P.A. Works and Key, or I guess more specifically Jun Maeda, are no strangers to each other. They’ve teamed up before in 2010 with Angel Beats! and reunited in 2015 for Charlotte. The results are…interesting if nothing else. I’ve covered Angel Beats earlier this year for its tenth anniversary and even though I came out of that rewatch less positive (it’s so underserving of a single cour), I’m still quite fond of that series. Charlotte I still have yet to finish actually. Life kept me busy. I don’t remember hating it but I do recall finding it a decent but much wilder and clumsier experience compared to Angel Beats!. With that in mind, I wasn’t terribly hyped for this third collaboration, The Day I Became a God. I’m sure it’ll have its good points, the past two series did, but I also know that it won’t be without some caveats. But again, surely it’ll be interesting if nothing else.
While this is a new series, The Day I Became a God does feel very familiar to me at the moment. The story begins with teenager Yota Narukami (Natsuki Hanae) meeting a mysterious girl named Sato (Ayane Sakura) who claims to be the god Odin and warns him that the world will end in thirty days. It’s very much a plot conceived by Jun Maeda, checking off some of the usual boxes such as the prevalence of the supernatural and boy meeting girl through (in most cases) extraordinary circumstances. The show also shifts frequently in tone, something viewers of Angel Beat! and Charlotte will find familiar. Most of the premiere has Yota dealing with Sato’s shennagins, and sometimes vice versa, but the episodes does occasionally come back to the dramatic undercurrent established by the premise.
The premiere does feel noticeably slower compared to the Angel Beasts‘ and Charlotte‘s. Angel Beats! wasted no time throwing its protagonist into the middle of things and Charlotte took longer to set things up but it nevertheless does so within its premiere. With The Day I Became a God, you’re introduced to Yota and Sato but the whole doomsday plot is shoved to wayside. Granted, that’s understandable as Yota takes a while to believe that Sato is the deity she claims to be. Even so, it feels a bit frustrating to not know how and why the world will end, let alone what a seemingly normal boy such as Yota has to do with it or how Sato plans to prevent it (if she can that is).
For what it’s worth, I do find this premiere pretty entertaining. Sato is running the danger of becoming really annoying but there is something amusing about how she alternates between acting high and mighty and throwing a childish tantrum. Ayane Sakura’s performance and P.A. Works’ quality animation also do an excellent job accentuating the high energy this character exudes. Meanwhile, I’m liking Yota more than I thought I would. You really relate with his bewilderment with Sato and it does get funny with how he doesn’t take her seriously at first, even treating her as a kid, only to gradually realize that Sato might indeed be who she claims to be.
That’s probably my favorite part of the episode, watching Yota come to believe Sato’s godliness. Sato’s main power appears to be omniscience as she’s able to very accurately predict the future. She first demonstrates this with the weather and later with a horse race she and Yota watch while eating lunch together. Not only does it make for good comedy but it also hints at the more dramatic potential the show has as it proves that Sato is as legitimate as she claims. Also to the premiere’s credit, it does establish Sato’s limitations as it seems that her omniscience is either her only power or the only one at her disposal. She can’t seem to do any other fancy tricks and one humorous scene where she attempts to show off another ability doesn’t go as planned.
About the only development that I wasn’t too hot on is the subplot surrounding Yota’s crush towards his classmate, Kyouko Izanami (Yui Ishikawa). I’m not sure what point of it is. Maybe to set up a love triangle down the line but for now, it felt like padding. It doesn’t help that the comedy is hit or miss. On one hand, we immediately get to P.A. Works and Key’s obligatory baseball scenario (that was fast) and that’s always a good time. It works really well here as you have Sato predicting how the match will go before secretly trolling Yota about how he can win in the process. On the other, I rolled my eyes with Yota losing his mind over how friendzoned he is by Izanami in such exaggerated fashion.
We’ll see in the coming weeks how this show will fare. I of course would like for it to be good. P.A. Works and Key are among my favorite companies in Japanese media and their collaborations together do produce interesting results. Surely, they’ve learned from Angel Beats! and Charlotte what works and and doesn’t. At the same time, I do expect a caveat of some kind to show up. There’s always one in these collaborations.