Hi! I hope everyone’s having a great week. I wanted to write a brief post about a seasonal anime I completed this week. Maybe it’s not entirely correct to call it a seasonal series because it originally aired back in 2020. But it’s recently added to Crunchyroll’s library, and seeing it among the seasonal release list is how I came to know about it. Let’s start with a summary!
Neil Bowman, or Ni-Ni for short, is a beloved son of two overbearing parents. They want what’s best for their son, and that best is for Ni-Ni to live with them and continue to study diligently until he’s ready to work. But Ni-Ni has other plans. That’s why he’s on a plane on its way to the human world.
As a resident of Hell, he’s been interested in humans ever since, and he decided to live with his vampire friend Ira, who’s already adapted to human society. Ni-Ni was excited to room with humans but to his surprise, he has to share his flat with the landlord angel who works as a teacher and a quiet mummy whose presence is almost non-existent.
All Saints Street is a short Chinese donghua that aired in April 2020. Each episode is 5 minutes long, including catchy OP and ED themes. Crunchyroll decided to group 6 shorts into a single 24-minute-long episode, so you’ll only see a total of two episodes with long names there. It’s also worth noting that the dub Crunchyroll offers is in Japanese and not Chinese. Hence, you’ll be hearing familiar voices such as Ishikawa Kaito or Fukuyama Jun.
You know how when you’re not formally knowledgeable on a topic and you can’t verbally explain why a certain work seems similar to something else but it immediately strikes you? When I first saw this series in the seasonal line-up list, I immediately thought that it must be from a Chinese artist or studio. But please don’t make me put it into words by asking me why. It’s just the color scheme, character designs, and the overall… vibe struck me as very similar to the Chinese manhua I’ve seen before. Of course, there are artists that experiment, but it seems to me that each country I’m reading works from (Japanese, Korean, and Chinese) has more or less a trend in their art styles, especially the way they color and use lighting in their comics.
All Saints Street, production-wise, is honestly great. The characters are all memorable and easily distinguishable from each other. Both in terms of their characteristics and fashion sense, so one look at them and you get an idea. I adore the stylistic choices made when designing them, the interior/exterior, and the supernatural creatures that make cameos here and there. Maybe because it’s a short series but the movement looks very smooth when needed and there are some occasional interesting camera angles. You can tell the studio didn’t cut corners and it’s probably easier to focus on details and have consistency throughout when you don’t have to put 24-minute episodes out. These choices all serve the feeling and energy the show wanted to convey.
Another production point I appreciated was the sound design. Short melody pieces are used to enhance emotional reactions, indicate flashbacks, or emphasize comical moments in a cartoon-esque fashion. the guitar riffs in between the shorts are so pleasant. To be honest, if the soundtrack were to be released I’d listen to it all day long. It’s catchy, suits the series and is on point. In short, does the job perfectly.
All Saints Street does have an overarching plot; from the hints at the beginning of the first episode we know that Nini is the demon king and will wreak havoc in the human realm in the future, but for now, he’s the impersonation (or more like, imdevilication) of a cinnamon roll. He works at a pet shop for otherworldly animals and is more than happy to spend his days together with the rest of the household. Damao, the werewolf, is sent to investigate this demon king who is rumored to be awakened and he somehow ends up as another tenant. There is a sequel to it, but for now, it’s as slice-of-life as it can get.
I’m telling you, the word cute doesn’t even cover how adorable, warm, and fuzzy this series is. We’re talking directly-injecting-serotonin-into-your-brain level of cuteness here. Kind of lethal, if you overdose. That’s probably why the episodes had to be cut short. I’m sure the world couldn’t handle a 24-minute regular cour and I’d have to gif every little detail. We are, once again, saved by a hair.
I was so enamored by this little series that I had to write about it, hoping it didn’t escape your radar for this season, or even if it did, now at least you know such a series exist. I heartily recommend All Saints Street to everyone; very short and very charming, pretty to look at and I bet the 2$ in my savings account that there’s no way these oddballs will fail to hold your heart hostage. Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me!
As always, I’m eager to hear your thoughts and whether you’ve seen it or what you think about my introduction. Let me know in the comments and see you soon!
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