They’ve made it away from the academy and now it’s on to more important matters.
What They Say:
Ai and her group of friends go on a journey to find Scar. The journey takes them to Story Circle, the land where gravekeepers are born. Inside the foggy land, everyone must overcome haunting illusions. Who will Ai see in hers?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the Goran Academy arc behind us, Sunday Without God has a pretty nice opening segment here where we see how Ai is making her way with others in the van, with Julie driving, to bring a lot of them home. One of their first stops is to bring Tanya back to her parents and they’re so grateful that they’re actually having a whole lot of those who escaped stay there with them. That leaves just Julie with a couple of other people on the road trip now, one that has Ai become more focused as it goes along. With Scar having gone missing in the midst of what happened prior to hitting Goran Academy, Ai is intent on finding her, especially since it seems like Scar has a lot of issues as Julie recounts some of how she was with the baby, Celica. That just reinforces what Ai wants to do to try and make things right.
While this fills in the background some of what’s been going on, the road trip side of the show itself is a good bit of fun as the small group that is here now really is fun and interesting to watch as they hang out and get along. With the couple of students from Goran, including our non-physical member, there’s some good times to be had as they hang out at a campfire at night and talk about all sorts of things. For Ai, she’s able to explain Julie to the others a bit in that he’s someone who has suffered hardships as well, having lost his wife and daughter previously, and there’s that interesting sense that the people he’s with now are in some ways becoming his new family, one that he’s going to protect very intensely while also making sure they know what to do themselves.
The journey ends up taking them to an interesting place along the way, not a planned one to be sure, as they stumbled right into Story Circle, which is pointed out as a place where gravekeepers are born. That’s sufficiently vague to be sure, but with the things we see and the design of it just from the edges, it becomes something that’s vastly interesting from the get go. The small introduction that we get to it here, with Ai seeing things that man something to her, such as her father, it helps to reinforce the swell of emotions that are still deep inside her and driving her, even if she’s pushed it to the side for a bit while focusing on other things. Seeing as she moves through this, and then to discover Scar inside of there, helps to bring certain things full circle and allow us to view the group as a whole in a new, better and more well rounded light.
With some of the arcs in the season not doing too much for me overall, the return to something smaller and simpler but with a proper dash of the grandiose here works well. The road trip aspect plays into some of the early themes of the series and having time with Ai and Julie once again while also adding in the couple of remaining students works to help flesh things out all around. Ai is growing at her own place and is definitely growing in general, so we do see some small bits of progress here as she takes in more from others. The episode also gives us a bit when it comes to the gravekeepers themselves, but it’s mostly mystery and mysticism, which I’m not too bothered by with the way this series has worked so far. A pretty good episode all around that hopefully gets us back on track.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.