Shinigami no Ballad anime review

Shinigami no Ballad anime review
A girl wrapped in white, her name is her hand lies a blunt yet shiny scythe. By her side is a wingged black cat by the name of Daniel. Carrying the souls of humans, the girl's existence parallels to that of a "Death God" or "Shinigami". At the instant when this white Death God touches the hearts of humans, the world is filled with kindness and grief.

Like many other episodic slice-of-life series, Shinigami no Ballad passed quite low under the radar during its initial airing. Though it’s not totally unexpected and, some would argue, not undeserved, Shinigami no Ballad does have a number of rather unique elements and stands as an interesting and often charming slice-of-life outing, even in spite of some patchy execution.

Since it’s such a short and episodic series, trying to discuss Shinigami no Ballad with “on-the-whole”-isms is a tough and somewhat misleading assignment. The episodes are highly varied, both with respect to their perspectives and casts as well as in terms of quality. While this can lend itself to the label of “inconsistent”, within its sporadic delivery there are numerous worthwhile and enjoyable moments. Some episodes feature very likeable casts which are given enough depth and personality to make their adventures and growth captivating. However, a few episodes become trudged in mundane melodrama and are irksome to watch. No episode is more guilty of this than the first, which is unfortunate, since it will no doubt turn off many of the very slice-of-life fans that are most likely to enjoy this.

Atmosphere is also something built on inconsistency. While mostly created by a lack of background music to allow nothing but the story unfolding in front of the audience to draw them in, Shinigami no Ballad chooses to play music only in the more dramatic and intense scenes. The problem: the music is unbelievably tacky and only serves to distract the audience and destroy the atmosphere rather than to absorb. I strongly argue that many such scenes would have benefited from the complete absence of music that complemented the atmosphere so well for the majority of the progression… or even just better tunes.

Shinigami no Ballad also suffers from the fact that its main character (and her accomplice) merely fill the role of facilitating the development of the episodic focus characters, rather than having any sort of interesting characteristics or growth of their own. While Momo is likeable, her experiences with the living ultimately have an inconsequential impact on her. In the end, however, she’s more an embodiment of the running theme of the numerous ways death impacts life than a walking, talking character. Opposite her, Daniel is almost completely pointless and seems to be there purely to provide company for Momo. In this respect, he’s just as useless as a real cat… except for the fact that he talks.

In spite of its flaws, Shinigami no Ballad still has much to offer to fans of deliberately paced episodic slice-of-life pieces. If there’s something worthwhile about Shinigami no Ballad, it is its unique take on the shinigami myth; however, its fair-minded standpoints on death are also engaging. Provided you’re willing to let yourself be immersed, Shinigami no Ballad, with its significant fraction of likeable characters and enjoyable episodes, is worth the time.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Shinigami no Ballad. Watch it now:
Browse Anime by Alphabet:
Browse Anime by year of production:
  • 1993
  • 1992
  • 1991
  • 1990
  • 1989
  • 1988
  • 1987
  • 1986
  • 1985
  • 1979