Sunday Without God (Kamisama no inai nichiyobi) (2013) (NTSC)

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Released 13-Jan-2016

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Bonus Episode-OVA
More…-Textless Opening Song
More…-Textless Closing Song
Trailer-x 4 for other anime
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 331:29 (Case: 325)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Yuuji Kumazawa
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Aki Toyosaki / Caitlyn French
Daisuke Namikawa / Andrew Love
Mamiko Noto / Genevieve Simmons
Keiji Fujiwara / David Matranga
Kouki Uchiyama / Mike Yager
Eri Kilamura / Luci Christian
Tetsuya Kakihara / Tyler Galindo
Mikaka Komatsu / Emily Neves
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI ? Music Hiromi Mizutani


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Fifteen years ago, one Sunday, God abandoned the world and closed the gate to Heaven. From that time no children have been born and while a person can die or be killed they cannot leave the world and instead become one of the Deceased who continue to exist more or less as they did before. Only special individuals called Gravekeepers can bury the Deceased to allow them to rest in peace.

     Twelve year old Ai (voiced by Aki Toyosaki / Caitlyn French) is a Gravekeeper in a small village. A mysterious man in black named Hampnie (Daisuke Namikawa / Andrew Love), who apparently is a Living but who does not age and cannot die, kills everyone in Ai’s village. After Ai buries the villagers she follows the assassin into the countryside, her wish being to save the world. Soon they meet Scar (Mamiko Noto / Genevieve Simmons), a more experienced Gravekeeper, and Yuri (Keiji Fujiwara / David Matranga), an old friend of Hampnie who is now seeking to take revenge on him. This is a very dangerous, chaotic and brutal world, especially for an innocent young girl like Ai, and in the first story arc (the series is divided into stories of between 1-3episodes) she finds out more about her father, her mother and the secret within the isolated village where she had been brought up.

    In the remainder of the series, Ai travels to follow her wish to save the world, although the world is a far bigger and more complex place than she had ever imagined, and her sweetness and naivety places her into some dangerous situations. In one story Ai finds a young man, Kiriko (Tetsuya Kakihara / Tyler Galindo), and visits Ortus, the city of the Deceased ruled by Princess Ulla (Mikaka Komatsu / Emily Neves); Ortus is a happy, organised and vibrant city, where the Deceased are content and don’t want to move on or be buried, so Gravekeepers are a threat to be hunted and killed if they approach the city walls. The Living are also not admitted but live in poverty and chaos outside the walls. The ethical dilemma, for Ai at least, is that the only way for the Living outside to gain entry to the city is to be voluntarily killed!

     In other story arcs Ai is kidnapped and placed in a school where children with special powers are quarantined from the world. There she meets the mysterious Alice (Kouki Uchiyama / Mike Yager), a 16 year old boy who also wants to save the world, but by destroying it, and Dee (Eri Kilamura / Luci Christian), a ghost who has been following Alice around. Both Alice and Dee have also been following Ai, and seem to have an agenda in which she plays a part. Later Ai and the others visit the land where Gravekeepers are created to rescue Scar and together they travel to the crumbling city of Ostia, where there are neither the Living nor Deceased. This is where Alice and Dee were at school 14 years ago when God abandoned the world, and behind the crumbling façade is another hidden world where Alice, Dee and their classmates are trapped within a repeatedly looping time warp, where, due to an unexplained tragedy, the world resets itself each year. Alice is seeking a way to stop the cycle, and believes that Ai may provide the key.

     As Sunday Without God (Kamisama no inai nichiyobi), based on a manga by Kimihito Irie, has a deceptively simple, but complex, premise that is developed with humour and not a little melancholy and sadness. There are thoughts about discrimination, oppression, religion, what it is to be human and immortality: the Deceased do not get any older, the Living age so that as no new humans are being born within this generation all the Living will die out. What will it be like to be the last Living person, and is it in any way desirable?

     Sunday Without God is beautiful to look at and the characters are quirky. Ai is delightful; she is a young, naïve and confused girl who gradually learns about herself and the world she lives in, realising that things are not a straightforward as they seem. Other characters such as Alice and Dee have depth and a backstory although with the various story arcs some characters receive less development. The animation style of Sunday Without God is unrealistic, with red and yellow skies, but this is a series that is simply stunning.

     The 12 episodes of Sunday Without God aired on Japanese TV between January and March 2014. This Sunday Without God – Complete Series contains all 12 episodes on two DVDs; episodes 1-7 are on disc 1 while episodes 8-12, an OVA and other minor extras are on disc 2.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Sunday Without God is presented in the original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is NTSC and 16x9 enhanced.

     This is great looking anime. It features a spectacular pastel colour scheme where the skies are red and yellow, the blues of night are deep, the forest greens vibrant. The character lines are strong, the backgrounds detailed while blacks are rock solid and shadow detail excellent.

     There is some slight ghosting but otherwise marks and artefacts are absent.

    The English subtitles are in American English, generally in a yellow font although when more than one person is speaking the other dialogue is in white. They are quite colloquial in nature and are not burnt in when the Japanese dub is selected so can be removed for Japanese speakers. I noticed no obvious errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio choice is between the original Japanese or an English dub, both in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps. Both are surround encoded, with similar effects; I sampled the English dub but I did prefer to watch the episodes in Japanese. The audio and subtitles can be changed on the fly with the remote.

     Dialogue was clear and the rears do feature music, ambient effects such as rain, the rumble of machinery in the clock tower and the occasional crash. Gunshots have some depth and the subwoofer did add some bass to machinery and explosion and fire effects.

     The music by Hiromi Mizutani is beautiful and diverse; it can be playful or sad and uses choral sections as well as a variety of electronic, traditional and orchestral instruments.

     This is anime so lip synchronisation is approximate in either audio track.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The extras are on Disc 2.

OVA (25:31)

     This is a full length additional episode with the same opening and closing credits. It is titled “Memories” and consists of three separate mini-episodes that really function more like deleted scenes. In the first the group visit a hot spring for a bit of nude bathing and discussion about breasts, the second provides more explanation about the Ostia time warp and features a meeting between Alice and Hampnie while the last, narrated by Hampnie, provides more information about the physics of the world without God and shows the meeting of Ai’s parents.

Textless Opening (1:33)

     The opening song without the credits.

Textless Closing (3:55)

     The closing song without the credits.

Trailers

     Trailers for Soul Eater Not! Collection (1:53), Inari Kon Kon Series Collection (1:42), Magical Warfare Series Collection (1:41) and Noragami Series Collection (1:29).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 1 US release of Sunday Without God is the same as our Region 4 NTSC DVD. Buy local.

Summary

     Sunday Without God is thoughtful, simple yet complex and very quirky. Despite the premise this is a surprisingly funny and entertaining anime mostly due to the naïve and delightful character of Ai.

     The video is beautiful, the audio fine. The extras are not extensive but are the same as available elsewhere.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, April 11, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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