Okami Kakushi, or “Wolfed Away,” we could call it. But I’ll just stick with Okami Kakushi.
Yesterday I reviewed the epic that is Higurashi, so I thought I’d follow that up with a related work. Some time after Ryukishi07 finished the Higurashi visual novels, he became the director of a visual novel for the PSP. In 2009 Okami Kakushi was released for the handheld, and it remained there in Japan along with about 438,000 other PSP visual novels. I can’t really tell you how good the VN for this franchise is.
But I can tell you what I think about its anime adaptation, which was released a year later. The anime Okami Kakushi is no good. And not only is it just a bad show to sit through… it’s also incredibly uninspired. The parallels between the plots of this and Higurashi are far too apparent to ignore, and ultimately Okami Kakushi fails to fill the shoes of its predecessor.
A city boy moves to a small isolated town and makes friends with some of the girls in his class. Meanwhile, mysterious deaths are taking place, and it all seems related to a summer festival about to take place. I have described both series here. They’re that similar. Now just throw in a demon-wolf cult. (Something that should have been *awesome*.)
But obviously, there is the difference in quality between the two series that needs to be addressed. Okami Kakushi’s characters are neither interesting nor likeable, possessing only the most basic of personalities and essentially no backstory to speak of. And then as for the story itself–it’s just so straightforward and basic. The humor isn’t funny, the horror isn’t scary, the mystery is fairly obvious, and the drama holds no weight as there’s little reason to care for the characters. Curiously the only character that is given a little bit of development is the villain of the story, but in the end his evil plan is really dumb and pointless. And also a ripoff of a Higurashi plot element.
And now it’s time for… giving credit where credit is due! There are two things I liked about Ookami Kakushi.
And second: the soundtrack is nice. I especially liked the ending theme, which captured the exact sort of atmosphere that I wish the rest of the show could have produced.
All right, I’ve made my peace with Okami Kakushi. Shame it couldn’t have been better, and hey–maybe the VN was okay? I’ll just stick with Higurashi for now though. (And maybe, some day, I ought to give Umineko a shot…?)