Hello and welcome back to Otaku Thursday, this be Luna with yet another First Impression from winter anime. I know it’s getting late in the season, I know we’ve been distracted by holiday after holiday (well–kinda), but I’ve been here watching the seasonal anime for a long time, cause as soon as Spring starts we’re gonna get right into that since there are going to be so many great titles like Furuba and Shaman King. But for now, I would like to talk about-an anime that was like barely on my radar at the beginning of the winter season but I now greatly appreciate and may be one of my favorites so far–Kemono Jihen.
So Kemono Jihen–what is you? Well, it’s an anime about a detective named Inugami who specializes in supernatural investigations and how he visits the countryside to investigate livestock deaths (my initial thought was El Chupacabra but it was sadly not the culprit). When doing so, he meets this farmhand boy called Dorotabou (except his real name is Kabane so I’m going to be calling him that instead).Okay so cool. That was the cookie cutter elevator pitch for the series. So naturally I was like–oh cool, this detective dude is going to take in the kid and they’ll solve this rotting corpse thing together and that is what the anime will be about–yay! …Well, I was partially right. Yeah Inugami takes in the kid, but the kid ends up being *spoiler alert* half ghoul and half human. And then we find out Inugami? Is ALSO a supernatural half human, half tanuki. Not only that, but he runs a detective agency that he brings Kabane into and it’s staffed–with children. All of which he ‘saved’ I guess, and that are all half-human, half-supernatural–aka Kemono. To say that the first two episodes were a wild ride would be an understatement. Maybe the premise was so impressive simply because I was expecting little of this series, or perhaps because it really was just so damn interesting , but I found the switch from a countryside mystery to a detective agency in Tokyo really cool.
Plus…then we got more characters. Now, I must say that as an MC, Kabane is alright–he’s definitely grown on me a lot but he’s still not super interesting (which makes sense if you watch the show). I still really like him though as our main character. But what I really enjoy are the other main characters who also work at the agency–Akira and Shiki. Which is like, slightly weird to me I like them because in one way, they very much feel like characters I’ve seen before–like typical archetypes, but I love them. Maybe because as much as say, Shiki may see like a mini Bakugou, he is more than that. And just as Akira seems like the damsel in distress type, he too tries to be more than that. Both of them also have, in my opinion, very interesting backstories–Akira especially. There are also other side characters that show up, like Kon, who appear and seem one-note but are really rather more interesting than that. Overall, almost every character introduced has seemed very genuine and relatable. They are really well rounded, and their interactions are sincere. I like would legit do anything for the happiness of these children.
But also–on that note. The show, after episode one, seems to have a significant change in tone. It becomes more light hearted, less creepy, and more fun with the kids investigating cases. But…this show is not about happy-go-lucky children investigating cases and it takes note to remind you of that by returning to it’s darker routes by episode seven. Which, personally, what really makes the show great in my opinion. Because. I. Love. Dark. Shit. It’s the best.
As for music…I haven’t really taken too much note of the actual OST, but I REALLY love the opening. I don’t know what it is, but it really gives me like–2000s anime vibes. Like, it always gives me like a nostalgic feeling even though it’s a new opening this season and a new show. I can’t explain it–but the opening is a straight up bop. Actually–you know…the ending is also sort of nostalgic–maybe not 2000s anime specific but definitely a weirdly nostalgic feel to it. Like if this show had come out when I was a kid I can really imagine sitting in front of the computer in the summer time, rocking out to the opening/ending and being super into the show. Now that I’m older…well I’m still super into it but at least we get to stream episodes to the TV (thank you funimation).
Overall, I’ve been really enjoying Kemono Jihen. It is honestly one of my favorite anime of the season–which is going to make the top five of the season REALLY hard because there are so many surprisingly good titles this winter. So, if by somehow you’ve managed to make it this far into the season without watching it, you should definitely start it now! And let me know what you think. As for now, these have just been my first impressions.