What’s it about? High school senior Narukami Yota is visited by a little girl in a nun outfit, who tells him three things: her name is Odin, she is omniscient, and the world will end in 30 days.
“Comedy is subjective,” I repeat to myself after stopping in the middle of the third version of the same gag to check how much episode was left. It is possible that with the aid of this mantra I have ascended, and now write to you from a higher plane of existence. Thank you, The Day I Became a God. I am free, and premieres cannot hurt me.
Snark aside, I wouldn’t actually call this premiere bad. The big pull here is the combination of series composer Maeda Jun (a musician and writer best known for working on moe cryfests Clannad and Angel Beats!) and animation studio P.A. Works, which is maybe best known for SHIROBAKO and just finished up the stunningly underrated Appare-Ranman! last season. That alone will be enough to keep a chunk of fans with this series no matter what I say, which is a-ok by me.
Even as someone who knows Maeda only by reputation, there are parts of this premiere that already scream “BRACE FOR THAT BITTERSWEETNESS.” The episode is at its best when it’s framing its characters to one side of the frame against a gorgeous shot of nature, emphasizing with beauty if not subtlety how small the human shenanigans at play are when the whole world is coming to an end. When the writing is willing to shut up and breathe, it unearths a kind of camaraderie in the face of despair that I have no doubt it plans to return to.
Unfortunately, those two minutes are preceded by 20 minutes of noise. Odin is small but haughty, people disrespect or disbelieve her and it makes her mad, and sometimes Yota treats her like a little kid and she acts like one before catching herself.
These three jokes make up 75% of the episode, and while not bad on their own they get thrown so fast and with so little differentiation that it becomes a low-grade whine of noise. When both Yota and Odin’s reaction to everything is to scream, the surprise wears off fast, and that is the death of comedy.
Yota’s childhood friend is a brief godsend with her viciously blunt deadpan, which gives the manic jokes something to play off; but like the moments of silence, she only appears for a few scattered minutes. Then it’s back to the same cycle of “smol cute girl get mad” on repeat, a setup far better suited for a series of shorts than a full 22 minutes.
There’s potential here and relatively few warning flags—one rando makes the depressingly obligatory joke about Yota and Odin being on a date and Odin’s drawn to be as pwecious as possible, and it remains to be seen how the show will treat Yota’s pursuit of Izanami after she’s turned him down flat. Plenty of comedies have had rough first episodes only to find their footing once they build out an ensemble; it helps that the episode ends with Yota buying into Odin’s powers, which opens more doors for setups.
The ending was honestly strong enough for me to consider giving it a three-episode audition despite my mounting frustration with what came before, but with a season this packed I’d recommend trying out some of the more slam-dunk premieres first.