What’s it about ?
In the future, everyone gets telekinetic superpowers at puberty ! The consequences were so dire that the adults have set up a massive conspiracy (disguised as coming-of-age rituals and education) so that part of those powers get sealed off, and the most unstable kids get “disappeared”.
Saki, our protagonist. Her powers were late to bloom, so she joined the school-for-powered-kids after all her friends (a handy way to get some exposition out on her behalf). Not much in the way of a personality yet, aside from “somewhat scared”. (Which is a perfectly reasonable reaction in her position.)
Similarly, her friends fall into familiar categories (the quiet top student, the asshole loudmouth, the innocent guy, etc.) and don’t really stand out as characters yet. But then, this is an exposition-heavy first episode, and there’s 24 more for them to develop.
Saki’s parents aren’t really in a position to prevent the “disappearance” of their own daughter (the committee which oversees this is apparently quite autonomous). It really doesn’t help that Saki once overheard them talking about it.
Quite good ; for some reason this is set in the countryside (did civilization take that much of a hit ?), and we are treated to some decent scenery porn on and off. The character designs are very generic but serviceable.
The direction is very good at creating a very toxic and paranoid atmosphere. It’s a bit rough around the edges, with sudden flashbacks often coming out of nowhere, but it helps building an oppressive mood. Especially effective is the opening scene depicting the emergence of superpowers in all its horror.
This is quite promising. The setup isn’t particularly innovative, but it’s presented in such a way that it’s very creepy indeed. While most of the episode is centered about inoffensive-looking rituals, classes and slice-of-life scenes, the paranoia is slowly ramping up over the course of it.
The downside is that none of the kids really have any depth yet. Heck, Saki’s parent display more character and pathos in three minutes than the kids in the whole rest of the episode.
Still, that can be resolved later on, and at least this episode set the stage properly. I’m curious to see where it goes.