Should You Watch 'Occultic;Nine'? Episode 1 Fall Anime 2016 Review

occultic nine
Occultic;Nine key art. (c) Aniplex

Episode 1 of fall anime 2016’s Occultic;Nine feels like a waste of animation talent. The plot is scattered among a bevy of characters whose introduction all bears the same narrative weight, leaving me a little confused as to which characters I’m supposed to care about. On top of that, the “humor” moments miss every time and the fanservice is actively repulsive. Occultic;Nine? Occultic;bye.

The insane titty shots start in Occultic;Nine’s opening theme and get no better from there. Our main character seems to be Yuta Gamon, a high schooler who runs a low-tier blog about the supernatural and is trying to get his site views up so he can get that sweet affiliate dosh. He has two characterization points: talks real fast and likes boobs. Waste of a good character premise.

Then there’s his second-in-command, Ryoka Narusawa, who has the voice, personality and intelligence of a four-year-old, boobs that must weigh forty pounds each and legs like straws. Her introduction is grotesque, with the jumping and jumping and jumping, inviting me to leer along with whatever pillar of social dysfunction characters like these are aimed at. Please. Please.

Then on a TV panel about the occult, there’s a pop idol present who giggles idiotically instead of answering a question about her thoughts, squealing vapidly about someone’s hair. I felt so repulsed I nearly levitated away from my laptop. Now that’s occult.

But wait, there’s more! To round up the trifecta of bad character design choices, Yuta hangs out at a cafe managed by one of the worst femme caricatures of a gay man I’ve ever seen. I mean, why? To be funny? It’s not funny. It’s mean-spirited and off-putting. What is the point? At least Yuta isn’t completely unlikable if you strip the stupid ecchi gags away, though if you take the ecchi gags away from Ryoka you lose her entire personality and purpose in the story.

What passes for humor in Occultic;Nine is usually just moments of spastic screaming, rapidfire chatter, or Ryoka using a random energy gun on Yuta for no reason because she’s quirky, y’all. Almost every instance of attempted humor left me cringing.

It’s too bad, because episode 1 desperately needed all that wasted time for all the plots, characters and subplots it struggled to convey.  We have a young woman at an occult magazine, a girl who does black magic based on hair, some kind of idol psychic girl who inexplicably wants to do whatever Yuta asks, Yuta seeking fame for his blog, a mysterious woman who may be a demon, and all of these introduced within the same crammed 22-minute runtime. I mean, damn.

There’s also a jarring amount of gore, from a burned husk of a corpse to a bloody, reeking scalp left in someone’s mailbox. This makes Occultic;Nine episode 1’s tone vary wildly from supernatural thriller to terrible fanservice to bizarrely middle-grade humor.

Occultic;Nine may have an idea where it’s going, but I’m not going with it. Occultic;Nine is a pass for me. Will you be watching? Feel free to talk Occultic;Nine in the comments section below.


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