Anime – Sunday Without God
By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)
Since the beginning of human kind, there has been a belief, a faith, that there are higher beings than ourselves. In many religions, there is a “God” who resides above humanity and established ways of living to live a righteous life in the hopes of having a positive afterlife. Now some agree with religious beliefs and some disagree all together. But what if it came to pass that there was actually a God? And what is this God decided to abandon humanity all together? Such is the premise of the anime by Yūji Kumazawa titled Sunday Without God, providing a new perspective on what it means to be alive.
Fifteen years ago, God decided that he had a made a mistake with humanity. After all this time, there was no further room in Heaven for his children, so he abandoned those on Earth. With his abandonment, humans were no unable to procreate, meaning there were no longer any children being born. It also meant that people can no longer die. And while a blow to the head could immobilize any living or dead, they are never really at rest. There is one exception: Gravekeepers. These individuals were born, and given a special shovel, with the one goal: to put the dead to rest.
As the daughter of a Gravekeeper, Ai took on that role for her village on her mother’s passing but dreamed of meeting Hampnie Hambert, her true father. But, after a man comes and “kills” all of the
members of her village, she is forced to bury them all, giving them the ability to rest in peace, and seeks
off on a journey of self-discovery and to fulfill her dream. For a girl who had never been outside of her village, a whole world awaits. What dangers and wonders await Ai as she ventures out into the great unknown?
Sunday Without God isn’t your average anime and covers deeper topics. I’d almost put it in the category with anime such as Clannad and Air, but it’s still different. The story follows more of a variety of arcs path rather than one follow through. I mean, there’s no longer a God in the world, can there really be an ending when no one can die? So we follow Ai on her journey, as she meets people that become her friends, and in some sense family, as she tries to make her dream of saving mankind come true. The characters, while given life, are never fully realized in terms of their character development. and part of that is due to the fact that there are various arcs (over the course of 13 episodes), which brings people in and out of the series, never giving them the time to fully develop. It’s almost like the characters come in and out with the goal of giving some further enlightenment to Ai as she learns more about the world and who she is. Julie becomes like a father figure for Ai, while Scar, being a gravekeeper herself, learns what it is to be human, teaching Ai what it may have been like to have a real mother. Other characters come and go, but all leave some lasting impression on Ai and her dream.
While Sunday Without God is an interesting concept, there is still much to be desired with this anime. Character development is at a minimal, which may be due to the 13 episode series, thus inhibiting the need to flesh out other characters, particularly that of Julie and Scar. Also, with different story arcs in such a short time frame, it almost feels as if the story, as a whole, is disjointed. All of which leads up to an anti-climactic conclusion which feels like a letdown. The story is completely left open for a potential second season, but with no real end in sight, and a world that God has abandoned, this may be one anime that we, too, must abandon.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars