Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed User Reviews

Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed is an anime series in the Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed franchise
Write a Review 1 user review Average score of 9.5 / 10 for Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed
A great anime drama not afraid to tackle its touchy issues. Reviewed by Dream on June 25, 2011. Dream has written 129 reviews. His/her last review was for Touch. 294 out of 308 users recommend his reviews. 4 out of 4 users found this review helpful.
Don't let the moe looking character design of Fumika and the energetic talking staff fool you in thinking this will be a light-hearted title. Shigofumi features a grim look into a number of touchy social issues faced by characters that Fumika delivers letters from the dead to and explores some tragic developments concerning Fumika's own past. This is a series that isn't afraid to explore the more harsher side of human society concerning the characters we encounter as subjects such as bullying, suicide, child abuse and pressures with conformity are delved into. The characters we are witness to are fleshed out enough where we have enough sense of their suffering and what led them to the predicaments they face. For the most part, the morality that the series tackles is grey meaning there are reasons for what drives the developments faced by the characters. Even with its touchy matters, the series still has its heartwarming stories that Fumika becomes involved with such as delivering letters to a cat and straightening out personal matters involving a talented high school tennis player.

The one defining element to this series which keeps it from totally being an episodic focus like Mushishi and Kino's Journey is the ongoing developments concerning Fumika. The series drops hints at first concerning Fumika's past and her unique existence as a mail carrier of Shigofumi. Yet as the series presses on, it does eventually explore the girl's past. Like many of the dark stories Shigofumi tackles, Fumika's past isn't a nice one and much of the show's second half is spent on her coming to terms with her own identity and dark past.

The story development is not without its faults. It does portray some characters as being shallowly evil such as some bullies in one episode and the lack of exploration on many aspects of being a Shigofumi carrier makes the entire concept feel like a plot device just to explore its various character stories.

Visually, the series looks solid for a 2008 title with vivid scenery and a good amount of visual detail given to characters and scenery designs. While I didn't notice any shortcomings with animation, there was nothing notable about it either. Aurally, the show's soundtrack consists of soft musical tracks that do well at complementing the various dramatic developments we see of the characters and the ED choice is a calm and gentle musical piece that does well at easing the mood from some of the depressing outcomes that Shigofumi often whips out with its characters.

While having its snags, Shigofumi made for a solid and sometimes emotionally powerful anime drama that wasn't afraid to tackle touchy social issues and delivered well-developed characters connected to the issues the series tackled. It also averts from the episodic storyline setup you would usually expect from similar titles of its vain by focusing on ongoing developments concerning Fumika's character. This is a worthwhile title to look into if you are a sap for anime dramas.
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