Review of Occultic;Nine (Volume One)

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The suspect placement of that semicolon tells me that Occultic;Nine is created by the chap who is behind Steins;Gate. To be exact, this anime is based on the light novels written by Chiyomaru Shikura. Unlike the titles that make up the Science Adventure series, Occultic;Nine focuses on the paranormal. This adaptation spans across a dozen episodes, but due to licensor demands Manga Entertainment is releasing the show across two six-episode collections. Ouch! Slowly but surely we are regressing back to the bad old days, when box sets were a rarity and most anime DVDs would contain a mere three episodes.

OVERVIEW

Yūta Gamon is a teenage blogger who operates a website that specializes in the supernatural. Motivated by the promised riches of ad revenue, he spends his days linking to articles that talk about the occult. Ha, good luck with making cash online. My blog has been around for five years and to date has yet to generate a single penny! Anyways… Yūta gets embroiled in a murder mystery when he stumbles across the corpse of Professor Hashigami, an esteemed researcher who abandoned science in favour of studying unexplained phenomena. The only clues found at the crime scene are the word CODE (scribbled in blood) and a key lodged inside the professor’s jaw.

Despite not attracting much website traffic, Yūta’s blog has a knack for catching the attention of oddballs. Over the course of these six episodes Yūta ends up interacting with a streamer who is famous for fortune telling, a youngster who cosplays as a gumshoe and an author of Yaoi comics. The zaniest person in Yūta’s life is his sidekick Ryoka Narusawa. She is hyperactive and prone to zapping her chum with a Taser that resembles a ray gun. I suppose that she keeps an electric deterrent at hand to keep perverts at bay, as she has a ginormous pair of breasts. Even by anime standards, Ryoka’s knockers are unrealistically proportioned.

VERDICT

My rating for Occultic;Nine (Volume One) is a two out of five. At the show’s midway point I find myself completely disinterested in the story. That by itself wouldn’t be a deal breaker, if the characters were good at least. Steins;Gate for example managed to hold my attention, during its slow paced opener, because the antics of Okabe’s group were amusing to watch. None of Occultic;Nine’s cast makes an impression though. Characters like reporter Tōko Sumikaze and son of the deceased Sarai Hashigami lack personality. On the other end of the scale we have people who are annoyingly eccentric – the breast example in that category being Ryoka.

Perhaps the series can redeem itself in the next volume. I am sceptical though, as the script is juggling way too many subplots with just six episodes remaining. Apart from the murder mentioned earlier there is a mass suicide to investigate, a girl who is haunted by a ghost and a clandestine organization who appear to be engaged in nefarious activities. Will I stick around to find out how it all ends? The answer to that question is (Occultic) Nein. That’s the problem with splitting a series in twain Manga Entertainment. If the first half doesn’t impress don’t expect viewers to remain for the conclusion.