With the anime now at its midpoint and the world getting ever closer to its supposed end, we thought we’d dive into Kamisama ni Natta Hi (The Day I Became a God) with an update on our impressions of the series so far with a special emphasis on how the anime compares to other Key works like Charlotte, Angel Beats! and CLANNAD. We’ll also be discussing Maeda Jun’s hallmarks and some predictions for the series so let’s make the most of the time left and get started!
The Slice of Life Is a Lie?
While the amount of time left to reach those expected emotional highs might have us a bit worried, so far, The Day I Became a God’s lighthearted episodes have been pretty darn hilarious and entertaining. Arguably, the standouts have been the film-making episode, mahjong tournament, and ramen-making. The latter is probably our favorite so far but there’s something very charming about how over-the-top this show can be when it wants to, showing off Hina’s precognitive powers in hilarious ways like the numbered footprints laid out on the floor for Youta to perfectly win his fight. His ability to get into character has been equality hysterical, if a bit unrealistic. In any case, the lighthearted spirit of the first half feels a bit too fuwa-fuwa for a series about the world ending so we can only assume that this slice of life goofiness serves to get us comfy before that starts sitting in which segues into our next point.
Angels, Gods, and Busters
CLANNAD, probably Maeda and Key’s most prominent work, also had its share of funny moments, particularly with stuff like Sunohara repeatedly challenging and getting kicked into oblivion by Tomoyo (sometimes with fight-game-esque bonus point effects). However, CLANNAD also had After Story, which was almost entirely heavy and emotional. If The Day I Became a God is only one standard season, as it appears to be, without an After Story it runs the risk of feeling rushed which is a common complaint with several other Key series like Charlotte and Angel Beats!
While it’s obviously still too early to make final judgements, this shift towards a more serious atmosphere in the latest episode, namely Hina questioning her feelings and Youta’s dream, does signal that heavier times are ahead and places a large burden on the final half of the series to deliver. Outside of that, there’s plenty of other similarities and connections to be found to previous Maeda/Key works besides extra-obvious things like the Takajo cameo and his Yusarin shirt from the last episode.
Maeda Jun’s Wild Ride
First things first, Maeda Jun is an incredible composer who utilizes music masterfully to create mood and signal changes in his stories and that hasn’t changed in The Day I Became a God one bit. His storytelling style is also very distinct, arguably to the point of being predictable, which is a large reason why we keep focusing on the “inevitable” shift to more somber storytelling.
Beyond that, he has several trademarks that have already come up in this new series like the seemingly random inclusion of a baseball episode and, more importantly, a particular style of unexplained magical realism. All signs point to The Day I Became a God being another classic story in his usual style as evidenced by the whole melodramatic plot of Hina getting stuck in the frozen truck paired with Ashura and Youta’s sentimental basketball bromance of the last episode. Oh wait, basketball is a big focus in CLANNAD too, isn’t it? You can add that to the Maeda bingo board. As for predictions...
Becoming a God
The title suggests that someone is becoming a god by the end of this and it seems like Youta is likely the candidate. Heck, they even make a big deal about his last name meaning “become god” and he’s starting to have premonitions from his dreams. This has to connect to the mysterious shadowy organization and sly hacker character Suzuki in some way but it isn’t clear yet exactly what this all means.
Could this be a Haruhi situation or something more subtle? Regardless, we hope that this end of the world business isn’t simply a way of dressing up Hina having some terrible terminal disease. Although, if she is in fact a relative and Youta’s family knew about it, that would be something of an explanation for her being allowed to stay with them so easily. Considering that there’s clearly some type of supernatural element, it’s really hard to say how everything will pan out in the end but we think this will be what makes or breaks this show in the long run.
As a whole, we’d argue that The Day I Became a God still has a lot going for it past our first impressions but also has a lot to live up to to create a satisfying conclusion which is still a bit hazy. Given how much it seems to be following in the footsteps of past Key/Maeda works, we still expect some traumatic moments, gorgeous visuals, and sublime music but are a little worried that this anime might miss some of its potential because of its limited remaining episodes.
In any case, we’re excited to see what this series has in store for us and would love to hear your thoughts as well! Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to stick around Honey’s for more of all things awesome, anime and otherwise! Until next time, don’t wander into stranger’s trucks. See ya~!