Shinigami no Ballad is the other 6-episode anime that replaces Hantsuki in the same time slot. It seems like a good choice to follow Hantsuki, since this anime is also about death. Morbid? Yes. Entertaining? Read on to find out!
Shinigami no Ballad tells the story of a cute loli Shinigami (death god) whose job is to take people’s lives. In this episode, Shinigami A-100100, or Momo, takes the life of a little girl by the name of Mai.
Mai is a sickly cute girl, and Kouta is a nice guy who walks her home every day. Doesn’t it seem like they share a Rika and Yuuichi dynamic? One day while they’re walking home, they come across an abandoned kitten. Rather than naming it Shii, they go with “Blue.” Mai and Kouta play “Mama and Papa” with it. What a cute couple! I’m just concerned that they might be taking things a little too fast.
One day, Kouta decides to play with his other friends rather than help Mai take care of Blue. Mai goes in the soaking rain to feed Blue, and even gives Blue her handkerchief. Unfortunately for Mai, it’s the last time she sees her cat. The anime doesn’t really explain how Mai dies; I guess Momo just snuck up from behind and whacked her with that giant scythe of hers.
Angry at the death of Mai, Kouta decides to blame Blue, since Mai wouldn’t have been walking around in the rain otherwise. He leaves Blue at the park where they found him to die of exposure. That’s harsh! I thought Kouta was going to apologize to Blue that his “Mama” wouldn’t be coming back. Momo shows up to take Blue’s life, when Kouta has a change of heart. Then ghost Mai comes back to say goodbye to Kouta and Blue. Cheesy!
As far as character designs go, Momo is pretty cute. She seems like a very atypical shinigami to me. Rather than just saying “please die” and taking care of business, she seems to empathise with her targets. Although she acted all tough in front of Kouta, she was a crybaby afterwards. I really find the Momo character interesting and unique. Her flying bat cat, Daniel, is also very cool.
The animation for this anime is good. Sure, there’s no action scenes, but there’s a lot of attention paid to detail. If you don’t believe me, watch the episode again and see how much Blue moves around even when he’s not the center of attention.
The music for this anime is also really good. Both the OP and the ED are done by KOY (I think). The OP is a mellow, but it fits the anime. It’s also sung in English that actually makes sense! The ED is also a slower song that sounds very sentimental. It’s not my favorite song ever, but it’s not bad.
I also noticed that the music played during the episode fit well. The happy parts had cheerful music and the sad parts had super dramatic stuff playing in the background.
Overall, Shinigami no Ballad seems like a really well done anime. In the course of 24 minutes, I actually cared about the characters enough to be sad when one died. Although it was a bit predictable (I was hoping that Kouta would die as a crazy plot twist!), I still enjoyed watching every minute of it. Momo seems like a nice version of Jigoku Shoujo, ne? I’m looking forward to the next episode where we can hopefully learn more about Momo and her modus operandi. I wonder if the last episode will have a crossover with Hantsuki…
Further Reading: Shinigami no Ballad Manga