First Look: The Day I Became a God

Alternative title(s): Kamisama Ni Natta Hi
Anime Original by P.A. Works
Streaming on Funimation

Premise

Yota Narukami is a approached by a little girl who claims to be a god, and she informs him that the world will end in thirty days. He is naturally skeptical, but a series of events leads him to wonder if she might be telling the truth.

Jel’s verdict: Here We Go Again…

This is one of those shows that is so tied to its creator that we need to discuss him for context. The Day I Became a God is the latest work written by Jun Maeda, the main creative force behind the visual novel group Key. After Kyoto Animation adapted his VN work into some of the most popular anime of the 2000’s, he has gone on to collaborate with P.A. Works on anime original projects like Angel Beats. This is his third collaboration with P.A. Works and boy does it show.

What does that mean exactly? Maeda has a very recognizable style, using a formula that all his works follow: Start with some silly anime comedy hijinks and cute slice of life to get you invested in the characters, then reveal some fantasy element that leads to tragedy. This first episode sets us on that path. Even though we are only in the comedy phase, the premise is built to make you sad. At some point the we will learn that the world really is ending, and the cast (and by extension the audience) will be forced to contemplate what they would do if they only had a few days left to live.

If I sound a little skeptical, let me add another layer of context. I do think this formula can work and that Maeda perfected it with Clannad and Clannad After Story. The problem is everything he’s done before and after Clannad are just variations on the formula that are less successful, and therefore feel unnecessary to me. While it may be unfair to judge his latest work on one episode, there’s nothing here to suggest things will be different this time. We’ve seen all of this before.

Of course you will probably love this if you are a fan of Maeda’s full body of work. Alternately, there are some things to like if this is your first Key anime series. The art and animation look great, and if you can get past the main girl’s loud, bratty voice I could see the characters developing some fun, comfortable relationships. As I said, the formula can work and it might eventually work here. But my gut tells me you’d be better off just watching Clannad.

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