Love of Kill
by MrAJCosplay/Cartoon Cipher,
How would you rate episode 1 of
Love of Kill ?
Community score: 3.4
Love of Kill was another anime that I got the chance to see early back at Anime NYC, and it was probably one of my favorite premieres of that weekend. That said, of all the shows that I'm watching this season, this is also the one that I have the most questions about regarding its overall direction, narrative, and tone.
The first episode's goal seems to be to establish a dark world, but there are some scenes and plot points throughout that I find rather dissonant. One one hand, Love of Kill appears to be set in a society where underground dealings are a bit more common and the hitman profession has been booming as people are looking to take out competition. The opening scene and subsequent violent displays are rough and have this underlying grit to it which I like. We don't see a lot of these characters, but I do really feel like this is a world where the bad guys sort of have more control over how things are run; or at the very least, those with power and skill can do as they please. Son Ryang-ha, who permeates this “I can kill you without a thought” energy, does a good job of getting that feel across. On the other hand, however, more than half of the first episode revolves around one of the deadliest assassins in this world trying to “flirt” with a woman who I think had less than five lines collectively across the entire episode. What's more, these moments aren't even framed as creepy or malicious; instead, they're kind of framed like a romantic comedy until he starts losing his patience at the end, and all I remember was how the voice actor for Son was very open about how creepy this guy is.
Thankfully the show doesn't try to play off any of his actions as overly cute or forgivable. If anything, I appreciate the fact that we're mostly seeing a lot of this show from Château Dankworth's perspective (yes, that is her name and I'm sorry). She mostly just loathes this guy and questions all of his actions, which is cool because it means that I'm already relating to her even though I know absolutely nothing about what her deal is.
I can't tell if Love of Kill is trying to be an edgy romantic comedy with hitmen or some kind of mystery show set in a dark, unforgiving society. Everything about this episode, from the way scenes are laid out to the opening, kind of bounces back-and-forth tonally and it's still too early for me to tell if it works. This is definitely a show that has my attention strictly based on curiosity alone, and I hope that whatever direction it eventually decides to lean into will be a satisfying one.
Love of Kill is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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