Welcome everyone to another review by everyone here at RishRaff Reviews! Today we will be covering the anime Sunday Without God. This series may be a bit controversial with some viewers, as an advance warning. With that out of the way, as always, beware of of minor SPOILERS!
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: God abandoned the world on Sunday. As a result, nobody in the world can die or reproduce. A little girl, Ai, is the gravekeeper for a village. She has prepared 47 graves for the eventual deaths of every member of the village. Later, a man who identifies himself as “Hampnie Hambart, the ‘Man-eating Toy’,” which is coincidentally the name that Ai’s mother left behind as the name of her father, arrives in the village and slaughters everybody. Just what is going on? -MyAnimeList
This anime is not really a straight forward plot, with the plot varying greatly from arc to arc. As such, the above summary is not indicative of the whole series. That being said, Sunday Without God does an excellent job with this format of storytelling, though the start is a bit rocky, as there are very weak links between the beginning arcs. The story mostly focuses on Ai’s desire to “save the world,” though how she would ever accomplish this never comes to fruition. However, this is not the point of the plot; rather it is to explore her growing up. The most disappointing part of the show is the ending, which ends with a deus ex machina, leaving the end very vague. Granted, the series crafted many impossible situations in which there was no other ways to solve it. The nature of the ending was also foreshadowed, so it’s not so much surprising as it is disappointing.
Of all the things to praise this anime for, the way it did its characters is perhaps the most notable. It was quick to distinguish the characters from one another, and at a little bit of depth to them. However, due to the quick nature of each arc, some characters get cast aside rather quickly, before the viewer can truly get to know them. A lot of characters introduced later on also get overshadowed by the heavily developed Ai. She is the flagship character of the series, and her depth is impressive, and the show does an excellent job of allowing the viewer to grow with her.
The animation for this show is absolutely gorgeous. The backgrounds were my favorite, which a surprising amount of color against what was suppose to feel like a completely desolate world. The characters are well designed and memorable both for their personalities and design.
In terms of bringing the landscape alive, the soundtrack does just that. It adds flawlessly to each scene, and helps to convey the complexity of the anime’s world itself. The ending also does this, matching the slower pace of the show and closing out each episode gracefully. The only criticism of the soundtrack is the opening, which is a little too upbeat to match the generally somber tone of the series.
Sunday Without God tackles a lot in its short run, and unfortunately, a lot of what it tackles is where some of the controversy comes in. The series as a whole is a critique of humanity, and the suffering cause by their own insufficiency and selfishness. It also questions what is life and death, and explores the changing from innocence to knowing. The is way too much to discuss in this small section, but the series also is somewhat contradictory. The themes is explores tend to shift from deist to existentialist to even post modernist. The inconsistency makes the show confusing in what it is truly trying to convey.
Final Score: 8.8/10
Final Grade: B
Sunday without God was a hard anime for me to finish. This anime had a very interesting premise and had a lot of potential that it sadly just did not live up to. The pacing of the anime seemed very odd. It had parts that seemed to move very quickly and then other parts seemed as if they would never pass. If you can get past the odd pacing you will find a very interesting plot that can get pretty dark at times. Also the problems were created and solved by wishes which made it seem kid of pointless at times. The ending also seemed a bit like a cop out but I won’t go into detail about that. They characters were very interesting but sadly once you got to know them they likely would leave and you won’t see them for the rest of the anime. All of the main characters or side charters you got to know were also special in some sort of way, there were no normal people. The animation was nice but it was nothing spectacular. I would give this anime a 7 out of 10. I recommend it to anyone who likes post-apocalyptic like anime. – B-Ro
Sunday Without God is a very interesting case. It’s a show that tries a lot of different things and largely succeeds, sometimes in ways I wouldn’t have expected. While the bare premise makes it out to be all about God abandoning the world, that’s really just the starting point from which the themes and story goes off of. I must give major props to how this show touches upon all of the different themes, settings, and characters. There isn’t exactly a main antagonist or series spanning underlying plot outside of Ai’s vague goal. Having clear arcs connected by Ai’s desire to travel works extremely well. Though I wish each arc was longer, each one has interesting characters, themes, and settings. Each one also resolves very beautifully and I’m shocked with just how well they’re treated (with the Ortus storyline being my personal favorite). Most emotional anime hit me at the end, but this one had me almost in tears multiple times. Ai as a protagonist really helps. Her circumstances make her know around as much about the world as we do, making exposition come naturally. I also loved watching someone go into these sad and morbid situations through the mindset of a hopeful, innocent girl. Ai’s growth and realization that “the world truly is complex” was one of my favorite parts. You really feel and root for Ai. The world created around her can be desolate and sad, but also colorful and beautiful. I’m glad that they didn’t make the landscape grey and bleak just because it’s more post apocalyptic, as the color makes a deeper and more enjoyable experience. And I also love the French influence!!! Unfortunately, the ending isn’t the best. As the ending of an arc, it wasn’t perfect, but still well done overall (without spoiling anything). However as the end of the entire series, I wish there was more. It just wasn’t as conclusive as I wanted it to be (even just one extra scene would help). It doesn’t kill the show in any way, it just cuts it short. Finally, the music. The background music is among my favorites. It really makes the show come to life, and adds character to the setting. I love the vocal melodies used, and it overall sounds very organic, cinematic, and atmospheric. In some ways, it reminds me of the amazing Madoka soundtrack. The opening is pretty good, though it’s somewhat heaviness and fast tempo somewhat contrasts the show itself. The closing really delivers though. It’s beautiful, emotional, and fits with the overall theme of self discovery. So overall, Sunday Without God ended up being an awesome yet unexpected experience. Definitely worth a try, and for me definitely worth a rewatch soon.
Final Comments: The anime conveys a lot through its beautiful animation, soundtrack, and deep characters. Sunday Without God suffers from being truly great due to some inconsistencies in themes and difficult to resolve plot points.
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