What’s It About? In this version of Earth, the world is overrun by the mysterious and dangerous “Randolph Syndrome,” a condition that causes sudden illnesses. That’s only the tip of the iceberg when an unreal, underground realm called “Asylum” gets discovered as the syndrome’s origin and also the home of strange creatures. The solution? Diving into Asylum to plunder resources, and more importantly: genetic data. Enter Shigure Daniel Kai, a young man who heads to the very edge of Asylum with a specific wish.
What did I just watch? This is the question I ask after two back-to-back watches of Deep Insanity The Lost Child’s premiere, which had all the musicality of an action series and none of the actual action impact.
Welcome to my review of Deep Insanity: The Lost Child, hereafter Deep Insanity to save my fingers because… geez, who is coming up with these five word titles? Anyways, like I said, welcome to the madness, the madness that is Deep Insanity, a show with a premiere that… doesn’t slap. It doesn’t slap in the least.
Episode 1 starts off in medias res in the mysterious realm of Asylum where a bunch of soldiers get wasted by one of its monstrous denizens. Nuff said on that because… that’s really all there is. Moving on.
Immediately, the series gets into the gritty-gritty, though it doesn’t ever stop to explain things. Thankfully, what is clear is one of the most life-ruining things to come from Asylum: Randolph Syndrome, a sickness that… okay, all I know is that it puts people in comas, but that’s about it. It’s left the world in a constant state of fear, as well as near-constant social masking, which… look, I come to anime to escape reality, not remember the pandemic, Deep Insanity. Don’t make me hurt anymore than this crummy premiere already has.
Hardcut to our boy Shigure Daniel Kai, a young man who stands on the cusp of Asylum. Why? Well, that’s not immediately clear, though the premiere does get around to talking about the why, starting from the moment he volunteers to dive into Asylum.
Spoiler: it’s because this child wants to be a Hero. (Oh, and he’s also immune to Randolph Syndrome, because of course he is.)
This forms the foundation for this premiere, which is… something. A jumble, really, of diving into the abyss of the Asylum with our very incompetent protagonist Daniel, who just really didn’t know what he was getting into, which would be fine if he wasn’t as unexciting as unbuttered barely toasted bread.
Animation-wise, Deep Insanity is… well, okay: so you know that feeling when you get something on your glasses? Like, that slight film of something smeared on there? That’s how this show looks like. It’s blurry and feels like my phone when it’s trying to focus on too many things. I thought it was just me at first, but no: the show is just kind of like that. It’s like watching an anime through a screen protector that still has the plastic on it, and it does nothing to help what is ultimately some nice to look at, but pretty average animation. I suspect this is being done to cut corners, but… it doesn’t. Instead, it just looks bad.
Where the show does shine is in its CG; and by shine, I mean it sucks. I’m sorry to come down so hard, but it sucks: the monsters, up close, look like an overbaked, microwaved potato. It’s bad, and honestly, I just feel like there’s no good reason why. Perhaps I’m just missing out on something, but… y’all the CGI looked like actual booty. Just chewed up, chomped on buttcheeks smashed together with some corned beef for flavor. I nearly bit my tongue in two laughing the first time we got up close and personal with one of Deep Insanity’s beasties because… Well, you can see the screenshot above. You know what I saw.
All of this isn’t helped by the massive amount of jargon thrown around. It’s interesting, largely because I’m very here for worldbuilding and terminology and getting a peek at this series’ world bible, but very little is explained. Blink and you’ll miss it, essentially, which probably means you’ll either need to be patient or just rewatch the premiere.
Rewatch at your own risk though because honestly? I’m not sure my initial watch was worth it.
In many ways, Deep Insanity reminded me of SMT Strange Journey, in part due to its Mad Max meets Damnation Alley vibes, which are pretty cool vibes to have. That said, Deep Insanity is definitely not Mad Max Fury Road, nor is it SMT Strange Journey. It’s definitely it’s own thing, though if that thing is actually good remains to be seen. My verdict is that there’s enough interesting stuff that maybe this’ll be good, but up front? It’s a poor first impression, which is unfortunate because that’s all I have to go on.
Ultimately, Deep Insanity: The Lost Child is kind of like the second night of leftover casserole: just okay, with some strange, hard bits that you definitely don’t remember from when it was fresh. There’s stuff here that folks are gonna like, are gonna not like, and are gonna feel meh about. It just so happens I found this meh, despite some interesting, Shin Megami Tensei-esque worldbuilding. Come for the story, stay for the… I don’t know what you’re staying for. The… plot? The… jargon?
Something something I’m genuinely glad this anime exists. (And I am: I’m just like… too tired to write it all out today, so… you’re getting the TL;DR version.) Plus, who knows? Deep Insanity: The Lost Child might be my favorite thing this season.
Probably not, but… miracles could happen.