Original Run: April 7, 2019 - June 23, 2019 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy Based on the Video Game: Shoumetsu Toshi
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Afterlost. Reader discretion is advised.***
Without warning, an entire city disappeared. Thousands met an unknown fate as a result of the phenomenon which has come to be known as the Lost. However, there was one survivor.
Following that horrific nightmare, young Yuki (voiced by Kana Hanazawa) was taken into custody by the mysterious Agency. In the eyes of this dark organization, Yuki possesses unique abilities, and harnessing those abilities could bring forth potentially limitless possibilities.
One day, a professional contract courier named Takuya (voiced by Tomokazu Sugita) rescues Yuki from the Agency. Upon returning to Takuya’s base, a long lost message for Yuki had finally been deciphered. It is from Yuki’s father, and it simply reads:
Yuki, I am waiting in the Lost.
At that, Takuya’s new job is to take Yuki to the place where it all started. Unfortunately, there are many out there who intend to stop Takuya and recapture Yuki, no matter the costs.
Given this is a series-specific review, it would make sense to expect you are reading this post because you’re wondering if Afterlost is right for you.
Let me save you some time: It’s probably not.
Afterlost was amazingly dull. However, the reasons for its blandness got me thinking. Not too long before this post, I released my review of Fairy Gone (which you can read HERE). That show was also quite boring. And yet, the reasons why Fairy Gone and Afterlost failed were different despite having the same result.
But we will discuss that soon; like really soon. For the time being, with this being the Series Positives section and everything, I guess we should talk about the things Afterlost did well.
Yuki was decent.
I say that, but to be completely honest with you, I think I am a bit biased in this regard. Let me explain.
Yuki, to her credit, was not a whiny character, and I think that alone was surprising. Given the type of story Afterlost turned out to be – which in the grand scheme of things, wasn’t atrocious, although there is a reason why I’m not mentioning it here – Yuki could have easily been someone stuck in a perpetual gloom who was quick to give up, and thus, would have been a drag to everyone around her. While at times she was down on herself, she never stopped trying.
Having a person like Yuki to root for, even though her goal wasn’t the clearest, made is so Afterlost, at the very least, wasn’t a headache-inducing mess.
Calling back to my previously mentioned bias: I’m not sure if my positive reception of Yuki is coming from her character or from me being a fan of the voice actress who played her, Ms. Kana Hanazawa.
For what it’s worth, Ms. Hanazawa gave a strong performance considering she wasn’t working with the best material.
With that said, I want to finish this section by acknowledging there wasn’t a single character I disliked from Afterlost. No one was annoying or infuriating. The problem was, there was also no one who was interesting, compelling, or what I would consider essential to anything that was going on. But then again, not having negative qualities trumps not having positive ones. So, I’m labeling that as a win.
So, Afterlost versus Fairy Gone.
Both were not good, but gun to my head, I would have to say Afterlost was the better of the two.
Without having you read my complete Fairy Gone review (although if you did that and left maybe a like, comment, and considered following the site, it would be very much appreciated), one of that show’s major flaws was its info-dump style of storytelling. An insane amount of lore and world-building details were continuously shoved down our throats throughout the series’ entire run. There was so much you needed to remember, but it was all conveyed as though you were listening to a dry college professor give a three-hour long lecture.
With the sheer amount of stuff you needed to retain, that overflow turned Fairy Gone disinteresting. Hence, boring.
For Afterlost, it was the exact opposite problem. There was virtually nothing to this story. A shame since its core idea wasn’t too bad.
Think about it:
An entire city suddenly disappeared, and the lone survivor received a message from her lost father telling her to go back.
Okay, you have my attention. Where are you going to go from there show?
No, seriously. What did you plan to do with that concept?
There were things which happened in this series, but hardly any of them felt connected to Yuki and Takuya’s mission to reach the Lost. Instead, most everything had to do with solving the mystery behind the Agency and alleviating the regrets of those who succumbed to the event.
Those weren’t unrelated to the primary mission, but none of them went to achieving said mission. In fact, this series went so off course, I forgot Yuki had received her father’s message.
Having everything happening as they did didn’t do Afterlost any favors because nothing felt connected. To give an example, Yuki’s character design didn’t fit with the world she occupied.
Here we had a bright blue-haired girl in an otherwise contemporary setting. It’s not a steadfast rule, but when you can successfully play spot-the-main-character-in-under-five-seconds in a drama-leaning narrative, then the entire series feels unbalanced.
Now, did Afterlost fail because of the way Yuki looked? That would be ridiculous. No show is that fragile, thankfully.
Instead, Shoumetsu Toshi failed because this was a persistent problem.
- I didn’t care about the regrets of some idol star.
- I didn’t care about a group of magician thieves lamenting their missing leader.
- I didn’t care about how some secret organization performed human experiments.
- I sure as hell didn’t care about an out of nowhere episode fully dedicated to explaining how everything started.
- I didn’t care about any of that because none of those plotlines brought us closer to getting to the Lost; which if that was my mistake for assuming was the point of this story, my bad.
Now, had those ideas been explored once Yuki and Takuya went into the Lost, then maybe things would have been different. But since the only effort needed to enter this highly dangerous, super-secretive area was to just to walk in, anything before that was a waste of time.
And since Yuki and Takuya entered the lost in episode eleven of twelve, Afterlost was simply an utter waste of time.
What happens when you take a reasonably decent idea and then decide to do nothing with it? You pretty much get this show.
From beginning to end, this series was consistently dull. There was no excitement, no interest, no fun. To say it was bare-bones would be giving this story a bit too much credit.
I mean, when a show’s best quality is the actress who plays the lead character rather than the character herself, you know something is wrong.
Afterlost is one you can skip.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? How would you advise Afterlost? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.