KamiKatsu: Working for God in a Godless World
by Nicholas Dupree,
How would you rate episode 7 of
KamiKatsu: Working for God in a Godless World ?
Community score: 3.2
It occurred to me while watching this episode that I haven't said much about the sprite art cutaways that KamiKatsu is so fond of. That's because I don't get why they're here. The uncharitable reading is that they're a crutch used to simplify certain sequences, eschewing the need for new backgrounds and abstracting otherwise complex animation or group shots. Yet, that doesn't feel entirely fair. Pixel and sprite work is an art that takes specialized knowledge to pull off well, and multiple sequences in this episode demonstrate a lot of time and effort to achieve what would probably be easier to demonstrate with a panning still image. There's also a range of styles even within these cutaways and thoughts put into their presentation. If it's not resource management, I'm at a loss as to why they went with this style.
Because KamiKatsu is, at least thus far, a rare isekai that lacks clear ties to RPG or other video game tropes; there are no skill levels or stat screens, except for Mitama's follower count. Yukito doesn't make cracks about Dragon Quest or The Legend of Zelda. So it seems odd to marry the show to an aesthetic predominantly associated with video games. If the show is trying to be unorthodox with its visuals, sticking to a single approach seems oddly limited. Altogether it comes off like a half-considered idea that was implemented on a whim, and in practice, it pairs with the shoddy editing to make otherwise straightforward dialogue scenes feel disorienting and ephemeral.
If that's a lot of time spent pondering a singular artistic choice: it's only because so much of this episode is presented as pixel art, and it's by far the most attention-grabbing part of the viewing experience. The plot itself is theoretically interesting but too thin to dig into. Yukito and Ricche trying to cause a schism within Dakini's cult is a neat angle. However, it mostly falls into the same idea as before: giving modern-day items and knowledge to the peasants and blowing their minds with the nacho cheese flavor of the future. Just replace farming equipment and indoor plumbing with battery-powered vibrators and off-brand Viagra.
Frankly, it's a boring way to portray political and religious subterfuge, and the show pads it out by recycling last week's, hoping the sheer repetition will elicit laughter. If you thought Ricche squirting through her robes over a lengthy rape fantasy was funny last week: you get the same joke again, nearly word for word. Haven't had enough frames of Roy mugging while he screams about being a miserable pedophile? Buddy, you're going to be eating so well, you'll need your stomach pumped.
It's all passe at this point: the episode's few original punchlines feel ironically neutered, and there's a whole visual gag referencing a particular hentai trope (see visual above). Yet, there's only one joke about Roy almost grabbing Alural's butt before swiftly moving on. Come on, show, you're the one pushing yourself as crude and shocking. So aim for the fences, and take a swing over the plate! If all your sex jokes amount to repeatedly screaming the word "bitch" and listing booru tags, what's the point of having a story arc centered around a sex cult? It's 2023, and I can accidentally stumble upon more shocking content while scrolling through the "For You" section on Twitter. Get weird. Get messy. Do something besides repeating the same gags and plot points with increasing desperation. Otherwise, I'm left to focus on why you briefly resembled a Sega Saturn game this week.
KamiKatsu: Working for God in a Godless World is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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