Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu] also known as The Ones Within is a series I doubt is on everyone’s Summer anime watch list. The series is based on a manga of the same name by Osora, first published in 2014. This anime adaptation is by Silver Link who have also done series like Alice in Borderland [one of my very early reviews on this blog!], Kokoro Connect and Chaos;Child. In this series, a group of online streamers have been abducted and taken to an unknown place. There, they are forced to play a series of games as their efforts are streamed. They can only leave once they gain 100,000,000 views. So they better get those views or die trying!
One word that can definitely sum up this episode is ‘disjointed’. The episode opens with a number of character receiving a congratulations letter, then two characters are being chased by a giant panda. After the panda, the scene cuts to a classroom and a ‘humorous’ self introduction segment. There seems to be no connection between each scene, rather they’re randomly slotted together and it’s up to audiences to try and link them all. I’m always a big believer that while the first episode doesn’t need to spoon feed the audience, it needs to at least set up a solid foundation. We have to have a sense of what’s going on, and what’s a stake. Everything that is shown is so ambiguous there’s nothing to really orientate the audience.
During this episode we also had an introduction to the other streamers who are trapped in this ‘death game’. The main character is Akatsuki who seems to be a pretty cliche hero, and while not imaginative is not a particularly bad thing. My issue is with the main female character, Karin who seems to only exist to yell and hit Akatsuki. Unfortunately, I also found her voice very grating.
I will say on the positive side that this is one of the few death game anime that I’ve seen people actually encouraged to work together. It’s a refreshing change from the ‘survival of the fittest’ take most death game series have. I’m also intrigued by the various games they will have to face, and am hoping for ones more puzzling and difficult than the ones seen in the first episode. The individual character designs are quite memorable, especially the dating-sim guy who so far is my favourite (perhaps because he hasn’t said a word!).
The first episode of Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu] did not start the series off on the best foot. There was no clear introduction to the game, and how the characters got there. It wasn’t even that the audience got thrown into the deep end and had the chance to work things out themselves – that at least would reflect some semblance of intent and plotting. The structure of this episode was quite simply poorly done. However the idea behind the series does have me intrigued. So I will be sticking around to see if they can pull it off.
Check back next week for the review of Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu] episode 2!