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Thread: Yofukashi no Uta (Call of the Night)

  1. #1
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Yofukashi no Uta (Call of the Night)



    Ko Yamori is relatively good at studies and amiable with his classmates, but he puts a lot of effort into maintaining this facade. One day after developing insomnia, he decides to sneak out and take night walks alone. Eventually Ko meets a weird girl who diagnoses the cause of his sleeplessness: despite making changes in his life, he is still holding himself back from experiencing true freedom. She says that he won't be able to sleep unless he is satisfied with how he spends his waking hours. The girl, Nazuna Nanakusa, invites him back to her apartment to share her futon as a way of curing his insomnia, which she claims is her hobby. Unaware that he is only feigning unconsciousness, which he has gotten quite good at practice, she leans over him—and bites his neck!

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    As far as first episodes of a vampire series go, this covers very standard staples of the genre. Dissatisfied person meets stranger, stranger turns out to be vampire, person discovers their secret, and their relationship starts from there. Nothing even remotely surprising, innovative, or nuanced.

    Vampire is charming (in her weird way), potential victim sees something in the vampire that might change their stagnant life, someone declares their intention to love to the other, and of course the victim's blood is super delicious.

    But I do recommend watching the first episode anyway, at least.

    The atmosphere of this series is completely different. There's a peaceful stillness to all of it, even with the soundtrack imposing itself at times. There's a vibe of timelessness and a slight chill to it all. I think it perfectly captures that extremely late-night calm that you only get where there's really nobody around but you and your companions. The entire city (or park, or field) is yours, and yours alone. That brings in that little euphoria of catching a moment/place that is up for grabs, and you got there first.

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    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Eps 2

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    The music is so chill and relaxing in this series. I find it is actually something I can't finish if I start watching it too late because I just start to pass out from how cozy it feels.

    Ko is a bit of a lonely kid, but I got the impression this episode that Nazuna has also been a little detached from everything before she met him. Sort of stuck in her own fugue state of consoling those still awake and feeding off of them. She looks for him every night too, to the point that they miss each other, and she gets really engaged in the activities they're doing because she's been a bit out of the loop as the city has changed around her the past 30 years or so.

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    Awesome user with default custom title neflight86's Avatar
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    Took me a minute to try this one out. Agreed that the color palate and stillness, along with the almost synth BGM give this a unique feel. I like the character designs, though the plot isn't doing anything for me yet. The strongest draw currently is simply vibe. OP is unique too, in that it actually stops and starts up again mid-roll obviously on purpose. May not watch much more, but additional characters might give this some life.

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    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Eps 3

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    I'm partial to the ED over the OP.

    Yeah, the vibe of the series is the main draw. There's a stillness to the whole series, but it never for a moment even feels like a slideshow anime. It has that same static-yet-dynamic feel of a Shinbo-era SHAFT series. I mean...it should, given the director, and it works.

    The voice cast really does the majority of the work selling this series, and this episode was a great example. These are some pretty capable VAs doing stellar work here. At least so far, roles that they'll excel at where others would falter.

    Nazuna's expletive-laced shitfit is a great example. You don't even need to know a word of Japanese and you know exactly what she's saying. Akira's VA doing some of her best understated stuff. There's subtle hurt and longing behind most of her voicelines, and we really only understand what's causing the latter. And the noise when Ko tripped...I watched that five times.

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    Awesome user with default custom title neflight86's Avatar
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    The kaleidoscope cityscapes really saved this episode for me. I'm struggling with such low stakes drama to stay engaged. That, and I'm not sold on the motivation of Ko yet. Saying he randomly decided that interacting with others isn't worth the effort (but becoming a vampire is!) is unrelatable to me and I think the show is relying on subtext too much to get that point across. One new character isn't enough- lets fill this place out so we can get some more stories/arcs going!

    It almost crosses into spooky how empty the streets are.

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    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neflight86 View Post
    That, and I'm not sold on the motivation of Ko yet. Saying he randomly decided that interacting with others isn't worth the effort (but becoming a vampire is!) is unrelatable to me and I think the show is relying on subtext too much to get that point across.
    Ko's problem is that he didn't want to deal with the drama. His issues are more deeply rooted than he's been letting on. He struggles to make friends because his interests aren't particularly mainstream to begin with. He'd rather watch bugs than play active games with others. He comes off as a very strong introvert to me. He longs for companionship, but really struggles with groups. His cognitive center believes that he struggles to feel that attachment, and thinks also he can't make friends. But that's obviously not the case. He always had Akira, and he's gotten instantly attached to Nazuna and vice versa.

    On the other hand, it's also true that his limited energy for social activities means he struggles with wanting to be situations where he's uncomfortable. I've known that feeling where someone says they like you and you don't want to lie to them and tell them that you feel nothing for them. People want to be polite about it. Pressed into that situation, Ko turned her down because he's honest, and got ostracized for it. He had gathered a pretty decent social group (per himself and Akira), and when the drama happened, he had an epiphany about it. He was going to stop pretending to be a social person, and went back to being a pro-introvert full time.

    So, he didn't randomly decide to stop interacting with others. He decided to stop faking that he was a social person and be honest to himself as well. He'd always been that way. Akira even said she was surprised that he had become a lot more outgoing and had made a lot of friends...and noticeably, "missed her chance."

    Akira is the same way, which makes her equally fascinating. The "missed her chance" thing got straight up passed by this entire episode, but it is very obviously a confession of regret. Throughout the episode, Akira throws flags all over the place that she has an equal number of issues that Ko has. The obvious stuff is the regret and longing she has for Ko specifically, culminating in her subtle plea to choose her over this creepy new weird older woman who claims to be a vampire and looks like an exhibitionist.

    Putting aside the constant hints about how much she still romantically likes Ko now, Akira has always connected with Ko more than anyone else. She cherished the gift "he left her" more than anything else. Akira leaving early and going for hours long walks is very similar to what Ko's doing and indicates some problems at home or at least disengaged parents like his are. Akira isn't really as straight-laced as she came off, because she didn't disapprove that he's out late, just that he's having "risky fun" with this strange woman. But she isn't really bothered or hurt by the fact that he's interested in Nazuna either (maybe she's relieved that he does feel those kinds of things?).

    I really like the way they've set up Akira to be Nazuna's complete thematic opposite. She's the girl he hangs out with at dawn instead of midnight. She's awkward instead of charismatic. She holds her problems in close like whispers instead of yelling in the street (though both are pretty open about them, a very un-Japanese trait). She's accepting of his interest in other women instead of throwing a tantrum over it. She's authoritative and direct instead of teasing and roundabout. She's got big boobs instead of small ones, heh.

    And they're both upset that Ko is drawn to the other.

    The series might be low-stakes and subtle, but it is comprehensive, very elegantly crafted, and detailed about interpersonal stuff while being indirect about conveying it. I'm glad I never got around to reading the manga, because the voice acting adds so much to it.

  7. #7
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Eps 4

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    The series has outstanding sound design. The soft subtle tap-tap-tap as Nazuna's fingers press against Ko's jacket before she bites him, the noises of Akira's pencil tapping on her desk, the teeth brushing, the squeak of the bed, the mpah noises Nazuna makes.

    You can 100% tell this was directed by the -monogatari pervy spinoffs guy. But now he's leveled up in elegant use of it. Their Sound director also has some impressive titles in her portfolio.
    Last edited by Ryllharu; Sat, 07-30-2022 at 05:47 AM.

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    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Episode 5

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    Nazuna has got it bad.

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    Awesome user with default custom title neflight86's Avatar
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    Late catching up. Thanks for the in depth analysis, Ryll. You are certainly getting more out of this than I am, buy your insight is appreciated.

    That massage was sultry, indeed. I'm looking forward to how Ko screws up his first time giving a paid massage course to some office lady.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryllharu View Post
    Episode 5

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    Nazuna has got it bad.
    Has got what, exactly? I'm not getting a particularly romantic vibe from her yet, though she was restless at the beginning of the episode, it didn't point to her awaiting Ko, did it?

  10. #10
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neflight86 View Post
    Has got what, exactly? I'm not getting a particularly romantic vibe from her yet, though she was restless at the beginning of the episode, it didn't point to her awaiting Ko, did it?
    She's definitely in love with Ko already, just like Akira.

    Wakes up too early anticipating meeting him again; kills time playing video game, vows never to play it again, only to immediately think about playing it with him in the future; can't stand smelling like a stray cat before they meet so she takes a bath; immediately leaps out of it when he sets off the 2-way radio watch; hasn't bitten anyone else since they met; actually doesn't want to see an old and reliable previous client, etc.

    She's using her teasing to cover it up.

  11. #11
    Awesome user with default custom title neflight86's Avatar
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    When you spell it out, it all adds up. I guess I'm not paying much attention to this as all of that flew over my head. I promise I understand the concept of romance, at least!

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    Burning out, no really... David75's Avatar
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    I knew it felt like watching a monogatari like show.
    With some chill instead of hyper hyped Durarrra atmosphere+music

    Although everything is extremely well knitted, it gets a little boring.

    A nice chilling anime.

    All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral, or fattening. And then: Golf.

  13. #13
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David75 View Post
    Although everything is extremely well knitted, it gets a little boring.
    We have a lot more cast to go through, and when they added Akira, it got a lot more interesting. Because now there were opposing philosophies going on, and even more hints that all really isn't that well.

    If it was just Nazuna and Ko playing around, like a rehash of SHAFT's Tsukuyomi MoonPhase, I wouldn't enjoy it this much.

  14. #14
    Burning out, no really... David75's Avatar
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    I'm more interrested in Nazuna's background and who she loved that made her a vampire for example. Unless it was a lie or there are other ways... or none, you are just born a vampire.

    Akira feels like a lifeline, a connection to Ko's everyday life. But for now she's not much of a threat to Nazuna's and Ko's little world.

    I skip OP and ED's (unless I love the music) to not get spoiled with staff and characters.

    All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral, or fattening. And then: Golf.

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