This is the story of Kuze Tsugumi and her tomorrow.
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Fantasy, Historical, Romance
- Airing Date : April 2018 – July 2018
- Studios : Zero-G
Nil Admirari no Tenbin (BRIEF) Introduction
The Imperial Library Intelligent Asset Management Bureau, also known as Fukurou, hunt down Japanese-style books called Cursed Tomes which when read can cause their readers to commit suicide or crimes. Tsugumi Kuze’s decision to get married so she can save her faltering family disappoints Hitaki, her younger brother. While trying to appease Hitaki, Tsugumi discovers Hitaki in his room holding a Cursed Tome and committing suicide by self-immolation. Although Hitaki is fortunate to survive, Tsugumi decides to postpone her marriage when she discovers she has the unique ability to see the aura of the Cursed Tomes and can help the Fukurou track them down.
What We Liked About Nil Admirari no Tenbin
Nil Admirari no Tenbin’s first episode introduces the issue of suicide-inflicting books called Cursed Tomes, and the second episode introduces Tsugumi and the viewers to the many attractive men she’ll now be working with, this sets the pace for the rest of the show. On one hand, you’ll be treated to the mystery behind the Cursed Tomes and the conspiracy behind its use, and on the other hand, you’ll get to see Tsugumi learning more about her co-workers and the many other people involved in the conflict with the Cursed Tomes. Nearly every episode will start to feel like a date with one of the different men she’s met since her brother’s suicide attempt while moving the story about the Cursed Tomes an inch towards the climax.
1. The Men of Nil Admirari no Tenbin
The men of Nil Admirari no Tenbin are easily the main reason why anyone would check the show out. Akira, Hayato, and Hisui are the three that work on patrols with Tsugumi, but beyond that, you have the womanizing author Shizuru, the hostile noble Shougo, the medical student Rui, and far too many more to mention. Even the briefly seen side characters and nearly all of the villains are somewhat attractive and visually distinct.
2. The Mystery
The mystery behind the Cursed Tomes drives the story forward, aside from getting to see Tsugumi interact with all the new men in her life. There are many parties involved with the Cursed Tomes: the Fukurou trying to stop their spread; the Karasu, who try to use the Cursed Tomes to control the Japanese government; the Kagutsuchi, who try to burn them at all cost; and Yutaka Nabari, who has been making Cursed Tomes independently due to a childhood tragedy. This is just one part of the knots that Nil Admirari no Tenbin has you unraveling through the hints it drops every episode.
3. The Art
Nil Admirari no Tenbin exchanges fluid animation for a unique art-style with a heavy use of sepia overtones. The Taishou era environment and fashion, and Tsugumi’s own character design help blend in with the sepia color scheme and give Nil Admirari no Tenbin a visual look that makes it easily recognizable. There’s also a clear effort to give every single character a distinct look that helps set them apart despite rushed introductions.
1. Low Stakes
The Karasu use these Japanese-style handwritten books to dismantle the government, but it never feels like the threat Nil Admirari no Tenbin wants us to believe it is. The single instance where the Cursed Tomes feel like a legitimate threat is when one of them comes in the form of an ordinary letter, but that clever use of Cursed Tomes isn’t even used by the Karasu and loses its surprised factor and effectiveness after its first use. There are just far too many easy precautions they can take to make the Cursed Tomes a non-factor, even if they never bother to.
2. Underdeveloped Characters
Unfortunately, while we are introduced to many visually distinct characters, none of them are ever developed beyond their superficial appearance. Most of the characters are fortunate if they get a single episode exploring their backstories, but no one really moves forward from the first impression they leave when we first meet them. Shizuru, for example, remains the womanizing author from the second episode until the end. We never see a new dimension to Shizuru, even after we see him unraveling a conspiracy meant to frame him for murder.
3. Little to No Romance
Surprisingly, Nil Admirari no Tenbin is short on romance. It’s clear to Tsugumi that all the men around her like her because none of them feel the need to hide it, but aside from blushing, she casually wards off these affections and none of them genuinely pursue it. At the end of the series, it’s revealed Hayato was the man Tsugumi was supposed to marry all along, but they both decided to put away their future marriage to continue focusing on their lives at the Fukurou.
Nil Admirari no Tenbin seems to promise romance, and all the pretty men you can ask for, but only delivers on the latter. The large cast may be its undoing because there isn’t enough time spent on letting each mystery slowly unravel and not even the main suitors get enough screen time to go beyond their initial impressions. Still, Nil Admirari no Tenbin remains worth your while for the great aesthetic, and to at least get to see all the men trying their hands at winning Tsugumi’s affections.