Sunday Without God: Episode 1 – “Valley of Death I”

Sunday Without God is an anime based on a light novel series written by Kimihito Irie and illustrated by Shino. The anime is produced by Madhouse and is directed by Yuji Kumazawa. Sunday Without God is being simulcast on Crunchyroll on Tuesdays.

The series is set in a fictional world where 15 years prior to the start of the story, people stopped giving birth, and the dead cannot find rest unless they are buried by individuals known as “gravekeepers.” The story goes that God abandoned the world on a Sunday, and this is why these things have happened.

The main character of Sunday Without God is a girl named Ai Astin. Her mother was a gravekeeper, and she died when Ai was seven years old. At that point, Ai ended up having to take on the gravekeeper responsibility. She was also taken in by a couple named Yoki and Anna.

One day, after Ai had dug up enough graves for all the people in her small village, she returns home and encounters a man named Hampnie Hambart. The name surprises her, because this is the name that Ai’s mother gave for Ai’s father. Ai thinks this is her father, but he’s adamant that it’s not him. After learning that Ai is a gravekeeper, he says he needs her to do a job for him. He leads her to the village, where she discovers that all of the people in her village are dead. It turns out Hampnie killed them all. At the end of the episode, Ai ends up following Hampnie because she has nowhere else to go.

I have to admit that when I learned this was based off of a light novel, I wasn’t too sure how I would like this, since I’ve generally haven’t cared much for anime adaptations of light novels. And when I read the premise for the series, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. When I watched the first episode, I was genuinely surprised by the execution of the series. I thought there was a lot of potential for the concept from the way the first episode of the anime was written.

Admittedly, this first episode is establishing the characters and the concept, so there’s not a lot of action. However, I thought this establishing material was successful in what it was trying to do, and I’m actually genuinely interested in watching the next episode to see how the actual overarching storyline will progress.

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