Mimi: As a fellow fan of Ryukishi07’s works (Higurashi no Naku koro Ni, Umineko no Naku Koro Ni), I was quite excited for the release Ookami Kakushi. I thought that I was in for another psychological thriller and exciting mystery, but unfortunately, Ookami Kakushi didn’t turn out to be as such. I admit, I went into the show with the wrong kind of expectations, and my review is a reflection of that. However, I still think I have some good points to offer.
The first half of the series suffers from no development. Our main protagonist, Hiroshi, moves into a new town with his father and sister, attends school, and meets new people. However, something never feels quite right. A female classmate of his becomes extremely attached to him, a mysterious girl neglects him, and a few classmates begin to disappear without notice by others. At the end of each episode, we catch a small glimpse of a terrified person running away from a group of supernatural, masked beings who are after that person’s life. While you know something is up and you’re curious, what you’re mainly going to see is Hiroshi participating in ordinary slice-of-life activities and interacting with a small cast of characters. Aside from a few weird events befalling Hiroshi, nothing much changes, and this becomes dull fast.
The second half finally explores the mystery behind the masked beings, but it still moves incredibly slowly for such a short series. What you have next is a string of predictable events, coincidences, and episodes dedicated to simply feeding you all of the information. By the time the climax hits, it is downright disappointing. There are no major plot-twists or anything exciting to keep the anime’s head above the water. The finale is a joke.
The characters feel one-dimensional. They hardly have any development. Only towards the end do the characters begin to show a different side to them, but their peak development is still not all that impressive. They just go back to the way they were before, falling very short of being dynamic.
They are also not entertaining at any given point in the show beyond the introduction. Hiroshi is a shy and awkward kid who always feels nervous, but he has a sense of justice somewhere within him. His hobby is to stare at the other characters and do absolutely nothing. Hiroshi’s sister, Mana, is bound to a wheelchair and we never get to find out why. Nemuru, his mysterious classmate who neglects him does only that for the first half of the series. Asagiri is another classmate who is just a walking encyclopedia, always trying to help clue Hiroshi in. And then we have Isuzu, his neighbor who instantly becomes attached to him. She just spends her time hopping around and clinging to his arm, quickly rubbing off as an annoying character. Lastly, the main villain is the typical, revengeful idiot type with a predictable outcome and is nothing special. You’ve seen these characters being used before again and again. The adults also have a role in the show, but they are even duller characters than the children.
None of the characters stand out as being impressive, strong, or all that memorable, even by the last half of the show. At the very least, the character’s backgrounds are somewhat explored, as there is a good reason for their initial behaviors. They could have had much more depth though.
The animation is not weak, but it is not spectacular either. Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of the artwork is how beautiful the costumes look on the masked beings. The color and lighting effects are also used well for certain scenes and to show real depth in the character’s eyes. Overall though, the character designs are rather average, and there isn’t much change in background scenery.
I learned too late that Ookami Kakushi is not meant to be a deep, plot-twisting mystery series. It is more about character relations, drama, mood, suspense, and slow buildup. But even with that in mind, the small cast of characters are for the most part unchanging and dull. This anime is mediocre and easily forgettable.
Mimi’s Score: 5 Meeps out of 10 (Average)
Alex’s Score: 1 Meep out of 10 (Unwatchable)