Anime at a Glance: Under the Dog

Hana Togetsu wakes up in her average home and eats breakfast with her family. “My family doesn’t know how to handle it.” Her mother’s eyes shy away as she wishes her luck on her first day of school. Her father scratches his nose, and her little brother can’t summon the courage to speak up. This is how her family lies. In the bathroom at school, nervous before everything begins, she hides in a stall and holds the gun she’s hiding in her bag and puts in her earpiece.

In the classroom, she introduces herself and the teacher introduces her, “Her father’s job requires her to move around a lot…” he explains. She takes her seat and students crowd around her during the break. The other students start talking about helicopters flying around, and she hears a voice in her ear. “Grab the target, meet at the location.” She walks over to a boy student in the class and forces him to leave the classroom with her amidst the confusion.

After encountering some soldiers her eyes glow green and she takes them out with precision and force. She explains that she’s part of an assassination unit known as the “Flowers.”

“You may be our last hope.”

Under the Dog was a Kickstarter project from 2 years ago that I recently received. It is labeled as episode 0, though there won’t be any more episodes to come unfortunately. There were apparently creative differences with the studio(s) involved and was probably nearly cancelled. The quality of what they did deliver would have been a good start to a series though.

I enjoyed the first episode, if only because I waited 2 years for it. As a first episode of a series it would leave us waiting for the next episode. As a single episode series it leaves us with too many questions and doesn’t give us enough information to find any sort of conclusion. Is the Pandora good or bad? What are the Flowers looking for in their targets, and how will it help humanity? When the main premise of the episode delivers too many questions it will simply cause confusion for the viewers. Sort of how I felt while playing Final Fantasy XIII and being thrown into a scenario with a ton of acronyms thrown at me without any knowledge of the setting prior. I was expected to go dive into their codex to get the information I wanted. The downside of Under the Dog is that there is no codex, so we may never find out the true story behind the series unless it gets picked up again later on.

It’s also rare to have English dialogue in a series voiced by English speaking actors, so it doesn’t stand out as much as other shows, though it’s only for a few brief moments through the episode. I will also caution that this show has gore and brutality, as well as brief nudity, so it’s not for all audiences.

If you have a chance in the future to check out this show I recommend it, despite being a one episode series now, and maybe we’ll luck out and see something in the future for it.

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