Spring 2019 Anime

Searching For Meaning – ‘AFTERLOST’ Episode 1 Review

Searching For Meaning - An Anime QandA Review for 'AFTERLOST' Episode 1

AFTERLOST1

What’s the show? AFTERLOST, Episode 1.

Oh, this is the show you said you felt ‘obliged‘ to watch because of how many times you happened to see the trailer for it while staying in Akihabara in February, yeah? Yep, that’s the one!

This bike is practically a third main character it’s in nearly the whole episode!

And what’s it about? The first episode kinda throws us in the deep end with no establishing narration to give us an idea on what happened and let’s us just take in this world through bits of dialogue and newspaper clippings on a wall. Basically a catastrophic event occurred in downtown Shibuya (they never say it’s Shibuya, but it totally is) where basically a void of nothingness in a circular radius ‘appeared’ and hundreds of thousands of people just disappeared. It’s some years after this event and the void is still there, the event and the area is referred to as ‘Lost’ and no one can approach it. Also there was a single survivor of the disaster, Yuki. She was being held in a heavily guarded lab and experimented on until a “courier” by the name of Takuya breaks her out on behalf of ‘the agency’. They intend to travel to ‘Lost’ because of an encrypted message that came from the void suggesting that Yuki’s father may be alive despite disappearing in the disaster.

Visually reminiscent of ‘Caligula’ anime, not a great thing to be remembering if I’m honest…

Okay, so what genre is it? Wikipedia says it’s a ‘thriller’, MAL unhelpfully says it’s a ‘action, adventure, mystery, drama, fantasy’ and I mean I guess they’re all correct. This episode kind of has a little bit of everything and as a result it kind of works and kind of doesn’t. The thing that works best about it is it’s ‘mystery’ aspect as it is very mysterious. A lot of explanation is intentionally left out and as long as you’re willing to go along for the ride it can be quite enjoyable. It’s also a bit silly too… with the kind of Michael Bay implausible action scenes that are more laughable than they are exciting–but at the very least they’re well animated.

Trust me when I say, it gets sillier than outrunning an explosion on a scooter.

Seems like the show’s in an early stage of finding its feet, how would you go about recommending this to someone? There’s some obvious comparisons to be made between it and shows like ‘Ergo Proxy’ and ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ and ‘Steins;Gate’ but that’s more to say those shows probably inspired individual elements of the story rather than the overall experience. It’s an interesting starting point but that’s just it, with so much going on and introducing so many side characters all at once (the only side character who stuck in my mind was the aptly named ‘Geek’ who shared more than a few similarities with Daru from Steins;Gate) it’s hard to get a concrete idea of what this show wants to be and even if it’s going to be good. At the very least it’s going to be well made (thanks to studio Madhouse) and well voice-acted (main girl Yuki is voiced by Kana Hanazawa). I’d say I’ll have more of a definitive opinion of the show in 2 or 3 more episodes but I’m still interested to see where it will go.

Yuki is very cute.

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