It's been 2 years since Shinpei Ajiro has been away from his home Wakayama, situated on the remote island of Hitogashima. He was returning to attend his childhood friend Ushio's funeral. Her family the Kofunes had adopted him when his own family passed away long 10 years ago so she was like family to him.
While on the ship heading there, he has a vision of her asking to protect her younger sister Mio. It was reported Ushio had died trying to save a girl but Shinpei is soon reminded of an old story on the island about the "Shadow Disease"; whoever saw themselves will be killed by their own shadow and everyone close to them will become victims too.
Soon, Shinpei finds himself encountering such Shadows and discovers he has the ability to time leap back to the day he first arrives on the island. Now he must find a way to fight against them.
Decided to watch this because I saw a lot of hype about it on Twitter but knew nothing of its story other than it's a time leap show. Some even rated it almost as good as Steins;gate, one of my favourite titles in that genre so that definitely caught my interest.
Funnily enough, Mages the studio behind the Steins;gate game also worked on the music and sound effects for this show. Theme songs aren't so great but nice the OP doesn't really hint about what happens in the show like most OPs. Chiyomaru's style really doesn't sound much different from his other Anime adaptation theme songs. The main soundtrack is done by Monaca which are no strangers to composing for action shows but if you're planning to listen to it, you're in for a gloomy time because there are few cheery, ambient ones.
Animation looks really smooth and Kusanagi seems to be everywhere for background art these days (they do a good job depicting the island here). There's a fair amount of gore but mostly a lot of blood spill despite all the violent deaths you end up seeing each loop.
In the OP we see Shinpei holding a gun (which we discover why later) and I was immediately reminded of Persona 3's Junpei. There's actually quite a bit common between the two stories, one involving "Shadows". It's nice to see the first opening doesn't contain any hints of what happens in the story like most shows do.
Just like Steins;gate the show has its share of fan service and indeed, it opens with one right away and then repeats for the other loops. It kicks off cheery but it's a big contrast to what follows after. The opening episode was creepy and was already teasing you who could be the culprit behind the murders.
Fortunately, Shinpei manages to make enough change for it not to become tedious to watch and the show tries to keep the parts it does repeat interesting by introducing new clues or keeping them short flashbacks. There's little of it but there's also enough comedy to lighten things up. Some of the fan service is even there with serious intentions too oddly enough. Steins;gate actually kept it mostly separate so this might put some viewers off.
I'd probably describe this show as AnoHana with time leap and fights against monsters. It's got a good cast of characters all mourning and regretting the passing of their friend Ushio.
It starts off good when it's just about time leaping and guessing who the Shadows are but eventually, it gets to the point where so many different powers are involved that no longer becomes the case. You're then left with fairly much an action show to see who can overpower who in the fights.
Nevertheless, it's a good show overall.
On the other hand if you want a time leap show that's less gruesome without the hint of horror, Steins;gate would be better but the hardship isn't any less than this show.