This episode was by far the best first episode I've watched in a while. The director really understood exactly how Yuki's psychosis works in narrative, and went above and beyond to portray that in a way that gave winks to the fans of the manga series, and naturally guided the uninformed to the revelation. The only students besides the surviving ones that had visible facial features were the ones that immediately sat around her, with the others in the class simply having vague features and identifiers, and some obvious stand-ins for concepts being monochrome and having limited movement. There was a very visual and unspoken way of getting the point across.
Not just visually either, the usage of open air sound effects in the hallway and the general silence on the school rooftop was a great choice in sound direction. There was simply so much going on in the episode to set up Yuki's delusion in the mind of the viewer, and a general understanding to how memory works that I could easily write a paper on it. Which strikes me as a surprise me that the director's career is so sub par outside of White Album 2. This isn't something that most directors get, at least not in practice.
However, therein lies the problem: they will likely not top the first episode. The manga itself is good, and the episodes following this might certainly be good in their own right. But they've simply set the bar too high.
It's likely a call back to Mii's backstory in the manga. She was at a bookstore buying English language novels for study when everything started going to hell. It was by sheer irony that she was looking at a copy of The Stand when her and her friend ran for the employee rest area. Great book, by the way, but a horribly depressing thing to get stuck reading. Considering how the world is considerably worse off in that novel, it will at least provide necessary inspirational material. Maybe.
Post edited on 15th Jul 2015, 2:10pm