Have you ever heard of “Kagerou Project?” From my experience probably not. Bringing it up to people and the general lack of cosplayers at cons, have lead me to realize that it isn’t very well known. Which, to be honest, is a tragedy because the series is really neat even if it’s super convoluted at times.
The series centers around a group of teens known as the Blindfold Gang who have abilities known as “eye powers.” While not much else can be said without spoiling important content, the bare bones idea I got from friends was enough to interest me.
The result was getting thrown headfirst into even more story elements I enjoy, like added fantasy elements, time travel, and looping timelines. To add, this isn’t just a singular piece of media: while it started out as a song series utilizing Vocaloid, it grew into a multimedia project with light novels, manga, and an anime known as “Mekakucity Actors.”
The most popular song is “Kagerou Days” which features two of the younger cast members getting caught in a time loop on Aug. 15.
A cycle of dying is all that’s shown, one consistently sacrificing herself for the other until one time he returns the favor. Quite a few of the songs have gained enough popularity that people who never really got into the series recognize some songs on sight such as “Outer Science,” “Lost Time Memory,” and “Ayano’s Theory of Happiness.”
My personal favorite parts of the entire series are the songs as well as the light novels. The anime fell a bit short in my eyes since trying to tell a story like this in only 12 episodes (with awkward animation at that) wasn’t exactly the best adaption.
The manga started off okay, but the recent route its taken has put a bit of a damper on the quality of that specific section of the series.
However, the songs still hold an explicit route for the story and can be pieced together beautifully with different styles. The bonus is that people can listen to the story whenever and, if they know it well enough, can visualize it all over again on the go.
The novels delve deeper into the characters themselves and produce another offshoot of the story. My favorite character overall is a boy named Haruka Kokonose, a side character due to his death prior to the start of the main storyline. The sixth novel had him in the spotlight and felt like it was almost pandering to me. Giving several new details towards his life, and general disposition all the way to his untimely death.
“Kagerou Project” is a series with many paths and several ways to become attached to the colorful cast. To me, someone with a love for tales of misfits coming together for a common goal, this series landed right in my alley. The songs have been on my phone for years and I’m sure they’ll remain taking up a firm 18 song slots for years to come.