First Look: Spiritpact

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Manga Adaptation by Haoliners Animation League
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Keika is the heir to a famous family of exorcists, who now scrapes by as a street fortune teller following the death of his parents. Shortly after encountering another exorcist named Ki, Keika is hit by a car and becomes a ghost, and is asked to make a pact with Ki in order to fight evil spirits together.

Artemis’ verdict: Spiritdamage

It’s somewhat debatable whether this show qualifies as ‘anime’ in the strictly technical sense of the term, as it’s based on a Chinese web manga and produced by a Chinese animation company, though it received a full re-dub for Japanese broadcast. That said, it’s listed on MAL and is streaming on Crunchyroll, so I figured I might as well have at it.

And I really wish I hadn’t. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the premise; it’s normally fairly obvious from those when it’s time to run away screaming, and nothing about Spiritpact tipped me off in that regard. Purely in terms of plot, this show is actually completely inoffensive, which is far more than I can say about plenty of others airing in this season alone.

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However, pretty much everything else about Spiritpact is quite literally The Worst. I wish I was exaggerating, I really do. And for the record, I’m not just talking about the incredibly bland art style, clearly poor animation quality, or godawful music. Those things are bad, yes, but in theory shouldn’t stop a decent enough story from being entertaining. The main problem here is that the story is executed so terribly that it’s barely coherent. I don’t mean that the plot is too convoluted to follow or that I can’t keep up with the pacing or anything like that – I mean that the writing itself is so completely terrible that what’s happening on screen and coming out of the characters’ mouths is more or less nonsensical. This script has all the logic and consistency of a novel written by a 5-year old; I get that it’s all part of the same basic story, but it’s so disjointed that all the glaring exposition (and there’s a lot of it) is actually only a secondary issue. Again, please believe me when I say that I’m not simply exaggerating for effect. This is the kind of show you have to laugh at if only because the only other option is to cry.

I honestly don’t know what more I can say. Spiritpact is a legitimately appalling production in nearly every way possible, and I only made it ten minutes in before admitting defeat. I am not getting paid enough for this.

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Jel’s verdict: I Did Not Sign Up For This

I survived the entire episode somehow. It did not get better. It’s rare I can’t find a single positive thing to say about an episode. Spiritpact is ugly, the animations is basic, the characters are annoying, the writing is barely coherent, the voice acting is grating, the music awful, the directing is confusing… I could go on and on. Even the worst shows we’ve seen will do at least one of those things well and that is not the case here. I’m kind of left wondering why the effort was made to re-dub and re-broadcast this in Japan. Was this series popular in China? Is this the pinnacle of Chinese animation? If so, they have a long way to go.

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