Section23 Films Announces April 2021 Slate

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its April 2021 slate of anime releases.

Product details follow, in order of release

Coming April 2021

Title: ELFEN LIED
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 350 min.
Street Date: 4/6/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: Critics have described Elfen Lied as “weird,” (Anime Planet), “surprisingly sadistic,” (Gamers Edge), and “addictive” (Animesou). No wonder, when you consider what makes this series hum. Lucy, a beautiful young mutant, is bred by the military to be the ultimate weapon. Now, with government killers on her trail, the disposition of a five year old, and a hair trigger for ultraviolence, Lucy and her young friends must unravel the dark secret of her legacy before it’s too late.

Title: SUNDAY WITHOUT GOD
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 4/6/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: In a world abandoned by God, the bodies of the dead will continue to walk unless they are buried by one of the mysterious Gravekeepers. Ai, one of the last children in a world where no more can be born, becomes her small village’s Gravekeeper when her mother, the previous Gravekeeper, passes on… but the arrival of a pale gun-wielding stranger destroys her village and what little remained of Ai’s old existence. Is this seemingly immortal man possibly an important figure from Ai’s past? Uncertain of what else to do, Ai finds herself compelled to set forth on a mission to learn the secrets of this strange world without proper death, unravel the mysteries of her own past, and, hopefully, find a way to put the dead permanently to rest in Sunday Without God.

Title: KIDS ON THE SLOPE
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 4/13/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Kaoru Nishimi has spent his life on the move, always struggling to fit in to new schools and having to push on just when he’d started to set down roots. But when he comes to stay with his extended family in seaside Kyushu, things will be different. Kaoru wanders through high school, meeting friends who change his life forever, and discovers a new kind of music that affects him like nothing ever has before. Ritsuko, the girl whose family owns the music store, and Sentaro, the high school delinquent, both set in motion Kaoru’s fascination with this amazing thing called Jazz. Fashions may change and fads come and go, but when you put a couple of musically obsessed teens together and let them follow their muse, magic is sure to happen in Kids on the Slope.

Title: LAIDBACKERS
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 60 min.
Street Date: 4/13/2021
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $29.98

SYNOPSIS: A funny thing happened to Kumi when she moved to Kyoto to take over her grandmother’s sweet shop. While she does find a store that sells cheap snacks, the supposedly empty adjoining residence is instead inhabited by three other girls: Harami, Mai, and K, plus a dog, who claim to be legendary heroes reincarnated into our world. However, that’s not as exciting as it sounds, as the Demon Lord they were seeking never showed up, so they’ve just been hanging out, waiting for something interesting to happen. That’s when ANOTHER cute young girl, Ran, shows up, and it seems that she WAS the Demon Lord, but botched up her own resurrection and now wants to make amends for the things that she did in the past. But in order to do that, she’s going to need a little demon-hunting help from the Laidbackers.

Title: KAIJI
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 1250 min.
Street Date: 4/20/2021
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $99.98

SYNOPSIS: Unemployed degenerate Kaiji Ito spent his time drinking, gambling, and racking up bills, and was sure that his life had hit rock bottom. Then that bottom fell out when Endo the Loan Shark arrived to inform him of a friend’s default on a loan that Kaiji foolishly co-signed, making Kaiji responsible for a soul crushing 3,000,000 yen. But there is one possible way out; if Kaiji goes to a secret gambling ship and plays successfully for one night, his debt could be absolved. It’s a trick, of course, but what choice does Kaiji have? Trapped into playing a series of increasingly ruthless contests that are hopelessly rigged against the players, Kaiji finds himself a pawn in a competition where the game pieces aren’t expected to survive… and the real players are all actively betting against Kaiji.

Title: ASSASSINS PRIDE STEELBOOK
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 4/27/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $99.98

SYNOPSIS: Against the savage monsters that lurk outside the glass walls of Flandore, the last remnants of humanity have only one defense: the mana magic wielded only by members of the Noble class. When Melida, heiress to House of Angel, fails to manifest her magic upon reaching majority, the half-vampire Kufa is sent with orders from her own Grandfather to resolve the issue… and if Melida cannot manifest mana, Kufa is to execute her for the crime of impure blood. But when Melida fails the test, Kufa can’t bring himself to kill the spirited young woman whose only fault was to have an adulterous mother. And so, instead, he commits the crime of giving Melida some of his own mana. Now, bound by magic and a deadly secret, the two must work together in order to stay alive in Assassins Pride.

Title: HERO MASK
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 600 min.
Street Date: 4/27/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $89.98

SYNOPSIS: Are a series of bombings and the murder of a high-ranking government official linked to the actions of the huge international pharmaceutical company LIVE? Ordered to investigate, Detective James Blood of the Special Service of Crime quickly discovers far more than just a conspiracy. There’s a new technology on the street: masks as thin as paper that completely alter the appearance of the wearer’s face while also granting amazing strength and agility… at the cost of years off their users’ lives. Together with assistant attorney/murder witness Sarah Sinclair, Blood must unearth the secrets behind the masks and their connection to LIVE’s mysterious founder. But the clock is ticking down and James and Sarah may already be living on borrowed time. Because when the ultimate disguise powers the ultimate human killing machines, death can be lurking anywhere in Hero Mask.

Anime Blu-ray Review: Sunday Without God: Complete Collection

Sunday Without God: Complete Collection was released by Sentai Filmworks as a 3-disc DVD set and as a 2-disc Blu-ray set on October 21, 2014. The set contains all 12 episodes of the television series as well as the OVA. The episodes can be watched with either an English dub or with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles. This review will focus on the Blu-ray release, since that is the version that I watched.

Sunday Without God: Complete Collection
English Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: October 21, 2014

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 first episode, Ai ends up following Hampnie because she has nowhere else to go.

During the second episode, Ai and the audience is introduced to another gravekeeper called Scar, which is a nickname for someone who has been blemished. Through questioning, Ai learns the gravekeeper has undergone many nicknames and has never had an actual name. This gravekeeper also lacks any emotion. He tries to use this information to prove that Ai isn’t an actual gravekeeper. However, when Hampnie asks Scar to properly bury the people Ai already buried, Scar says there aren’t any deceased nearby, and that she can sense that people have been properly buried. Hampnie is confused as to how Ai can be a gravekeeper.

While they’re in the village, Hampnie is shot by a huntsman named Julie Dmitrievich, who was once friends with Hampnie. Even though Hampnie is shot, he is able to get back up; it turns out that Hampnie never ages and never dies. Julie claims he’s getting revenge for Hampnie killing his wife, but Hampnie points out she had died a year earlier, and that Julie had been living in hiding with his wife and daughter. After Hampnie deduces that Julie’s daughter is now also dead, he realizes Julie’s motive is to have Hampnie kill him. Hampnie tells Julie to meet him at the village square at sunrise. Instead of meeting with Julie, Hampnie and Ai decide to leave.

In the third episode, Hampnie is attacked by a gang of deceased; however, before they attack, he kicks Ai off of a bridge into the water below. When Ai awakens, she finds Julie tending to her. At first, Ai is angry at Hampnie for kicking her into the river, but after Julie explains what happened, her anger subsides. And thanks to a picture that Julie has, it is proven that Hampnie is indeed Ai’s father. Unfortunately, Hampnie dies after learning at Ai is his daughter. Ai also learns that the people she had been living with in her village were deceased who had not yet been buried.

With Hampnie’s death, Ai decides to go on a journey to save the world. Accompanying her on the journey are Julie and Scar. As the series progresses, Ai finds herself going to the town of Ortus, being kidnapped and made to attend Goran Academy, and accompanying her new friend Alice Colors to try to free his world from a time loop.

I originally watched Sunday Without God when it was streaming as a simulcast on Crunchyroll during the Fall 2013 season. Being able to watch the episodes within a three night period instead of over 12 weeks made for a different viewing experience. By being able to watch the series in larger chunks, I discovered that Hampnie’s death touched me a lot more than it had when I had to see his story arc over a three week period.

But by being able to see the series in a bigger chunk, I realized that Alice and Dee’s introduction into the story felt more forced than it did when I was only watching the episodes once a week. There’s truly no explanation given as to exactly how Alice and Dee were able to keep a watch on Ai while she was in Ortus, so the audience is just simply expected to accept that this happened.

This viewing experience also made it much clearer just how forced the ending of the series feels and how it ultimately doesn’t really make sense. I haven’t read the light novel that served as the source material for Sunday Without God, but I would guess that this ending was created for the anime since the light novel was still ongoing at the time this series was being produced and aired.

It was also made clear just how much Ai’s story and motivation were watered down over the course of the 12 episodes. Right at the beginning, she’s determined to do whatever it takes to save the world. Yes, her experiences in Ortus and at Goran Academy did bring about some doubt for Ai, but it felt more like she was just doing whatever as the series went along instead of sticking to her self-determined mission to save the world.

Now that I’ve been able to rewatch the series about a year later in bigger chunks, I find that while I like the ideas and questions that are presented in the series, the execution of the overarching story wasn’t quite as strong as it seemed when I was watching the series once a week.

But what Sunday Without God may be lacking in some of its writing is made up for with the animation. The animation is overall of a higher quality is able to maintain its look and feel for the vast majority of the series. The main weak points would be shots that try to use CG in them. The CG didn’t look quite as noticeable when I was watching the series as a simulcast on my computer, but seeing these shots on a bigger screen made the CG stand out a lot more.

The color palette for Sunday Without God is very vivid, and this was much more noticeable on a larger screen. This color palette looks really good on the Blu-ray; to my eye, the mastering of the video for the Blu-ray release actually looks good. The video on the Blu-ray is in 1080p High Definition with a 16×9 aspect ratio.

When I saw that the OVA was included on this release, I was looking forward to watching it. Unfortunately, after seeing it, I was rather disappointed in it. The OVA is split into three “episodes,” and the first appears to be set in between the episodes “Where Gravekeepers Are Born” and “Class 3-4 I.” In this episode, the group comes across a hot spring, and it’s basically an excuse to insert “fanservice” that usually wasn’t included in the television series; to be honest, this episode added absolutely nothing to the overarching story. The second episode is a flashback of Alice’s, where we see that he had encountered Hampnie at some point before the series started. The third story shows how Hampnie met Ai’s mother. With the second and third episodes of the OVA, it felt like the idea was to try to fill in gaps in the story; but to be honest, these were gaps that really didn’t need to be filled. Knowing that Alice had met Hampnie wasn’t important to the overarching story, and seeing how Hampnie met Ai’s mother wasn’t necessary, either. Also, the animation quality on the OVAs wasn’t anywhere near the quality that the television series received. The tone and atmosphere of the OVA just felt too different from the rest of the series. If you’ve never seen the OVA for Sunday Without God, then I can say that you’re not missing much.

When it comes to the Blu-ray release itself, there is at least one bonus feature on each disc. The first disc has a couple of trailers for other properties released by Sentai Filmworks, the disc credits, and a clean opening. The second disc only has a clean closing as a bonus feature. While there’s not much in the way of bonus features, at least there’s something included. It’s better to have this than to have Sentai Filmworks decide not to include any bonus features.

If you’re a fan of Sunday Without God and want to own the series in your anime home video library, then I would recommend picking up this release. If you have the capability to watch Blu-rays, then I would recommend going with the Blu-ray release for the series.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of the Sunday Without God: Complete Collection on Blu-ray that my husband purchased for me as a Christmas gift.

Additional post about Sunday Without God:

So I Got Some Anime-Related Things for Christmas…

When I unwrapped my presents this morning, I found some anime-related items among them. Most of these items are things I will be reviewing on this blog either by the end of this year or very early in 2015. So consider this a “sneak peek”!

This is what I got:

  • Sunday Without God Blu-ray
  • Martian Successor Nadesico Complete Collection (which includes the TV series, OVA, and movie)
  • One Piece Collection 3
  • Naruto Greatest Hits!!!!! soundtrack CD

The only item on this list that I won’t be reviewing is One Piece Collection 3, since this simply puts together other releases that I have already reviewed on the blog. So within the next few weeks, expect reviews for the other three releases!

English Cast for Sunday Without God

Sentai Filmworks has announced the English cast for the Sunday Without God television anime series:

  • Caitlyn French is Ai
  • Andrew Love is Hampnie Hambart
  • John Swasey is Yuto and Mask Dealer
  • Shelley Calene-Black is Anna and Pox
  • Kyle Colby Jones is Yoki
  • Luke Patterson is Fake Daddy
  • Sean McManus is Six-Headed Beast
  • David Matranga is Yuri Sakama Dmitrievich
  • Genevieve Simmons is Scar
  • Allison Sumrall is Hana
  • Kalob Martinez is Hiko
  • Jay Hickman is Wreck
  • John Johnston is Lion
  • Kara Greenberg is Kera and Volrath Fahren
  • Clint Bickham is Fancy Performer and Hardy
  • Tyler Galindo is Kiriko Zubreska
  • Emily Neves is Ulla Eulesse Hecmatica
  • Joanne Bonasso is Diva
  • Mike Yager is Alice Color
  • Luci Christian is Dee Ensy Stratmitos
  • Jad Saxton is Tanya Swedgewood
  • Meg McDonald is Mimita Gedenburg and Meme Gedenburg
  • Shannon Emerick is Gigi
  • Sarah Salimi is Rune Sagittarius
  • Angela Foster is Mageta
  • Brittany Deans is Jiji
  • John Johnston is Quentin
  • Carli Mosier is Mu

Kyle Jones is directing.

Source: ANN

Anime Spotlight: Sunday Without God

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. The series aired on Japanese television from July 6-September 21, 2013. As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American license for Sunday Without God.

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, so these things started happening.

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 the people in her village are dead. It turns out Hampnie killed them all. At the end of the first episode, Ai follows Hampnie because she has nowhere else to go.

During the second episode, Ai and the audience is introduced to another gravekeeper called Scar, which is a nickname for someone who has been blemished. Through questioning, Ai learns the gravekeeper has undergone many nicknames and has never had an actual name. This gravekeeper also lacks any emotion. He tries to use this information to prove that Ai isn’t an actual gravekeeper. However, when Hampnie asks Scar to properly bury the people Ai already buried, Scar says there aren’t any deceased nearby, and that she can sense that people have been properly buried. Hampnie is confused as to how Ai can be a gravekeeper.

While they’re in the village, Hampnie is shot by a huntsman named Julie Dmitrievich, who was once friends with Hampnie. Even though Hampnie is shot, he gets back up. It turns out that Hampnie never ages and never dies. Julie claims he’s getting revenge for Hampnie killing his wife, but Hampnie points out she had died a year earlier, and that Julie had been living in hiding with his wife and daughter. After Hampnie deduces that Julie’s daughter is now also dead, he realizes Julie’s motive is to have Hampnie kill him. Hampnie tells Julie to meet him at the village square at sunrise. Instead of meeting with Julie, Hampnie and Ai decide to leave.

In the third episode, Hampnie is attacked by a gang of deceased; however, before they attack, he kicks Ai off a bridge into the water below. When Ai awakens, she finds Julie tending to her. At first, Ai is angry at Hampnie for kicking her into the river, but after Julie explains what happened, her anger subsides. And thanks to a picture that Julie has, it is proven that Hampnie is indeed Ai’s father. Unfortunately, Hampnie dies after learning that Ai is his daughter. Ai also learns that the people she had been living with in her village were deceased who had not yet been buried.

With Hampnie’s death, Ai decides to go on a journey to save the world. Accompanying her on the journey are Julie and Scar. As the series progresses, Ai finds herself going to the town of Ortus, being kidnapped and made to attend Goran Academy, and accompanying her new friend Alis Colors to try to free his world from a time loop.

I admit that at the end of the first episode, I wasn’t entirely sure if this would be a series I would enjoy for the long run. However, by the end of episode three, I became genuinely interested in the series and wanted to follow it every week.

The storyline that takes place in Ortus was kind of interesting. It turns out to be a land of the Deceased, and by the time Ai leaves there, she starts to find herself questioning her journey.

The series, however, really kicks things up a notch when Ai meets Alis Colors at Goran Academy. Alis is a very crucial character for the final story arc of the series. Overall, I thought the series had an interesting payoff, although I was scratching my head during the last few seconds of the final episode. While the dialogue tells the audience what happened, there’s no explanation provided as to why this event happened.

Something I found rather interesting was how the concept of God leaving was hit on rather heavily in the very early episodes of the series. In fact, even the concept of Ai being a gravekeeper isn’t emphasized very much during the last few episodes of the series. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The series does evolve in such a way where these particular facts just aren’t as crucial to the story.

Sunday Without God ultimately ends in such a way that if the animation studio really wanted to, it would be possible to continue the series. But even if this is all that ever exists for the Sunday Without God anime series, I’m overall satisfied with what we got.

When you first see Sunday Without God, the “moe” design for Ai can make you think this is going to be a rather simple series. However, as you watch it, you realize the series is a lot deeper than it appears at first glance. This is a series worth checking out if you’re interested in watching anime that makes you think about a little as you’re watching it.

Additional post about Sunday Without God:

Sunday Without God: Episode 12 – “Class 3-4 III”

Sunday Without God is an anime series that 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 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. One day, a man named Hampnie Hambart comes to her village and kills everyone except for her, since she was out doing her duty as a gravekeeper and digging graves for everyone in the village. At the end of the third episode, it’s confirmed that Hampnie was Ai’s long-lost father, but he ends up dying and Ai decides to go on a journey to save the world.

With the change in the world that Dee didn’t expect, she decides to reset the world in a fit of jealousy. She tells Ai that she wants to talk with Alis and tell him everything, and that she wants Ai to be there with her. She tells Ai to go to the basketball court that’s in the back yard of the school.

While Alis and Ai are at the basketball court, Dee goes to the classroom. She removes the mental blocks from the classmates regarding what happened on July 28th, and she changes the date on the board in order for it to be the day of the reset. As the reset begins to happen, Alis realizes what’s going on and runs up to the classroom, with Ai following behind. Dee makes herself fall out of a window to mimic what happened 14 years earlier, but she is caught by Alis. As Alis slips, he is saved by Ai and their classmates.

The remainder of the episode sees Alis explain what really happened 14 years earlier to everyone, and trying to convince everyone to leave the time loop world and return to the outside world.

It’s so hard to talk about this episode and try to be vague so as to not provide “spoilers.” I would say that the last half to the last third of the episode was very moving, and the explanation of what truly happened is on the sad side. However, I will say that the last few seconds of the episode made me scratch my head a little. While the dialogue tells the audience what happened, there’s no explanation provided as to why this event happened.

Overall, though, I thought this made for an interesting conclusion for the Sunday Without God anime series. The writers really built up the characters of Ai and Alis over the course of the series, and for the most part, I think there was a pretty good payoff in regards to these two characters.

Sunday Without God ends in such a way that if the animation studio really wanted to, it would be possible to continue the series. But even if this is all that ever exists for the Sunday Without God anime series, I’m overall satisfied with what we got.

Additional posts about Sunday Without God:

Sunday Without God: Episode 11 – “Class 3-4 II”

Sunday Without God is an anime series that 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 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. One day, a man named Hampnie Hambart comes to her village and kills everyone except for her, since she was out doing her duty as a gravekeeper and digging graves for everyone in the village. At the end of the third episode, it’s confirmed that Hampnie was Ai’s long-lost father, but he ends up dying and Ai decides to go on a journey to save the world.

Early on in the episode, one month has passed since Ai and the others have entered the time loop in the world of Class 3-4. Ai celebrates her 13th birthday, and she and Alis have an important conversation. During this conversation, Alis notes how Dee seems to have changed over the years since the time loop began, and has now become his enemy in regards to trying to destroy this time loop world.

At school, Alis, Ai, Dee, and their classmates work on planning their entry for the school festival, which is scheduled for July 29th (the day after the world resets for the time loop). When Ai casts her vote, the world starts to subtly change. Alis explains to her that she is the first person he brought in that was able to infiltrate Class 3-4. By casting her vote, she changed the course of the time loop. He explains that the world is trying to work things out to return to normal.

There’s a sequence where we see Alis placing a clue he got from the outside world somewhere, but Dee finding it and destroying it before Ai can get there. However, the third time this happens, Dee misses something Alis hid in a book; however, Ai is able to find it. She learns that on July 28th, one student at the school died and 17 went missing. Before she can find the name of the student who died, Dee grabs Ai’s arm. Dee takes the paper in the book, crumples it up, and puts it in her pocket. Ai comes to the conclusion that Dee was the one who died, and Dee confirms it and tells her a story of how it happened. Ai also figures out that Dee is in love with Alis, and Dee says she’s only trying to stop Alis from what he’s doing for his own good.

Right at the end of the episode, another change happens in the world that Dee doesn’t expect, and it catches her by surprise.

I really like the idea that’s brought forward in this episode of how one small change can have such a ripple effect on everything else, and that sometimes something that may seem small and trivial can have such a major impact.

Another thing that was really nice had to do with symbolism surrounding a fly. At the beginning of the episode, Dee sees a fly banging against a window trying to get out, and Dee doing nothing to help. However, at the end of the episode, Dee has a flashback to when they were traveling in the van at one point. A fly is trying to get out, but keeps banging against a window. Ai reaches over and opens the window, allowing the fly to be free. When you consider what this story arc is about, it’s actually a really nice symbol to illustrate the two girls and what they want to accomplish.

I admit that I kind of anticipated that Dee had feelings for Alis, so that wasn’t too shocking of a revelation. I also thought that this episode flowed together rather well, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens this week.

I can’t believe there’s only one more episode of Sunday Without God left. It’s amazing that for me, this went from a show I wasn’t too terribly sure about to one that I always looked forward to watching every week. I hope the final episode provides a satisfying conclusion for this series.

Additional posts about Sunday Without God:

Sunday Without God: Episode 10 – “Class 3-4 I”

Sunday Without God is an anime series that 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 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. One day, a man named Hampnie Hambart comes to her village and kills everyone except for her, since she was out doing her duty as a gravekeeper and digging graves for everyone in the village. At the end of the third episode, it’s confirmed that Hampnie was Ai’s long-lost father, but he ends up dying and Ai decides to go on a journey to save the world.

This episode sees Alis bringing Ai, Julie, Scar, and Celica to his town, which appears to be completely destroyed and there are no people. He takes them to where the door for Class 3-4 is at his school and says that while this is Class 3-4, this is also not Class 3-4. There is a barrier here, and Alis says that once someone enters the barrier, they are unable to leave until everything has been resolved; the only exception is the people from Class 3-4. Ai and the others agree to enter the barrier.

Inside the barrier, they find they’re in the same town they left, except it is pristine condition and there are people all over. They also run into Dee, who has a physical body in this realm. She explains she is there because she is a member of Class 3-4, but doesn’t know why she has a physical body here.

It’s later revealed in the episode that this is a world stuck in a time loop, and it has been circling around a roughly year-long loop for 14 years now. It’s also revealed that this world was created on July 28th and that when July 28th comes back around, everyone inside the world is reset. It’s also added that no one knows why this world was created and they don’t remember; it’s suspected that the not knowing was part of the wish that created the world in the first place. At the end of the episode, Alis reveals that he has an enemy in the world, and the person this is comes as a surprise to the other members of the cast. There’s also a potential clue given right at the end of the episode that may explain why this world was created.

This was an interesting episode from start to finish. The opening was actually a little shocking, but what happens there is explained later in the episode. Once I understood why what happened in that opening scene took place, it ended up making it a little less shocking. Unfortunately, since the scene does depict a school shooting, some people may be a little sensitive to it, even with the explanation given in the episode.

Admittedly, there is a bit of “info dumping” that takes place near the end of the episode, but it’s needed in order to set up why this world exists. I also think some of this “info dumping” will end up providing background for whatever happens in the next episode.

Sunday Without God is still capable of bringing in plot twists that throw me for a loop (there was no pun intended there, really!). I’m really looking forward to watching episode 11 to find out what else will happen in regards to Class 3-4, as well as how these events affect the characters.

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Sunday Without God: Episode 9 – “Where Gravekeepers Are Born”

Sunday Without God is an anime series that 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 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. One day, a man named Hampnie Hambart comes to her village and kills everyone except for her, since she was out doing her duty as a gravekeeper and digging graves for everyone in the village. At the end of the third episode, it’s confirmed that Hampnie was Ai’s long-lost father, but he ends up dying and Ai decides to go on a journey to save the world.

Early on in episode nine, the audience learns through a letter that Ai is writing to her friends in Ortus, that most of the students who escaped with her from Goran Academy ended up staying with Tanya and her parents after she was reunited with her family. Traveling together in the party now are Ai, Julie, Alis, Dee, and Celica (the baby that they picked up before they left Ortus). Their goal is to find Scar, who disappeared after Ai was kidnapped. Julie explains that after Ai left, Scar became mentally unstable. Julie says he feels guilty that he knew something was off with Scar but that he never did anything. Since Celica was attached to Scar, they have been using her as a navigator in order to find her.

Along the way, Ai learns that Alis’ birthday had passed without anyone knowing. A touching scene happens here, with the end result being a rather impromptu birthday party.

Later in the episode, Julie finds himself driving on a rocky road with rather low visibility. They quickly come to learn that they have arrived at Story Circle, which is the birthplace of the gravekeepers. The rest of the episode sees all of the party, except for Dee, looking for Scar, and what happens when they find her.

I would have to say that my favorite part of this episode is the impromptu birthday party for Alis. It gave the episode a nice light-hearted moment before reaching the more serious aspect of the episode after they arrive at Story Circle. I also really enjoyed what happens when they find Scar. Without providing any true “spoilers,” I will say that Scar ends up making a big progression for her character.

After watching this episode, I can still say that I’m enjoying Sunday Without God. It’s a compelling story that includes twists that I hadn’t anticipated. From what I’ve seen, it appears there’s only a few episodes left, and from the trailer at the end of episode nine, it appears we’ll finally start getting some insight into Alis and why he wants to save the world by destroying it. I’m looking forward to seeing the next episode of the series to find out if I’m right, as well as to find out how the story will progress from here.

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Sunday Without God: Episode 8 – “Goran Academy II”

Sunday Without God is an anime series that 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 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. One day, a man named Hampnie Hambart comes to her village and kills everyone except for her, since she was out doing her duty as a gravekeeper and digging graves for everyone in the village. At the end of the third episode, it’s confirmed that Hampnie was Ai’s long-lost father, but he ends up dying and Ai decides to go on a journey to save the world.

Back in episode seven, Ai was kidnapped and taken to Goran Academy, which is a facility meant to quarantine children with special powers from the outside world. Once a child enters Goran Academy, they are not allowed to leave. Ai meets a young man named Alis Colors; unbeknownst to Ai, Alis is actually the man in the lion mask she had met back in Ortus. She also meets her classmates at the school, as well as a ghost named Dee Entzie Stratmitos. Ai learns that Alis is trying to coordinate an escape from Goran Academy.

Episode eight begins with Ai and her classmates gathered in the clock tower. While talking about their plans, it comes out that Tanya is planning to stay at Goran Academy, while Meme and Mimi haven’t quite made up their minds yet. The three of them say they really have nowhere to go if they escape, due to their family situations. Later, Ai has a private conversation with Tanya, but she is unable to change Tanya’s mind.

Alis has cleared the obstacles, and Dee says they’ll be leaving at 3:00 a.m. At this point, Meme and Mimi say they’re willing to join in. Ai asks everyone to hold off for one more night and to give her one more chance to try to convince Tanya to escape with them. Unfortunately, Tanya refuses to talk to Ai again.

Ai finds Alis in the clock tower, and has a conversation with him about starting to become unsure of her dream. Alis shares that his dream is to save the world by destroying it, but Ai doesn’t understand this. Alis says that the time to tell her will come soon enough. The last bit of the episode focuses on the group’s escape attempt; however, I’m not going to say what happens, because I don’t want to provide “spoilers.”

To me, there were a couple of rather meaningful elements to this episode. The first is Ai’s uncertainty about her dream, especially after hearing why Tanya, Meme and Mimi felt like they had nowhere to go if they escape. Since Ai has only recently left her village, she really hadn’t been around many of the living and know that some people have some circumstances in their lives where their differences may not be accepted by others.

Even more important than that is Ai’s conversation with Alis in the clock tower. Alis explains the concepts of there being two worlds: one where the world can exist and go on as it even without observers, while the second is the on viewed be observers who see nothing more than how their brains translate it. Alis is basically trying to explain to Ai that there is the world as it actually is, and the world that is seen by each person that is shaped by their experiences.

Now, what I’m really curious about is what Alis means by saving the world by destroying it. It’s also clear that Ai is somehow important to his plans, and it’ll be interesting to see what he thinks he needs her for and whether or not she will actually help Alis.

Sunday Without God is a series that gets better and better as it goes along. After this episode, I’m very interested to see what direction the story will go in next. And knowing that the series is getting closer to the end, I’m interested in seeing how this story will end up playing out.

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