Anime of Tomorrow
Ookami Kakushi (review)
Final impression – good atmosphere around a passable story (6/10)
Winter 2010 (12 episodes) (title literal translation – Wolfed Away)
Hiroshi’s father, an author of folklore and occult novels, has decided to move the family to the remote, countryside village of Jogamachi. His friendly attitude and city-boy personality allow Hiroshi to quickly make friends with his classmates. But the one thing he never really becomes accustomed to the unusual traditions of this backwater town. It becomes increasingly suspicious for Hiroshi when the dreary Nemuru, his classroom representative (daughter of the town’s oldest, traditional family) tells him to stay away from the old side of town across the river. But the apprehension really kicks in when people suddenly start leaving Jogamachi and the flimsy explanations for their quick departures just don’t make sense.
Ookami Kakushi’s most distinctive feature is its original drawing style that feels suave and matches perfectly with the fog of mystery that surrounds the story. The writing is pretty good, too—pacing out just the right amount of information to feed your appetite, while managing to keep you hungry for more. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t leave much of an impact when it’s over. Without spoiling too much, it’s a fairly standard “spirited away,” scenario that gets much less intriguing when the big surprise is that the circumstances are only superficially supernatural. All in all, it’s a good show that gets you to feel for the characters and manages its allotments of suspense with skillful timing. Certainly not for people who don’t care for slow, moody anime, Ookami Kakushi is a fine example of well-composed atmospheric pacing.