit of the doubt from me.
On the production side, I wasn’t very familiar with the Peach Pit designs, but they are very, very cute (especially the chibi-Senjougahara lookalike). Although the show doesn’t look quite as good as Sora no Otoshimono or Nyan Koi did last season, AIC does a solid job with the animation. At the very least, it didn’t have DEEN’s tendency to devolve into off-model shots.
With my completely unfamiliarity with the source material (and almost no existing fanbase to get an idea from), I’m looking forward to seeing how Ookami Kakushi unfolds. Hopefully Ryukishi07’s got another gem in the bag.