What the hell did I just watch?
So, in this first episode of Karneval… uh… stuff happens? A meek white-haired guy named Nai almost gets… raped? Or is he being seduced? I literally have no idea – he’s obviously getting sexual attention he’s not interested in, but with this as our starting point in the present-day, some hazy flashback-type scene notwithstanding, it remains wholly unknowable what the exact nature of the sequence is. And then, uh, stuff starts blowing up, limbs get stretched, and someone starts snacking on her own servants, there’s a train, the train blows up, and people fly through the air, and uh…
Yeah. I really don’t know what is going on at all. It was also a lot less colorful than the promo art had suggested, which was a bit of a downer. I can, at least, give credit to the episode for covering in one episode what could’ve been easily stretched into two episodes; Nai gets his ass (and dick) saved by the dark and crabby Gareki before the episode is even half over, leaving time for more baffling things to happen.
Speaking of the pair, we’ve got the standard issue BL shipping fodder already well in place – the fair-haired, mild-mannered, kind of moe Nai and the dark-haired, “bad-ass”, The World is Shit and Shit Just Got Real Gareki. So you can check that box off if you were hoping for it. Although I knew next to nothing coming into this, I didn’t find this particular turn of events terribly shocking… nor am I really complaining. I’m ok with it.
So, yes, the whole thing is a mess currently. But, well, that didn’t really bother me. Tsukumo’s pretty cute, I’ve got my BL fodder, the pace is rapid enough that all the random crap happening didn’t pause long enough to make me question it, and, honestly, the animation and the art is fairly decent (ranging to impressive at points). The bit with the woman extending her arms and growing more demonic in appearance was genuinely creepy. I wouldn’t say I exactly recommend it, but I get this sneaking suspicion that if you’re the sort of person who bothers to seek it out and does so not just so you can mock it, then you’ll be just fine with what it has to offer so far, even if it is a mess.
Oh, and not that this has relevancy for anyone else, but the first time I tried to watch it, the video loaded upside down. I thought it was just the first scene was done that way to make it more ~dreamlike~, and that the subber was subbing it upside down in an irritating way to add to the mood. Lulz, obviously I was completely wrong… but hell if I know how it even did that in the first place!