Tuesday, 3 April 2018
ANIME REVIEW: OCCULTIC;NINE VOLUME 1
Occultic;Nine Volume 1
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Running Time: 144 Mins
Audio: English 2.0 Stereo, Japanese 2.0 Stereo with English Subs.
Due Out: 02/04/2018
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes
What seems like another fan-service anime had me question what I thought about this series. I admit I thought it was made up of cliche teen problems, ideas on how to become the next best thing of the blogging industry and how to win friends as a no-hope NEET, but Occultic;Nine has more substance than that. Ryoka is the one with the distracting DD Cups who bounces around and ends up being the most useless one of the nine even if she does have a bouncy, bubbly attitude to life. Ryoka also provides the fan-service for the entire series and had me wondering at first if there was a plot to this.
Obsessed with getting his blog to the top and earning a ton of cash from its popularity alone (and subscribers with time on their hands) Yuta realises he needs a team of other like-minded young people who can put the effort in or it won't get off the ground. There are eight other characters who Yuta comes across who have different powers; Ryoka is a spirit guide who seems to love life and live for the moment, but she has a dark side and keeps stunning Yuta with her Poya-gun when he annoys her. Miyu is a popular girl at school who sees an opportunity to help Yuta with his blog, much to his surprise, she works as a fortune teller. Sarai is the serious bespectacled one who only sees life in black and white, unlike his father who turned to investigating the paranormal, disappointing him. Toko reports for an occult magazine, remaining in the background unlike the other characters, Ririka has the ability to predict the future but hides her expertise behind her work for a doujinshi she creates. Shun is a detective who is convinced the occult and ghosts exist, but who can't get a break convincing other people. He is one of the more interesting characters who also loves cosplaying and looks much younger than he is.
By far the creepiest two in the series are Kiryu and Aria. Kiryu is a ghost Aria sees one night as she is about to kill herself. She believes him to be the devil and he convinces her not to go through with her suicide attempt, she in turn keeps him around to investigate for her and persuade others who do business with her she is genuine. She runs a black magic business where she conducts curses for money as long as she has their details. According to legend her curses are quite effective, though her past history is just as creepy as her concerning her brother.
I would say never judge an anime by its fan-service alone and this is proof of that as every so often Ryoka bounces around in front of your screen, then it's back to the plot which I liked the most. As Yuta sees himself as a specialist debunker of the occult, he becomes embroiled in a murder. When he goes to the house of a prominent professor, he foolishly steps on the murder scene, picks up the blood-stained knife and finds out several secrets which end up being connected to the murder case; one being a radio with a ghost attached to it who tells him to pull out a gold tooth from the dead professor's mouth. This might seem weird at first, but the tooth is a false one which is a key that opens something important. His friends know something is wrong with Yuta as he isn't his normal self, hiding away after seeing the professor dead, he tries to find out the truth, but only hits dead ends until he is asked about what he saw that night by Sarai, who turns out to be someone more important to the case than he knows.
Occultic;Nine shows a lot of promise from the first two discs, but there are one or two problems I had with it. It goes from fan-service, to a really interesting plot, then tends to deviate from the plot to go into too much information on some of the characters you might not care about, then back again. What I really liked was how the scenes played out that took Yuta from geek NEET king to potential investigator and seriously good character. That some other characters weren't useless filler made me want to invest in watching the second series as I felt there would be a decent pay-off.
Occultic;Nine is from the same author who brought us Stein's;Gate; written by Chiyomaru Shikura and illustrated by Ganji and started out as a manga series licensed in English by J-Novel Club. The anime followed soon after and runs along similar lines. Another interesting fact, whereas Stein's;Gate had a time-travelling microwave while this has a ghost trapped in a radio.
My Cold Diversion
She's Lost Control
She Took a Long Cold Look
Bonus Material: Textless Opening, Textless Closing and Trailer.
Summary: Plot, characters and tongue-in-cheek sense of humour makes this one to watch.