Episode 1 Impressions: Mekakucity Actors


SHAFT. It’s a name that brings with it a particular style and quirk that one can either appreciate or dislike. Head snaps, plain architecture, and long stretching dialog about simple things. In the case of episode 1 of Mekakucity Actors, we get a brief look into a new world that may be a bit too brief.

Shintaro Kisaragi is a shut-in NEET that has never left his home in over two years. At one point during his long stay-at-home lifestyle he received an e-mail from an unknown source. Upon opening said email, it installed an artificial intelligence known as Ene that calls him master. Since then, she has gone from being a cute companion to becoming obnoxious. Snooping through his files and even deleting some.

One day he becomes fed up with her nagging and accidentally bumps his drink onto his keyboard. After she does a search for a replacement keyboard to have delivered, she claims none will be available for 5 days. This leads him to make the ultimate decision to leave his house and venture out to buy a keyboard.

Along the way, he’s constantly pushed to press on by a now app sized Ene who cheers him on from within his phone. As people eye him for being quite scruffy, he manages to make it within a mall that houses a ferris wheel (by request of Ene). Once in the mall he bumps shoulders with a hoody wearing girl with red peering eyes. After apologizing, he presses on before gas canisters hit the floor around him.

e1mekakucity7After being knocked out and regaining consciousness, he finds himself in the middle of a hostage situation. A group of men seized control of an entire floor as well as its security system. They demand 1 billion yen before threatening the consequences. This puts Kisaragi into a dreadful mind frame. After 2 years, he ventures out into the world and this is what happens.

A nearby boy begins mockingly dramatizing the situation before asking Kisaragi what he would do if he could get a distraction. If he could make it out alive. Kisaragi doesn’t quite understand the boy’s reasoning, but somehow the boy manages to cause some nearby thugs to break out in a fight. After Kisaragi yells for the boy to stop whatever he’s doing, the leader approaches Kisaragi believing he was talking to him.

While being held up and threatened, the entire room of equipment begins to fall on the band of thugs, knocking them out one by one. With the distraction in play, Kisaragi recalls what Ene had been telling him the entire time. To just get her hooked up to a terminal and she’ll handle the situation. Kisaragi rushes to a nearby computer and hooks his phone up. Ene downloads into the mainframe and opens up the security system.

e1mekakucity6Ugh, I cannot believe I sat through all of that. Unfortunately Ene was just not connecting with me at all. Becoming rather obnoxious pretty quickly. Which I guess was the point, but I was hoping for a more comical take rather than just obnoxious.

Too add to this was SHAFT’s signature head snaps and plain environments which at this point have become tired. I respect SHAFT for having some sort of artistic staple but in the end they just look too much like every show they’ve done. This literally felt like a futuristic Bakemonogatari. However that is sort of a knock on Bakemonogatari because the entire hostage scene looked juvenile in style. Lazy and jarring to be precise.

In the end the episode pretty much just covered Kisaragi getting an AI, messing up his keyboard, going out to buy a new one, getting stuck in a hostage situation, then plugging his phone into a conveniently placed plug that his phone could connect to.

I know there’s some interesting story in there somewhere, I’m just not seeing any of it yet. I’ll check out another episode to give it another shot. But as it stands now, this was a pretty useless show.

Episode 1: Artificial Enemy



Bad First Impression


  • Something under the surface


  • Uneventful
  • Annoying characters
  • Terrible visuals

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

  • By burnout26, April 13, 2014 @ 12:32 am

    i do agree with u this show is usless read the manga 2 chapters in and it sucked so bad i was surprised the made it an anime since the manga sucked so bad

  • By Zeruel, April 13, 2014 @ 9:47 pm

    To be honest I was half expecting this show to be confusing to anyone who HASN’T read the manga. But if what you’re saying is true then the show isn’t straying too far from the manga, there may be a reason why I disliked it! (haha) Thanks for the manga perspective as usual burnout26 🙂

  • By Lili, April 19, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

    Actually, the manga doesn’t ‘suck so bad.’ Its actually really good-nice art, good length and good explaining. It gives you further depth and is much better than the anime, as well as the songs.

    The manga and songs are worth checking out, as the story itself is really sad and unique. The ‘heat haze’ is freaking sad. Im not spoiling anything either.

  • By Zeruel, April 19, 2014 @ 3:32 pm

    Thanks for the comment Lili. Good to hear an alternate opinion on it. I’ll be sure to give it another couple more episodes as I’m sure there’s something hidden in there.

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