Ookamikakushi – 1

Still working out what I want to blog this season, and I might not continue with Ookami Kakushi, but I kind of wanted to blog the first episode, so I figured what the hell.

The initial impression I had of the first episode is that it comes off like a shitty episode of Higurashi. You have the horror scene at the beginning with Isuzu stalking Hiroshi as if she is going to kill him, the transition into the main part of the episode that acts as the calm before the storm and provides many opportunities for hijinx and wackiness (except not nearly as funny as it is in Higurashi) and the scene at the end that confirms the viewer’s suspicion that there is — OMG! — more to the town than it seems. But despite this, I actually did kind of like the episode for a few reasons.

The whole “One of us, one of us!” thing is a common horror trope that I have always found to be at least sort of creepy in whatever it is featured in. As is made clear throughout the episode, popularity is rather unusual for Hiroshi, and he sure as hell doesn’t possess any qualities that normally lend themselves to popularity. (Translation: Small penis! Not surprised — Isuzu has him whipped within five seconds, and he isn’t even her boyfriend. This does not bode well for the rest of his life.) Not sure whether the townspeople want to make Hiroshi one of them (he’d probably be one of those grotty Twilight werewolves), or if they just want to make him a tasty sacrifice, but I’m guessing Hiroshi’s popularity will be short-lived. Just a hunch.

Not that I want to give too much credit to this first episode, but the scenario sort of reminds me of a poor, poor man’s version of The Wicker Man (the awesome original with Christopher Lee; not the shitty update with Nicolas Cage fighting off bees), although Hiroshi is not a deeply religious person that I know of. Hiroshi will probably end up saving the day somehow, but I would accept him being burned alive in a giant effigy, if only because it would be kind of awesome.

The other part I like is the set-up of the intertown civil war between the modernized people who moved to the new area, and the rest of the townspeople who stayed in the “old” part of town. Higurashi had a similar plot point, with the townspeople fighting modernization as represented by the fight about the dam project, but this seems like a town that has already given into modernization and is dealing with the schism it has created. I wonder if the hooded wolf fighters (they need a catchy name: Might I suggest Wolf Squad?) are a faction from the “old” part of town or the “new” part of town, and how the “new” residents fit in the story? Pretty clear that yandere Isuzu doesn’t really care for them, even though she tries her best to hide it. (Plus, she’s weird and clingy. Never a good combination.)

Nemuru seems to the leader of this wolf people (so naturally she is class prez), and if she gets pissed at you, then you’re pretty much fucked, as evidenced by her dealing with Ogasawara going a bit far during his surprise buttsecks male bonding with Hiroshi. She could be aligned with the Wolf Squad, or she could have just sent Ogasawara out there knowing he would get owned, but either way she expected him to die. This is what happens when tsunderes get too much power. (lol j/k digiboy)

Anyway, the overall mystery has built up enough interest for me to keep watching at least until the series shows signs of imminent failure. I will say that I will bail at the first sign of a reset — resist the temptation, Ryukishi07! Resist it!!

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5 Responses to “Ookamikakushi – 1”

  1. Don’t worry. This is expected to be one of this season’s better shows.

  2. I’m probably the only person by this stage is who hasn’t watched Higurashi. I figured when I saw how poor this episode was that ‘oh sure, Higurashi started the same way, give it a chance’ but this was poorer than standerd Higurashi? I might bail on this show if it doesn’t improve quickly. It’s not nearly ridicolous enough to make fun of like Umineko

  3. jparrrrr Says:

    Hey there,

    I played the VN. This is -not- part of the “When They Cry” franchise, and despite obvious similarities, should not be seen in that light. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I can at the very least assure you this isn’t another Higurashi – it’s much different (whether it is better or worse you’ll have to judge for yourselves).

    • Hopefully that ends up being the case, but at the very least, this episode unfolded in a very Higurashi-like manner. Whether that is the animation studio’s influence, or how the game unfolds in the beginning, is something I don’t know because I haven’t played any of the visual novels, but I’d like this series to establish its own identity pretty soon.

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