First Look: Undead Murder Farce

First Glance: Undead Homicide Farce

Alternative title(s): Undead Girl Murder Farce
Novel Adaptation by Lapin Track
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

A half-man, half-oni circus performer has an excruciatingly long conversation with a disembodied head in a birdcage before they eventually decide to hunt monsters together.

Aqua’s verdict: Far from a Farce

There were a lot of things that Undead Murder Farce made me think of. It made me remember that Tomoyo Kurosawa is always the voice performer whose voice shines out to me. Because of the show’s direction choices, I was reminded that I would prefer to watch a show by Kaguya-sama and Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu director Shinichi Omata over one by, say, Akiyuki Shinbo. Because I am one of those tools who listens to Tool, some of the music made me think of that band. Tomatoes are available at the front desk. Undead Murder Farce most strongly reminded me of shows like In/Spectre or the creations of NisioIsin, which attempt to sound intellectual and cerebral by thoroughly exhausting every tangent and framing each line of dialogue like a thesis statement, even though it is debatable whether they are in fact intellectual and cerebral.

It didn’t, however, make me think of a comedy. The characters appear to understand each other a little bit too well, as if they are speaking a language that only they can understand, rather than chaotic slapstick or misunderstandings heaped on top of one another. The outrageousness of Undead Murder Farce is not quite as strong as its name might imply. If anything, it’s currently failed to stand out in any significant way from many previous Victorian supernatural mysteries. However, I wouldn’t claim that there isn’t any potential. The concept of a single, powerful whodunit with a ghostly twist is not unappealing, and Omata is a great director. The only reason I’m still interested in the program is that I feel it is still preserving these secrets. Unfortunately, I didn’t really see this pilot playing these cards to much effect. I couldn’t help but look into it, and it seems like many of the primary draws of this series haven’t even been hinted at yet. I’ll reserve my opinion, but not indefinitely. It will be crucial to watch the upcoming show to see how the Undead Murder Farce will be remembered.

Artemis’ verdict: Ask Me Again Next Week

I guess I didn’t mind this much? Since Undead Murder Farce is obviously not your typical shonen action-adventure series, I’m a little divided about it. On the one hand, it gives the idea that it is milking that fact to the fullest extent possible, attempting to appear a little bit cooler and edgier than it actually is. The idea behind the story is mostly alternate-historical fantasy, which naturally appeals to the portion of me that enjoys, well, historical/alternate-timeline history and fantasy novels. However, a lot of the action unfolds in a cringe-worthy manner, particularly when it comes to the series’ more, shall we say, sexually charged elements. To be honest, Undead Murder Farce also aspires to be a detective-style mystery, and these stories frequently need a little more setup and development before they can really engage the audience. Although I haven’t yet actually witnessed the mystery element come into its own, the debut did just enough to pique my interest and make me eager to see what episode 2 will bring.

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