Re-Kan!

Re-Kan! markets itself as a comedy, which is wonderful because otherwise we wouldn’t have known that watching a sociopath talk to herself for 24 minutes is supposed to be funny. Apparently, the studio’s great idea for saving money this quarter is to make an anime about a character who babbles at great length to empty space instead of making any of the “ghosts” visible. It can only be assumed they pinched a few yen coins by buying red paint in bulk and dumping it all over every single scene. This would be a fantastic animation if it were uploaded to Newgrounds in 2002, but even for something launching in a season with practically nothing but sequels, it comes out of the gates limping.

More red than a Chinese military batallion.

More red than a Chinese military batallion.

The first 10% of the pilot follows Hibiki Amami as she walks to school in utter silence. When she finally gets there, we find out she’s the new kid and people are only interested in her because she’s weird and her stories about the ghosts she can see have a vaguely soap opera feel. We’re then treated to the events of Amami’s schoolday, which equate to watching a nonstop slew of her saying odd phrases in scenes slapped together back to back despite their lack of continuity.

Could have used so much more red in this scene.

Could have used so much more red tinting in this scene.

Practically the entire intro is just Amami and her one friend faffing about to campy teen music. The soundtrack is comprised mostly of nonsense words and someone wailing on a keytar like he’s in an elevator music rock-off.  I hate to admit that this awful music is actually quite catchy because it’s not that different from the standard fare any 14 year-old Japanese girl would listen to. God help you if you happen to get it stuck in your head, though, because it’s the only thing haunting in an animation about ghosts.

Sparing no expense animating those spirits.

Sparing no expense animating those spirits.

Amami has no qualms about stopping to talk to ghosts in the middle of doing basically anything. Walking down the halls in front of thirty people, standing in the middle of traffic, you name it and our resident psychopath will drop it all for the sake of a chat with someone’s dearly departed. Oddly, her own dead mother makes no appearance. Instead, Amami is harassed by ghosts which are largely just bored. They ask her how she’s doing in school, open doors for her, and want to play games to pass the time. None of Amami’s classmates seem terribly bothered by any of this, reasoning that “it’s not like we can see them.” Who can argue with logic so devoid of sentience? Certainly not Amami — she’s too busy being absolutely perfect.

"I hear the song of my people. The lyrics are 'Cha cha chaaa cha cha cha chaaa cha' set to an electric piano."

“I hear the song of my people. The lyrics are ‘Cha cha chaaa cha cha cha chaaa cha’ set to an electric piano.”

Amami’s only “real” friend is the reluctant Inoue — resident tsundere and disbeliever of all things paranormal despite being spoken to by a haunted toilet and playing tag with four ghost kids for hours. She also only offers token resistance to Amami’s ability to speak with cats. Yes, Amami can speak with cats because why the fuck not. Incidentally, the cat Amami talks to seems as though he’ll be a recurring character. What’s an anime without a perverted cat who wants to look up human girls’ skirts for no reason?

For some reason the cat gets a teal theme even in the credits, making his scenes the only ones that aren't part of a vampire's wet dream.

The cat inexplicably gets a teal theme even in the credits, making his scenes the only ones that aren’t part of a vampire’s wet dream.

In typical “comedic” fashion, Amami is totally oblivious to the social awkwardness of talking to spirits when other people are around. The ghosts all play out like a very unendearing take on Calvin & Hobbes since they only seem to appear when their veiwer is alone. Amami’s strangeness factor is supposed to generate comedy, but she comes across as stupid and sociopathic, showing no empathy whatsoever to the emotions of the living people around her.

Inoue has more emotion in one frame than the main character does throughout the entire episode. Also, red highlights, red shadow tints, red uniform trim.

Inoue has more emotion in one frame than the main character does throughout the entire episode. Also, red highlights, red shadow tints, red uniform trim, red blush, red tongue.

Inoue delivers a hook to the jaw when she asks Amami what the point of her power to sense the dead is. According to Inoue, all Amami’s power does is scare people and burden her. Amami spouts some simplistic bullshit about bonds not being a one way street — that everyone alive or dead shares a bond through the same feelings. Sensing the dead helps her form new bonds. After all, her strange situation has helped her create a new bond of friendship with Inoue! Because she totally couldn’t have just become her friend anyway. That’s not how friendship works! You can’t just go chat with people and relate to them on interpersonal levels. Are you stupid?

Give us red or give us absolutely no backgrounds whatsoever.

Give us red or give us absolutely no backgrounds whatsoever.

The traditional animation itself isn’t bad, but the CGI is horrible, intrusive, and everywhere. Just look at how disgustingly boring all the screencaps are for this article. The reason the stills are so blasé is the entire episode was so lackluster that finding interesting grabs was impossible. The series is campy at best. It’s something that might be good for passing time on a sick day, but it’s not anything  you’re going to want to go out of your way to watch on a weekly basis.

Left to right: red eyes, red cheeks, red eyes AND cheeks, red hair, red cheeks/shirt/highlights. We bloody get it, Re-Kan.

Left to right: red eyes, red cheeks, red eyes AND cheeks, red hair, red cheeks/shirt/highlights. We bloody get it, Re-Kan.

Recommendation: Skip it.

Series Info:

Title: Re-Kan! (Rekan!)
Original Source: Manga
Source Writer: Hinako Seta
Source Publisher: Houbunsha
Director: Masashi Kudo
Writer: Takahashi Aoshima
Music: N/A
Studio: Pierrot+
Run Start: 04/2015
Review Date: 04/2015
Episodes Reviewed: 01

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