Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Action, Adventure, Post-Apocalyptic
First Aired: Winter 2019, 12 episodes
Summary: Several sisters live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with the simple goal of finding fresh water in a world that is severely dried out. Survival is further threatened by encounters with angry red bugs that constantly cross their path. The sisters use powerful kemurikusa to do everything from defeat bugs to find water. Everything is status-quo until they discover Wakaba, a mysterious being that does not recall his past. Is he a human or an advanced red bug? His red blood indicates bug, but he can control kemurikusa in a way that bugs are unable to. It is up to the travelers to uncover the mysteries of the world and themselves.
Watching Kemurikusa was an interesting experience. I popped on the first episode and was immediately distracted by the CG animation. It’s not the best. I decided years ago I wouldn’t let animation on its own deter me from watching an anime, so I stuck it out. A few episodes in I was still on the fence about the story. It was slow paced at times and the characters weren’t doing much. Next thing I know I am seven episodes in and cannot wait to watch the rest! The series is a slow burn buildup in the best of ways. By the end I cared so much about what was going to become of Wakaba and the sisters. The mystery sucked me in until I felt I was part of that fantasy world. The vastness of empty space and void-like atmosphere got to me, especially at the end.
You might enjoy this if: You adore sci-fi mystery as much as I do. If we are talking live-action movies, it reminds me of Annihilation on a lot of levels. It is also similar to Ex Machina and Under the Skin.
You might not like it if: You are looking for a quick light to sci-fi fire.
Note to the Viewer: The literal English translation of “Kemurikusa” is “Smoke Plant”, which makes a lot of sense now that I have watched the entire series. I wish I would have known that beforehand. I went through all 12 episodes thinking, “I wonder what that means, never heard the word Kemurikusa before”. I’m sure I could have looked it up before finishing the series, but I didn’t and now here we are. At least if you go out and watch the series after reading this review you already know.
Kemurikusa Opening – Kemurikusa by Nano
Kemurikusa Opening 8bit Cover
(I’m a sucker for these, I don’t know why)