This is what I call the “Semi-Colon Series”. It is a grouping of shows that use a semi-colon in the title, and then they run the title all together. The other three are “Chaos;Head”, “Steins;Gate” and “Robotic;Notes”. The shows all share similar characteristics: they are very dense, plot-wise, things are never as they seem and you’ll get the information you need to make sense of it when it is decided you can handle it. I guess it is a bit like life.
Their latest offering, “Occultic;Nine” is potentially the densest so far, as numerous plot points are revealed late in the show’s run to help you make sense of it all and, potentially, one of the most wasted characters I have ever met. But first, on to the plot.
Nine idiosyncratic individuals are linked by the “Choujou Kagaku Kirikiri Basara” occult summary blog run by 17-year-old second-year high school student Yuuta Gamon (yellow trench coat in the middle). Little incongruities that occur around these nine eventually lead to a larger, unimaginable event that may alter what is considered common sense in this world. Nine is a huge number, so let’s get to it, eh? Left to right:
Miyū Aikawa, runs a fortune-telling radio show
Sarai Hashigami, university student whose father deals with the occult
Tōko Sumikaze, a reporter for an occult magazine
Asuna Kisaki, a curious student at high school
Ryoka Narusawa. Uh-huh, those big boobies.
Ririka Nishizono, a manga writer who can predict the future
Shun Moritsuka, a 26-year-old detective
Kiryū Kusakabe, a mysterious person who lurks about
Aria Kurenaino, a black magic proxy who runs a shop
The thrust of the series revolves around an incident called the Inokashira Park incident, where 256 bodies have shown up in the lakes that dot the area. If this wasn’t bad enough, Sarai’s father was apparently murdered and his body mutilated. Needless to say, this brings in our young-looking detective to try and get to the bottom of this. However, as I have learned from this franchise, nothing is ever what it seems and a lot of the story gets uncovered though diligent investigation.
What makes this tale the densest of anything from the “Semi-Colon Series” is the added back-story of “The Society of the Eight Gods of Fortune”, who are doing some strange experiments with a substance known as scandium. Yet, from these seemingly unrelated series of events, everything starts to pull together and presents a plot and an idea so terrifying, it could fundamentally change how we view society and life.
That seems a bit heavy, but it’s the truth. This is one of those rare series that I recommend that you don’t watch two episodes in a row, but watch the same episode twice. This is crucial if this is the first “SCS” you have encountered. The plotting is thick, as a lot of territory has to be covered, but we don’t want it to become too prolix. The dialogue is laden with hidden meanings that become clear further on and actions and incidents that are confusing now make sense later, as we traverse this world.
Are there problems with this show? Without a doubt. The first has to do with Ryoka. As you know, I do rail against pointless fan service, but I have never seen such a busty character not used to their fullest extent. I mean, we see her glands flounce and bounce about, but what was the real reason we had her? Eye candy? A minor diversion? Misdirection? There was honestly no purpose to make her so out there and then deny the whole thing.
The other problem was the Late Revelation. An absolutely key piece of information makes itself known almost at the end. Yeah, investigations work like that, when you dig, dig, dig and dig, dig, dig and dig a little more, eventually get to the truth, but this one was of such a nature that it was a game-changer. It’s just in a series with so much going on, it was hard to determine which the correct path was and which the needless distraction was.
Still, this is a compelling series, as each new clue gives you another new clue to run down and leads you to the Ultimate Discovery. This is a series that really requires your attention. You can’t be eating ramen while it is on, as small things that are missed get explained later, but you wonder how you got there.
You won’t be disappointed. I never have been completely disappointed with any of the “SCS” shows, but I also know there has to be zero distractions while taking it all in. The pleasure of your full attention is requested.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Solid approach and strong decisions)
Plot 9 (Very involving)
Pacing 7 (Owing to the misdirection)
Effectiveness 8 (As the truth is revealed)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 8 (Points of it got frustrating, but still intriguing)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. What did you say?