Taking Care of God Manga Review

Taking Care of God Manga Assessment

Dungeon Meshi successfully maintains its quality even after rapidly creating a few episodes with external collaboration and one with an outside director at the helm. Interestingly, episode #07 stands out as a high point, which may not have been an immediate choice for fans. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting for its exceptional portrayal of the dungeon as a dynamic and thriving habitat where the characters find themselves deeply integrated.

Ever since their initial encounter with the life cycle in the dungeon, Senshi has been trying to teach them about it. However, it’s the integration of these three episodes—seamlessly interwoven into a single narrative—that illuminates the concept from different angles, making it comprehensible to both the audience and the adventurers. The central theme is the notion that the dungeon is a living organism and everyone is part of its ecosystem. This theme is explored through various events, from the harrowing moment Senshi decides to eat a horse he once considered a friend, to a thrilling confrontation with a giant predatory kraken, to the concluding joke where Laios is harassed by its parasites.

Miyajima is passionate about showcasing the most exhilarating moments as they happen, aiming to recreate the excitement he felt during his first encounter with the story. This brings to mind the dynamic actions in the current episode, and understandably so. The clash with the Kraken, led by the talented up-and-coming animators Shimon Dohi and Sho Oi, is a highlight, presenting a sequence so lifelike and detailed in its motion and visual effects that it could fulfill anyone’s dream of battling a giant cephalopod. While Kui sought to depict the death sequence with true-to-life physiology, a subpar execution would have been disappointing (apologies to any cephalopod enthusiasts). Thanks to the immediate color changes as a cell element and the believable deflation, the painting and compositing teams have a strong foundation to convincingly portray this scene. In addition, without being as showy, the fierce presence of the underwater kelpie, which boasts some of the finest character designs in the series to date, has left a notable impression on me too.

Nevertheless, scenes like these thrive not just in grand events but also in the subtleties, exemplified by watching the kelpie dry itself off. This charming depiction of a whimsical instance has aptly been assigned to Haruki Sakamoto, another animator from KyoAni, a testament to Kui’s captivating creation of the universe. The team is evidently cognizant of his prowess, as indicated by the regularity with which he is tasked with amendments aimed at emphasizing intimacy (especially involving Falin) or injecting similar quirky appeal.

Referring to an unexpected encounter, Marcille finally comes face to face with the comrade they’ve been trying to rescue in the last episode we’ll analyze for now. The episode boasts the skills of storyboard artist Yuki Yonemori. While not directly associated with studio Trigger, Yonemori is well-integrated within his circle of peers, such as Kai Ikarashi, who managed to transform a short flight sequence from the source material into a standout moment. Beyond those impressive sequences, Yonemori’s hallmark is his nuanced, realistic animation that speaks volumes. Having stepped up as director, he pairs his animation with powerful framing to more deeply express emotional states. It’s clear that the recollecting elf was spot-on in her assessment of the ideal storyboarder, recalling how a unique woman transformed her outlook and later plunged her into a challenging predicament.

Despite Yonemori’s relatively limited experience in directing, evidence of his talent in this field was already apparent three years ago when he made his directorial debut. It was surprising how adept he was given his lack of experience, and it’s safe to say that his skills have not diminished since. However, Yonemori’s method has evolved somewhat. After working on an outstanding episode of Do it Yourself!, he chose to focus solely on directing and step away from animation directing, especially when the two roles overlapped. This decision might appear restrictive for someone whose work is so intertwined with character animation, yet I believe Yonemori has the capability and insight to pinpoint essential elements using just his storyboards and direction notes. In this instance, he can rely solely on the former because, at Trigger, they tend to separate the role of enshutsu, with Yuichi Shimodaira responsible for supervising the overall production.

You don’t need to wait to see the subtle elements of Yonemori’s character come to life, as the first part of episode eight is markedly different from its latter. Marcille’s gentleness is more pronounced than ever, whether it’s the softness of her cheek against Laios’ armor, or the cautious approach she took in her past endeavors. Moreover, specific animation quality, attributed to Sakamoto, firmly places Falin in the category of a KyoAni character archetype. Observing Marcille’s transformation, where she starts to approach Laios with the same openness and candor she now exhibits, is as enjoyable as the noticeable change in their physical interactions during flashbacks. This episode intends to show how their initial encounter was transformative, with the animation, meticulously directed by Shunpei Gunyasu, underscoring each intimate detail. The change in their seating styles alone delicately captures their character development. Falin’s unrestrained behavior is a stark contrast to Marcille’s previously overly meticulous persona, yet the elf has now embraced a demeanor more reflective of her true nature and resilience.

Beyond the precision of Yonemori’s exceptional acting, the storyboards produced contain a suggestive power that turns even simple scenes into unforgettable ones. In a real-life escapade, the dynamic shifts from Falin’s enigmatic aura and Marcille’s dazzling academic persona; what emerges is a spirited joviality against an overbearing inner restriction. When the narrative returns to the present, we witness Marcille’s unplanned brush with a lethal aquatic specter, her panic communicated effectively and tersely. The physical toll of the labyrinth on Marcille, burdened and weakened by her depleted magic, is palpable, even if it’s momentarily overshadowed by the thrilling action.

Nonetheless, it’s necessary to address the animation when discussing the second installment. In the third episode, the spotlight is undoubtedly on Ichigo Kanno and Ikarashi, especially during their stunning back-to-back appearance. The entire sequence is exceptional, with the illustrations displaying a level of three-dimensionality rarely seen in the series. This depth is also reflected in the nuanced shades of Marcille’s mostly anguished facial expressions, which are a testament to her challenging life. Despite this, there’s a funny contrast in watching her zombified character become progressively more annoyed at the lack of variety in her barbeque. Akihiro Sato, who is fairly new to the role of animation director, clearly demonstrates his ability to deliver high-quality work through the impressive episode he oversaw.

Almost all of the standout moments in this remarkable episode were created by our internal team. Their ability to focus on these key scenes stemmed from the thorough task distribution they achieved beforehand, enabling them to maintain high standards of quality which has been thoroughly examined. While it’s wise to proceed with caution, there’s no need to dampen your enjoyment if you’ve been as captivated by the series as I have so far. It’s true that episodes #09–10 aren’t expected to match the intensity of some recent ones, but remember, even some of this month’s best episodes weren’t anticipated to be as impressive. Considering the consistent quality of production and the team’s eagerness to put maximum effort into concluding this season, I’m confident they’ll soon present us with another outstanding episode.

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