Sunday Without God is very interesting, from an animation standpoint. The saturated and sometimes blown-out colours continue, with glows and colour washes that create a whimsical atmosphere to contrast with the macabre nature of the show. Episodes two through four see Ai gain and lose her father, and some details about the world come to light that prove deeply disturbing and highly intriguing, marking the beginning of a plot arc I anticipate with delight and dread.
Ai, as it turns out, is half Gravekeeper, and she does in fact possess the ability to put the dead to rest. After the loss of her village and her father, Ai decides she’s going to bring peace to the world she knows nothing about. There’s some moral discussion as she comes to this decision, mostly about what it is to be alive and a person regardless of your health status, and the framework Sunday Without God employs to pursue this discussion is definitely full of promise.
As of episode four, Ai finds a blue-haired boy in the back of her vehicle, and upon interrogation, it’s revealed that he works for the Government of Ortus. One thing leads to another and Ai gains passage into Ortus, the City of the Deceased, while she and her companions, Julie and Scar, wait for their car to be repaired. Ortus is a massive city of the dead that reacts violently to Gravekeepers drawn to its gates by the auras of the dead dwelling within. The episode finishes with a stranger in a lion mask warning Ai to leave, because Ortus harbours great darkness.
There’s a lot of potential in this show, and I’m actually quite enjoying it. Ai is almost like a reflection of the audience as she’s taken out into the world and learns of its beauty and danger at the same pace as those watching. Because of this, her naiveté and ignorance is easily forgiven, and the sheer idea of a city full of people who’ve suffered fatal injury or illness is just too enticing for me not to watch. Combine that with the Venetian Carnivale flavor thus far introduced and a mysterious princess with a mask screwed to her face, and it’s a solid entry in the summer season.