★Writer: Richard K. Moe
“An elementary school kid dubbed with the title “shounen bat” or “lil slugger” has been going around attacking people with his bent, golden bat. Now, two detectives are investigating so they can stop this kid from making any more attacks, but they will find out soon enough… that this case is much more than they expected” (ANN).
Behind The Anime:
★Original Work – Satoshi Kon (Millennium Actress, Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers, Perfect Blue)
★Director – Satoshi Kon (Millennium Actress, Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers, Perfect Blue)
★Animation Studio – Madhouse (Hanayamata, Death Note, One-Punch Man, The Tatami Galaxy)
★Script – Seishi Minakami (Bakuman, A Certain Scientific Railgun) & Tomomi Yoshino (Monster)
- The whole mystery of who and why someone is beating people with a baseball bat is strange but very intriguing.
- The city of Japan and it’s residents feel alive and real.
- Many of characters feel authentic. (E.G. Akio Kawazu feels like a sleazy reporter with how he moves and talks. Tsukiko Sagi feels like a anxious woman by how she carries herself. )
- How all the characters and victims are connected with one another is really done well.
- Most of the highlighted characters/victims episodes are engaging and shocking.
- All the victims are fleshed out thoroughly.
- The pressure and stress of society is very apparent in the story.
- Every moment for the first seven episodes when Lil Slugger/Shounen Bat appears is intense and horrifying.
- The show tackles on things such as personality disorders, social anxiety, and narcissism convincingly.
- The dark and mature themes are uncomfortable but work with the show perfectly.
- Some of the social situations feel real and relatable. (E.G. There is a moment where a house wife tries to fit in with a bunch of gossiping neighbors by lying about absurd events that involve Lil Slugger/Shounen Bat.)
- Episode 8 is a filler but it’s fun, engaging, funny, heart warming, and insightful.
- Although episode 9 and 10 are boring they do showcase gossiping and rumor speaking well.
- The majority of things are answered by the end of the show.
- The conclusion is thrilling, thought provoking, and head spinning due to all the reveals, symbolism, and meaning.
- The emotion of a scene is very apparent due to the perfect camera shots, effects, character expressions, and music. (E.G. There is a scene where Tsukiko is growing anxious and anxious by the minute and you can tell by her facial expression, the melting of a sundae, and the intense music. There is also a moment where Ichi feels everyone is out to get him and that’s apparent due to the high intense music and how distorted everyone and everything around him becomes.)
- For most of the serious parts, the show always stays engaging and seat grabbing.
- The subtle camera cuts that show case a character’s action is done well.
- The eerie tone of the show is creepy but fascinating.
- There are great transitions that move scenes to another scene.
- The opening them’s visuals are mind boggling and strange.
Animation, Illustrations, and Music
- For most of the episodes, the animation is always is in top notch quality.
- Character designs are both unique looking and appealing.
- You can see how a character is feeling perfectly through the detailed illustrations.
- The soundtrack is funky, eccentric, and lively.
- The opening theme, “Yume no Shima Shinen Kouen”, by Susumu Hirasawa is very creepy due to it’s lively singing and odd instrumental.
- Although many characters feel realistic, there are some that just feel cliche and boring. (E.G. The two detectives are just so plain and simple.)
- Shounen Bat/Lil Slugger loses his frightful aura after episode 7 because after episode 7 he begins to be shown too much and becomes less mysterious.
- Episode 5 has a big reveal but the whole episode itself is boring, absurd, and way too silly that it destroys the flow of the show.
- In episode 6, Detective Maniwa has character growth but it feels abrupt.
- Detective Maniwa after episode 6 grows absurdly annoying.
- Although Episode 8 is fun, it’s very out of place.
- The two filler episodes (9 and 10) excluding episode 8, are slow and bland due to the mass amount of boring characters introduced and uninteresting story telling.
- Although Episode 8 was good, Episode 8 through 11 are unnecessary fillers.
- By the end of the show, there are some unanswered questions.
- Even with a thrilling conclusion, I felt unfulfilled at the ending due to many of the characters not appearing for the final part.
Directing and Illustrations
- Episode 8 is directed way too differently from the other episodes.
- Episode 8’s character designs looked unfamiliar compared to the other episodes.
(Reference Source for “Behind The Anime” – Anime News Network)