Shinigami no Ballad (Ballad of the Death God) – episode 1

March 23, 2006 on 9:20 pm | In Shinigami no Ballad | Comments Off on Shinigami no Ballad (Ballad of the Death God) – episode 1

“Your voice”

Subtitled “Momo the girl god of death”, Shinigami no Ballad is Pony Canyon’s six part series to follow HanTsuki. It’s an episodic collection of stories about Momo and her visits to the dead and the dying.
So far I’m getting a good vibe from it.

This episode opens with Mai and Kouta, friends who walk home together every day. One day they find a cat in the park and Mai decides that they should look after it each day, hiding it at the local shrine.
As fate would have it, Mai turns out to have some sort of respiratory illness, and Momo, the titular shinigami in flowing white, is on hand to observe proceedings.

There’s little point in saying that Mai does not die, because I think that someone is going to die in every episode of this show. Death is inevitable, and while Momo can prevent needless deaths, I don’t think she can change fate.
The relationship between Mai and Kouta was fairly well developed for a 24 minute program, although the fact that they are elementary school students was an easy out: it allowed for simplification of the matters at hand, and the cat story would not be plausible any other way.

Kobayashi Akiko is spot on as Momo, lending a sort of deep roughness to the character that indicates experience while still retaining girlishness.
She concludes the episode with “People who died can’t cry any more, so I cry for them”. It seems a crudely ad hominem statement, but it’s effective.

While this is by Pony Canyon, Shinigami no Ballad shares no major crew members with HanTsuki. It is much better off this way, as we end up with more than passable designs, no blurriness in the animation, and generally a better feeling. HanTsuki didn’t hold up past the first episode, so I really hope that doesn’t happen here.

From past experience, I’m giving this a tentative nod of approval.

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