Shoshimin Episode 1 Review: A Promising Mystery Anime That Still Can’t Be Compared to Hyouka

The much-anticipated Shoshimin episode 1 made its debut on July 7, 2024, after generating significant buzz through its promotional campaigns. The animanga community eagerly awaited the first episode, which had its share of successes and challenges. The anime had to overcome obstacles to live up to the expectations of the source material, and episode 1 served as a crucial test.

The responsibility of bringing Honobu Yonezawa’s series to life was taken on by Studio Lapin Track. With the success of Undead Girl Murder Farce and I’m Kodama Kawashiri, expectations were high for this release. Despite the initial episode being shrouded in mystery, it still received a positive response from viewers.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and should be viewed as such.

Shoshimin Episode 1: Brief Recap

Jogoro Kobato and Yuki Osanai (Image via Studio Lapin Track)
Jogoro Kobato and Yuki Osanai (Image via Studio Lapin Track)

Entitled “Sheep Costume,”the first episode of Shoshimin promptly introduced Jogoro Kobato, Yuki Osanai, and Dojima Kengo as the central characters. The three of them had recently enrolled in Funato High School. As the story progressed, Jogoro’s keen observation skills were evident when he accurately identified Yuki’s preferred type of sweets.

In keeping with the title of the series, the focus was placed on the “rules”of living an ordinary life, which involved blending in with daily routines and avoiding any disruptions. As Jogoro and Yuki were on their way to purchase limited edition strawberry tarts, Kengo presented Jogoro with a task – to find a missing pochette.

Despite the thorough search, the parties involved returned without any success. However, Jogoro’s deduction skills proved to be invaluable as he was able to uncover the truth. It was revealed that the owner of the pochette was admired by someone, but this person was unsure of how to express their feelings.

The first episode of Shoshimin ended with a range of emotions – Jogoro and Yuki made a promise to each other on their journey towards normalcy, but their hard-earned strawberry tarts were unfortunately ruined.

Shoshimin Episode 1 Review: Animation and Direction – A Good Start

Jogoro Kobato and Yuki Osanai (Image via Studio Lapin Track)
Jogoro Kobato and Yuki Osanai (Image via Studio Lapin Track)

The first episode of Shoshimin is a visually captivating experience. The strategic use of light and shadow effectively sets the mood, tone, and time of day, making it a highly satisfying viewing. The direction is superb and the dialogue plays a significant role in driving the narrative. The characters’ distinct eye colors add a special touch to the series. In summary, the animation is exceptional, seamless, and refined.

While Lapin Track’s Undead Girl Murder Farce was ostentatious and visually inventive, Shoshimin may appear more subdued and tame in comparison, but it is equally beautiful. Nonetheless, the first episode of Shoshimin seems to have started off on a positive note.

Shoshimin Episode 1 Review: Characters and Plot – A Tad Ambiguous

Jogoro Kobato and Yuki Osanai (Image via Studio Lapin Track)
Jogoro Kobato and Yuki Osanai (Image via Studio Lapin Track)

The initial installment of the series was cloaked in secrecy, showcasing two significant occurrences – the theft of the pochette and the strawberry tarts. The stolen pochette was a seemingly ordinary event made to seem unnecessarily convoluted. Despite its basis in a timid declaration of love, it was treated with the gravity of a mystery.

The significance of the tragedy surrounding the strawberry tarts was amplified by Yuki’s strong emotional connection to it. Additionally, the incident did not reveal much about the main duo (Jogoro and Yuki) other than their desire to live a simple life.

Final Thoughts

Yuki Osanai (Image via Studio Lapin Track)
Yuki Osanai (Image via Studio Lapin Track)

Despite some initial ambiguity surrounding the characters and story, Shoshimin episode 1 has gotten off to a promising start, thanks to the studio’s meticulous attention to detail and Mamoru Kanbe’s skilled direction. Fans are eagerly anticipating what’s to come, although there are some early rough patches that cannot be ignored.

Upon comparison to Hyouka, it can be observed that Shoshimin may not have the same captivating effect on viewers, at least in the beginning. Hyouka’s well-placed elements such as its opening theme, setting, tone, mystery element, and character dynamics were able to entice and maintain the interest of fans until the conclusion. It remains to be seen if Shoshimin will be able to achieve the same level of engagement.

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