What’s it about ?
Horror series set in a little town. 26 years ago, a middle school student from class 9-3 called Misaki died. Her class acted as though she was still attending up to the graduation. And the urban legend would be only mildly creepy if it had stopped there…
Kouichi, our protagonist. He came to live with his grandparents in the town because his father is busy teaching in India (Mommy is dead). He’s of weak health ; a lung collapse makes him miss his first few months of school. And of course he’s now attending class 9-3. There’s a lot his classmates aren’t telling him yet, although the implication seems to be that his name is somehow associated to tragic circumstances (despite him only having been around for a few months long ago and not remembering much of it).
Mei Misaki, a mysterious 9-3 student with an eyepatch. Kouichi crosses her path in the hospital as she goes to the morgue to “offer a gift to the other her”… Er, yeah. Given how she later claims not to recognize him at school, I’m guessing twins or something.
I’m not getting much of a handle yet on the other classmates. Sure, they’re obviously hiding something, but I’m not sure who’s actually important there. (And what’s a “Countermeasures officer”, anyway ?)
This is a PA Works production, so of course there’s lots of scenery porn and cautious attention to body language (the latter of which is key to such a series). This is their first attempt at horror that I know of, and boy does it show : there are lots of random shots creepy dolls or awkward closeups that feel a bit clumsy ; unlike, say, SHAFT, they’re obviously not used to doing this. Similarly, the soundtrack may be laying the atmosphere a bit too thick.
It’s also a pity that the careful buildup in the prologue is marred by a terrible OP song by ALI Project.
I really wanted to like this : sure, horror shows in little towns with a dark secret are a cliché, but this looks like a decent attempt to go back to basics. Unfortunately, it’s trying a bit too much, and the atmosphere doesn’t fully gel.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot I like here ; I’m probably going to watch it through. But it could be better executed.