Kemono Zume – Anime First Impressions

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The uber-high definition raw of Kemono Zume was released recently, and I had a chance to check it out. In my Summer 2006 anime preview, I figured this anime would resemble Blood+. My predictions been totally off this season…

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In the world of Kemono Zume, there are Shokujinki (cannibalistic were-humans), and Kifuuken, a counter-Shokujinki fighting group. These two eternal enemies have been fighting for years, unknown to the general public.

Momota Toshihiko is a member of the Kifuuken. His father is the current leader of the group, but it seems like his brother will probably inherit the position when his father dies. By chance, one day Toshihiko meets a parachuting blond. He instantly falls in love with her and becomes totally obsessed. He “gets involved” with her, but oh noes! She actually turns out to be a Shokujinki! Dun dun dunnn!!!

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At first glance, the story seems fairly generic. It’s basically Romeo and Juliet, except with monsters and monster hunters. However, there are all sorts of cool details that make this anime unique. For one thing, the whole mythos is really intriguing.

Since it’s an ancient group, the Kifuuken has traditional swordsmen in their squads. In addition, they also have powered suits! In one scene the older son tries to convince the elder leader to use more “modern” techniques to fight the Shokujinki threat. I really love it when technology + swords mix. Also, the monkey totally pwns.

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The animation style is probably the biggest selling point of this anime. You’ll either love it or hate it. Personally, I think it looks awesome. The characters are drawn in (I believe, and correct me if I’m wrong) the superflat style.

It’s really hard to describe the look without using pictures, so just check out the screencaps for yourselves. Now that I think of it, the animation style seems very similar to Noein. To some it may seem ugly, but I think it does a great job of making the anime unique. I really like how the HUD for the soldiers still looks hand-drawn!

In addition, the anime also used some live action clips mixed with hand drawn animation. The result is simultaneously fantastic and realistic.

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The music for Kemono Zume is just as unique as the animation style. The OP is this jazzy horny (as in it uses lots of horns) tune. The music accompanies the OP animation perfectly. The ED is an indie-sounding acoustic guitar thing. It wins all kinds of internets.

Download the OP: “Orvell Blue” by Katteni Shiyagare
Download the ED: “Suki” by Santara

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You know how people complain about how anime is too cliched and that every plot’s been recycled? Kemono Zume probably wins for being the most uniquely entertaining anime this year. I really hope that someone decides to sub this. Otherwise, I’ll have to kick up my Japanese skills a notch in order to watch the raws.

I hate to sound like a generic reviewer, but this anime is must-see. In other words, if it were an Ebay auction, I’d leave it this feedback:

AAAAA+++++++++++ GREAT COMM. WOULD WATCH AGAIN AND AGAIN!!!!

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17 thoughts on “Kemono Zume – Anime First Impressions”

  1. Me thinks I’ve seen this before. :s

    *snaps fingers* Oh yeah!

    It was on WOWOW a couple of weeks back. It was shown after midnight (at my country’s time zone) so I was luckily able to catch this on screen. Images I could recall include the “traditional swordsmen” and “the monkey”, and they were the ones that made me shout “It is!”.

    Thank you for aiding my memory on this, as well as the preview! *thumbs up*

    Too bad my low HD isn’t helping on me trying to have the chance to DL this as soon as possible. OTL

    P.S.: Flat screen couldn’t be my thing, but I’m sure willing to give it a try.

  2. The review was nice though I don’t know if the comparison with Noein is favorable. I’m going to check it out. Thankfully AnimeForever and Yoroshiku are doing a joint sub.

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