Creepy Kid With Funny Gadgets - Musings on Kamisama no Memochou

I struggled with the decision of whether or not to archive this anime. While there's no real problem if I do (other than wasting space on my 6TB RAID5 set-up), I just didn't feel that I wanted to "desecrate" my archives with something I really didn't like that much.

This anime was an emotional roller coaster for me; for various reasons, I frequently fluctuated between despising it and liking it. It ended on a slightly positive note, though not that high due to various fallacies (re: super emo) showing up in the final episodes again. Overall, I was pleased with the characters and the way they drove the story forward. It was almost enough for me to overlook the strangely confusing mysteries.

How can she breathe?

I don't have much to say about this category, since nothing caught my eye in a good or bad way. It was pretty standard animation quality, with far less shine in the characters than, for example, AnoHana. In terms of character designs, all of the characters were generally normal with at least one "special" thing for most of them. The host looked like a bishounen, the yakuza leader had super bleached hair, and the owner of their hang-out had giant breasts. The only character that stood out was Alice, just as she was supposed to. She was made to be a super loli (one I liked much, much, much more than the other loli of the season, Yune from Ikoku Meiro no Croisee), but her body was proportionally right. Quick comment: manga images tend to make her look tinier to the point of seeming frail and unhealthy. I support the anime changes.

I think we all know what the pairing is.

This was a detective story that was genuinely more about the characters than the mysteries. Much like another mystery story of recent seasons, Gosick, the mysteries were really only used as plot devices, especially considering that most of the ones featured on screen had to do personally with some characters. In terms of how good those actual stories were: the mysteries frequently had too little explanation for me to clearly judge. Was this anime aiming a different target than myself? I felt a little confused at the end of almost every mystery, due to a lack of full understanding of what had just conspired. This was most evident with the first arc, thought there my confusion was really just anger fuelled by the fact that I hated that story so much.

When would this ever happen?

Story Presentation
The story was told from a third person limited perspective, with the general focus on Narumi. Thus, this allowed for the viewer to learn things as Narumi learned them, which was supposed to give a sense of amazement. However, the overall pacing of the episodes was pretty poor, with the stories and plot points frequently feeling rushed. I watched the stories with little attachment to what was happening; I felt that I only cared about the end results because that's all I could really digest at my own pace (since the episode ended and I was left alone with my thoughts). Too much was thrown out at an erratic pace with too little information provided.

This really exemplifies the closeness of the characters.

The collection of characters was quite diverse, including a high school student, a host, and a yakuza leader. The combining factor was that they were all NEETs, to a degree, which was a recurring motif throughout the anime. The characters were more or less unchanging, in the sense that changes were talked about instead of honestly occurring. This anime really suffered from communication problems, such that some things were over-explained (such as Narumi's feelings on some subjects or Alice's conversations) whereas others really weren't discussed (such as the back stories to the characters). It was this over-explaining, however, that probably allowed the unchanging characters to keep going; the interactions between characters felt emotional, as there was no one-pattern-fits-all characterization. Many scenes felt so over-the-top that it was actually fun; cliches like old friends turned enemies were done in an enjoyable way.


Final Words
I had been curious about this anime when I heard of it, but there was no real spark for me. After watching the first episode, that curiosity increased and I was looking forward to future episodes. The fact that the first arc was so awful made me genuinely hate this series; I thought that it would use all the "good and kind heart" tropes that I've come to hate (re: Ikoku Meiro no Croisee). However, the arcs after that initial one just got progressively better. Given that this is a character-driven show, I began liking it once I got more and more exposure to the characters (without someone as annoying as Meo around, especially).

Master's breasts were nothing like that in the anime...

Scoring - [5.5/10]
This anime had a very weak start that it recovered quite a lot from. The characters were very easy to get attached to and I was very interested in watching successive arcs. The way that it ended - on a very clear cliffhanger - annoys me because I wanted proper closure. Also, the inherent quality of being too emotional ended up doing a little bit more harm than good, and it didn't leave too much of a lasting impression despite my enjoyment while watching.